DODGSON (CHARLES LUTWIDGE) 'Lewis Carroll'. Autograph letter signed, 1887
Lot 59
DODGSON (CHARLES LUTWIDGE) 'Lewis Carroll'. Autograph letter signed, 1887
Sold for £687 (US$ 1,154) inc. premium
Lot Details
Autograph letter signed ("C.L. Dodgson (Curator)"), written as Curator of the Senior Common Room, Christ Church, to an unnamed correspondent ("Dear Sir"), informing him: "I find you have been paying 'Quarterage' for Common Room since 1883, without ever having entered, which I presume you would like to do. If you will send me the entrance fee (1/1/0) I shall be very happy to enter your name on our Roll", one page, in purple ink, integral blank (with geometrical doodles, apparently contemporary, in pencil on the reverse), somewhat foxed, small 8vo, Christ Church, Oxford, 12 December 1887


  • LEWIS CARROLL RULES THE CHRIST CHURCH COMMON ROOM: Dodgson had been elected Curator of the Senior Common Room in December 1882. He expended much time and energy on the various curatorial responsibilities, keeping the Roll of Members in good order and maintaining a suitable wine-list (he introduced a temperature-controlled cellar); he also ensured that afternoon tea was provided when required, arranged for the Common Room fireplace to be tiled (by William De Morgan) and even ensured the smooth functioning of the lavatories. He remained Curator for nine years, until March 1892: the office he had once welcomed as a means of escaping life as 'a selfish recluse' had become excessively burdensome. His tenure even gave rise to three minor literary productions, Twelve Months in a Curatorship by One Who Has Tried It (1884), Three Years in a Curatorship by One Whom It Has Tried (1886), and Curiosissima Curatoria (1892), an amiable anthology of Common Room resolutions and other miscellanea produced as a parting-gift. In late 1889, the Senior Common Room consisted of about 40 resident members, comprising Students (the Christ Church equivalent to fellows), Chaplains, and MA's, who paid 10s 6d a Quarter, and about 400 non-resident members (MA's), who paid just 1s a Quarter. Dodgson's correspondent was presumably a non-resident MA. This letter is not printed in The Letters of Lewis Carroll, edited by Morton N. Cohen (1979). See illustration on preceding page.
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