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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another enjoyable David Crystal book.
I love David Crystal's enthusiasm & expertise & this book gave me access to both. I really enjoyed the idea of husband & wife touring Britain, searching for places of English Language significance & their mutual love of the subject shines through. Hilary Crystal's pictures add an extra dimension to the book & there are some great photographs of some pretty nerdy places...
Published 10 months ago by Mrs. Margaret R. Mumford

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Curate's Egg
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...
Published 6 months ago by Don Davis


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another enjoyable David Crystal book., 24 Oct 2013
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I love David Crystal's enthusiasm & expertise & this book gave me access to both. I really enjoyed the idea of husband & wife touring Britain, searching for places of English Language significance & their mutual love of the subject shines through. Hilary Crystal's pictures add an extra dimension to the book & there are some great photographs of some pretty nerdy places! Where else would you see the great David Crystal standing next to Doctor Who's Tardis (p.128) or peering into George Bernard Shaw's writing shed (p.372)? As usual, David Crystal's expansive knowledge is handled with a light & humorous touch. Long may his reign of popularized English Language publications continue!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable linguistic tour in Britain!, 24 Nov 2013
I studied linguistics at Edinburgh and have read and enjoyed most of David Crystal's books. This book takes you on a linguistic tour in Britain - all chapters are short and snappy (not more than 10 pages)talking about a place with linguistic significance, starting with a symbolic photo and ending with a section "Getting there" and links to relevant websites. If you are really interested in some of the sites, you can always research further online or even pay a visit (make sure you buy the English Heritage/Historic Scotland membership!). I agree with another reviewer that some photos seem a bit too dark, but David has explained in the intro that all photos were taken by his wife Hilary (an enthusiastic amateur) and weather-wise it was not the best of the year for taking photos in the parts of the UK they travelled. Highly recommended to everyone who is interested in the linguistic development of the English language - you don't have to be a linguist or a linguistic student to enjoy this book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unusual and engaging, 21 Nov 2013
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I found David Crystal's earlier works on the English Language very helpful as a university student. They even turned me towards Linguistics - and helped me get to grips with Anglo-Saxon; (compulsory then at Durham. Both led me to the academic works and ephemera of Tolkien and CS Lewis. So - I was grateful already, and well-disposed to this offering.

However, it was a pleasantly accessible and a fun surprise. No chore - no academic annoyances. I can even see myself dong the tour. Have a read - travelogue a la Bill Bryson meets linguistic history meets interesting people and place. What's not to like?
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2 of 2 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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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well organised, erudite and readable, 16 Nov 2013
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David Crystal is a most prolific writer. As such one gets the impression that he did not need to do a huge amount of research for this book. His structure is chronological rather than geographical order which works fine if you can keep your head from spinning. Each little chapter starts with a bit of a chat about his experience of getting there and what he found when he got there. This can be humorous and somewhat interesting and then he gets on to the history bit and how the history of that place affected the development of English. That is where it all comes alive.

There are lots of wonderful facts and factoids to delight the linguistically enamoured and those who love history's quirks.

There are great quotes from the works he is on about and good photos too. He leaves you wanting more and tells you where to find it in very sensible references and directions. I did not get the impression he stayed long in these places. Sounded like about half an hour on Holy Island with the seals' song giving him the willies and him fretting about missing the tide. I am saying "he" but of course Hilary, his wife is co author and fellow traveller.
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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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This review is from: Wordsmiths and Warriors: The English-Language Tourist's Guide to Britain (Kindle Edition)
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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This review is from: Wordsmiths and Warriors: The English-Language Tourist's Guide to Britain (Kindle Edition)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Great gift, 15 April 2014
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Got this as a Christmas gift for a relative - he loved it and has enjoyed dipping in and out of it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite what I expected, 25 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Wordsmiths and Warriors: The English-Language Tourist's Guide to Britain (Kindle Edition)
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 review is from: Wordsmiths and Warriors: The English-Language Tourist's Guide to Britain (Kindle Edition)
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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