Words in Time and Place

Hosted by the LSE Literary Festival

Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building,


David Crystal

David Crystal


Professor Jennifer Richards

If you lived in 1800, which words existed in English to let you talk about money or the weather? Or 1600? Or at any time in the history of the language? If you are writing a historical novel or TV series, how do you know which words could have been used by your characters? Would Thomas in Downton Abbey have said "cheerio" in 1912? How to avoid anachronisms is just one of the questions answered by David Crystal after exploring the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary in order to write his book Words in Time and Place.

David Crystal is known throughout the world as a writer, editor, lecturer, and broadcaster on language. He has published extensively on the history and development of English.

Jennifer Richards is Professor of Early Modern Literature and Culture in the School of English at Newcastle University, and author of Rhetoric and Courtliness in Early Modern Literature (2003) and Rhetoric (2007).

This event forms part of the LSE Space for Thought Literary Festival 2015, taking place from Monday 23 - Saturday 28 February 2015, with the theme 'Foundations'.

Suggested hashtag for the event for Twitter users #LSElitfest


A podcast of this event is available to download from Words in Time and Place

Podcasts and videos of many LSE events can be found at the LSE Public Lectures and Events: podcasts and videos channel.