Wednesday, 16 March 2016

The Hidden Symbolism of Lewis Carroll

The works of Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) are filled with hidden symbolism; from the acrostic poems and riddles that accompanied his stories to the mathematical problems he published. The characters also represented certain people from the time of Carroll, Alice for example was based on Alice Liddell, the daughter of a friend and colleague. Carroll used word play and logic, and his most remembered works Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass with their themes of escapism and fantasy still fascinate us today.

Lewis Carroll was born in Daresbury, Cheshire, and he may have drew some of his inspiration from the area of his childhood. The white rabbit for example features in a legend of Bewsey Old Hall, which is based in nearby Warrington. The white rabbit, according to the tale, would be chased across the grounds by ghostly hounds. The Cheshire Cat may have been inspired by a cat carved on a church in Grappenhall, a nearby village, located a few miles from Daresbury in Cheshire. The carved cat is on the outside of the Church tower, and is sometimes hard to spot, the carved cat blending into its sandstone background.

Lewis Carroll spent a good part of his childhood in Daresbury where his father Charles Dodgson was Perpetual Curate of All Saints Church there. The font where Carroll was baptised is now situated in the churchyard, and there are windows (below) dedicated to the author, along with a visitors centre that is attached to the church.

The font that Lewis Carroll was baptised in. Now located in the churchyard.

The Cheshire cat appearing on a barn building in Daresbury.

All Saints Church, Daresbury. Lewis Carroll's father Charles Dodgson was Perpetual Curate there.

The Ring O' Bells pub in Daresbury, Victorian Mock-Tudor at its best. the building on the left was a court house and is now an extension to the pub.
The village in Summer.

All photos taken with permission by Dr David Harrison.

© Dr David Harrison 2016.

No comments:

Post a Comment