The Adventure of English, a captivating documentary series tracing the history of the English language, debuts on home video from Athena on June 2, 2009. Telling the story of how English became a global language, this 8-part series features location footage, rare manuscripts, linguistic experts, and fascinating etymologies to chart the growth of English, its encounters with other languages, its history, and its far-ranging influence. Bonus features include a 20-page viewer's guide and exclusive extras that take the educational experience beyond the screen. The Adventure of English (DVD 4-volume, $79.99, www.AcornOnline.com) is one of the first releases in the Athena line, Acorn Media Group's new home video brand for consumers interested in lifelong learning through documentary programming.
Respected author and broadcaster Melvyn Bragg and a host of experts explore the vibrant 1,500-year history of the English language. How did it grow from a relatively insignificant Germanic dialect to become the premier language of culture, commerce, and diplomacy around the globe? The answer involves bloody conquest, political intrigue, and plenty of creativity. Renowned authorities such as Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney, co-founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company John Barton, and Elizabethan scholar Katherine Duncan-Jones explain the development of English in entertaining detail. In this fascinating, eight-part documentary, Bragg and his colleagues examine the life of the language, showing how diverse forces-from Beowulf to the Bible, from Shakespeare to American slang-shaped the way we communicate today. The Adventure of English premiered on ITV in the U.K. in November 2003 and also aired on the History Channel networks.
Acorn Media is introducing a new label, the Athena line of titles. Among the first releases is The Adventure of English
British mini-series, which aired in 2003. This 4-DVD set running 408 minutes costs $79.99 SRP, and besides the 8 episodes you'll also get exclusive web extras, "Architects of the Language" biographies, an essay: "The Evolution of the English Alphabet," and a 20-page viewer's guide that includes key points, discussion questions, avenues for further learning. English subtitles are included, too. Here's a look at the packaging: