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Philip Gooden - Author

About the Author

Philip Gooden is the author of The Guinness Guide to Better English and the editor of The Mammoth Book of Literary Anecdotes.

Featured books by Philip Gooden

Other books by Philip Gooden

The Pale Companion

The Pale Companion

Author: Philip Gooden Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/03/2020

Third in the entertaining adventures of Shakespearean actor and sleuth, Nick Revill. It is midsummer in the year 1601. Nick Revill and his fellow actors of the company known as the Chamberlain's Men are journeying across the Wiltshire Downs for a country-house presentation of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. It should be a pleasant well-paid jaunt to celebrate a noble marriage, but instead the players find themselves in the midst of a tense family atmosphere, somehow linked to the presence of the household's sinister steward. Very soon Nick finds that the Dream has turned into a nightmare, where murder appears commonplace, and before too long he must fight to save his own life against the ancient backdrop of Stonehenge...

Death of Kings

Death of Kings

Author: Philip Gooden Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/03/2020

'Highly entertaining' Sunday Times Elizabeth I is nearing the end of her reign with no direct heir and plots and rumours of rebellion abound. The Queen's former favourite, the Earl of Essex, appears to be eager to protect the throne, but some believe he intends to seize it. In the world of the theatre, the Chamberlain's Men are approached by a member of Essex's inner circle. He offers them money to put on a special performance of Shakespeare's Richard II - the treasonous drama of monarchy deposed and murdered. And player Nick Revill finds himself forced to act as a government spy and keep watch on his own company. But then the murders start. Praise for Philip Gooden 'The witty narrative, laced with puns and word play so popular in this period, makes this an enjoyable racy tale' Sunday Telegraph 'The book has much in common with the film Shakespeare in Love - full of colourful characters . . . but the book has an underlying darkness' Crime Time 'Welcome to Elizabethan England where... Gooden will give you a gratifying taste of the danger and excitement of that lusty place and time' Publishers Weekly

Sleep of Death

Sleep of Death

Author: Philip Gooden Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/03/2020

'Highly entertaining' Sunday Times In the last decade of Elizabeth I's reign, Nick Revill, an aspiring young actor, comes to London seeking fame and fortune. Once there he gains employment with the Chamberlain's Men. Thrown out of his digs over an unfortunate accident, Nick is offered lodgings at a wealthy Thameside mansion by a black-clad youth whose father has just died and whose mother has remarried his uncle. Pondering on the similarities between the young man's story and William Shakespeare's newest tragedy, Hamlet, Nick is charged with the task of finding out whether foul play was involved in the death of the old man and hasty remarriage of his young, lusty wife. As Nick works his way ever closer to the truth, the finger of suspicion begins to point to his enigmatic employer Mr William Shakespeare - actor, author and shareholder in the Chamberlain's Men . . . Praise for Philip Gooden: 'The witty narrative, laced with puns and word play so popular in this period, makes this an enjoyable racy tale' Sunday Telegraph 'The book has much in common with the film Shakespeare in Love - full of colourful characters . . . but the book has an underlying darkness' Crime Time 'Historical mystery fans are in for a treat' Publishers Weekly

Bad Words

Bad Words

Author: Philip Gooden Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/09/2019

Once upon a time, the worst words you could utter were short, simple and tended to be four letters in length. Now things are more complicated. To be insulted as a 'snowflake' or an 'expert' is arguably worse than being called a **** or a **** or even a ****. So what are today's 'bad words' and how are they different from yesterday's taboo expressions? This entertaining guide to the shifting sands of bad language is indispensable in an increasingly divided world in which abuse becomes ever more widespread and vituperative. Philip Gooden shows how and why taboo words and contentious expressions, including those four-letter ones, were first used in English. He discusses the ways such words have changed over the years and explores how a single syllable or two may possess an almost magical power to offend, distress or infuriate. Bad Words investigates the most controversial and provocative words in the English language in a way that is both anecdotal and analytical. Combining intrigue and scandal, the book delves into expressions connected to religion, ethnicity, nationality, politics, swearing and oaths, and includes contemporary issues like political correctness and elitism.

May We Borrow Your Language?

May We Borrow Your Language?

