The Dictionary of Lost Words: A Novel PDF AZW3 EPUB MOBI TXT Download

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • REESE’S BOOK CLUB PICK FOR MAY ’22! • “Delightful . . . [a] captivating and slyly subversive fictional paean to the real women whose work on the Oxford English Dictionary went largely unheralded.”—The New York Times Book Review “A marvelous fiction about the power of language to elevate or repress.”—Geraldine Brooks, New York Times bestselling author of People of the BookEsme is born into a world of words. Motherless and irrepressibly curious, she spends her childhood in the Scriptorium, an Oxford garden shed in which her father and a team of dedicated lexicographers are collecting words for the very first Oxford English Dictionary. Young Esme’s place is beneath the sorting table, unseen and unheard. One day a slip of paper containing the word bondmaid flutters beneath the table. She rescues the slip and, learning that the word means “slave girl,” begins to collect other words that have been discarded or neglected by the dictionary men. As she grows up, Esme realizes that words and meanings relating to women’s and common folks’ experiences often go unrecorded. And so she begins in earnest to search out words for her own dictionary: the Dictionary of Lost Words. To do so she must leave the sheltered world of the university and venture out to meet the people whose words will fill those pages. Set during the height of the women’s suffrage movement and with the Great War looming, The Dictionary of Lost Words reveals a lost narrative, hidden between the lines of a history written by men. Inspired by actual events, author Pip Williams has delved into the archives of the Oxford English Dictionary to tell this highly original story. The Dictionary of Lost Words is a delightful, lyrical, and deeply thought-provoking celebration of words and the power of language to shape the world.WINNER OF THE AUSTRALIAN BOOK INDUSTRY AWARD

Pip Williams
May 3, 2022
416 pages

File Size: 79 MB
Available File Formats: PDF AZW3 DOCX EPUB MOBI TXT or Kindle audiobook Audio CD(Several files can be converted to each other)
Language: English, Francais, Italiano, Espanol, Deutsch, chinese

“A beautiful exploration of history and the power of language. For anybody who loves words and celebrates them, this subversive story weaves together love, loss and literature in a perfectly lyrical way.”—Reese Witherspoon (Reese’s Book Club May ’22 Pick)“This remarkable novel tries to rectify a glaring oversight in the historical accounts of the first Oxford English Dictionary—the contributions of women . . . without whom the English language wouldn’t have evolved as fully and colorfully as it has.”—Boston magazine“Enchanting, sorrowful, and wonderfully written, the book is a one-of-a-kind celebration of language and its importance in our lives. A must-have.”—Library Journal (starred review)“In Williams’s exuberant, meticulously researched debut, the daughter of a lexicographer devotes her life to an alternative dictionary. . . . Williams’s feminist take on language will move readers.”—Publishers Weekly“Williams turns history as we know it on its head in this delightful debut, spotlighting those women and their contributions, using the awe-inspiring power of words themselves to illuminate them.”—Newsweek“[A] masterfully written, beautiful first novel that tells a fascinating story of language, love and loss.”—Historical Novel Society“The writing is glorious; I dog-eared many pages as I read, marking passages that helped me see words in a new way.”—Manhattan Book Review (starred review)“The novel you’ve been waiting for without even realizing it . . . Williams will convince you of a word’s importance in a most lovely and charismatic story.”—Bookreporter“A lexicographer’s dream of a novel, this is a lovely book to get lost in, an imaginative love letter to dictionaries.”—Booklist“Williams provides readers with detailed background and biographical information pointing to extensive research about the [Oxford English Dictionary] and its editors, many of whom appear as characters in Esme’s life. The result is a satisfying amalgam of truth and historical fiction.”—Kirkus Reviews“In the annals of lexicography, no more imaginative, delightful, charming, and clever book has yet been written.”—Simon Winchester, author ofThe Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary“What a novel of words, their adventure, and their capacity to define and, above all, challenge the world. There will not be this year a more original novel published. I just know it.”—Thomas Keneally, author of Schindler’s List “What a compelling, fresh look at historical women! This marvelous exploration into the ways in which spoken and written language impact us is a delight and an education.”—Marie Benedict, author of The Mystery of Mrs. Christie“This charming, inventive, and utterly irresistible novel is the story we all need right now. Words have never mattered more, as Pip Williams illuminates in her unforgettable debut.”