Lewis Carroll

Writer and Poet

On 17th December 1982 a memorial was dedicated to the poet and writer Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, universally known as Lewis Carroll. The unveiling in Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey was by his great-nephew, Philip Dodgson Jaques, and the stone is situated between those to Henry James and D.H. Lawrence. The Reverend Ivor Davies of the Lewis Carroll Society gave the address. Two granddaughters of Mr Jaques laid flowers on the stone. A wreath was also placed by the President of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America. One of the hymns, "My God, My Father, while I stray" was also sung at his funeral.

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 27th January 1832 in Daresbury, Cheshire, a son of the Reverend 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 14th January 1898 and was buried in Guildford old cemetery.

Further Reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography


27th January 1832


14th January 1898


17th December 1982


Writer; poet


South Transept; Poets' Corner

Memorial Type


Lewis Carroll
Lewis Carroll

Oscar Gustave Rejlander [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Lewis Carroll
Lewis Carroll memorial

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2024 Dean and Chapter of Westminster