English is a wonderful, but infamously tricksy, thing. These two gripping reads will shed some light on just why this is, in an amusing, thought-provoking and enlightening way. Let Mark Forsyth take you on a tour of the secret labyrinth that lurks beneath the English language that takes in monks and monkeys, film buffs and buffaloes, the Rolling Stones and gardening in The Etymologicon. Join David Crystal as he tells The Story of English in 100 Words, drawing on the words that best illustrate the huge variety of sources, influences and events that have helped to shape our vernacular since the first definitively English word was written down in the fifth century (‘roe’, in case you are wondering).
Above all, rejoice in discovering a little more about the secrets behind the world’s most ubiquitous language.
‘I’m hooked on Forsyth’s book … Crikey, but this is addictive’ – Mathew Parris, The Times, October 13
‘One of the books of the year. It is too enjoyable for words.’ – Henry Coningsby, Bookseller
‘The Etymologicon, contains fascinating facts’ – Daily Mail, October 24
‘Kudos should go to Mark Forsyth, author of The Etymologicon … Clearly a man who knows his onions, Mr Forsyth must have worked 19 to the dozen, spotting red herrings and unravelling inkhorn terms, to bestow this boon – a work of the first water, to coin a phrase.’ – Daily Telegraph
‘The stocking filler of the season… How else to describe a book that explains the connection between Dom Pérignon and Mein Kampf, ‘ – Robert McCrum, The Observer
‘A perfect bit of stocking filler for the bookish member of the family, or just a cracking all-year-round-read. Highly recommended.’
– Matthew Richardson, The Spectator, 15 Nov