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Wordsmiths and Warriors: The English-Language Tourist's Guide to Britain by [Crystal, David, Crystal, Hilary]
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Wordsmiths and Warriors: The English-Language Tourist's Guide to Britain Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Length: 427 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Page Flip: Enabled
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Review

[A] labour of love, enthusiasm and mild eccentricity it's like a long and chatty guide written by a close friend, only in this case the friend happens to be one of the world's foremost authorities on language. (Vulpes Libris)

Part history, part travel guide, illustrated with high-quality colour photographs of places associated with the development of the language and those writers who used it to greatest effect, it is an origianl and ambitious project wonderfully realised. (Evergreen)

Language is a living thing, and Crystal is a lively, literate guide to the landmarks that signpost its long history. (Iain Finlayson, The Times)

A splendiferous, beautiful, colourful book that every language, history, archaeology and literature lover should have on their coffee tables and tucked under their arms when they get on a train to jaunt across the country. (Huffington Post)

Linguist David Crystal and his wife, Hilary, a speech therapist, cover a lot of ground, literally and figuratively, in this ambitious journey through the evolution of the English language. (Publishers Weekly)

No person who loves language and visiting places should be without this book - I can't praise it highly enough! (Michele Clarke, Editing Matters, Society for Editors and Proofreaders)

An absorbing read, delivered in Crystal's usual clear and enthusiastic style. (The Good Book Guide)

an original and ambitious project wonderfully realised (The Evergreen Magazine)

an important and original book on the history of the English language. (Norwich Evening News)

An eloquent, learned guide offering inspiration for linguists and travellers alike. (Sophie Mcgrath, Lonely Planet Traveller)

If you're currently looking for a Christmas present for someone with an interest in English and its history, you might want to consider this gorgeous book (Language Hat)

About the Author

David Crystal is known throughout the world as a writer, editor, lecturer and broadcaster on language. He has published extensively on the history and development of English, including The Stories of English (2004), Evolving English (2010), Begat: The King James Bible and the English Language (2010), The Story of English in 100 Words (2011), and Spell It Out: The Singular Story of English Spelling (2012). Hilary Crystal trained as a speech therapist, worked for a while in clinical linguistic research, then became a sub-editor for the various volumes in the Cambridge and Penguin families of encyclopedias. She has designed several books, notably the anthologies of the poetry of John Bradburne edited by David.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 39480 KB
  • Print Length: 427 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; 1 edition (26 Sept. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00E8C225W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #244,549 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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By Quiverbow TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 10 Mar. 2015
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
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 people who were behind the movement of bringing language to the masses, but also their heritage.

Starting in Kent in 449 at Pegwell Bay (where there's a fine reconstruction of a Viking Longship), it's followed by Caistor in Norfolk and the discovery of the first known English word, Raihan, carved on an ankle bone (though how anyone managed to extrapolate that from the runes isn't explained). Next up is a place called Undley Common in Suffolk and the first recorded sentence. And so on until the final chapter on University College London and its study on grammar.

Now, it might sound like a bit of a travelogue because that's what it is. It's an archaeology book that puts the emphasis on places to visit and things to see that just happen to involve words. In fact, it's just as interesting for those who have no curiosity in English as a language, as many of the buildings and artefacts mentioned will be intriguing to followers of English history. Battle Abbey, Cerne Abbey, Saint Margaret's Tower, Canterbury, The George in Southwark will all appeal to a wider audience than any book on language would, though if it encourages those readers to investigate the linguistics then it's more than done its job.

There's even helpful, in-depth directions at the end of each chapter.

One point of interest the authors seem to have missed out on is in Chapter 20.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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