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    The Man Who Lost His Language (Hardback) By (author) Sheila Hale

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    DescriptionSir John Hale is one of the worlds foremost Renaissance historians whose book "The Civilization of Europe in the Renaissance" (1993) won the Royal Society of Literature's Heinemann award and the international silver pen. Soon after delivering the second draft of his text, Hale had a stroke that deprived him of the power of speech. His wife Shelia Hale, set out to find out what had happened and how John might be brought back to normal as far as possible. The book combines a detailed account of dysphasia and what he can tell us about language with a personal account of John and Shelia's own expericences.


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  • Full bibliographic data for The Man Who Lost His Language

    Title
    The Man Who Lost His Language
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Sheila Hale
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 320
    Width: 142 mm
    Height: 216 mm
    Thickness: 32 mm
    Weight: 540 g
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9780713993615
    ISBN 10: 0713993618
    Classifications

    BIC E4L: BIO
    BIC subject category V2: BGA, VFJB
    LC subject heading: ,
    DC21: 362.196810092
    BIC subject category V2: MJC
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T4.6A
    BIC subject category V2: VFG
    BISAC V2.8: MED022000, HEA039000
    LC subject heading:
    BISAC V2.8: BIO000000, HEA028000
    LC subject heading:
    Thema V1.0: VFJB, MJC, DNBA, VFG
    Publisher
    Penguin Books Ltd
    Imprint name
    ALLEN LANE
    Publication date
    04 July 2002
    Publication City/Country
    London
    Author Information
    Sheila Hale is a distinguished travel writer and journalist and author of guides to Florence and Tuscany, Venice and Verona. She has written for a number of American and British newspapers and magazines including The New York Times, the Observer, the Times Literary Supplement, and the London Review of Books.
    Review text
    Sir John Hale was a world-renowned historian of the Renaissance, an erudite and delightful man with an extraordinary capacity for knowledge and a vast circle of friends. But in July 1992, his wife Sheila heard a crash from his study and found him lying on the floor, smiling vacantly and uttering the same phrase over and over again: 'da woahs, da woahs'. He had suffered a catastrophic stroke, and the doctors said he would probably never speak or walk again. This exceptional book is Sheila Hale's record of the years that followed, as she fought to save John from being consigned to the dark recesses of the NHS and help him regain his physical and mental faculties - particularly his language. It's a book with two interwoven threads. The first and last sections cover the tale of John's painfully slow recovery. Memoirs about serious illness are common these days, but this one stands out for the honesty, dedication and beautiful writing of its author. The parts describing the dreadful treatment John receives at the hands of the NHS (one consultant tells Sheila to put him in a home and forget about him) inspire murderous rage in the reader; elsewhere, the descriptions of John's ability to communicate wordlessly and mimic the voices of the people he meets are vivid and touching. But perhaps the most gripping part of this enormously readable book is that in which Sheila Hale discusses the different varieties of aphasia - inability to form language - and their neurological base. We usually think of language as a single distinct capacity, but this could not be more wrong. John Hale could write down the names of painters whose pictures he was shown but not say them; he could recognize the most abstruse items of vocabulary and put them into a sentence, but he could not understand the meaning of a question beginning 'why' or 'what'. Later Hale introduces us to an aphasic who could sing but not speak, one who could say the name of objects put in his left hand but not in his right, one whose language cortex had been cut off from the rest of her brain so she could repeat sentences perfectly but had no idea of their meaning. The understanding of the different areas of the brain and their relationship to language use has progressed slowly over the years, but neurologists are still in the dark about much of it, and speech therapy dealing with neurological rather than physical problems is in its infancy. This book leads the reader into a little-known and fascinating science which is central to our understanding of ourselves as human beings. It is both an absorbing introduction to aphasia and a deeply moving testimony to the power of human love and devotion. (Kirkus UK)