145 years ago Moscow was visited by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson aka Lewis Carroll. That was a part of his 1867 trip (from July 12 to September 13—nine weeks) to Russia. As many other foreigners Lewis Carroll arrived in Moscow from the capital city of St. Petersburg. We know about his journey from the diaries written in Russia. Carroll’s Russian diary was first published in 1928 as Tour in 1867 by C. L. Dodgson (not under the pen name of Lewis Carroll), and then in 1935 as The Russian Journal and Other Selections from the Works of Lewis Carroll, edited by John Francis McDermott. Nowadays the text of the memoirs is not available on the Internet. Nevertheless, thanks to the All-Russian Library for Foreign Literature the Russian Journal by Lewis Carroll can be found at least in Moscow and thereby cited here.
Dodgson’s journey was proposed by his travel companion, fellow preacher Henry Parry Liddon. The latter was made canon of St Paul's Cathedral three years later in 1870.
C.L. Dodgson & H.P. Liddon
Liddon’s biographers note the spiritual atmosphere in Russia – “devout, orthodox, and conservative, yet eminently anti-papal – was exactly congenial to his own temper”. Dodgson and Liddon saw Russia under the reign of Tsar Alexander II. Carroll’s trip to Russia seems to be a typical tourist extravaganza. He spent much of his time visiting galleries, museums, the theatre, climbing up towers to see the views, shopping for mementos, and the like.
Carroll starts his notes about Moscow with a glimpse of the city:
“We gave 5 o 6 hours to a stroll through this wonderful city, a city of white houses and green roofs, of conical towers that rise one out of another like a fore-shortened telescope; of bulging glided domes, in which you see as in looking-glass, distorted pictures of the city; of churches which look, outside, like bunches of variegated cactus, (some branches crowned with green prickly buds, others with blue, and others with red and white), and which, inside, are hung all round with Eikons and lamps, and lined with illuminated pictures up to the very roof; and finally, of pavement that goes up and down like a ploughed field…”
Fortunately we can imagine 1867 Moscow not only by words. It also can be seen in the photos taken by Moscow merchant N.A. Naidenov.
The most interesting and famous set of Naidenov’s photographs is panorama from the top of The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour that shows almost the whole city of Moscow. The panorama is available here and separate photos from the set are here.
To be continued...
1. Russell, G.W.E. Dr. Liddon. London, 1905, p. 23
2. Carroll, Lewis. Lewis Carroll's Diaries. Luton 1999. Vol. 5, p. 300-301