Posted on January 14, 2022 at 12:48 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek
Lewis Carroll, author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, died on this day in 1898.
So now seemed like the right time to share an interesting piece from Open Culture about the medical legacy of his best-known work.
There is an actual neuropsychological syndrome that causes distortions in the sufferer’s perception of reality, formally known as dysmetropsia or Todd’s syndrome but also informally known as Alice in Wonderland syndrome.
Consultant psychiatrist John Todd defined the disorder in 1955 (hence the condition's nickname of Todd's syndrome) and noted that several of his patients who had it saw objects as much larger than they were or much smaller.
In other words, they experienced what Alice did in Carroll's novel.
Todd, though not a literary scholar, believed that Carroll experienced dysmetropsia; you can read more about Carroll's medical history in an article from The Lancet.
Categories: Today in Books