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and life along the winding road

Friday, June 21, 2024

The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams


The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams was an interesting story but I found it didn't hold  my attention. The story is taken from the history of the Oxford English Dictionary.  James Murray (the editor) gave his children the task of sorting the slips of paper into alphabetical order. The original collection contained 10 volumes!

From the cover:
Esme is born into a world of words.  Motherless and irrepressibly curious, she spends her childhood in the Scriptorium, an Oxford garden shed in which her father and a team of dedicated lexicographers are collecting words for the very first Oxford English Dictionary. Esme's place is beneath the sorting table. One day a slip of paper containing the word bondmaid flutters beneath the table. She rescues the slip and begins to collect other words. As she grows up she realizes words relating to women and common folk often go unrecorded. She begins her own dictionary . . .