Lewis Carroll is a pen-name: Charles Lutwidge Dodgson was the author's real name and he was lecturer in Mathematics in Christ Church, Oxford. Dodgson began the story on 4 July 1862, when he took a journey in a rowing boat on the river Thames in Oxford together with the Reverend Robinson Duckworth, with Alice Liddell (ten years of age) the daughter of the Dean of Christ Church, and with her two sisters, Lorina (thirteen years of age), and Edith (eight years of age). As is clear from the poem at the beginning of the book, the three girls asked Dodgson for a story and reluctantly at first he began to tell the first version of the story to them. There are many half-hidden references made to the five of them throughout the text of the book itself, which was published finally in 1865. "Ailis's Anterins i the Laun o Ferlies" is a translation of Lewis Carroll's classic tale into synthetic Scots. Synthetic Scots is the name given by the poet Hugh MacDiarmid to a project that sought to rescue Scots as a serious literary language from the cloying sentimentalism and the music-hall self-mockery into which it had degenerated by the early 20th century. This project was prefigured in the work of writers like Violet Jacob and Marion Angus, Robert Louis Stevenson and George Douglas Brown. Alongside MacDiarmid, the project was pursued by Robert Garioch, Alastair Mackie, Alexander Scott and Sydney Goodsir Smith; while, in more recent times, Edwin Morgan's translations of European poetry are among the most powerful examples that we have of synthetic Scots. "Ailis's Anterins i the Laun o Ferlies" is offered as a contribution to the canon of synthetic Scots texts. Because the original is such a popular and well-loved tale, skillfully crafted in simple, clear and undemanding language, but losing none of its literary excellence for all that, the hope is that Ailis will contribute to making Scots more accessible to both Scottish and non-Scottish readers alike.
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