David Crystal

On this site you’ll find details of my books, articles, and other materials, along with a short biography and links to related websites. The site also includes a page about Hilary's writing and a link to Ben's website.


David works from his home in Holyhead, North Wales, as a writer, editor, lecturer, and broadcaster. Born in Lisburn, Northern Ireland in 1941, he spent his early years in Holyhead. His family moved to Liverpool in 1951, and he received his secondary schooling at St Mary’s College. He read English at University College London (1959-62), specialised in English language studies, did some research there at the Survey of English Usage under Randolph Quirk (1962-3), then joined academic life as a lecturer in linguistics, first at Bangor, then at Reading.
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The Crystal Books Project

Of the 100+ books listed on this site, many are now out-of-print. I often get emails from people trying to track down a copy. The emergence of e-books as a genre now offers a new opportunity to make out-of-print books available once again in various formats. The project also includes books of ours that fall outside the remit of conventional trade publishing.


Ben and David Crystal Everyday Shakespeare: Lines for Life, was published by Chambers in May.  An audio book is scheduled for September. Related talks will take place at the British Library (18 July) and at the litfests in Marlborough (30 September), Ilkley (7 October), Yeovil (29 October), Folkestone (21 November). Events also scheduled: The Verb (Radio 3) on 6 July and the Michael Portillo Show (GBNews) on 16 July.

Later in the year will see A Date with Language, published by the Bodleian Press. And the 7th edition of the Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics, with the aid of Alan Yu, is also scheduled for later this year.

As of 2022, HIlary's books are now available in print and e-book formats. See her page for details.

Talks and book signings

 I'm no longer giving many public talks, but am happy to consider invitations to speak via online media. To arrange an event, please get in touch with Hilary Crystal (via the Contact page of this website), who can provide information about costs and other details.

I often get requests for signed copies of my books; but the opportunities to have a book signed are now very limited. So if you'd like a signed copy, there are two ways to arrange this:
  • You can send an email request for books using the above link and, if we have them, we'll send you a quote in the form of an e-invoice for the cost of the book(s), plus postage. The books will be sent on receipt of payment. We normally send books by second-class post, so you'll need to let us know if you want a faster or tracked delivery. Please include the name of the recipient, the delivery address, and tell us if the book is for a special occasion (birthday, leaving present, etc).
  • You can buy the book yourself and send it to my home address (14 Gors Avenue, Holyhead, LL65 1PB, UK) together with a stamped addressed envelope for its return. If you live outside the UK, this is the only method available.

                                                                                                             This website © 2020 David Crystal.