Lesser Known Facts about Lewis Carroll

I had a few friends over for dinner and I made mention of my annoyance that Lewis Carroll was portrayed as a drug addict:

Me: He was a chemist, you can find the Dodgson reaction as part of Organic Chemistry canon.
Mike: Actually, Terry, he was a mathematician.
Me: Then how did he come up with the Dodgson reaction?
Mike: He didn’t, he came up with the Dodgson ├é┬ámethod of vote counting.
Me: Damn, I thought I knew Carroll Dodgson.
Mike: His name was Charles.
Randy: *sensing my weakness* I heard he had a hook for a hand.

From here, we came up with a goodly corpus of non-facts about Charles Dodgson, among them:

  • Lewis Carroll started life as the woman Carol Lewis, but upon turning 18 became a man.
  • Alternatively, Carol Lewis was a boy who became a man in the figurative sense upon turning 18.
  • He had a hook for a hand.
  • The Dodgson method is something you only want to do on someone you’re very close with.
  • He was a noted philatelist.
  • He killed the last dodo by hand.

I felt like a bit of an idiot by the end of the evening reminding me that my good friends make me feel great, my great friends make me feel terrible.