Synopses & Reviews
Since Sir Paul Harvey's original Oxford Companion to English Literature
was published in 1932, it has established itself as the standard source of reference for general readers, as well as an indispensable guide for students and specialists, on all aspects of English literature and English literary culture.
In 1985, under the editorship of Margaret Drabble, with a team of distinguished contributors, the text was completely revised while retaining the essential characteristics of Sir Paul Harvey's much-loved volume. Since then, the Companion has continued to respond to the needs of contemporary readers, with a revision, published in 1995, containing sixty new entries on emerging contemporary voices. This new revision continues in this tradition, adding 16 survey articles on important literary concepts to reassert the position of the Companion as the most complete and readable reference guide to English literary culture currently available. No comparable volume offers such extensive coverage of the classical roots of English literature, and of European authors and works that have influenced the development of English literature. Its wide range of articles cover not only authors and their works, but also fictional characters, plot summaries, composers and artists, literary and artistic movements, historians, philosophers, scholars, as well as editors, publishing history, literary societies, newspapers and periodicals, critical terms and theory.
With new articles on such topics as British Black Literature, Post-Colonial Literature, Spy Fiction, Structuralism, Fantasy Fiction, Children's Literature, Ghost Stories, Historical Fiction, and much more, this revised edition offers the most comprehensive and up-to-date coverage available of the fascinating and multifarious world of English literature.
Featuring articles on fictional characters, plot summaries, composers and artists, literary and artistic movements, critical terms, and theory, this updated sixth edition contains over 660 new entries and hundreds of new biographies. This major new edition is an indispensable volume for students of English literature.
When the Fifth Edition of The Oxford Companion to English Literature
appeared in 1985, it received a glowing front-page review in The New York Times Book Review
, which praised it as "a wonderful, infuriating, amusing, and informative war horse of a book." Now comes the new Sixth Edition, thoroughly updated and greatly expanded by editor Margaret Drabble and a team of 140 distinguished contributors, who include Salmon Rushdie, Brian Aldiss, Penelope Fitzgerald, Ian Buruma, and Michael Holroyd.
Readers will find over 660 new entries, over a third of which were written by Drabble herself, including hundreds of new biographies (from Kathy Acker to Stefan Zweig) as well as new entries on genres, literary terms, critical schools, and much more. In total, the new edition offers over 7,000 alphabetically arranged entries, providing incomparable coverage of the classical works of English literature, and of European authors and works that have influenced the development of English literature. Its wide range of articles cover not only authors and their works, but also fictional characters, plot summaries, composers and artists, literary and artistic movements, historians, philosophers, and critics, as well as publishing history, literary societies, newspapers and periodicals, critical terms and theory. In addition, there are sixteen new feature essays covering everything from gay and lesbian literature to modernism and science fiction, plus a thousand-year chronology that sets key literary works in their historical context, and complete lists of poet laureates and literary prize winners.
Boasting a lightness of touch that makes the book a pleasure to read, the Sixth Edition is an indispensable volume for students, for teachers, and for everyone interested in English literature.
About the Author
About the Editor:
Margaret Drabble is one of Britain's leading novelists, the author of numerous works, including Jerusalem the Golden, The Needle's Eye, The Middle Ground, and the trilogy of novels The Radiant Way, A Natural Curiosity, and The Gates of Ivory.
Table of Contents
Preface by Margaret Drabble
List of Contributors
List of abbreviations
Note to the Reader
Text: over 7000 A-Z entries.
The new entries are:
British Black Literature
Appendix 1: Chronology
Appendix 2: Poets Laureate
Appendix 3: Literary Awards