Born in Daresbury, England,in 1832, Charles Luthwidge Dodgson is better known by his pen mane of Lewis Carroll. He became a minister of the Church of England and a lecturer in mathematics at Christ Church College, Oxford. He was the author, under his own name, of An Elementary Treatise on Determinants (1867), Symbolic Logic (1896), and other scholarly treatises which would hardly have given him a place in English literature. Charles Dodgson might have been completely forgotten but for the work of his alter ego, Lewis Carroll. Lewis Carroll, shy in the company of adults, loved children and knew and understood the world of the imagination in which the most sensitive of them lived. So he put the little girl Alice Liddell into a dream-story and found himself famous as the author of Alice in Wonderland (1865). Through the Looking Glass followed in 1871. In recent years Carroll has been taken quite seriously as a major literary artist for adults as well. His works have come under the scrutiny of critics who have explained his permanent attractiveness in terms of existential and symbolic drama: The Alice books dramatize psychological realities in symbolic terms, being commentary on the nature of the human predicament rather than escape from it. In addition to his writing, Carroll was also a pioneering photographer, and he took many pictures of young children, especially girls, with whom he seemed to empathize.
Hugh Haughton is a senior lecturer at the University of York. He edited Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass for Penguin Classics. His specialty is in the area of Irish literature and the literature of nonsense. Haughton was born in county Cork in the Republic of Ireland and educated at Cambridge and Oxford.
Sir John Tenniel, born in London in 1820 and died in 1914, was an English illustrator and cartoonist. Tenniel was primarily self-taught but he did become a student of the Royal Academy and in 1836 he sent his first picture to the exhibition of the Society of British Artists. In 1850 he was invited to fill the position of joint cartoonist at Punch (a British weekly magazine of humour and satire published from 1841 to 1992 and from 1996 to 2002). Tenniel is most famous today for his illustrations for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass but he made numerous contributions to Punch in the late 19th century. Tenniel retired in January 1901 and was honored with a farewell banquet at which the Leader of the House of Commons, presided.