Bookshelf Review: History of the English Language in 100 Places

This book has been published to help promote the campaign to open a museum of the English language in Winchester. 

The English Project is currently eyeing any redevelopment of the River Park Leisure Centre. That this is being attempted in Winchester, is little short of amazing.

But then, it is really so surprising? Looking at this lovely and entertaining book, why does any museum have to be in London or any big city? Winchester was the home of King Alfred, who did more perhaps than anyone else in history to promote the language, translating works from Latin into English and seeing off invaders who would have had us speaking Danish.

Written by two University of Winchester academics who both live in the city, the book is an enjoyable journey across the globe from Undley Common is Suffolk, for the first known example of written English, to Vienna where researchers are studying English as an international lingua franca. The travellers stop off around the world at 100 places, most notably the United States.  It is published this month by Robert Hale Limited, price £25.

**** ANDREW NAPIER