English Language and Literature: Literary Histories
While literary histories aim to offer a well-informed and reasonable objective overview, they are more detailed and interpretive than encyclopedias. They are useful for learning about trends in literature over a broad period. For example, you might want to place a work in the context of the development of a particular genre or within a period in history. Histories provide background reading to address other questions such as: What form did literature take in the fifteenth century? Which female authors were writing in the Middle Ages? When did a particular school of criticism begin? Histories generally represent the consensus view against which new ideas or interpretations can be tested.
- Electronic version of the 1907-1921 edition of the Cambridge History of English and American Literature.
The Cambridge History of English
REF PR83.C3 1961
- A fifteen-volume set providing a chronological survey from beginnings in the Old English period to the end of the nineteenth century. Index in volume 15.
The Oxford History of English
Call number varies (PR400-600 section)
- This literary series (15 volumes) covers English literature from earliest known works to present. Each volume contains critical writings on a particular successive literary period. Includes excellent bibliographies about each. To find the Library's holdings, search QCAT by series title.
A Literary History of
REF PR83.B3 1967
- "Although dated in many respects, the work is still the best single-volume history of English literature".
The Cambridge History of Literary
REF PN86.C27 1989
- Intended as a history of Western literary theory and criticism from classical antiquity to the present. Each volume of the 9 volume set (volume 2 and 6 are forthcoming) consists of separately-authored essays on major theorists, groups, movements or schools, periods, and genres, and concludes with a bibliography of primary and secondary sources.
Last Updated: 14 October 2011