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King Alfred's English: A History of the Language We Speak and Why We Should Be Glad We Do
By: Laurie J. White
Number of Pages: 150
Vendor: The Shorter Word Press
|Publication Date: 2009|
Dimensions: 7 X 10 (inches)
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Located in: Dalton, GA
Submitted: September 26, 2015
Tell us a little about yourself. I am a teacher, writer, and mom of 3 grown kids who were homeschooled k-12. When my youngest child left for college, I began teaching world history at a private school and working on my book King Alfreds English. It was a wonderful project that helped me as I adjusted to life without children in the house (where did all the music, conversation, and chaos go?!). Since then I have branched into working with adult literacy and helping kids trying to get their GED. I have lived in Georgia all my life.
What was your motivation behind this project? Ever since I took a college class in the history of the English language, I felt it was a shame that the subject is reserved for college English majors only! It should be taught in high school or even younger. The subject matter is intrinsically interesting to anyone who speaks English. It enhances one's understanding of English literature, gives clarity and a basic framework for understanding English history (which to me had always seemed dense and way too complicated), and it opens the doors to get a peek at how languages operate, how they change over time, and why we speak as we do today. So I didn't want those in middle school or high school, or just the non-English majors, to miss out!
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? My hope is that readers will gain a foundation for a better understanding of the Middle Ages, the Reformation, English literature, and especially the English Bible. I want King Alfred's English to deepen the reader's faith. I also wanted to provide some quality laugh-out-loud moments. History can be very humorous because of the perspective it gives us on our own lives or by way of the events themselves, but historians just seem to leave these things out of the usual textbook. What a waste!
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? I began this project thinking I would put together a brief "paper" on the history of English and market it to homeschoolers. The history of English had been my favorite subject in college and I still had all my old notes. But the project soon mushroomed and I couldn't seem to quit. I kept running into men like the Venerable Bede, Wycliffe, Tyndale, and of course, Alfred himself, who captured my heart and drew me into their story. I was continually saying, "This is profound. I can't leave this out," or "Wow, I have to include that!" and "Oh, no, this is too funny--gotta fit that in somewhere!" Before I knew it, five years had gone by and I had a book. So the book didn't change me so much as the men of faith did--their lives, their stories. Well, the book started me on a new career path--that was a huge impact!
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? Top of the list, without question, is C.S. Lewis. His books began to shape my thinking in college and I have read and re-read them ever since. Then also Dr. Paul Brand, Richard Foster, John Eldredge, Stephen Covey, Dr. Eliot Engel, and more recently N.T. Wright and Eric Metaxas, to name just a few. I tend to read a lot of non-fiction, so when I turn to fiction, it is usually something easy to read. For instance, my daughter recently gave me Ready Player One, and I loved it! I also enjoy children's novels. I read The Little Princess a few months ago, then went on to A Wrinkle in Time which I somehow missed reading even though my kids all read and loved it years ago. I love Jane Austin, both the books and the films. Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth--does it get any better than that?
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: Thank you for coming to my page on CBD!
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