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Re: Family Support ? was: An Error, An Apology

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  • jbuchus
    Welcome Bryan, In a nutshell, the recent theories and research pretty well indicate that there has been a lot of incorrect information generated about Charles
    Message 1 of 10 , Sep 30, 2002
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      Welcome Bryan,

      In a nutshell, the recent theories and research pretty well indicate
      that there has been a lot of incorrect information generated about
      Charles L Dodgson, Lewis Carroll.

      It began with the Dodgson family controlling the rapid publication of
      the first major Lewis Carroll biography seemingly within not many
      months after his death. Stuart Dodgson Collingwood was the nephew of
      Lewis Carroll who penned the piece giving rise to the myth of Lewis
      Carroll - the lover of little girl children. Skipping over his adult
      relationships with grown women and young women, entirely. This has
      also been called the birth of the "Saint Carroll" myth.

      The family controlled his papers from 1898 to about 1968 when what
      survived of his diaries were turned over to the British museum.

      Until then, no biographer or person outside the Dodgson clan had seen
      the real diaries.

      Secrets, secrets, secrets.

      Upon his death, Carroll left a 10 room suite at Christ Church Oxford
      seemingly stuffed with his papers and correspondence.

      Some of this was immediately burned by the family.

      Most of this material has never been seen outside the family, and most
      of it is now presumed lost or discarded or burnt.

      Secrets, secrets, secrets.

      In effect, the family has had a stranglehold on any real data about
      their former member, and have effectively destroyed the chances of
      outsiders learning much except for the pittiful small amount of
      materials they have made available.

      So, the lack of real data on Carroll, due to the hoarding of it by the
      Dodgson family, resulted in the publication of a number of highly
      distorted biographies. These have resulted in enormous
      misunderstanding of the actual "Lewis Carroll".

      For a good primer on this go to :

      http://65.107.211.206/victorian/carroll/dreamchild/dreamchild1.html

      Which is an extract of the book "In the Shadow of the Dreamchild" by
      Karoline Leach.

      The sense of "Milk And Honey" harmony between the Dodgsons and their
      troublesome famous brother Charles L. Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) may well
      be essentially a fabrication for posterity. Since the Dodgsons held
      this powerful grasp of almost all of the original documents, they
      could more or less create whatever image they wanted.

      Only a few biographies have been written where the authors have read
      the actual surviving diaries of the man. These are the very most
      recent, except that of Thomas (1996) who evidently had not read the
      original diaries, only a "sanitized" copy of extracts previously
      published by the Dodgson family, making use of a writer to take credit
      and disguise the censoring facts.

      So, there is probably a great mass of incorrect information in
      different minds, depending upon what semi-informed biographies that
      any individual has read.

      From your comments, you have read materials that describe the family
      relationships with their troublesome famous brother as "Milk and
      Honey". These other comments then, must seem foreign to you.

      Once upon a time, I too had only read "Milk and Honey" stories of
      "Alice" and her author and family.

      It would be good for you to read the above cited link on "Dreamchild"
      to more rapidly absorb the fundamentals.

      To continue explaining this curious matter makes me conscious of
      trying to overturn too much too fast and looking foolish in the process.

      The work of Karoline Leach, Hugues Lebailly, and even Morton Cohen are
      the basic works, and all are quite recent.

      You can look (search) in the archives here and read what Leach and
      LeBailly have posted as members of this group.

      Jim



      --- In lewiscarroll@y..., Bryan Talbot <bryan.talbot@b...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > > This has long been my suspicion, that he was virtually unsupported
      > > from home. The clear statement you have made above seems to be the
      > > minority view of the biographers, unless I have misread the meaning of
      > > what they wrote.
      > >
      > > I wonder how long the paucity of support from home had endured. My
      > > suspicion is that it first came from his father and endured over a
      > > long period of time.
      > >
      > > Coincidentally, the missing diaries would cover nicely a significant
      > > period in which the lack of home support could have been discussed,
      > > along with the lead-in to whatever was his emotional crisis causing
      > > his prayers of remedy of unworthyness.
      > >
      > > The near deathbed commehnt by Menella Dodgson ---
      > >
      > > "We have only lately realized howmuch his relations owed to his
      > > generosity during his lifetime....." Quoted in her obituary ,
      > > 'Wantage Herald', Nov 7, 1963
      >
      > Was this not referring to the monetary support he gave to some of his
      > sisters after his father's death?
      >
      > Please excuse me for coming in on this. I'm not an academic and
      don't have
      > an in-depth knowledge, unlike the other members of this group, and
      so feel
      > that I'm intruding into a rarified environment. I've only read some
      of the
      > books about LC. I've simply been lurking quietly in the group to see
      what I
      > can glean and feel extremely uncomfortable actually joining in,
      given what
      > appears to be bitter in-fighting (or is that an illusion?).
      >
      > But wasn't Dodgson extremely close to his family? Didn't he spend
      most of
      > his long vacations (nearly half of the year) at the family home in
      Croft and
      > his cousins at Whitburn right until his father died, when the
      rectory had to
      > be sold to make way for the new incumbent?
      >
      > In what way do you mean unsupported? Wasn't his creative streak always
      > nurtured by his family, from the before the family magazines and
      well after?
      > Remember that he wrote the first verse of Jabberwocky at Croft and
      the rest
      > at a verse-writing party in Whitburn (according to Collingwood). It
      seems to
      > me that his family were very appreciative as regards his creative
      writing.
      > Is this just an outsider's view?
      >
      > Or do you mean that he had to pay his own way, once he arrived at
      Oxford,
      > which he did extremely successfully?
      >
      > Please enlighten me. I genuinely would like to know.
      >
      > Bryan
      >
      > _______________________________________________
      http://www.bryan-talbot.com
      >
      > Nice prints! Visit:
      >
      >
      http://www.podgallery.com/index.cfm?page=catdetails&category=305&From=262
      >
      > Brand new Luther Arkwright website!
      >
      > http://www.modernvikings.com/luther-arkwright/
    • Bryan Talbot
      Jim, Many thanks for your speedy and informed response. The milk and Honey scenario *does* seem to correspond with the production of the humorous family
      Message 2 of 10 , Oct 1, 2002
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        Jim,

