Meet The Author With Warwick Books : Philip Durkin

October 5th, 2014

On Sunday 5th October 11am at Lord Leycester’s Hospital the deputy chief editor of the Oxford English Dictionary Philip Durkin will be talking about his book ‘Borrowed Words : A History of Loanwords in English’

9780199574995How has borrowing from other languages shaped the language we speak today? English stands out among languages around the world today for the number of words it has “borrowed” from other languages. Some borrowings like sushi, vodka, terrine, or poltergeist stand out to us immediately, but many others are so thoroughly embedded in the everyday language that only specialists are aware of their foreign origin (for example, cheese, inch, war, or even they). In fact it would be impossible to communicate effectively in English today without using words that were originally borrowed from other languages. Most of the loans that have become part of everyday English date back to the Middle Ages, and to the impact of Latin-speaking churchmen, Scandinavian settlers, Norman conquerors, and Anglo-French administrators. This talk will look at how and why the English vocabulary was so deeply influenced by these particular sources.

Dr Philip Durkin is Deputy Editor of the OED Philip Durkinand has led the dictionary’s team of specialists in etymology for the past fifteen years. His Oxford Guide to Etymology appeared in 2009, exploring all aspects of tracing the origins and development of words, with examples drawn largely from English and other modern languages.‘Borrowed Words’ is his latest book.

This is an event organised by us for Warwick Words. Philip will take questions after his talk and will be signing copies of the book afterwards. If you wish to purchase a copy of the book beforehand, please do call in to the Warwick or Kenilworth shops or email me on

Meet The Author With Warwick Books : Kate Williams

October 5th, 2014

On Sunday 5th October 2pm at Lord Leycester’s Hospital Kate Williams will be talking about her new book ‘The Storms of War’

The Storms of WarIn the idyllic early summer of 1914, life is good for the de Witt family. Rudolf and Verena are planning the wedding of their daughter Emmeline, while their eldest son Arthur  is studying in Paris and Michael is just back from his first term at Cambridge. Celia, the youngest of the de Witt children, is on the brink of adulthood, and secretly dreams of escaping her carefully mapped-out future and exploring the world.

But the onslaught of war changes everything and soon the de Witts find themselves sidelined and in danger of losing everything they hold dear. As Celia struggles to make sense of the changing world around her, she lies about her age to join the war effort and finds herself embroiled in a complex plot that puts not only herself but those she loves in danger.

With gripping detail and brilliant empathy, Kate Williams tells the story of Celia and her family as they are shunned by a society that previously embraced them, torn apart by sorrow, and buffeted and changed by the storms of war.

The Storms of War is the first novel in esteemed TV historian Kate Williams’s groundbreaking new series which opens in 1914.Kate Williams c Paul Stewart

Kate Williams is an author, social historian, constitutional and royal expert, broadcaster and novelist. Kate studied at Somerville College, Oxford and Queen Mary, University of London. She also took an MA in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, where she now teaches. Kate is the author of five acclaimed non-fiction historical titles and one novel.

Kate appears regularly on radio and television as an expert on historical, royal and constitutional matters on BBC One, BBC Breakfast, Newsnight, the Today programme and Channel 4 News. She is Historical and Royal Analyst at CNN. Kate is also the social historian on BBC Two’s Restoration Home and has presented historical documentaries on TV and radio, including Young Victoria and The History of the Smile.

Kate writes features, comment and reviews for newspapers and magazines, is a regular book prize judge and lectures to societies, events, dinners and literary festivals in England and Europe.

Meet The Author With Warwick Books : Fiona McPherson

October 4th, 2014

On Saturday 4 October 10.30am at Lord Leycester’s Hospital senior editor of the Oxford English Dictionary Fiona McPherson will be talking about The linguistic legacy of the First World War’

“Social change arising from the First World War has been well documented. But what of the linguistic impact? The First World War gave rise to numerous new words and phrases in English, from those which are still strongly associated with the war (e.g. air raid, mustard gas, shell shock) to those which are now more removed from their origins (e.g. basket case, tailspin, cootie). As part of the centenary commemorations, the Oxford English Dictionary has been updating its coverage of such vocabulary. In this talk, Fiona McPherson, a senior editor with the OED, will first discuss how and why the OED is revised, and then describe the WWI project in detail showing how research led to new discoveries about the histories of particular wartime words, and consider the linguistic legacy of the First World War, from core terms to more peripheral social history terms.Fiona McPherson OED (2)

Fiona McPherson is a Senior Editor with the Oxford English Dictionary. After graduating from the University of Glasgow with a degree in English Language, she joined Oxford University Press initially to work on the revision team of the OED. She soon moved to the new words group where she is responsible for adding new words to the dictionary.

