Figurative Language: A Historical Guide

Hilary Turner

…this is a needed textbook in English and Rhetoric. 

Dr Emily Morris, Instructor Department of English St. Thomas More College University of Saskatchewan

The work includes explanation of the major rhetorical figures plus depth discussion of the approaches of Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Quintilian and Longinus, Thomas Aquinas, Christine de Pizan, Calderón de la Barca, Philip Sidney, Baldesar Castiglione,  Edmund Spencer, Shakespeare,  John Donne,  Lady Mary Wroth, Andrew Marvel,  Daniel Defoe, Francis Bacon, John Locke, George Campbell,  Hugh Blair,  Alexander Pope, Oliver Goldsmith, Samuel Johnson,  Jonathan Swift,  Laurence Sterne,  Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Giambattista Vico,  Coleridge, Stevens, Yeats, Kenneth Burke, McLuhan, Northrop Frye,  Whitman,  Nietzsche, Kurt Schwitters, Oscar Wilde, T.S. Eliot, Jones, Virginia Woolf, Roland Barthes, Jacques Lacan and Paul de Man.

Dr. Turner’s distillation of the views of particular major thinkers or recurring issues in the study of figurative language is…. admirably clear and incisive, effectively, and engagingly drawing attention to figurative language’s broad (if oft-overlooked) cultural, historical and intellectual significance. Her writing is impressively clear while addressing complex issues and potentially obscure terms with, in some cases, centuries of debate behind them, and she is able to bring in illuminating examples from a range of sources from philosophy, rhetoric, literature and popular culture, and from the distant past and present day to illustrate key concepts and points.
Dr. Alex Wetmore, Assistant Professor, English department, University of the Fraser Valley

ISBN: 9781772870695 (softcover)


About the Author  

Hilary Turner teaches English and Rhetoric at the University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford, BC, Canada. Originally a specialist in Romantic literature (Coleridge’s literary theory in particular), she has taught undergraduate courses in a wide range of areas—Children’s literature, Medieval Women’s writing, Autobiography, the Late Eighteenth Century, the Byronic Hero, the Female Gothic, the History of Rhetoric, and others. An academic “generalist,” she is attuned to the ways in which literary history has been conditioned by the theory and practice of Rhetoric. As a teacher of literature, she strives to make students aware of the many ways in which the sister disciplines of English studies and Rhetoric have enhanced each other throughout their histories.


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