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批評家のレビュー

“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)

“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

あらすじ・解説

"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)

Winner of the Australian Book Industry Award

"A marvelous fiction about the power of language to elevate or repress." (Geraldine Brooks, New York Times best-selling author of People of the Book)

Esme 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.

©2021 Pip Williams (P)2021 Random House Audio

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  • 総合評価
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lulu Can
  • 2021/04/07

Enchanted

Thinking about writing a review for this glorious book was very difficult for me because of the use of language throughout the entire story. In my wildest dreams I would not have concocted a story with so much depth, compassion, empathy — tinged with an historical narrative. The syntax, the use of punctuation, the glorious resilience of words and definitions, brought this story to life. There are no superfluous characters in the book, no unnecessary fillers, no miss step in regaling the glory of words and the confluence of definitions in the moments they are spoken. A great reverence is paid to the genesis of the women’s movement - undyingly beautiful. There are innumerable quotable passages throughout the narrative – so many that I was underlining, and underlining, and underlining - deciding instead to allow the next reader to revel in the superb language. Lizzie, Esme, Dita, Dah, Gareth, Lily, Professor Murray, Tilda. Bert, Angus — all people I wanted to know and have in my life. Following the process of the suffragette movement and the start of WWII, added depth and emotion. I highly recommend this book!!!

  • 総合評価
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    5 out of 5 stars
  • My Patronus Is a Bookworm
  • 2021/05/05

Beautiful and extensively researched.

This book was perfect in every way. It was beautiful. Empowering. Sad. And mostly, it was kind. The depth of emotion I felt for the characters--and their relationships with each other--was reminiscent of what I felt while reading The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. I was gutted several times. For a story about words and their meanings, it is not surprising that this author is a master wordsmith. Her use of language was mesmerizing.

From the author's note: "This book began as two simple questions: Do words mean different things to men and women? And if they do, is it possible that we have lost something in the process of defining them?"

The narration was outstanding. Highly recommend.

  • 総合評価
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    3 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Medicmedic
  • 2021/04/12

Poor quality recording

I very much enjoyed this book. However, at one point about 4 hours in the recording became very poor quality for several chapters. It was unfortunate as the book was engaging.

  • 総合評価
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nish
  • 2021/04/21

Unexpectedly whimsical yet wise

I did not expect a novel based on the Oxford English Dictionary to be whimsical as well as educational. Although that sounds like a contradiction, I stand by it. Author Pip Williams blends Women's Suffrage and the prelude to WWI in the retelling of how the Oxford Dictionary was created, and in doing so, she illuminates how the words we use or neglect color the world we live in. The Dictionary of Lost Words encapsulates everything I love about historical fiction: neglected lessons on the world experienced through the eyes of beautifully woven characters.

  • 総合評価
    4 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    4 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Sandy M
  • 2021/07/07

I Love This Book

I love Esma, Lizzie, Gareth, Dah, Dita,
The story was wonderful, and it was so interesting, the working on the Oxford Dictionary.
Esma and her love of words.

I listened to this book twice, and cried both times. (Dah and Gareth).

The narrator was perfect and I know I’ll listen to this book again and again.

Highly recommended this book

  • 総合評価
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jim Walsh
  • 2021/10/10

Loved it

The author’s love for language is evident throughout this story. Many characters to love and a true story behind it all. The reader is superb.

  • 総合評価
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2021/09/21

Enjoyed! Glad I stayed with it!

A subject I had never really considered, but I suppose this (in a way) explains that some slang SHOULD be "real words". Esme's personal life, struggle to contribute in what was truly a "man's world", and strength to let her baby go are well worth the read to me.

  • 総合評価
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Bill Scarcliff
  • 2021/08/14

I Wish This Book Could Go On Indefinitely

Pip Williams finely weaves her fictional tale into the true-to-life creation of Dr. Murray’s dictionary. What a beautiful work! This may be one of the few books I choose to read over again.

  • 総合評価
    4 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    4 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 2021/07/22

How incredible

What an incredible story idea. I have to say the story was ok but the author notes at the end really I loved the most.

  • 総合評価
    4 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    4 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Susan
  • 2021/07/05

Really interesting story

I liked this story very much but I think it was longer than it needed to be. I loved the history and the character development.