This series provides detailed critical essaysoften by well-known criticson a wide range of authors and works. Along with in-depth critical essays on an author's work, the entries provide biographical facts, lists of major works, and related sources. Usually, the essays give a substantial overview of a writer's work. The database consists of more than 250 volumes compiled over the past 30 years. Using this online version, you can search individual series titles (e.g. Contemporary Literature Criticism) all together, in a selected combination, or individually. You can also search by author, title, keyword, for full-text. The online version is a scan of the print copy.
Written by more than 1,850 scholars worldwide, The Literary Encyclopedia is a growing reference tool containing 4,800+ entries on authors and their works, as well as articles on literary topics. The encyclopedia, which accumulates more articles every month, covers literature originally written in English, German, French, and Russian.
This vast online library lets you search more than 350,000 full-text works of English and American poetry, drama and prose, as well as biographies, bibliographies and secondary sources. The interface here is the same for the ABELL journal article database, and once in Literature Online you can use both resources, the library and the article database.
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.
Spanning the history of literature in the UK and Ireland in such languages as Anglo-Saxon, English, Welsh, Scots, Irish, and Latin, this work contains lengthy biographies (e.g., Spenser, Pope, Austen) along with detailed entries on themes, movements, genres, and institutions whose impact on literature was significant (e.g. the sonnet, the ‘School of Night,’ or the Sublime).
[For print version locations see UofT Catalogue]
Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989. 20 volumes.
The Oxford English Dictionary is the accepted authority on the meanings of English-language words. Besides guiding readers through the meaning, history, and pronunciation of more than half a million words, both present and past, it traces their usage through 2.5 million quotations from a wide range of international English language sources. At least 1,000 new and revised entries are added quarterly.
By J. A. Cuddon.
3rd ed. London: Penguin Books, 1992.
From the "metaphor" to the "kenning", from the "essay" to "post-modernism", this small book packs in a wealth of brief articles and definitions essential for English students. The entries, arranged alphabetically, contain a wide variety of topics, including technical terms (anapest), literary movements (Dadaism), types of criticism (Marxist Criticism), and literary forms (sonnet and romance).
Edited by Steven Serafin.
3rd ed. Farmington Hills, MI: St. James Press, 1999.
4 volumes plus an index.
Unlike the Oxford Companion to English Literature, this alphabetically-arranged four-volume encyclopedia is international in scope-and more detailed. Besides basic biographical and general information, the entries provide bibliographies of works and secondary sources, along with critical comments in the case of some major authors. The first three volumes contain entries on authors' lives and works. The fourth is an index indicating the volume and page numbers for authors or topics. While this source offers excellent coverage of major authors, it is dated. Gale Literature Criticism and other guides listed here are more up to date and offer better coverage of lesser-known, pre-20th century, and recent writers.
Edited by Michael Cox.
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. 2 volumes.
Use this 2-volume set to browse records of major literary works published in English between 1474 and 2000. Brief notes on publication date, title, author, publisher and genre let readers glimpse works from a given year (e.g. 1615) in relation to one another, while also allowing scholars to follow the development of English literature over time. Entries include works that are both significant (e.g. Shakespeare’s Hamlet, printed 1604) and representative (e.g. Churchyards Good Will, Sad and Heavy Verses, by Thomas Churchyard, also printed in 1604). Vol. 1 contains the entries, vol. 2 author and title indexes.
Edited by Jack Zipes.
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006. 4 volumes.
The Encyclopedia analyzes the books children read. Taking a multicultural and global perspective, the encyclopedia includes brief biographies as well as essays on genres, works, and key themes and trends.
[For print version locations see UofT Catalogue]
Edited by M. Keith Booker.
Westport, CT: Greewood, 2005. 3 volumes.
While international and historical in scope, this encyclopedia focuses most closely on the modern world and on works written in English. More than 500 entries cover such topics as authors and critics, historical figures and literary works, and national literatures and literary movements. Volume 3 includes more than 80 pages of bibliographical references.
By Samuel Halkett and John Laing.
New and enlarged edition by James Kennedy, W.A. Smith, and A.F. Johnson. Edinburgh : Oliver and Boyd, 1926-1962. 9 volumes.
Anyone seeking key bibliographic information about anonymous or pseudonymous English literature printed before 1950 will find this 9-volume set helpful. Organized alphabetically by title, the entries provide the author's real name (if known), the format of the work, paging, and the place and date of publication. Volume 7 contains two handy indexes arranged alphabetically: one for authors and one for pseudonyms. The final two volumes contain supplements: volume 8 includes additions from 1900 to 1949, while volume 9 updates and corrects entries for works published before 1900.