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Re: Enigmatic Carroll.

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  • tufail45
    ... You continue to have this inordinate capacity to amaze and astound. I entirely agree with you that Dr Anne Thwaite is by far one of the most accomplished
    Message 1 of 13 , Nov 19, 2007
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      --- In lewiscarroll@yahoogroups.com, "Keith" <keith@...> wrote:
      >
      >Hi Keith,

      You continue to have this inordinate capacity to amaze and astound.

      I entirely agree with you that Dr Anne Thwaite is by far one of the
      most accomplished biographers around. But, Keith, isn't this
      preciely because she takes exactly the type of rigorous,
      historiographical approach that you go to such pains to disparage. I
      haven't read the Emily Tennyson biography - but have read other of
      her biographies (he biography of Gosse is remarkable) - but both Dr
      Thwaite and her husband build there biographical writings on the
      basis of a highly methodological approach to biography which is
      precisely what I am arguing for in the case of Carroll (This is
      almost certainly why, on top of her 'earned' doctorate, she was
      awarded an honorary D.Litt. by everyone's favourite social sciences
      university, the University of East Anglia. I suppose if Anne Thwaite
      was german, she swould these days be addressed as Dr, Dr Thwaite!

      Now, regarding the rest of your mail. I can't really respond unless
      you explain what you mean by 'our sense' of the term socialist. If
      you mean the word as it is used politically in the UK in contemporary
      terms then I cannot accept that statement. Morris's socialism was
      based on tweo ideas (both of which FD Maurice approved of - and both
      of which Carroll approved of. First was the danger of the de-
      skilling of the workforce by the adoption of economies of scale and
      division of labour. Second was the primacy of the social over the
      individual - the idea of community and the social and economic group
      in which no simgle person can take 'ownership' of production. Both,
      of course, were early exponents of the idea that technical and
      scientific innovations require balancing by an understanding of the
      consequences of such developments and ensuring that major innovations
      are only introduced after careful considerations of the social
      consequences. Sylvie and Bruno was, in part, a satire of this idea
      of the consequences of deifying 'knowledge' without understanding.
      Similarly, when you read Carroll's anti-vivisection qwritings, he is
      equally critical of those whose aim is merely the production of
      scientific ideas as a commercial process. Of course the main-stream
      of British socialism since the 1920s actually extolls the
      materialising of scientific progress - so no, keith, i cannot agree
      with your analysis and as a consequence can see no difficulty with a
      Morris - Maurice - Carroll continuum.

