Geoffrey Chaucer

Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1343 – October 25, 1400) was an English author, poet, philosopher, bureaucrat courtier, and diplomat. Although he wrote many works, he is best remembered for his unfinished frame narrative The Canterbury Tales. Sometimes called the father of English literature, Chaucer is credited by some scholars as being the first author to demonstrate the artistic legitimacy of the vernacular English language, rather than French or Latin.


Chaucer as a pilgrim from the Ellesmere manuscript DBChaucer was born in 1343 in London, although the exact date and location of his birth are not known. His father and grandfather were both London vintners and before that, for several generations, the family were merchants in Ipswich. His name is derived from the French chausseur, meaning shoemaker. In 1324 John Chaucer, Geoffrey's father, was kidnapped by an aunt in the hope of marrying the twelve year old boy to her daughter in an attempt to keep property in Ipswich. The aunt was imprisoned and the £250 fine levied suggests that the family was financially secure, upper middle-class, if not in the elite. John married Agnes Copton, who in 1349 inherited property including 24 shops in London from her uncle, Hamo de Copton, who is described as the "moneyer" at the Tower of London. He was also convicted of sexually harassing a boy of 13. He was put on trial but was released.

There are no details of Chaucer's early life and education but compared to his near contemporary poets, William Langland and The Pearl Poet, his life is well documented, with nearly five hundred written items testifying to his career. The first time he is mentioned is in 1357, in the household accounts of Elizabeth de Burgh, the Countess of Ulster, when his father's connections enabled him to become the noblewoman's page. He also worked as a courtier, a diplomat, and a civil servant, as well as working for the king collecting and inventorying scrap metal. In 1359, in the early stages of the Hundred Years' War, Edward III invaded France and Chaucer travelled with Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence, Elizabeth's husband, as part of the English army. In 1360, he was captured during the siege of Rheims, becoming a prisoner of war. Edward contributed £16 as part of a ransom, and Chaucer was released. Chaucer was then known as the prisoner.

After this, Chaucer's life is uncertain, but he seems to have travelled in France, Spain, and Flanders, possibly as a messenger and perhaps even going on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Around 1366, Chaucer married Philippa (de) Roet. She was a lady-in-waiting to Edward III's queen, Philippa of Hainault, and a sister of Katherine Swynford, who later (ca. 1396) became the third wife of Chaucer's friend and patron, John of Gaunt. It is uncertain how many children Chaucer and Philippa had, but three or four are the numbers most widely agreed upon. His son, Thomas Chaucer, had an illustrious career, chief butler to four kings, envoy to France, and Speaker of the House of Commons. Thomas' great-grandson (Geoffrey’s great-great-grandson), John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln, was the heir to the throne designated by Richard III before he was deposed. Geoffrey's other children probably included Elizabeth Chaucy, a nun; Agnes, an attendant at Henry IV's coronation; and another son, Lewis Chaucer.

Chaucer is presumed to have studied law in the Inner Temple (an Inn of Court) at about this time, although definite proof is lacking. It is recorded that he became a member of the royal court of Edward III as a valet, yeoman, or esquire on 20 June 1367, a position which could entail any number of jobs. He travelled abroad many times, at least some of them in his role as a valet. In 1368, he may have attended the wedding of Lionel of Antwerp to Violante, daughter of Galeazzo II Visconti, in Milan. Two other literary stars of the era who were in attendance were Jean Froissart and Petrarch. Around this time Chaucer is believed to have written The Book of the Duchess in honor of Blanche of Lancaster, the late wife of John of Gaunt, who died in 1369.

Chaucer travelled to Picardy the next year as part of the military expedition, and visited Genoa and Florence in 1373. It is on this Italian trip that it is speculated he came into contact with medieval Italian poetry, the forms and stories of which he would use later. One other trip he took in 1377 seems shrouded in mystery, with records of the time conflicting in details. Later documents suggest it was a mission, along with Jean Froissart, to arrange a marriage between the future Richard II and a French princess, thereby ending the Hundred Years War. If this was the purpose of their trip, they seem to have been unsuccessful, as no wedding occurred.

In 1378, Richard II sent Chaucer as an envoy/secret dispatch to the Visconti and to Sir John Hawkwood, English Man-at Arms/Soldier for Hire, in Milan. It is on the person of John Hawkwood that Chaucer based his Knight's Character. The Knight, based on his description/dress and appearance, looks exactly like a soldier for hire/mercenary would have looked in the fourteenth century.

A 19th century depiction of Chaucer. For three near-contemporary portraits of Chaucer see here.A possible indication that his career as a writer was appreciated came when Edward III granted Chaucer a gallon of wine daily for the rest of his life for some unspecified task. This was an unusual grant, but given on a day of celebration, St. George's Day, 1374, when artistic endeavours were traditionally rewarded, it is assumed to have been another early poetic work. It is not known which, if any, of Chaucer's extant works prompted the reward but the suggestion of poet to a king places him as a precursor to later poets laureate. Chaucer continued to collect the liquid stipend until Richard II came to power, after which it was converted to a monetary grant on 18 April 1378.

Chaucer obtained the very substantial job of Comptroller of the Customs for the port of London, which Chaucer began on 8 June 1374. He must have been suited for the role as he continued in it for twelve years, a long time in such a post at that period. His life goes undocumented for much of the next ten years but it is believed that he wrote (or began) most of his famous works during this time period. He was mentioned in law papers of 4 May 1380, involved in the raptus of Cecilia Chaumpaigne. What raptus means, rape or possibly kidnapping, is unclear, but the incident seems to have been resolved quickly and did not leave a stain on Chaucer's reputation. It is not known if Chaucer was in the city of London at the time of the Peasants' Revolt (the Tower of London was stormed in 1381).

While still working as comptroller, Chaucer appears to have moved to Kent, being appointed as one of the commissioners of peace for Kent, at a time when French invasion was a possibility. He is thought to have started work on The Canterbury Tales in the early 1380s (the Pilgrims' Way used by his fictional characters on their way to Canterbury Cathedral passes through Kent). He also became a Member of Parliament for Kent in 1386. There is no further reference after this date to Philippa, Chaucer's wife, and she is presumed to have died in 1387. He survived the political upheavals caused by the Lords Appellants despite the fact that Chaucer knew well some of the men executed over the affair.

On 12 July 1389, Chaucer was appointed the clerk of the king's works, a sort of foreman organizing most of the king's building projects. No major works were begun during his tenure, but he did conduct repairs on Westminster Palace, St. George's Chapel, Windsor, continue building the wharf at the Tower of London, and build the stands for a tournament held in 1390. It may have been a difficult job but it paid well: two shillings a day, over three times his salary as a comptroller. In September 1390, records say that he was robbed, and possibly injured, while conducting the business, and it was shortly after, on 17 June 1391, that he stopped working in this capacity. Almost immediately, on 22 June, he began as deputy forester in the royal forest of North Petherton, Somerset. This was no sinecure, with maintenance an important part of the job, although there were many opportunities to derive profit. It is believed that Chaucer stopped work on the Canterbury Tales sometime towards the end of this decade.

Soon after the overthrow of his patron Richard II in 1399, Chaucer vanished from the historical record. He is believed to have died of unknown causes on 25 October 1400 but there is no firm evidence for this date, as it comes from the engraving on his tomb, which was built more than one-hundred years after Chaucer's death. There is some speculation—most recently in Terry Jones' book Who Murdered Chaucer?: A Medieval Mystery—that he was murdered by enemies of Richard II or even on the orders of his successor Henry IV. However, as of yet there is no solid evidence to support this claim.

The new king (Henry IV) did renew the grants assigned to Chaucer by Richard, but in The Complaint of Chaucer to his Purse, Chaucer hints that the grants might not have been paid. The last mention of Chaucer in the historical record is on 5 June 1400, when some monies owing to him were paid. Chaucer was buried in Westminster Abbey in London, as was his right owing to the jobs he had performed and the new house he had leased nearby on 24 December 1399. In 1556 his remains were transferred to a more ornate tomb, making Chaucer the first writer interred in the area now known as Poets' Corner.

[edit] Works
Chaucer's first major work The Book of the Duchess was an elegy for Blanche of Lancaster (who died in 1369). It is possible that this work was commissioned by her husband John of Gaunt, as he granted Chaucer a £10 annuity on 13 June 1374. This would seem to place the writing of The Book of the Duchess between the years 1369 and 1374. Two other early works by Chaucer were Anelida and Arcite and The House of Fame. Chaucer wrote many of his major works in a prolific period when he held the job of customs comptroller for London (1374 to 1386). His Parlement of Foules, The Legend of Good Women and Troilus and Criseyde all date from this time. Also it is believed that he started work on The Canterbury Tales in the early 1380s. Chaucer is best known as the writer of The Canterbury Tales, which is a collection of stories told by fictional pilgrims on the road to the cathedral at Canterbury; these tales would help to shape English literature.

The Canterbury Tales contrasts with other literature of the period in the naturalism of its narrative, the variety of stories the pilgrims tell and the varied characters who are engaged in the pilgrimage. Many of the stories narrated by the pilgrims seem to fit their individual characters and social standing, although some of the stories seem ill-fitting to their narrators, perhaps as a result of the incomplete state of the work. Chaucer drew on real life for his cast of pilgrims: the innkeeper shares the name of a contemporary keeper of an inn in Southwark, and real-life identities for the Wife of Bath, the Merchant, the Man of Law and the Student have been suggested. The many jobs Chaucer held in medieval society—page, soldier, messenger, valet, bureaucrat, foreman and administrator—probably exposed him to many of the types of people he depicted in the Tales. He was able to shape their speech and satirize their manners in what was to become popular literature among people of the same types.

Chaucer's works are sometimes grouped into, first a French period, then an Italian period and finally an English period, with Chaucer being influenced by those countries' literatures in turn. Certainly Troilus and Criseyde is a middle period work with its reliance on the forms of Italian poetry, little known in England at the time, but to which Chaucer was probably exposed during his frequent trips abroad on court business. In addition, its use of a classical antiquity|classical subject and its elaborate, courtly language sets it apart as one of his most complete and well-formed works. In Troilus and Criseyde Chaucer draws heavily on his source, Bocaccio, and on the late Latin philosopher Boethius. However, it is The Canterbury Tales, wherein he focuses on English subjects, with bawdy jokes and respected figures often being undercut with humour, that has cemented his reputation.

Chaucer also translated such important works as Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy and The Romance of the Rose by Guillaume de Lorris (extended by Jean de Meun). However, while many scholars maintain that Chaucer did indeed translate part of the text of The Romance of the Rose as Roman de la Rose, others claim that this has been effectively disproved. Many of his other works were very loose translations of, or simply based on, works from continental Europe. It is in this role that Chaucer receives some of his earliest critical praise. Eustache Deschamps wrote a ballade on the great translator and called himself a "nettle in Chaucer's garden of poetry". In 1385 Thomas Usk made glowing mention of Chaucer, and John Gower, Chaucer's main poetic rival of the time, also lauded him. This reference was later edited out of Gower's Confessio Amantis and it has been suggested by some that this was because of ill feeling between them, but it is likely due simply to stylistic concerns.

One other significant work of Chaucer's is his Treatise on the Astrolabe, possibly for his own son, that describes the form and use of that instrument in detail. Although much of the text may have come from other sources, the treatise indicates that Chaucer was versed in science in addition to his literary talents. Another scientific work discovered in 1952, Equatorie of the Planetis, has similar language and handwriting compared to some considered to be Chaucer's and it continues many of the ideas from the Astrolabe. The attribution of this work to Chaucer is still uncertain...

