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The Hunting of The Snark


Lewis Carroll was the pen name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, who brought us Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Carroll came from a family of high church Anglicans and developed a long relationship with Christ Church, Oxford, where he lived for most of his life as a scholar and teacher. Charles's father was an active and highly conservative cleric of the Church of England who later became the Archdeacon of Richmond and involved himself, sometimes influentially, in the intense religious disputes that were dividing the church. Dodgson wrote and received ‘wheelbarrows full’ of letters. Many of these were on religious and political issues while others were full of light-hearted nonsense. He excelled in artfully staged photographs, many of children in costumes and others of friends, including Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Holman Hunt and Alfred, Lord Tennyson. What is also less celebrated is Carroll’s talent as an inventor: he not only invented the words ‘chortle’, ‘galumph’, and the term ‘portmanteau word’, but also an early version of the word game Scrabble, a new system for parliamentary representation, and a device he called the nyctograph, which enabled the user to note down ideas at night in the dark without getting out of bed. The poem borrows The Hunting of The Snark the setting, some creatures, and eight portmanteau words from Carroll's earlier poem "Jabberwocky" in his children's novel Through the Looking-Glass. It is nonsense literature of the highest order. You can listen online to free English audiobook “The Hunting of The Snark” by Lewis Carroll on our website.

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