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Lewis Carroll - Author

About the 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He graduated in 1854, and in 1855 he became mathematical lecturer at the college, where he was a somewhat eccentric and withdrawn character.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 by Lewis Carroll

The Macmillan Alice Postcard Book

The Macmillan Alice Postcard Book

5+ readers 7+ readers

Author: Lewis Carroll Format: Cards Release Date: 19/05/2016

The front of each card is printed in full colour, using the coloured versions of John Tenniel's iconic illustrations. The Macmillan Alice Postcard Book is a wonderful celebration of one of the best loved children's classics, from Lewis Carroll. A great gift to give or to keep for yourself!

Other books by Lewis Carroll

Hunting of the Snark

Hunting of the Snark

Author: Lewis Carroll Format: Hardback Release Date: 10/12/2021

Through the Looking-Glass Minibook

Through the Looking-Glass Minibook

Author: Lewis Carroll Format: Hardback Release Date: 10/12/2021

Hunting of the Snark - Limited Gilt-Edged Edition

Hunting of the Snark - Limited Gilt-Edged Edition

Author: Lewis Carroll Format: Hardback Release Date: 10/12/2021

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Minibook

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Minibook

Author: Lewis Carroll Format: Hardback Release Date: 10/12/2021

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Author: Lewis Carroll Illustrator: Robert Ingpen Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/11/2021

The perfect gift for a young reader. Share your beloved childhood stories with the next generation! When Alice sees a White Rabbit with a waistcoat and a watch hurrying down a rabbit hole, she follows him without a thought for where she is going, and how she will get home. She finds herself in a world beyond imagination, where she seems never to be the same size for more than five minutes, where riddles have no answers, where playing cards rule, and where no one seems sane or sensible. In Alice's quest to find her way home, she meets a cast of unforgettable characters - the Mad Hatter and the March Hare, the sleepy Dormouse, the fearsome Queen of Hearts and, of course, the smiling Cheshire Cat. But where is the White Rabbit? And what is he late for? And how will she ever find her way home? For over 150 years, the story that Lewis Carroll wrote as a celebration of the magical realms of the human imagination has enchanted generations of readers with its memorable characters, passages and verses. Glorious full-colour illustrations from the Hans Christian Andersen Award-winning artist Robert Ingpen. 'Ingpen's drawings are utterly compelling' - Michael Morpurgo

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass

Author: Lewis Carroll Illustrator: John Tenniel Format: Leather / fine binding Release Date: 28/11/2021

Age range 9 to 12 Down the rabbit-hole and through the looking-glass! Lewis Carroll's novels Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass (first published in 1865 and 1871, respectively) have entertained readers young and old for more than a century. Their magical worlds, amusing characters, clever dialogue, and playfully logical illogic epitomise the wit and whimsy of Carroll's writing. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland transports you down the rabbit-hole into a wondrous realm that is home to a White Rabbit, a March Hare, a Mad Hatter, a tea-drinking Dormouse, a grinning Cheshire Cat, the Queen of Hearts and her playing-card retainers, and all manner of marvellous creatures. Through the Looking-Glass is your passport to a topsy-turvy world on the other side of the mirror, where you have to run fast just to stay in place, memory works backwards, and it is possible to believe as many as six impossible things before breakfast. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass is the first in a new collection of Children's Deluxe editions. These volumes will feature foil-stamped binding and distinctive gilt edging and an attractive ribbon bookmark. Additionally, this new deluxe leather-bound edition features coloured illustrations of John Tenniel.

Alice in Wonderland The children's classic with 20 hands-on STEAM projects

Alice in Wonderland The children's classic with 20 hands-on STEAM projects

Author: Lewis Carroll, Katie Dicker Format: Hardback Release Date: 11/11/2021

Fire up young readers' imagination and creativity with this classic story featuring added STEAM activities. This beloved children's adventure is retold with vivid and engaging new illustrations - and at the end of every chapter, there are exciting new science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics activities, themed around the events in the book. The activities range from simple puzzles to fun, dynamic experiments, so there's something for every enquiring mind. It's the ideal combination of enchanting story and stimulating science fun.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass

Author: Lewis Carroll Illustrator: John Tenniel Format: Hardback Release Date: 09/11/2021

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