At a grand party to celebrate completion of the first edition of the Dictionary the
Prime Minister of the day called the achievement ‘the greatest enterprise of its
kind in history’. The Times greeted the second edition as ‘The greatest work in dictionary
making ever undertaken’. And The New York Times topped that with ‘The gigantic total
picture of the English language...an epic achievement.’
Wow! So what’s the story? How did it start? What preceded it? Who did the work? Why
did it take so long? How did Oxford get involved? And why is the work never finished?
Rob’s concise history will give you the answers to those questions and more in an
account which naturally focuses on Oxford, home to the Dictionary for 130 years.