Cover image for Cyclopedia of literary characters II
Cyclopedia of literary characters II
Magill, Frank N. (Frank Northen), 1907-1997.
Publication Information:
Pasadena, Calif. : Salem Press, [1990]

Physical Description:
4 volumes (xxv, 1775 pages, lxxxi pages) ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes indexes.




Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN44 .M3 1990 V.1 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
PN44 .M3 1990 V.2 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
PN44 .M3 1990 V.3 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
PN44 .M3 1990 V.4 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



A companion to the Masterplots II series, the 1437 articles cover all the titles in the American fiction series, British and Commonwealth fiction series, Drama series, and World fiction series, as well as selected titles from the Short story series. The articles include ready-reference top matter and information on some 5,000 characters, with descriptions of 100 to 200 words for main characters and 25 to 75 words for lesser characters. The characters are arranged in order of importance, with full name, aliases, nickname, maiden or adopted name given, along with descriptions of their physical features. The emphasis is on the character's personality and motives, and its importance in the plot. Indexed by author, character, title. Annotation(c) 2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

This new title in the vastly expanded program of Salem Press digests provides analytic descriptions of over 4000 important characters in 1,437 works covered in the 22-volume Masterplots II sets-- Ameri can Fiction, British and Commonwealth Fiction, World Fiction , and Drama --and 20 novellas from the Short Stories series. Titles, authors, and characters are indexed. One could quibble over inclusions and exclusions, but the selections are generally reasonable. The descriptions themselves are of the usual Salem Press quality, clearly and accurately supplementing the information found in the indexed sets. Libraries that make use of Masterplots II and/or Cyclopedia of Literary Characters (Salem Pr., 1963) should acquire this set; those that do not should put it on hold. This reviewer's suspicion is that some costly and massive super-cumulation of all these sets will appear one day.-- Peter Dollard, Alma Coll. Lib., Mich. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

The first edition of this Cyclopedia (CH, Mar'64) collected more than 16,000 characters from 1,300 classics of world literature. This edition covers 12,000 new characters who appear in works included in the several "Masterplots II" series for fiction and drama, plus characters in 20 novellas from the short stories series. Although Cyclopedia. . .II has expanded to four volumes, it covers only 137 more works--and 4,000 fewer characters--than its one-volume predecessor. One possible explanation is the somewhat lengthier comments on individual characters: in the earlier edition some characters were merely listed by name. Entries are alphabetical by title of work and are generally descriptive in nature. All important characters are covered. As in the original edition, the main characters receive longer discussions; entries for minor figures are shorter. According to the publisher's note, most of the 375 contributors made an effort to include more characters than appeared for the same work in the counterpart "Masterplots II" article. Pronunciation is provided for names likely to be mispronounced. There are indexes by title, author, and character. Characters in 20th-Century Literature, ed. by L.L. Harris (CH, Jun'90), very briefly analyzes 2,000 characters from 600 works of 250 major writers, especially post-1960 and Third World authors. Harris emphasizes theme and style more than character description. The Masterplots II entries themselves provide some analytical discussion of characters as well as plot, theme, and critical context. Cyclopedia. . .II acts as a supplement by providing additional character information; not all libraries will need this. -J. G. Packer, Central Connecticut State University