Autograph letter signed, regarding photographing children.
An extraordinary letter, in Dodgson’s most elusive ironic mood, which provides a number of teasing hints for those seeking to understand the nature of his relationships with the children he photographed. The surname of the recipient has been obliterated with blank ink swirls over Dodgson’s characteristic purple ink, but could possibly be Sewell. The letter reads in full: “Ch. Ch. Feb 21/77. Dear Miss [erased], Thank you for a sight of the pretty photographs: but don’t keep the child in for me. I am fearfully busy. And what could Miss Lloyd have been thinking to say such things of me! She must have taken some remark of mine about liking children, & have said to herself ‘For “some” read “all”: for “girls” read “boys”: and for “ten” read “two”.’ Such a method of exegesis is wholly unsound; & yet she professes to be an admirer of Dr. Liddon! Believe me, yours very truly, C. L. Dodgson” Miss Lloyd was Catherine E. Lloyd, eight years his senior and the sister of a college friend. He remained friends with her until the end of his life, and they were still holidaying together at Eastbourne when they were both in their sixties. She was guardian or chaperone of Isabel Seymour, another child-friend of Dodgson. Dr Henry Parry Liddon (1829-1890), the Anglo-Catholic clergyman and biblical scholar, was also a long-term friend of Dodgson’s.
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2 pages, small octavo (155 102 mm), written in purple ink. Name of recipient blocked out, short split at foot of fold, creased where folded twice for posting, excellent condition.