Thursday, 5 March 2015
Wordsmiths and Warriors
It is a most wondrous and wonderful book that is an English-Language tourist guidebook to Britain.
It is a spirited, evocative and highly entertaining exploration of the heritage of the English language throughout the places and locations within Britain that formed and shaped the English language.
This book tells the story of a real journey that was undertaken by David and Hilary Crystal.
They had a wonderful time driving thousands of miles to research the book, and to then prepare and write this captivating combination of what is a spirited travelogue and a mixture of English language history and facts and myths, covering Wales, England and Scotland.
David handled the words and Hilary took the many evocative colour photographs that illustrate the book.
David and Hilary have included a guide for anyone who desires to follow in their footsteps. However, the book is so arranged as to reflect the chronological development of the language.
It commences with the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons in Kent and explores the places that show the earliest evidences for the development of the language of the English peoples.
It ends in London and employs the latest technological innovations for analysing English grammar.
This is all by way of the locations that are associated with such English luminaries as Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Chaucer, Dr Johnson and many, many more.
It touches upon the problems between the Welsh and the English languages,
There's even a photograph of a Wetherspoon pub in Urmston, Greater Manchester, called the Tim Bobbin, named in honour of a famed dialect poet. And there are complete directions to getting there, too! As with every other feature they mention in the book.
I first came across the highly important work of David Crystal when I found, by chance, an exhibition of his work at the British Library, several years ago.
The book is 424 pages and costs £12.99 in paperback, published by the Oxford University Press, www.oup.com.