I read The Surgeon of Crowthorne: a tale of murder, madness & the love of words, by Simon Winchester, many years ago and loved the true story of two of the men behind the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary. Pip Williams also read it, and wondered about the women who were involved, and whether women use words differently, and have their own words that were not included. This is a fictional account, with many characters from real life, about Esme, who spent her childhood in the Scriptorium amongst the dictionary work, and grew to love words, and collect the words and meanings specific to women. Set in Oxford from the late 1800s, it’s about women’s suffrage, the power of language, and deep human connection. It is atmospheric and lyrical, romantic and moving.