Magazine
Latest Issue

Peter Frankopan: The book that changed my life

"It was like a rite of passage—one that got me thinking about relationships between languages, about how they evolve, change and borrow from each other"

By Peter Frankopan  

The Loom of Language by Frederick Bodmer

We spent our summer holidays by a lake, set in the middle of a forest in Sweden—miles from anywhere, anyone or anything. It didn’t take long to start working through my grandfather’s book collection and to get hooked by Russian novels of the 19th century.

These all made a big impact on me; but so too did a book published in 1944 by Frederick Bodmer called The Loom of Language. “What language we habitually speak,” he says at the start, “depends upon a geographical accident.” It has nothing…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect