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Book of the Month

Our 'Book of the Month' is a great read that we want to recommend to you... It might not be on the bestsellers' lists; it might not be a movie-tie-in edition of the latest blockbuster; it might not be from an author (or publisher) that you even recognise. It will, however, be a book that our buyers and our staff recommend for its wit, its erudite nature, its beauty and literary lyricism.

October 2023

The Dictionary People: The unsung heroes who created the Oxford English Dictionary by Sarah Ogilvie

Our Book of the Month for October is The Dictionary People by Sarah Ogilvie (Penguin Random House).

The Oxford English Dictionary is one of mankind’s greatest achievements, and yet, curiously, its creators are almost never considered. Who were the people behind this unprecedented book?
As Sarah Ogilvie reveals, they include three murderers, a collector of pornography, the daughter of Karl Marx, a president of Yale, a radical suffragette, a vicar who was later found dead in the cupboard of his chapel, an inventor of the first American subway, a female anti-slavery activist in Philadelphia . . . and thousands of others.

Of deep transgenerational and broad appeal, a thrilling literary detective story that, for the first time, unravels the mystery of the endlessly fascinating contributors the world over who, for over seventy years, helped to codify the way we read and write and speak.

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