DODGSON, Charles Lutwidge, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts

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DODGSON, Charles Lutwidge (1832-1898). 'Lewis Carroll'.
Autograph Letter Signed ('C.L. Dodgson') to Mrs [Alice] Mallam, wife of James Thomas Mallam, 2 pages 8vo (oblong, a little stained), Christ Church, Oxford, 4 March 1897. A characteristic letter to the mother of a new young lady-friend, inviting her to dinner.
Dodgson had been introduced to the Mallams by his friend Lonsdale Ragg, and he records in his diary that he went to the Mallams's house 'chiefly to see his little friend Ursula, who seems a nice child. I taught her Mischmasch, and played 2 games, in which Mrs. M., 2 or 3 grown-up daughters, a niece, and a 2 lady-callers, joined'.
'... Do you not think it would be as well that you should yourself know, by personal experience, what sort of place it is to which you allow your sweet little daughter to be taken for tea? Now that I have, for some years, declined all invitations out, I still get some society, by giving 'tête-à-tête' dinner-parties to lady-friends, sometimes young ladies in their 'teens', & sometimes older, & sometimes married ladies. If this is not too far for your walking-powers, & if I might escort you down at about 6 p.m. any day that suits you (I have no engagement on hand) it would give me much pleasure. My parties are "morning-dress" always, & I escort my guest home at 11, or later, or earlier, as they prefer. The nocturnal walk I particularly like.
 I am grateful to Mr Ragg for introducting me to Ursula. She seemed to like being here, & I rather think she wouldn't object to come again!'
See The Letters of Lewis Carroll, ed. Morton N. Cohen, vol II, pages 1114-1116.
[No: 23665]

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