Lewis Carroll was the pen-name of the Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. Born in 1832, he was educated at Christ Church, Oxford, where he was appointed lecturer in mathematics in 1855, and where he spent the rest of his life. In 1861 he took deacon's orders, but shyness and a stammer prevented him from seeking the priesthood. His most famous works, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking-Glass (1872), were originally written for Alice Liddell, the daughter of the Dean of his college. He died of bronchitis in 1898.
Gillian Beer is King Edward VII Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Cambridge and past President of Clare Hall College. Among her works are Darwin's Plots (1983; third edition, 2009), George Eliot (1986), Arguing with the Past: Essays in Narrative from Woolf to Sidney (1989), Open Fields: Science in Cultural Encounter (1996) and Virginia Woolf: The Common Ground (1996).