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The Oxford Companion to English Literature
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The Oxford Companion to English Literature

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  226 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Written by a team of more than 140 contributors working under the direction of Margaret Drabble, and ranging in influence from Homer, to the Mahabharata, this guide provides the reader with a comprehensive coverage of all aspects of English literature.
Hardcover, 1172 pages
Published September 7th 2006 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1985)
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4.0 stars. This is arguably the best reference book ever compiled for English Literature. It is not accurate to say that I have "read" this entire book but I have been using it fairly extensively since I acquired it in 1991 as part of an 8 volume leather bound set from Easton Press called the "Complete Oxford Reference Set." I have found it to be an excellent reference tool that is both easy to use and comprehensive.
This is the definitive single volume reference on English (and that mostly means British) literature. The bias towards British authors is pronounced and obvious and gives a short shrift to the colonials, so deal. Mine has a slight fault to the binding, but I paid $4 at Half Price Books, so I can cope. In depth of coverage it exceeds the Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature; however, Webster's got more coverage of the Americans and world lit in general. If you;re a serious student of the written ...more
It's not fair to say I've read all the entries, but I read most of the related ones to English (I mean ENGLISH!) Literature. And of course I still use it as a perfect reference book.

If you like to read literature or if you are majoring in English Lit, this book in is worth the investment.
Scott Golden
It's somewhat dated, Anglo-centric, Euro-centric, and -- as might be expected -- largely disregards 'genre fiction'; but, I'm still a sucker for these type of encyclopedias. A great big summary of literature that was either written in, or translated into the English language.
John E. Branch Jr.
I've neither read this nor not read it. Since Goodreads recommended it to me, I figured I might as well claim it. It's on my reference shelf, I last referred to it only a week or so ago, and I've been using it and its forebears for decades.
Nov 06, 2009 Everyman rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Everyman by:
A very useful resource to have at hand while reading English literature, particularly for a quick look-up of an author (dates, other works than the one you're currently reading, key biographical facts), book, or sometimes other relevant topics such as literary terms or key social movements. Is fun to browse in when one has a spare half-hour.
You haven't really lived until you've met the lady herself in a small seminar at EH and asked her to sign your copy and if it was the coolest and most ambitious project she ever undertook? Answer: of course!
Even in the day of the Net, this is still a handy book to have if you want to go beyond your reading, or find a reference you don't understand.
I don't see the point in actually reading this from front to back or any such thing. I think it's going to be a handy friend at times, though.
essential companion to anybody who cares about books & their authors...
Have the 1985 edition.
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MARGARET DRABBLE is the author of The Sea Lady, The Seven Sisters, The Peppered Moth, and The Needle's Eye, among other novels. For her contributions to contemporary English literature, she was made a Dame of the British Empire in 2008.

Drabble has famously been engaged in a long-running feud with her novelist sister, A.S. Byatt, over the alleged appropriation of a family tea-set in one of her nove
More about Margaret Drabble...

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