Creative Stoke

The E-BNR aims to build a comprehensive & unique cross-artform guide to the British neo-Romantic tradition, from 1880 to the present day.

While the British Romantics of 1789-1824 have spawned a vast industry of publishers, conferences & tourism, the later neo-Romantic traditions remain largely neglected. The E-BNR is aimed at bringing this hidden tradition to light.

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  Neo-Romantic artists have drawn their inspiration   from artists of the age of Romanticism or earlier.   Characteristic themes in their work include a   mystical approach to the British landscape...

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George Macdonald.
Lewis Carroll.
John Ruskin.
Christina Rosetti.
Rudyard Kipling.
William Morris.
Richard Jefferies.
Edward Carpenter.
Kenneth Grahame.
Arthur Machen.
Algernon Blackwood.


G.M. Hopkins.
W.B. Yeats.
A.E. Housman
Laurence Binyon.


Gustav Holst.
Vaughan Williams.
Edward Elgar.
Granville Bantock.


Edward Burne-Jones.
Maxwell Armfield.
Mark Symons.
John Duncan.
George Henry.
  & Edward Atkinson

Gerald Moira.
Robert Bateman.
Samuel Palmer.
Walter Crane.
Edward Robert Hughes.
Bernard Sleigh.
Eleanor Fortescue

Nathaniel Sparks.
F.C. Robinson.
Reginald Hallward.
Laurence Housman.
James Joshua Guthrie.
Paul Nash.
Charles Mahoney.
Arthur Rackham.
Thomas Cooper Gotch.
Christopher Wood.


Aesthetic movement.
Birmingham Group.
Neo-gothic architecture.
Fairy & ghost photos.

1920s - 'places to hide':

Ballet design.
Book illustration.
The Kibbo Kift.



John Cowper Powys.
J.R.R. Tolkien.
Mervyn Peake.
C.S. Lewis.
Daphne du Maurier.
Mary Webb.
Herbert Read.
Forrest Reid
T.H. White.
Hugh Walpole.


Robert Graves.
Rev. Francis Kilvert.
Geoffrey Grigson.
Bill Brandt.
Roger Mayne.
John Deakin.
Nikolaus Pevsner.


Arnold Bax.
Vaughan Williams.


John Piper.
John Craxton.
John Minton.
David Jones.
Graham Sutherland.
Stanley Spencer.
Eric Ravilious.
Ralph Chubb.
Charles Mahoney.
Michael Ayrton.
Thomas Monnington.


Dylan Thomas.
Edwin Smith.
Ithell Colquhoun.
Francis Berry.
George Barker.
Laurence Whistler.


Humphrey Jennings.
Powell & Pressburger.
David Lean.
Epic British film music.






   ENTRY: Carroll, Lewis

   The Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (b. January 27, 1832 – d. January 14, 1898), better known by the pen name Lewis Carroll, was an English author, mathematician, logician, Anglican clergyman, and photographer.

   His most famous writings are Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There as well as the fantastic poems "The Hunting of the Snark" and "Jabberwocky". His works have contributed immesurably to the influence of fantasy and surreal narratives in English culture. In placing 'the child' at the heart of his work, he can be seen as continuing a tradition begun by the Romantics. His best photography, notably the 'Xie' works, evoke the subtle boundaries in English culture between fantasy, history and reality.

   Dodgson's family was predominantly northern English, and Dodgson was the son of a conservative country parson. Dodgson was born in the little parsonage of Daresbury in Warrington, Cheshire. When Dodgson was aged 11, his father was given the living of Croft-on-Tees in north Yorkshire, and the large family moved there. This remained their home for the next twenty-five years.

   Dodgson was educated at home, before attending a small private prep school at nearby Richmond. In 1845 Dodgson moved on to Rugby School. From January 1851 he went up to Oxford, attending his father's old college, Christ Church. His talent as a mathematician won him the Christ Church Mathematical Lectureship, which he continued to hold for the next twenty-six years. The income was good, but the work bored him. Many of his pupils were older and richer than he was, and almost all of them were uninterested. However, despite early unhappiness and continuing ill health, Dodgson was to remain at Christ Church, in various capacities, until his death.