      Regards

      JT



      So John,
      >
      > I cannot agree upon your assessment of Maurice as a conservative in
      the 19c sense. Maurice was associated with William Morris who was a
      socialist almost in our sense of the word. There is no doubt in my
      mind that CLD's conservatism was not that of F.D.Maurice. For one
      thing Maurice wanted to help the working classes, CLD thought such
      help was impossible on a nationwide basis which is pure Conservative
      policy aka Maggie Thatcher style i.e get on your bike!
      >
      > I also must take issue on the 'trained historians' idea, that was
      not what I meant. Anne Thwaite for example would not fit into that
      standard mould yet her biography of Emily Tennyson is one of the best
      I have come across. Accepting the strait jacket of the professional
      historian would to me limit the scope of a biographer and I shudder
      to think of what another Oxford trained biographer would make of it
      all on CLD! Another monumental irrelevant tome!
      >
      > Many of the biographies have passed into history without creating
      any waves, Thomas, Bakewell, Green, Cohen and even Walter De la Mare
      wrote a book which is only of interest as a historical failure.
      Pudney's 'Lewis Carroll's world' is only of interest because of the
      illustrations his facts in places are wrong. Gernsheim opened up his
      photography and his book is valuable even nowadays and he didn't make
      as many errors as the currrent set of books on his photography!
      >
      > I do wish you would not quote historians as authorities on
      anything. Their views are quite irrelevant as they study a subject to
      make a point and if they cannot make the point from the evidence then
      they speculate or fabricate. That's why LC studies are in this mess -
      too many people setting off with already closed minds and an agenda
      already established.
      >
      > CLD chased Tennyson because he was lionising him certainly not for
      his views on anything. Tennyson to all intents and purposes
      disregarded CLD completely other than being a host to him in the Lake
      district or Farringford because of the photographs he took of
      Tennyson's boys and Agnes Weld who was his niece. I saw no meeting of
      minds with CLD and Tennyson. Tennyson and Maurice did have similar
      outlooks and there was a meeting of mind there. It puzzles me why CLD
      went to Maurice as the two did not share views and neither could they
      be said to be friends. However, when you examine all CLD's
      relationships from the evidence of the diaries and letters they all
      seem to be remote ones, nothing even remotely approaching Swinburne
      and Gosse. This could be that he was just not expressive in his
      writings to people he knew of course, even his letters to children
      lack a warm tone and are at times derogatory of the child. However, I
      don't think though that anyone could claim to have known CLD as he
      seems impenetrable, certainly the only person to make such a claim in
      writing was Isa Bowman.
      >
      > Keith
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: tufail45
      > To: lewiscarroll@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Monday, November 19, 2007 12:08 AM
      > Subject: [lewiscarroll] Re: Enigmatic Carroll.
      >
      >
      > Keith,
      >
      > I wholeheartedly agree. Part of the problem with Carroll
      > biographies, of course, was that period immediately following
      WWII
      > when not only were the biographers not 'professional' (in any
      sense
      > of the word) but also had very clear pre-formed agendas into
      which
      > they were determined to showhorn Lewis Carroll. I particularly
      > refer, of course to Becker Lennon and Greenacre. Mind you, I have
      > always felt rather sorry for Taylor who, by all accounts tried to
      do
      > a professional and objective job but was sabotaged, apparently,
      by
      > his editor who insisted on wholseale changes and deletions on
      purely
      > commercial ground (i.e., 'get rid of all tyhis boring religious
      > rubbish and put in more juicy sex and scandal'.
      >
      > Other biographers were just not trained historians and appear to
      have
      > no undestanding of the religious, political and social
      environment in
      > which Carroll lived.
      >
      > I have to say that many of the things that you have pointed out
      of
      > contradictory about Carroll are in fact not, when seen in a 19th
      > century context. For example you describe Carroll as ultra
      > conservative and cite his support (or relationship with) Maurice
      as
      > contradictory. However don't forget that politically and in terms
      of
      > maintaining the social and cultural mores of their time people
      like
      > Maurice, ludlow, Kinglsey and others associated with the
      Christian
      > Socialist and Broad Church movement were in fact Conservative
      > politically and very conservative socially. The Christian
      Socialist
      > movement arose from a spiritual and political reaction to
      Liberalism
      > and emerged wholly from the Conservative tradition. You can see
      its
      > parallel in the New England movement - a fundamental rejection of
      the
      > liberal ideology of individualism.
      >
      > So no contradiction there, at least.
      >
      > Carroll actually shows remarkable consistency in who he prefered
      to
      > associate and/or approve of, whether Lord Salisbury or Tennyson,
      > Coleridge or Maxwell, the Rossettis or Macdonald. There are very
      > clear similarities in the world views of all these people -
      beginning
      > with an complete rejecvtion of Liberal values.
      >
      > I agree that his associations with women do appear to raise
      certain
      > issues. However (and again) this was not quite as unusual as
      would
      > appear from a 21st century perspective. This was ther beginning
      of
      > the period leading towards female emancipation and it has been
      > strongly argued by historians such as Christopher Hill and Eric
      > Hobsbaum that class distictions between women and men (I'm
      talking
      > here about the lower middle class to minor aristocracy spectrum)
      were
      > far looser than between men and men. There was a certain cache
      > involved in mentoring bright young women from comparatively lowly
      or
      > less advantaged backgrounds - so long as in other respects they
      were
      > respectable. Don't forget that many of the women who attended the
      > early women colleges were patronised by 'forward thinking men' of
      the
      > higher classes.
      >
      > I have always felt that no competent biography of Carroll is
      possible
      > unless carried out by somebody who is first and foremost a
      > historian. Even AE Wilson would be preferable to somebody working
      > from a purely literary background.
      >
      > Not that Carroll is alone in this, I have seen similar
      difficulties
      > with biographies of people such as Coleridge and Defoe - both
      writers
      > whose contributions go beyond the astrictly literary.
      >
      > Regards
      >
      > JT
      >
      > --- In lewiscarroll@yahoogroups.com, "Keith" <keith@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Jenny,
      > >
      > > with Lewis Carroll he has not been served well by his
      biographers.
      > Collingwood did his best under the circumstances of having six of
      > CLD's sisters giving him 'advice' but in the end he did a
      whitewash
      > job, but one which is the obligatory starting point for all the
      > biographers who followed.
      > >
      > > Unfortunately we have never had one of the professional
      biographers
      > do a job on CLD so it's been left to the amateurs who quite
      frankly
      > have muffed it. Whether Margaret Lane or Ann Thwaite would have
      > succeeded is of course debatable and perhaps they had enough
      sense to
      > steer clear of someone who has more contradictions than one would
      > expect.
      > >
      > > I think he was deliberately contradictory but if he was he put
      a
      > lot of effort into it. He was a snob who spent several days
      caring
      > for a college scout. He was an ultra conservative who attended
      > services in a church run by F.D. Maurice, a man with socialist
      > leanings. He doled out his money in purses so that he never had
      to
      > over-tip or under-tip and kept accounts of his holiday spending
      then
      > gave away most of his money away to his family and friends. He
      > professed an interest in history and then lived next door to a
      > medieval castle, one which he took close to 30 years to visit. He
      > mixed with the aristocracy but preferred the company of Isa
      Bowman.
      > This is by no means an exhaustive list and what the biographers
      do is
      > pick up on one thing and ignore anything that runs counter to
      that
      > thing or their owqn pet theory. They then add in their own
      prejudices
      > and end up with a monumental mess.
      > >
      > > Keith
      > >
      > >
      > > ----- Original Message -----
      > > From: jenny2write
      > > To: lewiscarroll@yahoogroups.com
      > > Sent: Wednesday, November 14, 2007 11:45 PM
      > > Subject: [lewiscarroll] Enigmatic Carroll.
      > >
      > >
      > > Keith, your well informed comments are spot on. Carroll was an
      > > enigmatic one-off, and in a way it's hard to add to that.
      > However, I
      > > always feel I learn a lot from one-offs and I have certainly
      > found it
      > > most interesting to consider how Carroll's mind worked.
      > >
      > > I'd just add that it seems very hard even to see one's nearest
      > and
      > > dearest clearly, so the chance of understanding someone who
      died
      > before
      > > one was born must be pretty low. Actually, I don't think I've
      > ever met
      > > anyone who can describe anyone else perfectly, even when they
      > know them
      > > really well - mum, best friend, partner - !
      > >
      > > Jenny
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > ----------------------------------------------------------
      > ----------
      > >
      > >
      > > No virus found in this incoming message.
      > > Checked by AVG Free Edition.
      > > Version: 7.5.503 / Virus Database: 269.15.31/1130 - Release
      Date:
      > 14/11/2007 09:27
      > >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > --------------------------------------------------------------------
      ----------
      >
      >
      > No virus found in this incoming message.
      > Checked by AVG Free Edition.
      > Version: 7.5.503 / Virus Database: 269.16.0/1136 - Release Date:
      17/11/2007 14:55
      >
    • Keith
      John, no, re Ann Thwaite, it s because she thinks outside of the box that I think she has cracked it with Tennyson. Gosse is another matter, he is another
      Message 2 of 13 , Nov 19, 2007
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        John,
         
        no, re Ann Thwaite, it's because she 'thinks outside of the box' that I think she has cracked it with Tennyson. Gosse is another matter, he is another enigma, famous for being famous. I consider her talent to be unique to her and that is something no amount of academic teaching can engender in anyone. I would think she would be just as effective without her PhD - in fact I would say it's a miracle she has a PhD and still can think like she does. Your assumption that all knowledge can emanate from a university is ludicrous. All a university does is provide an able person with the means of possibly having the time and inclination to do research. I found most tutors where I did my degree to be a hindrance more than a help - before the hordes descend I said most not all. There are other things besides university and until the advent of the recent 'Mickey Mouse' degrees then most people would not even know about a university education.
         
