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From An Island

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  • DOYLE60@aol.com
    Mike Leach wrote:
    Message 1 of 44 , Jun 30, 2006
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      Mike Leach wrote:
      < It depends what you mean by certain. Anne Thackeray's daughter identified Hexham as Dodgson. No one ever doubted this attribution until Karoline's article was published. >
      Stating it so makes it sound like it was approved by some before Karoline wrote about it.  The reverse is the better question: Did anyone ever approve it?  Did anyone actually study it and approve it?  Perhaps many doubted but never wrote about it.  I'd like to know who ever approved it. 
      Also, it seems to me that some have written about the book without the knowledge of Hester's list, some identifying Hexham as Carroll and some only sort of, and some apparently not finding Carroll there.
      But, of course, the issue of being before or after Karoline's book or article hardly matters.
      < Since then there have been a few people who expressed personal doubts. Of course they are free to do so, and it's always interesting to see different ideas, but we have to remember, in all humility, that the author's daughter probably had a better idea of what her mother intended than you or I or any modern commentator can possibly have. >
      I have to admit that it is a point that I have to deal with.  But scholars come across this type of thing all the time.  You and many have doubted Collingwood on Carroll and you use agenda as your reasoning to contradict statements a man makes who met Carroll.  I personally use the same argument you use above to support some of my thoughts against scholars who never met Carroll.
      It's a case by case situation.  This is how I deal with Hester -- yes, the daughter of the author -- getting her mama's roman a clef wrong:  Others have made the attribution without knowing Hester's attribution and so if others can do so so can the daughter.  There is a triple coincidence here to deal with, admittedly: 1) Carroll did visit Tennyson with his camera at some time, 2) he was a photographer and 3) he hails from a college with the word "Christ" in it.  It's not much of a coincidence when you realize many photographers visited Tennyson (I'm speaking out of my a-- but I'll see if it passes), and that the Christ College connection is much weaker when you actually read that the character is not necessarily from there at all, only an unspecified friend writing from there late in the novel.  
      It's really not that much of a coincidence, is it?  I have to admit that there is a coincidence there, surely, but not really much of one.
    • fernando soto
      ________________________________ From: fernando soto To: lewiscarroll@yahoogroups.com Sent: Wed, January 27, 2010 10:35:13 AM Subject:
      Message 44 of 44 , Jan 27, 2010
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        From: fernando soto <ferjsoto42@...>
        To: lewiscarroll@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Wed, January 27, 2010 10:35:13 AM
        Subject: Re: [lewiscarroll] Re: From An Island

        Hi Jenny,

        What exactly did Karoline spot that was marvelous?  The daughter's note outlining how she thought that Hexham was Carroll?

        You also seem to assume that because the name Lewis Carroll appears in the margin of the daughter's copy, that that must mean that Dodgson at least played a part (1/2 in your opinion) in the book, and that this then given insights into his character.  

        If someone wants to make a case for Dodgson being a flirt, by providing evidence from the letters, that's fine.  When you then go on to imply that this emerged out of the flimsy case made by Karoline, then I think you lose the more serious people in this list.  This may make a footnote in a work devoted to Carroll and his exchanges with women, but to imply, as you do, that the Hexham-Carroll "connection" is solid (marvelous?), and then to say that this leads to the evidence is, in my opinion, putting a very diminutive cart before the horse.

        All best,


        From: Jenny <woolf@...>
        To: lewiscarroll@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Wed, January 27, 2010 6:41:35 AM
        Subject: [lewiscarroll] Re: From An Island


        I thought it was marvellous that Karoline spotted this. It had the great effect of opening the possibility up that CLD might have been a flirt and a tease; something which was never suggested in any previous biographies.

        A tease he definitely was - there is quite a bit of evidence of this.
        But a heartless person who said deliberately shocking things? Not so sure. He was desperately eager to impress the Tennysons and seeming louche and flirting would not have been be a good way to do this AT ALL.

        Although the model for Hexham is definitely noted as "Lewis Carroll" this is his pen name, not the name everyone knew him by at the time, ie a celebrity that Mum put in her book before he was well known. CLD's friend and fellow dark haired photographer Southey also visited the IOW (and I think at a more relevant time.) It could be very easy after all these years to forget which photographer was which, or even run them together - and indeed maybe the character was a composite of both. The novel is fiction after all.

        Even though I don't really think that CLD equalled Hexham, my own research gradually persuaded me that CLD liked as many female admirers as he could get - and was very good at acquiring them. He became well known for his young women in later life, and some of his letters to them strike me as pretty flirtatious. Even today a man with all those grown up female fans might seem rather remarkable.

        So I think he probably was at heart a flirt, although there is no sign that he was ever deliberately cruel about it.

        By the way my book THE MYSTERY OF LEWIS CARROLL will shortly be available on Amazon. Jenny Woolf

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