Archive for January 3rd, 2015


the right word

by Sam Juliano

Note: The following is a transcript of a chat this writer conducted last week at the upper eastside apartment of Agnes Wordsworth, the 88 year-old great-granddaughter of literary icon and famed inventor Peter Mark Roget, the father of the thesaurus- and herself a retired librarian in the New York City public school system.  Ms. Wordsworth worked for years in the children’s section, and sprite and aware as ever, graciously agreed to a 90 minute discussion.  The most notable highlights are printed here.

SJ: (shaking hands warmly) Hello Ms. Wordsworth!  I am so honored to meet you my friend.  Thanks so much for putting aside some of your valued time!

AW: The honor is mine, Sir.  Since Jennifer Bryant and Melissa Sweet’s The Right Word was released earlier this year, I’ve gotten more than a few calls about my famous great-grandfather, whom I will refer to from here on as Peter.  As you may know my grandmother Kate -one of the loveliest of people- was Peter Roget’s daughter.  My own mother, Constance does remember him, as he lived to the ripe old age of 90.  I guess we have longevity in the genes. (laughs heartily).  Anyway, can I offer you some tea and lemon cake?  The local bakery up here is mighty fine. (more…)

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