Jenny Woolf; Foreword by Edward Wakeling
St. Martin's Griffin
In The Mystery of Lewis Carroll, Jenny Woolf brings to life the brilliant, secretive, and self-contradictory creator of Alice in Wonderland, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a.k.a. Lewis Carroll. Reveling in double meanings and puzzles, in his fiction and his life, Carroll always—at least in part—seemed hidden, unknowable. Woolf uses rarely-seen and recently discovered sources like Carroll's private bank account records, letters from the family of the "real" Alice Liddell and unpublished correspondence with Carroll's own relatives. In shining new light upon Carroll, Woolf sets this perennially fascinating man firmly in the context of the English Victorian age and tackles many of the questions that have persisted throughout the years.
- Was it Alice or her older sister that caused a coolness between Carroll and the Liddell family?
- How true is the gossip both about about pedophilia and certain adult women that became attached to him?
- What could be the “romantic secret” which many think ruined Carroll's personal life?
- Who caused Carroll major financial trouble, and why have this person's identity and actions remained unknown till now?
Woolf discards the myths and lets us see Carroll as he truly was: a brilliant product of the Victorian Age, and a genius whose famous stories continue to fascinate readers almost 150 years after their initial publication.
"Goes beyond the central controversy over his life to shed light on a man who has proved elusive to his biographers."
--Wall Street Journal
"Engaging...Woolf writes with affection as well as admiration for the man revealed by her research."
--Michael Dirda, The Washington Post Book World