Lynda Mugglestone, Writing a War of Words: Andrew Clark and the Language of WWI

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As WWI approached, Andrew Clark – historian, logophile, erstwhile curator of the Bodleian, and Rector of Great Leighs in Essex – was collecting material for a three volume set of notebooks on ‘English Words’. By 1919, these were a small part of an extraordinary archive, carefully deposited in the Bodleian. As this lecture explores, language history for Clark did not derive from the creative uses of great writers. Instead, it centred on his attempt to gather up the ephemeral forms that characterized a nation at war.