The Story Of Writing - Andrew Robinson

Seeing ancient writing in Egypt got me interested in the subject, so I thought I'd get a book on the subject. This one seemed popular on Amazon, and is basically a coffee-table book on the subject ("With over 350 illustrations, 50 in colour"). At the same time it's reasonably academic, to the extent of having a thesis (that all writing forms are essentially phonographic and that e.g. the logographic nature of Chinese writing is rather overstated). This dual nature is present throughout the book, shown up in, for example, the related books list, which states that it is no academic bibliography, before producing a list that looks rather like one.

The overall presentation is very light, yet it feels like it has some good underlying solidity, making for a very readable book.

Posted 2004-08-28.