Early in 1856, Carroll put in the Diary which he kept throughout his life: "Wrote to Uncle Skeffington to get me a photographic apparatus, as I want some other occupation here than mere reading and writing." This suggestion that he wanted to take up photography himself is the first mention in his Diary of what was to become, for the next twenty-five years, nothing less than an obsession. Carroll has long occupied a niche in photographic history books as the best Victorian photographer of children — especially of little girls. But his photographs of adults (some of which are among the important collection of his work in the National Museum of Photography, Film & Television) are equally impressive. From them, it is possible to see that he was one of a very small number of mainly amateur British photographers (perhaps as few as a dozen) who stand head and shoulders above the vast numbers of unimaginative professional portraitists of the time. [Ford 5]

Only an amateur could have taken such an independent course from the usual stilted portraits of children, and that is why Lewis Carroll's pictures strike us today as so greatly superior to professional work [Gernsheim 63]

Lewis Carroll (self-portrait), © National Portrait Gallery, London.




Collingwood, Stuart Dodgson. The Life and Letters of Lewis Carroll (Rev. C. L. Dodgson). London: Unwin, 1898. Internet Archive. Web.9 March 2020. From the Fisher Walsh collection, University of Toronto. Web. 9 March 2020.

Ford, Colin. "Alice Through the Viewfinder." In Lewis Carroll Photographer. Bradford: National Museum of Photography Film and Television, 1987. 5-14.

Gernsheim, Helmut. A Concise History of Photography. 3rd revised ed. Mineola, NY: Dover, 1986.

Hannavy, John. Masters of Victorian Photography. New York: Holmes & Meier, 1976.

Nickel, Douglas R. Dreaming in Pictures: The Photography of Lewis Carroll. San Francisco: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (in association with Yale University Press), 2002.

Taylor, Roger, and Edward Wakeling. Lewis Carroll, Photographer. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002.

Last modified 9 March 2020