   He suffered from a stammer and had a slightly ungainly gait. Despite this he was also quite socially ambitious, anxious to make his mark on the world as a writer or an artist. His scholastic career may well have been seen as something of a spring-board to other more exciting attainments that he desired. In the interim between his early published writing and the success of Alice, he began to move in the Pre-Raphaelite social circle. He first met John Ruskin in 1857 and became friendly with him. Dodgson developed a close relationship with Dante Gabriel Rossetti and his family, and also knew William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais and Arthur Hughes among other artists. He also knew the fairy-tale author George MacDonald well — it was the enthusiastic reception of Alice by the young MacDonald girls that convinced him to submit the work for publication.

The photographer:

   In 1856, Dodgson took up the new art form of photography, first under the influence of his uncle Skeffington Lutwidge, and later his Oxford friend Reginald Southey. He soon excelled at the art and became a well-known gentleman-photographer, and he seems even to have toyed with the idea of making a living out of it in his very early years.

   A recent study (Roger Taylor and Edward Wakeling's Lewis Carroll, Photographer, 2002) exhaustively lists every surviving print, and Taylor calculates that just over fifty percent of his surviving work depicts young girls. Alexandra Kitchin, known as 'Xie', was a favourite photographic subject; Dodgson made over fifty studies of her from 1869 until his cessation of photography in 1880, when she was sixteen years old.

   He also found photography to be a useful entré into higher social circles. During the most productive part of his career, he made portraits of notable sitters such as John Everett Millais, Ellen Terry, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Julia Margaret Cameron, Michael Faraday and Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

   Dodgson abruptly ceased to photograph in 1880. Over 24 years, he had completely mastered the medium, set up his own studio on the roof of Tom Quad (inspired by a visit to the new studio of O.G. Rejlander), and created around 3,000 images. Fewer than 1,000 have survived time and deliberate destruction. His reasons for abandoning photography remain uncertain.

   With the advent of Modernism tastes changed, and his photography was forgotten from around 1920 until the 1960s. He is now considered one of the very best Victorian photographers, and is certainly the one who has had the most influence on modern art photographers.

The Author:

   In 1856, a new Dean, Henry Liddell, arrived at Christ Church, bringing with him a young wife and children, all of whom would figure largely in Dodgson's life, and greatly influence his writing career, over the following years. He became close friends with the children, particularly the three sisters Ina, Edith and Alice Liddell.

   Though information is scarce (Dodgson's diaries for the years 1858-62 are missing), it does seem evident his friendship with the family was an important part of his life in the late 1850s, and he grew into the habit of taking the girls on rowing trips to nearby Nuneham or Godstow.

   It was on one such expedition, on July 4 1862, that Dodgson invented the outline of the story that eventually became his first and largest commercial success. Having told the story and been begged by Alice Liddell to write it down, Dodgson eventually (after much delay) presented her with a handwritten, illustrated manuscript entitled Alice's Adventures Under Ground in November 1864.

   The work was finally published as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in 1865 under the Lewis Carroll pen name which Dodgson had first used some nine years earlier. The illustrations this time were by Sir John Tenniel; Dodgson evidently realised that a published book would need the skills of a professional artist.

   The overwhelming commercial success of the first Alice book changed Dodgson's life in many ways. The fame of his alter ego 'Lewis Carroll' soon spread around the world. He was inundated with fan mail and sometimes unwanted attention. He also began earning quite substantial sums of money. However, perhaps oddly, he didn't use this income as a means of abandoning his post at Christ Church.

   In 1872, a sequel — Through the Looking-Glass — was published. In 1876, Dodgson produced his last great work, The Hunting of the Snark a fantastic 'nonsense' poem, exploring the adventures of a bizarre crew of variously inadequate beings, and one beaver, who set off to find the eponymous creature. It contains some of Dodgson's best and most mature writing.

