Lewis Carroll, or Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, was born January 27, 1832 in Cheshire, England. Charles suffered socially due to a speech impediment but excelled academically. Later, he became a talented mathematician, and even taught with Christ Church, Oxford for over twenty-five years. He also published several books about geometry, algebra, logic, and more under his real name.
Interestingly, in spite of Charles’ mathematic scholarship, he is most well-known for his children’s literature as Lewis Carroll. Many of Carroll’s creative and whimsical writings can be considered literary nonsense, and are widely known in spite of, or even because of, that element.
The poem “Jabberwocky” is a great example of his unique style. The jabberwocky is an imaginary creature, and the poem fittingly reflects wild nonsense. The first stanza sets the topsy-turvy tone of the poem:
Other works by Carroll, such as, Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass are well-loved by many children and adults. These two notable works have been immortalized in film, with Alice through the Looking Glass starring actors like Johnny Depp and Anne Hathaway having been released as recently as of May 2016. Carroll’s poem “The Walrus and the Carpenter” is even cited in season 3, episode 6 of The Librarians on TNT as a tool used to create the Bermuda Triangle.
But, even more than his works, Carroll left us his spirit of belief and an encouragement to keep on keeping on. Here are some of his notable sayings for your enjoyment and encouragement:
“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.”—Alice in Wonderland
“One of the secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others.”
So today, as we remember Lewis Carroll and his life’s work, let’s also remember the spirit that he lived with and the inspiration that he gave to the world.