Cover image for The concise Oxford companion to English literature
The concise Oxford companion to English literature
Drabble, Margaret, 1939-
Personal Author:
Second edition / assistant on the second edition, Daniel Hahn.
Publication Information:
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
720 pages ; 20 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PR19 .D732 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



This is a book 'one turns to with constant pleasure' (TLS). The classic guide to English literature, fully updated and revised for this paperback new edition. Based on the best-selling Oxford Companion to English Literature, this is an indispensable, compact guide to all aspects of English literature. Written by a team of more than 140 distinguished contributors working under Margaret Drabble's editorial direction, this handy reference work provides thereader with unrivalled coverage of writers, works, historical context, literary theory, allusions, characters, and plot summaries.Extensively updated and expanded for this new edition, this book provides essential reading for readers.New entries on modern authors such as Jim Crace and Ben Elton have been added, alongside new entries on topics such as travel writing and Anglo-Indian literature.Over 5,500 entries provide a wide coverage, including entries on the literature of other countries. The fully-updated appendices list literary prize-winners, including the Nobel, Man Booker prize, and Pulitzer prizes.

Author Notes

Margaret Drabble is a distinguished novelist and biographer. Her many novels include Jerusalem the Golden (1967), The Needle's Eye (1972), The Witch of Exmoor (1996), and The Peppered Moth (2001). She has also written biographies of Arnold Bennett (1974) and Angus Wilson (1995).

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Based on the sixth edition of the best-selling The Oxford Companion to English Literature, the second edition of this reference, which was first published in 1996, has been significantly revised and expanded to offer more current information on authors, literary movements, critical theory, genres, publishers, plays, poems, novels, plot summaries, characters, and more-even coffee houses. Of the 5500 alphabetically arranged entries, 600 are brand new and include topics like Anglo-Indian literature and new writers like Jim Crace and Pat Barker. While classical authors are thoroughly covered, foreign authors have not been given equal attention. Nabokov and Sartre, for example, are covered in much less detail than Oliver Goldsmith or Thomas Lodge. Other entries include two-page historical essays on such topics as Gothic fiction, Romanticism, detective fiction, and black British literature. In addition, an asterick (*) before an item indicates that a separate entry exists for that item, an abbreviated type of cross-reference designation. Novelist Drabble and Stringer, who has edited a number of Oxford references, have retained the style of the original but have condensed the longer articles as well as eliminated some of the marginal entries. The result is a more affordable version of the original resource that makes for an excellent addition to one's personal library and for ready-reference collections whether they be in information commons, dorm collections, or in branch libraries. Although there have been other references covering this topic (e.g., from Penguin and Longman), they are out of print and don't even come close to this title in terms of currency.-Marilyn Lary, North Georgia Coll. & State Univ. Lib., Dahlonega (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Based on the sixth edition of Oxford Companion to English Literature (CH, Apr'01), this second edition in Oxford's series of paperback reference works packs a great deal of authoritative information into its smaller format. It is intended for students and general readers of British literature, not literature in English around the world. It emphasizes novelists, poets, dramatists, and their works, with some representation of other kinds of writers (journalists, critics, historians, biographers, etc.). Descriptive, not evaluative, its entries provide plot summaries for major works, characters, selected international authors, literary movements and theory, along with most of the thematic essays new to the sixth edition of the parent Companion. The editors compress most entries and judiciously omit some obscure material and most cross-references. The tightened entries read well, but readers will miss the brief clues about a work's reputation and critical reception. The writing is clear, and some entries have even been updated from those in the parent Companion. Best as a handbook for undergraduate students, and useful in circulating collections or small libraries; the parent contains information that makes it the preferred standard work for any college or public library literature collection. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. General readers; undergraduates. M. H. Loe SUNY Oswego

Table of Contents

Prefacep. vii
Abbreviationsp. ix
Note to the Readerp. ix
The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literaturep. 1
Poets Laureatep. 718
Nobel Prize for Literaturep. 718
Pulitzer Prize for Fictionp. 719
Man Booker Prize for Fictionp. 720