Farnsworth's Classical English Rhetoric

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Overview

How does one turn unassuming words into phrases that are beautiful, effective, and memorable? Using examples from Churchill, Lincoln, Dickens, Melville, and many others, this book examines the most valuable rhetorical devices with amazing clarity.

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Farnsworth's Classical English Rhetoric

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Overview

How does one turn unassuming words into phrases that are beautiful, effective, and memorable? Using examples from Churchill, Lincoln, Dickens, Melville, and many others, this book examines the most valuable rhetorical devices with amazing clarity.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Michael Dirda
…Ward Farnsworth…demonstrates in his witty handbook…the various rhetorical techniques [that] are…the organizing principles behind vivid writing and speech…More important, this handbook also provides a slew of examples to reveal how great writers have added force and color to their sentences by employing these tropes or figures…Admittedly, the book is not what you'd call an easy read…but it generously repays the attention you give it.
—The Washington Post
Barnes and Noble Review.com
A catalogue of rhetorical devices—with abundant examples of each figure of speech culled from oratory and literature—Ward Farnsworth's sparkling compendium is a handbook of eloquence that will delight readers of a certain ilk (you know who you are). Anaphora, epistrophe, isocolon, chiasmus, asyndeton, praeteritio, litotes, and other ghosts of linguistic glory are explained and resurrected in the words of writers like Edmund Burke and Winston Churchill, Herman Melville and Charles Dickens, Chesterton and Conan Doyle. Priceless.
The Wall Street Journal
The most immediate pleasure of this book is that it heightens one's appreciation of the craft of great writers and speakers. Mr. Farnsworth includes numerous examples from Shakespeare and Dickens, Thoreau and Emerson, Winston Churchill and Abraham Lincoln. He also seems keen to rehabilitate writers and speakers whose rhetorical artistry is undervalued; besides his liking for Chesterton, he shows deep admiration for the Irish statesman Henry Grattan (1746-1820), whose studied repetition of a word ("No lawyer can say so; because no lawyer could say so without forfeiting his character as a lawyer") is an instance, we are told, of conduplicatio. But more than anything Mr. Farnsworth wants to restore the reputation of rhetorical artistry per se, and the result is a handsome work of reference--(Henry Hutchings)
Library Journal
This book, despite its broad title, treats only one part of rhetoric: the word patterns that skilled speakers and writers use in order to heighten the impact of their messages. Farnsworth (law & assoc. dean for academic affairs, Boston Univ. Sch. of Law) defines and exemplifies 18 patterns, such as chiasmus (structural reversal, as in JFK's "Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country") and anaphora (initial repetition, as in Churchill's "we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight...in the air"). Farnsworth's guide is similar to Richard A. Lanham's A Handlist of Rhetorical Terms but covers fewer topics, in more depth and with more examples. The inclusion of the author's name in the title, as though the work has gained the status of a classic simply by being published, is part of a regrettable trend in language guidebooks.Verdict An engaging and accessible guide, valuable to all who wish to improve their rhetorical skills or better appreciate the abilities of others.—Lisa Richmond, Wheaton Coll. Lib., IL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781455129454
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/1/2011
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Pages: 6
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 5.80 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Ward Farnsworth is professor of law and the Nancy Barton Scholar at Boston University School of Law.

BRONSON PINCHOT, an Audie® Award–winning narrator, received his education at Yale University, which filled out what he had already received at his mother's knee in the all-important areas of Shakespeare, Greek art and architecture, and the Italian Renaissance. He restores Greek Revival buildings and appears in television, film, and on stage whenever the pilasters and entablatures overwhelm him.

JIM MESKIMEN is a stage, film, and television actor who has appeared in many well-known movies and television shows. He acted in Apollo 13 and Frost/Nixon for director Ron Howard, both of which were nominated for Best Picture Oscars. His television appearances include Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Friends, Lie to Me, Criminal Minds, and Parks & Recreation. Jim is also a painter and audiobook director for Galaxy Audio, and lives in Los Angeles with his wife, actress Tamra Meskimen.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 24, 2011

    A must for writers

    This book takes rhetorical devices from classical times and brings them to life, with examples that are so good you want to read them out loud. It taught me a great deal about why Lincoln sounds like Lincoln, why Dickens sounds like Dickens, and more other things about rhetoric than I can keep straight. Farnsworth is an ideal guide, tasteful and very helpful, with an incredible range of knowledge at his fingertips. A beautiful book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 21, 2011

    Something special

    Anyone who loves language will love this book. Beautifully written, printed, and illustrated (not with pictures, but with examples).

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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