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silky1's avatar

Has anyone ever wondered what drugs(if any) Lewis Carrol was on when he wrote Alice in Wonderland?

Asked by silky1 (1510points) March 21st, 2011

After watching the new version of the movie it made me wonder.

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20 Answers

filmfann's avatar

The newest version of the movie isn’t really representative of the book.
Much of the books are political satire. Drug use was not required to see many of the absurdities of that age.

janbb's avatar

No drugs – just an unusually creative brain and brilliant imagination. He was also a mathematics tutor at Oxford and enjoyed the companionship of children. Read the real thing some time.

Kardamom's avatar

During his time laudanum and absinthe were fairly common. But old Lewis Carrol seemed to have the bigger problem of being attracted to little girls

Joker94's avatar

Charlie Sheen.

No, seriously, I’ve been told he dropped acid. But some part of me doubts that.

ragingloli's avatar

Wasn’t that bookjust a cover “story” for one of his mathematical works?

anartist's avatar

Who’s to say he didn’t try opium as it was somewhat popular among the educated classes of his time?

janbb's avatar

No – it’s certainly possible that he did but I doubt that Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass were written in a drug-induced haze. Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan” is a different story..

Zaku's avatar

No, no one has ever wondered that. ;-)

I think he might have had an imagination. Pretty wild, you think?

TexasDude's avatar

Nope. He was one of those rare individuals who actually didn’t require chemical assistance in making a creative work.

YoBob's avatar

Yep, what @Kardamom said. Further good old fashioned opium was quite popular during that time.

zenvelo's avatar

@Joker94 LSD hadn’t been discovered then, it was discovered in the late 1940s.

I thought he used laudanum, which was commonly abused then.

voiceoreason's avatar

I would assume he took mushrooms. The mario brothers kind, not the kind you get at Phish shows.

Joker94's avatar

@zenvelo I’m actually really glad you cleared that up, because the entire idea of him dropping acid seemed to have no traction already XD

downtide's avatar

Well. Substances like opium and laudunum weren’t illegal in those days and he would amost certainly have been familiar with the “drug culture” of his day even if he didn’t actively participate in it. There are certainly references to drug use in the story (the “Eat Me” and “Drink Me” parts, the mushroom and the hookah-smoking caterpillar) but I think they are told as a warning rather than an encouragement.

iphigeneia's avatar

I did some research on this a couple of years ago, and I got the impression that the writing of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was a very innocent affair. He just wrote something fun that Alice Liddell would like to read. Seriously, I’ve had dreams crazier than that stuff.

flutherother's avatar

You don’t have to take drugs to be imaginative.

anartist's avatar

well he certainly knew what a hookah wuz fer.

But J M Barrie, author of Peter Pan had a lot more pronlems in the pederasty department.

flutherother's avatar

Lewis Carroll, or rather Charles Dodgson, was extremely straight laced and came from a religious background. It is not likely that he would take drugs and it is pretty clear from his diaries that he didn’t. Alice in Wonderland was a story that was constructed during a boating trip with the three Liddell sisters. I can’t imagine that their parents would allow them to go boating with a drug user.

A boat beneath a sunny sky,
Lingering onward dreamily
In an evening of July –
Children three that nestle near,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Pleased a simple tale to hear –

From: ‘A Boat Beneath a Sunny Sky’
By Lewis Carroll

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