Leadhills welcomes a new Wunderlaant for Ahlice

Mary Hamilton receiving a copy of Ahlices Adveenturs in Wunderlaant on behalf of Leadhills Reading Society from translator Cameron Halfpenny at Leadhills Miners Library
Mary Hamilton receiving a copy of Ahlices Adveenturs in Wunderlaant on behalf of Leadhills Reading Society from translator Cameron Halfpenny at Leadhills Miners Library
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Leadhills Miners Library has added the Scots version of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to its collection.

Leadhills Reading Society was presented with a copy of the first translation into Border Scots of Lewis Carroll’s classic story Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, after it helped to create the unique edition of the book.

Ahlice’s Adveenturs in Wunderlaant was commissioned by the Lewis Carroll Society of North America, as part of the Society’s Alice 150: Celebrating Wonderland conference to mark the 150th anniversary of the book’s first publication in 1865.

The translation was made by Scots writer Cameron Halfpenny, who lives in Leadhills.

The presentation took place at a showcase for the project at Leadhills Miners Library, the UK’s oldest subscription library, which dates back more than 120 years before Lewis Carroll even put pen to paper.

Members of the Leadhills Reading Society first helped in the project more than a year ago by commenting on draft readings from the translation, and suggesting new words and phrases to replace Carroll’s standard English. Among their suggestions to have made the final edition are “craiter”, “dwam” and “doo”.

Reading Society Committee member Andy Foley said “The Leadhills Miners Library is enjoying a commemorative year too, this being the 275th anniversary of our inception. We are always looking to build links with the local community and engage with contemporary activities alongside our archival role with the museum’s collection.

“Our Friday evening talks are a great way to bring people into the Library during its closed season.”

And he said that the library was grateful for the copy of the Alice tranlation and would keenly follow the progress of the project.

Cameron added: “the Reading Society’s input gave me the confidence to see the translation process to the end, and they sprinkled some gold dust across the final copy, in true Leadhills style.”

“At a time when many libraries are having to justifying their existence, it is terrific to see that this historic institution is able to muster the space, time and expertise to contribute to a

quirky language project with national significance.

“It deserves recognition for its contribution.”

Cameron plans to promote Scots language by hosting more showcases of the Alice 150 project and his translation across the Borders in the coming months.

Ahlice’s Adveenturs in Wunderlaant is now available from Amazon, Waterstone’s and bookshops.