Talk:Charles Dodgson

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gifted photographer and a talented mathematician?

Not so sure about either of these. Certainly he was an early photographer, and a serious photographer, but do photographers consider him to be of particular importance in the history of photography? Similarly, "talented" is a little vague. He was a professor of mathematics, but I don't think mathematicians consider him to have been an important one. In fact I'm not sure what his books and publications were, apart from "Symbolic logic." He created some ingenious and amusing mathematical puzzles with accompanying story-lines. Dpbsmith 21:03, 11 February 2007 (EST)

I'm no expert on Lewis Carroll, but apparently his photographic work is considered top-notch, among the very best for his time and quite influential. Certainly it's hard to quibble with work like this:

Lewis Carroll photo.jpg

I think Lewis Carroll wrote a math book and dedicated it to the Queen of England., and was considered a stand-out math student at Oxford. --Aschlafly 21:39, 11 February 2007 (EST)

  • The topic is addressed in what appears to be a facsimile of a 1957 Scientific American article by Warren Weaver, Lewis Carroll, Mathematician. Weaver paints a picture of him as an enthusiast, as "above all, a teacher," but concludes "In all of Dodgson’s mathematical writing it is evident that he was not an important mathematician." Dpbsmith 18:56, 19 April 2007 (EDT)
Dodgson wrote 'Symbolic Logic' and 'Game of Logic'; the Carroll Diagram (an alternative to Venn Diagram was named after him. For a full list of publications, see: --CatWatcher 19:08, 19 April 2007 (EDT)

Too glib a treatment of a complicated subject

I'm not comfortable with this:

many of his photographs are romanticised images of pre-pubescent girls, clothed and naked, leading to suspicions about Dodgson's sexual inclinations.

In an encyclopedia aimed at an adult audience it would be necessary to address the topic of Dodgson's emotional connections with preadolescent girls. I'm not sure it's appropriate for a "family friendly" encyclopedia. If we are going to deal with it, I'd like to see it done almost entirely in the form of direct quotations from biographers, so that the judgements about tone and balance have been made by someone who is an expert on Dodgson.

I don't want to see any facile statement here. For example, I'm not aware that the images themselves were "romanticized," even if Dodgson's feeling toward his subjects might have been. If a biographer has called the images romanticized and someone wants to quote the passage, that's another matter.

(Yes, I personally assume that that Dodgson probably did experience inappropriate feelings toward young girls; in fact, I assume that it what he is referring to in the introduction to "Pillow Problems," in which he recommends mental work as a distraction from "unholy thoughts which torture with their hateful presence the fancy that would fain be pure." Biographers seem to be quite certain that if he experienced such feelings, he never acted on them.) Dpbsmith 18:54, 19 April 2007 (EDT)