Alice In Wonderland author’s regret: Why Lewis Carroll hated being a literary legend

Relating to a previously unseen letter which will soon be auctioned author Lewis Carroll despised fame so much he wished he previously never written the books about Alice’s adventures that made him a legend that is literary

Lewis Carroll’s life changed forever after Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland was published GETTY

Within the mid-19th century an obscure mathematician called Charles Lutwidge Dodgson penned a variety of paper writing learned works closely with titles such as for example A Syllabus Of Plane Algebraic Geometry additionally the Fifth Book Of Euclid Treated Algebraically.

5 years after the latter in 1865 he embarked on a change that is radical of.

Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland was published under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll along with his life changed for ever.

Queen Victoria loved it, fan mail arrived because of the sackful and then he grew to become recognised in the pub.

This is sheer hell for a shy and retiring academic who doubled as an Anglican deacon plus the extent of his torment is revealed the very first time in a previously unseen letter which is anticipated to fetch significantly more than Ј4,000 when it’s auctioned at Bonhams the following month.

In the letter written to Anne Symonds, 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.

He even suggests he had never written the classic tales that brought him worldwide fame that he wishes.

“All that sort of publicity leads to strangers hearing of my name that is real in because of the books, and also to my being pointed off to, and stared at by strangers, and treated as a ‘lion’,” he wrote.

“And I hate all that so intensely that sometimes I almost wish that I had never written any books after all.”

The letter, printed in November 1891, was penned 26 years following the publication of Alice In Wonderland, as 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 children and his practice of photographing and sketching them, sometimes in the nude, resulted in 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 publish the book GETTY

and I also hate all of that so intensely that sometimes I almost wish that I experienced never written any books after all

The truth that four of this 13 volumes of his diaries mysteriously went missing and that seven pages of some other were torn out by an unknown hand only added to the circumstantial evidence against him.

But while Dodgson never married, there was a great amount of evidence inside the diaries that he had a interest that is keen adult women both married and single and enjoyed a wide range of relationships that could have been considered scandalous by the standards of that time.

Sympathetic historians also argue his studies of naked children need to be noticed in the context of their 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 roots in his relationship with the little girl 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 vivacious and pretty 10-year-old when he first got to know her and then he would often take her out together with her sisters for picnics and boat trips on the Thames.

On these days he would entertain them with his stories about the fictional Alice, tales he was eventually persuaded to place into book form and send to a publisher.

While his critics have suggested after growing into adolescence, one biographer proposes a very different analysis that he grew fixated with Alice Liddell, took photographs of her in inappropriate poses and was devastated when she broke away from him.

The dodo presenting Alice with a thimble in an illustration by Tenniel GETTY

“There is no evidence which he was at love along with her,” wrote Karoline Leach into the Shadow Of The Dreamchild. “No evidence that her family focused on her, no evidence which they banned him from her presence.”

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. which he had a particular interest in her”

It had been not Alice who was simply the main focus of Dodgson’s attentions, she suggests, but her mother Lorina. Definately not being an easy method of grooming the daughter, their day trips were a cover for a passionate and reckless affair with the mother. When the Alice books were written Dodgson was at his 30s that are early.

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 seen as something of an oddity around Oxford but in contrast to Henry he was handsome, youthful, engaging and witty. And he managed to spend an amount that is astonishing of at the Liddells’ house a lot of it while Henry wasn’t in.”

It was this liaison, according to Leach, which led nearest and dearest to censor his diaries instead of any inappropriate relationship with an girl that is underage. Her thesis is sustained by the findings of some other author, Jenny Woolf.

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She tracked down Dodgson’s bank records on her 2010 book The Mystery Of Lewis Carroll and discovered that despite often being in debt Dodgson gave away about Ј50 per year (Ј5,500 in today’s money) to charities that are various earning an income of Ј300 (Ј33,000 today) teaching mathematics at Christ Church and double that in the shape 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 trace down and prosecute men who interfered with children”.

Woolf adds: “He also supported other charities which rehabilitated women that had been abused and trafficked and a hospital which specialised in the treatment for venereal disease. It suggests the damage concerned him the sex trade inflicted upon women.”

A sceptic might argue that this was the window-dressing of a child abuser but Woolf makes a telling point in his favour.

Alice In Wonderland author’s regret: Why Lewis Carroll hated being a literary legend

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