Based on a previously unseen letter that may 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 literary legend
Lewis Carroll’s life changed forever after Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland was published GETTY
Into the mid-19th century an obscure mathematician called Charles Lutwidge Dodgson penned a selection of learned works with titles such as for instance A Syllabus Of Plane Algebraic Geometry in addition to Fifth Book Of Euclid Treated Algebraically.
5 years after the latter in 1865 he embarked on a radical change of direction.
Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland was published under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll and his life changed for ever.
Queen Victoria loved it, fan mail arrived because of the sackful and he began to be recognised on the street.
This is sheer hell for a shy and retiring academic who doubled as an Anglican deacon while the extent of his torment is revealed the very first time in a previously unseen letter which will be likely to fetch significantly more than Ј4,000 if it is auctioned at Bonhams next month.
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 he had never written the classic tales that brought him worldwide fame that he wishes.
“All that kind of publicity results in strangers hearing of my real name in connection with the books, and to my being pointed out 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 had never written any books at all.”
The letter, printed in November 1891, was penned 26 years following the publication of Alice In Wonderland, when 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 the kids along with his practice of photographing and sketching them, sometimes when you look at 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 create the book GETTY
and I also hate all of that so intensely that sometimes I almost wish that I had never written any written books at all
The fact four regarding the 13 volumes of his diaries mysteriously went missing and therefore seven pages of some other were torn out by an unknown hand only included with the circumstantial evidence against him.
But while Dodgson never married, there was a great amount of evidence in his diaries that he had a interest that is keen adult women both married and single and enjoyed an amount of relationships that would have already been considered scandalous because of the standards of times.
Sympathetic historians also argue his studies of naked children need to be observed in the context of their own time.
The “Victorian child cult” perceived nudity as a manifestation of innocence and such images were mainstream and fashionable instead of emblematic of a fascination that is sick young flesh.
The speculation over Dodgson’s sexuality has its own roots in the little girl to his relationship who was simply 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 pretty and vivacious 10-year-old as he first got to know her and then he would often take her out along with her sisters for picnics and boat trips from the Thames.
On these days he would entertain them with his stories in regards to the Alice that is fictional he was eventually persuaded to put into book form and send to a publisher.
While his critics have suggested that he grew fixated with Alice Liddell, took photographs of her in inappropriate poses and was devastated when she broke far from him after growing into adolescence, one biographer proposes a really different analysis.
The dodo presenting Alice with a thimble in an illustration by Tenniel GETTY
“There is not any evidence from her presence. which he was in love along with her,” wrote Karoline Leach within the Shadow associated with the Dreamchild. “No evidence that her family concerned about her, no evidence which they banned him”
She added: “There are no letters or private diary entries to suggest any type of romantic or passionate attachment, or even to indicate for any but the briefest time. that he had a particular interest in her own”
It absolutely was not Alice who was simply the focus of Dodgson’s attentions, she suggests, but her mother Lorina. Far from being a means of grooming the daughter, their day trips were a cover for a passionate and reckless affair with the mother. Once the Alice books were written Dodgson was at his early 30s.
Lorina, while 5 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 had been both notoriously boring and reputedly homosexual”.
He added:“Carroll might have now been regarded as something of an oddity around Oxford but in contrast to Henry he had been handsome, navigate to the website youthful, engaging and witty. And he been able to spend an amount that is astonishing of at the Liddells’ house much of it while Henry wasn’t in.”
It had been this liaison, in accordance with Leach, which led household members to censor his diaries in place of any inappropriate relationship with an girl that is underage. Her thesis is supported by the findings of another author, Jenny Woolf.
She tracked down Dodgson’s bank records for her 2010 book The Mystery Of Lewis Carroll and discovered that despite often being with debt Dodgson gave away about Ј50 a year (Ј5,500 in today’s money) to various charities while 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 list of charities Dodgson supported was the Society When it comes to Protection Of Women and kids, an organisation that “used to track down and prosecute men who interfered with children”.
Woolf adds: “He also supported other charities which rehabilitated women who was indeed abused and trafficked and a hospital which specialised when you look at the treatment plan for venereal disease. It suggests he had been concerned because of the damage the sex trade inflicted upon women.”
A sceptic might argue that this is the window-dressing of a young child abuser but Woolf makes a telling point in the favour.