This book provides an outline history of English spelling from the Anglo-Saxons' adoption of the Roman alphabet to the present day. It shows the respective influences on modern usage of native French and Latin orthographies and attempts a definition of the manner in which spelling stabilised. A final chapter traces changing notions of correctness in spelling during the last four centuries, and also gives a summary of the principle movements for its reform in favour of a more consistent and phonetic system of notion. Students in higher education specialising in English or linguistics and also those studying other languages at an advanced level should find this a useful book. The general reader with an interest in the history of his language or the question of spelling will find it most readable.