   Dogson continued to teach at Christ Church until 1881, and remained in residence there until his death. His last novel, the two-volume Sylvie and Bruno, was published in 1889 and 1893 respectively. Its extraordinary convolutions and strangeness baffled most readers and it achieved little commercial success.

   Dodgson died in his Guildford home on January 14, 1898 of pneumonia following influenza. He was not quite sixty-six years old.

Further reading:

Cohen, Morton N. Lewis Carroll: A Biography (1995)

Taylor, Roger & Wakeling, Edward. Lewis Carroll, Photographer (2002) (Catalogues very nearly every Carroll photograph known to be still in existence)

Dreaming in Pictures: The Photography of Lewis Carroll (2004)

   Commentators have higlighted Dodgson's undeniable fondness for little girls, together with his lack of interest in forming romantic attachments to adult women; and have made psychological readings of his work—especially his large number of photographs of nude or semi-nude young girls. These have all led to speculation that he was, in modern parlance, a paedophile.

   This has been suggested by Dennis Potter's play Alice, his feature film Dreamchild, and numerous recent biographies, including Michael Bakewell's Lewis Carroll, a biography (1996), Donald Thomas's Lewis Carroll: A Portrait with Background (1996) and Morton N. Cohen's Lewis Carroll: A Biography (1995). All of these latest works more or less unequivocally assume that Dodgson was a paedophile, albeit a repressed and celibate one.





Leslie Hurry.
Robin Tanner.
Ceri Richards.
Michael Ayrton.

  Classical music:

Havergal Brian.
Benjamin Britten.


Dylan Thomas   (reputation).
Vernon Watkins.
Ted Hughes.
Christopher Logue.
Keith Vaughan.
Ore magazine.
Eric Ratcliffe.
Edwin Morgan.
Roland Mathias.


Laurie Lee.
Alan Garner.
John Gordon.


Laurie Lee.
E.P. Thompson.
J.A. Baker.
Geoffrey Grigson.



Fay Godwin.
James Ravilious.
Raymond Moore.
Andy Goldsworthy.

  Popular music:

Robert Wyatt.
Syd Barrett.
Marc Bolan.
John Foxx.
Throbbing Gristle.
Genesis P. Orridge.
The Dancing Did.
Virginia Astley.
Brian Eno.
Roger Eno.

  Classical music:

Dave Heath.


Clifford Harper.


Derek Jarman.
David Rudkin.


Vivienne Westwood.


Angela Carter.
Ted Hughes.
Peter Ackroyd.
Heathcote Williams.
Keith Roberts.
Richard Cowper.
Robert Holdstock.
Susan Cooper.


Kathleen Raine.
Roland Mathias.
Gwyn Thomas.
R.S. Thomas.
George Mackay

Seamus Heaney.
Pauline Stainer.


Graham Ovenden.
Annie Ovenden.
Ann Arnold.
Robert Lenkiewicz.
John Elwyn.
Cecil Collins.
Ian Hamilton Finlay.
Andrew Logan.
Alan Reynolds.
Norman Ackroyd.
Christopher P. Wood.
Jim Leon.

  Groups & circles:

The Ruralists.
Temenos magazine.
Resurgence magazine.
Crop Circles, makers.
English Underground.

2000 - to the present:

Andrew Logan.
Ian Hamilton Finlay.
Vivienne Westwood.
Andy Goldsworthy.
Christopher Bucklow.
Peter Ackroyd.
Pauline Stainer.
Brian Eno.
Roger Eno.
Jon Aldersea.
Christopher P. Wood.
Made in Staffordshire, England.  © 2007. Last updated: 18th Jan 2007. Site search by PicoSearch.
Some of the initial E-BNR text was sourced or partly derived from Wikipedia, used here under the GNU licence.