NON FICTION Biography
Alice in Wonderland
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Throughout the years, several biographies about Charles Dodgson (a.k.a. Lewis Carroll) have appeared. According to Jenny Woolf, each new biography was more and more about fiction instead of facts, and contained lots of speculation about his supposed pedophilia and drug use. Woolf tells us she tried to keep an open mind and stick to the facts, in order to describe the man he truly was.
Woolf not only turned to sources like Dodgson's diaries, but she also discovered Dodgson's bank account â€“ a source that remained untouched by his family members, and she uses his sources of income and his expenses to shed more light into the matters Dodgson found important (or did not care about at all).
It is interesting to read lesser known facts, like Dodgson writing more about Harry (Alice's brother) in his diaries than he did about Alice herself, that his friendship with the Liddell's actually started through Harry, and that Dodgson did not only have child friends, but many female adult friends as well.
Woolf refutes the descriptions of Dodgson as a recluse, weirdo, or druggie, by pointing out that there is no evidence for it at all (on the contrary), but on the other hand she does not try to mask that Dodgson, in later life, did become quite a fussy and eccentric man, and that there was in fact some gossip going around about his friendships with women while he was alive.
Besides the facts, Woolf does make several assumptions herself and comes up with her own theories. Her most interesting theory is, that Charles Dodgson spent so much time with little girls because he wanted to reclaim his own innocence. He was not sexually interested in them at all - on the contrary: in the Victorian age, children were considered to be sexless and represented innocence. Dodgson was a very religious man and was very afraid of doing anything sinful. Jenny claims that Dodgson used little girls as an â€˜antidote to sin', this sin being a probable love affair with a married woman.
She also states that Dodgson may have photographed girls in the nude, instead of adult women, because he loved to study the human body, but did not want to risk being sexually aroused by it.
So although Woolf does not just state the bare facts about Dodgson, but also tries to interpret them, and we cannot be sure that her interpretations are actually correct, she does it in a most convincing and plausible way. Her biography is pleasant and easy to read and I can recommend it to anyone who wants to know more about the man who wrote 'Alice in Wonderland'.
About the life, political cartoons and illustrations of John Tenniel, the illustrator of the ‘Alice’ books.
Ronald Reichertz analyses the Alice books in the context of children’s literature from the seventeenth through the nineteenth century, and argues that Carroll’s originality was the result of a fusion of his narrative imagination and formal and thematic features from earlier children’s literature.
A special edition of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, for “Children aged from Nought to Five”, published later by Lewis Carroll.$ 18.99 (as of 17 June 2019, 7:31 am) & FREE Shipping. Details BuyView product
The original story by Lewis Carroll, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, illustrated by John Tenniel. This high-quality version has illustrations that are reproduced from the original woodblocks. Hardcover.
This book contains the full text of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, along with commentary from the author. He identifies all kinds of hidden meanings and references behind the story on many levels. For example the real life people on which the characters are based, but also references to the Greek classics.
This book provides a ‘behind the scenes’ look, with photo’s and fun facts, for all of Walt Disney’s Alice in Wonderland related productions – from his ‘Alice comedies’ in the 1920’s, to his 1951 cartoon movie, to the more recently released live action movies directed by Tim Burton and James Bobin. Even the Disney theme parks get mentioned.
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