- Thanks, Mike. I had no idea where the title came from, and it does shed a lot more light on things, doesn't it? My Leanan Sidhe seems to be assuming one of her other personae - Lilith. He's such a complex character, isn't he? I'm curious about his references to the West in the poem - his works are peppered with references about east and west. But maybe I'm seeing things that aren't there. I think this poem has a strong significance in terms of the man himself - I wish we knew what it was!!! I think it's a great poem.
- John - Please, who are Lennon and Skinner (the only Skinner I have heard of is the behaviourist (blush!) Our (university) Library only has the Illustrated biography of Carroll - and nothing else at all - so I am at a loss to find anything about anyone. It took me two months to even find Carroll's Collected Works. So I'm trying to sort this out with one biography!!I wonder who La Belle Dame was? Someone in the Pre-Raphaelite Circle, perhaps! I only found out today that Georgiana Burne-Jones was George MacDonald's daughter (stunned silence from the list). You're right - one of you folk do need to write a book on his poetry. But I am curious about Lilith. If I get to England next year I shall haunt the libraries and second-hand bookshops.
- Thank you for all that. This is great fun! Back to the mysterious Lilith. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that passage in Proverbs refers to sex outside marriage - with a prostitute - any sort of sexual encounter unsanctified through marriage, doesn't it? Okay. So - would a love affair with a single woman (I thought Anne Thackeray didn't marry until mid-1860s or thereabouts, be enough to throw LC and everyone else into such a tailspin? Whatever it was must have been heavy enough to haunt the bloke until he worked it through in S&B. That's my idea, anyway. Somehow, the idea of Mrs Liddell just doesn't feel right - not because she was the mother of Alice or anything like that, but if it upset Carroll so much, imagine what it would have done to her! Or is part of the reasoning based on the fact that Mrs Liddell went off LC in such a rush for a while? Maybe she heard rumours, I don't know. But whatever, I am inclined to think that whoever Lilith (I'll call her that for convenience) was - she was possibly married. The poem was written on 9 May. Any significance in the date, do you think? What might he have been thinking about then, I wonder. Or was it that whatever he had been doing had ended because the guilt had started? Hmm.