Plane Odd?

As an Oxford don, Lewis Carroll befriended Alice Liddell (the young daughter of the dean of Christ Church, Dr. Henry George Liddell), for whom he wrote such entertaining children's stories as Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass.

Queen Victoria was so impressed by Alice in Wonderland that she had a letter sent to Carroll stating that Her Majesty would be delighted to read any other works by the same hand. Sure enough, she soon received a gift from the author: A copy of his Syllabus of Plane Algebraical Geometry!

[Sadly, Carroll denied that this episode ever took place.]

[The "Alice" stories began with a boat trip up the Thames by Carroll, the Reverend Robinson Duckworth, and Liddell's three daughters. As Duckworth later recalled, Dodgson rowed as Alice Liddel steered: "The story was actually composed over my shoulder... I remember turning round and saying 'Dodgson, is this an extempore romance of yours?' and he replied, 'Yes, I'm inventing as we go along.'" The date? Friday, July 4th, 1862, "as memorable a day in the history of literature," W. H. Auden once averred, "as it is in American history."]

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