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Book of the Month – November – The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams
November 26 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Thursday November 26, 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
This is an online event only
Welcome again to our new monthly program ‘Book of the Month’, with specially selected titles by your Library staff. Reserve your copy now (we have extras), then join in the conversation with Jim (live online via zoom) and tell us what you think.
The book of the month for November is The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams.
Please register your interest and we will send you access details of the Zoom meeting. Find out more about Zoom.
About the Book
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