Alice in Wonderland, written by Lewis Carroll in the middle of the 19th century, tells the story of a little girl who goes on a wonderful adventure from inside a rabbit’s house.
While you may be familiar with the quirky characters in this story, you probably don’t know much about the author of Wonderland. Here’s a closer look at Carol’s life, from her quirky early days to her lasting legacy.
“Charles Lutwidge Dodson” alias “Lewis Carroll” was born in 1832 in an Anglican family in England. The author was homeschooled before enrolling in a boarding school. “Carol” was successful in both studies. In addition to the fact that he started writing poetry and short stories from a young age, he also excelled in mathematics. His talent for working with numbers earned him an honorary degree and later a professorship at Oxford University. Carol taught at that university for 26 years.
Mathematics played a prominent role not only in Carroll’s academic activity, but also in his writing process. Alice in Wonderland and its sequel, Through the Looking Glass, represent a playful approach to arithmetic.
“Carroll” completed the story “Alice’s Adventures in the Underground” in 1864. He wrote this book by adapting a story that he told to the three daughters of “Henry Liddell”, an Oxford consultant named “Lorina, Edith and Alice” during a boat ride in 1862. These three girls, aged eight to thirteen, loved the story of “Carroll” so much that “Carroll” finally turned this story into a manuscript at the request of “Alice”.
In 1864, Carroll gave his handwritten book to Alice, and the story was published about a year later. In addition to the fact that the length of the story was increased and the illustrations of “Sir John Tenill”, the famous illustrator, were added to the book, the published book had differences with the original text due to the addition of characters such as “Mad Hatter”.
What made Alice’s Adventures in the Underground such a success? It can be said that in addition to Carroll’s captivating literature and storytelling skills, young and old audiences enjoyed the eccentricity of his characters. Although the story is about characters living in a fantasy world, many of them were actually inspired by the real world.
The character “Alice” of this story was inspired by “Alice Liddle”, the character of the bird “Dodo” was based on “Carroll” herself, and most interestingly, the idea behind the famous cat’s grin in this story was probably inspired by cheese.
However, literature and mathematics were not the only subjects in which “Carroll” was talented. He was also a skilled photographer and often captured the image of his friends, family and his favorite character, Alice Liddle.
Following the success of Alice in Wonderland, Carroll continued to write. In 1871, he finished writing “Aan Soy Aineh” and wrote a poem in 1876. Following the publication of these literary works, he took a long break from work and resumed writing in 1895, three years before the end of his life.
More than 100 years after Carroll’s death, his literary legacy is still popular.