A Letter from Lewis Carroll

Filed Under (The Joy Of Autism, To Get To The Other Side) by Estee on 22-03-2010

images On Saturday I saw the adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland in an attempt to catch up on all of those wonderful movies out there. I wrote about Carroll and his autism here. I have come home to receive a “love letter” from my son and then to coincidentally read a love letter by Carroll. To his Gertrude he wrote:

“My Dearest Gertrude,

You will be sorry and surprised and puzzled to hear what a queer illness I have had ever since you went. I sent for the doctor and said, ‘Give me some medicine, for I’m tired.’

He said, ‘Nonsense’ and stuff. You don’t want medicine. Go to bed!’

I said, ‘No, it isn’t the sort of tiredness that wants bed. I’m tired in the face.’

He looked a little grave, and said, ‘Oh, it’s your nose that’s tired: a person often talks too much when he thinks he knows a great deal.’

I said, ‘No, isn’t in the nose.’ Perhaps it’s the hair.’

Then he looked rather grave and said, ‘Now I understand: you’ve been playing too many hairs on the pianoforte.’

‘No indeed I haven’t,’ I said, ‘ and it isn’t exactly the hair: it’s more about the nose and the chin.’

Then he looked a good deal graver, and said, ‘Have you been walking much on your chin lately?’

I said, ‘No.’

‘Well,’ he said, ‘it puzzles me very much. Do you think it’s the lips?’

‘Of course,’ I said. That’s exactly what it is!’

Then he looked very grave, indeed, and said, ‘I think you must have been giving too many kisses.’

‘Well, I said, ‘I did give one kiss to baby child, a little friend of mine.’

‘Think again,’ he said. ‘Are you sure it was only one?’

I thought again and said, ‘Perhaps it was eleven times.’

Then the doctor said, ‘You must not give her any more till your lips are quite rested again.’

‘But what am I to do?’ I said, ‘Because you see, I owe her a hundred and eighty-two more.’ Then he looked so grave that tears ran down his cheeks and he said, ‘You may send them to her in a box.’

Then I remembered a little box that I once bought at Dover and thought I would someday give it to some little girl or other. So I have packed them all in it very carefully. Tell me if they come safe or if they are lost on the way.’

Lewis Carroll”

What a fantastic letter! I have not received any such boxes for my birthday this year, but I have received a kiss from another little autie I know. And I may still receive a few hundred more.


Love Letters from Great Men, Edited by Stacie Van Der Pol, Pacific Publishing Studio, 2009 (pp.13-14).


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About Me


I’m a PhD candidate at York University, Critical Disability Studies, with a multi-disciplinary background in the arts as a curator and writer. I am the Founder of The Autism Acceptance Project (www.taaproject.com), and an enamoured mother of my only son who lives with the autism label. I like to write about our journey, critical issues regarding autism in the area of human rights, law, and social justice, as well as reflexive practices in (auto)ethnographic writing about autism.