THE REV CHARLES LUTWIDGE DODGSON (1832-1898), OTHERWISE LEWIS CARROLL, AUTHOR AND MATHEMATICIAN, AND THE DODGSON FAMILY OF GUILDFORD AND ELSEWHERE: LETTERS, PHOTOGRAPHS AND OTHER MATERIAL

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Under the terms of his will (DFC/A/7/3) all the real and personal estate of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson was to be divided equally between his brothers and sisters. The management of his literary estate, on behalf of the whole family, had by 1965 devolved into the hands of his great-nephew, Philip Dodgson Jaques.

The personal estate included what remained of his manuscripts and papers. The two-day sale of effects in Oxford on 3-4 May 1898 included few manuscripts, though some original drawings for the illustrations of the Alice books were sold, with 1st editions (described in DFC/A/7/7/1 and DFC/F/60/15). Before this many sacks of papers had been burnt by his executors, his brothers Wilfred and Edwin (DFC/A/7/4). The Collection thus contains no literary manuscripts and no early editions of the Alice books.

The Collection provides evidence of the disposal of other items. Some photographic plates were returned to the subjects by Miss F J Dodgson in 1900 (DFC/D/1). There are catalogues of the manuscripts of his literary works, including Juvenilia, sent for auction by the family and by Alice Hargreaves and others from 1928 onwards (described in DFC/H/3 and DFC/F/60/17/1).

From 1861, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson kept registers of all the letters he received and sent (he carefully numbered each letter). 24 of these registers were recalled by his nephew and biographer Stuart Collingwood. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson is known to have written over 100 000 letters during his lifetime, and the existence of a number of copy letters in the Dodgson Family Archive (DFC/A/29/1-8) implies that yet further series were from time to time maintained. The surviving evidence of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson's correspondence, which he affectionately referred to as 'the Card Game of whist for two' (Zg/73), is considerably smaller. Morton Cohen tracked down a total of 4000 letters from round the world, of which 1,400 were mainly private, for his 2 volume edition of the complete letters.

The Collection includes very few letters from Charles Lutwidge Dodgson to members of the family, exceptions being a letter to a sister in 1854, announcing his first-class in mathematics (DFC/A/3/4), two letters to his aunt Lucy Lutwidge and two to his sister Louisa (DFC/A/28/1-4). There are also a few of his own drafts or copies for letters (DFC/A/29/1-8). Business letters include a series from Macmillans, 1877-1883 (DFC/A/36/1-20), and a few other business letters (DFC/A/32/1-5).

It is a mystery, though, what happened to entire volumes from the diary series which Lewis Carroll kept from about 1853. Stuart Collingwood used the volumes for his biography of Carroll published shortly after his uncle's death. However, it was later discovered that four volumes were missing. Within the surviving diaries, certain pages have been cut out: it is unknown whether this was done by Dodgson himself, or by one of his siblings after his death. DFC/F/17/- includes speculation by younger members of the family as to the contents of the missing pages.

Further autograph and original material of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson's includes one word-puzzle in his own hand (DFC/A/16/3/1), his sketch book, with 8 drawings, most of little girls on the beach in 1874-1875 (DFC/A/22/1), and several of his own photographs (DFC/B/2/1-9).

There are some proofs of works, including the corrected galleys for articles in Nature Curiosa Mathematica (DFC/A/14/2), and a few pages of corrected proofs of Sylvie and Bruno (DFC/A/12/1-4). The first printed versions of several works other than the Alice books are present, some of them (eg DFC/A/11/1 and DFC/A/16/1) having been bought by F Menella Dodgson. There are several copies of the Wonderland Postage Stamp Case (DFC/A/17/4).

Family papers include a reading list and Sunday texts and prayers prepared for CL Dodgson as a child by his mother (DFC/A/1/1-3), and letters about him when at school and university (DFC/A/2 &3).