Author: Philip Gooden Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/09/2017

The English language that is spoken by one billion people around the world is a linguistic mongrel, its vocabulary a diverse mix resulting from centuries of borrowing from other tongues. From the Celtic languages of pre-Roman Britain to Norman French; from the Vikings' Old Scandinavian to Persian, Arawak, Cantonese, Hawaiian, Hebrew, Inuit and Erdu - amongst a host of others - we have enriched our modern language with such words as tulip, slogan, doolally, avocado, moccasin, ketchup and ukulele. May We Borrow Your Language? explores the intriguing and unfamiliar stories behind scores of familiar words that the English language has filched from abroad; in so doing, it also sheds fascinating light on the wider history of the development of the English we speak today. Full of etymological nuggets to intrigue and delight the reader, this is a gift book for word buffs to cherish - as cerebrally stimulating as it is more-ishly entertaining.

May We Borrow Your Language?

May We Borrow Your Language?

Author: Philip Gooden Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/11/2016

The English language that is spoken by one billion people around the world is a linguistic mongrel, its vocabulary a diverse mix resulting from centuries of borrowing from other tongues. From the Celtic languages of pre-Roman Britain to Norman French; from the Vikings' Old Scandinavian to Persian, Sanskrit, Algonquian, Cantonese and Hawaiian - amongst a host of others - we have enriched our modern language with such words as tulip, slogan, doolally, avocado, moccasin, ketchup and ukulele. May We Borrow Your Language? explores the intriguing and unfamiliar stories behind scores of familiar words that the English language has filched from abroad; in so doing, it also sheds fascinating light on the wider history of the development of the English we speak today. Full of etymological nuggets to intrigue and delight the reader, this is a gift book for word buffs to cherish - as cerebrally stimulating as it is more-ishly entertaining.

May We Borrow Your Language?

May We Borrow Your Language?

Author: Philip Gooden Format: eBook Release Date: 03/11/2016

The English language that is spoken by one billion people around the world is a linguistic mongrel, its vocabulary a diverse mix resulting from centuries of borrowing from other tongues. From the Celtic languages of pre-Roman Britain to Norman French; from the Vikings' Old Scandinavian to Persian, Sanskrit, Algonquian, Cantonese and Hawaiian - amongst a host of others - we have enriched our modern language with such words as tulip, slogan, doolally, avocado, moccasin, ketchup and ukulele. May We Borrow Your Language? explores the intriguing and unfamiliar stories behind scores of familiar words that the English language has filched from abroad; in so doing, it also sheds fascinating light on the wider history of the development of the English we speak today. Full of etymological nuggets to intrigue and delight the reader, this is a gift book for word buffs to cherish - as cerebrally stimulating as it is more-ishly entertaining.

The Word at War World War Two in 100 Phrases

The Word at War World War Two in 100 Phrases

Author: Philip Gooden, Peter Lewis Format: Hardback Release Date: 25/09/2014

War words have embedded themselves in our collective psyche; British politicians are fond of invoking the 'Dunkirk spirit' whenever the country is faced with major crisis or even minor adversity, and Roosevelt's famous description of Pearl Harbor as 'a date which will live in infamy' was echoed by many US commentators after the 9/11 attacks. So far, so familiar. Or is it? How many of us know, for instance, that 'Keep Calm and Carry On', far from achieving its morale-boosting aim, was considered at the time to be deeply patronizing by the people it was directed at, and so had only limited distribution? The Word at War explores 100 phrases spawned and popularized in the lead-up and during the conflict of World War Two. Substantial essays explore and explain the derivations of, and the stories behind, popular terms and phraseology of the period, including wartime speeches (and the words of Churchill, Hitler and FDR); service slang; national stereotypes; food and drink; and codewords.

Idiomantics: The Weird and Wonderful World of Popular Phrases

Idiomantics: The Weird and Wonderful World of Popular Phrases

Author: Philip Gooden, Peter Lewis Format: eBook Release Date: 30/06/2013

Idiomantics is a unique exploration of the world of idiomatic phrases. The very etymology of the word 'idiom' reveals what's so endlessly fascinating about the wide range of colourful phrases we use in everyday speech: their peculiarity. They're peculiar both in the sense of being particular or unique to the culture from which they originate, and in the sense of being downright odd. To cite three random examples - from American English, Dutch and Italian - what on Earth are a snow job, a monkey sandwich story, and Mr Punch's secret? Fascinating and illuminating, Idiomantics explains all...The ideal gift for word buffs and in fact, anyone who enjoys a good yarn, this playful book looks at 12 groups of idioms around the world, looking at subjects such as fun and games, gastronomic delights and the daily grind.

