In the Shadow of the Dreamchild
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In the Shadow of the Dreamchild: A New Understanding of Lewis Carroll is a 1999 book by British author Karoline Leach that posited the concept of the "Carroll Myth": the idea that many of the most famous aspects of Lewis Carroll's biography, including his supposed adoration of Alice Liddell, are more legend than fact.
Its main contentions are:
- Lewis Carroll was not 'exclusively focused' on female children as has been claimed by all previous biographers
- He did not 'lose interest' in girls over the age of 14, and that many of his so-called 'child-friends' had actually been grown women
- Alice Liddell was not 'the real Alice', and that Carroll was never in love with her, or asked to marry her
- His relationships with adult women have been consistently under-examined and misreported
- His life was haunted by an unnamed pain that may have involved a guilty love affair
The book has had considerable impact on Carroll studies and reactions to it have been very polarised.
- Ronnen, Meir. "Lewis Carroll's girls". Jerusalem Post. 20 May 1999. (subscription required)
- Heptonstall, Geoffrey. "In the Shadow of the Dreamchild". Contemporary Review. August 1999. Accessed 11 April 2011.
- Rankin, Donald. Review. Victorian Studies 43(4): 650–653. Summer 2001. doi:10.1353/vic.2001.0112 (subscription required)
- Shulevitz, Judith. "THE CLOSE READER; What Was on Lewis Carroll's Mind?". The New York Times. 7 April 2002. Accessed 11 April 2011.
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