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I have this sitting next to books of equally interesting exercise, such as a translation of modern poetry into Old English. Likewise, Henry Beard's translations of various ordinary statements and phrases in Latin (and cat behaviours in to French) also sit next to this honoured tome.
When I returned from Britain and began to think in theological-training terms, I had to re-acquaint myself with Latin; for an exam I had to memorise one biblical passage, one passage from the Aeneid, and one passage of my choice. I chose Winnie Ille Pu, and, as it had not been excluded from the list, I was permitted this indulgence (I believe that the exam list now has a section of excluded works, including this one, more's the pity).
Do not be frightened off by the fact that this is a book in Latin. It is very accessible, and quite fun to read with the English version of Winnie-the-Pooh at its side. The Latin version has kept many of the original illustrations as well as the page layout forms, for example:
And then he got up, and said: 'And the only reason for making honey is so as I can eat it.' So he began to climb the tree.
and as he
Isn't it funny
How a bear likes honey
Buzz! Buzz! Buzz!
I wonder why he does?
Et nisus est
et nitens carmen sic coepit canere:
Cur ursus clamat?
Cur adeo mel amat?
The Latin is elegant and fluent, and, bizarrely, easier to read than most specially-written-for-learners texts. Winnie the Pooh himself is even funnier in Latin, and, somehow, the oracular pronouncements of the Bear of Very Little Brain sound even more philosophical in the language of Cicero.
A marvellous present for anyone studying Latin, and a must-have for the library of any school where Latin is taught.
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