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The Adventure of English Audiobook

The Adventure of English: The Biography of a Language

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Publisher's Summary

This is the remarkable story of the English language; from its beginnings as a minor guttural Germanic dialect to its position today as a truly established global language. The Adventure of English is not only an enthralling story of power, religion, and trade, but also the story of people, and how their lives continue to change the extraordinary language that is English.

©2003 Melvyn Bragg; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Both entertaining and informative." (Booklist)
"This 'biography' succeeds in its broad, sweeping narrative." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (2562 )
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4.3 (1305 )
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Performance
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  •  
    J. Fuge 04-11-15
    J. Fuge 04-11-15 Member Since 2017

    something better

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    "Learn more about our beautiful language"

    Much interesting info about the spread of English. Narration excellent.Story is history. A must for any speaker of English.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Theotokos NORTH LAS VEGAS, NV, United States 03-18-15
    Theotokos NORTH LAS VEGAS, NV, United States 03-18-15 Member Since 2014

    Mother, Amazon, Student, LSG

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    "Loved it! "

    I wish I hard copy as well, I would love to have had the book to refer to specially when words are listed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Wardell Williamsburg, VA 12-15-14
    David Wardell Williamsburg, VA 12-15-14 Listener Since 1998
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    "Revisionist - Disappointing"
    Any additional comments?

    Not the "Biography of English" that I expected. Bragg spends time discussing the influence of things he clearly knows nothing about, such as medieval religion and renaissance literature; the erroneous conclusions are manifold. <br/><br/>The last third of the book focuses on why various regional and national English dialects are so wonderful because they add to the "richness" of the language. Evidently no one ever explained to him the difference between richness, slang, and sloppiness.<br/><br/>There are excellent reasons for striving to retain purity and precision in spoken and written language. All of them are ignored.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kaye 08-24-14
    Kaye 08-24-14 Listener Since 2005
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    "Perfect!"

    My Goodreads Review:

    Read from March 14, 2012 to March 21, 2012 and August 8, 2014 to August 14, 2014

    This is the perfect book for those unfamiliar with the History of the English Language as well as word nerds like me for whom that was a favorite undergraduate course. Not only is it well-researched, well-written, and full of info and humor, narrator Robert Powell is fabulous. Highly recommended!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles M. White 06-28-14 Member Since 2012
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    "wonderful, very memorable"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I learned more about history from this book than I would ever have expected. I find myself repeatedly thinking back to things I learned from this book.


    Any additional comments?

    I find this book a valuable perspective to anyone with an interest in history or linguistics

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jessica LAYTON, UTAH, United States 02-19-14
    jessica LAYTON, UTAH, United States 02-19-14 Member Since 2016
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    "Great listen"
    If you could sum up The Adventure of English in three words, what would they be?

    Entertaining and informative. Fascinating to learn more about a language that has spread all over the world. Melvyn Bragg is an expert writer.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hugh Verona, WI, United States 02-17-14
    Hugh Verona, WI, United States 02-17-14 Member Since 2014
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    "A must for the casual anglophile."
    If you could sum up The Adventure of English in three words, what would they be?

    Historical etymology galore!


    What about Robert Powell’s performance did you like?

    The performance is great. There are sections where he lists off 100 word lists, going through each and every one. He does a number of text readings from other languages which sound foreign to my English ears. A fluent speaker of old English or Danish, some of the languages, would be able to give a more accurate review.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon Bridgewater, MA, United States 12-11-12
    Sharon Bridgewater, MA, United States 12-11-12
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    "It is an adventure!"
    What did you love best about The Adventure of English?

    I liked the anecdotal stories that were thrown in with history to make the progression of English come alive. It explained a lot of words that I never knew came as the result of war bringing languages into an area or home with the troops. <br/><br/>The delivery was not boring and it kept me engaged.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I listened to this book over 3 days while quilting. It kept my attention- which is pretty good.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mrs. Debra E. Humm-bremser 11-05-12 Member Since 2013

    I decided to use my time being laid up to get smarter! In 18 months I've listened to over 200 books, mostly history, literature & biography.

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    "Our English language is a voracious assimulator!"
    If you could sum up The Adventure of English in three words, what would they be?

    Rethinking linguistic roots


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Adventure of English?

    Chaucer was resurrected for me because of his genius with the language and his ingenious, natural rhyming. I just had to listen to The Canterbury Tales right afterward!


    What does Robert Powell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He made old English sound alive and current. And important.


    Any additional comments?

    Affirmed my conviction that I should have been a Linguistics major :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer STEPHENVILLE, TX, United States 10-29-12
    Kindle Customer STEPHENVILLE, TX, United States 10-29-12 Member Since 2012
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    "A real enjoyment"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Adventure of English to be better than the print version?

    I wounldn't know; I haven't read the print version. I find it nice to listen in the car, however.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    This wasn't a fiction book. I enjoyed the character of English as it progressed. John Wycliff and Chaucer were very interesting participants in the development of English.


    What about Robert Powell’s performance did you like?

    Easy to understand. good pacing


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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