Miscellaneous Alice > Biographies & pedophelia

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AngelAlice

Biographies & pedophelia

Postby AngelAlice » Mon Oct 18, 2010 4:48 pm

Lewis Carroll had many child-friends, some of whom were also named Alice. But none were loved by him as much as Alice Liddell was.
And your evidence for that is...?

From what I've read in recent biographies (Mystery of Lewis Carroll, In the Shadow of the Dreamchild), this idea was just a myth.
When his book was going to be published, Carroll had had a falling-out with the Liddells. Nobody knows why, and the whole thing is enshrouded in mystery. Lewis Carroll kept a diary, but someone ripped one of his entries out, not wanting the world to know what happened to cause that split...
But they know what it was all about now, due to the finding of new evidence. He stayed away from the fam because he was rumored to be courting Alice's sister Ina. Or so the same biographies say.
Anyway, Carroll sent Tenniel pictures of another child-friend of his, the unfortunately named Mary-Hilton Badcock, as a model for Tenniel's illustrations. I have seen a picture of Badcock, and she does bear a resemblance to the Alice in the books.
Isn't this also a myth?

:-) AIW:-.

[edit by webmaster] I split off these posts from another topic because it was going too much off-topic.

3rdpoliceman

Postby 3rdpoliceman » Mon Oct 18, 2010 5:15 pm

Lewis Carroll had many child-friends, some of whom were also named Alice. But none were loved by him as much as Alice Liddell was.
And your evidence for that is...?

From what I've read in recent biographies (Mystery of Lewis Carroll, In the Shadow of the Dreamchild), this idea was just a myth.
When his book was going to be published, Carroll had had a falling-out with the Liddells. Nobody knows why, and the whole thing is enshrouded in mystery. Lewis Carroll kept a diary, but someone ripped one of his entries out, not wanting the world to know what happened to cause that split...
But they know what it was all about now, due to the finding of new evidence. He stayed away from the fam because he was rumored to be courting Alice's sister Ina. Or so the same biographies say.
Anyway, Carroll sent Tenniel pictures of another child-friend of his, the unfortunately named Mary-Hilton Badcock, as a model for Tenniel's illustrations. I have seen a picture of Badcock, and she does bear a resemblance to the Alice in the books.
Isn't this also a myth?

:-) AIW:-.
Okay:

1) I got most of my info from three books- The Annotated Alice, Alice in Sunderland and Lewis Carroll: A Biography. All three are supposed to be very well-researched.
2)While it is true that Lewis Carroll also had a great affection for other child-friends such as Isa Bowman, he was very close to Miss Pleasance Liddell. Perhaps I shouldn't be so blatant. But, in his biography, it is shown that he loved Alice a great deal.
3)Actually, they don't know what caused the split. His biographer suggests that he may have suggested marrying Alice when she was older or something, but one cannot be sure. In fact, the Liddells would probably prefer him marrying Lorina (Ina) over Alice. BUT, Carroll was in a class below the Liddells. Alice's mother wanted her girls to marry upwards, not down.
4)Actually, it is a bit of a half-myth, I suppose. I should have been more accurate. I got this info from Alice in Sunderland. It is suggested that Tenniel most probably rejected the photos Carroll sent him, preferring to work from his imagination. But Alice in Sunderland may not be totally accurate.

I have actually written on my blog about the Carroll myth, if you are interested. I tried to set some facts straight, as most people seem to believe that Lewis Carroll was a pedophile drug-addict Whitechapel murderer.

AngelAlice

'myths'

Postby AngelAlice » Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:55 pm

3rdPoliceman - all of those books are quite old and things have changed a lot lately. Have you not read 'In the Shadow of the Dreamchild' and 'The Mystery of Lewis Carroll?'? They both pretty much say that the early biographers got it mostly wrong.

All the early biographers either said he was a pedophile or implied it, and they all based that on misinformation and stupid guesswork. Morton Cohen virtually said so outloud, but he was proved wrong by the later books.

Have you see these sites:

http://jabberwock.co.uk

http://carrollmyth.com

http://contrariwise.wild-reality.net

3rdpoliceman

Re: 'myths'

Postby 3rdpoliceman » Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:21 pm

3rdPoliceman - all of those books are quite old and things have changed a lot lately. Have you not read 'In the Shadow of the Dreamchild' and 'The Mystery of Lewis Carroll?'? They both pretty much say that the early biographers got it mostly wrong.

All the early biographers either said he was a pedophile or implied it, and they all based that on misinformation and stupid guesswork. Morton Cohen virtually said so outloud, but he was proved wrong by the later books.

