Lewis Carroll is an English novelist who is famous around the world. In particular, he is known for his novels, ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ and ‘Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There’. He was born in 1832 in Cheshire, England and was more than just an author. He was also a poet, illustrator, photographer, mathematician and teacher. He was popular during his lifetime and became world famous after his death in 1898, particularly for his children’s fictional stories.
Let’s take a look at eight interesting facts about Lewis Carroll.
Lewis Carroll Facts
1. Lewis Carroll was his pen name he used as a novelist.
While Lewis Carroll is famously known by this name, this was not his birth name. His family and friends did not address him as Lewis Carroll. In fact, it was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. Lewis Carroll was simply a pseudonym he adopted when he was publishing his works to keep some anonymity and privacy. An interesting fact about Lewis Carroll is that he created this name for his novels and poems by taking his own name and translating it into Latin. He then reversed this name back into English to arrive at Lewis Carroll. It was first used on one of his poems and he continued to use it after this.
2. Lewis Carroll was imaginative and creative from a young age.
When Lewis Carroll was a young boy, his father became the rector of a Croft in West Yorkshire. As a consequence, Lewis and his siblings lived in a quiet country village with not a lot to do and few other children to play with. This means they had to find ways to entertainment themselves. In particular, Lewis was creative and enjoying inventing games to keep them all amused. He showed he was imaginative from a young age and this transpired into his work later on when he created different worlds.
3. It all began with the Rectory Magazines
It is thought that the first thing that Lewis Carroll wrote were pieces in the Rectory Magazines. All of his family contributed to this magazine, including his 11 siblings. But it is thought that Lewis, who was 13 years old at the time, made many of the contributions. Indeed, many of these contributions can be read today. This included everything from essays and poems to illustrations and short stories. This may have helped him with writing his own poems and novels later on in life.
4. He was very intellectual and excelled in Classics and Mathematics.
Lewis Carroll was known for his intellect and he was a willing student when he was young. In particular, he attended Christ Church in 1852, which was a college of the University of Oxford, an interesting fact about Lewis Carroll. In 1854, he achieved top grades in mathematics and was head of the class. He enjoyed his students and this showed in his grades. Once he finished studying, he became a fellow, otherwise known as a senior student. He then went on to become a lecturer at the college. In particular, his strengths included classical studies and mathematics.
5. His stammer may have meant he connected more with children than adults.
One thing that many people might not know about Lewis Carroll was that he had a stammer. In fact, a lot of his siblings had a stammer when they spoke. This impaired his speech and meant he was not the most confident when it came to speaking and communicating with others. He called this his ‘hesitation’. It is thought that his stammer meant he struggled to communicate with adults. Instead, he connected more with children and was more at ease in their company. This meant his stammer was suppressed and he was more confident. Indeed, children loved to hear his stories and the tales that he would tell them to keep them entertained.
6. Alice Liddell Inspired his book called Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
It is well known that Lewis Carroll loved children and being in their company more than adults. It is thought that Alice Liddell actually inspired Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, his most famous novel, as well as the sequel. She was the daughter of Henry George Liddell, who was the dean of Christ Church. He spent a lot of time with her and her siblings, Lorina and Edith. He would tell them fascinating tales of made-up worlds and fantasies. It is thought that the ideas for the novel were created during a rowing trip with the daughters of Henry George Liddell, an interesting fact about Lewis Carroll. He told these ideas to Alice who said he should write this story down on paper. Later on, this novel became published as everyone enjoyed the story and thought it was worthy of becoming a published novel.
7. He received ‘wheelbarrows full’ of letters from fans during his lifetime.
Lewis Carroll became popular during his lifetime. People loved his stories and the worlds he created. In fact, he received lots and lots of letters from adults and their children. He would write back to lots of them too. He kept a letter register since his late 20s and for the rest of his life. It is thought that he received 98,000 letters and tried his best to reply to as many as he could. Of course, his popularity grew even more after his death and spread around the world, as everyone enjoyed reading his novels.
8. Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There was a darker novel reflecting changes in his life.
Compared to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There was a darker novel with a different plot. It was the sequel to this novel but the storyline changes, which is evident when it was published in 1871. The mood is darker and it is thought that this happened to his writing due to the changes that were happening in his personal life. For example, after the death of his father in 1868, Lewis Carroll suffered from depression for many years. This could have affected and transpired into his writing for this novel.
I hope that this article on Lewis Carroll facts was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Historical People Facts Page!