ISBN is

9780312426200 / 0312426208

Defining the World: The Extraordinary Story of Dr Johnson's Dictionary

by

3.74 avg rating159 ratings by GoodReads

Publisher:Picador, 2006

Edition:Softcover

Language:English

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About the book:

  A Los Angeles Times Favorite Book of the Year
 
In 1746, Samuel Johnson undertook the Herculean task of writing the first comprehensive English dictionary. Imagining he could complete the job in three years, Johnson in fact took more than eight, and the dictionary itself turned out to be as much a work of literature as it was an invaluable reference. In alphabetized chapters, from "Adventurous" to "Zootomy," Henry Hitchings tells of Johnson's toil and triumph and offers a closer look at the definitions themselves, which were alive with invention, poetry, erudition, and, at times, hilarious imprecision. The story of Johnson's adventure into the essence of words is an entertainment that "sparkles on every page" ( The Philadelphia Inquirer).

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