The graphic material includes photographs of Dodgson at various ages (DFC/B/1/1-10), some of other members of the family (DFC/B/5/1-27), a photograph of Dodgson's room at Christ Church (DFC/B/4/13-14), and two of The Chestnuts (DFC/B/4/20-21). There is a watercolour and a photograph of Croft Rectory (DFC/B/4/2-5).

As interest in Lewis Carroll developed, the family received many letters, and draft answers written by members of the family often contain information not found elsewhere. They were sent copies of the resulting works, and collected other material of various kinds. The "Carrolliana" is arranged under subjects in DFC/F. This part of the Collection also provides, in conjunction with the newspaper cuttings, evidence of the gradual development of interest in Lewis Carroll and his works.

Where possible anything that can be classed as a reminiscence of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson by a friend or a relation has been arranged in separate sections (DFC/C/6/1-4, DFC/D/1-2 and DFC/H/1-44).

The printed material, including newspaper cuttings, is of some interest. The family started to amass cuttings during Dodgson's lifetime, and for the Centenary year employed a newspaper cuttings agency. Many more were collected by members of the family up to 1982 (DFC/H/1-67), some being in albums. Parodies and advertisements and cartoons have been taken out of the main series of newspaper cuttings and included in the "Carrolliana" section (DFC/F/33/1-12).

Administrative / Biographical History

From the time when he became head of the family on his father's death until he died there in 1898, the Rev Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, best known as the author of 'Alice in Wonderland' under the pen name Lewis Carroll, was a frequent visitor to Guildford. He installed his sisters in a house called The Chestnuts on Castle Hill in September 1868 and he always spent Christmas with them. He brought child friends to stay there, photographed them and the children of Guildford friends in the garden, took part in amateur theatricals and went for long walks, on one of which the line of verse which was to become the last line in ' The Hunting of the Snark ' came into his head. Occasionally he preached in St Mary's church. As far as is known he was usually on holiday when in Guildford, and none of his imaginative writing was worked on there. Nonetheless Guildford has a good claim to be, after Oxford, the place most associated with his adult life. At least by the time the centenary of his birth was being celebrated in 1932 Guildford was conscious of the significance of the distinguished former occupant of The Chestnuts, and the profits of the celebrations in the town went towards the placing of a plaque on one of the gateposts in Castle Hill. There was a ceremonial unveiling on 24 May 1933 attended by several members of the Dodgson family.

Arrangement

The list is arranged in sections A-L, all original archive material contemporary with Dodgson being in sections DFC/A and DFC/B. The name Charles Lutwidge Dodgson is generally used in the catalogue, except where he is specifically referred to in the persona of his authorial pseudonym Lewis Carroll.

The series include:

  • DFC/A - COLLECTED ORIGINAL RECORDS RELATING TO THE LIFE OF CHARLES LUTWIDGE DODGSON (1832-1898)
  • DFC/B - PHOTOGRAPHS AND OTHER GRAPHIC MATERIAL
  • DFC/C - RECORDS RELATING TO OTHER MEMBERS OF THE DODGSON FAMILY
  • DFC/D - PAPERS OF FRIENDS OF CHARLES LUTWIDGE DODGSON, INCLUDING FIRST HAND REMINISCENCES OF HIM BY CHILD FRIENDS
  • DFC/E - FACSIMILES AND TRANSCRIPTS OF RECORDS RELATING TO THE LIFE OF CHARLES LUTWIDGE DODGSON, INCLUDING HIS DIARIES
  • DFC/F - 'CARROLLIANA': DODGSON FAMILY CORRESPONDENCE AND PAPERS RELATING TO DODGSON AND THE WORKS OF LEWIS CARROLL
  • DFC/G, H, J, K, L - ARTICLES AND REVIEWS OF WORKS BY LEWIS CARROLL, POSTHUMOUSLY PUBLISHED WORKS, PROOFTS OF WORKS AND BOOKS ABOUT HIM, AND NEWSPAPER CUTTINGS AND PHOTOCOPIES ON VARIOUS TOPICS

Conditions Governing Access

For conservation and security reasons, photographic copies are available of original photographic prints in DFC/B/-: originals of these may only be viewed at the discretion of the County Archivist.

