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Oxford English Degree: Take these with you to survive.

Where words Prevail "Edgar"
 
The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World
The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World
"The most glorious and erudite atlas in existence; it will fuel your desire to travel and shake your awareness of the world."
The Chambers Dictionary Thumb Index, 11th edition
The Chambers Dictionary Thumb Index, 11th edition
"The Oxford English Dictionary is best used in its entirety - i.e. online; your University will subscribe to this service. However, for a hand reference dictionary, you cannot beat Chambers - buy it!"
Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable, 18th edition (Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable)
Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable, 18th edition (Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable)
"An absolute mine of important and inspiring information. You should learn and read like a magpie - browsing Brewers will train and excite you!"
The Norton Facsimile of the First Folio of Shakespeare: Based on Folios in the Folger Library Collection (Facsimile Series)
The Norton Facsimile of the First Folio of Shakespeare: Based on Folios in the Folger Library Collection (Facsimile Series)
"Nothing beats this beautiful reproduction of perhaps the most important literary text in existence. Get used to reading the Folio; don't rely on modern editors - they all have different preferences."
William Shakespeare: The Complete Works (Oxford Shakespeare)
William Shakespeare: The Complete Works (Oxford Shakespeare)
"Although the Arden 3rd series for the individual plays are superb, many prefer the Oxford Shakespeare for a collected volume. Brilliant for moving between plays quickly and sparking ideas for essays."
The Norton Anthology of English Literature: Romantic Period Through the Twentieth Century v. 2
The Norton Anthology of English Literature: Romantic Period Through the Twentieth Century v. 2
"When the reading lists get too much and you are losing the will to live, it can be reassuring to return to anthologies that will point you in the right direction and quickly. World class editors here."
The Bible: Authorized King James Version (Oxford World's Classics)
The Bible: Authorized King James Version (Oxford World's Classics)
"(1) Everything in Western literature is underpinned in some way by this - read and learn."
Metamorphoses: A New Verse Translation (Penguin Classics)
Metamorphoses: A New Verse Translation (Penguin Classics)
"(2) Anything in Western literature not underpinned by (1) is probably engaging with this. Read it. One of the most exciting compilations of tales ever recounted."
The Iliad
The Iliad
"(3) If you were to read the Bible, the Met and the Iliad before starting your English degree - you'd be laughing. Everything else will slot into place while your peers struggle to make sense of it all"
The Riverside Chaucer: Reissued with a new foreword by Christopher Cannon
The Riverside Chaucer: Reissued with a new foreword by Christopher Cannon
"You will have to study Chaucer on any respectable English degree course and so you should. Trust me and buy this, even if it sits on your shelf for all of your first year."
Beowulf: A Student Edition
Beowulf: A Student Edition
"Learning Old English will be one of the most difficult but rewarding achievements of your degree. Stick with it (and this edition) to enjoy the tale of all tales."
Beowulf: A New Translation
Beowulf: A New Translation
"Don't bother reading Heaney's translation - you will be missing half of the magic. Listen to him read it; Beowulf is a tale that should be heard - treat yourself after learning Old English with this."
The Sagas of the Icelanders (World of the Sagas)
The Sagas of the Icelanders (World of the Sagas)
"Read tales that Professor Tolkien cherished."
The Divine Comedy (Oxford World's Classics)
The Divine Comedy (Oxford World's Classics)
"Because you will realise (as did your literary forebears) that reading about Hell is much more exciting than reading about heaven. A seminal epic ahead of its time."
Sketches by Boz (Penguin Classics)
Sketches by Boz (Penguin Classics)
"You won't have time to read all of Dickens' novels until you've retired; make a strategic move and start here before crashing on through 'Bleak House' or 'Dombey and Son'. Utterly unforgettable."
The Faber Book of Reportage
The Faber Book of Reportage
"To remind you on those dark days that writing and reading do have a purpose and that we as humans have to bear witness to the experiences of others. This book will excite, shock, and humble you."
English Renaissance Drama: A Norton Anthology
English Renaissance Drama: A Norton Anthology
"Sit this next to your Oxford Shakespeare and you will have the best collection of Renaissance Drama within easy reach. A very informative introduction too."
The Teacher's Guide to Grammar
The Teacher's Guide to Grammar
"What Cameron doesn't know about the English language isn't worth knowing. And let's face it - your own English teacher inspired you on to a literature degree through good books, not grammar. Learn it!"
Spenser: The Faerie Queene (Longman Annotated English Poets)
Spenser: The Faerie Queene (Longman Annotated English Poets)
"The Longman Annotated English Poets series is amazing; perhaps it is the different colours that will give you the itch to save up for the entire set! Scholarship at its best. Authoritative and packed."
The Poems of Andrew Marvell (Longman Annotated English Poets)
The Poems of Andrew Marvell (Longman Annotated English Poets)
Milton: Paradise Lost (Longman Annotated English Poets)
Milton: Paradise Lost (Longman Annotated English Poets)
"One of the most beautiful and jaw dropping pieces of literature ever written. This poem must be savoured by any literature enthusiast and undergraduate."
Milton: The Complete Shorter Poems (Longman Annotated English Poets)
Milton: The Complete Shorter Poems (Longman Annotated English Poets)
Blake: The Complete Poems (Longman Annotated English Poets)
Blake: The Complete Poems (Longman Annotated English Poets)
Tennyson: A Selected Edition (Longman Annotated English Poets)
Tennyson: A Selected Edition (Longman Annotated English Poets)