[edit] Influence

[edit] Linguistic

Portrait of Chaucer from Thomas Hoccleve, who personally knew Chaucer, so it is probably an accurate depictionChaucer wrote in continental accentual-syllabic metre, a style which had developed since around the twelfth century as an alternative to the alliterative Anglo-Saxon metre. Chaucer is known for metrical innovation, inventing the rhyme royal, and he was one of the first English poets to use the five-stress line, a decasyllabic cousin to the iambic pentameter, in his work, with only a few anonymous short works using it before him. The arrangement of these five-stress lines into rhyming couplets, first seen in his Legend of Good Women, was used in much of his later work and became one of the standard poetic forms in English. His early influence as a satirist is also important, with the common humorous device, the funny accent of a regional dialect, apparently making its first appearance in The Reeve's Tale.

The poetry of Chaucer, along with other writers of the era, is credited with helping to standardize the London Dialect of the Middle English language from a combination of the Kentish and Midlands dialects. This is probably overstated; the influence of the court, chancery and bureaucracy—of which Chaucer was a part—remains a more probable influence on the development of Standard English. Modern English is somewhat distanced from the language of Chaucer's poems owing to the effect of the Great Vowel Shift some time after his death. This change in the pronunciation of English, still not fully understood, makes the reading of Chaucer difficult for the modern audience, though it is thought by some that the modern Scottish accent is closely related to the sound of Middle English. The status of the final -e in Chaucer's verse is uncertain: it seems likely that during the period of Chaucer's writing the final -e was dropping out of colloquial English and that its use was somewhat irregular. Chaucer's versification suggests that the final -e is sometimes to be vocalised, and sometimes to be silent; however, this remains a point on which there is disagreement. When it is vocalised, most scholars pronounce it as a schwa. Apart from the irregular spelling, much of the vocabulary is recognisable to the modern reader. Chaucer is also recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary as the first author to use many common English words in his writings. These words were probably frequently used in the language at the time but Chaucer, with his ear for common speech, is the earliest manuscript source. Acceptable, alkali, altercation, amble, angrily, annex, annoyance, approaching, arbitration, armless, army, arrogant, arsenic, arc, artillery and aspect are just some of those from the first letter of the alphabet.

[edit] Literary
Chaucer's early popularity is attested by the many poets who imitated his works. John Lydgate was one of earliest imitators who wrote a continuation to the Tales. Many of the manuscripts of Chaucer's works contain material from these admiring poets and the later romantic era poets' appreciation of Chaucer was coloured by their not knowing which of the works were genuine. 17th and 18th century writers, such as John Dryden, admired Chaucer for his stories, but not for his rhythym and rhyme, as few critics could then read Middle English and the text had been butchered by printers, leaving a somewhat unadmirable mess.[1] It was not until the late 19th century that the official Chaucerian canon, accepted today, was decided upon; largely as a result of Walter William Skeat's work. One hundred and fifty years after his death, The Canterbury Tales was selected by William Caxton to be one of the first books to be printed in England.

[edit] Chaucer's English
Although Chaucer's language is much closer to modern English than the text of Beowulf, it differs enough that most publications modernise (and sometimes bowdlerise) his idiom. Following is a sample from the prologue of the "Summoner's Tale" that compares Chaucer's text to a modern translation:

Line Original Translation
This frere bosteth that he knoweth helle, This friar boasts that he knows hell,
And God it woot, that it is litel wonder; And God knows that it is little wonder;
Freres and feendes been but lyte asonder. Friars and fiends are seldom far apart.
For, pardee, ye han ofte tyme herd telle For, by God, you have ofttimes heard tell
How that a frere ravyshed was to helle How a ravished friar went to hell
In spirit ones by a visioun; In spirit, once by a vision;
And as an angel ladde hym up and doun, And as an angel led him up and down,
To shewen hym the peynes that the were, To show him the pains that were there,
In al the place saugh he nat a frere; In the whole place he saw not one friar;
Of oother folk he saugh ynowe in wo. He saw enough of other folk in woe.
Unto this angel spak the frere tho: To the angel spoke the friar thus:
Now, sire, quod he, han freres swich a grace "Now sir," said he, "Are friars in such good grace
That noon of hem shal come to this place? That none of them come to this place?"
Yis, quod this aungel, many a millioun! "Yes," answered the angel, "many a million!"
And unto sathanas he ladde hym doun. And the angel led him down to Satan.
--And now hath sathanas,--seith he,--a tayl He said, "And Satan has a tail,
Brodder than of a carryk is the sayl. Broader than a large ship's sail.
Hold up thy tayl, thou sathanas!--quod he; Hold up your tail, Satan!" he ordered.
--shewe forth thyn ers, and lat the frere se "Show your arse, and let the friar see
Where is the nest of freres in this place!-- Where the nest of friars is in this place!"
And er that half a furlong wey of space, And before half a furlong of space,
Right so as bees out swarmen from an hyve, Just as bees swarm from a hive,
Out of the develes ers ther gonne dryve Out of the devil's arse there drove
Twenty thousand freres on a route, Twenty thousand friars on a route,
And thurghout helle swarmed al aboute, And they swarmed all over hell,
And comen agayn as faste as they may gon, And came again as fast as they had gone,
And in his ers they crepten everychon. And every one crept back into his arse.
He clapte his tayl agayn and lay ful stille. He clapped his tail again and lay very still.[2]

[edit] Monuments and tributes
A building has been named in Chaucer's honour at the United Kingdom Civil Service School.

[edit] Historical reception and representation

[edit] Manuscripts
As early as 1400, Chaucer's courtly audience grew to include members of the rising literate, middle and merchant classes, which included many Lollard sympathizers who would have been inclined to read Chaucer as one of their own, particularly in his satirical writings about priests and various religions. We would not have so many manuscripts of Chaucer's works today if this group of readers had not created a great demand for them.

[edit] Printed books
Later on, representations of Chaucer began to circle around two co-existing identities: 1) a courtier and a king's man, an international humanist familiar with the classics and continental greats; 2) a man of the people, a plain-style satirist and a critic of the church. All things to all people (barring some sensitive moralists), for a combination of mixed aesthetic and political reasons, Chaucer was held in high esteem by high and low audiences--certainly a boon for printers and booksellers. [ The sixteenth-century folio editions of Chaucer's Works were seminal events in the construction of this national literary forefather who could be read in support of both radical and conservative positions as well as different historical narratives: a popular, reformation from below and a court-controlled reformation from above.So it was then abandoned.

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Chaucer was printed more than any other English author, and he was the first author to have his works collected in comprehensive single-volume editions in which a Chaucer canon began to cohere. Some scholars contend that that sixteenth-century editions of Chaucer's Works set the precedent for all other English authors in terms of presentation, prestige and success in print. These editions certainly established Chaucer's reputation, but they also began the complicated process of reconstructing and frequently inventing Chaucer's biography and the canonical list of works attributed to him.

William Caxton's two folio editions of The Canterbury Tales were published in 1478 and 1483 (an online edition of Caxton's Canterbury Tales is maintained by De Montfort University) . Richard Pynson, the King's Printer for about twenty years, was the first to collect and sell something that resembled an edition of the collected works of Chaucer, introducing in the process five previously printed texts that are not Chaucer's. (The collection is actually three separately printed texts, or collections of texts, bound together as one volume.) There is a likely connection between Pynson's product and William Thynne's a mere six years later. Thynne had a successful career from the 1520s until his death in 1546, when he was one of the masters of the royal household. His editions of Chaucers Works in 1532 and 1542 were the first major contributions to the existence of a widely recognized Chaucerian canon. Thynne represents his edition as a book sponsored by and supportive of the king who is praised in the preface by Sir Brian Tuke. Thynne's canon brought the number of apocryphal works associated with Chaucer to a total of 28, even if that was not his intention. As with Pynson, once included in the Works, pseudepigraphic texts stayed within it, regardless of their first editor's intentions.

Probably the most significant aspect of the growing apocrypha is that, beginning with Thynne's editions, it began to include medieval texts that made Chaucer appear as a proto-Protestant Lollard, primarily the Testament of Love and The Plowman's Tale. As "Chaucerian" works that were not considered apocryphal until the late nineteenth century, these medieval texts enjoyed a new life, with English Protestants carrying on the earlier Lollard project of appropriating existing texts and authors who seemed sympathetic--or malleable enough to be construed as sympathetic--to their cause. The official Chaucer of the early printed volumes of his Works was construed as a proto-Protestant as the same was done, concurrently, with William Langland and Piers Plowman. The famous Plowman's Tale did not enter Thynne's Works until the second, 1542 edition. Its entry was surely facilitated by Thynne's inclusion of Thomas Usk's Testament of Love in the first edition. The Testament of Love imitates, borrows from, and thus resembles Usk's contemporary, Chaucer. (Testament of Love also appears to borrow from Piers Plowman.) Since the Testament of Love mentions its author's part in a failed plot (book 1, chapter 6), his imprisonment, and (perhaps) a recantation of (possibly Lollard) heresy, all this was associated with Chaucer. (Usk himself was executed as a traitor in 1388.) Interestingly, John Foxe took this recantation of heresy as a defense of the true faith, calling Chaucer a "right Wiclevian" and (erroneously) identifying him as a schoolmate and close friend of John Wycliffe at Merton College, Oxford. (Thomas Speght is careful to highlight these facts in his editions and his "Life of Chaucer.") No other sources for the Testament of Love exist--there is only Thynne's construction of whatever manuscript sources he had.

John Stow (1525-1605) was an antiquarian and also a chronicler. His edition of Chaucer's Works in 1561 brought the apocrypha to more than 50 titles. More were added in the seventeenth century, and they remained as late as 1810, well after Thomas Tyrwhitt pared the canon down in his 1775 edition. The compilation and printing of Chaucer's works was, from its beginning, a political enterprise, since it was intended to establish an English national identity and history that grounded and authorized the Tudor monarchy and church. What was added to Chaucer often helped represent him favourably to Protestant England.

In his 1598 edition of the Works, Speght (probably taking cues from Foxe) made good use of Usk's account of his political intrigue and imprisonment in the Testament of Love to assemble a largely fictional "Life of Our Learned English Poet, Geffrey Chaucer." Speght's "Life" presents readers with an erstwhile radical in troubled times much like their own, a proto-Protestant who eventually came around the king's views on religion. Speght states that "In the second year of Richard the second, the King tooke Geffrey Chaucer and his lands into his protection. The occasion wherof no doubt was some daunger and trouble whereinto he was fallen by favouring some rash attempt of the common people." Under the discussion of Chaucer's friends, namely John of Gaunt, Speght further explains:

Yet it seemeth that [Chaucer] was in some trouble in the daies of King Richard the second, as it may appeare in the Testament of Loue: where hee doth greatly complaine of his owne rashnesse in following the multitude, and of their hatred of him for bewraying their purpose. And in that complaint which he maketh to his empty purse, I do find a written copy, which I had of Iohn Stow (whose library hath helped many writers) wherein ten times more is adjoined, then is in print. Where he maketh great lamentation for his wrongfull imprisonment, wishing death to end his daies: which in my iudgement doth greatly accord with that in the Testament of Love. Moreover we find it thus in Record.
Later, in "The Argument" to the Testament of Love, Speght adds:

Chaucer did compile this booke as a comfort to himselfe after great griefs conceiued for some rash attempts of the commons, with whome he had ioyned, and thereby was in feare to loose the fauour of his best friends.
Speght is also the source of the famous tale of Chaucer being fined for beating a Franciscan friar in Fleet Street, as well as a fictitious coat of arms and family tree. Ironically--and perhaps consciously so--an introductory, apologetic letter in Speght's edition from Francis Beaumont defends the unseemly, "low," and bawdy bits in Chaucer from an elite, classicist position. Francis Thynne noted some of these inconsistencies in his Animadversions, insisting that Chaucer was not a commoner, and he objected to the friar-beating story. Yet Thynne himself underscores Chaucer's support for popular religious reform, associating Chaucer's views with his father William Thynne's attempts to include The Plowman's Tale and The Pilgrim's Tale in the 1532 and 1542 Works.

