Welcome to First Lines Friday where I share the first lines from one of the books on my shelves to try and tempt you to add it to yours.
Before the lost word, there was another. It arrived at the Scriptorium in a second-hand envelope, the old address crossed out and Dr Murray, Sunnyside, Oxford, written in its place.
It was Da’s job to open the post and mine to sit on his lap, like a queen on her throne, and help him ease each word out of its faded cradle.”
Those intriguing first lines are from a book that I’ve been highly anticipating ever since first hearing about it last year. That book is…
The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams, which was released on April 8th.
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.
Doesn’t that sound fantastic? I’ve read lots of great reviews for this book already and it is definitely high on my tbr.
You can buy the book here*
*This is an affiliate link
Thanks for reading Bibliophiles. See you next week for more first lines xxx
Thank you to Chatto & Windus for my gifted copy