Cover image for Cyclopedia of literary characters.
Cyclopedia of literary characters.
Sobczak, A. J.
Revised edition / edited by A.J. Sobczak ; original editions edited by Frank N. Magill ; associate editor, Janet Alice Long.
Publication Information:
Pasadena, Calif. : Salem Press, [1998]

Physical Description:
5 volumes ; 27 cm
General Note:
"This comprehensive revised edition of Cyclopedia of literary characters combines all the titles from the original Cyclopedia of literary characters and from Cyclopedia of literary characters II ... adds character descriptions from titles included in Masterplots (revised second edition, 1996) and the Masterplots II sets covering African American literature (1994), women's literature (1995), and American fiction (supplement, 1994) ... 3,300 titles [in alll]."--Publisher's note.

Includes indexes.
v. 1. Aaron's Rod-Dem -- v. 2. Demian-Jonah's gourd vine -- v. 3. Jonathan Wild-Peder Victorious -- v. 4. Pedro Páramo-A tomb for Boris Davidovich -- v. 5. Tonight we improvise-Zuleika Dobson. Indexes.





Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library PN44 .M3 1998 V.1 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Reference
Central Library PN44 .M3 1998 V.4 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Reference
Central Library PN44 .M3 1998 V.3 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Reference
Central Library PN44 .M3 1998 V.5 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Reference
Central Library PN44 .M3 1998 V.2 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Reference

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Cyclopedia of Literary Characters provides critical descriptions of more than 20,000 characters that appear in 3,311 works of world literature, offering readers the opportunity to become familiar with both famous and less well-known personalities from the classics, popular fiction and plays.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

This revised edition combines the character profiles in Cyclopedia of Literary Characters (1963) and Cyclopedia of Literary Characters II (1990). There are 568 new entries, adding character descriptions from titles in Masterplots II African American Literature (1994), Masterplots II American Fiction Supplement (1994), Masterplots II Women's Literature (1995), and Masterplots Revised Second Edition (1996), bringing the total number of characters to 29,000 from more than 3,200 titles. Among the new entries are Anne Tyler's Accidental Tourist, Toni Morrison's Beloved, Caryl Phillips' Cambridge, Wole Soyinka's Death and the King's Horseman, Oscar Hijuelos' Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, Larry Heinemann's Paco's Story, and Alice McDermott's That Night. Eighty-four entries have been rewritten, and a number have been updated. Entries are arranged alphabetically by the title of the work. Volume 1 begins with Aaron's Rod by D. H. Lawrence, and volume 5 concludes with Zuleika Dobson by Max Beerbohm. Entries, which are signed, begin with the book's title, foreign title if originally published in a language other than English, author's name with birth and death years, date of first publication, genre, locale, time of action, and plot type. Characters are arranged in order of importance; major characters have 100-to 150-word write-ups. Volume 5 contains three indexes: title, author, and character. The character index is most helpful in locating the author and work(s) with which a certain character is associated. No other treatment of literary characters matches this one in breadth. Libraries that already own Cyclopedia of Literary Characters and Cyclopedia of Literary Characters II will probably want to consider this revised edition, since it incorporates a considerable amount of new material. Recommended for high-school, public, and academic libraries.

Choice Review

Frank Magill's Cyclopedia of Literary Characters (1963) quickly became a reference mainstay, as did its supplement, Cyclopedia of Literary Characters II (CH, Feb '91). Sobczak and Long's comprehensive revision incorporates all the titles from those editions, adding titles included in Masterplots (rev. 2nd ed., 1996) and in three of the Masterplots II series: "African American Literature Series" (1994), "Women's Literature Series" (CH, Sep'95), and "American Fiction Series"(suppl., CH, Apr'95). This brings the total number of titles included to an impressive 3,300 (574 are new and 84 are updated or revised). Entries are arranged alphabetically by title of work, with characters arranged in order of importance. Key characters continue to receive longer treatment, but the average length of articles remains the same as in previous editions. One improvement: pronunciation guides for character names are easier to understand. Volume 5 contains separate author, title, and character indexes. This remains an essential purchase for all types of libraries. P. S. Thomas Central Michigan University

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