Have you see these sites:

http://jabberwock.co.uk

http://carrollmyth.com

http://contrariwise.wild-reality.net
I have never believed that Dodgson was a pedophile. I myself found Cohen's musings a little dodgy, though I thought it must have been a recent work since it was for sale at Alice's Shop, Oxford. That is what I call bad marketing! (What is marketing anyway? I only know about it from 'Dilbert'.) Anyway, I mostly dismissed that part as even biographers try to get their own opinion across.
Out of curiousity, how mainstream are the books you mentioned? Are they known to Carroll experts as well-researched biographies?
Here is what I believe about Carroll:

He loved children for their innocence and would not want to see that innocence destroyed.

He was not a druggie or a mass murderer.

His sexuality was mostly average. His celibacy came from the fact that he had no choice due to his job.

As for stuff like the Badcock incident, we can only guess really.

I wish you could tell this stuff to my sister. Every time I mention Carroll she goes "The pedophile".

AngelAlice

Re: 'myths'

Postby AngelAlice » Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:14 pm

I have never believed that Dodgson was a pedophile. I myself found Cohen's musings a little dodgy, though I thought it must have been a recent work since it was for sale at Alice's Shop, Oxford. That is what I call bad marketing! (What is marketing anyway? I only know about it from 'Dilbert'.) Anyway, I mostly dismissed that part as even biographers try to get their own opinion across.
Out of curiousity, how mainstream are the books you mentioned? Are they known to Carroll experts as well-researched biographies?
Here is what I believe about Carroll:

He loved children for their innocence and would not want to see that innocence destroyed.

He was not a druggie or a mass murderer.

His sexuality was mostly average. His celibacy came from the fact that he had no choice due to his job.

As for stuff like the Badcock incident, we can only guess really.

I wish you could tell this stuff to my sister. Every time I mention Carroll she goes "The pedophile".

I sort of can't believe you have never heard of these books! The first one in particular, 'In the Shadow of the Dreamchild', caused a huge furore when it came out because it basically said all the earlier biogs and things had been wrong. It said Carroll liked a lot more adult women than anyone ever guessed and that he may have had affairs. 'The Mystery of Lewis Carroll' came out this year and it says a lot of the same things.

Both the authors are well known, and their books are like everywhere, so just do some googling. So far as I can see they haven't had anyone proving them wrong. It's fascinating actually.

There are a load of articles at the Contrariwise site that you might wanna read. And also check out Carroll's Wiki page that has a long section on 'The Carroll Myth'

Like I said, I do not know how you have missed this!

:D

3rdpoliceman

Postby 3rdpoliceman » Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:41 pm

Well, there are a lot of Carroll biographies, you know...
Anyway, what ****** me off is that my information was pretty accurate until I read Cohen's biography. Since most people have conflicting views on Carroll, I just managed to piece together the truth. I'd actually read before that he had many women-friends who sometimes stayed over at his home, almost to the point of scandal.
Luckily, the post I wrote on my blog was mostly correct. However after reading that damned biography I began to believe that Carroll mat have had some sort of abnormal sexuality.
I have always been against the spreading of the Carroll myth, and I often feel it my duty to correct ignorants when they say silly stuff about him.
I feel so foolish for having fallen into that trap.
Now I'm too scared to read the Edward Lear biography I bought.

AngelAlice

Postby AngelAlice » Thu Oct 21, 2010 10:20 pm

Well, there are a lot of Carroll biographies, you know...
Anyway, what ****** me off is that my information was pretty accurate until I read Cohen's biography. Since most people have conflicting views on Carroll, I just managed to piece together the truth. I'd actually read before that he had many women-friends who sometimes stayed over at his home, almost to the point of scandal.
Luckily, the post I wrote on my blog was mostly correct. However after reading that damned biography I began to believe that Carroll mat have had some sort of abnormal sexuality.
I have always been against the spreading of the Carroll myth, and I often feel it my duty to correct ignorants when they say silly stuff about him.
I feel so foolish for having fallen into that trap.
Now I'm too scared to read the Edward Lear biography I bought.
LOL, you're not the foolish one! We all expect people who write books to know what they are talking about, and they should. I agree Cohen's book really forced the idea of his pedophilia more strongly, though they all hint at it. It's good to know he probably wasn't like that at all! You should get your sister to read one of the new biographies AIW:-)

3rdpoliceman

Postby 3rdpoliceman » Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:20 pm

Well, my sister isn't that bad. I think she just likes aggravating me too much (I sometimes do the same with her about the music she likes). I've told her enough times about Dodgson. But she often comes to me for information about the books when she needs it. I do the same for her with Harry Potter.
I stick mostly to fiction, but I'm definitely considering those biographies. I don't think my sister would be too happy reading one, though. I'd probably have to force-feed it down her throat.

Guest

Postby Guest » Sun Oct 24, 2010 3:38 pm

The ONLY biography that is even remotely believable is Morton Cohen's..

Go on Amazon to the reviews of Ms. Leach's book and see my rebuttal to her ill conceived and dangerous book.

