Finding reviews of John Honey’s Language is Power

In an earlier post, we mentioned our quest for reviews of John Honey’s Language is Power, first published in 1997 by Faber and Faber. Several have come up, including a review by Jean Aitchison in the Sunday Times of 14 September 1997 (thanks to Kate Wild for this).

But how to find the review? Leiden Universitty Library only keeps the current month’s copies. Fortunately, the library also subscribes to Factiva, which contains (according to their own website) “the world’s best news and business information with search tools that fit every need in your organization”. It turns out to be a fantastic tool: searching the database for “John Honey” with a data range that covered all over September of the year when the book came out produced Jean Aitchison’s review (published a week earlier than she herself recorded on her website) as well as a review by Donald MacLeod (2 September 1997) and an announcement showing that the book had been “Pick of the week” for The Guardian during that month. It would be interesting to find out how many copies were sold as a result. And of course there will be no end to things that can be searched for in newspapers with the help of this tool.

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