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Lewis Carroll - Children's Author


Lewis Carroll was born Charles Lutwidge Dodgson on January 27, 1832, the eldest son and third of eleven children born to Frances Jane Lutwidge and the Reverend Charles Dodgson. Carroll had a happy childhood. His mother was patient and gentle, and his father, despite his religious duties, tutored all his children and raised them to be good people. Carroll frequently made up games and wrote stories and poems, some of which were similar to his later published works, for his seven sisters and three brothers.

He was educated at Richmond School in Yorkshire, Rugby School and Christ Church, Oxford. Although his years at Rugby School (1846–49) were unhappy, he was recognized as a good student, and in 1850 he was admitted to further study at Christ Church, Oxford.

He graduated in 1854, and in 1855 he became mathematical lecturer at the college, where he was a somewhat eccentric and withdrawn character. This permanent appointment, which not only recognized his academic skills but also paid him a decent sum, required Carroll to take holy orders in the Anglican Church and to remain unmarried. He agreed to these requirements and was made a deacon in 1861.

 Carroll loved to entertain children, and it was Alice, the young daughter of Henry George Liddell, Dean of Christ Church, who can be credited with his pinnacle inspiration. Alice Liddell remembers spending many hours with Carroll, sitting on his couch while he told fantastic tales of dream worlds. During an afternoon picnic with Alice and her two sisters, Carroll told the first iteration of what would later become Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. When Alice arrived home, she exclaimed that he must write the story down for her.

He fulfilled the small girl's request, and through a series of coincidences, the story fell into the hands of the novelist Henry Kingsley, who urged Carroll to publish it. The book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was released in 1865. It gained steady popularity, and as a result, Carroll wrote the sequel, Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, which contained the nonsense poem classic The Jabberwocky (1871). By the time of his death, Alice had become the most popular children's book in England, and by 1932 it was one of the most popular in the world.

Unlike most of the children's books of the day, Alice and through the Looking Glass did not attempt to convey obvious moral lessons. Nor did they contain what critics have tried to insist are there—hidden meanings relating to religion or politics. They are delightful adventure stories in which a normal, healthy, clearheaded little girl reacts to the "reality" of the adult world. Their appeal to adults as well as to children lies in Alice's intelligent response to ridiculous language and action.

Carroll published several other nonsense works, including The Hunting of the Snark (1876), Sylvie and Bruno (1889), and Sylvie and Bruno Concluded (1893). He also wrote a number of pamphlets poking fun at university affairs, which appeared under a fake name or without any name at all, and he composed several works on mathematics under his true name. In 1881 Carroll gave up his lecturing to devote all of his time to writing.

 Lewis Carroll died of bronchitis in his sister's home in Guildford on 14 July, 1898.

 