—Susan Wiggs, author of The Lost and Found Bookshop About the Author Pip Williams was born in London, grew up in Sydney, and now lives in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia with her family and an assortment of animals. She has spent most of her working life as a social researcher, studying what keeps us well and what helps us thrive, and she is the author of One Italian Summer, a memoir of her family’s travels in search of the good life, which was published in Australia to wide acclaim. Based on her original research in the Oxford English Dictionary archives, The Dictionary of Lost Words is her first novel. Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. May 1887Scriptorium. It sounds as if it might have been a grand building, where the lightest footstep would echo between marble floor and gilded dome. But it was just a shed, in the back garden of a house in Oxford.Instead of storing shovels and rakes, the shed stored words. Every word in the English language was written on a slip of paper the size of a postcard. Volunteers posted them from all over the world, and they were kept in bundles in the hundreds of pigeon-holes that lined the shed walls. Dr. Murray was the one who named it the Scriptorium—he must have thought it an indignity for the English language to be stored in a garden shed—but everyone who worked there called it the Scrippy. Everyone but me. I liked the feel of Scriptorium as it moved around my mouth and landed softly between my lips. It took me a long time to learn to say it, and when I finally did nothing else would do.Da once helped me search the pigeon-holes for scriptorium. We found five slips with examples of how the word had been used, each quotation dating back little more than a hundred years. All of them were more or less the same, and none of them referred to a shed in the back garden of a house in Oxford. A scriptorium, the slips told me, was a writing room in a monastery.But I understood why Dr. Murray had chosen it. He and his assistants were a little like monks, and when I was five it was easy to imagine the Dictionary as their holy book. When Dr. Murray told me it would take a lifetime to compile all the words, I wondered whose. His hair was already as grey as ash, and they were only halfway through B.Da and Dr. Murray had been teachers together in Scotland long before there was a scriptorium. And because they were friends, and because I had no mother to care for me, and because Da was one of Dr. Murray’s most trusted lexicographers, everyone turned a blind eye when I was in the Scriptorium.The Scriptorium felt magical, like everything that ever was and ever could be had been stored within its walls. Books were piled on every surface. Old dictionaries, histories and tales from long ago filled the shelves that separated one desk from another, or created a nook for a chair. Pigeon-holes rose from the floor to the ceiling. They were crammed full of slips, and Da once said that if I read every one, I’d understand the meaning of everything.In the middle of it all was the sorting table. Da sat at one end, and three assistants could fit along either side. At the other end was Dr. Murray’s high desk, facing all the words and all the men who helped him define them.We always arrived before the other lexicographers, and for that little while I would have Da and the words all to myself. I’d sit on Da’s lap at the sorting table and help him sort the slips. Whenever we came across a word I didn’t know, he would read the quotation it came with and help me work out what it meant. If I asked the right questions, he would try to find the book the quotation came from and read me more. It was like a treasure hunt, and sometimes I found gold.“This boy had been a scatter-brained scapegrace from his birth.” Da read the quotation from a slip he had just pulled out of an envelope.“Am I a scatter-brained scapegrace?” I asked.“Sometimes,” Da said, tickling me.Then I asked who the boy was, and Da showed me where it was written at the top of the slip.“Ala-ed-Din and the Wonderful Lamp,” he read.When the other assistants arrived I slipped under the sorting table.“Be quiet as a mouse and stay out of the way,” Da said.It was easy to stay hidden.At the end of the day I sat on Da’s lap by the warmth of the grate and we read “Ala-ed-Din and the Wonderful Lamp.” It was an old story, Da said. About a boy from China. When I asked if there were others, he said there were a thousand more. The story was like nothing I had heard, nowhere I had been, and no one I knew of. I looked around the Scriptorium and imagined it as a genie’s lamp. It was so ordinary on the outside, but on the inside full of wonder. And some things weren’t always what they seemed.The next day, after helping with the slips, I pestered Da for another story. In my enthusiasm I forgot to be as quiet as a mouse; I was getting in his way.