Charles Lutwidge Dodgson is famously known by his pen name Lewis Caroll. He was born on the 27th of January in 1832 in Daresbury, England. His father was Charles Dodgson, a famous clergyman, and his mother was Frances Jane Lutwidge. He was one of the eight children and the eldest son in the family. Since his parents were strictly attached to their religious values, young Charles actively developed an ambient relationship with the morals and values of his father. Also, his father’s literary taste played a pivotal role in his early development.
Since Charles belonged to a literate family, his education started at home. However, his formal education started from Richmond Public School as a boarder. Later, at the age of fourteen, he attended Rugby School in Warwickshire until 1849. During his stay at school, he astounded his teachers with his critical skills. Also, he excelled in mathematics and won many prizes. He soon turned toward literature and studied various great writers, including John Bunyan, John Ruskin, and William Shakespeare. He also appreciated the works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, and Alfred Lord Tennyson. He graduated in 1854 in first-class honors in mathematics, followed by his M.A. in 1857. Later he started expressing his ideas in his family magazine, Mischmasch, and later in other magazines.
Lewis Caroll, an influential writer, was gifted with a sharp intellect. He started reading at a very young age. Unfortunately, he suffered from permanent stammering. During his adolescent years, he separated himself from society because of the increasing insecurity and depression due to the same challenge. Although Charles reached the zenith of success in his life, yet he led a life of isolation and never married.
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a great literary figure, had enjoyed an unprecedented glory in his life and had been categorized as one of the leading figures of the 18th century. On the 14th of January in 1898, he died of pneumonia at the age of sixty-five. He was buried at the Mount Cemetery in Guildford.
Some Important Facts of His Life
- In 1961, he invented the Nyctograph, a card device having sixteen square holes on it that enable the users to enter shorthand codes of dashes and dots.
- He was an accomplished photographer as created almost 3000 photographic images in his life, including landscapes, statues, paintings, and portraits of notable figures and friends.
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, aka Lewis Caroll, successfully pursued two careers in his life. First, as a mathematical lecturer at Oxford and later as a poet and writer. He started his literary career at a young age. He enjoyed the ultimate success on account of his intellectual and literary ideas. First, his pieces appeared in his family magazine, followed by other newspapers and journals. Gradually, his works secured a successful place in the national newspapers, including The Comic Times and The Train. With the publication of his romantic poem “Solitude” in 1856, he became known to the literary world.
Although he wrote many comic, intellectual and romantic pieces, yet his two masterpieces, Alice in the Wonderland, and, Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, enjoyed worldwide popularity. Besides literature, his services in the mathematical field are also praiseworthy. Within the economic discipline of mathematics, he particularly focused on geometry, mathematical logic, linear algebra, and recreational mathematics. Charles produced many books with his real name, including Curiosa Mathematica I and II, The Fifth Book of Euclid Treated Algebraically and The Game of Logic.
Lewis Carroll was Self-effacing and yet critical. He left an indelible impression upon the imaginations of his readers. He earned popularity because of his unique literary style. His intellectual ideas with a perfect blend of humor and adventurous experiences inspired the generations after generations. His work, Alice in the Wonderland, followed by, Through the Looking Glass, are the mouthpieces of his creative mind. The book earned much fortune for the writer due to its adventurous characterization, satirical tone, persuasive imagery, metaphors, similes, and sound devices, which includes the famous poem Jabberwocky. Though both pieces ate labeled as children’s novels, their satirical nature and indifferent tone give a clue to Carroll’s wit. These texts are still enjoyed in the world and have been adapted for motion pictures, television, and radio. The recurring themes in most of his writings are appearance versus reality, life as a meaningless puzzle, childhood innocence, death, and love.
Some Important Works of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson
- Best Poems: He was an outstanding poet. Some of his best poems include, “Jabberwocky”, “You Are Old Father William”, “How Doth the Little Crocodile”, “The Walrus and the Carpenter”, “The Mad Gardener’s Song”, “A Boat Beneath a Sunny Sky” and “The Hunting of the Snark.”
- Best Novels and Other Works: Besides poetry, he tried his hands on fiction and non-fictional works including Alice’s Adventure in the Wonderland, Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, A Tangled Tale, The Manlet, Symbolic Logic Part I & II, The Game of Logic and Curiosa Mathematics.
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson’s Impact on Future Literature
Lewis Caroll’s novels, poetry, and non-fictional works have taken on many incarnations and have mesmerized the generations. His writings and literary ideas left a significant influence on many authors and poets, including James Joyce, Frederic Brown, Neil Gaiman, and Alan Moore. They have practiced Carol’s methods of characterization and nonsensical literary ideas in their literary texts. Lewis Caroll has always been a subject of investigation among the readers out of curiosity in the literary society. He successfully documented his ideas and feelings, which inspire writers with his unique style for writing novels, poetry, and non-fiction.
- Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise. (Alice in the Wonderland)
- All too soon will Childhood gay
Realize life’s sober sadness.
Let’s be merry while we may,
Innocent and happy Fay!
Elves were made for gladness!” (Puck Lost and Found)
- “Ye golden hours of life’s young spring,
Of innocence, of love and truth!
Bright, beyond all imagining,
Thou fairy-dream of youth!
I’d give all wealth that years have piled,
The slow result of life’s decay,
To be once more a little child
For one bright summer-day. (Solitude)