By Keith Houston
“An totally attention-grabbing combination of background, layout, sociology, and cultural poetics―highly recommended.”―Maria Popova, Brain Pickings
an enthralling and crucial travel of 2 thousand years of the written note, Shady Characters weaves a desirable path around the parallel histories of language and typography.
Whether investigating the asterisk (*) and dagger (†)―which alternately illuminated and skewered heretical verses of the early Bible―or the at signal (@), which languished in obscurity for hundreds of years until eventually rescued through the web, Keith Houston attracts on myriad resources to chart the lifestyles and instances of those enigmatic squiggles, either unique (¶) and daily (&).
From the Library of Alexandria to the halls of Bell Labs, figures as different as Charlemagne, Vladimir Nabokov, and George W. Bush pass paths with marks as vague because the interrobang (?) and as divisive because the sprint (―). historic Roman graffiti, Venetian buying and selling shorthand, chilly conflict double brokers, and Madison street around out an ever extra different set of episodes, characters, and artifacts.
Richly illustrated, ranging throughout time, typographies, and international locations, Shady Characters will satisfaction and entertain all who cherish the unpredictable and outstanding within the writing life.
2-color; seventy five illustrations