English is the collective work of millions of people throughout the ages. It is democratic, ever-changing and ingenious in its assimilation of other cultures. English runs through the heart of world finance, medicine and the Internet, and it is understood by around two thousand million people across the world. Yet, it was very nearly wiped out in its early years. In this book Melvyn Bragg shows us the remarkable story of the English language; from its beginnings as a minor guttural Germanic dialect to its position today as a truly established global language. Embracing elements of Latin, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Arabic, Hindi and Gullah, this 1500-year story covers a huge range of countries and peoples. "The Adventure of English" is not only an enthralling story of power, religion and trade, but also the story of people, and how their day-to-day lives shaped and continue to change the extraordinary language that is English.
Melvyn Bragg's first novel, "For Want of a Nail" was published in 1965 and since then his novels have included "The Hired Man", for which he won the Time/Life Silver Pen Award, "Without a City Wall", winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, "Credo", "The Maid of Buttermere" and "The Soldier's Return", which won the WHSmith Literary Award, and is the first of a trilogy including "A Son of War" and "Crossing the Lines". He has also written many non-fiction titles.