Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 223

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Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.


Page 223

to convey to the editor that he was making a terrible mistake.

“As I said to you in the beginning, Mr. Bok, you are in error. You are not speaking to ‘Lewis Carroll.’” And then: “Is this the first time you have visited Oxford?”

Bok said it was; and there followed the most delightful two hours with the Oxford mathematician and the Oxford don, walking about and into the wonderful college buildings, and afterward the three had a bite of lunch together. But all efforts to return to “Lewis Carroll” were futile. While saying good-by to his host, Bok remarked:

“I can’t help expressing my disappointment, Mr. Dodgson, in my quest in behalf of the thousands of American children who love you and who would so gladly welcome ‘Lewis Carroll’ back.”

The mention of children and their love for him momentarily had its effect. For an instant a different light came into the eyes, and Bok instinctively realized Dodgson was about to say something. But he checked himself. Bok had almost caught him off his guard.

“I am sorry,” he finally said at the parting at the door, “that you should be disappointed, for the sake of the children as well as for your own sake. I only regret that I cannot remove the disappointment.”

And as the trio walked to the station, the don said: “That is his attitude toward all, even toward me. He is not ‘Lewis Carroll’ to any one; is extremely sensitive on the point, and will not acknowledge his identity. That is why he lives so much to himself. He is in daily

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