Lewis Carroll (1832-1898)
Lewis Carroll is the pen name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, who was born on January 27, 1832, in Daresbury, Cheshire, England. Carroll was the third child born to a family of eleven children; his father was a clergyman in the Church of England. From a very early age he entertained himself and his family by performing magic tricks and marionette shows, and by writing poetry for his homemade newspapers.
In 1846 he entered Rugby School, and in 1854 he graduated from Christ Church College, Oxford. He was successful in his study of mathematics and writing, and remained at the college after graduation to teach. His mathematical writings include An Elementary Treatise on Determinants (1867), Euclid and His Modern Rivals (1879), and Curiosa Mathematica (1888).
While teaching, Carroll was ordained as a deacon; however, he never preached. He also began to pursue photography, often choosing children as the subject of his portraits. One of his favorite models was a young girl named Alice Liddell, the daughter of the Dean at Christ Church, who later became the basis for Carroll's fictional character, Alice. He abandoned both photography and public speaking between 1880 and 1881, and focused on his writing.
Carroll published his novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in 1865, followed by Through the Looking Glass in 1872. Alice's story began as a piece of extemporaneous whimsy meant to entertain three little girls on a boating trip in 1862. Also famous is Carroll's poem "Jabberwocky," in which he created nonsensical words from word combinations. Lewis Carroll died in Guildford, Surrey, on January 14, 1898.
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