“A scapegrace will not be allowed to stay,” Da warned, and I imagined being banished to Ala-ed-Din’s cave. I spent the rest of the day beneath the sorting table, where a little bit of treasure found me.It was a word, and it slipped off the end of the table. When it lands, I thought, I’ll rescue it, and hand it to Dr. Murray myself.I watched it. For a thousand moments I watched it ride some unseen current of air. I expected it to land on the unswept floor, but it didn’t. It glided like a bird, almost landing, then rose up to somersault as if bidden by a genie. I never imagined that it might land in my lap, that it could possibly travel so far. But it did.The word sat in the folds of my dress like a bright thing fallen from heaven. I dared not touch it. It was only with Da that I was allowed to hold the words. I thought to call out to him, but something caught my tongue. I sat with the word for a long time, wanting to touch it, but not. What word? I wondered. Whose? No one bent down to claim it.After a long while I scooped the word up, careful not to crush its silvery wings, and brought it close to my face. It was difficult to read in the gloom of my hiding spot. I shuffled along to where a curtain of sparkling dust hung between two chairs.I held the word up to the light. Black ink on white paper. Eight letters; the first, a butterfly B. I moved my mouth around the rest as Da had taught me: O for orange, N for naughty, D for dog, M for Murray, A for apple, I for ink, D for dog, again. I sounded them out in a whisper. The first part was easy: bond. The second part took a little longer, but then I remembered how the A and I went together. Maid.The word was bondmaid. Below it were other words that ran together like a tangle of thread. I couldn’t tell if they made up a quotation sent in by a volunteer or a definition written by one of Dr. Murray’s assistants. Da said that all the hours he spent in the Scriptorium were to make sense of the words sent in by volunteers, so that those words could be defined in the Dictionary. It was important, and it meant I would get a schooling and three hot meals and grow up to be a fine young lady. The words, he said, were for me.“Will they all get defined?” I once asked.“Some will be left out,” Da said.“Why?”He paused. “They’re just not solid enough.” I frowned, and he said, “Not enough people have written them down.”“What happens to the words that are left out?”“They go back in the pigeon-holes. If there isn’t enough information about them, they’re discarded.”“But they might be forgotten if they’re not in the Dictionary.”He’d tilted his head to one side and looked at me, as if I’d said something important. “Yes, they might.”I knew what happened when a word was discarded. I folded bondmaid carefully and put it in the pocket of my pinny.A moment later, Da’s face appeared under the sorting table. “Run along now, Esme. Lizzie’s waiting for you.”I peered between all the legs–chairs’, table’s, men’s–and saw the Murrays’ young maid standing beyond the open door, her pinafore tied tight around her waist, too much fabric above and too much fabric below. She was still growing into it, she told me, but from under the sorting table she reminded me of someone playing at dress up. I crawled between the pairs of legs and scampered out to her.“Next time you should come in and find me; it would be more fun,” I said, when I got to Lizzie.“It’s not me place.” She took my hand and walked me to the shade of the ash tree.“Where is your place?” She frowned, then shrugged. “The room at the top of the stairs, I s’pose. The kitchen when I’m helping Mrs. Ballard, but definitely not when I ain’t. St. Mary Magdalen on a Sunday.”“Is that all?”“The garden, when I’m caring for you—so we don’t get under Mrs. B’s feet. And more and more the Covered Market, ’cos of her cranky knees.”“Has Sunnyside always been your place?” I asked.“Not always.” She looked down at me, and I wondered where her smile had gone.“Where did it used to be?”She hesitated. “With me ma and all our littluns.”“What are littluns?”“Children.”“Like me?”“Like you, Essymay.”“Are they dead?”“Just me ma. The littluns was taken away, I don’t know where. They was too young for service.” Read more <div id="

  • I loved this book. As a retired publisher, the focus on word choice, editing, typesetting, printing, & binding alone would have been enough. But this story about the painstaking efforts of both real & fictional editors and compilers was engrossing. The story encompassed a range of social and historic issues, from class and gender roles to the women’s suffrage movement and WWI.Raised by her widowed father, Esme lives a sheltered childhood in Oxford, England, accompanying him to his work as a senior editor for the new Oxford English Dictionary. Words chosen for inclusion must be vetted, researched, and finally approved. The process is slow, and the story unfolds by years and sections of the alphabetical dictionary entries. As a child and later an assistant to the editorial team, Esme comes to realize that discarded words without literary attributions (or those deemed inappropriate by the men who make the final decisions) deserve recognition, and that most of them are commonly used by women.There are several love stories — among dear friends, colleagues, family, and true love — and heartaches, deftly written as Esme matures. Highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys a rich historical novel based on the esteemed reference dictionary. Who knew there might be such an interesting backstory?!