The myth of the Protestant Chaucer continues to have a lasting impact on a large body of Chaucerian scholarship. Though it is extremely rare for a modern to scholar to suggest Chaucer supported a religious movement that didn't exist until more than a century after his death, the predominance of this thinking for so many centuries left it for granted that Chaucer was at least extremely hostile toward Catholicism. This assumption forms a large part of many critical approaches to Chaucer's works, including neo-Marxism.

Alongside Chaucer's Works, the most impressive literary monument of the period is John Foxe's Acts and Monuments.... As with the Chaucer editions, it was critically significant to English Protestant identity and included Chaucer in its project. Foxe's Chaucer both derived from and contributed to the printed editions of Chaucer's Works, particularly the pseudepigrapha. Jack Upland was first printed in Foxe's Acts and Monuments, and then it appeared in Speght's edition of Chaucer's Works. Speght's "Life of Chaucer" echoes Foxe's own account, which is itself dependent upon the earlier editions that added the Testament of Love and The Plowman's Tale to their pages. Like Speght's Chaucer, Foxe's Chaucer was also a shrewd (or lucky) political survivor. In his 1563 edition, Foxe "thought it not out of season . . . to couple . . . some mention of Geoffrey Chaucer" with a discussion of John Colet, a possible source for John Skelton's character Colin Clout.

Probably referring to the 1542 Act for the Advancement of True Religion, Foxe says he "marvel[s] to consider . . . how the bishops, condemning and abolishing all manner of English books and treatises which might bring the people to any light of knowledge, did yet authorise the works of Chaucer to remain still and to be occupied; who, no doubt, saw into religion as much almost as even we do now, and uttereth in his works no less, and seemeth to be a right Wicklevian, or else there never was any. And that, all his works almost, if they be thoroughly advised, will testify (albeit done in mirth, and covertly); and especially the latter end of his third book of the Testament of Love . . . . Wherein, except a man be altogether blind, he may espy him at the full : although in the same book (as in all others he useth to do), under shadows covertly, as under a visor, he suborneth truth in such sort, as both privily she may profit the godly-minded, and yet not be espied of the crafty adversary. And therefore the bishops, belike, taking his works but for jests and toys, in condemning other books, yet permitted his books to be read."

It is significant, too, that Foxe's discussion of Chaucer leads into his history of "The Reformation of the Church of Christ in the Time of Martin Luther" when "Printing, being opened, incontinently ministered unto the church the instruments and tools of learning and knowledge; which were good books and authors, which before lay hid and unknown. The science of printing being found, immediately followed the grace of God; which stirred up good wits aptly to conceive the light of knowledge and judgment: by which light darkness began to be espied, and ignorance to be detected; truth from error, religion from superstition, to be discerned."

Foxe downplays Chaucer's bawdy and amorous writing, insisting that it all testifies to his piety. Material that is troubling is deemed metaphoric, while the more forthright satire (which Foxe prefers) is taken literally.

[edit] List of works
The following major works are in rough chronological order but scholars still debate the dating of most of Chaucer's output and works made up from a collection of stories may have been compiled over a long period.

[edit] Major works
Translation of Roman de la Rose, possibly extant as The Romaunt of the Rose
The Book of the Duchess
The House of Fame
Anelida and Arcite
The Parliament of Fowls
Translation of Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy as Boece
Troilus and Criseyde
The Legend of Good Women
The Canterbury Tales
Treatise on the Astrolabe

[edit] Short poems
Chaucers Wordes unto Adam, His Owne Scriveyn
The Complaint unto Pity
The Complaint of Chaucer to his Purse
The Complaint of Mars
The Complaint of Venus
A Complaint to His Lady
The Former Age
Lak of Stedfastnesse
Lenvoy de Chaucer a Scogan
Lenvoy de Chaucer a Bukton
To Rosemounde
Womanly Noblesse

[edit] Poems dubiously ascribed to Chaucer
Against Women Unconstant
A Balade of Complaint
Complaynt D'Amours
Merciles Beaute
The Visioner's Tale
The Equatorie of the Planets - A rough translation of a Latin work derived from an Arab work of the same title. It is a description of the construction and use of what is called an 'equatorium planetarum', and was used in calculating planetary orbits and positions (at the time it was believed the sun orbited the Earth). The similar Treatise on the Astrolabe, not usually doubted as Chaucer's work, plus Chaucer's name as a gloss to the manuscript are the main pieces of evidence for the ascription to Chaucer. However, the evidence Chaucer wrote such a work is questionable, and as such is not included in The Riverside Chaucer. If Chaucer did not compose this work, it was probably written by a contemporary.

[edit] Works mentioned by Chaucer, presumed lost
Of the Wreched Engendrynge of Mankynde, possible translation of Innocent III's De miseria conditionis humanae
Origenes upon the Maudeleyne
The book of the Leoun - The Book of the Leon is mentioned in Chaucer's retraction at the end of The Canterbury Tales. It is likely he wrote such a work; one suggestion is that the work was such a bad piece of writing it was lost, but if so, Chaucer would not have included it in the middle of his retraction. Indeed, he would not have included it at all. A likely source dictates it was probably a 'redaction of Guillaume de Machaut's 'Dit dou lyon,' a story about courtly love, a subject which Chaucer scholars agree he frequently wrote about (Le Romaunt de Rose).

[edit] Pseudepigraphies and works plagiarizing Chaucer
The Pilgrim's Tale -- Written in the sixteenth-century with many Chaucerian allusions
The Plowman's Tale AKA The Complaint of the Ploughman -- A Lollard satire later appropriated as a Protestant text
Pierce the Ploughman's Crede -- A Lollard satire later appropriated by Protestants
The Ploughman's Tale -- Its body is largely a version of Thomas Hoccleve's "Item de Beata Virgine"
"La Belle Dame Sans Merci" -- Richard Roos' translation of a poem of the same name by Alain Chartier
The Testament of Love -- Actually by Thomas Usk
Jack Upland -- A Lollard satire
God Spede the Plow -- Borrows parts of Chaucer's Monk's Tale

[edit] Chaucer in popular culture
In the movie A Knight's Tale, Paul Bettany plays Chaucer, as a gambling addicted writer who becomes the herald for the title character's knight in Medieval jousting tournaments.
In Neil Gaiman's The Sandman story Men of Good Fortune (collected in The Doll's House), Chaucer appears briefly in a tarvern in fourteenth-century England. He is listening to a companion dismiss The Canterbury Tales as "filthy tales in rhyme about pilgrims".
Comedian Bill Bailey does a 'three men go into a pub' joke in the style of Geoffrey Chaucer called "Chaucer Pubbe Gagge".

[edit] References
^ "From The Preface to Fables Ancient and Modern". The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Stephen Greenblatt. 8th ed. Vol. C. New York, London: Norton, 2006. 2132-33. pg. 2132
^ Original e-text available online at the University of Virginia website[1], trans. Wikipedia.

[edit] Sources
The Riverside Chaucer, 3rd ed. Oxford University Press (1987) ISBN 0192821091
Chaucer: Life-Records, Martin M. Crow and Clair C. Olsen. (1966)

[edit] See also
Wikisource has original works written by or about:
Geoffrey ChaucerWikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Geoffrey ChaucerWikimedia Commons has media related to:
Geoffrey ChaucerLiterature
Middle English
Middle English literature
Medieval literature
Chaucer College, a graduate school of the University of Kent, England; North Petherton.
Asteroid 2984 Chaucer, named after the poet
The movie A Knight's Tale took its name from The Knight's Tale, one of The Canterbury Tales, and a fictionalised Chaucer himself appears as a character in it (played by Paul Bettany), as do characters loosely based on the Pardoner and the Summoner.
John V. Fleming, an eminent Princeton Chaucerian

Angela Carter

Angela Carter (May 7, 1940 – February 16, 1992) was an English novelist and journalist, known for her feminist magical realism and science fiction works.

Born Angela Olive Stalker in Eastbourne, in 1940, Carter was evacuated as a child to live in Yorkshire with her maternal grandmother. As a teenager, she battled anorexia. She at first worked as a journalist on the Croydon Advertiser, following in the footsteps of her father who was also a journalist. Carter attended the University of Bristol where she studied English literature.

Carter’s writings show the influence of her mother. This influence can be seen in her novel Wise Children, which is notable for its many Shakespearean references. Carter was also interested in reappropriating writings by male authors, such as the Marquis de Sade (see The Sadeian Woman) and Charles Baudelaire (see her short story 'Black Venus'), amongst other literary forefathers. But she was also fascinated by the matriarchal, oral, storytelling tradition, rewriting several fairy tales for her short story collection The Bloody Chamber, including "Little Red Riding Hood", "Bluebeard," and two reworkings of "Beauty and the Beast."

She married twice, the first time in 1960 to a man named Paul Carter. They divorced after twelve years. In 1969 Angela Carter used the proceeds of her Somerset Maugham Award to leave her husband and travel to Japan, living in Tokyo for two years, where, she claims, she "learnt what it is to be a woman and became radicalised" (Nothing Sacred (1982)). She wrote about her experiences there in articles for New Society and a collection of short stories, Fireworks: Nine Profane Pieces (1974), and evidence of her experiences in Japan can also be seen in The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman (1972). She was there at the same time as Roland Barthes, who published his experiences in Empire of Signs (1970).

She then explored the United States, Asia and Europe, helped by her fluency in French and German. She spent much of the late 1970s and 1980s as a writer in residence at universities, including the University of Sheffield, Brown University, the University of Adelaide, and the University of East Anglia. In 1977, Carter married again, to her second husband, Mark Pearce.

As well as being a prolific writer of fiction, Carter contributed many articles to The Guardian, The Independent and New Statesman, collected in Shaking a Leg. She also wrote for radio, adapting a number of her short stories for the medium, and two original radio dramas on Richard Dadd and Ronald Firbank. Two of her fictions have been adapted for the silver screen: The Company of Wolves (1984) and The Magic Toyshop (1987). She was actively involved in the adaptation of both films, her screenplays for which are published in the collected dramatic writings, The Curious Room, together with her radioplay scripts, a libretto for an opera of Virginia Woolf's Orlando, an unproduced screenplay entitled The Christchurch Murders (based on the same true story as Peter Jackson's Heavenly Creatures), and other works. These neglected works, as well as her her controversial television documentary, The Holy Family Album, are discussed in Charlotte Crofts' book, Anagrams of Desire (2003).

