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CLD's father's being over-dominating

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  • jenny2write <woolf@jabberwock.co.uk>
    ... Carroll s library - Sterne s list - with inscriptions which show they have belonged to CLD Senior or one or other of the Lutwidges, so it appears that they
    Message 1 of 105 , Mar 1, 2003
      --- In lewiscarroll@yahoogroups.com, "KATE LYON" <lyon@p...> wrote:
      > In actual fact Jim, a good number of these books appear in
      Carroll's library - Sterne's list - with inscriptions which show
      they have belonged to CLD Senior or one or other of the Lutwidges,
      so it appears that they were already in the family.
      > Best, Kate L

      Good point Kate! And - plesae don't forget that as a youth CLD does
      satirise his father and his relationship with his oldest son (he
      specifies particularly the oldest son) very amusingly. Do
      read "Sidney Hamilton" It is quite long, and I can't quote it all,
      but part of it has the father threatening not to support the son any
      more because he doesn't approve of the company he keeps. "Then,
      observe this young man!" continued the father, getting more and more
      excited as he spoke, "unless you agree to drop at once and for ever,
      all your vulgar acquaintances now and for ever (an emphasis
      on "vulgar" which raised a flush on the pale brow on the young man)
      unless you do this, though you would give me the world for it, I
      will not stir a finger no, nor utter a syllable in your service!
      Look you here, son!" he shouted, seeing that his words made little
      impression on his son "obey me, or on this spot I disinherit

      The son, with great dignity, says that he is not going to do what
      the father says, turns round and walks out. ..."I am going away
      Lucy" he said in a strangely quiet tone [to his sister]. "Kiss
      little Rosa for me". Later the father becomes very depressed "the
      gloom of his mind grew into absolute misery but his pride would not
      yet suffer him to admit that it was his own doing and that he
      himself had driven him from his roof. The hope that his son would
      speedily return and submit and ask his forgiveness, which he had
      cherished in the morning, gradually faded away as the day wore on
      and was succeeded by sucha sickening sense of vacuity and
      oppression as well nigh drew him to distraction..." etc.

      In the end the father sets out in to the storm to look for his son,
      because he is terrified he's come to harm, and gets a bloody nose
      for his pains, being beaten up by the son's "unsuitable friend"
      before reconciling with him.

      The scenes described between father and son by the youthful CLD will
      be pretty familiar to most people who have teenagers - or who
      remember being one in a reasonably healthy relationship with parents
      who did not in fact harshly suppress them. These kind of scenes
      don't occur in truly repressed households where dissent is genuinely
      not tolerated

      Characteristically for CLD, the scenes appear to be initially drawn
      from life but then caricatured in order to amuse - the son is a
      ludicrous picture of dignified, offended virtue, and the father is a
      poor old buffoon. Mr. D. was presumably good natured enough to let
      his children laugh about this, and they felt okay enough about it
      to treasure the album and keep it in the family. Since CLD seems to
      have enjoyed writing parodies based on real things, I wouldn't
      rule out the idea that he really did stamp out one day after a row
      with his dad -and it would make it even more amusing for the family
      to read "Sidney Hamilton" if so. It is interesting that in the end
      Sidney does give up his unsuitable friend, because he sees that his
      father cares more for him than the friend does.

      Surely it is hard to see how this story can be the product of a son
      who is truly cowed and intimidated by a father who genuinely
      suppressed him. And in case anyone doubts this portrays CLD and his
      father, who else could "Mr Hamilton" be but Mr. Dodgson who was
      born in the town of Hamilton)?

      What is more, the diaries show that CLD did not conceal from his
      father the fact he went to theatres, either, even though his father
      didn't approve. The impression I get is that even though the father
      clearly had very strong views indeed, he seems to have accepted that
      it was legitimate that other people could have different ideas. Mind
      you it was probably hard for him to accept that others could
      legitimately disagree with him, but perhaps he made himself do it.

      I did look at a book on theology which he wrote, and was struck
      that either in the introduction or the end word, he addresses the
      reader directly and says something to the effect that if YOU, the
      reader, don't agree with me, and I have offended you, then I am
      truly sorry, because you're entitled to your own view. Quite an
      interesting thing to put in a book. Maybe someone has a copy and can
      quote it direct?

      What this adds up to is a plea to see Mr. D as a three dimensional
      human being, not as some kind of stereotype Victorian father or
      bullying paterfamilias. jenny
    • Bryan Talbot
      ... Cheers. I was just enquiring to see whether it was true that LC asked that the photos should be returned to the families of the models after his death.
      Message 105 of 105 , Mar 29, 2003
        > Ahem. In a hurry to post an answer, I did not research the possible
        > sources. The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at
        > Austin has some glass negatives as well as prints.
        > The Cambridge (USA) Library has a number of loose prints. I must
        > wait for a certain book ;) which includes E. Wakeling's list of
        > the "known" photos.
        > I hope this helps!

        Cheers. I was just enquiring to see whether it was true that LC asked that
        the photos should be returned to the families of the models after his death.


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

        Nice prints! Visit:


        Brand new Luther Arkwright website!

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