18 November 2006

Book Review: Lyn Davies - A Is For Ox

Finished on 17 November 2006

A short history of the western alphabet, starting with its earliest roots, Sumerian cuneiform, Egyptian hieroglyphs etc. A detailed explanation is given of the conceptual change from Logograms and Syllabograms (signs for words or syllables) to a true alphabetical script where each sign signifies a sound (ideally) invented by the Phoenicians.

Davies then outlines the history of our alphabet and the changes inflicted upon it by its subsequent adopters and modifiers - Greeks, Etruscans, Romans, medieval scribes - until the early printers in Italy arrive at the form we know today (well, almost, give or take a few letters - j,v,w).

In a second part each letter's history is illustrated on a double page, showing and explaining the evolution it went through during the history outlined before.

All this in a beautifully set, printed and bound Folio Society book. A joy to read.

You can find more information at LibraryThing


the booklady said...

Hi Fitzlade!

I'm reading "A is for Ox" too. I have the Folio edition as well. However, I'm on goodreads v. Library Thing. Used to live in Deutschland myself--back in the old days when it was still divided. Left shortly after the Wall came down. Don't remember much of the little German I learned sadly...

Tschüss! booklady

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