Writer Lewis Carroll (1832–1898) was born Charles Lutwidge Dodgson on this day in Surrey, England, the son of an Anglican archdeacon. To overcome stuttering, he told stories aloud to children.
"Life, what is it but a dream?" he said.
A successful advanced mathematics teacher at Oxford University, he balanced his "serious" career by adapting a pen name and writing poetry and stories.
His Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) began as an oral story he told to friends on a boating trip. The book became an instant success.
"Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then stop," he wrote and published the sequel, Through the Looking-Glass in 1871.
In following the white rabbit or going through the mirror, Alice found a strange world of curious adventures, a celebration of imagination and fantasy.
Written at a time when politeness was the theme, Carroll's characters broke convention and inspired children to be clever and inventive.
Even more, with passionate innovation, Carroll struck an emotional chord with children of all ages and generations. Why not dream? Why not have fun?
He said, "If you limit your actions in life to things that nobody can possibly find fault with, you will not do much."
"Today isn't any other day, you know," Carroll said.
The fun is solving the puzzle.