Authors & Illustrators Born in January: Lewis Carroll • January 27th, 1832

Illustration by George Leslie Dunlop of "Alice' being read to

Lewis Carrol was the pen name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson(1832-1898). He was an English writer, mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon, and photographer. His most famous writings are (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland), its sequel Through the Looking-Glass, which includes the poem "Jabberwocky", and the poem, "The Hunting of the Snark" – all examples of the genre of literary nonsense.

Dodgson was friends with family of Henry Liddell, the Dean of Christ Church College, Oxford and on it seems clear that his friendship with the Liddell family was an important part of his life in the late 1850s, and he grew into the habit of taking the children on rowing trips (first the boy Harry, and later the three girls) accompanied by an adult friend to nearby Nuneham Courtenay or Godstow. It was on one such expedition on 4 July 1862 that Dodgson invented the outline of the story that eventually became his first and greatest commercial success. He told the story to Alice Liddell and she begged him to write it down, and Dodgson eventually (after much delay) presented her with a handwritten, illustrated manuscript entitled Alice's Adventures Under Ground in November 1864. Dodgson’s friend the mentor, George Macdonald read the unfinished manuscript and the enthusiasm of the MacDonald children encouraged Dodgson to seek publication. In 1863, he took the unfinished manuscript to the publisher, Macmillan, who liked it immediately.

Illustration by John Tenniel for 'Alice's Adventures Underground'

Arthur Rackham illustration for "Alice in Wonderland" by Lewis Carroll

John Tenniel Illustration for 'The Jabberwocky' by Lewis Carroll

Gweneth Hudson illustration for Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll