Dictionary of Lost Words, TheWilliams, Pip
Given the large tracts of her childhood spent happily hidden under the sorting table adjacent to the lexicographers, it seemed inevitable that Esme Nicoll's life would be bound up with the publication of the first Oxford English Dictionary. Initiated in 1879 and completed in 1928, it is at the centre of this story with Esme's life playing out around its development, the rise of the suffrage movement and the horrors of WWI.
But Esme has something special to contribute to the herculean task of defining the English language - an abiding passion for the words discarded by the dictionary men, especially those relating to women.
Thought-provoking and original, this story immerses the fictional Esme into the world of the Oxford English Dictionary and the men and women in its sphere.
Comments from BDS Reviewers
"A fascinating story with a splendid mix of the literary and the realities of life, with fine writing, good pace and gentle sympathy."
"An innovative and compelling story."
"I found this particularly interesting as the author included actual characters of the Scriptorium, who were involved in collating words for the Oxford dictionary."
"It's a pretty easy read but a bit once over lightly for me. It did have a nice twist telling the story within the Baden Powell principles."
"Historically, a fascinating read."
"The development of language and the concept of feminine words has been a revelation."
"I think most would enjoy this book, although perhaps it's more for women. The history of the time particularly affected woman."
"The photos in the book support the story and make it very credible."
"This book would suit those who like a lighter read about a really interesting topic."