Featured Books, with extracts by Lewis Carroll


Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll
Celebrating 150 years of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. One of the most imaginative and best-loved of all children’s books, Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is as original...
Featured in: 7+ readers | 9+ readers | Alice 150th | Books vs Films | eBooks
Format: Paperback - Released: 26/02/2015
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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: the Little Folks' Edition
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: the Little Folks' Edition
Lewis Carroll
Celebrate 150 years of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland with a pocket-sized piece of history published as the Third Edition in 2015! The First “Little Folks’” Edition was published in...
Featured in: 5+ readers | 7+ readers | Alice 150th
Format: Hardback - Released: 26/02/2015
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The Nursery Alice
The Nursery Alice
Lewis Carroll
Gloriously reproduced for the anniversary year, the present edition retains the every word of the original and restores the exquisite delicacy of Tenniel's artwork - lost in reproductions across...
Featured in: 3+ readers | Alice 150th
Format: Hardback - Released: 26/02/2015
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Through the Looking-Glass
Through the Looking-Glass
Lewis Carroll
Celebrating 150 years of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Alice's second adventure takes her through the looking-glass to a place even curiouser than Wonderland. She finds herself caught up...
Featured in: 7+ readers | 9+ readers | Alice 150th | eBooks
Format: Paperback - Released: 26/02/2015
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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: Panorama Pops
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: Panorama Pops
Lewis Carroll
Ten of the best moments from Lewis Carroll’s classic story unfold from this attractive edition which is beautifully presented in a slip-case. It has been designed to celebrate the 150 anniversary of the publication of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland which...
Featured in: 5+ readers | 7+ readers | Alice 150th
Format: Hardback - Released: 06/01/2015
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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: Macmillan Classics Edition
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: Macmillan Classics Edition
Lewis Carroll
One of the most imaginative and best-loved of all children’s books, Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is as original today as it was when it was first published in 1865. The stories of the amazing things Alice finds after...
Featured in: 7+ readers | 9+ readers | Alice 150th | Children's Classics | eBooks
Format: Hardback - Released: 09/10/2014
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Through the Looking Glass: Macmillan Classics Edition
Through the Looking Glass: Macmillan Classics Edition
Lewis Carroll
Lewis Carroll’s follow-up to Alice’s Adventures through the Looking Glass includes the introduction of Tweedledum and Tweedledee those most memorable of characters who famously fought over a brand new rattle. It is here, too, that the poem Jabberwocky first appeared...
Featured in: 7+ readers | 9+ readers | Alice 150th | Children's Classics
Format: Hardback - Released: 09/10/2014
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Alice Through the Looking Glass
Alice Through the Looking Glass
Lewis Carroll
Lewis Carroll's enduring classic tale, which has enchanted readers of all ages for more than a hundred years, is brought alive for a new generation in this exquisite picture book by the highly-regarded illustrator Emma Chichester Clark.  She has carefully...
Featured in: 5+ readers | 7+ readers | Alice 150th | eBooks
Format: Paperback - Released: 05/06/2014
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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll
One of the most imaginative and best-loved of all children’s books, Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is as original today as it was when it was first published in 1865. The stories of the amazing things Alice finds after...
Featured in: 7+ readers | 9+ readers | Audio Books | eBooks
Format: Hardback - Released: 01/03/2013
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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll
The story of Alice's fall down the rabbit hole and the extraordinary experiences she has there is one of the best known of all the classics. Everything is Wonderland is curious and different; there's the Mad Hatter's Tea Party, the...
Featured in: 11+ readers | 9+ readers | Alice 150th | Audio Books | eBooks
Format: Paperback - Released: 02/08/2012
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The Nursery Alice (illustrated by Sir John Tenniel)
The Nursery Alice (illustrated by Sir John Tenniel)
Lewis Carroll
The first colour illustrations for Lewis Carroll’s classic story are stunningly reproduced in this edition. The Nursery Alice was adapted by Lewis Carroll himself to make a shorter and simpler version than the original for much younger readers. To the...
Featured in: 3+ readers | 5+ readers | Books of the Month
Format: Hardback - Released: 05/02/2010
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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Illustrated by Robert Ingpen)
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Illustrated by Robert Ingpen)
Lewis Carroll
The classic story of how Alice falls down the rabbit hole and enters a strange topsy-turvy world in which nothing it quite what it seems to be is given a dreamy, soft focus in Robert Ingpen’s illustrations. What Alice finds...
Featured in: 7+ readers | 9+ readers | Audio Books
Format: Hardback - Released: 01/09/2009
