John Simpson
Photo credit: Blooming Photography (www.bloomingphotography.co.uk)

I was Chief Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary for 20 years until 2013. I decided not to haunt the offices as a returning ghost, although I still do some work remotely for the dictionary, helping to add new antedatings (especially those from the 16th and 17th centuries, which I think are important) and generally tidying things up in the background without interfering too much with what the new editors are doing.

From time to time I’m asked to talk about the dictionary. It’s an interesting story and I’ve lived through the latter part of it. But really I prefer writing and researching on words, history, culture, and where they intersect. Amongst other things I now co-edit James Joyce Online Notes and run the Pittville History Works project in Cheltenham. Additionally I’m investigating the lives of paupers in Cheltenham in the early to mid nineteenth century, looking for similarities in their age, gender, origin, life history, and (often most devastatingly) their fate.

See my Wikipedia page for some other background information.

One thought on “Welcome

  1. Hi John
    Your website is most interesting and I was really pleased to now have a photo of you as you are a relative, albeit somewhat distant. So good to know more about you! Julie


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