A Dictionary of Sexual Language and Imagery in Shakespearean and Stuart Literature: Three Volume Set Volume I A-F Volume II G-P Volume III Q-Z

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A&C Black, Sep 13, 2001 - Literary Criticism - 560 pages
Providing an alphabetical listing of sexual language and locution in 16th and 17th-century English, this book draws especially on the more immediate literary modes: the theatre, broadside ballads, newsbooks and pamphlets. The aim is to assist the reader of Shakespearean and Stuart literature to identify metaphors and elucidate meanings; and more broadly, to chart, through illustrative quotation, shifting and recurrent linguistic patterns. Linguistic habit is closely bound up with the ideas and assumptions of a period, and the figurative language of sexuality across this period is highly illuminating of socio-cultural change as well as linguistic development. Thus the entries offer as much to those concerned with social history and the history of ideas as to the reader of Shakespeare or Dryden.

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An earlier review of this book disparages it, and says that much of it is the result of the fevered imagination of the compiler. Well, I interloaned its three volume edition as published by Athlone and am reading it at the moment, and that seems extremely unfair.; Citations are given for almost all the entries, and reading is believing. This is a very well thought-through as well as erudite dictionary and we should be grateful that it exists. No reading of Shakespeare especially will ever be the same..  

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This book is a riot. I fell onto it at page 680, it's wonderful to know that i can go back to the beginning when i'm too old to actually do it.



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About the author (2001)

Gordon Williams is Reader in English at the University of Wales, Lampeter. Previous books include A Dictionary of Sexual Language and Imagery in Shakespearean and Stuart Literature (3 vols, Athlone, 1994) and Shakespeare, Sex and the Print Revolution (Athlone, 1996).

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