Based on the vastly popular Fifth Edition of The Oxford Companion to English Literature edited by Margaret Drabble, this indispensable volume offers over five thousand alphabetically arranged entries on individual novels, plays, songs, poems, novelists, poets, playwrights, essayists, philosophers, historians, fictional characters, literary movements, legends, and much more.
Like its parent volume, this abridgement features useful plot summaries, separate entries on important fictional characters, and countless biographical articles on authors and other influential figures in the world of letters, all presented with the same lightness of touch that has made the original work such a pleasure to read. It covers topics once regarded as non-literary--detective stories, science fiction, children's stories, and comic strips among them--as well as important movements and critical theories, including the latest developments in Freudian and Marxist criticism.
For this abridgement, the editors have eliminated the most peripheral entries from the parent volume and have condensed many of the remaining articles, while retaining the clear and graceful style that characterized the original. They have also updated information on modern authors and works and have added several entirely new essays on a number of topics such as parody, anachronism, autobiography, heroic drama, and foreign influences on English literature.