I am, as many of you will be aware fascinated, some might say obsessed, by the works of the author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known by his nom de plume Lewis Carol. All his fictional works have been my literary bread and butter since I first learned to read, and I have no doubt minutely examined every line, phrase, nuance, in excruciating detail more often than is healthy to do so.
Dodgson is of course a most accomplished and acknowledged mathematician, and his volumes in that realm are well respected as superlative texts. To my regret I have no head for sums, beyond the additions or subtractions of the Mock Turtles vocal rendition.
The adventures of Alice in Wonderland, the heroine being a very romantic representation of Alice Liddell, and the multiple ancillary volumes, fulfill quite happily every possible moral and ethical quandary a growing child might need to address and understand to competently circumnavigate this mystical and magical world, so graphically illustrated by the mysterious land down the rabbit hole.
Read in the teens, as a young adult, as a parent, as a senior, the tales take on entirely different meanings, touching divergent age groups with wholly unique perspectives.
The relationship between Dodgson and his dear Alice, does test our attitudes, questions our ability to place ourselves in the steads of a Victorian aesthetic and an impressionable adolescent gentile maid. Many are inclined to question motivations, the honesty and clarity of feelings. Personally I favor a positive reflection, that Dodgson whilst no doubt enamored by his young charge, was entirely innocent of any of the darker inferences propagated. It is scholarly suggested, and marginally confirmed, that Dodgson was inclined towards marrying Alice, and did quite possibly propose the match to her family, A rift developed between the two around the summertime of 1863, and was never successfully repaired.
Mine own grandmother, who was a Victorian child, old enough to well recall Queen Victorias funeral, married at the tender age of fourteen, not at all an unusual circumstance in the high society of that era.