Motherless and irrepressibly curious, Esme spends her childhood in the Scriptorium, a garden shed in Oxford where her father and a team of male lexicographers are gathering words for the very first Oxford English Dictionary.
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.
This remarkable debut based on actual events is a delightful, lyrical and deeply thought-provoking celebration of words, and the power of language to shape our experience of the world.
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