Showing all posts tagged: Pip Williams

Tilda Cobham-Hervey cast as Esme in The Dictionary of Lost Words play

19 September 2023

The Dictionary Of Lost Words show poster

Adelaide based Australian actor Tilda Cobham-Hervey will take the lead role of Esme, in the stage adaptation of The Dictionary of Lost Words, based on the 2020 novel of the same name, written by Australian author Pip Williams.

Set at the beginning of the twentieth century in the British city of Oxford, The Dictionary of Lost Words is a fictionalised recounting of the story behind the publication of the first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. Spanning several decades, the story is narrated by Esme, the daughter of one of the dictionary’s lexicographers.

Last November, the State Theatre Company of South Australia announced they were working with Jessica Arthur to bring Williams’ novel to the stage, which opens on Friday 22 September 2023, in the South Australian capital. After a three week season, the show moves to Sydney, for a season of about seven weeks at Sydney Opera House, from Thursday 26 October 2023.

Cobham-Hervey is both a screen and stage actor. Past film credits include 52 Tuesdays, Hotel Mumbai, and I Am Woman, while previous stage roles include Things I Know to Be True and Vale.


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The 2023 Better Reading Top 100

3 May 2023

The Wife and the Widow by Christian White, and The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams, are among Australian titles I’ve read that make the 2023 Better Reading Top 100 list.

Other books by authors outside of Australia I’ve finished, include Normal People by Sally Rooney, and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

A full list of all one hundred titles in PDF format can be found here. For those not in the know, Better Reading is a Sydney based Australian community of engaged book readers. Just the sort we like…


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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo tops 2023 Dymocks Top 101 book poll

11 April 2023

The Dictionary of Lost Words, by Pip Williams, book cover

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, by American author Taylor Jenkins Reid, has taken out the number one spot in the 2023 Dymocks Top 101 book poll.

Another title I’ve also read, The Dictionary of Lost Words, by South Australian based writer Pip Williams, was voted into the number two slot.


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New Australian books and TBR ideas, 17 February 2023

17 February 2023

Book cover: A Country of Eternal Light by Paul Dalgarno

Here’s a selection of recent or upcoming Australian published books to add to your TBR list, that have caught my eye this week.

  • The Bookbinder of Jericho by Pip Williams — follow up to 2020’s The Dictionary of Lost Words — a story about twin sisters working in the bindery at Oxford University Press during World War I.
  • The Wakes by Dianne Yarwood. Funerals, failing marriages, and a catering business, are the ties that bind five people, to greater or lesser degrees, in Yarwood’s fiction debut.
  • Gigorou by Sasha Kutabah Sarago. The beauty assistant, model, and magazine editor recounts her journey to reconcile her conflict with beauty.
  • The Messiah’s Bride by Megan Norris. The harrowing story of Stefanie Hinrichs, a survivor of an Australian doomsday cult, who was forced to become the child bride of the cult’s leader.
  • A Country of Eternal Light, by Paul Dalgarno. A dead woman travels back and forth through time, and around the globe, as she seeks meaning in life and death.


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Stage and TV for Pip Williams The Dictionary of Lost Words

12 November 2022

The Dictionary of Lost Words, by Pip Williams, book cover

The Dictionary of Lost Words, the debut novel of Adelaide Hills, South Australia, based author Pip Williams, which I happen to be reading at the moment, is to be the subject of not one, but two separate adaptations.

A stage production, directed by Jessica Arthur, a collaboration between the State Theatre Company of South Australia and the Sydney Theatre Company, is set to open in September 2023, in Adelaide. The show then moves to Sydney, where it opens in late October 2023.

And then this week Australian television producers Lisa Scott and Rebecca Summerton announced they had acquired the TV rights to the book, and were planning a six to eight part series. At this stage it remains unknown when the show will go to air.

Set with the publishing of the first Oxford Dictionary as a backdrop, The Dictionary of Lost Words, published in March 2020 by Affirm Press, recounts the story of Esme, the daughter of one of the lexicographers working on production of the dictionary:

Esme’s place is beneath the sorting table, unseen and unheard. One day, she sees a slip containing the word bondmaid flutter to the floor unclaimed. Esme seizes the word and hides it in an old wooden trunk that belongs to her friend, Lizzie, a young servant in the big house. Esme begins to collect other words from the Scriptorium that are misplaced, discarded or have been neglected by the dictionary men. They help her make sense of the world.

Over time, Esme realises that some words are considered more important than others, and that words and meanings relating to women’s experiences often go unrecorded. She begins to collect words for another dictionary: The Dictionary of Lost Words.


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