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The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams []



Words matter. Williams’ romantic novel places several imaginary characters inside the very real creation of the Oxford English Dictionary. The women who were really involved in that enterprise have left little historical record. The novel’s focus is the lost words: the words of women and the poor that are not recorded in history and the lives of women that go unrecorded and disregarded by academia. The protagonist experiences a series of losses, yet the book is overwhelmingly positive in outlook. A strong sense of place takes the reader to England at the turn of the last century and at the beginnings of World War I.

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