In my never-ending quest to bore everyone to tears with my fascination with the Lewis Carroll classic, here is yet another special edition of the classic children’s book. Alicia in Terra Mirabili, is the Latin translation of Alice in Wonderland. The first Latin version of this worldly renowned childhood’s book was translated by Canadian translator Clive Carruthers and published in 1964. My grasp of Latin is limited by the fact that I only studied the language for one semester in grade 7, but I still love the idea of this translation.
The book cover (above) features a beautiful illustration of the iconic figure in wonderland, the white rabbit embossed in golden. The inner artworks are equally impressive, for example, the picture adjacent to the title page depicts the courtroom in wonderland, with all sorts of creatures. The appearances of the king and queen of hearts resemble their classic designs in the playing.
Another notable feature of this edition is the end papers, which are printed with a mind-map of Alice’s adventure. Following the thread and starting with the upper right corner, there are “initium somnii” (the beginning of the dream), “cuniculi cavum” (the rabbit hole), “stagum lacrimarum” (the pool of tears) and so forth. Although the “index capitum” (right), the table of contents (distinct from the mind-map), is provided by Carruthers, I personally enjoy the game-board-like one, which is more playful as well as enables its readers to easily connect the Latin title and the picture aside.
Carroll, Ludovici. Alicia in Terra Mirabili. Translated by Clive Harcourt Carruthers, St Martin’s Press, 1964.