Adonis to Zorro: Oxford Dictionary of Reference and Allusion

Overview

Allusions are a colorful 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. A cunning crook is an Artful Dodger, a daydreamer is like Billy Liar, a powerful woman is a modern-day Amazon - we can suffer like Sisyphus, fail like Canute, or linger like the smile of the Cheshire Cat.

This absorbing and accessible A-Z explains the meanings of ...

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Overview

Allusions are a colorful 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. A cunning crook is an Artful Dodger, a daydreamer is like Billy Liar, a powerful woman is a modern-day Amazon - we can suffer like Sisyphus, fail like Canute, or linger like the smile of the Cheshire Cat.

This absorbing and accessible A-Z explains the meanings of allusions in modern English, from Adonis to Zorro, Tartarus to Tarzan, and Rubens to Rambo. Fascinating to browse, the book is based on an extensive reading program that has identified the most commonly-used allusions. For the third edition all entries have been reviewed, revised, and updated to ensure the consistency of coverage of allusions and references, and to make sure all entries have at least one illustrative citation from an even wider range of source materials: from Aldous Huxley to Philip Roth, and Emily Bronte. The new edition also includes a useful bibliography to help readers explore the world of references and allusions further.

The Oxford Dictionary of Reference and Allusion is both a useful and user-friendly reference work for students of English Literature and Language, as well as for non-native English speakers who need explanations of unusual references, and an absorbing browseable volume for all lovers of literature and culture in general.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Wonderfully conceived and extraordinarily useful."—Library Journal

"...an attractive addition to a writer's shelf of Reference works."—US Universal Press syndication

"A brilliantly organized handbook of names, places and phrases... A highly readable text."—Choice

"...eminently browsable...a valuable addition to any literature reference collection. Highly recommended." - Library Journal

"...well worth adding to a public, school, community college or college shelf. Recommended."—Choice

Library Journal
Previously published as Oxford Dictionary of Allusions (2d ed., Oxford, 2006), this retitled third edition contains 1900-plus compact entries of both direct and indirect allusions. As with previous editions, each entry includes an origination description and one to two quotations per entry from books, magazines, and other media. Entries range from the biblical, historical, and classical to people, places, literature, and modern society. A few include the trademark symbol (e.g., "Barbie"). See references appear within the body of the work, and cross-references between entries are indicated with a star symbol (e.g., "Hunchback of Notre Dame [Lit.; Cin.] Another name for *Quasimodo"). Despite the inclusion of indirect allusions such as "Beam me up, Scotty," the third edition contains significantly fewer subjects and is 66 pages shorter than its predecessor. Designed for quick-and-easy access with the 12-page thematic index, this volume is eminently browsable. The editors, freelance lexicographers, have collaborated on several titles, including the Longman Business English Dictionary (Pearson, 2000) and the Longman Dictionary of English Language and Culture (Pearson, 1992). BOTTOM LINE This edition nicely supplements Ruffner's Allusions: Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical; A Thematic Dictionary (3d ed., KWS Pub., 2010) and 1500 Literary References Everyone Should Know (Arco, 1983). There is little duplication between this and previous editions. It will be a valuable addition to any literature reference collection. Highly recommended.—Laurie Selwyn, formerly with Grayson Cty. Law Lib., Sherman, TX
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199567454
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 12/2/2010
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 695,026
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Delahunty is a freelance lexicographer and dictionary editor. His publications include the Longman Dictionary of English Language and Culture (1992), the Oxford Guide to English Usage (with Edmund Weiner, 1994), the Longman Business English Dictionary (2000), and the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary (6th edn, 2000).

Sheila Dignen is a freelance lexicographer who has worked on the Longman Dictionary of English Language and Culture (1992), the Dorling Kindersley Illustrated Children's Dictionary (1994), the Chambers Junior Illustrated Dictionary (1997), and the Longman Business English Dictionary (2000).

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Oxford Dictionary of Reference and Allusion
Thematic Index

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