Lewis Carroll was born at Daresbury in Chesire into a wealthy family. He attended a Yorkshire grammar school and Rugby. At Christ Church, Oxford, he studied mathematics and worked from 1855 to 1881 as a lecturer (tutor). Carroll's career in education was troubled by a bad stammer. He lectured and taught with difficulty and he also preached only occasionally after his ordination in 1861. According to stories, Carroll was shy and he even hid his hands continually within a pair of gray-and-black gloves.

In spite of his stammer, Carroll spoke easily with children, whom he often photographed. He had seven sisters and his attraction to young girls was perhaps more innocent than has been imagined - he also had long friendships with mature women, but this side of his life has remained little examined. However, Karoline Leach has criticized in his book In the Shadow of the Dreamchild (1999) the Freudian mythology and the "strange incestuous kind of immortality" created around the author and the real-life Alice.

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