180 Lewis Carroll Quotes on Writing, Progress, and Religion

If you are an aspiring writer, or just wants to be taken into a world of pure fantasy, this collection of 180 Lewis Carroll quotes is perfect for you.

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, most commonly known by his pen-name Lewis Carroll, was an American children’s fiction writer.

His most iconic work, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel, Through the Looking Glass, has been so popular all over the globe, and are still being reinvented until this day with the production of its own live action movie. 

Lewis Carroll’s works show his vast imagination and creativity. 

So grab onto your seats, and let’s embark on a journey to a whole new universe of fantasy and magic.

Start reading here.

And don’t forget to check out these Shel Silverstein quotes and Simone de Beauvoir quotes.

Best Lewis Carroll Quotes

1. “People who don’t think shouldn’t talk.”

2. “It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”

3. “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”

4. “If everybody minded their own business, the world would go around a great deal faster than it does.”

5.“One of the secrets of life is that all that is really worth doing is what we do for others.”

6. “Begin at the beginning, and go on till you come to the end, then stop.”

7. “Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle.”

8. “I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.”

9. “Sometimes, I believe as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

10. “I give myself very good advice, but I very seldom follow it.”

11. “I’m not strange, weird, off, nor crazy, my reality is just different from yours.”

12. “Why is it that people with the most narrow of minds seem to have the widest of mouths?”

13. “You have to run as fast as you can just to stay where you are. If you want to get anywhere, you’ll have to run much faster.”

14. “Everything’s got a moral, if only you can find it.”

Famous Lewis Carroll Quotes

15. “I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt, and perhaps it says ‘Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.’”

16. “You’re thinking about something, my dear, and that makes you forget to talk.”

17. “If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?” 

18. “Curtsey while you’re thinking what to say. It saves time.”

19. “Speak in French when you can’t think of the English for a thing, turn out your toes as you walk, and remember who you are!”

20. “Curiouser and curiouser.”

21. “The proper definition of a man is an animal that writes letters.”

22. “There are three hundred and sixty-four days when you might get un-birthday presents, and only one for birthday presents, you know.”

23. “It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards.”

24. “Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality.”

25. “When I used to read fairy-tales, I fancied that kind of thing never happened, and now here I am in the middle of one!”

26. “Everything’s got a moral, if only you can find it.”

27. “If you set to work to believe everything, you will tire out the believing-muscles of your mind, and then you’ll be so weak, you won’t be able to believe the simplest true things.”

28. “But, I nearly forgot, you must close your eyes, otherwise you won’t see anything.”

29. “In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take, the relationships we were afraid to have, and the decisions we waited too long to make.”

Inspirational Lewis Carroll Quotes

30. “If you want to inspire confidence, give plenty of statistics. It does not matter that they should be accurate, or even intelligible, as long as there are enough of them.”

31. “You would have to be half-mad to dream me up.”

32. “Be what you would seem to be—or, if you’d like it put more simply—never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were, or might have been, was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise.”

33. “No, no! The adventures first—explanations take such a dreadful time.”

34. “It would be so nice if something made sense for a change.”

35. “You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret—all the best people are!”

36. “One of the hardest things in the world is to convey a meaning accurately from one mind to another.”

37. “If you didn’t sign it, that only makes the matter worse. You must have meant some mischief, or else you’d have signed your name like an honest man.”

38. “Everyone always says you have to be strong and have a stiff upper lip, but it’s okay to be fragile.”

39. “Contrariwise, if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.”

40. “He was part of my dream, of course—but then, I was part of his dream too.”

41. “If you knew time as well as I do, you wouldn’t talk about wasting it.”

42. “How long is forever? Sometimes, just one second.”

43. “If you limit your actions in life to things that nobody can possibly find fault with, you will not do much!”

44. “Whatever is worth doing, is worth doing well.”

Lewis Carroll Quotes That’ll Lift Your Spirit Up

45. “Always speak the truth, think before you speak, and write it down afterwards.”

46. “You couldn’t have it if you did want it.”

47. “It is the privilege of true genius, and especially genius who opens up a new path, to make great mistakes with impunity.”

48. “There’s no use in comparing one’s feelings between one day and the next—you must allow a reasonable interval for the direction of change to show itself.”

49. “A thick stick in one’s hand makes people respectful.”

50. “Consider anything, only don’t cry!”

51. “You won’t make yourself a bit realer by crying.”

52. “In some ways, you know, people that don’t exist are much nicer than people that do.”

