Studying English Literature


Studying English Literature offers a link between pre-degree study and undergraduate study by introducing students to:
- the history of English literature from the Renaissance to the present;
- the key literary genres (poetry, prose, and drama);
- a range of techniques, tools and terms useful in the analysis of literature; 
- ...

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Studying English Literature offers a link between pre-degree study and undergraduate study by introducing students to:
- the history of English literature from the Renaissance to the present;
- the key literary genres (poetry, prose, and drama);
- a range of techniques, tools and terms useful in the analysis of literature; 
- critical and theoretical approaches to literature.

It is designed to improve close critical reading skills and evidence-based discussion; encourage reflection on texts' themes, issues and historical contexts; and demonstrate how criticism and literary theories enable richer and more nuanced interpretations.
This one-stop resource for beginning students combines a historical survey of English literature with a practical introduction to the main forms of literary writing.  Case studies of key texts offer practical demonstrations of the tools and approaches discussed.  Guided further reading and a glossary of terms used provide further support for the student. Introducing a wide range of literary writing, this is an indispensable guide for any student beginning their study of English Literature, providing the tools, techniques, approaches and terminology needed to succeed at university.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826497505
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 4/28/2010
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 252
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Ashley Chantler is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Chester, UK.

David Higgins is Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Leeds, UK.

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Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors x

Introduction Ashley Chantler David Higgins 1

Studying Literature at Degree Level 1

How to Use This Book 4

Part I Studying Shakespeare 9

1 Shakespeare and the Renaissance Emma L. E. Rees 11

The Renaissance 11

Elizabeth I 13

Renaissance Thought 14

Country Love 16

Shakespeare 17

Further Reading 20

2 The Comedies Emma L. E. Rees 22

Key Texts 22

Criticism and Literary Theory 26

Case Study: Twelfth Night 29

Further Reading 33

3 The Tragedies Emma L. E. Rees 35

Key Texts 35

Criticism and Literary Theory 39

Case Study: King Lear 42

Further Reading 45

Part II Studying Seventeenth-and Eighteenth-Century Literature 47

4 Literature 1600-1660 Jessica L. Malay 49

Historical Context 49

Key Authors and Texts 53

Criticism and Literary Theory 57

Case Study: John Donne's Poetry 61

Case Study: John Milton's Poetry 65

Further Reading 69

5 Literature 1660-1714 Derek Alsop 70

Historical Context 70

Key Authors and Texts 74

Criticism and Literary Theory 78

Case Study: Rochester's Poetry 82

Case Study: Aphra Behn's The Rover 85

Further Reading 89

6 Literature 1714-1789 Derek Alsop 90

Historical Context 90

Key Authors and Texts 93

Criticism and Literary Theory 99

Case Study: Alexander Pope's Poetry 102

Case Study: Henry Fielding's Joseph Andrews 106

Further Reading 110

Part III Studying Romantic and Victorian Literature (1789-1901) 111

7 The Romantic Period David Higgins 113

Historical Context 113

Key Authors and Texts 117

Criticism and Literary Theory 123

Case Study: William Wordsworth's Poetry 126

Case Study: Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice 129

Further Reading 133

8 The Victorian Period Deborah Wynne 134

Historical Context 134

Key Authors and Texts 138

Criticism and Literary Theory 143

Case Study: Charles Dickens' Great Expectations 146

Case Study: Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest 149

Further Reading 152

Part IV Studying Twentieth-Century and Contemporary Literature 155

9 Literature 1901-1945 Ashley Chantler 157

Historical Context 157

Key Authors and Texts 163

Criticism and Literary Theory 169

Case Study: T.S. Eliot's Poetry 172

Case Study: Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway 176

Further Reading 180

10 Literature 1945-1990 William Stephenson 181

Historical Context 181

Key Authors and Texts 185

Criticism and Literary Theory 189

Case Study: Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot 192

Case Study: Angela Carter's The Magic Toyshop 195

Further Reading 199

11 Literature 1990-The Present William Stephenson 200

Historical Context 200

Key Authors and Texts 204

Criticism and Literary Theory 208

Case Study: Pat Barker's Regeneration 212

Case Study: Carol Ann Duffy's Poetry 215

Further Reading 218

Glossary of Terms 219

References 226

Index 243

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