i have a copy of this book dating from the `70s which sits on a shelf in the loo, constipation aiding education, but I thought it was time to catch up with life and so purchased the 18th edition. First thought was, where is the preface from the sainted Terry Pratchett? My copy has a foreward by Phillip Pullman. Secondly I was disappointed at the lack of pronunciation for the entries this time round. And it appears that, according to the entry "Hajj", the Kabaa is in Cornwall. Very handy for UK muslims. The phenomenon that is Harry Potter gets far too many entries for my taste but the information will no doubt please others. Despite these niggles, this is still a magnifcent book, my choice should I ever become famous enough to be stranded on a desert island with a dozen records and Sue Lawley. It is also very up to date, so much so that I could probably now hold an intelligible conversation with a teenager.