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Lewis Carroll

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Lewis Carroll
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Renowned Victorian author Lewis Carroll was born Charles Lutwidge Dodgson on January 27, 1832, in Daresbury, Cheshire, England. The son of a clergyman, Carroll was the third child born to a family of eleven children. From a very early age he entertained himself and his family by performing magic tricks and marionette shows, and by writing poetry for his homemade newspapers. In 1846 he entered Rugby School, and in 1854 he graduated from Christ Church College, Oxford. He was successful in his study of mathematics and writing, and remained at the college after graduation to teach. His mathematical writings include An Elementary Treatise on Determinants (1867), Euclid and His Modern Rivals (1879), and Curiosa Mathematica (1888). While teaching, Carroll was ordained as a deacon; however, he never preached. He also began to pursue photography, often choosing children as the subject of his portraits. One of his favorite models was a young girl named Alice Liddell, the daughter of the Dean at Christ's Church, who later became the basis for Carroll's fictional character, Alice. He abandoned both photography and public speaking between 1880 and 1881, and focused on his writing.

Many of 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. Carroll died in Guildford, Surrey, on January 14, 1898.

Selected Bibliography


Further Nonsense Verse and Prose (1926)
Phantasmagoria and Other Poems (1869)
The Collected Verse of Lewis Carroll (1932)
The Complete Illustrated Works of Lewis Carroll (1982)
The Complete Works of Lewis Carroll (1939)
The Humorous Verse of Lewis Carroll (1960)
The Hunting of the Snark: An Agony in Eight Fits (1876)
Useful and Instructive Poetry (1954)


A Guide to the Mathematical Student (1864)
A Method of Taking Votes on More than Two Issues (1876)
A Selection from the Letters of Lewis Carroll to His Child-friends (1933)
A Syllabus of Plane Algebraical Geometry (1860)
A Tangled Tale (1885)
Alice's Adventures Under Ground (1886)
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865)
An Elementary Treatise on Determinants (1867)
Curiosa Mathematica, Part I: A New Theory of Parallels (1888)
Curiosa Mathematica, Part II: Pillow-Problems (1893)
Diaries of Lewis Carroll (1953)
Diversions and Digressions (1961)
Doublets: A Word-Puzzle (1879)
Eight or Nine Wise Words about Letter-Writing (1890)
Euclid and His Modern Rivals (1879)
Feeding the Mind (1907)
For the Train (1932)
Lewis Carroll, Photographer (1949)
Mathematical Recreations of Carroll (1958)
Rhyme? And Reason? (1883)
Suggestions as to the Best Method of Taking Votes (1874)
Supplement to "Euclid and His Modern Rivals" (1885)
Sylvie and Bruno (1889)
Sylvie and Bruno Concluded (1893)
Symbolic Logic, Part I: Elementary (1896)
Symbolic Logic, Parts I and II (1977)
Syzygies and Lanrick: A Word-Puzzle and a Game (1893)
The Annotated Alice: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass (1960)
The Blank Cheque: A Fable (1874)
The Dynamics of a Particle (1865)
The Fifth Book of Euclid Treated Algebraically (1868)
The Formulae of Plane Trigonometry (1861)
The Game of Logic (1886)
The Letters of Lewis Carroll, ed. Morton Cohen with the assistance of Roger Lancelyn Green (1979)
The Lewis Carroll Picture-Book (1899)
The New Belfry of Christ Church, Oxford (1872)
The New Method of Evaluation (1865)
The Nursery Alice (1889)
The Rectory Umbrella and Mischmasch (1932)
The Vision of the Three T's (1873)
Three Years in a Curatorship, by One Who Has Tried (1886)
Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1872)

by this poet

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves 
   Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
   And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son 
   The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun 
   The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand
The sun was shining on the sea, 
   Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make 
   The billows smooth and bright—
And this was odd, because it was
   The middle of the night.

The moon was shining sulkily, 
   Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there 
   After the day was done—
How doth the little crocodile 
     Improve his shining tail, 
And pour the waters of the Nile 
     On every golden scale! 
How cheerfully he seems to grin, 
     How neatly spreads his claws, 
And welcomes little fishes in, 
     With gently smiling jaws!