Her novel Nights at the Circus won the 1984 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for literature.

Angela Carter died aged 51 in 1992 after developing cancer. Below is an extract from her obituary published in The Observer:

"She was the opposite of parochial. Nothing, for her, was outside the pale: she wanted to know about everything and everyone, and every place and every word. She relished life and language hugely, and revelled in the diverse."

Works as author

Shadow Dance (1966) aka Honeybuzzard
The Magic Toyshop (1967)
Several Perceptions (1968)
Heroes and Villains (1969)
Love (1971)
The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman (1972) aka The War of Dreams
The Passion of New Eve (1977)
Nights at the Circus (1984)
Wise Children (1991)

Short fiction
Fireworks: Nine Profane Pieces (1974) aka Fireworks: Nine Stories in Various Disguises and Fireworks
The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories (1979)
Black Venus (1985) aka Saints and Strangers
American Ghosts and Old World Wonders (1993)
Burning Your Boats: The Collected Short Stories (1995)

Five Quiet Shouters (1966)
Unicorn (1966)

Dramatic works
Come Unto These Golden Sands: Four Radio Plays (1985)
The Curious Room: Plays, Film Scripts and an Opera (1996) (includes Carter's screenplays for adaptations of The Company of Wolves and The Magic Toyshop; also includes the contents of Come Unto These Golden Sands: Four Radio Plays)
The Holy Family Album (1991)

Children's books
The Donkey Prince (1970) illustrated by Eros Keith
Miss Z, the Dark Young Lady (1970) illustrated by Eros Keith
Comic and Curious Cats (1979) illustrated by Martin Leman
The Music People (1980) with Leslie Carter
Moonshadow (1982) illustrated by Justin Todd
Sea-Cat and Dragon King (2000) illustrated by Eva Tatcheva

The Sadeian Woman and the Ideology of Pornography (1978)
Nothing Sacred: Selected Writings (1982)
Expletives Deleted: Selected Writings (1992)
Shaking a Leg: Collected Journalism and Writing (1997)

Works as editor
Wayward Girls and Wicked Women: An Anthology of Subversive Stories (1986)
The Virago Book of Fairy Tales (1990) aka The Old Wives' Fairy Tale Book
The Second Virago Book of Fairy Tales (1992) aka Strange Things Still Sometimes Happen: Fairy Tales From Around the World (1993)
Angela Carter's Book of Fairy Tales (2005) (collects the two Virago Books above)

Works as translator
The Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault (1977)
Sleeping Beauty and Other Favourite Fairy Tales (1982) (Perrault stories and two Madame Leprince de Beaumont stories)

Works on Angela Carter
Milne, Andrew (2006), The Bloody Chamber d'Angela Carter, Paris: Le Manuscrit Université
Milne, Andrew (2007), Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber: A Reader's Guide, Paris: Le Manuscrit Université

Lewis Carroll

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (IPA: /ˈdɒdsən/) (January 27, 1832 – January 14, 1898), better known by the pen name Lewis Carroll (/ˈkærəl/), was an English author, mathematician, logician, Anglican clergyman and photographer.

His most famous writings are Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass as well as the poems "The Hunting of the Snark" and "Jabberwocky", all considered to be within the genre of literary nonsense.

His facility at word play, logic, and fantasy has delighted audiences ranging from children to the literary elite, and beyond this his work has become embedded deeply in modern culture, directly influencing many artists.

There are societies dedicated to the enjoyment and promotion of his works and the investigation of his life in many parts of the world including North America, Japan, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand.

Dodgson's family was predominantly northern English, with some Irish connections. Conservative and High Church Anglican, most of Dodgson's ancestors were army officers or Church of England clergymen. His great-grandfather, also Charles Dodgson, had risen through the ranks of the church to become a preacher. His grandfather, another Charles, had been an army captain, killed in action in 1803 when his two sons were hardly more than babies.

The elder of these sons – yet another Charles – was Carroll's father. He reverted to the other family business and took holy orders. He went to Rugby School, and thence to Christ Church, Oxford. He was mathematically gifted and won a double first degree which could have been the prelude to a brilliant academic career. Instead he married his first cousin in 1827 and retired into obscurity as a country parson.

Young Charles' father was an active and highly conservative clergyman of the Anglican church who involved himself, sometimes influentially, in the intense religious disputes that were dividing the Anglican church. He was High Church, inclining to Anglo-Catholicism, an admirer of Newman and the Tractarian movement, and he did his best to instill such views in his children. Young Charles, however, was to develop an ambiguous relationship with his father's values and with the Anglican church as a whole.

Young Charles
Young Dodgson was born in the little parsonage of Daresbury in Warrington, Cheshire, the oldest boy but already the third child of the four-and-a-half year old marriage. Eight more were to follow and, remarkably for the time, all of them – seven girls and four boys (including Edwin H. Dodgson) – survived into adulthood. When Charles was 11, his father was given the living of Croft-on-Tees in north Yorkshire, and the whole family moved to the spacious Rectory. This remained their home for the next twenty-five years.

In his early years, young Dodgson was educated at home. His "reading lists" preserved in the family testify to a precocious intellect: at the age of seven the child was reading The Pilgrim's Progress. He also suffered from a stammer – a condition shared by his siblings – that often influenced his social life throughout his years. At twelve he was sent away to a small private school at nearby Richmond, where he appears to have been happy and settled. But in 1845, young Dodgson moved on to Rugby School, where he was evidently less happy, for as he wrote some years after leaving the place:

I cannot say ... that any earthly considerations would induce me to go through my three years again ... I can honestly say that if I could have been ... secure from annoyance at night, the hardships of the daily life would have been comparative trifles to bear.

Scholastically, though, he excelled with apparent ease. "I have not had a more promising boy his age since I came to Rugby" observed R.B. Mayor, the Mathematics master.

He left Rugby at the end of 1849 and, after an interval which remains unexplained, went on in January 1851 to Oxford, attending his father's old college, Christ Church. He had only been at Oxford two days when he received a summons home. His mother had died of "inflammation of the brain" – perhaps meningitis or a stroke – at the age of forty-seven.

His early academic career veered between high-octane promise and irresistible distraction. He may not always have worked hard, but he was exceptionally gifted and achievement came easily to him. In 1852 he received a first in Honour Moderations, and shortly after he was nominated to a Studentship, by his father's old friend Canon Edward Pusey. However, a little later he failed an important scholarship through his self-confessed inability to apply himself to study. Even so, his talent as a mathematician won him the Christ Church Mathematical Lectureship, which he continued to hold for the next twenty-six years. The income was good, but the work bored him. Many of his pupils were older and richer than he was, and almost all of them were uninterested. However, despite early unhappiness, Dodgson was to remain at Christ Church, in various capacities, until his death.

Character and appearance

Physical appearance
The young adult Charles Dodgson was about six feet tall, slender and handsome, with curling brown hair and blue eyes. He was described in later life as somewhat asymmetrical, or as carrying himself rather stiffly and awkwardly, though this may be on account of a knee injury sustained in middle age. At the age of seventeen, he suffered a severe attack of whooping cough which left him with poor hearing in his right ear and was probably responsible for his chronically weak chest in later life. The only overt defect he carried into adulthood was what he referred to as his "hesitation", a stammer he acquired in early childhood and which plagued him throughout his life.

The stammer has always been a potent part of the conceptions of Dodgson; it is part of the belief that he stammered only in adult company and was free and fluent with children, but there is no evidence to support this idea.Many children of his acquaintance remembered the stammer while many adults failed to notice it. It came and went for its own reasons, but not as a clichéd manifestation of fear of the adult world. Dodgson himself seems to have been far more acutely aware of it than most people he met; it is said he caricatured himself as the Dodo in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, referring to his difficulty in pronouncing his last name, but this is one of the many "facts" oft-repeated, for which no firsthand evidence remains. He did indeed refer to himself as the dodo, but that this was a reference to his stammer is simply speculation.

Although Dodgson's stammer troubled him, it was never so debilitating that it prevented him from applying his other personal qualities to do well in society. At a time when people commonly devised their own amusements and when singing and recitation were required social skills, the young Dodgson was well-equipped to be an engaging entertainer. He could sing tolerably well and was not afraid to do so before an audience. He was adept at mimicry and storytelling, and was, reputedly, quite good at charades.

He was, by modern lights, a snob, but probably no more so than any middle class Victorian. He once remarked, for example, that the only trouble with Margate (a town in Kent) was the "commercial" type of person one was bound to encounter there. Similarly, he tended toward the priggish and hypocritical; on the pretense of maintaining a high moral standard, he summarily terminated his long friendship with Ellen Terry when she decided to go and live with a man to whom she was not married, yet, Dodgson himself was involved romantically, over a number of years, with more than one married woman.

Dodgson was also quite socially ambitious and anxious to make his mark on the world as a writer or an artist. In the interim between his early published writing and the success of the Alice books, he began to move in the Pre-Raphaelite social circle. His scholastic career may well have been intended as something of a stop-gap on the way to other more exciting achievements. He first met John Ruskin in 1857 and became friendly with him. He developed a close relationship with Dante Gabriel Rossetti and his family, and also knew William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais, and Arthur Hughes among other artists. He also knew the fairy-tale author George MacDonald well — it was the enthusiastic reception of Alice by the young MacDonald children that convinced him to submit the work for publication.

The traditional image of his social life as entirely child-centered has recently been challenged (see Karoline Leach's work on the "Carroll Myth"' below), and we have been reminded that he did enjoy a very active adult social life.

Dodgson the artist

 The Author
From a young age, Dodgson wrote poetry and short stories, sending them to various magazines and enjoying moderate success. Between 1854 and 1856, his work appeared in the national publications, The Comic Times and The Train, as well as smaller magazines like the Whitby Gazette and the Oxford Critic. Most of this output was humorous, sometimes satirical, but his standards and ambitions were exacting. "I do not think I have yet written anything worthy of real publication (in which I do not include the Whitby Gazette or the Oxonian Advertiser), but I do not despair of doing so some day", he wrote in July 1855.

In 1856 he published his first piece of work under the name that would make him famous. A very predictable little romantic poem called "Solitude" appeared in The Train under the authorship of "Lewis Carroll". This pseudonym was a play on his real name; Lewis was the anglicised form of Ludovicus, which was the Latin for Lutwidge, and Carroll being an anglicised version of Carolus, the Latin for Charles.


"The chief difficulty Alice found at first was in managing her flamingo"In the same year, 1856, a new Dean, Henry Liddell, arrived at Christ Church, bringing with him his young family, all of whom would figure largely in Dodgson's life, and greatly influence his writing career, over the following years. Dodgson became close friends with Liddell's wife, Lorina, and their children, particularly the three sisters: Lorina, Edith and Alice Liddell. He was for many years widely assumed to have derived his own "Alice" from Alice Liddell. However the proponents of the "Carroll Myth" dispute this. It's pointed out, for example, that Dodgson himself repeatedly denied in later life that his "little heroine" was based on any real child,[3] But there are still many who insists Alice Liddell is 'Alice'. They point to the acrostic poem at the end of Through the Looking Glass (reading downward, taking the first letter of each line, spells out Alice's name in full). However, Dodgson frequently dedicated his works to girls of his acquaintance and added their names in acrostic poems at the beginning of the text. Gertrude Chataway's name appears in this form at the beginning of The Hunting of the Snark, and no one has ever suggested this means any of the characters in the narrative are based on her. This is yet another area of current controversy it would appear.

