Proofreading my forthcoming book Describing Prescriptivism, I came to p. 100 where I mention that Caroline Taggart’s Her Ladyship’s Guide to the Queeen’s English (2010), published by the The National Trust, used to lie for sale in country houses all over Britain. That is, I remember seeing it lying about at every country house we visited while living in Cambridge in 21011. Unfortunately, I never thought of taking a picture of the book as evidence at the time.
This time, accompanying a Jane Austen garden tour last week as an academic tour guide and visiting several country houses in the process, I looked everywhere for Her Ladyship’s Guide, but to no avail. None of the shop assistants had even heard of the book. But we did find one of Caroline’s books, on two occasions even: 500 Words You Should Know. Not a usage guide, and not published by The National Trust, but still (I suppose) testifying to Caroline’s name and fame as a writer on language.