Entertainment & Arts

Lewis Carroll letter on fame to go up for sale

Lewis Carroll Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Carroll wrote Alice in Wonderland for Alice Liddell

A handwritten letter from Alice in Wonderland author Lewis Carroll, in which he complains about the downside of fame, is to be sold at Bonham's.

Written under his own name, Charles Dodgson, he says he hates "being pointed out to, and stared at, by strangers, and treated as a 'lion'".

"And I hate all that so intensely that sometimes I almost wish I had never written any books at all," it reads.

The 1891 letter to his friend, Anne Symonds, will be auctioned on 19 March.

It is expected to fetch between £3000 and £4000 at the London sale.

Carroll was notoriously shy and he wrote that although he realised many people "like being looked at as a notoriety... we are not all made on the same pattern; and our likes and dislikes are very different".

The letter is being sold as part of a Books, Manuscripts, Maps and Photographs sale - other lots include first editions of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and Charles Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities.

A photograph taken by Carroll of a young girl at the seaside and his portrait of a three-year-old girl on a couch are also up for sale, as are a third folio of Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories and Tragedies and several first editions of books by Evelyn Waugh.

Alice in Wonderland was originally written as a private gift for Carroll to 12-year-old Alice Liddell in 1864.

Carroll came up with the story of Alice and her trip to a fantasy world while on a boat trip with the real Alice and her family in Oxford in 1862.

Their relationship was recently dramatised by American writer John Logan in the play Peter and Alice, starring Dame Judi Dench as the adult Alice Liddell Hargreaves.

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