Alice in Fiscal Wonderland and Alice in Manx, but not at the same time

John Bull's Adventures in Fiscal Wonderland, a new edition from Evertype

Last month saw two new publications from Evertype, veritable fount of Alice parodies, translations, and rare reprints. (See the complete catalog here.)

John Bull’s Adventures in Fiscal Wonderland, by Charles Geake and Francis Carruthers Gould is a parody of late 19th century British economic politics, originally published in 1904. Publisher Michael Everson reassures readers that no specialist knowledge of either the Tariff Reform League or the Free Food League is required in order to enjoy John Bull’s adventures. (Amazon.com, $12.95)

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, a Manx translation by Brian Stowell

Contoyrtyssyn Ealish ayns Çheer ny Yindyssyn is the third edition of Brian Stowell’s Manx translation of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Amazon.com, $15.95). Manx, the language of the Isle of Man, is a close relation of Irish and Scottish Gaelic but with a very different orthography. Tragically, no native Manx speakers remain, but the language is the subject of dedicated revival efforts – to which this book will contribute, we hope.

Would-be travelers in a Manx Wonderland might like to practice the following phrases (extracted from Stowell’s translation):

Ta mish keoi – I’m mad
T’ou uss keoi – You’re mad
Ta shin ooilley keoi ayns shoh – We’re all mad here
Ta’n jees oc keoi – They’re both mad

In these circumstances, the book takes the well-deserved liberty of “localizing” a few of Tenniel’s illustrations: apparently the label on Alice’s bottle reads “IU MEE,” for example. But, inquiring minds want to know, does the Cheshire Cat have a tail? Has he been transformed into a Manx cat? Surely one of that curious tail-less breed, with back legs longer than his front legs and a wonderful associated terminology, would feel right at home in Wonderland? (Quiz: Is the cat below a “dimple rumpy, a “rumpy riser,” or a “stumpy”? Visit Our-Cats.com to find out.)

A Manx cat, naturally tail-free (Image from Our-Cats.com)

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