Lexicography and the OED: Pioneers in the Untrodden Forest sets out to explore the pioneering endeavours in both lexicography and lexicology which led to the making of the first English dictionary published by Oxford. Deliberately conceived as a new departure in English lexicography, the first OED, as James Murray stressed, was to be founded on an unequivocal return to first principles, both in the nature of its construction and in the evidence amassed for its compilation. It also produced, as this book shows, a host of problems: on the nature of Englishness, correctness, and general standards of language use, as well as in aspects of pronunciation, semantics, and syntax. Often making use of previously unpublished archive material, this collection of twelve essays provides both a range of perspectives from which the dictionary can be approached, and also explores the particular problems posed by the attempt to realize the pioneering acts of lexicography integral to the making of the dictionary.
Lynda Mugglestone is Fellow in English Language and Literature at Pembroke College, Oxford, and News International Lecturer in Language and Communication. She has written widely on nineteenth-century language and associated issues-literary and linguistic, as well as lexicographic.