Meet The Author With Warwick Books : Jessie Childs

October 2nd, 2014

On Thursday 2nd October 10.30am at Lord Leycester’s Hospital Jessie Childs will be talking about her new book
‘God’s Traitors: Terror and Faith in Elizabethan England’

9781847921567God’s Traitors: Terror and Faith in Elizabethan England is the story of one Catholic family’s life in Elizabethan England, when Catholicism was outlawed. In an age of assassination and Armada, those Catholics who clung to their faith were increasingly seen as the enemy within. In this superb history, award-winning author Jessie Childs explores the Catholic predicament in Elizabethan England through the eyes of one remarkable family: the Vauxes of Harrowden Hall. ‘God’s Traitors is a tale of dawn raids and daring escapes, stately homes and torture chambers, ciphers, secrets and lies. From clandestine chapels and side-street inns to exile communities and the corridors of power, it exposes the tensions and insecurities masked by the cult of Gloriana. Above all, it is a timely story of courage and frailty, repression and reaction and the terrible consequences when religion and politics collide. Jessie Childs is a young new superstar in historical writing  and this book has certainly confirmed her  talent. The Times called it ‘inspired’, The Sunday Times said it was ‘brilliantly original’ and the FT called it ‘little short of a triumph’. Not only was it The Times Book of the Week but also Evening Standard Bestseller, Guardian Book of the Week and Sunday Times ‘Must Read’. It is truly brilliant Tudor history writing, and there is a lot of local interest. The Vaux sisters spent 1588-92 in Warwickshire (possibly at Baddesley Clinton) plus there’s the whole Gunpowder Plot connection at Coughton Court………md-jessie-childs-1-lrg

Jessie was born in London in 1976 and went to West Heath, Stowe School and Brasenose College, Oxford, where she read history and took a first in 1999. Her first book, Henry VIII’s Last Victim, was critically acclaimed and won the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography in 2007.

Jessie frequently speaks at festivals, events and on the radio, and has written and reviewed for many publications, including The Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph, Literary Review, History Today, BBC History Magazine and Standpoint.

She lives in Hammersmith, London, with her husband and two daughters.

God’s Traitors is her second book.

Meet The Author with Warwick Books : Jim Ring

June 12th, 2014

On Thursday 12th June 7pm at  Warwick Library, Jim Ring will talk about his book ‘Storming The Eagle’s Nest : Hitler’s War In The Alps’.

9780571282388From the Fall of France in June 1940 to Hitler’s suicide in April 1945, the swastika flew from the peaks of the High Savoy in the western Alps to the passes above Ljubljana in the east. The Alps as much as Berlin were the heart of the Third Reich. ‘Yes,’ Hitler declared of his headquarters in the Bavarian Alps, ‘I have a close link to this mountain.’

Much was done there, came about and ended there; those were the best times of my life…My great plans were forged there.’ With great authority and verve, Jim Ring tells the story of how the war was conceived and directed from the Fuhrer’s mountain retreat, how all the Alps bar Switzerland fell to Fascism, and how Switzerland herself became the Nazi’s banker and Europe’s spy centre. He also shows how the Alps in France, Italy and Yugoslavia became cradles of resistance, how the range proved both a sanctuary and a death-trap for Europe’s Jews – and how the whole war culminated in the Allies’ descent on what was rumoured to be Hitler’s Alpine Redoubt, a Bavarian mountain fortress.

Jim Ring’s books include Erskine Childers, which won the Marsh Prize for biography and How the English Made the Alps which was described as ‘fascinating’ by the Daily Telegraph and ‘evocative and entertaining’ by the Financial Times. His collective biography of Britain’s leading Cold War submariners, We Come Unseen, won the Mountbatten Prize and was followed by Riviera which was called ‘a highly readable history’ by the Guardian.

The talk will take place at Warwick Library and tickets which are FREE will be available from Warwick Books, Kenilworth Books or the Library.


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