  • Gosh. An excellent, excellent book. An historical novel – it follows the compilation of the Oxford English Dictionary, with fictional main characters, interspersed with some real people. The protagonist is the daughter of one of the lexicographers and as she grows up, she deals with the huge sexism rampant in that era (Victorian England). There’s suffragist and suffragette action, there’s lexicography drama, there’s World War I. There are births and deaths, love and friendship, all told with rich and beautiful characters. I did cry a lot. I’d be interested in whether it appeals to non-lexicographer folk too, because there is a LOT of lexicographer action. I loved it. Very well researched.
  • I would have given this book a zero if I could of. The book starts out slow and you hope it will pick up but the author apparently did not feel the need to include quality in her word choice. Why she felt she had to use filthy language and the female body to help the book move along is sad.This is NOT a historical fiction. I have read many historical fiction books as it is my love.Very disappointing book!
  • I picked this novel for our bookclub choice this month. We are four mums all with a love of literature and the English language in all its complexities.Just as I was to pick something else, this book was put on my path for some reason to be explored. We all loved it. So much so for me, that I ended up writing 17 pages of notes to take to book club for discussion. Sad, but poignant. Frustrating at how women have been dismissed in so many ways. Inspirational and encouraging. May women continue to rise in their confidence that they are worthy of equality. And words, oh how I will look more closely at words and make some up of my own. Thank you for the dedication it took to get this book completed for people like me to enjoy.
  • I love words! Any English Major will surely announce that! So “The Dictionary of Lost Words: by Pip Williams, had my name all over it! (HOW GREAT a great name is Pip for a writer about words?!!)In Oxford, England, Esme Nicoll’s widowed father works compiling a Dictionary that will become the OED* and Esme grows up in the Scriptorium, the building were the words are received, analyzed, published, and then stored. After leaving school, Esme works in the Scriptorium as an assistant and eventually, with her friend Lizzie who is a housemaid (“bondmaid”), she decides to collect words in the marketplace; words of the “unrefined classes” that don’t make it into “proper” society. As you would expect, many of these are slang words, coarse or salacious, and curse words. From there she begins to collect “women’s words” that are also not in the dictionary, or considered important.Will her collection ever be valued? Esme is a fictional character that Williams weaves into the true story of the OED, and whose eyes we are able to experience history in the making.Esme’s life is neither easy nor heartbreak-free. She becomes involved in the Women’s Suffrage Movement, and learns about the lives of many different kinds of women.*If you know what the OED is – then this book is for you! If you DON’T know what the OED is – this book is ALSO for You!
  • I have fallen in love with words and I loved every word in this book. The desire to collect all the words in the English language must have been overwhelming, something I never considered before. My dictionary (not the complete version) has been dusted off and now has prime position on my desk. I will honor it!
  • I loved this book. Interesting and atmospheric, spanning decades. The story of Esme and her passion for words. I was intrigued by the premise, that words can be lost and the inclusion of words in the dictionary was primarily influenced by gender. A book that makes you think is a real treasure.
