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Thread: Alice in wonderland: A bbc doco

  1. #1
    Mr RonPrice Ron Price's Avatar
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    Alice in wonderland: A bbc doco

    Part 1:

    The Secret World of Lewis Carroll was televised on ABCTV on 28/4/'15(8:30 to 9:30 p.m.). For fans of both literature & scandal The Secret World of Lewis Carroll (BBCTwo) was a wonderfully engaging portrait which showed both the scandalous and the imaginative side of Carroll. Martha Kearney, the presenter, left viewers with the question: "was Lewis Carroll a repressed paedophile?"

    The Alice in Wonderland creator Lewis Carroll invented the Alice story on a river trip with his 10-year-old friend Alice Liddell, a self-possessed little girl, we were told, with whom Carroll was entranced. This BBC documentary examined Carroll's relationship with children. He took photographs of Alice Liddell's two sisters in 1859. This enthusiasm for photography was a common, a mainstream and fashionable Victorian pastime. Carroll, though, seemed to be unusual at least insofar as his ceaseless pursuit of, and a passion for, juvenile feminine company and photographs. Some critics argue, though, that this personal idiosyncrasy of Carroll's was just a response to a prevalent aesthetic, artistic, and philosophical movement of the time.

    Part 1.1:

    The English author, journalist, political commentator and television personality Will Self, interviewed in this doco, described Carroll as being 'a repressed paedophile'. Classics and English expert Robert Douglas-Fairhurst argued, on the other hand, that however much it is "tempting to think of Carroll as a Victorian Jimmy Savile, in fact, there are dozens and dozens of records from girls whom he befriended. They all made it clear that there was a kind of ritual to their friendship. It involved kissing them chastely and that was it.” Savile(1926-2011), it may never be forgotten, and you may remember, was one of Britain's most prolific predatory sexual offenders.

    Part 2:

    Many people believe Carroll was an innocent who simply enjoyed the company of children, and there is no evidence of misbehaviour. Program presenter, Kearney, tried to end on a positive note: “Perhaps we’ll never find out the truth about Lewis Carroll no matter how much we delve.” But, after her programme, many viewers were likely to have decided that they now knew precisely what the damning truth was. It must have been tough for Kearney to do all that delving into her hero's life as she did.

    The programme located a previously unseen photograph almost certainly taken by Carroll. It showed a girl stripped off, revealing her developed, adolescent body. And it seems she was Lorina, Alice’s older sister by three years. Carroll, who died in January 1898, befriended Alice Liddell and her two sisters when they were children. It was Miss Liddell who was the inspiration for the famous book. Researchers, working on this documentary of the 150th anniversary of the publication of the much-loved children's book, discovered these disturbing images.(1) -Ron Price with thanks to (1)Terry Ramsey, The Telegraph, 31/1/'15.

    Part 3:

    Dodgson was also keenly(1)
    interested in adult women,
    it should be emphasized to
    all those who come to read
    this my prose-poem, and he
    had a sense of sin being the
    devout Protestant that he was.

    The year 1863 was a very big
    year for this famous author, a
    writer of some 100,000 letters,
    who took his Alice manuscript
    to Macmillan's. This work was
    published in the last year of the
    civil war, and the same year as(2)
    the first Western book written in
    its entirety on the subject of the
    Babi religion was published by(3)
    a university: '65 was a big year!

    1The name of the author of Alice in Wonderland was Charles Dodgson better known by his pen name Lewis Carroll.
    2 The American Civil War, 1861-1865; Congress passed the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery in America, and Abraham Lincoln was shot & killed while attending the play "Our American Cousin" at Ford's Theatre.
    3 Mirza Kazem-Beg of St Petersberg University published Bab Babidy.

    Ron Price
    1 May 2015
    Ron Price is a Canadian who has been living in Australia for 42 years(in 2013). He is married to a Tasmanian and has been for 37 years after 8 years in a first marriage. At the age of 69 he now spends most of his time as an author and writer, poet and publisher. editor and researcher, online blogger, essayist, journalist and engaging in independent scholarship. He has been associated with the Baha'i Faith for 60 years and a member for 53 years.cool:

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    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    "A self controlled paedophile" might be a kinder way of putting it.
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

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    Registered User Iain Sparrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanB View Post
    "A self controlled paedophile" might be a kinder way of putting it.

    I tend to agree.
    There was in Victorian times, a sort of revival of certain Greek ideals, neoclassicism on the cheap; one such aesthetic was that of "the cult of the child", and one need only read Dickens work to better understand this preoccupation and idealization of children... this is often used as a way of excusing Lewis Carroll's behavior. I love Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, have a tattoo of the gryphon curled up and sleeping on my chest, think Lewis Carroll is one of the most fascinating writers of all time... but I have serious doubt that his interest in prepubescent girls was purely innocent. He was no mere amateur photographer; at a time when photography was as much science as art and required exceptional dedication, he became very good at it... and you almost have to wonder if this "hobby" was his way of safely pursuing young girls within the bounds of Victorian society?
    I've seen some of the photographs in question and it's strange seeing the real Alice, almost troublingly so.
    In the end, we'll never really know what was in Carroll's heart and mind. And it's probably best that way.

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    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    The people whose opinion really matters were the girls he pursued. Some of them might have found him a creep, some of them might have been deeply disturbed, some might have giggled at him behind his back and been flattered by his attention... We'll never know.

    I am uneasy at this demonisation of paedophiles (which in no way is meant to support men, or women, who sexually use children). But the righteous indignation the issue arouses makes me wonder at times.

    In the books, Alice is far more mature than the sentimentalised child-women in Dickens and indeed than all the grotesque grown-up characters she meets. She is certainly not a figure of male wish fulfillment, but the centre of sanity in a mad world.
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

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