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99. the first time, before arri ving in the biggest 978 I 84 I58783 7 city they had ever encountered: Liverpool. Such sights were as nothing , however, to what they would experience once aboard begin s to acquire epic stature in the ir heroic ship, on a voyage that was extraordinary journey in search of a better life. and yet shared by thou sands. In the second The fascinating insights into America in half of the nineteenth ce ntury, the deci sion the making are nevertheless secondary to the to leave "the dirty, troubled old world central narrative which, by its very nature, behind and walk to America" was taken pieced together from parish records, Victorian by 6 million people from England, Ireland, travels, newspapers and family memories, Scotland and Wales - a fifth of the remains tantalizingly incomplete.

T he above picture of a semicolon being intimidated by parentheses is taken from a peculiar book called In the Land of Punctuation , an illustrated version of a poem by the German writer Christian Morgenstern (1871 - 1914). It describes how "the peaceful land of Punctuation" is disturbed by semi- e colons. Commas assemble to see them off: Within the hour they form their troops, an anti-semicolon group. No sooner have the semicolons been despatched than dashes arrive and "cut across the commas' necks".

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