portrait of Lewis Carroll
Posthumous portrait by Hubert von Herkomer, based on photographs (ca. 1898)

All archives
Previous Issue (26 January 2004) | Current month | Next Issue (28 January 2004)

Quotes of the Day for 27 January 2004 – Lewis Carroll

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson was born at Daresbury, England on this day in 1832, son of an Anglican priest with an interest in mathematics. Charles was an excellent student, pursuing mathematics and divinity study through secondary school and into Oxford. He also excelled at Christ Church College, Oxford until the last term, when he simply took too much time off and never took his final exam. He became a lecturer in math there anyway, and became interested in photography. Among his favorite subjects were the three students of the school's vicar, and after taking their pictures he spent hours telling them outrageous stories. One of the Liddell girls, Alice, asked him to write the stories down, which he did in 1862. Unlike his math books, he chose not to use his own name. Alice became Alice in Wonderland, the author credit went to Lewis Carroll.

Van's signature

You will find an expanded profile, photo, additional biographical links, and all quotes from this author on the author's Notable Quotable page.


The quotes:

"Where shall I begin, please your Majesty?" he asked. "Begin at the beginning," the King said, gravely, "and go on till you come to the end: then stop."

Now, here you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less." "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things." "The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master - that's all."

"One can't believe impossible things." "I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes - and ships - and sealing-wax -
Of cabbages - and kings -
And why the sea is boiling hot -
And whether pigs have wings."
     - All from Lewis Carroll,
     - pen name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, 1832 - 1898


Do you see an error on this page? A typo, a character that is messed up, a misattribution? Please let us know!