Lewis Carroll: The Man and his Circle

Lewis Carroll: The Man and his Circle

by Edward Wakeling


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Bestselling author, pioneering photographer, mathematical don and writer of nonsense verse, Lewis Carroll remains a source of continuing fascination. Though many have sought to understand this complex man he remains for many an enigma. Now leading international authority, Edward Wakeling, offers his unique appraisal of the man born Charles Dodgson but whom the world knows best as Lewis Carroll, author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. This new biography of Carroll presents a fresh appraisal based upon his social circle. Contrary to the claims of many previous authors, Carroll's circle was not child centred: his correspondence was enormous, numbering almost 100,000 items at the time of his death, and included royalty and many of the leading artists, illustrators, publishers, academics, musicians and composers of the Victorian era. Edward Wakeling draws upon his personal database of nearly 6,000 letters, mostly never before published, to fill the gaps left by earlier biographies and resolve some of the key myths that surround Lewis Carroll, such as his friendships with children and his drug-taking.
Meticulously researched and based upon a lifetime's study of the man and his work, this important new work will be essential reading for scholars and admirers of one of the key authors of the Victorian age.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781780768205
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date: 01/28/2015
Pages: 416
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Edward Wakeling is an internationally recognized authority on Lewis Carroll. A former chairman of the Lewis Carroll Society, he edited the ten volumes of Lewis Carroll's Diaries and regularly acts as a consultant to auctioneers, television programmes and exhibitions worldwide. He owns one of the finest collections of Carroll material in private hands. His books include Lewis Carroll's Oxford Pamphlets (University Press of Virginia Press, 1993), Lewis Carroll Photographer (with Roger Taylor, Princeton University Press, 2002) and Lewis Carroll and his Illustrators (with Morton N. Cohen, Cornell University Press, 2003).

Table of Contents

Foreword by Rhona Lewis, Christ Church, Oxford
A Chronology of C. L. Dodgson's Life
1. The Dodgson Family
2. Teachers and Oxford University Associates
3. Publishers and Printers
4. Illustrators
5. Mathematicians and Logicians
6. Photographers
7. Artists and Musicians
8. Actors and Dramatists
9. Friends and Children
10. Professionals
11. Royalty
12. Famous Acquaintances
Epilogue: Full Circle
Short Titles

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Lewis Carroll: The Man and his Circle 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Though I did not like the book as a basic biography of Lewis Carroll (the pen name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson), t he book did have a lot valuable of information about the background of the Alice books and the educational systems of Victorian England. I was very disappointed that book was not a straightforward chronological biography of Charles Dodgson.  Instead the goal of the author is to refute some negatives biographies of Charles Dodgson (whom I will now call Lewis Carroll)  which have recently been written. He does this by writing about Charles Dodgson and his social circle. The author while trying to disprove some of the negative stories of Dodgson by other biographers ends up making Dodgson  seem like a saint which probably is also a one-sided picture of Dodgson; most famous people are a mixture of good and bad. This approach of the author of the book is highly problematic for readers like me who don’t know much about the life  Charles Dodgson or about the negative biographies written about him. Also I am very much opposed on both philosophic and readability grounds biographies not written in straight chronological order. This format of writing is more pleasurable to read  and allows the reader to see how the subject of the biography changes over time.  However there was some highly interesting information about the Alice books.  As a child as very disappointed that Charles Dodgson’s own drawings were used in the books. My version had John Tenniel’s version. However, in this book I learned that Dodgson did not feel is drawings were  good enough for the book and he very closely worked with Tenniel on the illustrations. Dodgson was familiar with the royal circles and it does make on wonder if some of the Queens in the story were based on Queen Victoria though some of these Queens are not likeable people. We find out who the real Alice was to whom  Dodgson told the story. Probably it is Dodgson relationship with the real Alice (Alice Liddell) that even as to me as a child evoked some hint of scandal.  What is an unmarried man doing rowing an unrelated young girl child telling her stories and writing a book with her as the  main character? This book partially answers this question. Dodgson needed to work for money; in the arrangement of the  University he worked for he had to agree not to get married though this requirement was dropped for him later in his life. Alice Liddell was the daughter of his boss at the University. Upper class British girls of the time did not go to school while  the boys were sent away to boarding school). Upper class girls probably felt somewhat bored and lonely.  He probably was seen as something like a teacher/minister to these girls. Thus, I found the book and interesting look at Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll)’s world in which he lived but I did not like  it as a biography