Lewis Carroll
Born: 27 Jan, 1832
Died: 14 Jan, 1898
Field: Writer; poet
Location in the Abbey: Poets corner
Type of memorial: Stone

On 17 December 1982 a memorial was dedicated to the poet and writer universally known as Lewis Carroll. The unveiling in Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey was by his great-nephew and the stone is situated between those to Henry James and D.H.Lawrence. The wording is in pale green and the circular design is meant to represent a rabbit hole (alluding to an incident in his most famous book). The stone was lettered by Ieuan Rees. The outer circle inscription is taken from his poem prefacing Sylvia and Bruno. From the centre the inscription reads:

"Charles Lutwidge Dodgson 1832-98. LEWIS CARROLL. Student of Christ Church Oxford. Buried at Guildford. 'Is all our Life, then, but a dream?'"

Charles was born on 27 January 1832 in Daresbury, Cheshire, a son of the Revd. Charles Dodgson and his wife Frances (nee Lutwidge). He was educated at home and at Rugby School, going on to read mathematics at Christ Church, Oxford. From 1855 to 1881 he was Mathematical Lecturer there. One afternoon he took the three daughters of the Dean of Christ Church rowing on the river. One of these was Alice Pleasaunce Liddell (who had been baptised and then later married in Westminster Abbey) and there he told the story which was later published in 1865 as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The sequel Through the Looking Glass... followed and his long nonsense poem The Hunting of the Snark was published in 1876. His pseudonym Lewis Carroll was created by inverting ‘Charles’ and ‘Lutwidge’, translating them into Latin and then back into English. Charles was also an authority on Logic and an enthusiastic photographer. He died unmarried at his house in Guildford, Surrey on 14 January 1898 and was buried in Guildford old cemetery.

 

A photograph of the memorial can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library.