The Dictionary Of Lost Words

The Dictionary Of Lost Words by Pip Williams


ISBN
9781922400277
Published
Binding
Paperback
Pages
384
Dimensions
129 x 198 x 32mm

In 1901, the word 'Bondmaid' was discovered missing from the Oxford English Dictionary. This is the story of the girl who stole it.

Esme is born into a world of words. Motherless and irrepressibly curious, she spends her childhood in the 'Scriptorium', a garden shed in Oxford where her father and a team of dedicated lexicographers are collecting words for the very first Oxford English Dictionary. Esme's place is beneath the sorting table, unseen and unheard. One day a slip of paper containing the word 'bondmaid' flutters to the floor. Esme rescues the slip and stashes it in an old wooden case that belongs to her friend, Lizzie, a young servant in the big house. Esme begins to collect other words from the Scriptorium that are misplaced, discarded or have been neglected by the dictionary men. They help her make sense of the world.

Over time, Esme realises that some words are considered more important than others, and that words and meanings relating to women's experiences often go unrecorded. While she dedicates her life to the Oxford English Dictionary, secretly, she begins to collect words for another dictionary: The Dictionary of Lost Words.

Set when the women's suffrage movement was at its height and the Great War loomed, The Dictionary of Lost Words reveals a lost narrative, hidden between the lines of a history written by men. It's a delightful, lyrical and deeply thought-provoking celebration of words, and the power of language to shape the world and our experience of it.
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Other Titles by Pip Williams

Description
Information
Reviews
In 1901, the word 'Bondmaid' was discovered missing from the Oxford English Dictionary. This is the story of the girl who stole it.

Esme is born into a world of words. Motherless and irrepressibly curious, she spends her childhood in the 'Scriptorium', a garden shed in Oxford where her father and a team of dedicated lexicographers are collecting words for the very first Oxford English Dictionary. Esme's place is beneath the sorting table, unseen and unheard. One day a slip of paper containing the word 'bondmaid' flutters to the floor. Esme rescues the slip and stashes it in an old wooden case that belongs to her friend, Lizzie, a young servant in the big house. Esme begins to collect other words from the Scriptorium that are misplaced, discarded or have been neglected by the dictionary men. They help her make sense of the world.

Over time, Esme realises that some words are considered more important than others, and that words and meanings relating to women's experiences often go unrecorded. While she dedicates her life to the Oxford English Dictionary, secretly, she begins to collect words for another dictionary: The Dictionary of Lost Words.

Set when the women's suffrage movement was at its height and the Great War loomed, The Dictionary of Lost Words reveals a lost narrative, hidden between the lines of a history written by men. It's a delightful, lyrical and deeply thought-provoking celebration of words, and the power of language to shape the world and our experience of it.
ISBN:
9781922400277
Publication Date:
24 / 11 / 2020
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
129 x 198 x 32mm
Untitled
The perfect book for lovers of words and female empowerment. Set in England in the early 20th Century amid sweeping challenges in the political and cultural landscape, the central character, Esme, collects the words that are rejected from the first Oxford English Dictionary. A satisfying Christmas read! - Fiona (QBD)
, 01/12/2020
Untitled
Her best book yet. I absolutely loved it and would recommend t to everyone. - Peta (QBD)
, 01/12/2020
Untitled
An enthralling, coming-of-age read for lovers of words and language. Esme's page-turning story begins with her time as a young girl collecting misplaced words from the Oxford English Dictionary sorting table. It spans some fifty years, between Oxford and Adelaide, and will make you laugh, cry and hunt down your dusty copy of the OED. A fantastic reading experience. - Tiffany (QBD)
, 01/12/2020
Untitled
If you need a book to kick back and relax with, this is the book for you! Just sit back and let the story of the oxford dictionary unfold before your eyes, michief and mayhem ensues. - Jacqueline (QBD)
, 01/12/2020
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I very much enjoyed this book. Based on true events about the compilation of the Oxford Dictionary, the fictionalised account is told through the eyes of a young woman who grows from being a small child to an adult women within the Scriptorium. Dictionary of lost words was a riveting read...all novels which focus on the imagined lives of women in a factual historical setting then you will enjoy - Karen (QBD)
, 01/12/2020
Untitled
Esme Nicoll lives with her father, a leicographer who works on the compilation of the Oxford Dictionary. She spends her days beneath the sorting table where one day she discovers a discarded slip of paper with the word "bondmaid". Esme goes on to collect discarded words and words from the stallholders in Oxford's Covered Markets. A brilliant piece of historical fiction. - Alison (QBD)
, 01/12/2020
Untitled
Esme grows up surrounded by words and underfoot while her father works on the first Oxford English Dictionary. Unseen and unheard she discovers some words and experiences are valued more than others. This is a beautifully wrought slow-burn of a book that champions the importance of words and language. The dictionary of lost words in a few unlost words is: feminist, well-researched and enthralling - Jessica (QBD)
, 01/12/2020
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I read this magical novel from cover to cover in one night! Such a unique and empowering storyline with gorgeous, true characters, this book needs to be read and celebrated by many! Would highly recommend this book as a stand-alone novel to readers of all genres. - Chelsea (QBD)
, 01/12/2020
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In The Dictionary of Lost Words, Pip Williams effortlessly combines masterful storytelling with a cast of relatable and real characters that feel like they could be your closest friends. It's a perfect read especially over Christmas break. - Emily (QBD)
, 01/12/2020
Untitled
The men who compiled the Oxford English Dictionary in a garden shed were pioneers. This is not their story though. The girl who sat under the bench while the men worked, this story is hers. It begins when a word floats down from above, sparked from her decision to keep it. This novel is for those who understand that the words we use are just as powerful as those we don't. - Vanessa (QBD)
, 30/11/2020
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A meticulously researched novel. Follow the story of Esme and the women in her life as she discovers the importance of women's words during the development of the Oxford English Dictionary. Set against the backdrop of the suffragette movement and The Great War Esme finds a way that women's words are never forgotten. The perfect story for those who love historical fiction, words, and language. - Elizabeth (QBD)
, 30/11/2020
Untitled
Those seeking a deeply rich and rewarding experience are going to be engrossed by Pip Williams's Dictionary of Lost Words, it is a beautiful and graceful exploration into a language forgotten. This book is not only a tribute to lost words, but also the struggle women faced during the early 20th century. Word lovers and historical fiction enthusiasts rejoice, this is a modern classic in the making. - Zoe (QBD)
, 29/11/2020
Untitled
Anyone who loves reading knows there's a certain type of magic to be found in words. This book is a celebration of that! It follows Esme, as she rescues all the words rejected by the first Oxford Dictionary. For just like history, the dictionary was written by the victors, and these rejected words all relate to women. An amazing book about the power of words, and voices being heard! - Alyssa (QBD)
, 28/11/2020
Untitled
Set around the real history of the Oxford English Dictionary, Esme grows up in the dictionary's scriptorium and begins to fall in love with words and the importance of them. Soon she comes to realise that many words in common use are not being included, so she decides to make a collection of her very own. The beautiful uniqueness of this story had me hooked from the very first chapter! - Tia (QBD)
, 26/11/2020

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