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‘What shall I Swear by?’: bad language in English and Welsh compared by George Borrow.

‘Ay, Leeks is Good’: who was the inspiration for Fluellen in Henry V?

‘The Laurel, of course, is a Poisonous Shrub’: poet laureates, featuring Andrew Motion and Nahum Tate.

‘It’s, Like, Language, Innit?’: new conventions – texting, informal register, and making the classics ‘accessible’.

‘The Value of Pie’: G.M. Hopkins and the therapeutic effect of Nature’s colours.

‘This Hurts Me More Than It Hurts You’: two fathers have qualms about punishing their children – Thomas Fuller and Coventry Patmore.

‘Everything Tastes Better...’: celebrating the picnic – Cuthbert Bede, Kenneth Grahame, E.M. Forster and The Beano. (see Extracts page)

‘Poetry: a Branch of Arboriculture’: Ben Jonson and one of his influences, the Roman poet, Statius; the verse of King James I and echoes of Vergil.

‘The National Debt’: political themes and undercurrents in Shakespeare’s Cymbeline. (see Extracts page)

‘The Itch, the Pitch, the Palsy and the Gout’: mummers’ plays, including one in Thomas Hardy’s The Return of the Native.

Various Miniature Literary Forms: including the limerick, the clerihew, the pentelope, the 50-word short story and song lyrics.