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

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, Sep 26, 2013 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 424 pages
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.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Introduction
1
1 Arrival
5
2 The earliest known English word
13
3 The first recorded English sentence
21
4 Bede and the origins of English
27
5 Glossaries and translations
37
6 The finest runic inscription
43
7 King Alfred and the birth of English
49
32 Robert Cawdrey and the first dictionary
217
33 John Smith and new Englishes
225
34 The East India Company and global English
231
35 King James and his Bible
237
36 John Ray and English proverbs
245
37 John Dryden and an English Academy
251
38 The Royal Society and scientific English
257
39 Tim Bobbin and local dialect
263

8 The ultimate warrior wordsmith
57
9 The first standard English
65
10 198lfric and the first English conversation
71
11 Wulfstan and Old English style
77
12 The AngloSaxon Chronicle
83
13 The French connection
89
14 Orrm and English spelling
95
15 Layamons English Chronicle
101
16 Higden Trevisa and the rise of English
109
17 The English language in Wales
117
18 Little England beyond Wales
123
19 The birth of Scots English
131
20 Chaucer and Middle English
139
21 From ancient to modern
147
22 Chancery and standard English
153
23 Caxton and printing English
157
24 Juliana Berners and collective nouns
163
25 A family of letters
169
26 John Wycliffe and Bible translation
179
27 William Tyndale and the English Bible
185
28 William Bullokar and the first English grammar
191
29 Richard Mulcaster and the status of English
197
30 Shakespeare and English idiom
203
31 Shakespeare and linguistic innovation
211
40 Johnson and the dictionary
271
41 John Walker and pronunciation
279
42 Lindley Murray and English grammar
287
43 Robert Burns and Scots
293
44 The Chambers brothers and encyclopedic English
301
45 William Wordsworth and poetic language
311
46 Roget and the thesaurus
319
47 Isaac Pitman and English shorthand
325
48 James Murray and the Oxford English Dictionary
333
49 William Barnes and speechcraft
341
50 Thomas Hardy and Wessex dialect
347
51 Joseph Wright and English dialects
355
52 Henry Fowler and English usage
361
53 George Bernard Shaw and spelling reform
367
54 Dylan Thomas and Welsh English
375
55 The Empire Windrush and new dialects
383
56 Daniel Jones and English phonetics
391
57 The Survey of English Usage
397
Regional Grouping
403
Sources and Acknowledgements
407
Index of Places
409
General Index
417
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2013)


David Crystal is known throughout the world as a writer, editor, lecturer and broadcaster on language. He has published extensively on the history and development of English, including The Stories of English (2004), Evolving English (2010), Begat: The King James Bible and the English Language (2010), The Story of English in 100 Words (2011), and Spell It Out: The Singular Story of English Spelling (2012).

Hilary Crystal trained as a speech therapist, worked for a while in clinical linguistic research, then became a sub-editor for the various volumes in the Cambridge and Penguin families of encyclopedias. She has designed several books, notably the anthologies of the poetry of John Bradburne edited by David.

Bibliographic information