Lewis Carroll Hated Fame So Much, He Sometimes Regretted Writing Alice

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Charles Dodgson, the author and mathematician better known as Lewis Carroll, wrote about a young girl lost in surreal dreamscapes. But Dodgson had trouble navigating treacherous landscape of his own: literary fame.

The author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass wrote in 1891 letter to one Mrs. Symonds, explaining his particular discomfort with his fame:

I don't think I explained successfully my reasons for disliking letters of mine being put into autograph-collections. All that sort of publicity leads to strangers hearing of my real name in connection with the books, and to my being pointed out to, and started at by, strangers, and treated as a 'lion.' And I hate all that so intensely that sometimes I almost wish I had never written any books at all.


The letter was recently sold through Bonhams at auction for £11,875 by the University of Southern California, meaning the anti-fame missive has landed in a place very much obsessed with fame: Los Angeles.

Fame-Hating Lewis Carroll Letter Lands in Los Angeles [NYT]