> I heard there was a nude photo by Carroll on the British version of the
> Antique Road Show. Was this uncolored? Is Wakeling on it?
A nude picture of Edward Wakeling on national television.
At tea time.
Now that IS a truly frightening image.
What was Carroll thinking of?
But seriously -
I don't think there was any new nude picture shown on Antiques Roadshow.
i do remember some guy bringing a collection of Dodgson photos along back in
1998 - but they were (I think) prints of already known pictures.
No nudes either.
But speaking of anomalous nudes.
I think i have found a nude study of Xie Kitchin - you know CLD's favourite
It is presently in the possession of a well known Carroll enthusiast, having
been bought by him from the Dodgson family collection.
The girl looks to be between 12 and fifteen; completely nude - facing the
front, leaning one arm on a tall pillar.
It isn't identified as Xie - but it certainly looks very like her, and I'm
sure expert image-analysis could verify one way or another.
There is nothing to show who took the photograph or when. All we know is
that it seems to have been in Dodgson's possession at his death.
There is no print number or other mark to suggest it is Dodgson's own work,
but this does not mean it isn't - for several of his photographs have no such
More signficantly, the background and general modelling don't look much like
Also we know through surviving letters that Xie's mother was reluctant to
allow her to do nude or even semi-draped studies.
If it is Dodgson's own work, it raises thoughtful questions about his ethics
- since he would presumably have obtained this nude study without the
consent of Xie's parents.
But, the balance of probability is (at present) that it isn't Dodgson's own
It seems more probable that it was taken by someone else and given to Dodgson
as a gift.
Henry Holiday. friend of both CLD and the Kitchin family, seems a likely
candidate for 'artist'.
perhaps he, being a safely married man, was considered reliable enough to
take such intimate pictures, while Dodgson, a bachelor, with a fair bit of
gossip surrounding him, was considered too risky.
Whatever the answer - it is a potentially interesting and significant image,
which needs further analysis.
will it get it?
Well, this being carroll-scholarship, it's entirely possible that nothing
will ever be done.
If it had been a pic. of Alice Liddell, of course, then I'd have been killed
in the stampede of ancient biographers trying to get an exclusive.
They'd still be telling each other what it says about Dodgson's undying
love for the girl that he treaured this image of her nude body until his
Such is human perversity