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The Oxford Companion to English Literature [Hardcover]

Sir Paul Harvey , Margaret Drabble
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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The Oxford Companion to English Literature (Oxford Companions) The Oxford Companion to English Literature (Oxford Companions) 4.3 out of 5 stars (10)
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Book Description

1 Dec 1995
This exhaustive reference on English literary culture has been updated to contain 60 new entries on contemporary novelists, poets and dramatists, ranging from Peter Ackroyd to Salman Rushdie. The coverage also includes genre writers and prominent writers from other English-speaking cultures. Existing entries on contemporary writers have been revised and expanded. There are also new appendices listing winners of the major literary prizes, and a full chronology spanning nearly 1000 years of English literature.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 1182 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 4th Revised edition edition (1 Dec 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198662211
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198662211
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.7 x 5.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 988,061 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

no guide could come more classic that The Oxford Companion to English Literature ... the literary reference source of first resort ... indispensible volume ... Contemporary international writing is excellently covered ... excellent chronology. (Malcolm Bradbury, The Times, 27/9/00) --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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. Her most recent publication is a biography of Angus Wilson.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A worthy companion 23 Dec 2005
By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME
Format:Hardcover
The first 'Oxford Companion to English Literature' was published in 1932 under the editorial direction of Sir Paul Harvey (no relation the American radio commentator). Half a century and five editions later, this is still a standard, authoritative reference work necessary for scholars and interested non-experts alike.
Under the editorship of Margaret Drabble, author and biographer (known for 'The Witch of Exmoor' and the more recently published 'The Peppered Moth'), this volume remains faithful to Harvey's intention of placing English literature in its widest possible context while exploring the deep classical and continental connections that underpin much of the history.
How can literature be divorced from cultural context? Surely it cannot be -- hence the newest entries into the edition include topics that read as if they were taken from today's best-seller shelf:
- Anglo-Indian Literature
- Simon Armitage
- Kate Atkinson
- Louis de Bernieres
- Censorship
- Ben Elton
- Gay and lesbian literature
- Hypertext
- A. L. Kennedy
- Lad's literature
- Literature of science
- New Criticism
- New Irish Playwrights
- Carol Shields
- Travel writing
This sample listing of the latest entries is representative of the more established categories, in that the entries (encyclopedic in character) include Authors, Subjects, Titles, Events, Characters and Critical Theory. The entries are unsigned (an ever-controversial practice in reference works such as this) -- well over a hundred contributors assisted in this volume, including the likes of Matthew Sweet, Salman Rushdie, Ceridwen Lloyd-Morgan, Katherine Duncan-Jones, and Brian Vickers.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent reference material 30 Mar 2007
By g-italy
Format:Hardcover
i found this book extremely useful when I need to get a brief synopsis of some literature or writer, not only does it tell the story but it also offers a brief analysis. It is also useful if you need to quickly refresh your memory of some literature or if you need to compare some works. a bit heavy to carry around but for home study you couldn't wish for more.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The English Literature Undergraduate Bible 29 Feb 2012
Format:Hardcover
The Oxford companion to English Literature is the most detailed, comprehensible and up-to-date dictionary you will find. The companion is ordered alphabetically, with chronological detail, and consists of over 8,000 entries.

The companion ranges in content:

* Poets and authors and critics (biographies and works)
* Genres
* Movements and theories
* Literary prizes and poet laureates
* Literary terms and jargon
* Fundamental pieces of English literature

Margaret Drabble's latest edition is excellent for providing students with an introduction to the aforementioned sections of English literature, giving them all the relevant information with which they can progress their studies and delve into more detailed research. This really is the reference bible for undergrads and will provide useful throughout your academic careers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars present 25 April 2013
By hovis
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
this is very good apparently. was a gift so can only go by what I am told. used a lot.
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