  • This is such a beautiful story. The history of words in the English Oxford dictionary was fascinating and I loved learning about the process involved in the Scriptorium.The characters are wonderful- so warmly described; from Esme, who feels the responsibility for all of the discarded and unwanted words, to Lizzie who is there for Esme at every turn, to Mabel who provided some of the more ‘fruity ‘ words for Esme’s collection. All women who prove that their voices count as much as the next man.A truly evocative read that will stay with me for a long time.
  • This story made me laugh and cry and feel everything in between. I got absorbed into the life and days of Esme and followed her journey with eagerness. Pip Williams has given life to the women of the Oxford English Dictionary and to those whose words did not make the cut. All while taking into account the lives, hopes and fears of women during the start of the 20th century, the suffragettes and WW1. I highly recommend this book, and while this may not mean much from a stranger on the Internet I encourage you to give this book a shot. It is moving, empowering and reflective.
  • Prompted by the film “the Professor and the Madman” with Mel Gibson as the Editor of the Oxford Dictionary, I spotted this in a newspaper review. Written from the perspective of a daughter of the team, this is beautifully crafted and emotionally in love with both words and their origin. It is very evocative of the treatment of girls and the value of wealth and family by society at the time. A leader for the best of 2021 so far.
  • This is such an easy book to read. A great story about love and family and grief and caring for one another. Set around the Scriptorium, first home of the OED, and the life of great lexicographer James Murray and his team of assistants. A real tear-jerker, it draws the reader in, perfect holiday book. Underpinned by a series of sobering reflections on how language is enabled and limited by gender, power and social class, against the backdrop of the suffragette movement. Highly recommended.
  • Welcome to the world of the Scriptorium where the words of meaning, definition, pronunciation, and consequence that are deemed sufficiently important make their way into the Oxford English dictionary. For here we learn the art of ‘lexicography’ created in the late 17th century, from the Greek lexikos meaning ‘of words’ and ‘grapho’ meaning ‘to inscribe, to write’ and the agonising process involved at the Scriptorium of filtering the words of meaning.The history of our words and the fictional story of Esme who must remain silent and invisible, in the place her father works as a lexicographer, are beautifully combined to tell a story of the discarded words and the dictionary of lost words.Esme has an irrepressible hunger for knowledge about the origins of words and had fully assimilated with the work of the scriptorium, but somehow her mentors just missed it. One word fascinates Esme – “Bondmaid”, which she learns means “slave girl,” but as she collects the discarded words Esme realises that a lot of the words and meanings relating to women’s and common folks’ experiences are often the ones that go unrecorded and discarded. To give the unspoken words a voice and meaning, Esme produces the “Dictionary of lost words” from the rejected scraps of paper found on the floor.This is a unique and original story that was such an interesting read particularly when interwoven with true historical references and the history and process of lexicography. I liked it but did not love it. It just seemed to drag a bit too much in the middle of the book and the themes, whilst good separately, didn’t gel together as much as they could have. It needed more menace or intrigue. However, the writing was beautiful but a 3.5 rating.
  • About :
    We are committed to sharing all kinds of e-books, learning resources, collection and packaging, reading notes and impressions. The book resources of the whole station are collected and sorted by netizens and uploaded to cloud disk, high-definition text scanning version and full-text free version. This site does not provide the storage of the file itself.
    Description of file download format: (Note: this website is completely free)
    The e-books shared by this site are all full versions, most of which are manually refined, and there are basically no omissions. Generally, there may be multiple versions of files. Please download the corresponding format files as needed. If there is no version you need, it is recommended to use the file format converter to read after conversion. Scanned PDF, text PDF, ePub, Mobi, TXT, docx, Doc, azw3, zip, rar and other file formats can be opened and read normally by using common readers.
    Copyright Disclaimer :
    This website does not store any files on its server. We only index and link to the content provided by other websites. If there is any copyrighted content, please contact the content provider to delete it and send us an email. We will delete the relevant link or content immediately.
    Download link description :
    We usually use Dropbox, Microsoft onedrive and Google drive to store files. Of course, we may also store backup files in other cloud content management service platforms such as Amazon cloud drive, pcloud, mega, mediafire and box. They are also great. You can choose the download link on demand.

    File Size: 79 MB

    Leave a Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *