Edit] Suggestions of paedophilia

Stuart Dodgson Collingwood (Dodgson's nephew and biographer) wrote:

And now as to the secondary causes which attracted him to children. First, I think children appealed to him because he was pre-eminently a teacher, and he saw in their unspoiled minds the best material for him to work upon. In later years one of his favourite recreations was to lecture at schools on logic; he used to give personal attention to each of his pupils, and one can well imagine with what eager anticipation the children would have looked forward to the visits of a schoolmaster who knew how to make Edit] Suggestions of paedophilia even the dullest subjects interesting and amusing. [76]

Despite comments like this, Dodgson's friendships with young girls and psychological readings of his work – especially his photographs of nude or semi-nude girls[77] – have all led to speculation that he was a paedophile. This possibility has underpinned numerous modern interpretations of his life and work, particularly Dennis Potter's play Alice and his screenplay for the motion picture, Dreamchild, Robert Wilson's Alice, and a number of recent biographies, including Michael Bakewell's Lewis Carroll: A Biography (1996), Donald Thomas's Lewis Carroll: A Portrait with Background (1995), and Morton N. Cohen Edit] Suggestions of paedophilia's Lewis Carroll: A Biography (1995). All of these works more or less unequivocally assume that Dodgson was a paedophile, albeit a repressed and celibate one. Cohen claims Dodgson's "sexual energies sought unconventional outlets", and further writes:

We cannot know to what extent sexual urges lay behind Charles's preference for drawing and photographing children in the nude. He contended the preference was entirely aesthetic. But given his emotional attachment to children as well as his aesthetic appreciation of their forms, his assertion that his interest was strictly artistic is naïve. He probably felt more Edit] Suggestions of paedophilia than he dared acknowledge, even to himself.[77]

Cohen notes that Dodgson "apparently convinced many of his friends that his attachment to the nude female child form was free of any eroticism", but adds that "later generations look beneath the surface" (p. 229).

Cohen and other biographers argue that Dodgson may have wanted to marry the 11-year-old Alice Liddell, and that this was the cause of the unexplained "break" with the family in June 1863.[78] There has never been significant evidence to support the idea, however, and the 1996 discovery of the "cut pages in diary document" (see above) seems to make Edit] Suggestions of paedophilia it highly probable that the 1863 "break" had nothing to do with Alice, but was perhaps connected with rumours involving her older sister Lorina (born 11 May 1849, so she would have been 14 at the time), her governess, or her mother who was also nicknamed "Ina".

Some writers, e.g., Derek Hudson and Roger Lancelyn Green, stop short of identifying Dodgson as a paedophile, but concur that he had a passion for small female children and next to no interest in the adult world.

The basis for Dodgson's interest in female children has been challenged in the last ten years by several writers and Edit] Suggestions of paedophilia scholars (see the 'Carroll Myth' above).

Edit] Works

  • The Principles of Parliamentary Representation (1884)
[edit] Literary works
  • La Guida di Bragia, a Ballad Opera for the Marionette Theatre (around 1850)
  • A Tangled Tale
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865)
  • Facts
  • Rhyme? And Reason? (also published as Phantasmagoria)
  • Pillow Problems
  • Sylvie and Bruno
  • Sylvie and Bruno Concluded
  • The Hunting of the Snark (1876)
  • Three Sunsets and Other Poems
  • Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (includes "Jabberwocky" and "The Walrus and the Carpenter") (1871)
  • What the Tortoise Said to Achilles
[edit] Mathematical works
  • A Syllabus of Plane Algebraic Geometry (1860)
  • The Fifth Book of Euclid Treated Algebraically (1858 and 1868)
  • An Elementary Treatise on Edit] Suggestions of paedophilia Determinants, With Their Application to Simultaneous Linear Equations and Algebraic Equations
  • Euclid and his Modern Rivals (1879), both literary and mathematical in style
  • Symbolic Logic Part I
  • Symbolic Logic Part II (published posthumously)
  • The Alphabet Cipher (1868)
  • The Game of Logic
  • Some Popular Fallacies about Vivisection
  • Curiosa Mathematica I (1888)
  • Curiosa Mathematica II (1892)
  • The Theory of Committees and Elections, collected, edited, analysed, and published in 1958, by Duncan Black

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