Reference Library

Episodes

SeriesEpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
0101Whitaker's Almanack1999070119991115

Simon Fanshawe investigates the histories of great reference books. 1: `Whitaker's Almanack'. Joseph Whitaker founded the Bookseller magazine and wrote religious tracts for prisoners. Then he turned a newspaper column into a bumper book of facts that took Victorian England by storm.

0102Halliwell's Filmgoer's Companion And Film Guide1999070819991116

Simon Fanshawe investigates the histories of great reference books. 2: `Halliwell's Filmgoer's Companion and Film Guide'. Leslie Halliwell saw his first film at the age of four, and in his youth visited all 47 cinemas within reach of his home in Bolton. His obsession with film led him to write the first encyclopedia of the cinema, typed with two fingers at his dining-room table.

0103Brewer's Dictionary Of Phrase And Fable1999071519991117

Simon Fanshawe investigates the histories of great reference books. 3: `Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable'. First published in 1870, Ebenezer Cobham's dictionary was one of the great works of Victorian classification, and has never been out of print.

0104Fowler's Modern English Usage1999072219991118

Simon Fanshawe investigates the histories of great reference books.

4: `Fowler's Modern English Usage'.

Henry Fowler was a schoolmaster who abandoned teaching for scholarly work.

Intended to encourage the clear use of words, his book has informed language students ever since.

0105 LASTWalker's Rhyming Dictionary1999072919991119

Simon Fanshawe investigates the histories of great reference books. 5: `Walker's Rhyming Dictionary'. In 1775, the actor, philologist and lexicographer John Walker, published his rhyming dictionary with the intention of helping foreigners and provincials with pronunciation, but the book was an instant hit in the literary world.

0201Wisden Cricketers' Almanac2000110720010402

Simon Fanshawe investigates the histories of great reference books. 2: Wisden Cricketers' Almanac. Now over 1,500 pages long, Wisden has appeared every year since 1864, cramming in the statistics of every innings in first-class cricket.

0202A Dictionary Of Slang And Unconventional English2000111420010403

Simon Fanshawe investigates the histories of great reference books.

3: A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English.

Eric Partridge spent his life collecting oddities of spoken English, first publishing his classic dictionary in 1937.

0203Bradford's Crossword Solver's Dictionary2000112120010404

Simon Fanshawe investigates the histories of great reference books. 4: Bradford's Crossword Solver's Dictionary. For half a century, Anne Bradford has solved 20 crosswords a week and kept notes about the answers. Today, her solver's dictionary runs to over 700 pages.

0204The Grove Dictionary Of Music And Musicians2000112820010405

Simon Fanshawe investigates the histories of great reference books. 4: The Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. The great Victorian educator Sir George Grove produced his musical encyclopaedia in four volumes, the last of which was published in 1889. The second edition is about to appear, but this has 29 volumes, over 6,000 contributors - and is to go online.

0205 LASTPalgrave's Golden Treasury2000120520010406

Simon Fanshawe investigates the histories of great reference books. 5: Palgrave's Golden Treasury. In 1861, the Professor of Poetry at Oxford, Francis Turner Palgrave, brought together in a single volume what he considered the best lyrical poems in English. It was a personal selection, some would say an eccentric one, but it has become the best-loved book of poems ever published.

0301Jane's Fighting Ships2002073020030210

Simon Fanshawe investigates the histories of great reference books. 1: `Jane's Fighting Ships'. The essential naval vade mecum was founded over 100 years ago by Fred T Jane.

0302Dictionary Of The Yorkshire Dialect2002080620030211

With Simon Fanshawe. 2: Dictionary of the Yorkshire Dialect. If you don't know what a dockener or a mowdiwarp is, there is a publication that can help you / With Simon Fanshawe. 2: `Dictionary of the Yorkshire Dialect'. If you don't know what a dockener or a mowdiwarp is, there is a publication that can help you.

0303Gray's Anatomy2002081320030212

With Simon Fanshawe. 3: Gray's Anatomy. Launched by Charles Gray in the 1850s, the 39th edition of the medical student's bible is being prepared for publication in 2004 / With Simon Fanshawe. 3: `Gray's Anatomy'. Launched by Charles Gray in the 1850s, the 39th edition of the medical student's bible is being prepared for publication in 2004.

0304British Hit Singles2002082020030213

Simon Fanshawe investigates the histories of great reference books. 4: `British Hit Singles'. Launched 25 years ago, the listing now spans half a century of the British charts / Simon Fanshawe investigates the histories of great reference books. 4: British Hit Singles. Launched over 25 years ago, the listing now spans half a century of the British charts.

0305Old Moore's Almanack2002082720030214

Simon Fanshawe investigates the histories of great reference books. 5: Old Moore's Almanack. First published over 300 years ago, the book of predictions retains its popularity.