20 July 1967|
|Period||Early 21st century|
Karoline Leach (born 20 July 1967) is a British playwright and author, best known for her book In the Shadow of the Dreamchild (ISBN 0-7206-1044-3), which re-examines the life of Lewis Carroll (pseudonym of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson), the author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. This book and her subsequent work on what she terms the "Carroll Myth" have been major sources of upheaval and controversy in recent years and she has produced very polarized responses from Carroll scholars and lay enthusiasts.
Leach was born in Liverpool. She studied acting and worked as both actor and director in British theatre before becoming a writer.
Her first professional produced work as a writer was an adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen, commissioned by Orchard Theatre Company in 1989. "The Mysterious Mr Love" was produced in London's West End in 1997. Under the new title of Tryst that play opened off-Broadway at the Promenade Theatre, on 6 April 2006, and has subsequently been produced in many cities around the world, including Athens, Warsaw, Houston, Los Angeles and Montreal.
The Carroll controversy
Leach's theory of a "Carroll Myth" created a furor when first suggested, and continues to divide scholars, although in recent years the idea has been gaining ground, with authors such as Carolyn Siger offering it support. However, authors including Morton N. Cohen and Martin Gardner continue to downplay or dismiss her importance. Cohen, who is also a Dodgson biographer, repudiates Leach's position as being simply a plea for the defence, and, in a 2003 article in the Times Literary Supplement labeled Leach and her supporters as 'revisionists' attempting to rewrite history.
In 2004 Leach founded the Association for New Lewis Carroll Studies, that aims to promote reassessment of Carroll's life in light of the alleged 'Myth'. Its membership, as of 2010, includes scholars such as Hugues Lebailly, Carolyn Sigler, Sherry L. Ackerman, John Tufail and Cristopher Hollingsworth.