Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Debunking the "Carroll myth"

Expand Messages
  • Guy
    Hi - I m taking part in a discussion on another forum and the topic of Lewis Carroll has come up. There are the usual claims that he was a paedophile, that he
    Message 1 of 5 , Dec 12, 2012
      Hi - I'm taking part in a discussion on another forum and the topic of Lewis Carroll has come up. There are the usual claims that he was a paedophile, that he proposed marriage to Alice Liddell and so on.

      What's the best way of refuting such claims? I've pointed people to material on the "Carroll myth" site but that might be seen as having an agenda. Where's the best place to direct people for unbiased information?
    • Keith
      Guy, I don’t think you can because most people hold the view nowadays on paedophilia that that it is guilty until proved innocent. It is reminiscent of the
      Message 2 of 5 , Dec 12, 2012
        Guy,
         
        I don’t think you can because most people hold the view nowadays on paedophilia that that it is guilty until proved innocent. It is reminiscent of the witchcraft accusations of the 17th century, one famous case being the Pendle witches which took place in 1612 just over the county border from the Dodgson homeland in Yorkshire.
         
        As to a marriage to Alice Liddell I have never seen any convincing evidence that he ever contemplated such a move. It would not have been so unusual for the times if he had though as often men took a long while to get established and get into a position where they could be considered as a suitor. There was exactly 20 years between their ages which would have meant marriage at 17 for Alice and 37 for Dodgson which was not out of the question. However, the social gap meant any proposal would not have been contemplated and any proposal would have had to be made through the parents in those days. He also may not have relished having the Liddell’s as in laws! Reggie Hargreaves, Alice’s husband, had one great asset – money!
         
        I’d not waste your time trying to change the ideas of folk who have probably already made up their minds.
         
        Regards,
         
        Keith
         
         
         
         
         
        From: Guy
        Sent: Wednesday, December 12, 2012 3:46 PM
        Subject: [lewiscarroll] Debunking the "Carroll myth"
         
         

        Hi - I'm taking part in a discussion on another forum and the topic of Lewis Carroll has come up. There are the usual claims that he was a paedophile, that he proposed marriage to Alice Liddell and so on.

        What's the best way of refuting such claims? I've pointed people to material on the "Carroll myth" site but that might be seen as having an agenda. Where's the best place to direct people for unbiased information?

      • John Tufail
        Sadly, in this area, all claims may be seen as biased - though in terms of actual evidence - the various Carroll Myth sites have the harder evidence -
        Message 3 of 5 , Dec 12, 2012
          Sadly, in this area, all claims may be seen as 'biased' - though in terms of actual evidence - the various 'Carroll Myth' sites have the harder evidence - backed up by  genuine academic research (Hugh Lebailly in particular).
           
          However, I would also recommend that you look at Edward Wakeling - once an enthusiastic supporter of  Cohen, whose biography of Carroll sustained and promoted the idea of Carroll as a paediaphliliac  figure.  His more recent writings distance himself from Cohen.  What I suggest is that you put faith in the intelligence of your correspondents and suggest they weigh the evidence available.  There is considerable commercial value in maintaining that Lewis Carroll had paediophiliac tendencies.  Many writers and publishers have made a great deal of money promoting this myth with little ot no evidence.
          Regards
          John Tufail

          On Wed, Dec 12, 2012 at 3:46 PM, Guy <guy.barry@...> wrote:
           

          Hi - I'm taking part in a discussion on another forum and the topic of Lewis Carroll has come up. There are the usual claims that he was a paedophile, that he proposed marriage to Alice Liddell and so on.

          What's the best way of refuting such claims? I've pointed people to material on the "Carroll myth" site but that might be seen as having an agenda. Where's the best place to direct people for unbiased information?


        • Keith
          John, whilst you are right regarding people approaching subjects without being biased, in recent years the tendency is for theory first, research next and then
          Message 4 of 5 , Dec 14, 2012
            John,
             
            whilst you are right regarding people approaching subjects without being biased, in recent years the tendency is for theory first, research next and then ignore anything which is a counter indicator to the theory. This applies at all levels of research and seems particularly prevalent in research involving emotive subjects, which as you mention have a commercial value especially with the tabloid press.
             
            Cohen discussed his ideas with Roger Lancelyn Green and had he listened to Roger he would not have taken the line he did, but on the other hand he may not then have got the funding necessary in order for him to write his tome on Lewis Carroll. We may debate then if the tome was necessary and whether it should have been written at all.
             
            The evidence to date in Lewis Carroll’s case is inconclusive and failing any new evidence, such as the missing diaries turning up, all that can be done is for people to bring their own perceptions to the evidence and reinterpret it to suit their own particular theory. We saw in the case of the ‘Jack the Ripper’ idea that the writer failed entirely to look at LC’s movements on the days in question, had he done so the idea could have been squashed at birth and the book assigned to the trash basket before it reached the printer. A similar line of thought applies to some of the more recent ideas which have made it into print and whose writers are often reluctant to answer any questions about their so called ‘evidence’ which essentially are just their beliefs.
             
