The Continuum encyclopedia of British literature /
Steven R. Serafin and Valerie Grosvenor Myer, editors.
New York : Continuum, 2003.
xvi, 1184 p.
0826414567 (hardcover)
More Details
New York : Continuum, 2003.
0826414567 (hardcover)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2003-05-01:
This complement to The Continuum Encyclopedia of American Literature (1999) aims to provide a "comprehensive survey of the growth and development of [British] literature" from Anglo-Saxon England to today. Covering literature that is British in both origin and scope-thus including selections from the British Isles as well as Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, and the nations of Africa and the Caribbean associated with the British colonial experience-this well-structured reference contains 1200 entries, ranging in length from one paragraph (e.g., "Hodgson, William Hope") to several pages (e.g., "Young Adult Fiction") and covering authors, genres, and various broad subjects. Author entries (e.g., Aelfric, Shakespeare, J.K. Rowling, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Wordsworth, E.M. Forster, and Ben Okri, to name just a few) include vital statistics, brief biographical and critical overviews, achievements, and a bibliography. Some 200 experts in the field of British literature from both the U.K. and the United States have contributed to the work, among them R.S. White, who writes on William Blake, and Fred Marchant, who writes on Ted Hughes. Other useful features include a time line outlining both historical and literary events from 5000 B.C.E. to 2002 and a list of poets laureate and literary awards. Cross references abound. Overall, the entries contain useful information, and though they are not as extensive as those in Masterplots, they are nevertheless broader than those in The Oxford Companion to English Literature, Bent's Reader's Encyclopedia, or Cassell's Encyclopedia of World Literature. A solid purchase for all libraries.-Laurie Selwyn, Grayson Cty. Law Lib., Sherman, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Choice on 2003-11-01:
Designed to accompany Continuum's volume on American literature (ed. by Stephen Serafin, 2000), this work enters the crowded fray of subject encyclopedias in English literature. Its more than 1,200 entries consist of essays on individual authors, brief entries, and topical articles covering issues such as discovery and exploration accounts and South African literature in English. Entries are longer than those found in the Oxford Companion (6th ed., CH, Apr'01), and nearly all are signed and include brief bibliographies. Among other content is a list of the monarchs of Britain, a historical-literary time line, and lists of poets laureate and literary prizewinners. Despite the claim of "extended coverage" for authors born in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, entries for Irish literature appear limited to well-known writers. Some popular authors are included, a laudable aim; but tighter editorial control is needed--errors both factual and typographical abound in the entry for J.K. Rowling. Contributors range from well known to scholarly neophytes, which makes for some unevenness in reading. Libraries on a budget will be better served with either the Oxford or Cambridge companion volumes; Continuum's is recommended, with reservations, for larger collections. ^BSumming Up: Optional. General readers and undergraduates. H. C. Williams Harvard University
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, May 2003
Booklist, October 2003
School Library Journal, October 2003
Choice, November 2003
Reference & Research Book News, November 2003
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