The Adventure of English by Melvyn Bragg
The Biography of a Language

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Synopsis

English is the collective work of millions of people throughout the ages. It is democratic, ever-changing and ingenious in its assimilation of other cultures. English runs through the heart of world finance, medicine and the Internet, and it is understood by around two thousand million people across the world. Yet it was very nearly wiped out in its early years. In this book Melvyn Bragg shows us the remarkable story of the English language; from its beginnings as a minor guttural Germanic dialect to its position today as a truly established global language. The Adventure of English is not only an enthralling story of power, religion and trade, but also the story of people, and how their day-to-day lives shaped and continue to change the extraordinary language that is English.
 

About Melvyn Bragg

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Melvyn Bragg has written several works of non-fiction (as well as his bestselling novels) including "Speak for England", an oral history of the twentieth century; "Rich", a biography of Richard Burton; and "On Giants Shoulders", a history of science based on his BBC radio series. He was born in 1939 and educated at Oxford where he read history. He is controller of Arts at LWT and presi- dent of the National Campaign for the Arts. In 1998 he was made a life peer. He lives in London and Cumbria.
 
Published October 13, 2003 by Hodder & Stoughton Ltd. 336 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction, History, Travel, Biographies & Memoirs, Science & Math. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Adventure of English

The Guardian

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The Adventure of English by Melvyn Bragg 354 pp, Hodder & Stoughton, £20.

Nov 14 2003 | Read Full Review of The Adventure of English: The...

Publishers Weekly

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Bragg's enthusiasm for his subject-hero, whether the Old English of Beowulf or the new "Text English" of the Internet, makes up for his shortcomings as a linguist: his sources, unfootnoted, are at times at variance with the OED or Webster's Third.

Apr 05 2004 | Read Full Review of The Adventure of English: The...

BC Books

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Now, if you think some people might have had a hard time with that, imagine what it was like for an entire country of individuals — from peasants to kings alike — to adapt and adopt a language that would eventually become the most widespread language in the world.

Jun 12 2009 | Read Full Review of The Adventure of English: The...

BC Books

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Hosted by British author Melvyn Bragg, the series traces the history of the English language from its roots in the mists of time to the language of mass communication and commerce it's become today.

Jun 06 2009 | Read Full Review of The Adventure of English: The...

PopMatters

Restless, supremely inventive, and endlessly entertaining – just like the language it explores – The Adventure of English is a lively eight-part series produced for the BBC in 2002.

Jul 13 2009 | Read Full Review of The Adventure of English: The...

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