The Dictionary of Lost Words

£8.99

In 1901, the word bondmaid was discovered missing from the Oxford English Dictionary. This is the story of the girl who stole it. Motherless and irrepressibly curious, Esme spends her childhood in the Scriptorium, a garden shed in Oxford where her father and a team of lexicographers are gathering words for the very first Oxford English Dictionary. Esme’s place is beneath the sorting table, unseen and unheard. One day, she sees a slip containing the word ‘bondmaid’ flutter to the floor unclaimed. 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. She begins to collect words for another dictionary: The Dictionary of Lost Words.

ISBN: 9781529113228 Author: Williams, Pip Publisher: Vintage Publication Date: 20th January 2022 Imprint: Vintage Cover: Paperback Dewey: 823.92 (edition:23) Pages: 422 Language: English Edition: 1st paperback ed Readership: General - Trade / Code: K Category: Subjects: , ,

‘An enchanting story about love, loss and the power of language’ Elizabeth Macneal, author of The Doll Factory

Sometimes you have to start with what’s lost to truly find yourself…

Motherless and irrepressibly curious, Esme spends her childhood at her father’s feet as he and his team gather words for the very first Oxford English Dictionary.

One day, she sees a slip of paper containing a forgotten word flutter to the floor unclaimed.

And so Esme begins to collect words for another dictionary in secret: The Dictionary of Lost Words. But to do so she must journey into a world on the cusp of change as the Great War looms and women fight for the vote. Can the power of lost words from the past finally help her make sense of her future?

Readers love The Dictionary of Lost Words:

‘If you only read one book this year, let it be this one!’

‘If you’re a fan of The Binding and The Betrayals you will surely love this’

‘A glorious combination of words, growing up, friendship, love, feminism and so much more’

‘The best love letter to words and language’

‘This book broke my heart … I highly recommend it to any historical fiction fans … it’s one I will be reading again’

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