I haven't felt like writing the blog lately because I've been involved with trying to sell the old family home in SW London - rather sad to clear it out. It's been in the family nearly 100 years and is full of memories. It's more like getting rid of a dear old pet than a mere house. I've known it since my earliest memories and am familiar with every inch, in the way a child is - even the bits around the skirting boards.

My sister tried to buy it to live in it but property prices in London being what they are, she just couldn't raise the cash even by selling a larger house in the Midlands and raising over ?100,000 of extra cash. As I am not a beneficiary of the will, I can't help her out.

I'm still thinking about Carroll. Sometimes I feel as if Carroll is my brother - if not my incubus) - it's easy to forget that other people don't know anything and probably don't care either. So it's been a matter of pitching the proposal in a way that will interest not only those who ARE intrigued by him, but also the others who vaguely think he wrote "Peter Pan".

There's also the problem of giving a crash course in history. Carroll was such a one-off that he had some difficulty in fitting into his own society. (He might have had difficulty fitting into ANY society, although the 18th century might well have suited him more than the 19th).

But, to see how he dealt with his society, you have to know a bit about that society, and I can't assume that the reader knows, of course. It's fairly safe to guess they're not familar with the Oxford Movement, but shouldn't a reasonably educated person be able to make a guess about what Victorian genre paintings are? It's hard to get it right.

On an Angry Old Woman note, I was also shocked to find that a professional who read my proposal and reported on it, constantly misspelled and misused words in her report. She used "hoards" when she meant "hordes", was a fan of "greengrocer's apostrophe's" and consistently used "it's" as the possessive of "it". My inner schoolteacher was brandishing an imaginary red pen all over her report. She was a lovely lady, and perhaps her teachers felt that learning grammar and punctuation stifled creativity... but I confess that if I were making a career in publishing and couldn't spell or punctuate, I'd buy myself a book or go on a course.

Having said that, Lewis Carroll, for all his love of literature, was no great shakes in the punctuation department.