        Whether you respond or not is your choice. I understand socialism as it was when I was a youngster in the 50's and that is not what socialism meant in the Victorian era. Victorian socialism was a paternal system to assist the working classes who were to remain still as sub-servient to the ruling classes. To me it is self evident - if it isn't to you then you obviously had a different more privileged upbringing than myself.
         
        The idea that anyone can predict the outcomes of technology is also something I cannot accept. Einstein was appalled when he realised the power of the atomic bomb. Did Stephenson really stop to consider the consequences of his winning the Rainhill trials? Unlikely, and even had he done so he was in no position to make a judgement. Look at the number of inventions that folk have dismissed only to find somebody else exploiting them.
         
        Getting back to CLD, the idea that CLD had insight into lots of things is not borne out by the evidence. He was not a socialist even in the Maurice mould never mind in the Morris model!  CLD was, despite his poverty stricken first eleven years, a Conservative and was very sycophantic to the ruling classes. Look at his debacle with Rosebery who was, by anyone's book a twit, that was only softened because Rosebery had two daughters and was wise enough to accept to accept a gift of 'Alice' knowing full well that CLD was famous by then.
         
        Keith
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: tufail45
        Sent: Monday, November 19, 2007 11:24 AM
        Subject: [lewiscarroll] Re: Enigmatic Carroll.

        --- In lewiscarroll@ yahoogroups. com, "Keith" <keith@...> wrote:
        >
        >Hi Keith,

        You continue to have this inordinate capacity to amaze and astound.

        I entirely agree with you that Dr Anne Thwaite is by far one of the
        most accomplished biographers around. But, Keith, isn't this
        preciely because she takes exactly the type of rigorous,
        historiographical approach that you go to such pains to disparage. I
        haven't read the Emily Tennyson biography - but have read other of
        her biographies (he biography of Gosse is remarkable) - but both Dr
        Thwaite and her husband build there biographical writings on the
        basis of a highly methodological approach to biography which is
        precisely what I am arguing for in the case of Carroll (This is
        almost certainly why, on top of her 'earned' doctorate, she was
        awarded an honorary D.Litt. by everyone's favourite social sciences
        university, the University of East Anglia. I suppose if Anne Thwaite
        was german, she swould these days be addressed as Dr, Dr Thwaite!

        Now, regarding the rest of your mail. I can't really respond unless
        you explain what you mean by 'our sense' of the term socialist. If
        you mean the word as it is used politically in the UK in contemporary
        terms then I cannot accept that statement. Morris's socialism was
        based on tweo ideas (both of which FD Maurice approved of - and both
        of which Carroll approved of. First was the danger of the de-
        skilling of the workforce by the adoption of economies of scale and
        division of labour. Second was the primacy of the social over the
        individual - the idea of community and the social and economic group
        in which no simgle person can take 'ownership' of production. Both,
        of course, were early exponents of the idea that technical and
        scientific innovations require balancing by an understanding of the
        consequences of such developments and ensuring that major innovations
        are only introduced after careful considerations of the social
        consequences. Sylvie and Bruno was, in part, a satire of this idea
        of the consequences of deifying 'knowledge' without understanding.
        Similarly, when you read Carroll's anti-vivisection qwritings, he is
        equally critical of those whose aim is merely the production of
        scientific ideas as a commercial process. Of course the main-stream
        of British socialism since the 1920s actually extolls the
        materialising of scientific progress - so no, keith, i cannot agree
        with your analysis and as a consequence can see no difficulty with a
        Morris - Maurice - Carroll continuum.

