Æðelgyðe Ellendæda on Wundorlande: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in Old English (Paperback)
Old English (or "Englisc") is the English language as recorded from around the year 700 to 1100. Spoken by King Alfred the Great and Lady Godiva, the Venerable Bede and Edward the Confessor, it is the language of such classics as "Beowulf", "The Dream of the Rood", and "The Seafarer". After 1100 the language went through a period of change so rapid that, by the time two centuries had passed, few could read these old texts. And yet "Englisc" really is English-much closer to the language of Chaucer, Shakespeare, Pope, and Dickens, and much easier for English speakers to learn, than such modern languages as French, Spanish, and German. For those interested in learning the oldest variety of English, this translation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" may provide a pleasurable study aid: just set the modern text and this one side by side and compare the two. But be careful In this book, Lewis Carroll's classic tale has been transported into the distant past, before the English had ever heard of tea, imagined a device as sophisticated as a watch, or even seen a rabbit (a later invasive species). Instead, they drank beer, mead, or (when they could get it) wine; an exceptionally learned scholar might have known how to tell time with an astrolabe; and the most familiar long-eared animal was the hare. These and many other differences between the England of Lewis Carroll and that of King Alfred are represented in this book's text and illustrations both. In addition, the magnificent poems of "Alice" ("How Doth the Little Crocodile", "You Are Old, Father William", and more) have been rendered into the meter and idiom of "Beowulf", thus becoming satires of Old English heroic poetry as well as of the moralistic verse that Carroll lampooned with such devastating effect.