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Please note: this event has passed

Join us for an in-person launch celebrating the publication of Dyslexia: A History (McGill-Queen's University Press) by Dr Philip Kirby and Professor Margaret J Snowling.


About the event:

The event will start with a presentation of the book and its inception by Prof Maggie Snowling and Dr Philip Kirby.

Prof Snowling will then chair a panel discussion, for which Dr Kirby will be joined by King's alumna Onyinye Udokporo, who has recently published her book Dyslexia & Me on her lived experience of dyslexia as a black woman, and Darren Clark, CEO of the charity Succeed With Dyslexia.

They will also answer questions from the audience.

The event will close with a book signing - by Dr Kirby and Prof Snowling as well as Ms Udokporo - and a drinks and canapés reception.

Everyone is welcome, but please register to join the event, and let us know of any dietary and/or access requirements.

About the book: 

In 1896 the British physician William Pringle Morgan published an account of “Percy,” a “bright and intelligent boy, quick at games, and in no way inferior to others of his age.” Yet, in spite of his intelligence, Percy had great difficulty learning to read.

Percy was one of the first children to be described as having word-blindness, better known today as dyslexia. In this first comprehensive history of dyslexia Philip Kirby and Margaret Snowling chart a journey that begins with Victorian medicine and continues to dyslexia’s current status as the most globally recognised specific learning difficulty. In an engaging narrative style, Kirby and Snowling tell the story of dyslexia, examining its origins and revealing the many scientists, teachers, and campaigners who put it on the map. Through this history they explain current debates over the diagnosis of dyslexia and its impact on learning.

For those who have lived experience of dyslexia, professionals who have supported them, and scholars of social history, education, psychology, and childhood studies, Dyslexia reflects on the place of literacy in society – whom it has benefited, and whom it has left behind.

"Kirby and Snowling offer a superb understanding of the trends and issues relating to dyslexia from the late nineteenth century to present day. Far more than a chronology, this is an astute and cleverly researched account of the concept of dyslexia, its controversy, and the academic, political, and social influences that have shaped our current understanding of this disability. An outstanding piece of work." Gavin Reid, co-author of The Dyslexia Assessment

"Kirby and Snowling do a great service to the study of dyslexia by analyzing, with clarity and authority, much of the hundred and fifty years of historical documents on dyslexia research, practice and policy, and placing them within a modern perspective. They show convincingly how a scientific understanding of dyslexia has grown over time, whereas the more social-focused arguments for difficulties in education and employment have been recognized for much of this history." John Everatt, University of Canterbury

Find more information and the table of contents on the McGill-Queen's University Press website.

To receive a 30% discount on the book, please order directly from Marston Book Services - by email at or phone +44 (0)1235 465577 - and quote promotional code: MQF2.

Watch the recording of the event:

At this event

Philip Kirby

Lecturer in Social Justice

Onyinye Udokporo

Entrepreneur, educator and public speaker