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 By the time of his death, Alice had become the most popular children's book in England, and by , it was one of the most popular in the world.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland -- Chapter I
Besides writing, Carroll created a number of fine photographs. His notable portraits include those of the actress Ellen Terry and the poet Alfred Tennyson. He also photographed children in every possible costume and situation, eventually making nude studies of them. Despite conjecture, little real evidence of child abuse can be brought against him. Shortly before his 66th birthday, Carroll caught a severe case of influenza, which led to pneumonia. He died on January 14, , leaving an enigma behind him. We strive for accuracy and fairness.
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Tolkien is an internationally renowned fantasy writer. English writer A. Although Dodgeson is aware that photographing of Alice in a gypsy dress could be misunderstood by some, yet he finds in her a gift for life that sets her above all the rest of the little girls, all of which, to him, look exactly the same. One gets the feeling that it was inappropriate mainly because of their differences in class. Yet it was Alice who most appealed to him as a subject. I beamed at him as he busied himself with the tripod and camera. However did he do it?
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How did he make me feel so special? He did seem so lonely at times. Their relationship may have been a sensual one, but only once crossed the line to the sexual; the line between the two are not so clearly drawn as we might wish them to be. Alice writes:. With a cry, a horrible, anguished—furious—cry, Mamma tore through the nursery, tore through my things—my beautiful little box where I stored all my treasures, my drawers, my cupboards and trunks—looking for something, looking for more.
That horrible man! No one will ever have you now! Ultimately, the portrait of Dodgeson that emerges from these pages is that of a very unhappy man, an exceedingly child-like man, shy, awkward, affectionate and lonely, above all a gentleman, who realized almost immediately the mistake he made. His hat was in his hands, his face was pale, his soft sensuous mouth was open, but for once he had no words; no story, to help him make sense of it all.
He simply stood, a tall, slim, suddenly lesser man. One is led, obliquely, into the opinion that he was what we would call today a pedophile, but, the author seems to say that we cannot help our feelings and therefore should not be judged for them; we may only be judged on what we do in response to them. Charles Dodgeson rarely if ever acted on them. The one time he did cost him dearly.
Was their relationship itself harmful to Alice? Hard to say, but Benjamin thinks not.
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Indeed, their perceptions were to shape the rest of her life. Though loving Leopold, she eventually married Reginald Hargreaves and lived out her days at Cuffnells, his estate in the Hampshires as a typical Victorian gentlewoman, as far from the portrait of Alice in Wonderland as one can imagine. Benjamin has written an entirely credible fictional memoir here; one that Alice Liddell, had she the inclination, could well have written.
It is meticulously researched and richly rendered.
Enter your keywords. Author s :. Melanie Benjamin. Release Date:. December 20,