Starting with the game of literary name coining (“mudpies
which endure”) and how names in literature are used and studied, Leonard R. N.
Ashley, ranges widely over old and modern literature: classical pseudonyms of the Renaissance, proper names in Shakespeare’s
plays, names in the occult, James Fenimore Cooper’s naming skill in The
Deerslayer, Sir W. S. Gilbert’s in the Savoy operettas, William
Goyen’s in his novels, Edward Albee in his plays, Bret Easton Ellis’ techniques
than Zero, Thomas Harris’ in The Silence of the Lambs, “no-name
narratology” in John Fowles’ A Maggott, the slang names of money in
folklore, political parody in Barbara Gershon’s MacBird, weird names in
Richard Powers’ The Goldbug Variations, the uflagging inventiveness of Charles Dickens, and more. The book, by a much published expert on
literary onomastics, shows fully how names are employed in various aspects of
literature and even notes what reference books are available and what studies
remain to be done. This is the book on Names in Literature.