Though information is scarce (Dodgson's diaries for the years 1858-1862 are missing), it does seem clear that his friendship with the Liddell family was an important part of his life in the late 1850s, and he grew into the habit of taking the children (first the boy, Harry, and later the three girls) on rowing trips to nearby Nuneham Courtenay or Godstow.

It was on one such expedition, on July 4, 1862, that Dodgson invented the outline of the story that eventually became his first and largest commercial success. Having told the story and been begged by Alice Liddell to write it down, Dodgson eventually (after much delay) presented her with a handwritten, illustrated manuscript entitled Alice's Adventures Under Ground in November 1864.

Before this, the family of friend and mentor George MacDonald read Dodgson's incomplete manuscript, and the enthusiasm of the MacDonald children encouraged Dodgson to seek publication. In 1863, he had taken the unfinished manuscript to Macmillan the publisher, who liked it immediately. After the possible alternative titles Alice Among the Fairies and Alice's Golden Hour were rejected, the work was finally published as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in 1865 under the Lewis Carroll pen name, which Dodgson had first used some nine years earlier. The illustrations this time were by Sir John Tenniel; Dodgson evidently thought that a published book would need the skills of a professional artist. A first edition copy (1886) of Alice's Adventures Under Ground, now highly sought after by literary collectors, changed hands to a private collector on January 26, 2006. It was sold at Christie's for £4,800 by the Duke of Gloucester, its previous owner, to pay for his father's death duties.

The overwhelming commercial success of the first Alice book changed Dodgson's life in many ways. The fame of his alter ego "Lewis Carroll" soon spread around the world. He was inundated with fan mail and with sometimes unwanted attention. He also began earning quite substantial sums of money. However, he didn't use this income as a means of abandoning his seemingly disliked post at Christ Church.

In 1872, a sequel – Through the Looking-Glass – was published. Its somewhat darker mood possibly reflects the changes in Dodgson's life. His father had recently died (1868), plunging him into a depression that would last some years.

The Hunting of the Snark
In 1876, Dodgson produced his last great work, The Hunting of the Snark, a fantastic "nonsense" poem, exploring the adventures of a bizarre crew of variously inadequate beings, and one beaver, who set off to find the eponymous creature. The painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti reputedly became convinced the poem was about him.

The Photographer

Photo of Alice Liddell by Lewis Carroll. (1858)In 1856, Dodgson took up the new art form of photography, first under the influence of his uncle Skeffington Lutwidge, and later his Oxford friend Reginald Southey.

He soon excelled at the art and became a well-known gentleman-photographer, and he seems even to have toyed with the idea of making a living out of it in his very early years.

A recent study by Roger Taylor and Edward Wakeling exhaustively lists every surviving print, and Taylor calculates that just over fifty percent of his surviving work depicts young girls. Alexandra Kitchin, known as "Xie" (pronounced "Ecksy"), was his favourite photographic subject. From 1869 until his giving up photography in 1880, Dodgson took at least fifty exposures of her, the last of which just before her sixteenth birthday. However, before attempting to draw any conclusions about Dodgson's proclivities or obsessions, it should be noted that less than a third of his original portfolio has survived. He also made many studies of men, women, male children and landscapes; his subjects also include skeletons, dolls, dogs, statues and paintings, trees, scholars, scientists, old men, and, indeed, little girls. His notorious (and possibly misunderstood) studies of nude children were long presumed lost, but six have since surfaced, four of which have been published.

Photo of John Everett Millais and his wife Effie Gray with two of their children, signed by Effie. (c1860)He also found photography to be a useful entrée into higher social circles. During the most productive part of his career, he made portraits of notable sitters such as John Everett Millais, Ellen Terry, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Julia Margaret Cameron, Michael Faraday and Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

Dodgson abruptly ceased to photograph in 1880. Over 24 years, he had completely mastered the medium, set up his own studio on the roof of Tom Quad, and created around 3,000 images. Fewer than 1,000 have survived time and deliberate destruction. His reasons for abandoning photography remain uncertain.

With the advent of Modernism tastes changed, and his photography was forgotten from around 1920 until the 1960s. He is now considered one of the very best Victorian photographers, and is certainly the one who has had the most influence on modern art photographers.

Hugues Lebailly and "The Victorian Cult of the Child"
Recent studies, principally by Hugues Lebailly have endeavoured to set our view of Dodgson's child-photography in what it deems a more realistic light - placing it within the "Victorian Child Cult", that perceived child-nudity as essentially an expression of innocence. Lebailly has pointed out that studies of child nudes were mainstream and fashionable in Dodgson's time and that most photographers, including Oscar Rejlander and Julia Margaret Cameron made them as a matter of course. He has pointed out that child nudes even appeared on Victorian Christmas cards - implying a very different social and aesthetic assessment of such material. Lebailly claims it has been an error of Dodgson's biographers to view his child-photography with 20th or 21st century eyes and, to have presented it as some form of personal idiosyncrasy, when it was in fact a response to a very prevalent aesthetic and philosophical movement of the time.

 The Inventor
To promote letter writing Carroll invented The Wonderland Postage-Stamp Case in 1889. This was a cloth-backed folder with twelve slots, two marked for inserting the then most commonly used 1d. stamp, and one each for the other current denominations to 1s. The folder was then put into a slip case decorated with a picture of Alice on the front and the Cheshire Cat on the back. All could be conveniently carried in a pocket or purse. When issued it also included a copy of Carroll's pamphletted lecture, Eight or Nine Wise Words About Letter-Writing.

He also appears to have invented, and certainly popularised, the Word Ladder (or "doublet" as it was known at first): a form of brain-teaser which is still popular today: the game of changing one word into another by altering one letter at a time, each successive change always resulting in a genuine word. For instance, CAT is transformed into DOG by the following steps: CAT, COT, DOT, DOG.

The later years
Over the remaining twenty years of his life, throughout his growing wealth and fame, his existence remained little changed. He continued to teach at Christ Church until 1881, and remained in residence there until his death. His last novel, the two-volume Sylvie and Bruno, was published in 1889 and 1893 respectively. Its extraordinary convolutions and apparent confusion baffled most readers and it achieved little success. He died at his sister's home, The Chestnuts in Guildford on January 14, 1898 of pneumonia following influenza. He was a fortnight away from turning sixty-six years old. He is buried in Guildford at the Mount Cemetery.

Controversies and mysteries

The possibility of drug use:
There has been much speculation that Dodgson used psychoactive drugs, however there is no direct evidence that he ever did. It is true that the most common painkiller of the time – laudanum – was in fact a tincture of opium and could produce a "high" if used in a large enough dose.[9]. Most historians would admit Dodgson probably used it from time to time, since it was the standard domestic painkiller of its day and was to be found in numerous patent medicines of the time, but there is no evidence he ever abused it or that its effects had any impact on his work. There is no factual evidence to support a suggestion that he smoked cannabis. However, many people regard Alice's hallucinations in the Wonderland, when surrounded by teas, mushrooms and smoking insects, as references to psychedelic substances. This suggestion of psychedelic drug use made him extremely popular to the counterculture of the 1960s and was a positive way of showing the mainstream that one of their most famous and highly regarded writers also used these forbidden substances. Grace Slick wrote a song, White Rabbit, recorded with both The Great Society and Jefferson Airplane, which depicted Carroll's Alice in Wonderland as a psychedelic drug trip.

It has also been suggested that Dodgson suffered from lead poisoning,[citation needed] as it was common at the time, though no evidence supports this claim.

The priesthood
Dodgson had been groomed for the ordained ministry in the Anglican Church from a very early age and was expected, as a condition of his residency at Christ Church, to take holy orders within four years of obtaining his master's degree. However, for reasons not presently explained, he became reluctant to do this. He delayed the process for some time but eventually took deacon's orders in December 1861. But when the time came, a year later, to progress to priestly orders, Dodgson appealed to the dean for permission not to proceed. This was against college rules, and Dean Liddell told him he would very likely have to leave his job if he refused to take orders. He told Dodgson he would have to consult the college ruling body, which would almost undoubtedly have resulted in his being expelled. However, for unknown reasons, Dean Liddell changed his mind and permitted Dodgson to remain at the college, in defiance of the rules.[10] Dodgson never became a priest. Dean Liddell's behaviour remains puzzling and unexplained, though some theories have been put forward to explain it.

There is currently no conclusive evidence about why Dodgson rejected the priesthood. Some have suggested his stammer made him reluctant to take the step, because he was afraid of having to preach, but this seems unlikely given his willingness to take on other public performances (story-telling, recitations, magic lantern shows), and the fact that he did indeed preach in later life, even though not in orders. Others have suggested, perhaps more plausibly, that he was having serious doubts about the Anglican church. It is known that he was interested in minority forms of Christianity (he was an admirer of FD Maurice) and "alternative" religions (theosophy) so this may well have been a reason. However, it is also true that Dodgson was deeply troubled by an unexplained sense of sin and guilt at this time (the early 1860s), and frequently expressed the view in his diaries that he was a "vile and worthless" sinner, unworthy of the priesthood, so this may well also have been a contributing factor.

Currently it is unknown why Dodgson was consumed with a sense of sin at this time, though again several theories have been put forward.

The missing diaries
At least four complete volumes and around seven pages of text are missing from Dodgson's 13 diaries. The loss of the volumes remains unexplained; the pages have been deliberately removed by an unknown hand. Most scholars assume the diary material was removed by family members in the interests of preserving the family name, but this has not been proven.All of the missing material, except for a single page, is believed to date from the period between 1853 (when Dodgson was 22) and 1863 (when he was 32).

Many theories have been put forward to explain the missing material. A popular explanation for one particular missing page (June 27, 1863) is that it might have been torn out to conceal the fact that Dodgson had proposed marriage on that day to the 11-year old Alice Liddell. However, there has never been any evidence to suggest this was so, and a paper that came to light in the Dodgson family archive in 1996 provides some evidence to the contrary.

The "Cut Pages in Diary" document

The "cut pages in diary" document, in the Dodgson family archive in Woking, UK.This paper, known as the "cut pages in diary document", was compiled by various members of Carroll's family after his death. Part of it at least was presumably written at the time that some of the pages were being mutilated, as it offers a brief summary of two diary pages that are now missing, including the one for June 27, 1863. The summary for this page states that Mrs Liddell told Dodgson there was gossip circulating about him and the Liddell family's governess, as well as about his relationship with "Ina", presumably Alice's older sister, Lorina Liddell. The "break" with the Liddell family that occurred soon after was presumably in response to this gossip.An alternate interpretation has been made regarding Carroll's rumored involvement with "Ina": Lorina was also the name of Alice Liddell's mother. What is most crucial and surprising is that the entry seems to make it clear Dodgson's break with the family was not connected with Alice at all.

Suggestions of paedophilia
Dodgson's friendships with young girls, together with his perceived lack of interest in romantic attachments to adult women, and psychological readings of his work—especially his photographs of nude or semi-nude girls—have all led to speculation that he was, in modern parlance, a pædophile. This possibility has underpinned numerous modern interpretations of his life and work, particularly Dennis Potter's play Alice and his screenplay for the motion picture, Dreamchild, and a number of recent biographies, including Michael Bakewell's Lewis Carroll: A Biography (1996), Donald Thomas's Lewis Carroll: A Portrait with Background (1996) and Morton N. Cohen's Lewis Carroll: A Biography (1995). All of these works more or less unequivocally assume that Dodgson was a paedophile, albeit a repressed and celibate one.

