An article on Alice in Wonderland, and the plethora of essays on the work. Interesting, and some of the insights may be helpful in the future when spotting MKultra signs.
Quote:"There is, of course, one zone of Carroll’s life that, to modern sensibilities, looks more bizarre than anything in Wonderland, and where, for once, he was blind to his own excesses. This is the province of his “child-friends,” as he called them—young females, whom he encountered and corralled at every turn, especially on vacations or train trips. He had a routine, described by Douglas-Fairhurst: “Carroll would strike up a conversation with a family, bring out the games and puzzles he kept in his little black travelling bag, and follow up their meeting by sending the child a signed copy of an Alice book.” The chumminess would proceed from here, with each stage marked by a request:
If you should decide on sending over Gertrude and not coming yourself, would you kindly let me know what is the minimum amount of dress in which you are willing to have her taken?
The most remarkable aspect of this letter, written in 1876, is not that he was asking the mother of Gertrude Chataway whether he could photograph her daughter—preferably naked, in what he calls “Eve’s original dress”—but that Mrs. Chataway did not think the question remarkable. Four months later, Carroll repeated it, with a twist:
I have a little friend here, Lily Gray, child of Dr. Gray, and one of my chief beach friends at Sandown this year. She is 5, a graceful and pretty child, and one of the sweetest children I know (nearly as sweet as Gertrude)—and she is so perfectly simple and unconscious that it is a matter of entire indifference to her whether she is taken in full dress or nothing. My question is, are you going to allow Gertrude (who I think is also perfectly simple and unconscious) to be done in the same way?
It is impossible to read this now without horror. The politesse, the pointing up of sweetness, and the ascribing of “entire indifference” to the child evoke the classic stratagems of the p***phile, planning his campaign and convincing others (and, more important, himself) that he is doing no wrong—that there is no victim but merely a willing collaborator. After Carroll wrote his great poem “The Hunting of the Snark,” in 1876, the daughter of the illustrator became another friend. Her name was Winifred Holiday, and she recalled, “When he stayed with us he used to steal on the sly into my room after supper, and tell me strange impromptu stories as I sat on his knee in my nightie.”
Had Carroll lived today, and had such accounts been made public, he would have been either jailed or (a fate more infernal, for someone who treasured his privacy) hounded by an unforgiving press. The wish, we tell ourselves, is father of the deed; on the other hand, what was Carroll’s wish? If buried, it lay very deep beneath his outer crust. As Douglas-Fairhurst calmly states, “It is far easier to condemn Carroll than it is to decide exactly what he should be accused of.” There was no suggestion of physical abuse, and he himself thundered against any hint of impropriety, deeming even an expurgated Shakespeare to be unfit for junior readers. (He planned his own edition, just for girls: “I have a dream of Bowdlerising Bowdler.”) For us, the thunder is a giveaway, rumbling with guilt, but the fact remains that, in his time, Carroll both exemplified and enhanced what Douglas-Fairhurst calls “a more general trend towards seeing childhood as a separate realm.” If it was inconceivable, in genteel circles, that Carroll could present a carnal threat, that was not because he was a clergyman, or the writer of cherished books, but because children could never be objects of desire. Far from being adults in bud, they were fenced off, in a garden of unknowing, and that is why parents were content to let Carroll, himself an innocent, wander in and browse. Freud’s “Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality,” including one on “Infantile Sexuality,” were published in 1905. Carroll, mercifully, had died seven years earlier."