A vintage copy of the Concise Oxford Dictionary

I always thought this is what the COD looked like:

Until yesterday, when I found a lovely, what might be described as a vintage copy of the book on the Free Books Table we have on the second floor of the English Department at Leiden:


What a lovely cover, I wonder who designed it. I also wonder who left it on the table, or who the previous owner, A.P. Parker Brady, was. The book, printed in 1928 (1st edition 1911), was bought at a local bookshop in Lochem, a small town in the east of The Netherlands. The title page is also worth showing here:

Title page

Like The King’s English (1906), the book was produced by the two Fowler brothers together, and at a time when the Oxford English Dictionary on which it is based hadn’t even been finished yet. You can read all about the writing of the COD in Jenny McMorris’s The Warden of English (2001), Henry Fowler’s biography.

So: thank you anonymous donor, for this lovely little book! And do let us have more such books if anyone has any to spare. They will be in good hands.

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