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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's only words...
David and Hilary Crystal certainly know their subject. Both have written extensively and been involved in the history of English for many years. Their current book is something of a departure from those that went before. Whilst it mentions the language of Old English and Middle English and how some of it evolved into what we know today, this not only delves into the...
Published 3 months ago by Quiverbow

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3.0 out of 5 stars Linguistically and historically erudite but geographically challenged.
David and Hilary Crystal are well-established authorities on the subject of English language history. There is barely any aspect of it upon which they have not already written at length, in detail and with great erudition. Their latest book, "Wordsmiths and Warriors", we are told, "explores the heritage of English through the places of Britain that shaped it. It unites...
Published 2 months ago by Steve Benner


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Curate's Egg, 12 Feb. 2014
By 
Don Davis (Coulsdon, Surrey, England) - See all my reviews
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I was a bit disappointed with this; I'd read other works by David Crystal and found them fascinating, and as I worked through this volume I kept feeling that with his background and erudition, he could have achieved so much more with it. I would be happy to think of myself as an "English Lanuage Tourist", but an armchair tourist. I didn't really value descriptions of how to get to the various sites, or what they are like now, but I looked for more about what really made them significant. But I will keep it by me, as a book to dip into from time to time and perhaps glean more from it at a second reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars original, entertaining and enlightening, 21 Jan. 2014
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I first read a David Crystal book more than forty years ago, when I was considering applying to study linguistics at university. So I picked up his introductory book from Penguin and never looked back! Now after thirty odd years of teaching the subject, I am still enjoying his work. This book was something of a departure, the linguistic expertise being used as the starting point for a new kind of tourist exercise. As an armchair traveller, I really enjoyed it all, though I doubt I will get to see most of those places myself. It is obvious from the writing that he and his wife enjoyed the project very much - their enthusiasm is infectious. There are some fascinating details here and there, and even not superficially interesting locations are shown in an attractive light. The photos are a valuable part of the experience (though I have one small niggle: I hate the bits of tape supposedly holding some of them to the page, like some awful scrapbook!) I just hope he might consider doing the same thing for the linguistic history of the whole of the British Isles, so we might get some more Welsh and Irish sites included.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, as usual!, 15 Mar. 2015
By 
Jennifer (Bristol, England) - See all my reviews
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Last year I finished my English language degree, and I still have a great interest in the subject, so was very excited when David Crystal announced another book. Crystal's books are very informative, while also being accessible to everyone and very enjoyable to read, and this is no exception. A wonderful linguistic tour of Britain - I especially liked the section on Wordsworth and the Lake District, I read it on my holiday there!

My only qualm is the size of the book - it's larger than a normal paperback and looks more like a textbook, which put me off a bit as I was intending on reading it just for fun, but it is a wonderful read, perfect for anyone with an interest in the English language.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining journey around the country, to learn more about the origins of the English language., 10 April 2015
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L. White (UK) - See all my reviews
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We travel with the authors to different places around the UK, to see the sights and hear the stories related to the development of the English Language.
The book contains colour and black and white photos, and is a fascinating glimpse into a side of history we hear little of. I learned new things about the areas around where I live, as well as hearing more about places I've heard of and a few I've not come across. The stories of the travels are entertaining and at the end of each chapter there is a set of directions on how to find the places they've spoken about, although a small map might have been helpful here too.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and informative, 23 Nov. 2013
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M. V. Clarke (Durham, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wordsmiths and Warriors: The English-Language Tourist's Guide to Britain (Hardcover)
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This is a very interesting book for anyone with an interest in the history and development of the English language. David and Hilary Crystal travel around Britain visiting locations that have some significance in the development of the language. It's an easy-to-read mix of travel writing, linguistic and phonetic history and observations on current usage. They also include photographs of the places they visit and instructions on how to find them. This is a quirky and enjoyable book that can either be read straight through or dipped in and out of.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A friendly travel guide through the English language., 8 April 2015
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M. D. Harris (Leicester, UK) - See all my reviews
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There is a friendly, home made feel to this book – and I mean that in a good way. This isn’t some dry plod though the history of the English, but a guide written by someone who is clearly enthusiastic about the subject. Filled with photographs and travels tips to sites throughout the country, all of which had some part to play in the evolution of the English language. I think many people with a curiosity in the history of the English and their language will find something of interest in this book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars What a great language!, 7 Nov. 2013
By 
C. J. Tyler "cjtbrocco" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wordsmiths and Warriors: The English-Language Tourist's Guide to Britain (Hardcover)
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A beautifully presented book which would make a marvellous present for a foreign visitor. I found much to enjoy in here - a good balance of information and entertainment. David Crystal's quirky sense of humour works well here.

My only criticism is that many of the photos are very dark. Perhaps that just my copy. Nevertheless I will enjoy many happy hours enjoying the great English language and the places that have made it what it is. Fascinating.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful linguistic tour of Britain, 18 Nov. 2013
By 
Mike Davey (St Georges, Telford) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wordsmiths and Warriors: The English-Language Tourist's Guide to Britain (Hardcover)
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David and Hilary Crystal have produced a beautifully conceived and illustrated book. The whole production is first class, as to be expected from Oxford University Press.

The idea of a journey that is chronological in time to explore the English Language is inspired from such a master of the language. I confess to not reading it consecutively however but have finished the book by going to the chapters that most interested me first e.g. Jarrow for Bede, Talbot Yard for Chaucer and Grasmere for Wordsworth. I rather think that most readers would approach the book in this way.

Each chapter is quite wonderfully illustrated with very helpful, supporting photos and there are directions at the end as well as links to web sites. As an example, the chapter on Rhuddlan and the English language in Wales has 2 photos of the castle, 1 of the Norman soldiers guarding the high street, 1 of the Norman motte and 1 of the parliament building and the chapter is only 6 pages long!

There is a helpful list at the front of numbered locations relating to the chapters with a corresponding map of Britain and regional groupings at the back, both areas and counties.

I am now spurred on to investigate sites of which I was not aware but have sparked my interest, from Dunfermline to Winterborne Came (it will take a while) and for me that is the main achievement and validation of this book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite what I expected, 25 Feb. 2014
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This is an interesting read but, for me, lacks David Crystal's usual dry sense of humour. I certainly intend to visit some of the places he has written about. Finally, I think I would have preferred a paper copy rather than the Kindle version.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Wordsmiths and warriors., 11 Feb. 2014
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This makes the English language more interesting once you understand where words originated. Haven't read it all yet but it looks promising.
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