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Re: [lewiscarroll] Re: What define's Lewis Carroll

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  • amirouche.moktefi@gersulp.u-strasbg.fr
    Hi, It doesn t matter how good Lewis Carroll was a mathematician. This a quite other question. There is no doubt that Lewis Carroll was a professional
    Message 1 of 56 , Jan 14, 2006
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      Hi,
      It doesn't matter how good Lewis Carroll was a mathematician. This a
      quite other question.
      There is no doubt that Lewis Carroll was a "professional" mathematician.
      Thus, he lived a life of mathematician.
      However, have you ever seen a biography of Lewis Carroll as a man of
      science? Written in the same style than other biographies of other
      major and minor mathematicians?
      Friendly,
      Amirouche


      Selon Keith Wright <keith@...>:

      > I'm not sure I can see him as a mathematician who wrote a few books.
      > I can
      > see he would have thought that was right but as a mathematician he
      > did not
      > produce much of note - despite what later mathematicians would try to
      > assert!
      >
      > However, I suppose a 2nd rate mathematician is still a mathematician
      > so I
      > take your point!
      >
      > Keith
      >
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: <amirouche.moktefi@gersulp.u-strasbg.fr>
      > To: <lewiscarroll@yahoogroups.com>
      > Sent: Saturday, January 14, 2006 12:18 PM
      > Subject: Re: [lewiscarroll] Re: What define's Lewis Carroll
      >
      >
      > > Hi all,
      > >
      > > I think that we often forget in these debates that Lewis Carroll
      > was not
      > > a child author who, from time to time, show some interest in
      > > mathematics. At the contrary, he was principally a mathematician
      > who,
      > > from time to time, wrote some child tales.
      > >
      > > It seems clear for me that all the modern biographies are
      > > post-constructions which focus on what we, modern readers, enjoy in
      > > Carroll's works, that means his Alice books and related events. I
      > mean
      > > that the modern biographies are more concerned with Lewis Carroll
      > than
      > > Charles Dodgson.
      > > By how if Lewis Carroll wrote his autobiography. I'm afraid that it
      > > would have been quite different from what one could find in
      > nowadays
      > > biographies.
      > >
      > > Friendly,
      > > Amirouche
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > visit our homepage at:
      > >
      > > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lewiscarroll/
      > >
      > > to unsubscribe send a blank email to:
      > > lewiscarroll-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
      > > Yahoo! Groups Links
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > visit our homepage at:
      >
      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lewiscarroll/
      >
      > to unsubscribe send a blank email to:
      > lewiscarroll-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >


      --
    • Keith Wright
      John, I don t think Lancelyn Green got rich from the diaries! He was already well heeled before he did them but not from his books I d guess! He must have had
      Message 56 of 56 , Jan 19, 2006
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        John,
         
        I don't think Lancelyn Green got rich from the diaries!  He was already well heeled before he did them but not from his books I'd guess! He must have had a great deal of patience to deal with CLD's nieces, but having said that his diaries are extracts and you'd be hard put to compare his with the latest publications from the LC society and say with conviction why any particular piece was left out of Green's diaries.  It must be even harder now to get into the minds of two Victorian born unmarried nieces!
         
        I'm not sure about Collingwood himself and CLD's assessment of him may be off beam. He did a fair job considering he was surrounded by six of CLD's seven sisters including his own mother.  Not my idea of a good way to write a book!  However, he did it and in record time - probably thinking that CLD would fade in people's memory if he didn't get a spurt on.  Whoever comes to CLD study has to read Collingwood, then Isa Bowman's book and extracts of pieces written by people who knew him.  The modern biographers are simply giving us their opinion on what they read there, few new 'facts' have emerged since Green's days as to CLD's character.  Even his bank account wasn't as illuminating as I expected it to be - no criticism intended of Jenny Woolf, who will be reading this, she did a good job with what she had but no earth shattering facts emerged.
         
        Keith
         
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Kate Lyon
        Sent: Thursday, January 19, 2006 1:01 PM
        Subject: Re: [lewiscarroll] Re: What defines Lewis Carroll

        Hi Keith,
         
        Quite right, I did.
         
