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

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"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.

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A revolutionary and much-acclaimed study of the work and motives of the Alice In Wonderland author

This is the most significant biographical work on the author of Alice In Wonderland to be published in recent years, and this new edition marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Karoline Leach’s study contends that Carroll was far from being emotionally—and sexually—obsessed with female children and his “muse” Alice Liddell. She tells the strange story of how the false image of Carroll came into being and how he adored—and was adored by—women of all ages and enjoyed adult relationships that woud have scandalized the Victorian age in which he lived. The author gained access to unpublished evidence from the family archive, as well as letters and diaries, that led her to uncover Carroll’s secret passion for another member of “Alice’s” family. In The Shadow of The Dreamchild is a radical re-evaluation of the life and work of one of England’s most mysterious literary figures, and the revised edition expands on Leach’s important research.

  • PETER OWEN

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