Lewis Carroll was not born as Lewis Carroll. He was born Charles Lutwidge Dodgson on January 27, 1832, in Daresbury, Chesire, England.
Charles Dodgson died in 1898. The third child and the eldest son of eleven children of Reverand Charles Dodgson and his wife, Francis Jane Lutwidge. Dodgson’s parents were related to two ancient and distinguished North Country families. His family was primarily northern British with some Irish relations. Many men in his family were either army officers or clergy men.From the Dodgsons, the son inherited a very old tradition of service to the Church and a tradition that he belonged to one of the most respected lineages in England like there is a family legend has it that King James I actually “knighted” either a loin of beef or mutton at the table of Sir Richard Houghton, one of Carroll’s ancestors. This incident has been thought by some critics to have inspired the introductory lines in Through the Looking Glass, the sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, when the Red Queen introduces the leg of mutton to Alice: “Alice — Mutton: Mutton — Alice.
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” While teaching at Christ Church, Oxford, Charles Dodgson (Carroll) wrote comic literature and parodies for a humorous paper, The Train. The first of the several pieces submitted to The Train was signed “B. B.” It was so loved that the editor asked Dodgson to use a proper nom de plume; in the beginning, Dodgson proposed “Dares,” after his birthplace, Daresbury. The editor thought that the name was too journalistic, so after struggling over a number of choices, Dodgson wrote to his editor and suggested a number of variations and anagrams, based on the letters of his actual name.
“Lewis Carroll” was finally decided on.” Carroll had a clear fascination with anagrams, and he would use them throughout Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland most; his interest in anagrams also explains much about the writings in his later life, and his mathematical works. Carroll, had many influences most noticeable of all were the hereditary ones, but a good case can be made for the formative effect of Carroll’s father on him.
Those who knew Reverend Dodgson said that he was a devout and somber man, almost devoid of any sense of humor. Yet from his letters to his son, there is evidence of a remarkable sense of fun. In one letter to his son, he speaks of screaming in the middle of a street: Iron-mongers-Iron-mongers — Six hundred men will rush out of their shops in a moment — fly, fly, in all screwdriver, & a ring, & if they are not brought directly, in forty seconds I will leave nothing but one small cat alive in the whole town of Leeds, & I shall only leave that because I shall not have time to kill it. To a boy of eight, such correspondence from his father must have greatly heightened his later love for literary exaggeration; indeed, such fanciful letters may have been the genesis for Carroll’s so-called nonsense books. The childhood of Lewis Carroll was somewhat pleasant, full of ideas and hobbies that contributed to his future creative works.
His life at Daresbury was secluded, his playmates were mostly his brothers and sisters. Many of the Dodgson children, including Carroll, stammered severely. Carroll suffered from a bad stammer, yet he found himself vocally fluent speaking with children. Time spent with young people in his adult years compared to his relationships with adults was greatly speculated. Lewis Carroll suffered from more than just a stutter though. He also had autism, and dyslexia.
In many of his photographs he did not look towards the camera.