Alice In Wonderland author's regret: Why Lewis Carroll hated being a literary legend

Alice In Wonderland author's regret: Why Lewis Carroll hated being a literary legend

In accordance with a previously unseen letter that will soon be auctioned author Lewis Carroll despised fame a great deal he wished he previously never written the books about Alice's adventures that made him a legend that is literary

Lewis Carroll's life changed forever after Alice's Adventures In Wonderland was published GETTY

An obscure mathematician called Charles Lutwidge Dodgson penned a range of learned works with titles such as A Syllabus Of Plane Algebraic Geometry and The Fifth Book Of Euclid Treated Algebraically in the mid-19th century.

Five years after the latter in 1865 he embarked on a change that is radical of.

Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland was published under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll along with his life changed for ever.

Queen Victoria loved it, fan mail arrived because of the sackful in which he grew to become recognised on the street.

It was sheer hell for a shy and retiring academic who doubled as an Anglican deacon additionally the extent of his torment is revealed the very first time in a previously unseen letter which is anticipated to fetch a lot more than Ј4,000 when it is auctioned at Bonhams month that is next.

The widow of eminent Oxford surgeon Frederick Symonds, he laments being thrust into the public eye by his success and treated like a zoo animal by admirers in the letter written to Anne Symonds.

He even suggests that he wishes he had never written the classic tales that brought him worldwide fame.

“All that kind of publicity leads to strangers hearing of my name that is real in because of the books, and also to my being pointed off to, and stared at by strangers, and treated as a ‘lion’,” he wrote.

“And I hate all of that so intensely that sometimes I almost wish that I experienced never written any books after all.”

The letter, printed in November 1891, was penned 26 years after the publication of Alice In Wonderland, as he was 59.

He died six years later and then how his reputation would be tarnished in death he would have been even more horrified if he had known. His fondness for kids along with his practice of photographing and sketching them, sometimes in the nude, led to a lynching that is posthumous the court of literary opinion.

The creative genius who gave us Humpty Dumpty, the Cheshire Cat and the Mad Hatter was labelled a pervert, paedophile and pornographer as a result.

Alice Liddell inspired him to write the book GETTY

and I also hate all that so intensely that sometimes I almost wish that I had never written any books after all

The reality that four of the 13 volumes of his diaries mysteriously went missing and that seven pages of some other were torn out by an hand that is unknown added to the circumstantial evidence against him.

But while Dodgson never married, there clearly was an abundance of evidence in his diaries that he had a keen interest in adult women both married and single and enjoyed a wide range of relationships that will have been considered scandalous by the standards of that time.

Sympathetic historians also argue his studies of naked children have to be present in the context of their hours.

The “Victorian child cult” perceived nudity as an expression of innocence and such images were mainstream and fashionable in the place of emblematic of a fascination that is sick young flesh.

The speculation over Dodgson’s sexuality has its own roots in his relationship utilizing the litttle lady who had been the inspiration for his fictional Alice. The real-life Alice was the younger daughter of Henry Liddell, Dean of Christ Church College, Oxford, where Dodgson plied his trade as a mathematician and served as a deacon.

She was by all accounts a vivacious and pretty 10-year-old when he first got to know her and then he would often take her out along with her sisters for picnics and boat trips regarding the Thames.

On these days he would entertain these with his stories in regards to the Alice that is fictional he had been eventually persuaded to place into book form and send to a publisher.

While his critics have suggested after growing into adolescence, one biographer proposes a very different analysis that he grew fixated with Alice Liddell, took photographs of her in inappropriate poses and was devastated when she broke away from him.

The dodo presenting Alice with a thimble in an illustration by Tenniel GETTY

“There is not any evidence which he was at love along with her,” wrote Karoline Leach within the Shadow regarding the Dreamchild. “No evidence that her family focused on her, no evidence that they banned him from her presence.”

She added: “There are no letters or private diary entries to suggest almost any romantic or passionate attachment, or to indicate that he had an unique desire for her for any but the briefest time.”

It had been not Alice who was the main focus of Dodgson’s attentions, she suggests, but her mother Lorina. Definately not being an easy method of grooming the daughter, their day trips were a cover for a separate and reckless affair with the caretaker. When the Alice books were written Dodgson was in his 30s that are early.

Lorina, while five years older, was – in the words of writer William Langley – “a free spirit and a renowned beauty stuck in a dull marriage to Henry, the Dean, who was both notoriously boring and reputedly homosexual”.

He added:“Carroll might have now been seen as something of an oddity around Oxford but in contrast to Henry he had been handsome, youthful, engaging and witty. And he was able to spend an astonishing amount of time dominant site at the Liddells’ house much of it while Henry wasn’t in.”

It absolutely was this liaison, according to Leach, which led household members to censor his diaries instead of any inappropriate relationship with an girl that is underage. Her thesis is sustained by the findings of another author, Jenny Woolf.

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She tracked down Dodgson’s bank records on her 2010 book The Mystery Of Lewis Carroll and discovered that despite often being in debt Dodgson gave away about Ј50 a year (Ј5,500 in today’s money) to charities that are various earning an income of Ј300 (Ј33,000 today) teaching mathematics at Christ Church and double that by means of royalty payments from Macmillian, his publisher.

Among the charities Dodgson supported was the Society For The Protection Of Women And Children, an organisation that “used to track down and prosecute men who interfered with children”.

Woolf adds: “He also supported other charities which rehabilitated women that was in fact abused and trafficked and a hospital which specialised within the treatment plan for venereal disease. It suggests the damage concerned him the sex trade inflicted upon women.”

A sceptic might argue that this was the window-dressing of a child abuser but Woolf makes a telling point in his favour.

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