The story of English

Front Cover
Viking, Aug 26, 1986 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 384 pages
0 Reviews
Now revised, The Story of English is the first book to tell the whole story of the English language. Originally paired with a major PBS miniseries, this book presents a stimulating and comprehensive record of spoken and written English-from its Anglo-Saxon origins some two thousand years ago to the present day, when English is the dominant language of commerce and culture with more than one billion English speakers around the world. From Cockney, Scouse, and Scots to Gulla, Singlish, Franglais, and the latest African American slang, this sweeping history of the English language is the essential introduction for anyone who wants to know more about our common tongue.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

The story of English

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

A tie-in for a nine-part television series to be broadcast over PBS beginning in September, this is a wide-ranging account of the travels and changes of the English tongue from its beginnings to ... Read full review


Table of Illustrations
An EnglishSpeaking World
The Echoes of an English Voice

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1986)

ROBERT McCRUM is the author of six novels and two works of nonfiction: "The Story of English" and "My Year Off". He is the literary editor of the "Observer" and lives in London.

ROBERT MacNEIL and WILLIAM CRAN are the coauthors of The Story of English (with Robert McCrum). The coanchor of PBS's The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour until his retirement in 1995, Robert MacNeil is also the author of two volumes of memoir and three novels, including, most recently, Breaking News. He lives in New York City.

ROBERT MacNEIL was the coanchor of PBS's MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour until his retirement in 1995. He has written two volumes of memoirs and three novels. MacNeil grew up in Nova Scotia, the setting for his bestselling memoir Wordstruck. He now divides his time between Halifax and New York City.

Bibliographic information