From Rule 42 to Rule 51 in Germany

At this moment the King, who had been for some time busily writing in his note-book, cackled out ‘Silence!’ and read out from his book, ‘Rule Forty-two. ALL PERSONS MORE THAN A MILE HIGH TO LEAVE THE COURT.’ Everybody looked at Alice.
‘I’m not a mile high,’ said Alice.
‘You are,’ said the King.
‘Nearly two miles high,’ added the Queen.
‘Well, I shan’t go, at any rate,’ said Alice: `besides, that’s not a regular rule: you invented it just now.’
‘It’s the oldest rule in the book,’ said the King.
‘Then it ought to be Number One,’ said Alice.

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland, chapter XII

In the 1952 German dubbed version of Disney’s 1951 Alice movie, “Rule 42” had been replaced by “Paragraph 51”. Nobody can really know what “42” stands for, but in Germany “he has the article 51” (“Er hat den Paragraph 51“) meant “He is mad”. It was until the year 1975 that the article 51 of the German penal code provided the legal base for insanity defense.

Lewis Carroll’s “Rule 42” might not have been plain nonsense.

The Bard


Bycatch (found in 2013) from my Snark hunt:


initial post: 2017-09-26

Alice in the Woods

Bycatch from my Snark hunt:

There are more paintings by Bonomi Edward Warren where he recycled that forest scene. I don’t know who “stole” from whom.

Alice on the Train

Playing with the work of other artists could have been fun for John Tenniel too. (Of course another reason for the similarity simply could be, that the designs of the train compartmens are similar.)

Bycatch from my Snark hunt:

[left]: John Tenniel: Alice on the Train (1872)
[right]: Augustus Leopold Egg: The Travelling Companions (1862)

I found the comparison in If it is a pictorial reference at all, it might be a nice pun by Tenniel, but not as challenging as Henry Holiday’s conundrums.