The Alphabet Abecedarium: Some Notes on Letters

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Bloomsbury, 2001 - Alphabet - 320 pages
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If you think you know your alphabet, think again. Drawing from mythology, cosmology, history, the Bible, literature, and esoteric and conventional sources, this book takes the reader on a tour of each of the twenty-six letters of the Roman alphabet. In chapters that are descriptive, illustrative and diverse, we are shown the history and development of every letter, how its shape evolved, how its characteristics were encoded, and how its history, attributes, and meanings were reflected in myth, literature, science and religion. Rich in surprises and serendipities, profusely illustrated with related drawings from ancient scripts to present-day digitised computer alphabets, and quoting sources as diverse as James Joyce, Rabelais, Dostoevsky, Mark Twain, Elmer Fudd and Bob Dylan, The Alphabet is a book for all those who know their abcs, but perhaps not as well as they imagined.

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User Review  - AlexTheHunn - LibraryThing

This work examines the creation, development, shape, appearance and symbolic meanings of the letters of the alphabet. Often studies of language involve grammar or word origins; rarely do the letters themselves receive the focus of attention. Excellent work. Read full review

The alphabet abecedarium: some notes on letters

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In the introduction to this work, Firmage, a book designer and editor, briefly traces the history of the Roman alphabet, noting how letter forms have changed to reflect their milieu. Thus, humanists ... Read full review

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About the author (2001)

Richard Firmage is an award-winning book designer and editor who has worked in publishing since obtaining an M.A. degree in history in 1975.

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