Who is Carroll?

tinted monochrome 3/4-length photo portrait of seated Dodgson holding a book

When I read the introduction to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, I made assumptions about Lewis Carroll. I realized that you can not automatically assume things about people without doing more research. So I decided I would learn more about Lewis Carroll and share it with you.

Here’s what I found:

Lewis Carroll was born January 27, 1832, in Daresbury, Cheshire, England. Carroll was the third child of a family of eleven children. At an early age, Carroll entertained himself and his family by writing poetry, and performing magic tricks.  At the age of seventeen, Carroll suffered a severe attack of whooping cough which left him with poor hearing in his right ear. In 1854 Carroll graduated from Christ Church College.  He was successful in his study of mathematics and writing.Carroll remained at the college after graduation to teach. Carroll was soon ordained as a deacon. Carroll began to take an interest in photography. He often chose children as the subject of his portraits. One of his favorite models was a young girl named Alice Liddell, the daughter of the Dean at Christ’s Church. Alice Liddell later became the basis for Carroll’s fictional character, Alice. Carroll began to focus more on his writing.

Carroll became very comfortable with children. What made him happiest was entertaining young girls. He once wrote, “I am fond of children (except boys)”. Carroll began to photograph children, first with their clothes on. In July1866 Carroll began to take nude photographs of the children, always with the permission of parents (like that makes it okay!). Carroll would write letters to children all over the world. He usually included poems, riddles, and hidden messages in the letters. For many years, Carroll continued to photograph young girls.  Carroll was careful and made sure the photographs were destroyed before he died in 1898 of Pneumonia.


If you could, please answer the following questions..

  • What was your first impression of Lewis Carroll?
  • Did your impression change after reading this and learning about him?
  • Did you get a better or worse impression of him?





1 Response to “Who is Carroll?”

  1. 1 Meighan A.
    November 19, 2009 at 12:27 am

    To answer your questions. :)

    What was your first impression of Lewis Carroll? I didn’t think much about him, I only wanted to read his story and based off of it I would judge him.

    Did your impression change after reading this and learning about him? No, not at all. Sure we think it’s a bit odd to take nude photographs of children, but if the parents were ok with it then he must not have been a creepy guy.

    Did you get a better or worse impression of him? It stayed about the same really, I have too much respect for anyone who can write well to care about their past.

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