16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
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This review is from: The Story of English: How an Obscure Dialect Became the World's Most-Spoken Language (Hardcover)
I started this book with high hopes but was sadly disappointed. Although we get some fascinating insights into the development of the language, the book does not really provide a structured outline of how English came to be and dives off into interesting but not directly relevant side channels about individual authors of note.
He betrays an ignorance of general knowledge and a lack of research which might have been sorted if a friend had read through the manuscript first (or is it an indictment of the subediting these days?). To give two examples: he refers (twice) to the "Archbishop of London" (no such person - did he mean the Bishop of London or the Archbishop of Canterbury or York?) and he tells us that Francis Bacon was made a life peer - which would have been interesting as the Life Peerages Act was passed in 1958. (Bacon was made a baron in 1618 and a viscount in 1621. He died without an heir and the titles died with him, so in a sense perhaps he was a life peer, but he was given an hereditary peerage!)
So feel free to read for some interesting facts, but better not rely on it too much.
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Initial post: 23 Nov 2013 09:16:55 GMT
H. A. Weedon says:
Many, many thanks! Anyone who writes about the Archbishop of London and Francis Bacon as a 'life peer' is not to be trusted to be correct about anything. Yours is the kind of helpful review that potential purchasers need to be able to read. Well done!
Posted on 8 Apr 2014 15:47:16 BDT
Pauline K. says:
For your information, the author was referring to one Richard Bancroft, who was the Archbishop of Canterbury, not London as he mistakenly wrote.
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