British Writers: A Guide to Resources

Library Collection
Web Resources

Handbooks and Histories

Oxford Companion to English Literature (R820.3 O98)
Literary History of England (820.0 B436)
Columbia History of British Poets
(R821.09 W893)
Feminist Companion to Literature in English (R820.3 B634)
  • BritishWriters: A Collection of Literary Biographies (R820.9 B862)
    Includes long essays covering in-depth analysis of a writer's style and the themes of major works.

  • Supernatural Fiction Writers (R809.3 B646)
    Longer essays focusing on writers of the supernatural, fantasy, and horror.

  • World Poets (R809.1 P123)
    Solid essays combining biographical and critical material. Includes web links when authoritative.

  • Critical Survey of Poetry (R809.1 M194)
    Critical Survey of Drama (R809.2 M194)
    Critical Survey of Short Fiction (R809.3 M466)
    Critical Survey of Long Fiction (R809.3 M194)
    Survey of Modern Fantasy Fiction (R809.3 M194)
    Gives a thorough overview of a writer including biographical information as well as critical analysis.

  • Short Stories for Students (R808.83 G152)
    Drama for Students (R809.2 G152)
    Novels for Students (R809.2 G152)
    Poetry for Students (R808.81 G152)
    Epics for Students (R809.1 G152)
    In-depth coverage of authors and works frequently included in literature classes.

  • Drama Criticism (R809.2 T866)
    World Literature Criticism (R809.03 D765)
    Poetry Criticism (R809.1 P745)
    Twentieth Century Literary Criticism (writers who died between 1900-1960) (R809 T971)
    Contemporary Literary Criticism (R809 C761)
    Nineteenth Century Literary Criticism (writers who died between 1800-1900) (R809 N971)
    Literature Criticism from 1400 to 1800 (R809 L776)
    Short Story Criticism (R809.3 S559)
    Includes critical excerpts from a variety of sources that offer contrasting evaluations of an author.

  • Dictionary of Literary Biography:
    British Poets 1880-1914 (R928 D554)
    Victorian Novelists Before 1885 (R928 D554)
    Victorian Novelists After 1885 (R928 D554)
    Modern British Dramatists (R928 D554)
    Poets of Great Britain and Ireland Since 1960 (R928 D554)

    Emphasizes biographical information but includes material about the critical reception of an author's works.


  • Encyclopedia of Shakespeare A-Z of His Life and Works (R822.3 B787)
  • Shakespeare the Playwright (R822.3 C132)
  • Shakespeare's Characters for Students (R822.3 D671)
  • Shakespeare for Students (R822.3 S527)
  • Shakespearean Criticism (R822.3 S527)
    Use the
    Gale Literary Index to determine which volumes include your play.
    To locate a specific topic, use the cumulative topical index in the most recent volume of Shakespearean Criticism.
  • William Shakespeare: His World, His Work, His Influence (R822.3 A567)

Library Collection

  • 813.09 British fiction--criticism
  • 821.09 British poetry--criticism
  • 822.09 British drama--criticism
  • 822.3 Shakespeare

Web Resources

Gale Literary Index
A comprehensive index to the major literature series published by Gale; highlighted in red on this page. The library owns many of the volumes.
Online Literary Criticism Collection, Internet Public Library
Includes 2,662 critical and biographical websites about authors and their works. Can search by author, title, nationality, or literary period.
Literary Resources on the Net
Arranged by categories including: Medieval, Renaissance, Eighteenth Century, Romantic, Victorian, and Twentieth Century British and Irish. Site was created and is managed by Jack Lynch, Assistant Professor of English at Rutgers University.
Voice of the Shuttle
This immense site takes some practice to use well but it is worth the effort. Results are arranged by VoS file name (for example, VoS English Literature: America) and then hyperlinked to a line number--each result has a brief entry containing your search words.
A Celebration of Women Writers
Great resource for which is indexed by name, country, and century.
 Victorian Women's Writers Project
Mr. William Shakespeare and the Internet
A complete annotated guide to the scholarly Shakespeare resources available on the Internet.
Romantic Circles
A website devoted to the study of Romantic period literature and culture.
William Blake Archive
An international resource which provides access to major works of Blake's visual and literary art.
Library Collection
Web Resources
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Updated December 2003 by Allen Chamberlain.