The Book of Human Emotions: From Ambiguphobia to Umpty - 154 Words from Around the World for How We Feel - Tiffany Watt Smith 2016


This book began as an inspired idea by Kirty Topiwala at the Wellcome Collection, and Fay Bound Alberti suggested I might be the one to take it on. Thank you both. Kirty and Cecily Gayford have stewarded the project with great sensitivity and I couldn’t have asked for better editors. I am grateful to Elsa Richardson for her diligence as a research assistant in the final stages. Thanks too to Andrew Franklin for his enthusiasm and excellent jokes, to Trevor Horwood for assiduous copyediting, to my agent Jon Elek for his support and expertise, and to Penny Daniel, Drew Jerrison and the teams at both Profile Books and Wellcome Collection for steering this project through to publication and beyond.

Academic research isn’t as solitary as it might appear, and I count myself very lucky to have such generous-spirited colleagues. My deepest thanks and respect go to Thomas Dixon, Jen Harvie, Katherine Angel, Elena Carrera and Rhodri Hayward. To all those who have given papers at the Queen Mary Center for the History of Emotions, written for our blog or swapped ideas in the pub, thank you: this project is indebted to your work. I’d also like to thank all in Queen Mary’s School of English and Drama, as well as the Wellcome Trust for supporting the Center’s activities, and the British Academy for supporting my own research.

While I was doing the research for this book, many people took time to answer my questions, spoke about their emotions and shared unpublished research. My sincere thanks to Carolyn Burdett, Susie Orbach, Dan Susman, Jade Shepherd, Richard Firth-Godbehere, Erin Sullivan, Barbara Taylor, Nathan Abrams, Nadia Davids, Joanna Cohen, Colin Jones, Adrian Howe, Alice Haddon, Mandy Reichwald, Enda Hughes and Tom and Cat Watt-Smith. And for their help with unfamiliar concepts and foreign words, thanks to Preti Taneja, Yukiko Kinoshita, James and Kyoko Bowskill, Tiziana Morosetti, Margherita Laera, Llyr Gwyn, Gregory Tate, Marta Magalhães, Yaron Shavit, Julia Boffey, and my fellow ambiguphobes, Kieron Humphrey and Stephen Burn. Any inaccuracies are entirely my responsibility.

Thank you to H. Plewis for providing a quiet and inspiring place to work at a crucial moment, and to the many friends who listened patiently as this project took shape. I am, as ever, very grateful to my supportive parents, Ursula and Ian, especially for helping make it possible to juggle having a young child with writing.

And most of all, thank you, Michael. For everything you’ve done to inspire, encourage, and create the space for me to finish this, my eternal love and deepest admiration. And to Alice, who arrived in the middle of my writing this, thank you, too. You’re too young to know it, but you bring the world to life.