        Regards

        JT

        So John,
        >
        > I cannot agree upon your assessment of Maurice as a conservative in
        the 19c sense. Maurice was associated with William Morris who was a
        socialist almost in our sense of the word. There is no doubt in my
        mind that CLD's conservatism was not that of F.D.Maurice. For one
        thing Maurice wanted to help the working classes, CLD thought such
        help was impossible on a nationwide basis which is pure Conservative
        policy aka Maggie Thatcher style i.e get on your bike!
        >
        > I also must take issue on the 'trained historians' idea, that was
        not what I meant. Anne Thwaite for example would not fit into that
        standard mould yet her biography of Emily Tennyson is one of the best
        I have come across. Accepting the strait jacket of the professional
        historian would to me limit the scope of a biographer and I shudder
        to think of what another Oxford trained biographer would make of it
        all on CLD! Another monumental irrelevant tome!
        >
        > Many of the biographies have passed into history without creating
        any waves, Thomas, Bakewell, Green, Cohen and even Walter De la Mare
        wrote a book which is only of interest as a historical failure.
        Pudney's 'Lewis Carroll's world' is only of interest because of the
        illustrations his facts in places are wrong. Gernsheim opened up his
        photography and his book is valuable even nowadays and he didn't make
        as many errors as the currrent set of books on his photography!
        >
        > I do wish you would not quote historians as authorities on
        anything. Their views are quite irrelevant as they study a subject to
        make a point and if they cannot make the point from the evidence then
        they speculate or fabricate. That's why LC studies are in this mess -
        too many people setting off with already closed minds and an agenda
        already established.
        >
        > CLD chased Tennyson because he was lionising him certainly not for
        his views on anything. Tennyson to all intents and purposes
        disregarded CLD completely other than being a host to him in the Lake
        district or Farringford because of the photographs he took of
        Tennyson's boys and Agnes Weld who was his niece. I saw no meeting of
        minds with CLD and Tennyson. Tennyson and Maurice did have similar
        outlooks and there was a meeting of mind there. It puzzles me why CLD
        went to Maurice as the two did not share views and neither could they
        be said to be friends. However, when you examine all CLD's
        relationships from the evidence of the diaries and letters they all
        seem to be remote ones, nothing even remotely approaching Swinburne
        and Gosse. This could be that he was just not expressive in his
        writings to people he knew of course, even his letters to children
        lack a warm tone and are at times derogatory of the child. However, I
        don't think though that anyone could claim to have known CLD as he
        seems impenetrable, certainly the only person to make such a claim in
        writing was Isa Bowman.
        >
        > Keith
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: tufail45
        > To: lewiscarroll@ yahoogroups. com
        > Sent: Monday, November 19, 2007 12:08 AM
        > Subject: [lewiscarroll] Re: Enigmatic Carroll.
        >
        >
        > Keith,
        >
        > I wholeheartedly agree. Part of the problem with Carroll
        > biographies, of course, was that period immediately following
        WWII
        > when not only were the biographers not 'professional' (in any
        sense
        > of the word) but also had very clear pre-formed agendas into
        which
        > they were determined to showhorn Lewis Carroll. I particularly
        > refer, of course to Becker Lennon and Greenacre. Mind you, I have
        > always felt rather sorry for Taylor who, by all accounts tried to
        do
        > a professional and objective job but was sabotaged, apparently,
        by
        > his editor who insisted on wholseale changes and deletions on
        purely
        > commercial ground (i.e., 'get rid of all tyhis boring religious
        > rubbish and put in more juicy sex and scandal'.
        >
        > Other biographers were just not trained historians and appear to
        have
        > no undestanding of the religious, political and social
        environment in
        > which Carroll lived.
        >
        > I have to say that many of the things that you have pointed out
        of
        > contradictory about Carroll are in fact not, when seen in a 19th
        > century context. For example you describe Carroll as ultra
        > conservative and cite his support (or relationship with) Maurice
        as
        > contradictory. However don't forget that politically and in terms
        of
        > maintaining the social and cultural mores of their time people
        like
        > Maurice, ludlow, Kinglsey and others associated with the
        Christian
        > Socialist and Broad Church movement were in fact Conservative
        > politically and very conservative socially. The Christian
        Socialist
        > movement arose from a spiritual and political reaction to
        Liberalism
        > and emerged wholly from the Conservative tradition. You can see
        its
        > parallel in the New England movement - a fundamental rejection of
        the
        > liberal ideology of individualism.
        >
        > So no contradiction there, at least.
        >
        > Carroll actually shows remarkable consistency in who he prefered
        to
        > associate and/or approve of, whether Lord Salisbury or Tennyson,
        > Coleridge or Maxwell, the Rossettis or Macdonald. There are very
        > clear similarities in the world views of all these people -
        beginning
        > with an complete rejecvtion of Liberal values.
        >
        > I agree that his associations with women do appear to raise
        certain
        > issues. However (and again) this was not quite as unusual as
        would
        > appear from a 21st century perspective. This was ther beginning
        of
        > the period leading towards female emancipation and it has been
        > strongly argued by historians such as Christopher Hill and Eric
        > Hobsbaum that class distictions between women and men (I'm
        talking
        > here about the lower middle class to minor aristocracy spectrum)
        were
        > far looser than between men and men. There was a certain cache
        > involved in mentoring bright young women from comparatively lowly
        or
        > less advantaged backgrounds - so long as in other respects they
        were
        > respectable. Don't forget that many of the women who attended the
        > early women colleges were patronised by 'forward thinking men' of
        the
        > higher classes.
        >
        > I have always felt that no competent biography of Carroll is
        possible
        > unless carried out by somebody who is first and foremost a
        > historian. Even AE Wilson would be preferable to somebody working
        > from a purely literary background.
        >
        > Not that Carroll is alone in this, I have seen similar
        difficulties
        > with biographies of people such as Coleridge and Defoe - both
        writers
        > whose contributions go beyond the astrictly literary.
        >
        > Regards
        >
        > JT
        >
        > --- In lewiscarroll@ yahoogroups. com, "Keith" <keith@> wrote:
        > >
        > > Jenny,
        > >
        > > with Lewis Carroll he has not been served well by his
        biographers.
        > Collingwood did his best under the circumstances of having six of
        > CLD's sisters giving him 'advice' but in the end he did a
        whitewash
        > job, but one which is the obligatory starting point for all the
        > biographers who followed.
        > >
        > > Unfortunately we have never had one of the professional
        biographers
        > do a job on CLD so it's been left to the amateurs who quite
        frankly
        > have muffed it. Whether Margaret Lane or Ann Thwaite would have
        > succeeded is of course debatable and perhaps they had enough
        sense to
        > steer clear of someone who has more contradictions than one would
        > expect.
        > >
        > > I think he was deliberately contradictory but if he was he put
        a
        > lot of effort into it. He was a snob who spent several days
        caring
        > for a college scout. He was an ultra conservative who attended
        > services in a church run by F.D. Maurice, a man with socialist
        > leanings. He doled out his money in purses so that he never had
        to
        > over-tip or under-tip and kept accounts of his holiday spending
        then
        > gave away most of his money away to his family and friends. He
        > professed an interest in history and then lived next door to a
        > medieval castle, one which he took close to 30 years to visit. He
        > mixed with the aristocracy but preferred the company of Isa
        Bowman.
        > This is by no means an exhaustive list and what the biographers
        do is
        > pick up on one thing and ignore anything that runs counter to
        that
        > thing or their owqn pet theory. They then add in their own
        prejudices
        > and end up with a monumental mess.
        > >
        > > Keith
        > >
        > >
        > > ----- Original Message -----
        > > From: jenny2write
        > > To: lewiscarroll@ yahoogroups. com
        > > Sent: Wednesday, November 14, 2007 11:45 PM
        > > Subject: [lewiscarroll] Enigmatic Carroll.
        > >
        > >
        > > Keith, your well informed comments are spot on. Carroll was an
        > > enigmatic one-off, and in a way it's hard to add to that.
        > However, I
        > > always feel I learn a lot from one-offs and I have certainly
        > found it
        > > most interesting to consider how Carroll's mind worked.
        > >
        > > I'd just add that it seems very hard even to see one's nearest
        > and
        > > dearest clearly, so the chance of understanding someone who
        died
        > before
        > > one was born must be pretty low. Actually, I don't think I've
        > ever met
        > > anyone who can describe anyone else perfectly, even when they
        > know them
        > > really well - mum, best friend, partner - !
        > >
        > > Jenny
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -
        > ----------
        > >
        > >
        > > No virus found in this incoming message.
        > > Checked by AVG Free Edition.
        > > Version: 7.5.503 / Virus Database: 269.15.31/1130 - Release
        Date:
        > 14/11/2007 09:27
        > >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -
        ----------
        >
        >
        > No virus found in this incoming message.
        > Checked by AVG Free Edition.
        > Version: 7.5.503 / Virus Database: 269.16.0/1136 - Release Date:
        17/11/2007 14:55
        >


