Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable

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9780060162009: Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable

Celebrating the 125th anniversary of its first publication, an updated edition provides more than twenty thousand expertly researched definitions of typical phrases and words and explains their historical origins. National ad/promo.

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About the Author:

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. Much of the nucleus of the dictionary derived from correspondence with readers of his earlier works, beginning a tradition of readers' involvement with the new book that continues today. The first edition was published by Cassell in 1870 and sold over 100,000 copies. In 1894 Brewer compiled a completely revised and substantially enlarged edition. He lived for another three years, long enough to see sales of the revised edition 'far exceed our utmost expectations'.

Adrian Room, who has revised the Sixteenth Edition of Brewer's, is the author of over fifty popular reference books, mainly on the origins of words, and, in particular, names. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a member of the English Place-Name Society and American Name Society. He was a Senior Lecturer in Russian with the Ministry of Defence until 1984, when he took up full-time writing.

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