Lewis Carroll
image: Wikipedia


Lewis Carroll (1832-1898), born Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, was an author, mathematician, artist and photographer, and used the pseudonym of Lewis Carroll. He, the eldest son and third of eleven children, came to live at The Chestnuts in Guildford after the death of his widowed father.

He kept diaries, and on the 16th August 1868 had lunch with the Revd. Trimmer, Rector of St Mary, Guildford, and his children. Mary Trimmer, he later photographed, and Helen Marian Trimmer was to marry Percy Woods, the Godalming local historian in 1881.

Carroll liked walking, and playing games. His diary recalled on the 29th December 1895, “Walked over to Godalming and fell in with old Mr Burrows, and went with him to his son’s house (the Vicarage) where I saw Mr and Mrs Burrows and their three children, Hedley (9), Leonard (8) and Mary (nearly 5), stayed for tea and did ‘Mr C and Mr T’ for the children.” Carroll knew Revd. Dr Leonard H Burrows, vicar of St Peter & St Paul (1888-1904), and had met his father, Leonard F Burrows, vicar of Witley (1876-1882) at Oxford. Letters written by Mary (Molly) Burrows, later Mrs Knyvett, and Hedley Burrows, describe how he played ‘Mr C and Mr T’ with them. Carroll did paper folding. His diary recalled on the 26th January 1897, “In the afternoon, I went to Godalming and had tea with the Vicar (Revd. Leonard Burrows), and folded a little fishing boat and paper pistol for his little Mary.”

Carroll invented and published his puzzles and games. He knew Thomas Arnold and his daughters from his days at Oxford. In 1877 he invented for Julia Arnold and her sister, Ethel Arnold, a word-game, called ‘Doublets’ published in 1878.

He painted, and there is a painting of Julia in 1872 sitting on an unmade bed, and also painted Julia and Ethel lying on a sofa.

He took photographs and there is one taken in 1871 of Julia in a Chinese dress. In 2007 this was exported to the Collection of Mrs Humphry Ward’s Papers held at Claremont College, California. USA. In 1872 Carroll asked Julia’s sister, Mary Augusta Arnold, to recreate her two-week marriage to Humphry Ward. She and her three sisters, who were bridesmaids, dressed again in wedding clothes for the photograph.

Carroll wrote in his diary on the 3rd January 1888, “Called with Edith on the Huxleys.” Julia (née Arnold) married Leonard Huxley in 1885, master at Charterhouse, and founded Prior’s Field School.

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