Just to end this hopefully..
I apologize for calling anyone here a moron and an idiot, but how would YOU feel, if just by debating whether Carroll had those desires, even if he, himself suppressed them gets YOU labeled a pedophile....??
I am not, nor am I advocating, encouraging, or condoning, any sexual activity between an adult and a child.
But, if you read Dodgson's letters, diaries, and actions, you would at least admit that he was very preoccupied with little girls.
Many of his letters published in M. Cohen's The Letters of Lewis Carroll (and his bio) excerpt letters to little girls that can ONLY be viewed as at least romantic, and when some little girls do not respond in kind, he genuinely pouts like scorned lover...
Also, does someone, even in the 19th c. extend his innocent preoccupation of collecting child-friends, with the desire to see them nude, and takes nude portraits of them? If you believe that his enjoyment of seeing nude 8 year olds cavorting around his rooms and studio was purely innocent and artistic, and had not the slightest bit of suppressed, repressed, eroticism, then I really can't say anything else except does the image of an Ostrich with his head in the sand have any meaning to you?
Now, before you get all in a tizzy, I understand better than most, the climate of the era Dodgson was living in. And surely his actions were more the norm and tolerated in his day, though possibly more out of naivete, then anything else.
I also clearly state that (1) We can never know what was actually his prime motivation for his obsessiveness, not can we attribute any impropriety on his part. so I am neither trying to disparage his memory, nor look at him through rose-colored glasses. I am just pointing out the facts and circumstantial evidence. Dodgson was NOT a child molester.
I did say he had pedophilic feelings, and if you want to debate that semantically, so be it.
How can you criticize me for THAT!
(2) Which get to the other point of contention..the P word.
Freelancer wrote: Pedophilia: The act or fantasy on the part of an adult of engaging in sexual activity with a child or children.
So..as I stated, it is not only ACTION, but fantasy.
Some here will even argue that Carroll didn't have fantasies, or sexual thoughts concerning children. Here I agree that we cannot know what was on the man's mind, only that what ever it was...he didn't act on it.
But..if you INSIST that pedophilia MUST contain a sexual component whether in fantasy or action, then:
... if a male adult constantly surrounds himself with prepubescent girls, write "love letters," albeit in the guise of humour,
pouts when a little girl either rebuffs his attempt at friendship, or wishes to discontinue the friendship (which is the case in at least two incidents that are documented)
enjoys looking on the nude prepubescent form, and wishes to take more and more like photos until rumours fly...
.who wrote the most wonderful poems of love, and of disappointment about Alice etc. etc..
If not a person with pedophilic tendencies, then what would YOU like to call him..
If you want to be Humpty Dumpty about it and give his predilection another name, so be it..but history will not be denied...
Do you think Dodgson would like people throwing this reputation of him around so much? I don't think he would. I think it's dull and demeaning to put a label on someone who cannot defend themselves or give THEIR explanation on THEIR personal life. He's dead and he cannot do so. It's like calling Ernest Hemingway a rapist based on some heresay, biased biographies, and little evidence. Until something pops up out of the shadows, and proves otherwise, only Dodgson and the Liddells will forever know the truth. When that day comes, I will humbly reject everything I have ever thought, said, and written. But, until then, if you would like to continue thinking in the old word meanings, be my guest.
I don't think the issue here is that the man is dead, therefore he cannot defend himself..
IF that were the case, then no biography of any person who has passed on would be tolerated!
We might as well not discuss history at all, because, God forbid, we may have it wrong!
If I were just throwing innuendos around, then you may have a point, but all my statements, circumstantial as some of them might be, ARE BASED ON FACTS!
Re-read all my posts, read al, the GOOD biographies, and then say to yourself, "If it Walks like a duck...."
And please again, my reasoning is to not editorialize, just to bring out the facts..which have a habit of pleasing no one.
But just as I may discuss Osama bin laden, doesn't make me a terrorist, neither does believing that Mr. Dodgson was a harmless man who had a fervent attraction to little girls make me an advocate of such or a pedophile, so stop slinging my name as it were, in the mud!