Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Edward Sorel: The English Language Tower of Babel

Mistress Quickly:  What, John Rugby! I pray thee, go to the casement and see if you can see my master, Master Doctor Caius, coming. If he do, i’ faith, and find anybody in the house, here will be an old abusing of God’s patience and the King’s English.
The Merry Wives of Windsor

Act I, scene iv
William Shakespeare

Illustrator Edward Sorel, who last week turned 90, has been producing outstanding work for some six decades. To demonstrate this, Tom Bloom has scanned a page from the March 2, 1962 issue of Life with a forgotten full-page illustration by the then thirty-two-year-old Sorel, already a creative force to be reckoned with. 

In "The English Language," author Lincoln Barnett points out the remarkable fact that English has become the most spoken language in the world. Sorel has illustrated the point with an English-speaking Tower of Babel. Shakespeare himself presides at the top of the tower, reciting his own words from The Merry Wives of Windsor. On the left, Nikita Krushchev just slightly mangles the language with his "Very OK" while Prime Minister Nehru and the Dalai Lama converse with each other not in their native languages but in English.

Edward Sorel
Life, March 2, 1962, page 72
Scan by Tom Bloom

Other illustrations from the article are available on Google Books:


Note:  Merci à Tom Bloom for submitting the color scan of the Tower of Babel. This is Tom's sixth contribution to Attempted Bloggery.

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Edward Sorel



Tom Bloom

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