For the record:


What an Embarrassment!!!, June 1, 2008

This review is from: In the Shadow of the Dreamchild: A New Understanding of Lewis Carroll (Hardcover)
I cannot believe that many take this book seriously when it is based on such scanty. flimsy "evidence" which calls for HUGE assumptions by the author. You also don't write a historical theses by picking and choosing what facts to include or ignore. I will now, in a very short comment, blow her thesis out of the water....Nothing in the diary page that Ms. Leach quotes from proves anything, and is greatly taken out of context. She totally ignores more obvious evidence to the contrary, other letters, diary entries, and the words of Carroll himself! While it is nice that she jumps off the Carroll as pedophile band-wagon, it is not enough to, under the guise of scholarship, make so much from so little...

While many people in Oxford thought Carroll's attentions to be for the governess, this was understandable because to think of a grown Oxford don in love with the Dean's daughter was more far fetched.

However, Mrs. Liddell and Carroll himself didn't think so....

Carroll in his later diaries mentioned a long talk with Mrs. Liddell after Alice's marriage, where he admits to his "foolish" ways (toward Alice) in the past, and his subsequent estrangement from the Deanery. During that talk, Mrs. Liddell forgives him. (note: that with Alice's marriage, she didn't view Carroll as the "threat" he once was)

Ina, Alice's sister in letters to Alice before her death , mentions that she always thought Dodgson was in love with her sister, and when Alice denies this, Ina points out the many times she had been sitting inappropriately on Dodgson's lap and alludes to other incidents.

Then, there is the letter to Carroll's uncle, where he is upset at the news that his brother wants to marry 14 year old Alice Jane Donkin.
Carroll alludes to the similar problems he himself had gone through with "AL"..now..who could THAT be??

And why DID Alice's mother burn all of Carroll's letter to her daughter?

Because of his love for the governess?

I think not.


and:


As to Alice...YES, he was in love with her (NOT THE GOVERNESS, NOT ALICE'S MOTHER, NOT LORINA) and did want to marry her.

There is undeniable proof.

First..he mentioned in a letter to his uncle Skeffington, concerning the romantic attachment of his brother to another Alice...Alice Donkin who was just 14. (They eventually DID marry when she turned 18)

In the letter,he mentions that he didn't want his brother to share the same pain that he went through under similar conditions with "A.L" (now who could THAT be?)

Again, other letters and diary accounts, we learn that later in life, after Alice was married, both he and Alice's mother had a long talk about those times..and they reconciled their differences...

He referred to his "attachment" to Alice as his "foolishness" and now that Alice was a married woman, Alice's mother no longer felt Dodgson a threat to her ambitions for her daughter's future.

THIS is why she had burned his letters to Alice when she was a child, and what caused the rift..

Also, why did Carroll continue to dedicate all editions of Alice, and present her (Alice) with EVERY copy of every major edition until the day he died, yet years after Alice had grown up, while sending a token gift, was invited, but did not attend Alice's wedding?

Surely, even as a once close family friend to say the least, it would have been the proper thing to do. But...he could not bring himself to attend. Maybe...because the finality marriage was too much for a man who had devoted 1/2 his life to his singular dreamchild??

In true Victorian fashion, he had meekly, and informally confessed to Alice's mother, his growing feelings for Alice, and the possibility of marriage to Alice in the future if they both felt the same way towards each other.

Alice's mother of course refused..not that she didn't like Dodgson, or thought him a pervert, but most likely because she thought Dodgson not ambitious enough for her daughter.
Even after he became famous for writing the Alice books, he still did not have the taste for the aristocracy that Alice's mother sought (remember, Alice was distantly related to Queen Victoria,and subsequent royalty including the Queen Mother of Elizabeth II.) As well as having hopes of Alice marring Prince Leopold, Victoria's son)

The real insight here is that she would have just laughed off his proposals if he alone had those feelings...but because her daughter Alice also probably had expressed a likewise unique fondness for "Mr. Dodgson"..she considered it a true threat, and subsequently banning Dodgson from seeing Alice, and burning his letters to her which surely must have had a romantic aspect. (Or why burn them?)

Nearing the end of their lives, the two surviving Liddell sisters, Alice and Lorina had a correspondence concerning a biographer's attempt to find out about the "romantic" nature of Alice's relationship with Dodgson. While not knowing how to answer the biographer, she made a non committed reply, but went on in her letters to remind Alice of the closeness, and physicality between herself I(Alice) and Dodgson.

The main issue with the "cut-diary" papers, concerning the famous 1863 break with the Liddell family "discovered by Leach, is not what they say, but her flimsy interpretation of them.

