The Reader Over Your Shoulder

A classic guide to clear English prose


Robert Graves, and Alan Hodge


Jonathan Cape, London, 1955
The Reader Over Your ShoulderThe Reader Over Your ShoulderThe Reader Over Your Shoulder

Printing Details

Reprint. Hardback in dustwrapper. 22.5 × 15cm, 221pp.

Written during the first years of the Second World War and first published in 1943, Graves and Hodge’s idea was simple enough: at a time when their whole world was falling apart, the survival of English prose sentences, of writing that was clear, concise, intelligible, had become paramount if hope were going to survive the onslaught. They came up with forty-one principles for writing, the majority devoted to clarity, the remainder to grace of expression. They studied the prose of a wide range of noted authors and leaders, finding much room for improvement.


A good copy. The dustwrapper has some surface abrasions and scuffing, the book has light scattered foxing to the prelims and page edges but is otherwise a good, sound copy.



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