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Alice in Wonderland

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GuyBarry
1257294.  Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:27 am Reply with quote

The "QI Encyclopedia" page on Alice in Wonderland says:

Quote:
The story goes that Queen Victoria enjoyed Alice in Wonderland so much that she asked Lewis Carroll to dedicate his next book to her. His next book was the snappily titled An Elementary Treatise on Determinants.


This is a rumour that circulated during Carroll's lifetime, and is still sometimes repeated. However it is unquestionably false, since he denied it himself:

Lewis Carroll wrote:
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.


See the Snopes page on the topic for further information.

The page also makes the claim, attributed to Melanie Bayley, that "the rest of Dodgson's published work was painfully dull and moralistic except for two very funny pamphlets he laid out as false mathematical truths, attacking changes in the governance of the University".

Carroll published plenty of other work that was neither dull nor moralistic, including The Hunting of the Snark and A Tangled Tale, as well as a variety of mathematical and literary games and puzzles. In particular, he invented the game of Doublets (now usually called "Word Ladders") where one word has to be transformed into another one letter at a time - perhaps an even greater contribution to popular culture than the Alice books.

 
crissdee
1257380.  Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:39 pm Reply with quote

GuyBarry wrote:
Carroll published plenty of other work that was neither dull nor moralistic, including The Hunting of the Snark and A Tangled Tale, as well as a variety of mathematical and literary games and puzzles. In particular, he invented the game of Doublets (now usually called "Word Ladders") where one word has to be transformed into another one letter at a time - perhaps an even greater contribution to popular culture than the Alice books.


Which brings me on to one of my two favourite subjects.

A man by the name of Richard Wallace once wrote a book* accusing the Reverend Charles Dodgson of being the perpetrator of the Whitechapel murders. His "proof"** used a number of of questionable "Doublets", often extending to 20 or 30 words, to establish that he was "confessing" within the text of his various works. All in all, it made "The Da Vinci Code" look believable.




*see Richard Wallace, "Light-hearted Friend" on any suitable book-buying site

** a word I am using quite wrongly

 
GuyBarry
1257387.  Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:53 pm Reply with quote

I refer you to The Straight Dope's response on this (if you don't already know it).

 

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