“No doubt,” said I, “they settled who
Was fittest to be sent
Yet still to choose a brat like you,
To haunt a man of forty-two,
Was no great compliment!”
In his 29th annotation (MG029) to The Hunting of the Snark, Martin Gardiner stated:
Curiously, Carroll refers to his age as 42 in his poem Phantasmagoria (Canto 1, Stanza 16) though at the time [1869 or earlier] the poem was written, he was still in his thirties. The number 42 certainly seems to have had some sort of special significance for Carroll.
To me that simply means that for Carroll the number 42 does not refer to his own age.
Today I start to refer to Martin Gardner’s annotations to The Hunting of the Snark in a more systematical way. Admittedly, I should have done that much earlier. I didn’t read the annotations carefully enough. As an example, Martin Gardner annotated (MG058) to The Hunting of the Snark that Elizabeth Sewell pointed out in The Field of Nonsense (1973) that a line in Carroll’s poem has a similarity to a line in a limerick by Edward Lear. I found that in Google.
I should have mentioned Elizabeth Sewell in my article Nose is a Nose is a Nose in the LCSNA Kight Letter № 99, Fall 2017, p. 30~31.
“MG058” stands for the 58th annotation in the annotated Snark and links to articles and blog entries which contain issues to which Gardener had referred. In this case it is about Lewis Carroll’s and Edward Lear’s waistcoat poetry.
“MG0” leads you to all entries in snrk.de which refer to issues addressed by Martin Gardner.