Cara's Reviews > The Adventure of English: The Biography of a Language

The Adventure of English by Melvyn Bragg
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's review
Dec 09, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: history

I very much enjoyed this book, especially on the heels of Bryson's "At Home." There is a fair amount of overlap- both being about life and language in ancient-to-modern Britain. Bragg anthropomorphizes English quite a bit and the book reads like a biography. It is occationally awkward, like when Bragg wonders what English thought about something. Nothing. English had no opinion. But it is a minor quibble.
I recommend listening to the audio version. Bragg has lists of words and it is wonderful to hear them pronounced. As written word comes second to the oral tradition, it is very enlightening to hear the old words spoken, instead of just looking at their written approximations. Great! Enjoyed it and it makes me want to read more about the history of the language.

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