53. “At any rate, there’s no harm in trying.”

54. “It’s too late to correct it—when you’ve once said a thing, that fixes it, and you must take the consequences.”n

55. “When you have made a thorough and reasonably long effort to understand a thing, and still feel puzzled by it, stop, you will only hurt yourself by going on.”

56. “You know what the issue is with this world? Everyone wants some magical solution to their problem, and everyone refuses to believe in magic.”

57. “If the world has absolutely no sense, who’s stopping us from inventing one?”

58. “I don’t see how he can ever finish, if he doesn’t begin.”

59. “When I come upon anything—in Logic or in any other hard subject—that entirely puzzles me, I find it a capital plan to talk it over, aloud, even when I am all alone. One can explain things so clearly to one’s self! And then, you know, one is so patient with one’s self. One never gets irritated at one’s own stupidity!”

Lewis Carroll Quotes About Progress

60. “There comes a pause, for human strength will not endure to dance without cessation, and everyone must reach the point at length of absolute prostration.”

61. “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.”

62. “Read the directions, and directly, you will be directed in the right direction.”

63. “Without a plan, it doesn’t matter which way you’re going.”

64. “Which way you ought to go depends on where you want to get to.”

Lewis Carroll Quotes About Life

65. “Well, when one’s lost, I suppose it’s good advice to stay where you are until someone finds you.”

66. “Life, what is it but a dream?”

67. “That’s the reason they’re called lessons, because they lesson from day to day.”

68. “While the laughter of joy is in full harmony with our deeper life, the laughter of amusement should be kept apart from it. The danger is too great of thus learning to look at solemn things in a spirit of mockery, and to seek in them opportunities for exercising wit.”

69. “The rule is, jam tomorrow and jam yesterday, but never jam today.”

70. “I’d give all the wealth that years have piled, the slow result of life’s decay, to be once more a little child for one bright summer day.” 

71. “It’s as large as life, and twice as natural.”

72. “Everything is funny, if you can laugh at it.”

73. “You shouldn’t make jokes if it makes you so unhappy.”

74. “One can’t believe impossible things.”

Lewis Carroll Quotes About Love, Courtesy, and Kindness

75. “Courtesy is a small act, but it packs a mighty wallop.”

76. “To me, it seems that to give happiness is a far nobler goal than to attain it, and that what we exist for is much more a matter of relations to others than a matter of individual progress—much more a matter of helping others to heaven than of getting there ourselves.”

77. “T’is a secret—none knows how it comes, how it goes—but the name of the secret is ‘love!’”

78. “All that matters is what we do for each other.”

79. “She who saves a single soul, saves the universe.”

80. “Oh, ’tis love, ’tis love that makes the world go round.”

81. “Still, as Christmas-tide comes round, they remember it again—echo still the joyful sound, ‘Peace on earth, good-will to men!’”

82. “While the laughter of joy is in full harmony with our deeper life, the laughter of amusement should be kept apart from it. The danger is too great of thus learning to look at solemn things in a spirit of mockery, and to seek in them opportunities for exercising wit.”

83. “It is better to be feared than loved.”

84. “The more there is of mine, the less there is of yours.”

Logical Lewis Carroll Quotes

85. “In fact, now that I come to think of it, do we decide questions at all? We decide answers, no doubt, but surely, the questions decide us. It is the dog, you know, that wags the tail—not the tail that wags the dog.”

86. “Do not, oh do not indulge such a wild idea that a newspaper might err! If so, what have we to trust in this age of sham?”

87. “May we not then sometimes define insanity as an inability to distinguish which is the waking and which the sleeping life. We often dream without the least suspicion of unreality—’Sleep hath its own world’, and it is often as lifelike as the other.”

88. “Who can tell whether the parallelogram, which in our ignorance we have defined and drawn, and the whole of whose properties we profess to know, may not be all the while panting for exterior angles, sympathetic with the interior, or sullenly repining at the fact that it cannot be inscribed in a circle?”

89. “Where one is hopelessly undecided as to what to say, there, silence is golden.”

90. “No ghost of any common sense begins a conversation.”

91. “First, I hate all theological controversy—it is wearing to the temper, and is, I believe—at all events when viva voce—worse than useless.”

92. “No one does play fair if they think they can get away with it.”

93. “She’s in that state of mind that she wants to deny something, only she doesn’t know what to deny!”

94. “Why, you might just as well say that ‘I see what I eat’ is the same as ‘I eat what I see.’”

