Glee-man, high-deedy & bendsome: a language to save England

Siân Rees shares the story of an eccentric Victorian vicar who invented a new language to try and solve the problems of 19th-century England

Siân Rees shares the story of an eccentric Victorian vicar who invented a new language to try and solve the problems of 19th-century England. (Image by Getty Images)

Poverty and riots racked 19th-century rural England, but one eccentric Victorian cleric was convinced he had the solution – inventing a new language. Siân Rees introduces us to Reverend William Barnes, who developed a new version of English stripped of foreign words, which he was convinced would bind the nation together and return England to a state of harmony.

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