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The Dictionary of Lost Words: The International Bestseller Hardcover – 8 April 2021

4.5 out of 5 stars 4,700 ratings

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Review

A brilliant book about women and words - tender, moving and profound -- Jacqueline Wilson

An extraordinary, charming novel... Williams pins a whole, rich life to the page ― The Times

Poignant, perfectly paced... a beautifully nuanced work -- Eithne Farry ― Mail on Sunday

I absolutely loved this book! Thought-provoking, touching and subtly romantic; I finished it in tears -- Katie Fforde

Williams's satisfying novel animates a fascinating history and imbues it with a feminist slant, asking how words mean different things to men and women -- Patricia Nicol ― Sunday Times

This lovely slice of historical fiction... A highly enjoyable resonant tale about the hidden and frequently gendered stories behind the words we take for granted -- Claire Allfree ― Metro

A captivating and slyly subversive fictional paean to the real women whose work on the Oxford English Dictionary went largely unheralded -- Alida Becker ― New York Times Book Review

A gorgeous, unique read ― Sun

This immersive, scrupulously researched debut provides poignant commentary on the ownership of language -- Hephzibah Anderson ― Mail on Sunday

An enchanting story about love, loss and the power of language, what gets recorded and what gets forgotten. Set at a time when women's voices were clamouring more than ever to be heard, it moved me greatly to think how history is skewed by those who hold power -- and how important it is that novels like this redress that balance -- Elizabeth Macneal, author or The Doll Factory

What a novel of words, their adventure and their capacity to define and, above all, challenge the world. There will not be this year a more original novel published. I just know it -- Thomas Keneally

Inspired by a wisp of fact - a single word accidentally omitted from the Oxford English Dictionary - Pip Williams has spun a marvelous fiction about the power of language to elevate or repress. This is a novel that brings to light not only lost words, but the lost stories of women's lives. It is at once timely and timeless.



In the annals of lexicography, no more imaginative, delightful, charming and clever book has yet been written. And if by writing it Pip Williams has gently rapped my knuckles for wrongly supposing that only white English men led the effort to corral and codify our language, then I happily accept the scolding. Her wonderfully constructed story has helped entirely change my mind.

This charming, inventive, and utterly irresistible novel is the story we all need right now. Words have never mattered more, as Pip Williams illuminates in her unforgettable debut -- Susan Wiggs, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost and Found Bookshop

What a compelling, fresh look at historical women! Lyrically written... This marvellous exploration into the ways in which spoken and written language impact us is a delight and an education -- Marie Benedict, New York Times bestselling author of The Mystery of Mrs. Christie

About the Author

Pip Williams was born in London, grew up in Sydney and now calls the Adelaide Hills home. She is the author of the much-loved memoir One Italian Summer and the national number one bestseller, The Dictionary of Lost Words, which was shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize 2021. Pip has also published travel articles, book reviews, flash fiction and poetry.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Vintage Publishing (8 April 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 432 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1784743860
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1784743864
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 16 x 3.8 x 24.2 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,700 ratings

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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
4,700 global ratings

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Reviewed in Australia on 30 April 2020
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W. A. R
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful evocative read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 April 2021
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A Wilkin
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving, empowering and reflective.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 25 May 2021
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E. Ward Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars The creation of the Oxford dictionary as a love story
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 3 May 2021
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C.Campbell
5.0 out of 5 stars Language and power and the Oxford English Dictionary
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 1 May 2021
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MM Buyer
3.0 out of 5 stars Unique and original. A good pleasant read.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 1 October 2021
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