Originally published during the early part of the twentieth century, the Cambridge
Manuals of Science and Literature were designed to provide concise
introductions to a broad range of topics. They were written by experts for the
general reader and combined a comprehensive approach to knowledge with an
emphasis on accessibility. Published in 1911, W. W. Skeat's English Dialects
from the Eighth Century to the Present Day offers a sketch of the beginnings of
dialects in England, the elements of Scandinavian and French influence on
them, and their gradual development over a period of twelve hundred years.