Lewis Carroll is well known throughout the world as the author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. Behind the famous pseudonym was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a mathematical lecturer at Oxford University with remarkably diverse talents.
Born in 1832, in Daresbury, Cheshire, he spent his early life in the north of England (at Daresbury, Cheshire and in Croft, Yorkshire). He spent his adult life in Oxford and died at Guildford in 1898. Besides the Alice books, he wrote many others including poems, pamphlets and articles. He was a skilled mathematician, logician and pioneering photographer and he invented a wealth of games and puzzles which are of great interest today. Through his range of talents he has acquired great respect and has a large following.
Alice in Wonderland was Lewis Carroll’s first novel and its fantasy plot, humorous rhymes and brilliant use of nonsense was revolutionary. Nineteenth-century children’s writing usually served moral or educational purpose, but Alice was written firmly and purely for the amusement of children. Critical response was lukewarm, but the book was still a great success, and remains a hugely influential classic of children’s literature.
Through the Looking-Glass was published in 1971, and is the famous sequel to Alice in Wonderland. Like the first Alice book, Looking-Glass is a brilliantly plotted, wonderfully inventive nonsense story, full of humour, riddles and rhymes. The two books were revolutionary: while most children’s novels had been written to educate and instruct, Carroll’s two book were produced firmly to amuse.