Authors We Love: Lewis Carroll

Lewis Carroll - Wikipedia

Charles was the third of the eleven children of Dodgson. Charles loves his mother best. He regards his mother as one of the sweetest mothers in the world. His mother is a good housekeeper and pays great attention to the children’s preschool education. At the age of seven, Charles was said to have read Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, as well as Maria Edgeworth’s Practical Education and Hannah Moore’s The Shepherd of Salisbury Plain. At the age of 12, Charles was sent as a boarder to a grammar school in Richmond, ten miles from Croft. He is diligent and eager to learn. The principal told his parents that his eloquence and the ingenuity and diction of his Latin prose proved him to be an extraordinary genius.

In 1846 he was sent to Rugby, which soon came under the rule of Thomas Arnold. When he first went there, he was unhappy and often bullied and called a “fool” (a clumsy athlete). He was often mocked because of his childhood stammer. On the other hand, when he did not receive prizes for classics, theology, mathematics, etc., he seldom went home. During the holidays, he began writing a series of home magazines for his siblings. At the age of 14, his first magazine was called an “inspiring and instructive collection of poetry.” It includes many humorous poems, some of which are in the doggerel style, while others are contemporary traditional poems written for children.

He composed poem in the form of a ballad taught people never to annoy their sisters, followed by a magazine illustrated by Charles himself. After leaving Rugby in 1850, Charles wrote his own masterpiece, The Rectory Umbrella And Mischmasch, while preparing for the Oxford entrance examination at home. The book shows that Charles was already an outstanding writer for a comic magazine. He also wrote plays for a puppet theater. His cousin introduced him to the novelist Francis Edward Smedley. He showed some of the poems to Edmund Yates, who, to compete with Punch, had started a penny magazine called Comic Times. Charles wrote four poems for the magazine.

When the Comic Times closed, he began writing for the latter Yates magazine, The train. Charles’ chief contribution to The Train was poetry. In publishing “Solitude,” Yates chose one of two pseudonyms offered by Charles: Lewis Carroll. These are the two Latin names of Charles, keeping the alphabetical order and then turning back to English. He was a priest and never married. He was very fond of children, and his favorite was a little girl called Alice Liddell. On the fourth of July, 1862, the author and a friend of his took the three Liddells and rowed up the River Thames from Oxford to Gostowe. On the boat, he told Alice a little story, which he later turned into a manuscript of Alice’s Adventures Under Ground and presented to her.

The manuscript is only 18, 000 words long, and the illustrations are by the author himself. Later, the author revised it to the present scale, changed the title to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and asked the famous painter Sir John Tenniel to illustrate it. The first edition was published on July 4, 1865, as a memorial to that trip. The story tells the story of a little girl named Alice, chasing a rabbit in a dream and falling into the rabbit hole, began a long and dangerous journey. This fairy tale breaks through the traditional moralistic formula of western European children’s literature with its magical fantasy, funny humor and high poetry, and has since been translated into many languages and travelled all over the world.

Carroll later wrote a companion piece, Alice Through the Looking Glass, which became popular in the world along with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. In 1868, Carroll published his encryption method. This type of encryption is known as Lewis Carroll’s ciphers. Cryptography introduces the concept of a secret key, which determines which row of secret tables to replace according to the key, to counter word frequency statistics. The password’s key space size is 26m, so even if the value of m is small, using the exhaustive key search method can take a long time. For example, when m=5, the size of the key space exceeds 1.1*107, which is beyond the scope of exhaustive search by hand calculation.

Charles was writing parodies and satires. Works such as The New Belfry (1872), The Vision of the Three T’s (1873) and The Blank Cheque (1874) attacked the reforms of many colleges and universities. In 1879, he tried to study children publicly. Because he has a terrible stammer, but he can communicate with people through the camera. In his second year at the school (1856), Carroll bought a complete set of photographic equipment (The Wet Print) and photographed Tennyson, the Poet Laureate, and the Prince of England. But he was most attracted to girls around the age of 7, and he took every opportunity to photograph the girls he met. Only in front of the girls, Carol will not have any psychological barriers. The only work he did during this period was Rhyme? and Reason?

-Coreen C.

Book Review: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll

alice_wonderland_coverAlice’s Adventures in Wonderland is a fun fantasy book for all ages. The story begins with Alice and her sister on a bank of a river. Alice peers into her sister’s textbook, and she tries to think what is the use of a book without pictures and dialogues. When Alice begins to pick daisies to create a daisy-chain, she spots a rabbit mumbling to himself. She thinks that is natural until the rabbit pulled a pocket-watch and looks at it. The girl becomes curious and follows the White Rabbit down the deep rabbit-hole.

Soon after she lands, she wanders through a long hall with doors on each side and finds a tiny door behind a curtain without a window. Later she encounters and talks to a blue caterpillar that is smoking a hookah. When the White Rabbit sees Alice, he thinks that Alice is Mary Ann, his house-maid, and tells her to fetch a pair of gloves and a fan. Afterward Alice meets the Queen of Hearts and plays a game of croquet. The croquet game uses a live flamingo as a mallet and a hedgehog as the ball.

Were Alice’s adventures real… or was it all a dream?

You’ve probably seen the Disney adaptation of this classic book, but did you know there’s a sequel? Read more about Alice’s adventures in Through the Looking Glass.

-Samantha S., 6th grade