From the Anglo-Saxons to the end of the Tudor era, many English glossaries and dictionaries were arranged topically rather than alphabetically and thus reflected the prevailing concerns of theology, philosophy, and natural history. These works are a fascinating part of the topical or onomasiological lexicographical tradition in England. In this book Werner Hüllen presents a learned and readable account of the topical tradition's principles and origins. He
considers early glossaries, treatises for the learning of foreign languages, and didactic dialogues, and provides in-depth examinations of later, more comprehensive works. He shows that the English tradition is
embedded in a rich European tradition whose important representatives, such as Junius and Comenius, had a marked influence on the English methods. The book makes an important contribution to the history of the English lexicon and English semantics, and to the study of English lexicography. It also reveals a great deal about the history of English ideas over nine centuries. "This is a work of enormously broad scholarship, which brings together a range of quite diverse
elements into a coherent narrative which makes for absorbing and often surprisingly entertaining reading..... This is a rich and multifaceted book, and one which will appeal to a variety of audiences."
International Journal of Lexicography"Hüllen brings to life relatively dry and difficult material by applying modern techniques to remote frameworks (such as conversation analysis to Caxton's Dialogues, feminist linguistics to Withals's Dictionarie, and semiotic theory to Wilkins's Philosophical Language and Comenius's Visiable World), setting new standards for research in dictionary history." Anglistik. Mitteilungen
des deutschen Anglistenverbandes