âAn absolutely fascinating blend of history, design, sociology, and cultural poeticsâhighly recommended.ââMaria Popova, Brain PickingsA charming and indispensable tour of two thousand years of the written word, Shady Characters weaves a fascinating trail across the parallel histories of language and typography.
Whether investigating the asterisk (*) and dagger (â )âwhich alternately illuminated and skewered heretical verses of the early Bibleâor the at sign (@), which languished in obscurity for centuries until rescued by the Internet, Keith Houston draws on myriad sources to chart the life and times of these enigmatic squiggles, both exotic (Â¶) and everyday (&).
From the Library of Alexandria to the halls of Bell Labs, figures as diverse as Charlemagne, Vladimir Nabokov, and George W. Bush cross paths with marks as obscure as the interrobang (?) and as divisive as the dash (â). Ancient Roman graffiti, Venetian trading shorthand, Cold War double agents, and Madison Avenue round out an ever more diverse set of episodes, characters, and artifacts.
Richly illustrated, ranging across time, typographies, and countries, Shady Characters will delight and entertain all who cherish the unpredictable and surprising in the writing life.2-color; 75 illustrations
Pricing is shown for items sent to or within the U.S., excluding shipping and tax. Please consult the store to determine exact fees. No warranties are made express or implied about the accuracy, timeliness, merit, or value of the information provided. Information subject to change without notice. isbn.nu is not a bookseller, just an information source.