Pale Companion

Pale Companion

Author: Philip Gooden Format: eBook Release Date: 01/11/2012

Third in the entertaining adventures of Shakespearean actor and sleuth, Nick Revill. It is midsummer in the year 1601. Nick Revill and his fellow actors of the company known as the Chamberlain's Men are journeying across the Wiltshire Downs for a country-house presentation of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. It should be a pleasant well-paid jaunt to celebrate a noble marriage, but instead the players find themselves in the midst of a tense family atmosphere, somehow linked to the presence of the household's sinister steward. Very soon Nick finds that the Dream has turned into a nightmare, where murder appears commonplace, and before too long he must fight to save his own life against the ancient backdrop of Stonehenge...

Honourable Murderer

Honourable Murderer

Author: Philip Gooden Format: eBook Release Date: 01/11/2012

It's the summer of 1604 and the Spanish are in London. Many years after the ill-fated Armada, they are negotiating a peace treaty with the English. Nick Revill's acting company is given a ceremonial role at the celebrations. But not everybody welcomes this outbreak of peace. In the shifting world of the court there are factions. In the Tower of London sits that implacable enemy of the Spanish, Sir Walter Raleigh, and he has friends on the outside who may try to sabotage the negotiations. Nick, meanwhile, is trying to get on with his playing. Invited by Shakespeare's rival, Ben Jonson, to take part in a masque at Somerset House where the Spanish are lodged, Nick is caught up in a conspiracy. During a rehearsal the courtier Sir Philip Blake dies an apparently accidental death when he tumbles from a 'Deus ex machina' chair which is lowering him to the stage. But this is only the first of a series of suspicious deaths, and Nick must look for the murderer among those around him. And Nick has other distractions besides. There is his growing attraction to his landlady, the widowed Ursula Buckle. And then there is that new French girl at the Mitre brothel...

Mask of Night

Mask of Night

Author: Philip Gooden Format: eBook Release Date: 01/11/2012

When the Black Death strikes London, all the theatres are closed down by order of the Privy Council. The Chamberlain's Men, the theatre company Nick Revill is part of, takes up an invitation to play in Oxford. However, it seems that the plague has followed them - but not all deaths are as they seem.

Alms for Oblivion

Alms for Oblivion

Author: Philip Gooden Format: eBook Release Date: 25/10/2012

On a foggy morning in 1602, a boyhood friend of Nick Revill arrives in London. When Peter Agate announces that he wants to try his hand at acting, what can Nick do but offer him a part with his own company, the Chamberlain's Men, who are putting on a private production of Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida for the lawyers of Middle Temple.Yet within days Peter Agate is dead, stabbed to death at Nick's lodgings - the beginning of a sequence of violent deaths, each somehow implicating Nick himself. To avoid the hangman's noose Nick must discover the real murderer among a cast of suspects, including an aristocratic brother and sister, a troublemaker from a rival company and an ex-actor who once saw the Devil himself on stage...

Death of Kings

Death of Kings

Author: Philip Gooden Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/07/2009

Elizabeth I is nearing the end of her reign with no direct heir and plots and rumours of rebellion abound. The Queen's former favourite, the Earl of Essex, appears to be eager to protect the throne, but some believe he intends to seize it. In the world of the theatre, the Chamberlain's Men are approached by a member of Essex's inner circle. He offers them money to put on a special performance of Shakespeare's Richard II - the treasonous drama of monarchy deposed and murdered. And player Nick Revill finds himself forced to act as a government spy and keep watch on his own company. But then the murders start... Praise for Philip Gooden: 'Highly entertaining.' Sunday Times 'Welcome to Elizabethan England where... Gooden will give you a gratifying taste of the danger and excitement of that lusty place and time.' Publishers Weekly

Faux Pas?

Faux Pas?

Author: Philip Gooden Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 27/07/2007

Winner of the HRH Duke of Edinburgh English Speaking Union English Language Book Award 2006. An award winning language book, this is a lively and engaging expose on the foreign words and phrases that populate our language. Each entry gives a translation of the expression, the language of origin, pronunciation, an insightful comment on usage, plus illuminating examples from the press. A Pretentiousness Index will help you avoid committing the ultimate faux pas(!). If you have ever been bamboozled by the use of a foreign word or phrase, or simply want to spice up your vocabulary with some well chosen bons mots, then this is the book for you. Thousands of foreign terms have been absorbed into the English language from the everyday (kowtow) to the relatively obscure (auto-da-fe). Faux Pas? focuses on familiar terms and expressions as well as those that are new, curious or amusing.

Author Info

Author's Website

https://www.philipgooden.com/

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