Wordsmiths and Warriors: The English-Language Tourist's Guide to Britain
- Publish Date: 2013-12-01
- Binding: Hardcover
- Author: David Crystal;Hilary Crystal
Who formed and shaped the English language? David and Hilary Crystal take us on a journey through Britain to discover the people who gave our language its colour and character; Saxon invaders, medieval scholars, poets, reformers, dictionary writers. Part travelogue, part history, this beautifully illustrated book is full of unexpected delights.
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 its the diversity that allow warriors such as Byrhtnoth and King Alfred to rub shoulders with wordsmiths like Robert Burns and Tim Bobbin, and the unexpected discoveries that enliven every stage of the authors' epic journey.