There are no other restrictions on access to the collection.

Information on visiting Surrey History Centre can be found on our website.

Acquisition Information

Deposited by PD Jacques, trustee of the Dodgson family trust, between October 1965 and February 1981, and by Mrs Grace Collingwood in January 1975 (books in DFC/J/-).

Other Finding Aids

The full catalogue is available at www.surreyarchives.org.uk

Alternative Form Available

For conservation and security reasons, photographic copies are available of original photographic prints in DFC/B/-: originals of these may only be viewed at the discretion of the County Archivist.

Conditions Governing Use

Dodgson family photographs (including those attributed to Dodgson himself) are now in the public domain and therefore out of copyright in the UK. In 1995, copyright for posthumously published items was extended to 70 years from first publication, or 31 Dec 2039, whichever is earlier. In both cases, we must inform the executors of the Dodgson estate of any request to publish. Please contact a member of staff to undertake this.

For U.S publishing, any Dodgson photos first published before 1 Jan 1923 are in the public domain. If published between 1923 and 1977, copyright is the year of publication plus 95 years. Photos published between 1978 and 2002 are in copyright until 31 Dec 2047. Any photograph which remained unpublished at 1 Jan 2003 is in the U.S public domain. AP Watt, the literary agents, and the executors must be asked for their permission prior to publishing. Please contact a member of staff to undertake this.

It is not known whether all manuscript material in DFC/- remains in copyright. Therefore publication requests for manuscript items and extracts from DFC/- must be referred to AP Watt Ltd (and copied to the executors) in the first instance in case the material is still in copyright.

Members of the public are not permitted to take photographs of items in DFC/-. Surrey History Centre is the sole provider of any photographic images to the public and will only provide hard copy prints and not files on CD-ROM. Please contact a member of staff for list of exceptions.

We can provide photocopies of photographs and manuscript material in DFC and LC for members of the public for private research/educational purposes only. Prints of the photographs should be used rather than originals.

Related Material

For other records of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson and the Dodgson family of Guildford, see G103 (letters from Dodgson to Mary and Charles Manners, 1885-1898, and published works by and about Lewis Carroll); LC (collected 'Carrolliana'); Zg/73 (photocopies of two letters from Dodgson to Dora Abdy of Guildford, 1895); Zg/100 (copy photographs of the Dodgson sisters); and 6968 (letters from Dodgson to May Mileham, 1884-1886). Papers of Derek Hudson, biographer of Lewis Carroll, are held as 1521 and 8593. Diaries, 1855-1897, are held at the British Library, ref BL Add MSS 54340-54348.

Bibliography

This is not a complete bibliography, but cites the principal editions of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson's letters and diaries, and other works which are cited in the list below.

  • Lewis Carroll Society, Lewis Carroll's Diaries, the private journals of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll), with notes and annotations by Edward Wakeling
  • R Lancelyn Green, ed., The Diaries of Lewis Carroll (1953)
  • Morton N Cohen, ed., The Letters of Lewis Carroll , 2 volumes, c.1837-1885 and 1886-1898 (1979)
  • A selection of the letters from Lewis Carroll to his child-friends (Macmillan, 1933), DFC/J/5
  • SD Collingwood, Life and Letters of Lewis Carroll (1899)
  • H Gernsheim, Lewis Carroll, Photographer (1969)
  • Morton N Cohen, Lewis Carroll, a biography (1996)
  • SH Williams, revised R Lancelyn Green and D Crutch, The Lewis Carroll Handbook (1979)
  • D Hudson, Lewis Carroll (1954).

There are several editions of 'Complete Works' of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, which contain differing quantities of the minor works.

  • Complete Works of Lewis Carroll (Nonesuch, 1939)
  • The Complete Illustrated Works of Lewis Carroll (Chancellor, 1982)
  • The Complete Works of Lewis Carroll (Penguin, 1988)