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      • jenny2write
        CLD was, despite his poverty stricken first eleven years, a Conservative and was very sycophantic to the ruling classes. Look at his debacle with Rosebery who
        Message 3 of 13 , Nov 19, 2007
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          CLD was, despite his poverty stricken first eleven years, a
          Conservative and was very sycophantic to the ruling classes. Look at
          his debacle with Rosebery who was, by anyone's book a twit, that was
          only softened because Rosebery had two daughters and was wise enough
          to accept to accept a gift of 'Alice' knowing full well that CLD was
          famous by then.
          >
          I may be missing something here but I thought the main problem with
          Rosebery was that R did not acknowledge CLD in the street, which was
          tantamount to "cutting" him. CLD didn't acknowledge him which would
          have made him seem impertinent as Rosebery was "higher" than him. He
          therefore, being an appalling fusspot, wrote to Rosebery about it. It
          is noticeable how grievously CLD would fuss about tiny things like
          this, you do feel perhaps he had a bit too much spare time sometimes.
          But of course it was important in polite circles to greet people in
          the correct way. Victorian etiquette books do have details of how you
          ought to acknowledge people of different classes (relative to
          yourself) in the street. Some, you will incline your head to, some
          you will greet with speech, some you will ignore, and there WAS this
          thing about never speaking till you were introduced, hence the well
          known joke about the two Englishmen stranded on a desert island for
          20 years who never knew anything about each other becuase they had
          not been introduced and had never therefore had a conversation. I
          think Carroll used to worry himself about these details of etiquette,
          because they were senseless and pointless and yet it could be such a
          disaster (in some circles) if you got them wrong. I would imagine
          this is one of the major reasons that he preferred the company of
          children, when such anxiety-making stupidities were unnecessary.

          Anyway to get back to Rosebery - what else did CLD do which suggests
          your idea that he was syncophatic towards him?

          Jenny
        • Keith
          Jenny, As you say, CLD said that as the superior he expected Rosebery to acknowledge him first. The incident happened in June 1893 in the quad before Rosebery
          Message 4 of 13 , Nov 19, 2007
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            Jenny,
             
            As you say, CLD  said that as the superior he expected Rosebery to acknowledge him first. The incident happened in June 1893 in the quad before Rosebery succeeded gladstone as PM. As you say, what a fuss about who should acknowledge who. But that was CLD. Whether he extended it down to upper class children I don't know.
             
            CLD sent him 'Alice' - he wrote to his children and visited them. Not sure it needed any more than that first incidence!  Rosebery became PM in March 1894 and CLD called on him (he was out) in July 94 - sheer coincidence I suppose! Also just to be contradictory he refused in June 1894 to go to breakfast with him when invited to do so on the grounds that if he accepted one invitation he'd have to accept others!
             
            Keith
             
             
             
             
             
            ----- Original Message -----
            Sent: Monday, November 19, 2007 5:17 PM
            Subject: [lewiscarroll] Rosebery

            CLD was, despite his poverty stricken first eleven years, a
            Conservative and was very sycophantic to the ruling classes. Look at
            his debacle with Rosebery who was, by anyone's book a twit, that was
            only softened because Rosebery had two daughters and was wise enough
            to accept to accept a gift of 'Alice' knowing full well that CLD was
            famous by then.
            >
            I may be missing something here but I thought the main problem with
            Rosebery was that R did not acknowledge CLD in the street, which was
            tantamount to "cutting" him. CLD didn't acknowledge him which would
            have made him seem impertinent as Rosebery was "higher" than him. He
            therefore, being an appalling fusspot, wrote to Rosebery about it. It
            is noticeable how grievously CLD would fuss about tiny things like
            this, you do feel perhaps he had a bit too much spare time sometimes.
            But of course it was important in polite circles to greet people in
            the correct way. Victorian etiquette books do have details of how you
            ought to acknowledge people of different classes (relative to
            yourself) in the street. Some, you will incline your head to, some
            you will greet with speech, some you will ignore, and there WAS this
            thing about never speaking till you were introduced, hence the well
            known joke about the two Englishmen stranded on a desert island for
            20 years who never knew anything about each other becuase they had
            not been introduced and had never therefore had a conversation. I
            think Carroll used to worry himself about these details of etiquette,
            because they were senseless and pointless and yet it could be such a
            disaster (in some circles) if you got them wrong. I would imagine
            this is one of the major reasons that he preferred the company of
            children, when such anxiety-making stupidities were unnecessary.

