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Lewis Carroll Bookmark Lewis Carroll (1832–1898)

“If one is hopelessly undecided as to what to say, there, silence is golden.”

The mind of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson was itself some-thing of a wonderland. A mathematician by profession at Oxford University, he made his reputation in geometry and logic. From childhood he’d been interested in puzzles and games: he created cryptograms, rebuses, and word puzzles, many of which he eventually put into his books.

A copious correspondent, he wrote some letters back to front, others in mirror-writing and spiral formation. He designed a mnemonic system for remembering names and dates, a system for writing in the dark, and another system for seating guests at dinner parties. His own pen name was something of a word game: he created it by reversing and Latinizing his own name: Lutwidge became Ludovicus, thus Lewis. Charles became Carolus, thus Carroll.

His first book, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, was written by hand and illustrated by Carroll for his neighbor, the young Alice Liddell. Rewritten and expanded, it became a huge success on publication. It was a major accomplishment for children’s literature not only in its sophistication but in its rarity of vision: rarely has nonsense made such perfect sense.
Lewis Carroll
(1832–1898)