It’s dawn chez Docx and I am lying in the sumptuous Arcadia of my private apartments wondering how best to carry out the Herculean labour with which I have been tasked: namely, to review the packed and teeming 1480 pages of the 19th edition of Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. For those unfamiliar, this gargantuan work was first compiled by a certain Dr Ebenezer Cobham Brewer and published in 1870. And it contains within its monumental covers the definitions-of, the explanations-as-to, the derivations-from-which, the surmises-about, the references-to, the anecdotes-concerning and the curiosities-pertaining-to pretty much… well, every phrase and fable ever used in this great language of ours. The mother of all bastards to review, in other words.
Worse, in recent days, I have been lamenting out loud the cloth-ears and clacking-tongues of many of my fellow critics, who seem not to have studied either the language or literature