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January 09 , 2011

Life and Letters of Lewis Carroll (Rev. C. L. Dodgson) (Illustrated)


It is with no undue confidence that I have accepted the invitation of the brothers and sisters of Lewis Carroll to write this Memoir. I am well aware that the path of the biographer is beset with pitfalls, and that, for him, suppressio veri is almost necessarily suggestio falsi – the least omission may distort the whole picture.

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To write the life of Lewis Carroll as it should be written would tax the powers of a man of far greater experience and insight than I have any pretension to possess, and even he would probably fail to represent adequately such a complex personality. At least I have done my best to justify their choice, and if in any way I have wronged my uncle's memory, unintentionally, I trust that my readers will pardon me.

My task has been a delightful one. Intimately as I thought I knew Mr. Dodgson during his life, I seem since his death to have become still better acquainted with him. If this Memoir helps others of his admirers to a fuller knowledge of a man whom to know was to love, I shall not have written in vain.

I take this opportunity of thanking those who have so kindly assisted me in my work, and first I must mention my old schoolmaster, the Rev. Watson Hagger, M.A., to whom my readers are indebted for the portions of this book dealing with Mr. Dodgson's mathematical works. I am greatly indebted to Mr. Dodgson's relatives, and to all those kind friends of his and others who have aided me, in so many ways, in my difficult task. In particular, I may mention the names of H.R.H. the Duchess of Albany; Miss Dora Abdy; Mrs. Egerton Allen; Rev. F. H. Atkinson; Sir G. Baden-Powell, M.P.; Mr. A. Ball; Rev. T. Vere Bayne; Mrs. Bennie; Miss Blakemore; the Misses Bowman; Mrs. Boyes; Mrs. Bremer; Mrs. Brine; Miss Mary Brown; Mrs. Calverley; Miss Gertrude Chataway; Mrs. Chester; Mr. J. C. Cropper; Mr. Robert Davies; Miss Decima Dodgson; the Misses Dymes; Mrs. Eschwege; Mrs. Fuller; Mr. Harry Furniss; Rev. C. A. Goodhart; Mrs. Hargreaves; Miss Rose Harrison; Mr. Henry Holiday; Rev. H. Hopley; Miss Florence Jackson; Rev. A. Kingston; Mrs. Kitchin; Mrs. Freiligrath Kroeker; Mr. F. Madan; Mrs. Maitland; Miss M. E. Manners; Miss Adelaide Paine; Mrs. Porter; Miss Edith Rix; Rev. C. J. Robinson, D.D.; Mr. S. Rogers; Mrs. Round; Miss Isabel Standen; Mr. L. Sergeant; Miss Gaynor Simpson; Mrs. Southwall; Sir John Tenniel; Miss E. Gertrude Thomson; Mrs. Woodhouse; and Mrs. Wyper.

For their help in the work of compiling the Bibliographical chapter and some other parts of the book, my thanks are due to Mr. E. Baxter, Oxford; the Controller of the University Press, Oxford; Mr. A. J. Lawrence, Rugby; Messrs. Macmillan and Co., London; Mr. James Parker, Oxford; and Messrs. Ward, Lock and Co., London.

In the extracts which I have given from Mr. Dodgson's Journal and Correspondence it will be noticed that Italics have been somewhat freely employed to represent the words which he underlined. The use of Italics was so marked a feature of his literary style, as any one who has read his books must have observed, that without their aid the rhetorical effect, which he always strove to produce, would have been seriously marred.


GUILDFORD, September, 1898.

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