In the Shadow of the Dreamchild: The Myth and Reality of Lewis Carroll

$ 23.95 (as of 30 March 2020, 6:28 am)

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ASIN: 0720613183 Categories: ,

"Because this is a very new image of a very famous man (Lewis Carroll), I hope it doesn't offend those who thought they 'knew' their childhood friend already.
Maybe the idea that the author of "Alice" wasn't after all some lonely or dangerous paedophile, but a normal, if less than perfect, man who may have had the misfortune to love the wrong woman, is at least a little closer to the truth and might allow those who presently enjoy his stories to feel they enjoy them even more."
(K. Leach)

In this book, Karoline Leach introduces the topic of the 'Carroll Myth'. She analyzes the history of Carroll's biographies and finds out how the mythic image of Lewis Carroll developed, and, like Jenny Woolf, tries to put it right.

Amongst others, she suggests that Carroll's love of his life may not have been Alice Liddell, but someone else: her mother.


In the Shadow of the Dreamchild uses new research to show that the long-standing image of the life of Charles Dodgson, better known to millions of fans around the world as Lewis Carroll, as exclusively child-centred and unworldly, his preoccupation with Alice Liddell, and his supposedly unnatural sexuality are all in fact nothing more than myths: that they belong to an invented persona, created around the name “Carroll,” and have almost nothing to do with Dodgson’s real but overshadowed life. Meticulously researched, the book traces the development of this false persona and demonstrates how generations of biographers have helped to create fictions about Dodgson’s life, rather than bring the documentary facts before the public. It uses the data to recreate a startlingly new picture of Dodgson’s personality, his experiences, and, crucially, his all-important relationship with the Liddell family. In the Shadow of the Dreamchild challenges almost every scholastic and literary insight on Carroll that has developed over the past century.

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