Wordsmiths and Warriors: The English-Language Tourist's Guide to Britain

Wordsmiths and Warriors: The English-Language Tourist's Guide to Britain

by David Crystal, Hilary Crystal
     
 

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Wordsmiths and Warriors explores the heritage of English through the places in Britain that shaped it. It unites the warriors, whose invasions transformed the language, with the poets, scholars, reformers, and others who helped create its character.

The book relates a real journey. David and Hilary Crystal drove thousands of miles to produce this fascinating

Overview

Wordsmiths and Warriors explores the heritage of English through the places in Britain that shaped it. It unites the warriors, whose invasions transformed the language, with the poets, scholars, reformers, and others who helped create its character.

The book relates a real journey. David and Hilary Crystal drove thousands of miles to produce this fascinating combination of English-language history and travelogue, from locations in south-east Kent to the Scottish lowlands, and from south-west Wales to the East Anglian coast. David provides the descriptions and linguistic associations, Hilary the full-colour photographs. They include a guide for anyone wanting to follow in their footsteps but arrange the book to reflect the chronology of the language. This starts with the Anglo-Saxon arrivals in Kent and in the places that show the earliest evidence of English. It ends in London with the latest apps for grammar. In between are intimate encounters with the places associated with such writers as Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Wordsworth; the biblical Wycliffe and Tyndale; the dictionary compilers Cawdrey, Johnson, and Murray; dialect writers, elocutionists, and grammarians, and a host of other personalities.

Among the book's many joys are the diverse places that allow warriors such as Byrhtnoth and King Alfred to share pages with wordsmiths like Robert Burns and Tim Bobbin, and the unexpected discoveries that enliven every stage of the authors' epic journey.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
12/09/2013
Linguist David Crystal (The Stories of English) and his wife, Hilary, a speech therapist, cover a lot of ground, literally and figuratively, in this ambitious journey through the evolution of the English language. In 2012, the couple motored across the British Isles starting at the tip of Kent, heading north to Edinburgh and continuing southwest to Wales in search of linguistic landmarks. Part personal travelogue, part linguistic history, the authors use their 57 roadside stops as occasions to elaborate the history of the English language beginning at the 8th century rune in Ruthwell church and ending at University College London, with the 1980s Survey of English Usage. Male warriors dominate the linguistic landscape with a lone female, Juliana Berners, making a cameo in 1486 as contributor to The Book of St Albans. With the lion's share of stops located in and around London, the roving reader can comfortably retrace much of the route as each chapter closes with a page of detailed directions. Armchair travelers, on the other hand, may need the actual trip to complete the experience. Color photos. (Dec.)
From the Publisher
"A delightful romp through the English countryside." —Sun News Miami

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199668120
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
12/01/2013
Pages:
432
Sales rank:
1,107,643
Product dimensions:
6.70(w) x 9.70(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

David Crystal,Hilary Crystal

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