1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Dodgson, Charles Lutwidge
DODGSON, CHARLES LUTWIDGE [“Lewis Carroll”] (1832–1898), English mathematician and author, son of the Rev. Charles Dodgson, vicar of Daresbury, Cheshire, was born in that village on the 27th of January 1832. The literary life of “Lewis Carroll” became familiar to a wide circle of readers, but the private life of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson was retired and practically uneventful. After four years’ schooling at Rugby, Dodgson matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford, in May 1850; and from 1852 till 1870 held a studentship there. He took a first class in the final mathematical school in 1854, and the following year was appointed mathematical lecturer at Christ Church, a post he continued to fill till 1881. In 1861 he was ordained deacon, but he never took priest’s orders, possibly because of a stammer which prevented reading aloud. His earliest publications, beginning with A Syllabus of Plane Algebraical Geometry (1860) and The Formulae of Plane Trigonometry (1861), were exclusively mathematical; but late in the year 1865 he published, under the pseudonym of “Lewis Carroll,” Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, a work that was the outcome of his keen sympathy with the imagination of children and their sense of fun. Its success was immediate, and the name of “Lewis Carroll” has ever since been a household word. A dramatic version of the “Alice” books by Mr Savile Clarke was produced at Christmas, 1886, and has since enjoyed many revivals. Mr Dodgson was always very fond of children, and it was an open secret that the original of “Alice” was a daughter of Dean Liddell. Alice was followed (in the “Lewis Carroll” series) by Phantasmagoria, in 1869; Through the Looking-Glass, in 1871; The Hunting of the Snark (1876); Rhyme and Reason (1883); A Tangled Tale (1885); and Sylvie and Bruno (in two parts, 1889 and 1893). He wrote skits on Oxford subjects from time to time. The Dynamics of a Particle was written on the occasion of the contest between Gladstone and Mr Gathorne Hardy (afterwards earl of Cranbrook); and The New Belfry in ridicule of the erection put up at Christ Church for the bells that were removed from the Cathedral tower. While “Lewis Carroll” was delighting children of all ages, C. L. Dodgson periodically published mathematical works—An Elementary Treatise on Determinants (1867); Euclid, Book V., proved Algebraically (1874); Euclid and his Modern Rivals (1879), the work on which his reputation as a mathematician largely rests; and Curiosa Mathematica (1888). Throughout this dual existence Mr Dodgson pertinaciously refused to acquiesce in being publicly identified with “Lewis Carroll.” Though the fact of his authorship of the “Alice” books was well known, he invariably stated, when occasion called for such a pronouncement, that “Mr Dodgson neither claimed nor acknowledged any connexion with the books not published under his name.” He died at Guildford, on the 14th of January 1898. His memory is appropriately kept green by a cot in the Children’s Hospital, Great Ormond Street, London, which was endowed perpetually by a public subscription.
See S. D. Collingwood, Life and Letters of Lewis Carroll (1898).