The Oxford Dictionary of Allusions (Oxford Quick Reference)

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9780198609193: The Oxford Dictionary of Allusions (Oxford Quick Reference)

Allusions form a colourful extension to the English language, drawing on our collective knowledge of literature, mythology, and the Bible to give us a literary shorthand for describing people, places, and events. So a miser is a Scrooge, a strong man is a Samson or a Hercules, a beautiful woman is a Venus or a modern-day Helen of Troy- -we can suffer like Sisyphus, fail like Canute, or linger like the smile of the Cheshire Cat.

This reference work explains the meanings of the allusions in use in modern English, from Abaddon to Zorro, Tartarus to Tarzan, and Rubens to Rambo. Quotations from a range of authors and sources are included at most entries to illustrate usage--anywhere from Thomas Hardy to Ben Elton, Charles Dickens to Bridget Jones's Diary. This second edition includes completely up-to-date allusions--from Gollum to Kofi Annan--and a handy A-Z order has been adopted for extra ease of reference and usability.

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About the Author:


Andrew Delahunty is a dictionary editor who has worked on many highly regarded reference volumes. He, Sheile Dignen and Penelope Stock are freelance lexicographers.

From School Library Journal:

Adult/High School-This volume arranges literary, mythological, biblical, and popular references by theme. A line or two introduces each subject noting common associations, and/or scope of the entries that follow. "Nonconformity" includes brief entries on Bohemia, Holden Caulfield, James Dean, Galileo, and other characters and individuals. Many of these entries are accompanied by an excerpt illustrating its use in a work of literature (with author, title, and date). "Abundance and Plenty," "Change," "Destiny and Luck," "Freedom," and "Time" are just a few of the broad topics examined. There are also some in-depth discussions of allusions to Don Quixote, Odysseus, Achilles, the Trojan War, Moses, and other characters, events, and concepts. One of these covers David, describing the Old Testament hero's battle with Goliath, his relationship with Bathsheba, and the rebellion of Absalom, while cross-references will lead readers to other related entries. A list of the topics examined is given in the front of the book. Students will find using this resource similar to working with a thesaurus and will appreciate the simplicity of the dual index containing both themes and references. Purchase as an aid to creative writing and literary analysis.

Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Andrew Delahunty (Editor), Sheila Dignen (Editor), Penelope Stock (Editor)
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