The other night I had a lot of fun giving the monthly talk to SELFS, which is a group of people who are fascinated by unusual and extraordinary stuff. They meet each month in the upstairs room of an old pub called "The Old Kings Head" in an alleyway near London Bridge tube station.

Old Kings Head

The pub probably hasn't changed in fifty years, and I've always enjoyed going and listening to the talks, so I was really pleased when Nigel, who runs the group, offered me the chance to talk to them myself.

I spoke on "Lewis Carroll and the Supernatural." It's a surprisingly wide subject, because Carroll was very interested in many aspects of the "otherworldly" experience and he read extensively about all kinds of magical, supernatural and religious topics. During the talk I suggested that the audience go online to see one of the most interesting books he owned - at least, in my opinion it's the most interesting. It can be viewed as an electronic facsimile, and once you get the quaint writing style and all the "s"s looking like "f"s, it contains some wonderful material, such as an eyewitness account of the celebrated Cunning Man of Kent, Dr. Boreman.

Its title is "A Compleat System of Magick; or, The History of the Black-art" (1729) and it is by Daniel Defoe, of Robinson Crusoe fame. So I thought in case any of the audience are reading this, I'd put a link to the facsimile Do think about taking a look, if you haven't already.

I think more research could be done into this subject, and I'd like to do it. Carroll was certainly interested in all kinds of strange things.