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This item will be posted through the Global Shipping Program and includes international tracking. Brand new: A new, unread, unused book in perfect condition with no missing or damaged pages. Copyright in bibliographic data and cover images is held by Nielsen Book Services Limited or by the publishers or by their respective licensors: all rights reserved. By clicking Confirm bid, you commit to buy this item from the seller if you're the winning bidder.
By clicking Confirm bid, you are committing to buy this item from the seller if you are the winning bidder and have read and agreed to the Global Shipping Program terms and conditions - opens in a new window or tab. By clicking 1 Click Bid, you commit to buy this item from the seller if you're the winning bidder. International Shipping - items may be subject to customs processing depending on the item's declared value. Your country's customs office can offer more details, or visit eBay's page on international trade. Estimated delivery dates - opens in a new window or tab include seller's handling time, origin ZIP Code, destination ZIP Code and time of acceptance and will depend on shipping service selected and receipt of cleared payment - opens in a new window or tab. Brand New: A new, unread, unused book in perfect condition with no missing or damaged pages. SynopsisA compelling alternate history of the Romanov family in which a secret fifth daughter--smuggled out of Russia before the revolution--continues the royal lineage to dramatic consequences In her riveting debut novel, "The Secret Daughter of the Tsar," Jennifer Laam seamlessly braids together the stories of three women: Veronica, Lena, and Charlotte.
This item will be shipped through the Global Shipping Program and includes international tracking. Will usually ship within 1 business day of receiving cleared payment - opens in a new window or tab. Returns must be postmarked within 4 business days of authorisation and must be in resellable condition. Accepted returns are refunded by the method in which you paid less a restocking fee of 10%. For purchases where a shipping charge was paid, there will be no refund of the original shipping charge. AN ECONOMIST BOOK OF THE YEARThe Secret Life of Words is a wide-ranging account of the transplanted, stolen, bastardized words we've come to know as the English languag. Hitchings, who wrote earlier about Samuel Johnson's dictionary (Defining the World, 2005), again displays his astonishing knowledge of the English language's myriad roots.
Read an Excerpt The Secret Life of Words How English Became EnglishBy Henry Hitchings Farrar, Strauss and Giroux Copyright © 2008 Henry Hitchings All rights reserved. Import charges previously quoted are subject to change if you increase you maximum bid amount.
Veronica is an aspiring historian living in present-day Los Angeles when she meets a mysterious man who may be heir to the Russian throne. Contact the seller- opens in a new window or tab and request a shipping method to your location. Enabling JavaScript in your browser will allow you to experience all the features of our site. It's a history of English as a whole, and of the thousands of individual words, from more than 350 foreign tongues, that trickled in gradually over hundreds of years of trade, colonization, and diplomacy.


English has been and no doubt always will be a salmagundi, the author declares, blending words from many other tongues into one splendid, ever-changing linguistic dish.
If you reside in an EU member state besides UK, import VAT on this purchase is not recoverable. As she sets about investigating the legitimacy of his claim through a winding path of romance and deception, the ghosts of her own past begin to haunt her.
It's vocabulary that interests him here-grammar is far more resistant to change, he notes-and after some factual table-setting (approximately 350 languages have contributed to English) he serves his main courses one century at a time. Lena, a servant in the imperial Russian court of 1902, is approached by the desperate Empress Alexandra.
Hitchings effortlessly blends world history with linguistic history, helping us see that we appropriate words for numerous reasons: trade, conquest, fashion, food, art and so on.
Born in England, in a rural part of Hampshire, Sewall had arrived in America as an adolescent. After conceiving four daughters, the Empress is determined to sire a son and believes Lena can help her. The word goes back to the Arabic al-qadus, which was a bucket used in irrigation that resembled the bucket beaks of pelicans. He had studied at Harvard, had managed the Boston printing press, and in 1692 had been one of the nine judges appointed to hear the Salem witch trials. Once elevated to the Romanovs treacherous inner circle, Lena finds herself under the watchful eye of the meddling Dowager Empress Marie.
From Arabic we gained words for alchemy that then migrated into math and science, such as zero and cipher. Not long before his trip to Dorchester he had publicly expressed shame over his role in the last of these, but that October morning this bulky, big-framed figure had more appetizing business on his mind. Charlotte, a former ballerina living in World War II occupied Paris, receives a surprise visit from a German officer.
Dorchester seems to have been a place to go for good things to eat; Sewall had once taken his wife, Hannah, there so they could feast on cherries and raspberries. Determined to protect her son from the Nazis, Charlotte escapes the city, but not before learning that the officers interest in her stems from his longstanding obsession with the fate of the Russian monarchy. They were originally grown in Italy and imported, and the northern Europeans named them to distinguish them from the native hazelnut.
At the Lieutenant Governor's he met with his friend Samuel Torrey, a man chiefly distinguished for having declined the presidency of Harvard College, and together they breakfasted on 'Venison and Chockalatte', with Sewall amusedly reflecting that 'Massachuset and Mexico met at his Honour's Table.'Samuel Sewall's breakfast sounds a little quirky, but its two elements are richly symbolic. Then as Veronicas passion intensifies, and her search for the true heir to the throne takes a dangerous turn, the reader learns just how these three vastly different women are connected. In the 16th century, English conflicts with Spain brought an influx of Spanish words, among them armada, hammock and mosquito.
The venison was indeed good Massachusetts fare, even if the taste for it was one he had acquired not in New England, but in England's New Forest. The name comes from the old French word crevice, through the Old German crebiz and the modern French ecrevisse. The word, meanwhile, derived from the Latin venari, 'to hunt', and had entered English through French following the Norman Conquest — one of many culinary markers of the Normans' influence. The "fish" part is just the result of a mishearing."The Secret Life of Words is a wide-ranging chronicle of how words witness history, reflect social change, and remind us of our past.
At first in English it had applied to the flesh not just of deer, but also of hare, rabbit and even boar.


