The Oxford Companion to English Literature has long been established as the leading reference resource for students, teachers, scholars, and general readers of English literature. It provides unrivalled coverage of all aspects of English literature - from writers, their works, and the historical and cultural context in which they wrote, to critics, literary theory, and allusions.
For the seventh edition, the Companion has been thoroughly revised and updated to meet the needs and concerns of today's students and general readers. Over 1,000 new entries have been added, ranging from new writers - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Patrick Marber, David Mitchell, Arundhati Roy - to increased coverage of writers and literary movements from around the world. Coverage of American literature has been substantially increased, with new entries on writers such as Cormac McCarthy and Amy Tan and on movements and publications.
Contextual and historical coverage has also been expanded, with new entries on European history and culture, post-colonial literature, as well as writers and literary movements from around the world that have influenced English literature.
The Companion has always been a quick and dependable source of reference for students, and the new edition confirms its pre-eminent role as the go-to resource of first choice. All entries have been reviewed, and details of new works, biographies, and criticism have been brought right up to date. So also has coverage of the themes, approaches and concepts encountered by students today, from terms to articles on literary theory and theorists. There is increased coverage of writers from around the world, as well as from Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, and of contextual topics, including film and television, music, and art. Cross-referencing has been thoroughly updated, with stronger linking from writers to thematic and conceptual entries.
Meanwhile coverage of popular genres such as children's literature, science fiction, biography, reportage, crime fiction, fantasy or travel literature has been increased substantially, with new entries on writers from Philip Pullman to Anne Frank and from Anais Nin to Douglas Adams.
The seventh edition of this classic Companion - now under the editorship of Dinah Birch, assisted by a team of 28 distinguished associate editors, and over 150 contributors - ensures that it retains its status as the most authoritative, informative, and accessible guide to literature available.
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This is a sympathetic study of an important part of recent social history. ( Contemporary Review)
Continues to stand out as distinctive, authoritative, and a work of excellence' ( Reference Reviews)
Increasing user-friendliness and a nice "up to date" feel ( Reference Reviews)
Sumptuous volume. ( Ferdinand Mount, Standpoint)
Detailed, clear and lively accounts. ( Michael Kerrigan, The Scotsman)
A classic now made contemporary, this really is a boon companion. ( Michael Kerrigan, The Scotsman)
Birch and the contributors have done an excellent job. ( Sameer Rahim, Daily Telegraph)
Excellence is in the details. ( Times Literary Supplement, Henry Hitchings)
This is a scrupulously produced, smartly laid-out, academically serious and at the same time relishably browsable book. ( Henry Hitchings, The Times Literary Supplement)
It offers companionable assistance; it's your pal in literary need. ( John Sutherland, Sunday Times)
Dinah Birch is Professor of English Literature at Liverpool University. She was previously a fellow at Trinity College, Oxford. Her works on 19th-century literature include a number of books and articles on the critic John Ruskin. She writes regularly for the Times Literary Supplement and London Review of Books, and contributes to arts programmes on radio and television.
Margaret Drabble (editor of the 5th and 6th editions) is a distinguished novelist and biographer. Her many novels include Jerusalem the Golden, The Needle's Eye, The Seven Sisters, and The Sea Lady. She has also written biographies of Arnold Bennett and Angus Wilson.
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