Illustrations by Stuart Hay (1889-1969), an American cartoonist, illustrator and architect.
Published by Frederick A. Stokes Company, New York, 1920.
“This is the story of a little girl who visited the Land behind the Dictionary and found out for herself that Words are alive. She had never felt friendly toward the Dictionary before, and she did not even know that she had anything to do with whether Words lived or died, but the minute she found herself at the top of the escalator in Wordland, with its crowds of lively little Word People, she began to believe that Words are truly one of the most interesting things in the world. During her exciting adventures she met the Words who live in the English Wordland; plain, strong Anglo-Saxon Words, French Aristocrat Words who came over with William the Conqueror, the old Giant Greek and Latin Words, foreign Words from every land who have been adopted by Mother English Language, and the happy-go-lucky slang Words who live in a gipsy camp outside of Dictionary Town. She found out that Words are born when we begin using them and die when we stop using them; that many Words in the beginning did not mean at all what we have made them mean, and that many have life stories as fascinating as fairy tales.”
There’s a new edition available from Evertype: Eileen’s Adventures in Wordland: The Life Story of our Word Friends