By the fifteenth century it seems to have been widely understood as restricted to deer's meat, and this is what Sewall's venison will almost certainly have been, although it is worth noting that John Josselyn writes in New England's Rarities (1672) that 'Bears are very fat in the fall of the leaf, at which time they are excellent venison.' We can be sure, regardless, that the dish Sewall ate tasted wild and gamy.
Greek, avers Hitchings, has remained a source of high-culture (even highfalutin) words like deipnosophist and pathos. Many French words deal with culture, leisure and food (no surprise there); soiree first appeared in the fiction of Fanny Burney. Once elevated to the Romanov's treacherous inner circle, Lena finds herself under the watchful eye of the meddling Dowager Empress Marie. In later days, advertising,mass media, the Internet and the "global village" have all accelerated the growth and spread of English. Its name had been learnt from the Spanish, who had heard in Nahuatl, the ethereal language of the Aztecs, the noun xocoatl, meaning 'bitter water'.That breakfast in Dorchester was a blend, then, of the old and the new, in terms of both gastronomy and vocabulary. Determined to protect her son from the Nazis, Charlotte escapes the city, but not before learning that the officer's interest in her stems from his longstanding obsession with the fate of the Russian monarchy. Hitchings notes in several places the impossibility and undesirability of attempting to close and bar the doors of this eternally flexible and omnivorous tongue. Then as Veronica's passion intensifies, and her search for the true heir to the throne takes a dangerous turn, the reader learns just how these three vastly different women are connected. By 'We' he meant speakers of English, and he cited the examples of literary terminology taken from Greek, the language of music from Italian, and terms of cookery from French. Yet we have this advantage to compensate the defect, that what we want in Elegance, we gain in Copiousness.'These many and different sources are the ingredients of this book. English was imported into Britain, as it later was into North America: the history of this hybrid tongue and above all of its vocabulary, which has proved hospitable to words from more than 350 other languages, is the history of who its speakers really are.
So this is the story of the acquisitiveness of English, and of the meetings between what purists may label 'our' language and the external influences that have shaped it.
Not all communication is verbal, but language is our most dynamic instrument of communication, and words, imperfect though they often are, prove more lasting than gestures. We tend to accept unquestioningly our ability to express ourselves in language: the sources of our language and its power are rarely of concern to us. From time to time we may pause to wonder what, if anything, a walnut has to do with walls, or why, when it is not a kind of fish, a crayfish is so called. Actually, the word walnut is a modern form of the Old English walhnutu, which literally meant 'foreign nut'. The nut grew mainly in Italy, and when introduced into northern Europe it was labelled 'foreign' in order to distinguish it from the native hazelnut.
For its part, crayfish is a corruption of the Old French name for this freshwater crustacean, crevice, which derived from the German crebiz and survives in modern French as écrevisse.
The important point, though, is that we seldom ask why we speak the language that we do, what we have in common with its other speakers, what its pedigree and career tell us about our ancestors, or what particular ways it has of framing our perceptions of the world.
Perhaps we should.Language is a social energy, and our capacity for articulate speech is the key factor that makes us different from other species.
But our brains are equipped with the facility to produce and process speech, and we are capable of abstract thought.



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