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A Student's Guide to the Selected Poems of T. S. Eliot [Paperback]

B.C. Southam
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
RRP: £9.99
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Book Description

7 Mar 1994
This is a revised and enlarged edition. It is designed to help the reader of Eliot's Selected Poems by identifying and explaining the wide and often baffling range of quotations, allusions and references, literary, factual and historical.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; 6Rev Ed edition (7 Mar 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 057117082X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571170821
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 2.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 180,228 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Brian Charles Southam is a former academic and publisher. He has written many books on the works of Jane Austen and T. S. Eliot, and is the editor of Jane Austen's Literary Manuscripts (Continuum, 2006).

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
By Jucaro
For anyone who ever had trouble understanding The Waste Land - not to mention Eliot's other poems - this book is more than useful, it's ESSENTIAL. Truly brilliant - giving an in-depth explanation of each of the (very) many allusions in The Waste Land. For students writing essays - indeed for anyone who wants to "understand" or know more about Eliot's often impenetrable poetry - this is the book.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An invaluable companion to studying Eliot. 22 Jan 2000
By A Customer
B.C. Southam, I'm sure has relieved the confusion that many people have felt when studying T.S. Eliot. As an English student,never having studied Eliot's work, I would have been at a total loss had it not been for the user-friendly "Student's Guide", and the thorough explanation of each poem, which previously had little meaning to me. This book is the best companion when reading Eliot that your money could buy!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Student Essential 7 Feb 2009
By Allhug
Having studied T.S. Eliot for the first time recently as part of a 20th Century Literature course I would say that B.C. Southam's guide was indispensable to me. Particularly as I am a part-time 'mature' student who works full time and I don't often have the luxury of spending the hours that I'd like to look over academic articles and sources.

Eliot is not the easiest of poets to understand (...let alone master), his use of allusion and his 'elitist' approach is quite intimidating to any new student...I wasn't the only one on the course that had trouble with him! - - B.C. Southam was recommended by my tutor as a highly respected and much revised guide for undergraduate study.

Don't get me wrong, you can read Eliot's poetry without Southam's guide and appreciate the vivid imagery, the construction of the 'free-verse', the amalgamation of poetic forms and the way the poems sound/feel when you read them. But Southam's guide adds the historical context, a path through the dense allusive material & helps you to understand the depth of literary history contained within the poems. It also explains a little bit about the modernist principles that guided Eliot as a writer and the influence wielded by his family history, his student days, his unhappy first marriage and his mentor Ezra Pound.

I could not have studied Eliot effectively without Southams's guide - this is why I feel the book deserves 5 stars (...that and the fact that I got far better marks than I had expected!).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unreal city, made real. 12 Jun 2009
B C Southam's work in tracing and expanding on the many references and allussions in Eliot's work is astonishingly in depth. Each work has before it a description of when and where it was written, over how long and with what other texts in mind. Southam has compiled such a rich and detailed collection of texts that feed into the Selected Poems, allowing the causal Eliot reader as much as someone studying his poetry to dip in and out of this easy to use accompaniment.
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