One of the best things about writing about Lewis Carroll is that he genuinely is mysterious. He was forever writing - books, pamphlets, letters - but he was also secretive and his mind worked in a very unusual way. So, in a typical Carroll paradox, although so much of what he wrote seems "personal", surprisingly little is personally revealing.

What remains is interesting in a detective-story way, and lately I've been feeling like Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot, using my "little grey cells" to piece together scraps of information and glimpse the often surprising picture beyond.

I've moved on to examining some material from one of the more obscure archives, and discovered material there which has NEVER been used in any biographies. It ties up with other recent research to show that Alice Liddell's family had a secret about Carroll which they were not telling to the world.

I've spent a couple of evenings around the dinner table discussing this material with my family. Carroll's diary has been mutilated, and information relevant to the Liddells has been lost. I'm reasonably sure I know now which members of Carroll's family were responsible for that. But nobody has looked into other sources, as far as I know, or realised that the Liddells were covering something up!

Fascinating, and rather exciting.

Today's illustration is the Cheshire Cat done by one of my kids and her friend a while back. It looks suitably mad to me.
We're all mad