Knee deep in some research currently regarding Secret Societies and their Island history, I was delighted to discover one today- that's right up my Carrollian street!
Whaddya know Em, this was 1862- right at the time when dear Edward Lear was becoming famous for his Nonsense, and Dodgson was here-abouts lionising Tennyson, and scribing squibs and parodies a-plenty about his Oxford peers. Just down the lane in Norton was the HQ for a satirical 'Society'- with its own Poet Laureate, and Fizz/Lear/Punch-esque illustrator.
The 'Larky-Lot' met for the season at West-Cliff House. With members from society local and on North-Island (near where you live for example Em) their motto was Semper Roare.
A tongue-in-cheek bunch, they wrote verse, drew cartoons and generally involved themselves in silliness.
Here's another example of their nonsense- a Limerick about Norton, where GiGi lives.
There was a young person of Norton
Whose cloak was by no means a short 'un
When they asked " Is it long?"
She replied "Get along"
That evasive young person of Norton
So, the fashion for nonsense didn't confine itself to children's verses, or the still to be written Alice and in particular- Through the Looking Glass. 'Twas something in the zeit-geist breeze Emily, and a less stuffy, straight-laced and repressed take on the Victorians than commonly opined.
Maybe it was just here in Freshwater that the daft-mood overcame our Victorian visitors- though I doubt it. But there is something in the air here Em, don't you think?
Your ever-loving Grand-mother,