Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (27 January 1832 – 14 January 1898), better known by the pseudonym Lewis Carroll, was an English author, mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon and photographer. His most famous writings are Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass, as well as the poem "The Hunting of the Snark"
though thoroughly at home with the sophisticated nuances of logic and mathematics, Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) was an individual who, through his rare and diversified literary gifts and power of communication, would leave an indelible mark upon the imaginations of children and accessible adults both during his generation and in generations to come. His best-known works, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking-Glass, And What Alice Found There (1872) are still enjoyed by readers throughout the world and have been adapted for radio, television, and motion pictures.
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson was born on 27 January 1832 at the parsonage in Daresbury, Cheshire County, England, the third child and eldest son born to Frances Jane Lutwidge (1804-1851) and Anglican Archdeacon Charles Dodgson (1800-1868). Charles had two older sisters, Frances Jane (1828-1903) and Elizabeth Lucy (1830-1916) and eight other siblings: Caroline Hume (1833-1904), Mary Charlotte (1835-1911), Skeffington Hume (1836-1919), Wilfred Longley (1838-1914), Louisa Fletcher (1840-1930), Margaret Anne Ashley (1841-1915), Henrietta Harington (1843-1922), and Edwin Heron (1846-1918). They were a large family and very close, strictly adhering to High Church values and morals.Dodgson also loved the theatre and often made the short trip to London with friends to visit art galleries and museums. Teaching provided a stable income for him and as a respected teacher he also published under his name Dodgson numerous textbooks on math including Two Books of Euclid (1860), Elementary Treatise on Determinants (1867), Examples in Arithmetic (1874), and Curiosa Mathematica, Part I: A New Theory of Parallels (1888).odgson also loved the theatre and often made the short trip to London with friends to visit art galleries and museums. Teaching provided a stable income for him and as a respected teacher he also published under his name Dodgson numerous textbooks on math including Two Books of Euclid (1860), Elementary Treatise on Determinants (1867), Examp
"Lewis Carroll," as he was to become known, was born on January 27 1832.
Born in 1832, in Daresbury, Cheshire, he spent his early life in the north of England
He attended Rugby school from 1846 to 1850, and was quite a good student, especially in mathematics. The following year, he began attending Christ Church, Oxford, his father's alma mater. Two days after he started, his mother died. His mother's younger sister, Lucy Lutwidge, moved in to help care for the family, and soon grew much beloved.
On July 4, 1862, Dodgson and his friend Robinson Duckworth, fellow of Trinity, rowed the three children up the Thames from Oxford to Godstow, picnicked on the bank, and returned to Christ Church late in the evening: “On which occasion,” wrote Dodgson in his diary, “I told them the fairy-tale of Alice's Adventures Underground, which I undertook to write out for Alice.” Much of the story was based on a picnic a couple of weeks earlier when they had all been caught in the rain; for some reason, this inspired Dodgson to tell so much better a story than usual that both Duckworth and Alice noticed the difference, and Alice went so far as to cry, when they parted at the door of the deanery, “Oh, Mr. Dodgson, I wish you would write out Alice's adventures for me!” Dodgson himself recollected in 1887“how, in a desperate attempt to strike out some new line of fairy-lore, I had sent my heroine straight down a rabbit-hole, to begin with, without the least idea what was to happen afterwards.”
One can appreciate the extent of his obsession with puzzles when considering that almost all seventy-two of his ‘Pillow-Problems’, many of which had complicated mathematical solutions, were compiled by him while lying awake at night. He would commit nothing to paper until the morning, when he would first of all write down the answer, followed by the question and then the detailed solution.
Many of Lewis Carroll's philosophies were based on games. His interest in logic came purely from the playful nature of its principle rather than its uses as a tool. He primarily wrote comic fantasies and humorous verse that was often very childlike. Carroll published his novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in 1865, followed by Through the Looking Glass in 1872. Alice's story began as a piece of extemporaneous whimsy meant to entertain three little girls on a boating trip in 1862. Both of these works were considered children's novels that were satirical in nature and in exemplification of Carroll's wit. Also famous is Carroll's poem "Jabberwocky," in which he created nonsensical words from word combinations. Lewis Carroll died in Guildford, Surrey, on January 14, 1898.
At the age of 23, his clear brilliance as a mathematician won him the Christ Church Mathematical Lectureship, which he continued to hold for the next 26 years. The income was good, but the work bored him. Many of his pupils were stupid, older than him, richer than him, and almost all of them were uninterested. They didn't want to be taught, he didn't want to teach them. Mutual apathy ruled.
In appearance Dodgson was about six foot tall, slender and handsome in a soft-focused dreamy sort of way, with curling brown hair and blue eyes. The only overt defect he carried into adulthood was what he referred to as his 'hesitation'; a stammer he had acquired in early childhood and which was to plague him throughout his entire life. But, although it troubled him - even obsessed him sometimes - it was never bad enough to stop him using his other qualities to do well in society. He was a highly socially competent man; persuasive, manipulative and attractive to women.
Over the remaining twenty years of his life, throughout his growing wealth and fame, his existence remained little changed. He continued to teach at Christ Church until 1881, and remained in residence there until his death. His last novel, the two-volume Sylvie and Bruno, was published in 1889 and 1893 respectively. Its extraordinary convolutions and apparent confusion baffled most readers and it achieved little success. It does contain an extremely concise account of three-valued logic when Bruno counts "about a thousand and four" pigs because he is certain about the four but estimates the remainder.
Lewis Carroll became interested in photography in the infancy of this scientific art form. He was a man of infinite patience and one who paid attention to the smallest detail. These qualities were mandatory to be a photographer in the 1850′s. The wet collodion process was demanding indeed. It is thought that he gave up photography when the dry developing process came to the fore, because he felt it made photography so easy that almost anyone could do it (like the introduction of digital photography in our own time?). He is considered one of the best amateur photographers of his time, particularly in his images of Victorian children, but he also photographed friends, family, fellow scholars, and noted figures of his day, including Alfred Lord Tennyson, and members of the Rossetti family.