Poetic Lewis Carroll Quotes

95. “His answer trickled through my head like water through a sieve.”

96. “No good fish goes anywhere without a porpoise.”

97. “And if he left off dreaming about you, where do you suppose you’d be?”

98. “Why is a raven like a writing desk?”

99. “Yet what are all such gaieties to me whose thoughts are full of indices and surds?”

100. “Un-dish-cover the fish, or dishcover the riddle.”

101. “You could not see a cloud, because no cloud was in the sky, no birds were flying overhead, there were no birds to fly.” 

102. “I wish I could shut up like a telescope! I think I could, if I only knew how to begin.”

103. “I have seen so many extraordinary things, nothing seems extraordinary anymore.”

104. “And thus, they give the time that nature meant for peaceful sleep and meditative snores, to ceaseless din, and mindless merriment, and waste of shoes and floors.”

Lewis Carroll Quotes About Time

105. “But then, shall I never get any older than I am now? That’ll be a comfort, one way—never to be an old woman—but then, always to have lessons to learn!”

106. “How puzzling all these changes are! I’m never sure what I’m going to be, from one minute to another.”

107. “I wonder if I’ve been changed in the night. Let me think. Was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different.”

108. “Charles Lutwidge Dodgson’s life in space-time colored his liberated life of the imagination.”

109. “What I tell you three times is true.”

Lewis Carroll Quotes and Realizations Being a Writer

110. “Words mean more than we mean to express when we use them. So, a whole book ought to mean a great deal more than the writer meant.”

111. “If only I could manage, without annoyance to my family, to get imprisoned for 10 years without hard labour, and with the use of books and writing materials, it would be simply delightful!”

112. “You evidently do not suffer from ‘quotation-hunger’ as I do! I get all the dictionaries of quotations I can meet with, as I always want to know where a quotation comes from.”

113. “I maintain that any writer of a book is fully authorised in attaching any meaning he likes to a word or phrase he intends to use. If I find an author saying, at the beginning of his book, ‘Let it be understood that by the word ‘black’ I shall always mean ‘white,’ and by the word ‘white’ I shall always mean ‘black,’’ I meekly accept his ruling, however injudicious I think it.”

114. “I think I should understand that better if I had it written down—but I can’t quite follow it as you say it.”

115. “I’m very much afraid I didn’t mean anything but nonsense.”

116. “So, whatever good meanings are in the book, I’m glad to accept as the meaning of the book.”

117. “I can explain all the poems that were ever invented—and a good many that haven’t been invented just yet.”

118. “Better say nothing at all. Language is worth a thousand pounds a word!”

119. “Somehow, it seems to fill my head with ideas—only I don’t exactly know what they are!”

120. “My hand moves because certain forces—electric, magnetic, or whatever ‘nerve-force’ may prove to be—are impressed on it by my brain. This nerve-force, stored in the brain, would probably be traceable, if science were complete, to chemical forces supplied to the brain by the blood, and ultimately derived from the food I eat and the air I breathe.”

121. “There ought to be a book written about me, that there ought!”

122. “Sentence first, verdict afterwards.”

123. “I have proved by actual trial, that a letter that takes an hour to write, takes only about 3 minutes to read!”

124. “I said it in Hebrew, I said it in Dutch, I said it in German and Greek, but I wholly forgot that English is what you speak!”

Lewis Carroll Quotes About Children 

125. “I am fond of children, except boys.”

126. “I should like the whole race of nurses to be abolished—children should be with their mother as much as possible, in my opinion.”

127. “Some children have the most disagreeable way of getting grown-up.”

128. “I cannot even pretend to feel as much interest in boys as in girls.”

129. “What do you suppose is the use of a child without any meaning? Even a joke should have some meaning—and a child’s more important than a joke, I hope. You couldn’t deny that, even if you tried with both hands.”

130. “There’s nothing a well-regulated child hates so much as regularity. I believe a really healthy boy would thoroughly enjoy Greek Grammar—if only he might stand on his head to learn it!”

131. “I suppose, every child has a world of his own—and every man, too, for the matter of that. I wonder if that’s the cause for all the misunderstanding there is in life?”