        There is nothing in your reply that I would disagree with in specifics.  I particularly like your second paragraph.
         
        With regards to the censorship of the diaries, well one can only speculate.  The fact is that at that particular time in England the publication of the diaries/journals of Lewis Carroll would have guaranteed a substantial income for the family.  In fact one of the oddities of the way in which Carroll's estate was disposed is that it was done in a relatively low key way.
         
        Yoyur comment on Christina Rosetti strikes a bell.   I'm not sure, but didn't she visit Hastings at some time when MacDonald was there?  This is just a sort of instinctual memory thing, and as such defeinitely suspect.  I'm not sure whether she visited with the family ensemble.  I'll check.
         
        With regards to the journal, well it was flawed, but it was quite clearly deliberately flawed and flawed by a person who, let's face it did not have the competence to produce a decent biography.  One has to ask why, of all people, the family chose Collingwood.  After all Collingwood was a person who is remembered in Carroll's letters as the person in his family of whom who he had least regard, both politically and intellectualy.  A very odd choice indeed!
         
        Regards
         
        John
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Thursday, January 19, 2006 4:17 AM
        Subject: Re: [lewiscarroll] Re: What defines Lewis Carroll

        John,
         
        you've sent me a reply which should be someone else's!  Yes - I am sometimes disagreeable!
         
        I agree Collingwood's account was flawed but that doesn't mean you can dismiss it wholesale and everyone agreeing is not a good measure of what is correct!  There's plenty in there that needs to be respected, letters and anecdotes alike.  I always work on the principal that if there's no reason to lie then he probably hasn't. Mind you, I admit I may not know the reasons!
         
        Just because the diaries were censored does not mean they hide some ghastly secret.  What five unmarried sisters and two unmarried nieces found shocking is not likely to have shocked the outside world - and fashions change. i.e. years ago you were not a paedophile if you had a camera in a playground taking your own children on the swings you were just a guy with a camera!  Nowadays, you would be locked up for it! They allowed the references to children to stay because they were less shocking in those days than liaisons with grown up women.  As I said perceptions change throughout the years.  It's only three hundred years ago that the authorities were hanging witches!
         
        I think you are wrong about Christina Rossetti - I thought I had read that she had stayed at Guildford.  Someone else may know this.  I don't think the Rossetti brothers would have much in common with his five sisters although I doubt if they would be that put out if they met them.  His sisters did quite well in Guildford after he died in some cases for another thirty years. They probably did not define themselves as just LC's sisters by a long chalk, it's just us that see them that way now.
         
        He wasn't one for forcing his views onto others so when asked by his family about religion etc. he let them have his views but left it up to their own consciences - a very broadminded attitude for a Victorian I would think.
         
        I don't think his attitude towards his family was typical Victorian - it appears to me to have been much better than that!
         
        Keith
         
         
         
         
         
         
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Kate Lyon
        Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2006 1:29 PM
        Subject: Re: [lewiscarroll] Re: What defines Lewis Carroll

        Keith,
         
        You are never disagreeable.
         
        However, I am not trying to demonise CLD's family, I am merely trying to indicate that, on the balance of probability it is likely that there were differences of opinion - admittedly large - between the family in general and 'Lewis Carroll'.
         
        You use the word 'evidence'.  I'm not sure what, in the context you are using it,  that means in terms of historical studies.  The best, I suggest we can do, is to use the word 'indicators'.  There are, I suggest sufficent indicators to support my argument.
         
        The major indicaor, of course is the Collingwood biography.  We now (I hope), all agree that this was a hugely inaccurate and particularly directed account of the life of Lewis Carroll.
         
        But there are numerous other indicators. The way that the existing diaries were so grossly mutilated (this is pretty well unique in the particular period.  The vakue of diaries/journals were well known in this period and recognised as virtually sacrosanct.  The Carroll family would have been wholly aware of the value of these.
         
        The missing diaries (and the strange way in which the diaries were supposedly stored.
         
        The family's insistance on control - far beyond most - contemporary attempts to control access to biographical data.  You cannot deny that they have used their authority to virtually direct the contents of biographies and,though they have been content to allow biographers to chase the path of child love - they have exerted a strangely authoritive control over mentions of Carroll's politics and religious beliefs.
         