            All of this detracts from the fact that the Alice books appear to have a momentum of their own and despite everything that biased academics and their supporters may say they march on in the minds of the public at large year after year.
             
            Regards,
             
            Keith
             
             
             
             
             
             
            Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2012 1:25 AM
            Subject: Re: [lewiscarroll] Debunking the "Carroll myth"
             
             

            Sadly, in this area, all claims may be seen as 'biased' - though in terms of actual evidence - the various 'Carroll Myth' sites have the harder evidence - backed up by  genuine academic research (Hugh Lebailly in particular).
             
            However, I would also recommend that you look at Edward Wakeling - once an enthusiastic supporter of  Cohen, whose biography of Carroll sustained and promoted the idea of Carroll as a paediaphliliac  figure.  His more recent writings distance himself from Cohen.  What I suggest is that you put faith in the intelligence of your correspondents and suggest they weigh the evidence available.  There is considerable commercial value in maintaining that Lewis Carroll had paediophiliac tendencies.  Many writers and publishers have made a great deal of money promoting this myth with little ot no evidence.
            Regards
            John Tufail

            On Wed, Dec 12, 2012 at 3:46 PM, Guy <guy.barry@...> wrote:
             

            Hi - I'm taking part in a discussion on another forum and the topic of Lewis Carroll has come up. There are the usual claims that he was a paedophile, that he proposed marriage to Alice Liddell and so on.

            What's the best way of refuting such claims? I've pointed people to material on the "Carroll myth" site but that might be seen as having an agenda. Where's the best place to direct people for unbiased information?


          • John Tufail
            Hi Keith! I agree with you in every respect. Ahh funding The red-eyed monster that drives the dragon of fame and riches. Publishers and their editors have
            Message 5 of 5 , Dec 14, 2012
              Hi Keith!
               
              I agree with you in every respect.
               
              Ahh 'funding'  The red-eyed monster that drives the dragon of fame and riches.  Publishers and their editors have much to answer for in the history of Lewis Carroll publications.
               
              Regards
               
              JT

              On Fri, Dec 14, 2012 at 8:45 AM, Keith <keith@...> wrote:
               

              John,
               
              whilst you are right regarding people approaching subjects without being biased, in recent years the tendency is for theory first, research next and then ignore anything which is a counter indicator to the theory. This applies at all levels of research and seems particularly prevalent in research involving emotive subjects, which as you mention have a commercial value especially with the tabloid press.
               
              Cohen discussed his ideas with Roger Lancelyn Green and had he listened to Roger he would not have taken the line he did, but on the other hand he may not then have got the funding necessary in order for him to write his tome on Lewis Carroll. We may debate then if the tome was necessary and whether it should have been written at all.
               
              The evidence to date in Lewis Carroll’s case is inconclusive and failing any new evidence, such as the missing diaries turning up, all that can be done is for people to bring their own perceptions to the evidence and reinterpret it to suit their own particular theory. We saw in the case of the ‘Jack the Ripper’ idea that the writer failed entirely to look at LC’s movements on the days in question, had he done so the idea could have been squashed at birth and the book assigned to the trash basket before it reached the printer. A similar line of thought applies to some of the more recent ideas which have made it into print and whose writers are often reluctant to answer any questions about their so called ‘evidence’ which essentially are just their beliefs.
               
              All of this detracts from the fact that the Alice books appear to have a momentum of their own and despite everything that biased academics and their supporters may say they march on in the minds of the public at large year after year.
               
              Regards,
               
              Keith
               
               
               
               
               
               
              Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2012 1:25 AM
              Subject: Re: [lewiscarroll] Debunking the "Carroll myth"
               
               

              Sadly, in this area, all claims may be seen as 'biased' - though in terms of actual evidence - the various 'Carroll Myth' sites have the harder evidence - backed up by  genuine academic research (Hugh Lebailly in particular).
               
              However, I would also recommend that you look at Edward Wakeling - once an enthusiastic supporter of  Cohen, whose biography of Carroll sustained and promoted the idea of Carroll as a paediaphliliac  figure.  His more recent writings distance himself from Cohen.  What I suggest is that you put faith in the intelligence of your correspondents and suggest they weigh the evidence available.  There is considerable commercial value in maintaining that Lewis Carroll had paediophiliac tendencies.  Many writers and publishers have made a great deal of money promoting this myth with little ot no evidence.
              Regards
              John Tufail

              On Wed, Dec 12, 2012 at 3:46 PM, Guy <guy.barry@...> wrote:
               

              Hi - I'm taking part in a discussion on another forum and the topic of Lewis Carroll has come up. There are the usual claims that he was a paedophile, that he proposed marriage to Alice Liddell and so on.

              What's the best way of refuting such claims? I've pointed people to material on the "Carroll myth" site but that might be seen as having an agenda. Where's the best place to direct people for unbiased information?



            Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.