            Anyway to get back to Rosebery - what else did CLD do which suggests
            your idea that he was syncophatic towards him?

            Jenny


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          • tufail45
            ... Please do me two favours in future. First do not make unwarranted assumptions about what I may, or may not think of universities as founts of all
            Message 5 of 13 , Nov 19, 2007
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              --- In lewiscarroll@yahoogroups.com, "Keith" <keith@...> wrote:
              >
              >Keith,

              Please do me two favours in future.

              First do not make unwarranted assumptions about what I may, or may
              not think of universities as founts of all knowledge.

              Secondly, please do NOT make extremely personal assumptions about my
              upbringing. You, of all people, should be aware that those who value
              education the most are those who had to fight hardest to achieve it.

              You appear to be in grave danger of exempting yourself from the
              prejudices and erroneous assumptions of which, in the last several
              mails, you have freely accused others.

              Regards

              JT

              John,
              >
              > no, re Ann Thwaite, it's because she 'thinks outside of the box'
              that I think she has cracked it with Tennyson. Gosse is another
              matter, he is another enigma, famous for being famous. I consider her
              talent to be unique to her and that is something no amount of
              academic teaching can engender in anyone. I would think she would be
              just as effective without her PhD - in fact I would say it's a
              miracle she has a PhD and still can think like she does. Your
              assumption that all knowledge can emanate from a university is
              ludicrous. All a university does is provide an able person with the
              means of possibly having the time and inclination to do research. I
              found most tutors where I did my degree to be a hindrance more than a
              help - before the hordes descend I said most not all. There are other
              things besides university and until the advent of the recent 'Mickey
              Mouse' degrees then most people would not even know about a
              university education.
              >
              > Whether you respond or not is your choice. I understand socialism
              as it was when I was a youngster in the 50's and that is not what
              socialism meant in the Victorian era. Victorian socialism was a
              paternal system to assist the working classes who were to remain
              still as sub-servient to the ruling classes. To me it is self
              evident - if it isn't to you then you obviously had a different more
              privileged upbringing than myself.
              >
              > The idea that anyone can predict the outcomes of technology is also
              something I cannot accept. Einstein was appalled when he realised the
              power of the atomic bomb. Did Stephenson really stop to consider the
              consequences of his winning the Rainhill trials? Unlikely, and even
              had he done so he was in no position to make a judgement. Look at the
              number of inventions that folk have dismissed only to find somebody
              else exploiting them.
              >
              > Getting back to CLD, the idea that CLD had insight into lots of
              things is not borne out by the evidence. He was not a socialist even
              in the Maurice mould never mind in the Morris model! CLD was,
              despite his poverty stricken first eleven years, a Conservative and
              was very sycophantic to the ruling classes. Look at his debacle with
              Rosebery who was, by anyone's book a twit, that was only softened
              because Rosebery had two daughters and was wise enough to accept to
              accept a gift of 'Alice' knowing full well that CLD was famous by
              then.
              >
              > Keith
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > ----- Original Message -----
              > From: tufail45
              > To: lewiscarroll@yahoogroups.com
              > Sent: Monday, November 19, 2007 11:24 AM
              > Subject: [lewiscarroll] Re: Enigmatic Carroll.
              >
              >
              > --- In lewiscarroll@yahoogroups.com, "Keith" <keith@> wrote:
              > >
              > >Hi Keith,
              >
              > You continue to have this inordinate capacity to amaze and
              astound.
              >
              > I entirely agree with you that Dr Anne Thwaite is by far one of
              the
              > most accomplished biographers around. But, Keith, isn't this
              > preciely because she takes exactly the type of rigorous,
              > historiographical approach that you go to such pains to
              disparage. I
              > haven't read the Emily Tennyson biography - but have read other
              of
              > her biographies (he biography of Gosse is remarkable) - but both
              Dr
              > Thwaite and her husband build there biographical writings on the
              > basis of a highly methodological approach to biography which is
              > precisely what I am arguing for in the case of Carroll (This is
              > almost certainly why, on top of her 'earned' doctorate, she was
              > awarded an honorary D.Litt. by everyone's favourite social
              sciences
              > university, the University of East Anglia. I suppose if Anne
              Thwaite
              > was german, she swould these days be addressed as Dr, Dr Thwaite!
              >
              > Now, regarding the rest of your mail. I can't really respond
              unless
              > you explain what you mean by 'our sense' of the term socialist.
              If
              > you mean the word as it is used politically in the UK in
              contemporary
              > terms then I cannot accept that statement. Morris's socialism was
              > based on tweo ideas (both of which FD Maurice approved of - and
              both
              > of which Carroll approved of. First was the danger of the de-
              > skilling of the workforce by the adoption of economies of scale
              and
              > division of labour. Second was the primacy of the social over the
              > individual - the idea of community and the social and economic
              group
              > in which no simgle person can take 'ownership' of production.
              Both,
              > of course, were early exponents of the idea that technical and
              > scientific innovations require balancing by an understanding of
              the
              > consequences of such developments and ensuring that major
              innovations
              > are only introduced after careful considerations of the social
              > consequences. Sylvie and Bruno was, in part, a satire of this
              idea
              > of the consequences of deifying 'knowledge' without
              understanding.
              > Similarly, when you read Carroll's anti-vivisection qwritings, he
              is
              > equally critical of those whose aim is merely the production of
              > scientific ideas as a commercial process. Of course the main-
              stream
              > of British socialism since the 1920s actually extolls the
              > materialising of scientific progress - so no, keith, i cannot
              agree
              > with your analysis and as a consequence can see no difficulty
              with a
              > Morris - Maurice - Carroll continuum.
              >
              > Regards
              >
              > JT
              >
              > So John,
              > >
              > > I cannot agree upon your assessment of Maurice as a
              conservative in
              > the 19c sense. Maurice was associated with William Morris who was
              a
              > socialist almost in our sense of the word. There is no doubt in
              my
              > mind that CLD's conservatism was not that of F.D.Maurice. For one
              > thing Maurice wanted to help the working classes, CLD thought
              such
              > help was impossible on a nationwide basis which is pure
              Conservative
              > policy aka Maggie Thatcher style i.e get on your bike!
              > >
              > > I also must take issue on the 'trained historians' idea, that
              was
              > not what I meant. Anne Thwaite for example would not fit into
              that
              > standard mould yet her biography of Emily Tennyson is one of the
              best
              > I have come across. Accepting the strait jacket of the
              professional
              > historian would to me limit the scope of a biographer and I
              shudder
              > to think of what another Oxford trained biographer would make of
              it
              > all on CLD! Another monumental irrelevant tome!
              > >
              > > Many of the biographies have passed into history without
              creating
              > any waves, Thomas, Bakewell, Green, Cohen and even Walter De la
              Mare
              > wrote a book which is only of interest as a historical failure.
              > Pudney's 'Lewis Carroll's world' is only of interest because of
              the
              > illustrations his facts in places are wrong. Gernsheim opened up
              his
              > photography and his book is valuable even nowadays and he didn't
              make
              > as many errors as the currrent set of books on his photography!
              > >
              > > I do wish you would not quote historians as authorities on
              > anything. Their views are quite irrelevant as they study a
              subject to
              > make a point and if they cannot make the point from the evidence
              then
              > they speculate or fabricate. That's why LC studies are in this
              mess -
              > too many people setting off with already closed minds and an
              agenda
              > already established.
              > >
              > > CLD chased Tennyson because he was lionising him certainly not
              for
              > his views on anything. Tennyson to all intents and purposes
              > disregarded CLD completely other than being a host to him in the
              Lake
              > district or Farringford because of the photographs he took of
              > Tennyson's boys and Agnes Weld who was his niece. I saw no
              meeting of
              > minds with CLD and Tennyson. Tennyson and Maurice did have
              similar
