Author(s): E. Cobham Brewer
In this book: Much loved for its wit and wisdom since 1870, Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable takes you on a captivating adventure through its trademark blend of language, culture, myth and legend. Edited by Susie Dent, this new edition contains an intriguing supplement of Brewer's Gems - facts, fables and curiosities from Brewer collections of the past. Its pages brim with esoteric and entertaining entries - everything from curious customs to the world of newspapers and political alliances of yesteryear - all seen through the distinctive Brewer lens. This nineteenth edition of Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable encapsulates all the charm and wit that characterise its predecessors and maintains the standards of scholarship and eclecticism that have long been its hallmark. This unique edition has been thoroughly updated with over 100 new and revised entries - think crowdsourcing, cyberpunk, iPad and mash-up - guaranteed to delight, entertain and inspire in the best Brewer's tradition. Also included are twenty special entries that encapsulate the enticing spirit of the dictionary. Discover Brewer's take on angels, heraldry, pub signs and recluses and delve into the lexicographical world of the eggcorn. Whether you're a committed Brewerphile or a newcomer to its pages of fascinating entries, this edition will draw you in and keep you glued to its rich mix of eccentric nuggets. As Susie Dent explains in the foreword, Brewer's 'is not a straightforward dictionary, nor is it an encyclopaedia. It is, in fact, unlike any other reference book that exists, anywhere.'
Take the scenic route to knowledge.
Dr Ebenezer Cobham Brewer, the son of a Norwich schoolmaster, was born in 1810. He graduated in Law from Cambridge in 1836, and two years later was ordained, before returning to teach at his father's school. There he compiled his first major work, A Guide to Science. It proved immensely popular, perhaps funding the extensive European travels he subsequently undertook. Returning to England in 1856, he slowly put together the work that was to become Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. The first edition was published in 1870 and sold over 100,000 copies. In 1894 he compiled a revised and enlarged edition, and he lived a further three years, long enough to see sales 'far exceed our utmost expectations.