Cohen claims Dodgson's "sexual energies sought unconventional outlets", and further writes:

We cannot know to what extent sexual urges lay behind Charles's preference for drawing and photographing children in the nude. He contended the preference was entirely aesthetic. But given his emotional attachment to children as well as his aesthetic appreciation of their forms, his assertion that his interest was strictly artistic is naïve. He probably felt more than he dared acknowledge, even to himself.
Cohen notes that Dodgson "apparently convinced many of his friends that his attachment to the nude female child form was free of any eroticism", but adds that "later generations look beneath the surface" (p. 229).

Cohen and other biographers argue that Dodgson may have wanted to marry the 11-year old Alice Liddell and that this was the cause of the unexplained "break" with the family in June 1863. But there has never been much evidence to support such an idea, and the 1996 discovery of the "cut pages in diary document" (see above) seems to imply that the 1863 "break" had nothing to do with Alice, but was perhaps connected with her 14 year old sister or, possibly, her mother.

Some writers, e.g., Derek Hudson and Roger Lancelyn Green, who have fallen short of accepting Dodgson as a paedophile, have tended to concur that he had a passion for small female children and next to no interest in the adult world. The issue is considered at length in Darien Graham-Smith's 2005 PhD thesis Contextualising Carroll, and in Sadi Ranson's article, which discusses claims of Dodgson's "nympholepsy" (as Vladimir Nabokov called it) and the roles children took in Victorian art.

Carroll's interest in young girls might best be demonstrated in his own words, as recorded in his letters: "I am fond of children" writes Carroll, "except boys".

 "The Carroll Myth"
The accepted view of Dodgson's biography – and most particularly his image as a potential paedophile – has received a challenge in quite recent times, when a new and controversial analysis of Dodgson's sexual proclivities (and indeed the evolution of the entire process of his biography) appeared in Karoline Leach's 1999 book In the Shadow of the Dreamchild. She states that the image of Dodgson's alleged paedophilia was built out of a failure to understand Victorian morals, as well as the mistaken idea that Dodgson had no interest in adult women which evolved out of the minds of various biographers. She termed this simplified – and often, in her view, fictional – image "the Carroll Myth".

According to Leach, Dodgson's real life was very different from the accepted biographical image. He was not, she says, exclusively interested in female children. She acknowledges he was fond of children, but says this interest has been exaggerated. She says that he was also keenly interested in adult women and apparently enjoyed several relationships with them, married and single; furthermore, she goes on to state that many of those Dodgson described as "child-friends" were not children at all, but girls in their late teens and even twenties. She cites examples of many such adult friendships, such as Catherine Lloyd, Constance Burch, May Miller, Edith Shute, Ethel Rowell, Beatrice Hatch and Gertrude Thomson, among others. Some of these were girls he met as children but continued to be close to in adulthood. Others were, says Leach, women he met as adults and with whom he shared very close and meaningful friendships. Suggestions of paedophilia only evolved many years after his death, says Leach, when his well-meaning family had suppressed all evidence of his adult friendships in order to try to preserve his reputation, thus giving a false impression of a man interested only in little girls.

According to Leach the image of "Lewis Carroll" was constructed almost accidentally by generations of biographers. One of these, Langford Reed, writing in 1932, was the first to state that many of Carroll's female friendships ended when the girls reached the age of 14, though Reed apparently only intended to suggest that Dodgson was thereby a "pure man" untainted by sexual desire. This statement, that Dodgson lost interest in girls once they reached puberty, was later caught up by other biographers, including Florence Becker Lennon (Victoria Through the Looking-Glass — UK title "Lewis Carroll", 1945) and the highly influential Alexander Taylor (The White Knight, 1952) who remained unaware of the evidence to the contrary since Dodgson's family refused to publish his diaries and letters. By the time more evidence became available, this image was so ingrained that any revision seemed "unnecessary, even impertinent", and thus a supposed biography was preserved. This, in essence, is Leach's case.

Reactions to Leach's book have been generally polarised. She has been joined by a group of supportive scholars and writers (most notably Hugues Lebailly) in the formation of Contrariwise, an "association for new Lewis Carroll studies". The group argues collectively that a powerful mythology has grossly distorted our understanding of Dodgson's true nature, and that considered in the context of his real life – as opposed to the misconceptions of it – and the fashions and mores of his time, assertions of paedophilia become nonsensical and amount to a failure to understand the complexity of Dodgson's character, as well as the Victorian "Cult of the Child".

Dodgson biographer Morton N. Cohen repudiates Leach's position as being simply a plea for the defence, and, in a recent article in the Times Literary Supplement labeled Leach and her supporters as "revisionists" attempting to rewrite history.[27] Similarly, in a review published in Victorian Studies (Vol. 43, No 4), Donald Rackin wrote, "As a piece of biographical scholarship, Karoline Leach's In the Shadow of the Dreamchild is difficult to take seriously". Martin Gardner was likewise dismissive in an article published by the Lewis Carroll Society of North America.

Writing in The Carrollian, Michael Bakewell takes a measured view, saying that Leach's book has irrevocably changed Carroll studies. "[W]e may not agree with it but we cannot ignore it and it should certainly be read by anyone concerned with Dodgson's life and work."

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (includes Jabberwocky)
The Hunting of the Snark
Rhyme? And Reason? (also published as Phantasmagoria)
A Tangled Tale
Alice's Adventures Under Ground
Sylvie and Bruno
Sylvie and Bruno Concluded
Three Sunsets and Other Poems
Pillow Problems
The Game of Logic
Symbolic Logic Part I. Part II published post-humously
An Elementary Treastise on Determinants, With Their Application to Simultaneous Linear Equations and Algebraic Equations
What the Tortoise Said to Achilles
Euclid and his Modern Rivals (1879)

There is a popular urban legend that Queen Victoria, having enjoyed one of Carroll's children's books, wrote to him graciously suggesting that he dedicate his next book to her. Carroll, according to the story, obligingly did so dedicate it, but the work happened to be a mathematical opus entitled An Elementary Treatise on Determinants. This story originated in Carroll's lifetime, and he wrote himself that "nothing even resembling it has occurred".
A combination of his real name and pseudonym was used by Michael Crichton for the name of a character in Jurassic Park: Lewis Dodgson, the CEO of a rival genetic engineering corporation, who hires Dennis Nedry to steal embryos from the park. Nedry's method of stealing the embryos also makes reference to Carroll: to shut down the security systems, he uses a program called "White_Rabbit.obj".
Shock rocker Marilyn Manson is currently in the process of creating a feature film entitled Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll. It was originally meant to be an adaptation of Alice in Wonderland but Manson later decided to concentrate on the author himself.
Lewis Carroll was good friends with Alice Ottley, the first headmistress at The Alice Ottley School. As a result, one of the houses is called "Carroll," after Lewis Carroll.

Hall Caine

Sir Thomas Henry Hall Caine CH, KBE (May 14, 1853–August 31, 1931), usually known as Hall Caine, was a British author. He is best known as a novelist and playwright of the late Victorian and the Edwardian eras. In his time he was exceedingly popular and at the peak of his success his novels outsold those of his contemporaries. Many of his novels were also made into films. His novels were primarily romantic in nature, involving the love triangle, but they did also address some of the more serious political and social issues of the day.

Caine acted as secretary to Dante Gabriel Rossetti and at one time he aspired to become a man of letters. To this end he published a number of serious works but these had little success. He was a lover of the Isle of Man and Manx culture and purchased a large house, Greeba Castle, on the island. For a time he was a Member of the House of Keys but he declined to become more deeply involved in politics. A man of striking appearance, he travelled widely and used his travels to provide the settings for some of his novels. He came into contact with, and was influenced by, many of the leading personalities of the day, particularly those of a socialist leaning. Caine's novels now seem outdated and despite his immense popularity during his life he is now virtually unknown and unremembered.

Early life and influences
Hall Caine was born in Runcorn, Cheshire, England and christened Thomas Henry Hall Caine but he disliked the name Thomas and never used it.[1] His father came from the Isle of Man but in the absence of work there he emigrated to Liverpool where he trained as a ship's smith. At the time of Hall Caine's birth he was working temporarily in Runcorn docks. Within a few months the family were back in Liverpool where Caine spent his childhood and youth. He was educated at the Hope Street British Schools until he was aged 14. During this time he paid a number of visits to relatives on the Isle of Man where the foundations for a life-long attachment to the island, to its language, its myths and its legends were built.[2] After leaving school he was articled to John Murray, an architect and surveyor. He developed a passion for books and spent much time in Liverpool's Free Library, later maintaining that he was mainly self-taught.[3] At the age of 15 he discovered the poetry of Coleridge and this was to be his first important literary influence. He started writing at this time and contributed articles to a trade paper The Builder, which also carried literary articles, and to local newspapers, particularly the Liverpool Mercury.

In 1870 his grandfather died and later that year Caine had a type of nervous breakdown. He gave up his job and went to the Isle of Man. His uncle, James Teare, was a schoolmaster there but was ill at the time and so Caine acted as an assistant teacher in his school. During this time he started to become influenced by the writings of John Ruskin and he became 'an eager pupil and admirer'.[4] He later became a frequent visitor to Ruskin's Coniston home, Brantwood and a keen member of the local Ruskin Society. In December 1871 James Teare died and Caine carved a headstone for his grave. John Murray persuaded him to return to his job and in April 1872 he was back in Liverpool. There he wrote his first extended work of fiction, a play, but could not afford to have it produced. He continued to submit material frequently to the local press and he also acted as a freelance theatre critic.

He then left his employment with Murray and joined the building firm of Bromley & Son as a draughtsman. However he continued to spend much of his time in writing. With friends he formed the Notes and Queries Society, ostensibly to discuss the arts, but the Society was also used to discuss and spread political ideas. At this time Caine's political beliefs were in the area of communism, but this was a type of communism nearer to Christian socialism than to Marxism.[5] In 1874 Caine, as theatre critic, went to see the Lyric Theatre's touring production of Hamlet with Henry Irving in the title role. Caine was very impressed by the performance and wrote an enthusiastic and favourable review which was well received. Caine and Irving subsequently became good friends. Caine continued to work, at least nominally, at Bromley's. Amongst his writing at this time was an attempted completion of Coleridge's poem Christabel. In 1877 Caine's younger brother, John James, died from tuberculosis, aged 21, and this had a deep effect on him. However by that year he was also gaining a reputation as a public lecturer and many of his lectures had been published.

Around this time he also became interested in environmental and conservation issues. He joined the 'Save Thirlmere' movement which unsuccessfully tried to prevent the lake from being turned into a reservoir. In 1878, having become acquainted with the work and ideas of William Morris, he joined the 'Anti-Scrape Society', the forerunner of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, and remained a member for the rest of his life. In December 1878 Caine travelled to London to see Irving's first night at the Lyceum Theatre under his own management. Here he met Bram Stoker and they became good friends. Stoker was subsequently to dedicate his famous novel Dracula to Caine.