              > outlooks and there was a meeting of mind there. It puzzles me why
              CLD
              > went to Maurice as the two did not share views and neither could
              they
              > be said to be friends. However, when you examine all CLD's
              > relationships from the evidence of the diaries and letters they
              all
              > seem to be remote ones, nothing even remotely approaching
              Swinburne
              > and Gosse. This could be that he was just not expressive in his
              > writings to people he knew of course, even his letters to
              children
              > lack a warm tone and are at times derogatory of the child.
              However, I
              > don't think though that anyone could claim to have known CLD as
              he
              > seems impenetrable, certainly the only person to make such a
              claim in
              > writing was Isa Bowman.
              > >
              > > Keith
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > ----- Original Message -----
              > > From: tufail45
              > > To: lewiscarroll@yahoogroups.com
              > > Sent: Monday, November 19, 2007 12:08 AM
              > > Subject: [lewiscarroll] Re: Enigmatic Carroll.
              > >
              > >
              > > Keith,
              > >
              > > I wholeheartedly agree. Part of the problem with Carroll
              > > biographies, of course, was that period immediately following
              > WWII
              > > when not only were the biographers not 'professional' (in any
              > sense
              > > of the word) but also had very clear pre-formed agendas into
              > which
              > > they were determined to showhorn Lewis Carroll. I particularly
              > > refer, of course to Becker Lennon and Greenacre. Mind you, I
              have
              > > always felt rather sorry for Taylor who, by all accounts tried
              to
              > do
              > > a professional and objective job but was sabotaged, apparently,
              > by
              > > his editor who insisted on wholseale changes and deletions on
              > purely
              > > commercial ground (i.e., 'get rid of all tyhis boring religious
              > > rubbish and put in more juicy sex and scandal'.
              > >
              > > Other biographers were just not trained historians and appear
              to
              > have
              > > no undestanding of the religious, political and social
              > environment in
              > > which Carroll lived.
              > >
              > > I have to say that many of the things that you have pointed out
              > of
              > > contradictory about Carroll are in fact not, when seen in a
              19th
              > > century context. For example you describe Carroll as ultra
              > > conservative and cite his support (or relationship with)
              Maurice
              > as
              > > contradictory. However don't forget that politically and in
              terms
              > of
              > > maintaining the social and cultural mores of their time people
              > like
              > > Maurice, ludlow, Kinglsey and others associated with the
              > Christian
              > > Socialist and Broad Church movement were in fact Conservative
              > > politically and very conservative socially. The Christian
              > Socialist
              > > movement arose from a spiritual and political reaction to
              > Liberalism
              > > and emerged wholly from the Conservative tradition. You can see
              > its
              > > parallel in the New England movement - a fundamental rejection
              of
              > the
              > > liberal ideology of individualism.
              > >
              > > So no contradiction there, at least.
              > >
              > > Carroll actually shows remarkable consistency in who he
              prefered
              > to
              > > associate and/or approve of, whether Lord Salisbury or
              Tennyson,
              > > Coleridge or Maxwell, the Rossettis or Macdonald. There are
              very
              > > clear similarities in the world views of all these people -
              > beginning
              > > with an complete rejecvtion of Liberal values.
              > >
              > > I agree that his associations with women do appear to raise
              > certain
              > > issues. However (and again) this was not quite as unusual as
              > would
              > > appear from a 21st century perspective. This was ther beginning
              > of
              > > the period leading towards female emancipation and it has been
              > > strongly argued by historians such as Christopher Hill and Eric
              > > Hobsbaum that class distictions between women and men (I'm
              > talking
              > > here about the lower middle class to minor aristocracy
              spectrum)
              > were
              > > far looser than between men and men. There was a certain cache
              > > involved in mentoring bright young women from comparatively
              lowly
              > or
              > > less advantaged backgrounds - so long as in other respects they
              > were
              > > respectable. Don't forget that many of the women who attended
              the
              > > early women colleges were patronised by 'forward thinking men'
              of
              > the
              > > higher classes.
              > >
              > > I have always felt that no competent biography of Carroll is
              > possible
              > > unless carried out by somebody who is first and foremost a
              > > historian. Even AE Wilson would be preferable to somebody
              working
              > > from a purely literary background.
              > >
              > > Not that Carroll is alone in this, I have seen similar
              > difficulties
              > > with biographies of people such as Coleridge and Defoe - both
              > writers
              > > whose contributions go beyond the astrictly literary.
              > >
              > > Regards
              > >
              > > JT
              > >
              > > --- In lewiscarroll@yahoogroups.com, "Keith" <keith@> wrote:
              > > >
              > > > Jenny,
              > > >
              > > > with Lewis Carroll he has not been served well by his
              > biographers.
              > > Collingwood did his best under the circumstances of having six
              of
              > > CLD's sisters giving him 'advice' but in the end he did a
              > whitewash
              > > job, but one which is the obligatory starting point for all the
              > > biographers who followed.
              > > >
              > > > Unfortunately we have never had one of the professional
              > biographers
              > > do a job on CLD so it's been left to the amateurs who quite
              > frankly
              > > have muffed it. Whether Margaret Lane or Ann Thwaite would have
              > > succeeded is of course debatable and perhaps they had enough
              > sense to
              > > steer clear of someone who has more contradictions than one
              would
              > > expect.
              > > >
              > > > I think he was deliberately contradictory but if he was he
              put
              > a
              > > lot of effort into it. He was a snob who spent several days
              > caring
              > > for a college scout. He was an ultra conservative who attended
              > > services in a church run by F.D. Maurice, a man with socialist
              > > leanings. He doled out his money in purses so that he never had
              > to
              > > over-tip or under-tip and kept accounts of his holiday spending
              > then
              > > gave away most of his money away to his family and friends. He
              > > professed an interest in history and then lived next door to a
              > > medieval castle, one which he took close to 30 years to visit.
              He
              > > mixed with the aristocracy but preferred the company of Isa
              > Bowman.
              > > This is by no means an exhaustive list and what the biographers
              > do is
              > > pick up on one thing and ignore anything that runs counter to
              > that
              > > thing or their owqn pet theory. They then add in their own
              > prejudices
              > > and end up with a monumental mess.
              > > >
              > > > Keith
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > ----- Original Message -----
              > > > From: jenny2write
              > > > To: lewiscarroll@yahoogroups.com
              > > > Sent: Wednesday, November 14, 2007 11:45 PM
              > > > Subject: [lewiscarroll] Enigmatic Carroll.
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > Keith, your well informed comments are spot on. Carroll was
              an
              > > > enigmatic one-off, and in a way it's hard to add to that.
              > > However, I
              > > > always feel I learn a lot from one-offs and I have certainly
              > > found it
              > > > most interesting to consider how Carroll's mind worked.
              > > >
              > > > I'd just add that it seems very hard even to see one's
              nearest
              > > and
              > > > dearest clearly, so the chance of understanding someone who
              > died
              > > before
              > > > one was born must be pretty low. Actually, I don't think I've
              > > ever met
              > > > anyone who can describe anyone else perfectly, even when they
              > > know them
              > > > really well - mum, best friend, partner - !
              > > >
              > > > Jenny
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > ----------------------------------------------------------
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              > Date:
              > > 14/11/2007 09:27
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              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > ----------------------------------------------------------
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            • jenny2write
              Also just to be contradictory he refused in June 1894 to go to breakfast with him when invited to do so on the grounds that if he accepted one invitation he d
              Message 6 of 13 , Nov 19, 2007
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                Also just to be contradictory he refused in June 1894 to go to
                breakfast with him when invited to do so on the grounds that if he
                accepted one invitation he'd have to accept others!
                >