        Many thanks for your speedy and informed response.

        The "milk and Honey" scenario *does* seem to correspond with the production
        of the humorous family magazines, the family games and entertainments and
        affectionate letters sent to the family at Croft which I've come across in
        some of the books. Also he seemed very close to his Willcox cousins and
        visited them and his sister Mary in the NE frequently over a period of time.

        Again, many thanks. I'll check out the Dreamchild link now.

        Best,

        Bryan

        _______________________________________________ http://www.bryan-talbot.com

        Nice prints! Visit:

        http://www.podgallery.com/index.cfm?page=catdetails&category=305&From=262

        Brand new Luther Arkwright website!

        http://www.modernvikings.com/luther-arkwright/
      • jbuchus
        Bryan - from your website (as an author) ... Did you know: The Tale of One Bad Rat is the second most requested graphic novel in US libraries? (and an
        Message 3 of 10 , Oct 1, 2002
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          Bryan - from your website (as an author)
          --------------
          Did you know: The Tale of One Bad Rat is the second most requested
          graphic novel in US libraries? (and an honourable second at that -
          only Maus beats it).


          Breaking news! The movie rights to the Tale of One Bad Rat have
          been acquired! Read the press release for more information!

          The Tale of One Bad Rat is an amazingly moving story, even for
          those thathave not suffered the horror of child abuse. When people who
          have themselves been to that dark place come back and say that the
          book helped them, then I listen in humbled awe. I have found a number
          of external sites that detail how Bad Rat helped them get through
          their own personal nightmare:
          ----------------

          Your perspectives are probably going to be quite interesting.

          Jim

          --- In lewiscarroll@y..., Bryan Talbot <bryan.talbot@b...> wrote:
          > Jim,
          >
          > Many thanks for your speedy and informed response.
          >
          > The "milk and Honey" scenario *does* seem to correspond with the
          production
          > of the humorous family magazines, the family games and
          entertainments and
          > affectionate letters sent to the family at Croft which I've come
          across in
          > some of the books.
          >
          > Again, many thanks. I'll check out the Dreamchild link now.
          >
          > Best,
          >
          > Bryan
          >
          > _______________________________________________
          http://www.bryan-talbot.com
          >
          > Nice prints! Visit:
          >
          >
          http://www.podgallery.com/index.cfm?page=catdetails&category=305&From=
          262
          >
          > Brand new Luther Arkwright website!
          >
          > http://www.modernvikings.com/luther-arkwright/
        • AnisaT@aol.com
          In a message dated 01/10/2002 12:45:20 GMT Daylight Time, ... I think that one needs to b e careful about what is being disc ussed here. Much has b een
          Message 4 of 10 , Oct 1, 2002
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            In a message dated 01/10/2002 12:45:20 GMT Daylight Time, bryan.talbot@... writes:


            The "milk and Honey" scenario *does* seem to correspond with the production
            of the humorous family magazines, the family games and entertainments and
            affectionate letters sent to the family at Croft which I've come across in
            some of the books. Also he seemed very close to his Willcox cousins and
            visited them and his sister Mary in the NE frequently over a period of time.


              I think  that one needs to b e careful about what is being disc ussed here.   Much has b een written , for example about  Carroll's father bein g cold and aloof - yet the evidence is that, in Vict orian  terms,  the Dodgson family life was remarkably liberated  and that Carroll  himself was not only allowed, but  encouraged to follow his inclinations and dev elop his mind   in a relatively unconstrained manner.  Some o f the books that Carroll was seemingly encouraged to read    at Croft  would, in many 'Church' families  (especially H igh Church  and Evangelical)  woul d  have  been regarded as the highest form of moral pornography   (Blake and Keats  come immediately  to mind).   So to say that  i n  his early,  formative years Caroll was unsupported  would, I believe be highly misleading.  His father, and especially  his mother, I feel,   contributed immensely to Carroll being able  to develop such a n eclectic and  original  mind and philosophy.   It is after the death  of  his mother, really, that th e first hin ts of a change in relationship begin to  emerge   - but even then, there is  not t oo  much to  suggest that there was any serious breakdown in the relationship with the father. The problems seem mainly to have developed within th e  extended family  - and ironically those who seem to have  become increasingly dependent on Carroll in  later years.   I feel that when one  is talking about  lack of   support  within t he family, the most  serious difficulties I suspect      were at the intellectual, philosophical and theological level  (mind you, Carroll's views on blood sport and vivisection would hav e raised a few eyebrows  -  as would his rather sceptical views on democracy!).

            John Tufail

            Joh n Tufail
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