Caine had come to be very impressed by the poems of Dante Gabriel Rossetti and he gave a series of three lectures on the poems of Rossetti and other Pre-Raphaelites. He sent a copy of one of his published lectures to Rossetti who by that time had become a virtual recluse and was "ravaged by years of addiction to chloral and too much whisky".[6] A frequent correspondence followed and they eventually met in September 1880 when Caine visited Rossetti in his home at Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, where he lived "in shabby splendour".[7] The following year Caine left his employment in Liverpool and went to live with Rossetti and stayed there until Rossetti's death in April 1882. During that time he was "secretary, companion, housekeeper, general factotum and eventually nurse"[8] to Rossetti. Caine had negotiated for Rossetti's painting Dante's Dream of the Death of Beatrice to be hung in Liverpool's Walker Art Gallery and he represented the painter at its installation in November 1881. In January 1882 Caine's anthology Sonnets of Three Centuries was published.

[edit] The writer
After Rossetti's death Caine gained an income by writing articles for the Liverpool Mercury while at the same time preparing a book about his time with Rossetti. This was entitled Recollections of Dante Gabriel Rossetti; it appeared in October 1882 and sold reasonably well. In 1883 Cobwebs of Criticism was published, a book about reviewers and whether or not their criticisms had been valid. During this time he was maintaining old friendships and building new ones with people who included Ford Madox Brown, Algernon Swinburne, Theodore Watts, R. D. Blackmore, Matthew Arnold, Robert Browning and Christina Rossetti. In consequence of his work as a theatre critic Caine met the actor-manager Wilson Barrett.

It was at this time that Caine began to consider that his future might lie in writing fiction.[9] After appearing as a serial in the Mercury, Caine's first novel Shadow of a Crime was published by Chatto & Windus in February 1885. Set in the Lake District and based on a love triangle, it sold well and was still in print in the 1900s. It "launched Caine on a career as a romantic novelist of huge popularity which was to span forty years and produce fifteen novels".[10] The same year She's All the World to Me, another love triangle, was published in New York, a book which Watts and Chatto considered was not up to his previous standard, but Caine wanted the money from it and also exposure in America[11] The following year Chatto and Windus published A Son of Hagar in three volumes. Again set in the Lake District, it dealt with the theme of illegitimacy. It received some good reviews, but not from George Bernard Shaw who "took a bilious view of the romantic novels of his day with their ridiculous plots". However in time Shaw and Caine were to become good friends.[12]

Caine craved to be recognised as a man of letters[13] and to this end he wrote a biography, Life of Coleridge, which was published in 1887. It was a failure and this confirmed to Caine that his future lay in fiction. Later that year his next novel The Deemster was published, again by Chatto & Windus. It was the first of Caine's novels to be set in the Isle of Man, where judges are called deemsters, and placed it in the 18th century. It included the story of a fatal fight with the body being taken out to sea only to float back to land the next day. It was a big success and the reviews were excellent. It ran to more than 50 editions and was translated into at least 9 languages. Wilson Barrett bought the stage rights and produced a stage version called Ben-my-Chree (Manx for 'Girl of my Heart') which was also successful despite its changed ending.

In January 1890 the next novel was published after being serialised in the Isle of Man Times. This was The Bondman which was published by Heinemann rather than Chatto & Windus because they offered better terms. It is set in the Isle of Man and in Iceland. Again it was a great success despite its complicated story and its being "hopelessly sentimental and melodramatic".[14] Later the same year, in September, the next novel, The Scapegoat, was published. This time the novel was set in Morocco and its main theme is the persecution of the Jews; Caine hated anti-Semitism. It had a pro-Jewish theme and although it was a critical success, it did not sell as well as The Bondman. The Scapegoat brought Caine a considerable correspondence, mainly because of its pro-Jewish stance.[15]

Cartoon of Caine by Harry FurnissFollowing this Caine returned to non-fiction, publishing three lectures on the history of the Isle of Man as a book entitled The Little Manx Nation. His next fiction consisted of three novellas in one volume which were entitled Cap'n Davey's Honeymoon, The Last Confession and The Blind Mother. This was published in 1893 and was dedicated to Bram Stoker but did not sell well. However his next book, The Manxman published in 1884, was one of his greatest successes, eventually selling over half a million copies and being translated into 12 languages. This was again set in the Isle of Man and involved a love triangle.

During his career Caine travelled widely and used his experiences abroad in his writings. Places visited included Iceland, Morocco, Egypt, Palestine, Rome, Berlin, Austria and the Russian frontier. For many years Caine had been concerned about matters relating to copyright and in 1895 he travelled via the United States of America to Canada for the Society of Authors and successfully negotiated for the introduction of copyright protection there.

In 1897 came the most successful novel yet, The Christian. It was the first novel in Britain to sell over a million copies[3] although once again it attracted much adverse publicity. As with most of his novels, it was first published in serial form, this time in the Windsor Magazine and then, dramatised by the author, produced as a play. The theme of the novel was the problems encountered by a young woman trying to live an independent life; it was the first time that Caine had taken up the Woman Question. The play was first performed at the Knickerbocker Theatre in New York in October 1898 and it was also a great success. Caine followed it by a lucrative lecture tour. However when The Christian was first produced in England at the Duke of York's Theatre in October 1899, its reception was only lukewarm.[16]

It was to be four years before the appearance of Caine's next work, The Eternal City. This was set in Rome and was the only one to be first conceived as a play.[17] It appeared in serial form in the Lady's Magazine and finally in book form in August 1901. This proved to be Caine's most successful novel, it sold more than a million copies in English alone and appeared in 13 other languages. It was another romance with the hero being accused of plotting to murder the Italian king. The stage version opened at His Majesty's Theatre, London in October 1902. Once again the reviews were mixed, the literary critics tending to be scathing while it was praised by many clergymen.[18] Around this time Caine tried to revive the literary magazine Household Words which had been founded by Charles Dickens.

In August 1902 King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra visited the Isle of Man. The Queen had enjoyed Caine's Manx novels and Caine was invited to join the royal couple on their yacht and to accompany them on their tour of the island the following day. The Eternal City opened as a play in October with incidental music by Mascagni. A few days after the London opening the Caines went to USA for the play's American opening in Washington, which was followed by a tour. In 1902 all of Caine's novels were still in print and towards the end of 1903 six companies were performing The Eternal City, in England, USA, Australia and South Africa. However that year Household Words ceased publication.

The Prodigal Son was published in November 1904, again by Heinemann, and in the same month it opened as a play at the Grand Theatre, Douglas. It was set mainly in Iceland, with scenes in London and the French Riviera, and is again based on the eternal triangle. The book was again an instant success and once again the criticisms were mixed; it was translated into 13 languages. The play opened in September 1905 at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane with Caine's sister, Lily, playing a main part but it had only a moderate run. In 1906 The Bondman appeared for the first time as a play, produced again at Drury Lane, with Caine's son Derwent aged 16, making a stage début. The setting had been changed from Iceland to Sicily, which gave an opportunity for an eruption of Mount Etna in the last last. Mrs Patrick Campbell took a leading role. Once again while the play was a huge popular success, it was panned by the critics. 1908 saw the publication of My Story, an autobiography which said more about others, particularly Rossetti, than about himself, and much of what was written was not entirely correct.[19] It did not sell particularly well.

Caine's next major work of fiction was The White Prophet which was set in Egypt and which addressed the problems of colonial rule and attempted a synthesis of the world's religions. It appeared first in its stage version in Douglas in August 1908. On the first night one of the actors was ill and Caine himself took his part. It appeared as a book the following month. For the first time in a Caine novel, the strongest element was not romance, but rather adventure, with a degree of theological discussion. The book did not do as well as his previous ones.

The next major work was The Woman Thou Gavest Me, published in 1913, which "caused the biggest furore of any of his novels".[20] Libraries objected to its morals, dealing as it did with the divorce laws of the time and attitudes towards illegitimacy. Once again it addressed the Woman Question. However it sold extremely well. It was reprinted five times before the end of the year when nearly half a million copies had been sold. Despite the storm of criticism, or maybe because of it, Caine's reputation as a novelist had been restored.

The cover of one of Caine's war books
[edit] The Great War
In previous years Caine had edited books to raise money for Queen Alexandra's charities in 1905 and 1908. In 1914, following the outbreak of the Great War, he decided to produce another charity book, this time in support of the exiled King Albert of Belgium. King Albert rewarded him by creating him an Officer of the Order of Leopold of Belgium.

Caine tried to involve America in the war by writing articles, mainly for The New York Times and in 1915 he gave a series of lectures in the USA but these were not well received. He wrote a series of articles for The Daily Telegraph about how the war was affecting "ordinary" people. These were published in 1915 as a book entitled The Drama of 365 Days: Scenes in the Great War. In 1916 he was invited to work with Lord Robert Cecil at the Foreign Office towards the creation of the League of Nations after the end of the war. The same year Caine produced a small book entitled Our Girls: Their Work for the War Effort to show that women were also playing an active part in the war. He was also involved in writing a propaganda film to assist the war effort but the war ended before the film could be completed.

Towards the end of 1917 Caine was offered a baronetcy but for personal reasons he declined it and instead he accepted a knighthood as a KBE, insisting on being called, not 'Sir Thomas Hall Caine' but 'Sir Hall Caine'.

[edit] After the war
Caine returned to writing novels and in 1921 Heinmann's published The Master of Man: The Story of a Sin. It was set in the Isle of Man and involves infanticide. Initially it sold well but sales soon dropped. It was considered to be old-fashioned; Caine was using ole themes and had not kept up with the time. One reviewer referred to Caine as "this Victorian author".[21] The following year Caine acquired the Sunday Illustrated newspaper which had been founded by Horatio Bottomley. In November of that year he was made a Companion of Honour. Caine's last novel The Woman of Knockaloe was brought out in 1923, this time published by Cassell's. It is another love story set on the Isle of Man but this time dealing with the harm caused by racial hatred. That year he sold the Sunday Illustrated and also made his first broadcast, an address on 'Peace'.

Caine's last published work in his lifetime was a revised version of Recollections of Rossetti with a shortened title to coincide with the centenary of Rossetti's birth in 1928. In 1929 Caine was given the Freedom of Douglas. For the much of his life Caine worked on a book entitled Life of Christ but it was not published until some time after his death, in 1938 with a foreword by his two sons. It "aroused little or no interest and quickly disappeared".[22]

[edit] Politics
In 1901 Caine was elected a Member of the House of Keys as a Liberal for the constituency of Ramsey at a by-election and was re-elected, with a smaller majority, in 1903. This had been helped by the success of his Manx novels benefiting the tourist trade of the island. He continued as a member until 1908 although due to the other pressures on his time he seldom spoke in the House. He also had little time to offer to politics on a larger scale. When he was invited by Lloyd George to stand for the English parliament he refused. He was however elected as the first president of the Manx National Reform League.[23]

[edit] Films

Hall CaineSome of Caine's novels were made into films, all of which were black-and-white and silent. Unauthorised versions of The Deemster and The Bondsman had been made by Fox and in 1914 Vitalograph filmed The Bondsman, which was also unauthorised. The first authorised film was a version of The Christian, made by the London Film Company in 1915 and starring Derwent Hall Caine in one of the parts. In 1916 The Manxman, also produced by the London Film Company, was filmed on the Isle of Man and when it was released in 1917 it drew huge crowds in Britain and America. A film of The Deemster, also starring Derwent, was made by the Arrow Film Corporation and released in 1918. The Christian was also remade in 1923, directed by the celebrated Maurice Tourneur.