                Actually, I think this suggests that he was not particularly
                intimidated or impressed by Rosebery's rank, and stuck to his own
                views - not just about whether Rosebery was wrong in not acknowledging
                him, to not allowing himself to be taken for granted when it came to
                invitations. I don't actually see how it shows he was a sycophant.
                Jenny
              • Keith
                Jenny, exactly! The incident in the quad shows he was sycophantic, as does the other things, the book, chasing Rosebery s daughters, then completely
                Message 7 of 13 , Nov 19, 2007
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                  Jenny,
                   
                  exactly! The incident in the quad shows he was sycophantic, as does the other things, the book, chasing Rosebery's daughters, then completely contradictory he refuses an invitation to meet the man solely on the grounds of refusing all such invitations.
                   
                  That's why it is so difficult for anyone to say CLD was this or that because he was both often at the same time! A biographer's nightmare.
                   
                  Keith
                   
                   
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2007 12:45 AM
                  Subject: [lewiscarroll] Re: Rosebery

                  Also just to be contradictory he refused in June 1894 to go to
                  breakfast with him when invited to do so on the grounds that if he
                  accepted one invitation he'd have to accept others!
                  >

                  Actually, I think this suggests that he was not particularly
                  intimidated or impressed by Rosebery's rank, and stuck to his own
                  views - not just about whether Rosebery was wrong in not acknowledging
                  him, to not allowing himself to be taken for granted when it came to
                  invitations. I don't actually see how it shows he was a sycophant.
                  Jenny


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                • Hoyeru Zaharia
                  according to history, today 11-16-2007, Charles Dodgson gave the Alice manuscript to little Alice, right? Time to open the Alice in wonderland and read a
                  Message 8 of 13 , Nov 25, 2007
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                    according to history, today 11-16-2007, Charles Dodgson gave the Alice manuscript to little Alice, right? Time to open the Alice in wonderland and read a passage or two.



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