Lewis Carroll needed a clear mind for his writings. Drugs like laudanum would not have been helpful.
The drug link is a homespun thing. You’ll find it on a host of random forums.
But the experts are usually sceptical. Carroll wasn’t thought to have been a recreational user of opium or laudanum, and the references may say more about the people making them than the author.
“The notion that the surreal aspects of the text are the consequence of drug-fuelled dreams resonates with a culture, particularly perhaps in the 60s, 70s and 80s when LSD was widely-circulated and even now where recreational drugs are commonplace,” says Dr Heather Worthington, Children’s Literature lecturer at Cardiff University.
Source: Is Alice in Wonderland really about drugs?
(by Sophie Robehmed, BBC magazine 2012-08-20)
Let me be perfectly clear here: Lewis Carroll didn’t do recreational drugs. Certainly there were drug references in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and these were picked up on by people with interests in that area, particularly in the late sixties. That is not to say that Carroll never took Laudanum for a medical problem on the advice of a doctor. There is NO direct proof (in his letters or his diaries) that he ever took narcotic drugs. You might ask yourself why students insist that he did and why some teachers teach that he did.
- Alice gets linked to the drug culture. No, Lewis Carroll did not use mind altering drugs to increase his creativity. He used his imagination. If you have one, it’s better than drugs. If you don’t, the drugs won’t help you. With apologies to the late Timothy Leary.
- This can’t be true
- A couple of acid blotters
- Chemical Alice the band
- Using Alice to JUST SAY NO
Source: lewiscarroll.org (2004)
2019-12-12, update: 2020-09-01