[Spellyans] A Concise Dictionary of Middle English

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Sun Apr 26 13:45:40 BST 2009

Evertype announces the publication of a new edition of Mayhew and  
Skeat's "Concise Dictionary of Middle English", first published in 1888.

Although in the age of the Internet we have access to the magnificent  
Middle English Compendium -- http://quod.lib.umich.edu/m/med/ --  
hosted by the University of Michigan, few students of Middle English  
would question the usefulness of a desktop copy for day-to-day  
reference. There has been no handy, reliable edition of such a  
dictionary for many years. The 1888 edition of Mayhew and Skeat’s  
Concise Dictionary of Middle English can sometimes be found in  
antiquarian bookshops, but it is scarce, and available copies vary in  
both condition and cost. This new edition of Mayhew and Skeat has been  
revised and completely reset for the modern reader. It offers in a  
concise form more than 11,000 headwords with source references, cross  
references, and etymologies.

Free online digital editions of the dictionary are now available at  
two major archives, and these too are useful for online searching.  
Some of these have been edited into legible formats; some are more or  
less raw ascii texts. A few “publishers” have released printed  
versions which are little more than dumps of those plain-text files --  
and I use the scare quotes advisedly here, feeling sorry for those  
students who have bought those editions thinking that they were, in  
fact, buying proper dictionaries.

This edition has been set in Baskerville, a clear and accessible font,  
which it is hoped, will increase the legibility of the book. Further  
choices made in typesetting have led to additional changes in format,  
both for aesthetic reasons and to modernize the text in line with the  
contemporary reader’s expectations.

Copies may be obtained from Amazon.co.uk, from Amazon.com, or (in  
quantity) at a discount from the publisher. See http://www.evertype.com/books/middle-english-dictionary.html 
  for links.

Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com

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