The first version of The Eternal City was shot in 1915, and in 1923 the Samuel Goldwyn company shot a version in Italy. Caine was so unhappy with the later film that he tried to withdraw his name from it, unsuccessfully. [24]

More films were in progress, including Darby and Joan. This was based on an old novella; it was produced by Master Films and again it starred Derwent. A film of The Woman Thou Gavest Me was made in 1919 by Famous Players and this drew good audiences and good reviews. The Woman of Knockaloe was filmed by Paramount in 1927 as Barbed Wire. Then Alfred Hitchcock arrived on the Isle of Man to film The Manxman but he and Caine did not get on well and the rest of the film was shot in Cornwall. It was released in 1929 as Hitchcock's last silent film. Caine was not happy with it.[25]

[edit] Personal and domestic
In appearance Caine was a short man who tended to dress in a striking fashion. His eyes were dark brown and slightly protuberant, giving him an intense stare. He had red-gold hair and a dark red beard which he trimmed to appear like the Stratford bust of Shakespeare; indeed if people did not notice the likeness he was inclined to point it out to them.[26] He was also preoccupied throughout his life with the state of his health. This was often the result of overwork or other stresses in his life and he would sometimes use nervous exhaustion as an excuse to escape from his problems.[27]

Caine's concern about his health led him in his Liverpool days into involvement with Francis Tumblety, an American herbalist of dubious reputation. Caine was attractive to women and attracted by them, and was also attractive to men, including Tumblety.[28] During his time in Liverpool Caine had a number of love affairs but nothing came of them.

After Rossetti's death when he was living in rooms in Clement's Inn Caine came into contact with a girl named Mary Chandler. Following pressure from her stepfather, Mary came to live with Caine. She was aged 13 (which was at that time the age of consent) while Caine was aged 29. Their friends assumed they were married.[29] Mary had had little schooling and so Caine arranged for her to have some more education at Sevenoaks where she stayed for six months being taught either at a private school or privately by a governess.[30] She then returned to live with Caine and in 1884, at the age of 14, she was pregnant. Their son, to be named Ralph, was born in their rented house in Hampstead in August 1884; at this time they were still unmarried. The following month they moved to live in Aberleigh Lodge, Bexley Heath, next door to William Morris' Red House. In 1886 they travelled to Scotland where they were married in Edinburgh under Scottish law by declaration before witnesses. After the publication of Caine's first novel, Mary kept a scrapbook of everything relating to him.[31]

Caine's study at HawthornsIn 1888 after the success of The Deemster, the lease on Aberleigh House was nearing its end and Caine wanted to live in the Lake District. He bought a house called Hawthorns in Keswick and the family moved there while Caine rented part of a flat in Victoria Street, London. Mary was left to supervise the move and she was to become a devoted wife, reading all his work, advising and criticising when appropriate and was his first secretary. Later Caine was to distance himself from her which "nearly destroyed her".[32]

Their second son, Derwent was born in 1891. Caine felt an urge to move to the Isle of Man and in 1893 they rented a castellated house which looked over the Douglas to Peel road called Greeba Castle for six months. Meanwhile their London home, which had been in Ashley Gardens, became a flat in Whitehall Court between Whitehall and the Victoria Embankment. They did not return to Greeba Castle at this time but took a house in Peel. Hawthorns, which in the meantime had been occupied by Thomas Telford, was sold. Eventually after years of haggling, Caine bought Greeba Castle in 1896. He was to live there for the rest of his life and made extensive internal and external alterations to it. However Mary never liked the house. Following the production of The Christian in New York and the subsequent lecture tour, the marriage began to come under strain but it did survive.

In 1902 the Caines rented a large house on Wimbledon Common, The Hermitage, and Mary spent much time there while Caine was abroad or at Greeba Castle. Rumours spread that the marriage was in trouble and, as many of his visitors were male, that Caine was homosexual. However there was never any reliable substance to this.[33] By 1906 the couple were leading increasingly separate lives but Mary remained loyal and faithful throughout. She preferred to live in London while Caine spent much time touring or staying at Greeba Castle.[34]

In 1912 Derwent Hall Caine had an illegitimate daughter, Elin, and she was brought up as Caine and Mary's child.[35] By 1914 Mary at last had her London house — Heath Brow which overlooked Hampstead Heath. After the Great War this house had become too big and Mary then moved into Heath End House, again overlooking Hampstead Heath. By 1922 they took a de facto separation, but not a legal one; Caine could not live with Mary, nor could he break with her completely.[36] Their marriage continued but both suffered from various forms of ill health.

In August 1931 Hall Caine slipped into a coma and died aged 78 at Greeba Castle. On his death certificate was the diagnosis of "cardiac syncope".[37] He was buried in Kirk Maughold churchyard and a slate obelisk was erected over his grave, designed by Archibald Knox. A memorial service was held in St Martin's-in-the-Fields. In March 1932, only six months after her husband's death, Mary Hall Caine died from pneumonia. She was buried alongside her husband in Maughold churchyard. A statue of Hall Caine stands in Douglas, financed by money from the estate of Derwent Hall Caine.

[edit] Postscript

[edit] Caine's legacy
Hall Caine was an author who was enormously popular and successful in his lifetime. Crowds would gather outside his houses to try to get a glimpse of him. He was "accorded the adulation reserved now for pop stars and footballers"[38] and yet he is now virtually unknown.

Allen suggests two reasons for this. First that, in comparison with Dickens, his characters are not clearly drawn, they are "frequently fuzzy at the edges" while Dickens' characters are "diamond-clear"; and Caine's characters tend to be much the same. Something similar could also be said about his plots. In addition, and possibly the main drawback, is that although Caine's books can be romantic and emotionally moving, they lack humour; rather they are deadly earnest and serious.[39]

[edit] Comment by a critic
G.K. Chesterton said in "A Defence of Penny Dreadfuls" that "it is quite clear that this objection, the objection brought by magistrates, has nothing to do with literary merit. Bad story writing is not a crime. Mr. Hall Caine walks the streets openly, and cannot be put in prison for an anticlimax."[1]

[edit] Trivia
At one time the Isle of Man had a second civil airport near Ramsey which was called the Hall Caine Airport. It closed in 1939.[40]

[edit] Bibliography

[edit] Fiction
1885 - The Shadow of a Crime
1885 - She's All the World to Me: A Manx Novel
1886 - A Son of Hagar
1887 - The Deemster
1888 - The Prophet, a play which was never staged
1889 - The Good Old Times, a play
1890 - The Bondman: A New Saga
1890 - The Scapegoat: A Romance
1890 - The Prophet, published as a novella
1893 - Cap'n Davey's Honeymoon, The Last Confession, The Blind Mother, 3 novellas published in one volume
1894 - The Manxman
1894 - The Madhi: or Love and Race, A Drama in Story
1896 - Jan the Icelander or Home, Sweet Home, A Lecture Story
1897 - The Christian
1901 - The Eternal City
1903 - The Isle of Boy: A Comedy, a play
1904 - The Prodigal Son
1906 - Drink: A Love Story on a Great Question
1909 - The White Prophet
1913 - The Woman Thou Gavest Me
1916 - The Prime Minister, a play
1916 - The Iron Hand, a one-act play
1919 - Darby and Joan, a film script
1921 - The Master of man: The Story of a Sin
1923 - The Woman of Knockaloe: A Parable

[edit] Non-fiction
1882 - Sonnets of Three Centuries: An Anthology edited by Caine
1882 - Recollections of Dante Gabriel Rossetti
1883 - Cobwebs of Criticism
1887 - Life of Samuel Coleridge Taylor
1891 - The Little Manx Nation
1894 - The Little Man Island: Scenes and Specimen Days in the Isle of Man, a guide to the island
1905 - The Queen's Christmas Carol, an anthology edited by Caine, for the queen's charities
1906 - My Story, an autobiography
1908 - Queen Alexandra's Christmas Gift Book, another anthology edited by Caine
1910 - King Edward: A Prince and a Great Man
1914 - King Albert's Book, a tribute to the Belgian King and people
1915 - The Drama of 365 Days: Scenes in the Great War
1916 - Our Girls: Their Work for the War
1928 - Recollections of Rossetti, an expanded version of the earlier book
1938 - Life of Christ, published posthumously
In addition he wrote countless articles and stories of which an account has never been kept. The above bibliography is based on that compiled by Allen[41].

[edit] Filmography
1911 - The Christian, based on the play. Directed by Franklyn Barrett in Australia. 28 minutes
1914 - The Christian, based on the play and the novel. Directed by Frederick A. Thomson in USA.
1915 - The Eternal City, based on the play and the novel. Directed by Hugh Ford and Edwin S. Porter in USA. 80 minutes
1915 - The Christian, based on the novel. Directed by George Loane Tucker in UK.
1916 - The Manxman, based on the novel. Directed by George Loane Tucker in UK. 90 minutes
1916 - The Bondman, based on the novel. Directed by Edgar Lewis in USA.
1917 - The Deemster, based on the novel (also known as The Bishop's Son). Directed by Howell Hansel in USA.
1918 - Victory and Peace. Directed by Herbert Brenon in UK.
1919 - The Woman Thou Gavest Me, based on the novel. Directed by Hugh Ford in USA. 60 minutes
1923 - The Prodigal Son, based on the novel. Directed by A.E. Coleby in UK and Iceland.
1923 - The Christian, based on the play and the novel. Directed by Maurice Tourneur in USA. 80 minutes
1923 - The Eternal City, based on the novel. Directed by George Fitzmaurice in USA. 80 minutes
1924 - Name the Man based on the novel The Master of Man; the Story of a Sin. Directed by Victor Sjöström in USA. 80 minutes
1927 - Barbed Wire, based on the novel The Woman of Knockaloe, a Parable. Directed by Rowland V. Lee in USA. 67 minutes
1929 - The Bondman, based on the novel. Directed by Herbert Wilcox in UK.
1929 - The Manxman, based on the novel. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock in UK. 90 minutes.
The above filmography is based on the Hall Caine page on the Internet Movie Database[2]

[edit] Notes
^ Allen, p. 15.
^ Allen, p. 16.
^ a b Allen, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
^ Allen, p. 26.
^ Allen, p. 31.
^ Allen, pp. 69–71.
^ Allen, p. 91.
^ Allen, p. 123.
^ Allen, p. 164.
^ Allen, p. 176.
^ .Allen, p. 178.
^ Allen, pp. 182–183.
^ Allen, pp. 185, 268.
^ Allen, p. 204.
^ Allen, p. 211.
^ Allen, p. 269.
^ Allen, p. 271.
^ Allen, pp. 279–280.
^ Allen, pp. 153, 325–327.
^ Allen, p. 351
^ Allen, pp. 380–381.
^ Allen. p. 430.
^ Allen, pp. 282–284.
^ Brownlow, p.457.
^ Allen, p. 416.
^ Allen, pp. 35–36.
^ Allen. pp. 24, 213.
^ Allen, pp. 38–42.
^ Allen, p. 159.
^ Allen, pp. 159–160.
^ Allen, p. 176. Now held in the Manx Museum, Douglas
^ Allen, pp. 205–206.
^ Allen, p. 292.
^ Allen. p. 313.
^ Allen. pp. 348–50.
^ Allen, pp. 388–89.
^ Allen, p. 423.
^ Allen, p.7.
^ Allen, pp. 430–431
^ Hall Caine Airport. Mers Online. Retrieved on 2007-09-02.
^ Allen, pp. 433-435
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