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Alice Through the Looking Glass - Illustrated Edition
Alice Through the Looking Glass - Illustrated Edition
Lewis Carroll
A favourite book chosen by Philip Pullman, along with Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: "Indispensable. The great classic beginning of English children's literature". Stepping through the Looking Glass, Alice enters a second wonderful adventure. Here she meets the White Queen and the...
Featured in: 7+ readers
Format: Paperback - Released: 01/06/2009
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Alice's Adventures In Wonderland
Alice's Adventures In Wonderland
Lewis Carroll
How Alice falls down the rabbit hole and the extraordinary world where nothing is quite as it at first seems, is a classic children’s book whose influence has been felt for over a century. This unabridged edition is beautifully produced...
Featured in: 11+ readers | 9+ readers | eBooks
Format: Hardback - Released: 05/03/2009
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Alice's Adventures In Wonderland - Illustrated by Helen Oxenbury
Alice's Adventures In Wonderland - Illustrated by Helen Oxenbury
Lewis Carroll
Abundantly illustrated with warmth and humour by Helen Oxenbury, the memorable cast of characters are to be found in all their glory here in this edition, from Alice herself to the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter and the Cheshire Cat. ...
Featured in: 7+ readers
Format: Paperback - Released: 02/03/2009
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Alice In Wonderland (slipcase edition)
Alice In Wonderland (slipcase edition)
Lewis Carroll
The story is timeless and can be read at so many different levels, but this lavish slipcased edition is quite simply stunning and will bring to the reader a very different Wonderland - even more fantastical and a little darker...
Featured in: 5+ readers | 7+ readers
Format: Hardback - Released: 01/10/2008
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Alice's Adventures In Wonderland (with an Introduction by Chris Riddell)
Alice's Adventures In Wonderland (with an Introduction by Chris Riddell)
Lewis Carroll
A book that’s chock full of great conversations between Alice and some extraordinary animals, ranging from the pipe-smoking caterpillar and the Mad Hatter, to the March Hare and the sneezing Duchess.  For Chris Riddell, who has written the Introduction...
Featured in: 9+ readers
Format: Paperback - Released: 28/02/2008
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Alice's Adventures In Wonderland
Alice's Adventures In Wonderland
Lewis Carroll
A favourite chosen by Philip Pullman: "Indispensable. The great classic beginning of English children's literature." For over one hundred years Carroll’s classic story of logic and lunacy has delighted young and old alike and many illustrators have turned their hand to...
Featured in: 11+ readers | eBooks
Format: Paperback - Released: 05/08/2005
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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (illustrated by Helen Oxenbury)
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (illustrated by Helen Oxenbury)
Lewis Carroll
Full of the most wondrous wit and humour, wonderful magic and believable nonsense, this particular edition has the most stunning illustrations that complement the imaginative story that’s anything but dull.  The story is timeless and can be read at so...
Featured in: 7+ readers | Bookshelf Essentials
Format: Paperback - Released: 08/05/2001
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Alice In Wonderland
Alice In Wonderland
Lewis Carroll
Full of the most wondrous wit and humour, wonderful magic and believable nonsense, this particular edition has the most stunning illustrations that complement the imaginative story that’s anything but dull.  The story is timeless and can be read at so...
Featured in: 7+ readers | eBooks
Format: Hardback - Released: 04/10/1999
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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll
For a century and a half Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll's classic story of logic and lunacy, has delighted young and old alike. Gorgeously illustrated, this award-winning rendition is full of warmth and humour. The whole approach is contemporary...
Featured in: 5+ readers | Alice 150th | eBooks
Format: Paperback - Released: 04/12/2014
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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (150th Anniversary Edition with Dame Vivienne Westwood)
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (150th Anniversary Edition with Dame Vivienne Westwood)
Lewis Carroll
It seems a wonder such a pairing has not come about sooner. This special anniversary edition of Lewis Carroll's tale fits in with the twisted take on Britishness that Dame Vivienne Westwood is famous for in a magical Wonderland setting.
Featured in: 7+ readers | 9+ readers | Alice 150th
Format: Hardback - Released: 02/04/2015
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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll
Join Alice in Wonderland where nothing is quite as it seems. On an ordinary summer's afternoon, Alice tumbles down a hole and an extraordinary adventure begins. In a strange world with even stranger characters, she meets a rabbit with a...
Featured in: 5+ readers | Alice 150th | eBooks
Format: Hardback - Released: 02/04/2015
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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass
Lewis Carroll
Celebrate 150 Years of Alice. Alice is one of the most beloved characters of English writing. A bright and inquisitive child, one boring summer afternoon she follows a white rabbit down a rabbit-hole. At the bottom she finds herself in...
Featured in: 13+ readers | Alice 150th | YA readers
Format: Paperback - Released: 02/08/2007
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