Having published the monumental six-volume Cambridge History of the English Language the editors and contributors breathed a sigh of relief ... then went on to produce this more affordable and student-friendly version. It goes through the history of English not by period but by topic.
The topics are a good balance of structural aspects (such as phonology, morphology and syntax) and language variation and use, not only in Britain but also in other parts of the world. The contributors are all leading figures in the field, and they all write as leading figures should. Quite a few histories of English are available, but this really is the best pound-for-pound contender out there.
Who is it for? Any history of English course that deals with structure, variation and use and doesn't shy away from theory.
Presentation - Carefully edited, with helpful suggestions for further reading.
Would you recommend it? Right now this isn't a but the history of the English language.