The Friends of the Dover Public Library will host an intriguing presentation, “The Life and Works of Lewis Carroll: a Puzzle with Riddles” on Tuesday evening, April 15 at 7pm by Rev. Robert Stiefel, PhD. The program is an adaptation of a popular course Dr. Stiefel taught at UNH.
Under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson wrote two of the most widely read and beloved classics, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There”, and the epic poem “The Hunting of the Snark”.
Dodgson (1832-1898) was resident Lecturer in Mathematics at Christ Church College, Oxford, and an eminent portrait photographer, logician and mathematician, inventor, theologian, an Anglican deacon. His life continues to present puzzles to be solved and riddles to tease us, ones that may or may not be answerable. In this way, both his life and his works are very much alike. The question repeatedly put to Alice and to the hunters of the Snark is one Lewis Carroll repeatedly put to himself and asks each of us: “Who are you? And which way do you want to go?”
Dr. Stiefel recently retired after 22 years teaching Honors Seminars and Humanities Courses at the University of New Hampshire. Earlier he also taught at Harvard University and Haverford College. A priest in the Episcopal Church since 1979, he served as Rector of Christ Church, Portsmouth from1991-2002 and currently serves as voluntary chaplain at Maple Suites Independent Living Retirement Center.
Reading Carroll’s books is certainly not a pre-requisite for attending, but for those who’d like to reacquaint themselves with Alice’s adventures before the program, the Dover Public Library has four copies of the recommended edition of “The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Edition” (Norton, 2000) available for browsing or borrowing. This program is free and open to all. For more information, call the Dover Library at 603-516-6050.