52 Facts About Lewis Carroll


Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known by his pen name Lewis Carroll, was an English author, poet and mathematician.


Lewis Carroll was noted for his facility with word play, logic, and fantasy.


Alice Liddell, the daughter of Christ Church's dean Henry Liddell, is widely identified as the original inspiration for Alice in Wonderland, though Lewis Carroll always denied this.


An avid puzzler, Lewis Carroll created the word ladder puzzle, which he published in his weekly column for Vanity Fair magazine between 1879 and 1881.


In 1982 a memorial stone to Lewis Carroll was unveiled at Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey.


Lewis Carroll went to Westminster School and then to Christ Church, Oxford.


Lewis Carroll reverted to the other family tradition and took holy orders.

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Lewis Carroll was mathematically gifted and won a double first degree, which could have been the prelude to a brilliant academic career.


Lewis Carroll was high-church, inclining toward Anglo-Catholicism, an admirer of John Henry Newman and the Tractarian movement, and did his best to instil such views in his children.


Lewis Carroll's "reading lists" preserved in the family archives testify to a precocious intellect: at the age of seven, he was reading books such as The Pilgrim's Progress.


Lewis Carroll left Rugby at the end of 1849 and matriculated at the University of Oxford in May 1850 as a member of his father's old college, Christ Church.


Lewis Carroll had been at Oxford only two days when he received a summons home.


Lewis Carroll did not always work hard, but was exceptionally gifted, and achievement came easily to him.


Lewis Carroll remained at Christ Church studying and teaching, but the next year he failed an important scholarship exam through his self-confessed inability to apply himself to study.


Lewis Carroll was described in later life as somewhat asymmetrical, and as carrying himself rather stiffly and awkwardly, although this might be on account of a knee injury sustained in middle age.


Lewis Carroll did indeed refer to himself as a dodo, but whether or not this reference was to his stammer is simply speculation.


Lewis Carroll lived in a time when people commonly devised their own amusements and when singing and recitation were required social skills, and the young Dodgson was well equipped to be an engaging entertainer.


Lewis Carroll was adept at mimicry and storytelling, and reputedly quite good at charades.


Lewis Carroll first met John Ruskin in 1857 and became friendly with him.


Lewis Carroll knew William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais, and Arthur Hughes, among other artists.


Lewis Carroll was an early member of the Society for Psychical Research, and one of his letters suggests that he accepted as real what was then called "thought reading".


Lewis Carroll was widely assumed for many years to have derived his own "Alice" from Alice Liddell; the acrostic poem at the end of Through the Looking-Glass spells out her name in full, and there are many superficial references to her hidden in the text of both books.


Lewis Carroll told the story to Alice Liddell and she begged him to write it down, and Dodgson eventually presented her with a handwritten, illustrated manuscript entitled Alice's Adventures Under Ground in November 1864.


The fame of his alter ego "Lewis Carroll" soon spread around the world.


Lewis Carroll was inundated with fan mail and with sometimes unwanted attention.

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Lewis Carroll began earning quite substantial sums of money but continued with his seemingly disliked post at Christ Church.


In 1895,30 years after the publication of his masterpieces, Lewis Carroll attempted a comeback, producing a two-volume tale of the fairy siblings Sylvie and Bruno.


Lewis Carroll soon excelled at the art and became a well-known gentleman-photographer, and he seems even to have toyed with the idea of making a living out of it in his very early years.


Lewis Carroll found photography to be a useful entree into higher social circles.


Lewis Carroll stopped taking photographs because keeping his studio working was too time-consuming.


Lewis Carroll used the wet collodion process; commercial photographers who started using the dry-plate process in the 1870s took pictures more quickly.


Lewis Carroll devised a number of games, including an early version of what today is known as Scrabble.


The games and puzzles of Lewis Carroll were the subject of Martin Gardner's March 1960 Mathematical Games column in Scientific American.


Lewis Carroll proposed the so-called Dodgson's method, using the Condorcet method.


Lewis Carroll documented his advice about how to write more satisfying letters in a missive entitled "Eight or Nine Wise Words about Letter-Writing".


Lewis Carroll continued to teach at Christ Church until 1881 and remained in residence there until his death.


Lewis Carroll was two weeks away from turning 66 years old.


Lewis Carroll's funeral was held at the nearby St Mary's Church.


Lewis Carroll's body was buried at the Mount Cemetery in Guildford.


Lewis Carroll is commemorated at All Saints' Church, Daresbury, in its stained glass windows depicting characters from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.


Lewis Carroll probably felt more than he dared acknowledge, even to himself.


Lewis Carroll argues that Dodgson may have wanted to marry the 11-year-old Alice Liddell and that this was the cause of the unexplained "break" with the family in June 1863, an event for which other explanations are offered.


Lewis Carroll termed the traditional image of Dodgson "the Carroll Myth".


Lewis Carroll drew attention to the large amounts of evidence in his diaries and letters that he was keenly interested in adult women, married and single, and enjoyed several relationships with them that would have been considered scandalous by the social standards of his time.


Lewis Carroll pointed to the fact that many of those whom he described as "child-friends" were girls in their late teens and even twenties.

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Lewis Carroll argues that suggestions of paedophilia emerged only many years after his death, when his well-meaning family had suppressed all evidence of his relationships with women in an effort to preserve his reputation, thus giving a false impression of a man interested only in little girls.


Lewis Carroll delayed the process for some time but was eventually ordained as a deacon on 22 December 1861.


Lewis Carroll was interested in minority forms of Christianity and "alternative" religions.


Lewis Carroll was diagnosed by a Dr Morshead, Dr Brooks, and Dr Stedman, and they believed the attack and a consequent attack to be an "epileptiform" seizure.


Lewis Carroll had at least one incident in which he suffered full loss of consciousness and awoke with a bloody nose, which he recorded in his diary and noted that the episode left him not feeling himself for "quite sometime afterward".


Lewis Carroll's conclusion, quoted in Jenny Woolf's 2010 The Mystery of Lewis Carroll, is that Dodgson very likely had migraine and may have had epilepsy, but she emphasises that she would have considerable doubt about making a diagnosis of epilepsy without further information.


The Lewis Carroll Centre, attached to the church, was opened in March 2012.