        The fact that, so far as I have been able to ascertain, none of the particular group of people I identified in my previous e-mails ever met with any member od Carroll's family, were never invited to social or formal occasions or ever admitted as 'friends of the family' - a very strange ircumstance interms of Victrian social mores.
         
        The fact that, let's face it, neither Carroll'd diries - nor his syrviving letters provide any evidence whatsoever that he had close religious, political or even social ties with ANY member of his family.  His letters and diries are unique in this in terms of 19th century mores.
         
        There is more, much more.
         
        I reiterate Keith, I am not talking about demonisation here, I am talking about the fact that,whichever way you look at it, there are clear indicators that Carroll's relationship with his family vis-a-vis his life in genral was not quite that of the normal Victorian family relationship.
         
        I am quite happy to be corrected on this.
         
        Regards
         
        John Tufail
         
         
         
         
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Joe Soap
        Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2006 6:33 AM
        Subject: Re: [lewiscarroll] Re: What defines Lewis Carroll

        John,
        I am sorry to appear disagreeable but I feel that you are continuing to demonise CLD's family, thus replacing one myth with another.  Is there really any evidence that he was in serious conflict with his family over his progressive views on church dogma?  Or that they seriously disapproved of his friends?  Did the family really continue (long after the death of the Archdeacon) to conform to the stereotype of "high Anglicanism"?  'down unto Menella, Jaques etc'?  Surely it is more likely that they "went with the flow" and pursued a gentler, more tolerant - and woolier - C.of E.? 
         
        Peter Dodgson Collingwood, Stuart's nephew, one of the last of his generation (like 'Jaques', he is CLD's great nephew) has a website where he is publishing his autobiography.  Born in 1922, he gave up doctoring for weaving over fifty years ago.  He has published the first three chapters (of five).   So far, no mention of matters spiritual or political but perhaps they will appear in the next two chapters.  I hope so!
        His site is here:
        J
         

        Kate Lyon <lyon@...> wrote:
        Hi,
         
        [CUT]..........  Much of what we know of the beliefs of Carroll's family comes to us via the Dodgson line 'down unto Menella, Jaques etc', and it is clear that it is a family that has always been unservingly conservative in all things political and spiritual.
         
        Regards
         
        John Tufail
        ----- Original Message -----
         
        From: Joe Soap
        Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2006 8:08 AM
        Subject: Re: [lewiscarroll] Re: What define's Lewis Carroll

        John,
        I am interested in your characterisation of CLD's family (I presume that you mean his siblings rather than the wi der family?) as "highly disfunctional",  to the extent that they needed to find refuge, one from another. 
         
        I suspect that you know a lot more the family than I do, so would be interested to
        know what the evidence for your assessment is.
         
        I am also curious to know why you think that the Rosetti, Macdonald and Terry families were anathema to the Dodgsons.   The Rossettis, Christina in particular, were much admired by middle class Victorians - most ladies would have included some of Christina's religious verse or a reproduction of 'Beata Beatrix' in their commonplace books.  The Macdonalds were a respectable church family.  The Terrys would seem better candidates for anathema but where is the evidence?  Other members o f his immediate family accompanied CLD on trips to the theatre when members of the Terry family were taking part in the production, Kate and Ellen Terry get fulsome praise in Collingwood's approved hagiography and Ailsa Craig remained in touch with the Dodgsons long after CLD's death.
         
        I am sure that you would agree that, in debunking one myth, we should avoid replacing it with another.
        J
         


        Kate Lyon <lyon@...> wrote:
        Keith,
         
        ".............. it was eminenetly important that he remained at Christ Church.  How else would he have such access to the intellectual and human tools he needed to pursue these ambitions.  Further, he had a refuge from a highly disfuctional family - somewhere where he could THINK and, let's face it, hide when he needed to. 
         .................Futher, how else could he mediate the various realtionshps he ha with such people as the Rossetis, The MacDonalds, The Terry family etc - all people w were virtually anathema (if not obsolutely) to his own faily. 

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