Cocky writings

September 21, 2017

Reading Laura Frost’s review of Vibrator Nation (“Happiness lies in your own hands”, Books, 7 September), which I very much enjoyed, I was reminded of such literary greats as Thomas Nashe’s poem Choice of Valentines, which rapidly became known as Nashe’s Dildo, as well as the reference to “Madam with a dildo, writ o’ the walls” in Ben Jonson’s play The Alchemist.

Shakespeare refers to “the delicate burdens of dildos” in The Winter’s Tale. One wonders if the brand name for such a device might, in the case of the Bard, have been “Arden Fast”?

Peter J. Smith
Reader in Renaissance literature
Nottingham Trent University

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