Quote:

... this page states that Mrs. Liddell told Dodgson there was gossip circulating about him and the Liddell family's governess, as well as about his relationship with "Ina", presumably Alice's older sister, Lorina Liddell. The "break" with the Liddell family that occurred soon after was presumably in response to this gossip.[43][44] An alternate interpretation has been made regarding Carroll's rumored involvement with "Ina": Lorina was also the name of Alice Liddell's mother

So..Leach believes that Dodgson was possibly in love with either of the three, Mother, older sister, or governess...but the truth, which she cannot see is staring her right in the face.

It is pretty obvious what really happened...

When being confronted by Alice's mother concerning these rumors.....and possibly being told that he should not frequent the deanery so often (until the rumors died down) Dodson who during the almost rapture-like account of taking Alice ALONE un-chaperoned, to see the fireworks in celebration of the royal marriage, if he did not directly propose to Alice herself that night, may have felt that his hand was being forced, and broke down and told Alice's mother his true feelings for young Alice.

This makes perfect sense because Alice herself said in an interview when visiting New York to receive an honorary degree fro Columbia, that her mother had destroyed all the letters Dodson had written her.

So...why would a little girl be saving all those letters, and what would make her mother throw them into the fire (not just merely tossing them away) unless the unsettling business WAS ALL about Alice???

Certainly, she wouldn't have thought to remove all traces of what most likely was thinly veiled love letters to a little girl, if she thought all the fuss was about the governess, herself (a happily married woman by the way) or her eldest daughter.

I sure would like Ms. Leach to comment on THAT!!

To those still skeptical, I should only ask them to revisit the poems Dodgson wrote framing the two Alice books...the true answers are there.


I hope this answers your questions!!

Guest

Postby Guest » Sun Oct 24, 2010 3:47 pm

Oh, I forgot to sum up...

It seems pretty obvious that Carrol DID "love" Alice Liddell and whether or not he wanted to marry her, there WAS a romantic attraction.
(2) Carroll spent his whole life seeking the company, writing about, writing to, collecting art, photographing inc. nude studies of little girls....

If you want to deny it fine, but Carroll, though a man of his times, had a very strong attraction to children.

I am NOT, nor does M. Cohen say that Carroll was an active pedophile, nor was sexual attraction his prime motivation...but to sweep it all under the rug and say "Whew"!! when idiots like Ms. Leach try to infer that Carroll was not attracted to children, but to mature women in a SEXUAL WAY is patently absurd.....
And those of you who choose to believe that are living in your own illogical wonderland!!!

3rdpoliceman

Postby 3rdpoliceman » Sun Oct 24, 2010 3:48 pm

Okay, that's it! From now on I'm going to be incredibly paranoid and not believe ANYTHING anybody says about Dodgson any longer! I'll juwst have to trust my own judgement about him!

Guest

Postby Guest » Sun Oct 24, 2010 5:49 pm

Just believe in what makes the most sense.......

The love poems that Dodgson wrote to Alice.

The burnt letters..

The letter to his uncle where he compares his brother's love for an underage girl, to his own "pain" over "A.L." (Alice Liddell)

His dedication to Alice, every ed. of the Alice books until the day he died.

His constant seeking of companionship of little girls, almost procurement on beaches, theater children, finishing schools, through colleagues and friends, on trains.....

The letter to Alice where he admits his special romantic attraction to her, and her alone, when asking her permission to reprint the original manuscript.

I swear...can one be so blind, as to not see all the circumstantial evidence that points ONLY to a primary attraction to children throughout his entire life, and where HE HIMSELF admits that Alice reigned above all other children as his QUEEN!!!!!!!!!

Really, can there be anyone who can rationalize away these obvious facts that would stand out like a neon billboard to those with a modicum of intelligence?


[/i]

3rdpoliceman

Postby 3rdpoliceman » Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:02 pm

Carroll was no pedophile...
But there was someone that was very dear to him- his most precious Alice.

Guest

Postby Guest » Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:28 pm

Please re-read my posts...
I NEVER said Carroll was a pedophile in the modern sense of the word, but you cannot deny his consistent attraction, and relationships with little girls, and you cannot believe that he was only attracted to the child's innocence because he felt uncomfortable with adults and adult women.

This is patently untrue. He had many close adult friends of both sexes, but he NEVER devoted an iota of his time in a romantic fashion to anyone BUT children.

He may have tried to suppress it, and his sexuality may not have been a prime motivator, but he lived more or less for the companionship of little girls, and his life proves this!!!

Today pedophile is synonymous to child molester. Carroll was not, in the modern sense, a pedophile. BUT..if we consider the word to mean an attraction or love for a child, including, but not primarily sexual attraction, then Dodgson DOES fit those parameters...

The problem is, as Humpty Dumpty said, "When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, `it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.'

`The question is,' said Alice, `whether you can make words mean so many different things.'

3rdpoliceman

Postby 3rdpoliceman » Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:33 pm

Lewis Carroll was actually popular enough with the ladies, you know.


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