132. “The ‘Why?’ cannot, and need not, be put into words. Those for whom a child’s mind is a sealed book, and who see no divinity in a child’s smile, would read such words in vain—while for any one that has ever loved one true child, no words are needed. For he will have known the awe that falls on one in the presence of a spirit fresh from GOD’s hands, on whom no shadow of sin, and but the outermost fringe of the shadow of sorrow, has yet fallen—he will have felt the bitter contrast between the haunting selfishness that spoils his best deeds and the life that is but an overflowing love—for I think a child’s first attitude to the world is a simple love for all living things: and he will have learned that the best work a man can do is when he works for love’s sake only, with no thought of name, or gain, or earthly reward. No deed of ours, I suppose, on this side the grave, is really unselfish—yet if one can put forth all one’s powers in a task where nothing of reward is hoped for but a little child’s whispered thanks, and the airy touch of a little child’s pure lips, one seems to come somewhere near to this.”

133. “So young, a child ought to know which way she’s going, even if she doesn’t know her own name!”

134. “Lastly, she pictured to herself how this same little sister of hers would, in the after-time, be herself a grown woman—and how she would keep, through all her riper years, the simple and loving heart of her childhood—and how she would gather about her other little children, and make their eyes bright and eager with many a strange tale, perhaps even with the dream of Wonderland of long ago—and how she would feel with all their simple sorrows, and find a pleasure in all their simple joys, remembering her own child-life, and the happy summer days.”

Lewis Carroll Quotes About Religion

135. “I have had prayers answered—most strangely so sometimes—but I think our Heavenly Father’s loving-kindness has been even more evident in what He has refused me.”

136. “When all has been considered, it seems to me to be the irresistible intuition that infinite punishment for finite sin would be unjust, and therefore wrong. We feel that even a weak and erring man would shrink from such an act. And we cannot conceive of God as acting on a lower standard of right and wrong.”

137. “If I was not assured by the best authority on earth that the world is to be destroyed by fire, I should conclude that the day of destruction is at hand, but brought on by means of an agent very opposite to that of heat.”

138. “As life draws nearer to its end, I feel more and more clearly that it will not matter in the least, at the last day, what form of religion a man has professed-nay, that many who have never even heard of Christ, will in that day find themselves saved by His blood.”

139. “Forbid the day when vivisection shall be practised in every college and school, and when the man of science, looking forth over a world which will then own no other sway than his, shall exult in the thought that he has made of this fair earth, if not a heaven, at least a hell for animals.”

Lewis Carroll Quotes About Death

140. “Death is always sad, I suppose, to us who look forward to it. I expect it will seem very different when we can look back upon it.”

141. “Be sure, the safest rule is that we should not dare to live in any scene in which we dare not die. But once realise what the true object is in life—that it is not pleasure, not knowledge, not even fame itself, ‘that last infirmity of noble minds’, but that it is the development of character, the rising to a higher, nobler, purer standard, the building-up of the perfect Man—and then, so long as we feel that this is going on, and will go on for evermore, death has for us no terror—it is not a shadow, but a light—not an end, but a beginning!”

142. “I believe this thought—of the possibility of death—if calmly realised, and steadily faced, would be one of the best possible tests as to our going to any scene of amusement being right or wrong. If the thought of sudden death acquires, for you, a special horror when imagined as happening in a theatre, then be very sure the theatre is harmful for you, however harmless it may be for others, and that you are incurring a deadly peril in going.”

143. “I’ll try the whole cause, and condemn you to death.”

144. “When, as a child, I first opened my eyes on a Sunday-morning, a feeling of dismal anticipation, which began at least on the Friday, culminated. I knew what was before me, and my wish, if not my word, was ‘Would God it were evening!’ It was no day of rest, but a day of texts, of catechisms, of tracts about converted swearers, godly charwomen, and edifying deaths of sinners saved. There was but one rosy spot, in the distance, all that day—and that was ‘bed-time,’ which never could come too early!”

Informative Lewis Carroll Quotes About Writing

145. “Which form of proverb do you prefer? ‘Better late than never,’ or ‘Better never than late?’”

146. “They’ve a temper, some of them—particularly verbs, they’re the proudest—adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs.”

147. “When you are describing a shape, or sound, or tint, don’t state the matter plainly, but put it in a hint, and learn to look at all things with a sort of mental squint.”

148. “One of the deepest motives, as you are aware, in the human beast—so deep that many have failed to detect it—is alliteration.”

149. “Here is a golden rule—write legibly. The average temper of the human race would be perceptibly sweetened, if everybody obeyed this rule!”

150. “Epithets, like pepper, give zest to what you write. And if you strew them sparely, they whet the appetite. But if you lay them on too thick, you spoil the matter quite!”

