Review: Jersey Place Names: A Corpus of Jersey Toponymy Volumes 1 and 2 by C. Stevens, J. Arthur, J. Stevens and F. Le Maistre (1986) Assessment 9 out of 10

A work of great scholarship.

Published over 30 years ago , it is a Book on which the authors had worked for the previous 30 years. It was produced in a limited print run. I had sought to acquire a copy, but this proved impossible. in 2017 the Societe Jersiase produced a Second Edition, which is a facsimile of the original 1986 edition in 2 volumes in A4 size format with addenda.

The first volume runs to 601 pages and lists place names and personal and family names from which place names are often derived. It includes 11,500 field names, scarcely believable in an island measuring only 119.5 sq kms and, being Jersey , the names of offshore rocks & shoals. The second volume comprises facsimiles of the incredibly detailed maps handwritten on to the 12.5 ” scale Ordnance Survey of the 1930s. It also includes an index to the map facsimiles. The Second Edition is available through the Societe for a bargain price of £35 less 10 % if you are a member. I urge you to buy a copy. For me it will be a source of knowledge & delight for the years to come.

I would rate volume one of the 2017 facsimile 9 out of 10 and volume two 6 out of 10 only, as the format in which the maps have been reproduced makes them difficult to read. To use them in practice, it is necessary to go back to the originally published volumes. However the index only appears in the second edition of volume two. Note the index can be used to work with the original maps. It also worth accessing the interactive place names map on the Societe’s website http://jpn.societe-jersiaise.org/

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