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Creator / Lewis Carroll

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The man himself.
"When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast. There goes the shawl again!"
The White Queen, from Through the Looking Glass

Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (27 January 1832 – 14 January 1898), better known by his Pen Name Lewis Carroll, was a writer, mathematician, photographer, and Anglican deacon. He was the author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel, Through the Looking Glass, and what Alice Found There. He also wrote "Jabberwocky" and "The Hunting of the Snark." Also Sylvie and Bruno and more lesser-known works.

A popular source for the Public Domain Character and still more, the Shout-Out.

Dodgson was also a mathematician who published several works on logic. As one might expect, these are filled with Textbook Humor and nonsensical examples, illustrating the point that in logic what matters is the form of propositions and not their content. His favorite number seems to have been 42.

Works by Lewis Carroll with their own trope pages include:

Other works by Lewis Carroll provide examples of:

  • Anachronism Stew: "What the Tortoise Said to Achilles" is full of it, with both characters mentioning various things that didn't exist in ancient Greece.
  • Double Meaning: A love poem often attributed to Carroll suggests his skill with matrix algebra, as it's constructed in "square poem" format where it can be read both horizontally and vertically like a symmetric matrix.
  • Friend to All Children: He loved to be around and entertain children, especially the real Alice Liddell, though the myths surrounding his life tend to overstate this. He had many adult friends as well. Downplayed in that he was very much more fond of small girls than of small boys.
  • Gratuitous Iambic Pentameter: "Hiawatha's Photographing" is a parody of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's narrative poem "The Song of Hiawatha". It's preceded by an introduction which is written as normal text, but stealthily follows the same meter as both poems (trochaic tetrameter).
  • Instructional Dialogue (though not so much in the Alice books as in his less famous mathematical writings)
  • Intergenerational Friendship: With Alice. Yes, she was real.
  • Last-Second Photo Failure: In "Hiawatha's Photographing", all the posed portraits Hiawatha takes are failures, but the first one in particular is an example of this trope, when its subject makes a slight movement at exactly the wrong time.
  • Literal Genie: A popular myth is that when Alice in Wonderland was published at the same time as a book of his on mathematical theory, Queen Victoria was so charmed by Alice that she requested Carroll to send her a copy of his next book immediately after it is published. A short time later he sent her "An Elementary Treatise on Determinants: With Their Application to Simultaneous Linear Equations and Algebraical Geometry", hot off the presses. This alas, is not true.
    Postscript to Symbolic Logic: I take this opportunity of giving what publicity I can to my contradiction of a silly story, which has been going the round of the papers, about my having presented certain books to Her Majesty the Queen. It is so constantly repeated, and is such absolute fiction, that I think it worth while to state, once for all, that it is utterly false in every particular: nothing even resembling it has occurred.
  • Midword Rhyme: in "Poeta Fit, Non Nascitur."
  • Neologism: Coined the words "chortle", "portmanteau" (in its modern sense; it originally meant a suitcase), "snark", and several others.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different
  • Perfectly Cromulent Word: Everywhere.
  • Portmanteau: Through the Looking-Glass is the Trope Namer.
  • Rotating Arcs: When you start reading the puzzle-story sequence "A Tangled Tale", originally serialised in The Monthly Packet, it appears that each "Knot" (chapter) is a separate one-off story. It's not until Knot IV that we return to the characters from Knot I, and it slowly becomes apparent that the whole thing is indeed a single tangled tale.
  • Same Face, Different Name: His books on mathematics were published under his real name, Charles Dodgson. But when it came time for him to write fantasy novels, he used the name "Lewis Carroll", the name by which he is far better known today.
  • Silly Spook: The nameless ghost in "Phantasmagoria" is a bit of a goof with a taste for awful puns. He also mooches food and drink off the narrator.
  • Speech Impediment: Suffered from a stutter throughout a life, which possibly inspired him caricaturing himself as the Dodo in Alice in Wonderland, referring to the difficulty he had in pronouncing the start of his own surname.
  • Significant Anagram: Carroll was a master of word games, peppering his works with anagrams and acrostics and other sophisticated wordplay.
  • This Is My Name on Foreign: "Lewis Carroll" is a play on the Latin versions of his real first two names.
  • Thrifty Scot: In "The Lang Coortin'".
  • Wanton Cruelty to the Common Comma: He held the view that the single apostrophe in the words "can't", "shan't" and "won't" weren't doing the job of indicating all the missing letters, so he wrote them "ca'n't", "sha'n't" and "wo'n't". An interesting example of the trope, in that he was following the rules of punctuation more consistently and logically than normal, and would probably have accused the normal method of perpetrating the wanton cruelty.
  • You Are Fat: The narrator of the poem "Size and Tears" complains that he's being stalked by a rival who delights in mocking his stout figure.