151. “Well, ‘slithy’ means ‘lithe and slimy.’ ‘Lithe’ is the same as ‘active.’ You see, it’s like a portmanteau—there are two meanings packed up into one word.”

152. “Abstract qualities begin with capitals always—the True, the Good, the Beautiful—those are the things that pay!”

153. “I said it in Hebrew, I said it in Dutch, I said it in German and Greek, but I wholly forgot that English is what you speak!”

154. “If doubtful whether to end with ‘yours faithfully,’ or ‘yours truly,’ or ‘yours most truly,’ there are at least a dozen varieties before you reach ‘yours affectionately’—refer to your correspondent’s last letter, and make your winding-up at least as friendly as his. In fact, even if a shade more friendly, it will do no harm!”

Lewis Carroll Quotes on Photography and Other Disciplines

155. “I don’t want to take up literature in a money-making spirit, or be very anxious about making large profits, but selling it at a loss is another thing altogether, and an amusement I cannot well afford.”

156. “The recent extraordinary discovery in photography, as applied in the operations of the mind, has reduced the art of novel-writing to the merest mechanical labour.”

157. “Photography is my one recreation, and I think it should be done well.”

158. “I never get involved in politics.”

159. “‘Five o’clock tea’ is a phrase our ‘rude forefathers,’ even of the last generation, would scarcely have understood so completely, is it a thing of today—and yet, so rapid is the March of the Mind, it has already risen into a national institution, and rivals, in its universal application to all ranks and ages, and as a specific for ‘all the ills that flesh is heir to,’ the glorious Magna Charta.”

Lewis Carroll Quotes About Attitude and Personal Preferences

160. “I confess, I do not admire naked boys. They always seem to me to need clothes, whereas, one hardly sees why the lovely forms of girls should ever be covered up.”

161. “Burning with curiosity.”

162. “Of all things, I do like a conspiracy! It’s so interesting!”

163. “I don’t believe there’s an atom of meaning in it.”

164. “You can’t be that good—you work for me.”

Lewis Carroll Quotes About People

165. “That which chiefly causes the failure of a dinner-party, is the running short—not of meat, nor yet of drink, but of conversation.”

166. “The things most people want to know about are usually none of their business.”

167. “No discussion between two persons can be of any use, until each knows clearly what it is that the other asserts.”

168. “My view of life is that it’s next to impossible to convince anybody of anything.”

169. “As a general rule, do not kick the shins of the opposite gentleman under the table, if personally unaquainted with him—your pleasantry is liable to be misunderstood—a circumstance at all times unpleasant.”

170. “If you’ll believe in me, I’ll believe in you.”

171. “Speak roughly to your little boy and beat him when he sneezes! He only does it to annoy, because he knows it teases!”

172. “We are but older children, dear, who fret to find our bedtime near.”

173. “We haven’t any, and you’re too young.”

174. “You may charge me with murder—or want of sense—but the slightest approach to a false pretence was never among my crimes!”

Other Lewis Carroll Quotes

175. “If you drink much from a bottle marked ‘poison,’ it is certain to disagree with you sooner or later.”

176. “I once delivered a simple ball, which I was told, had it gone far enough, would have been considered a wide.”

177. “Everybody has won, and all must have prizes.”

178. “If he smiled much more, the ends of his mouth might meet behind, and then I don’t know what would happen to his head! I’m afraid it would come off!”

179. “For first, you write a sentence, and then you chop it small—then mix the bits and sort them out, just as they have a chance to fall—the order of the phrases makes no difference at all.”

180. “Plain superficiality is the character of a speech in which any two points being taken—the speaker is found to lie wholly with regard to those two points.”

Did Your Imagination Fly as You Were Reading These Quotes?

Lewis Carroll was not just a celebrated writer, he was also a photographer, mathematician, inventor, and an Anglican deacon—which is very evident in some of his statements about religion and the church.

He also has great interest in wordplay and in talking about other disciplines and languages.

He was really fond of children, especially girls. Scholars are still having assumptions to whether or not his treatment to children had any erotic intents.

But from what we see from his works, we could really tell that he wanted to create stories that every child would love and enjoy.

His words teach us to be patient, logical, and persevering—that every progress, whether big or small, is still better than what we were before. 

Do you know the story of Alice in Wonderland? Who are your favorite characters from his books? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Amy Finn

Hi. I'm Amy, the founder of this blog. I love quotes and enjoy sharing the best ones with you.

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