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The Complete Pamphlets of Lewis Carroll

The Political Pamphlets and Letters of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson and Related Pieces: A Mathematical Approach
Lewis Carroll. Edited by Francine Abeles

BUY Cloth · 260 pp. · 6 × 9 · ISBN 9780930326142 · $75.00 · Nov 2001

Charles L. Dodgson’s publications on political subjects offer a very different view of Lewis Carroll, the man made famous by his "Alice" books. Better known for whimsical and nonsense writings, Dodgson wrote on the entire spectrum of voting theory, applying it to issues of local governance at Christ Church College in the University of Oxford, where he was employed all of his professional life—mainly as Mathematical Lecturer—and to issues of national politics. Yet this work remained largely unknown at his death.

This third volume of a planned series of six is a comprehensive account of Dodgson’s publications on voting theory. Francine F. Abeles offers a fresh perspective on his contributions to what was then an embryonic school of politics. Drawing together all of Dodgson’s pamphlets, letters, diary entries, and other pieces on this subject, Abeles traces the development of Dodgson’s theory of voting from its beginnings in his participation in the academic affairs of the University of Oxford to his attempts to influence the outcome of bills before the British Parliament affecting the extension of the voting franchise and the redistribution of seats in the House of Commons.

Collected together for the first time, these writings deal with such topics as ranking methods, voting anomalies, sophisticated voting, proportional representation, apportionment, and applications of game theory to voting strategies. Dodgson’s commitment to objectivity and fairness also led him to employ his methods in such sports applications as horse racing wagers and tennis tournament schedules.

Each chapter of this book is preceded by an introductory essay providing background information and analyses to assist both the general reader and the specialist. The Pamphlets of Lewis Carroll will be of interest to students and scholars of Carroll’s work, to political scientists, historians, and mathematicians, and to readers concerned with Victorian studies.


"In The Principles of Parliamentary Representation (1st ed. 1884, 2nd ed. 1885) Lewis Carroll presents the longest connected chain of reasoning in political science, apart from that given by Thomas Hobbes.... The booklet incorporates something of Carroll’s genius.

Duncan Black · Jabberwocky,1970

About the Author(s): 

Francine F. Abeles is Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at Kean University and the editor of The Mathematical Pamphlets of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson and Related Pieces.

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