The Literature Student's Survival Kit: What Every Reader Needs to Know


The Literature Student's Survival Kit gives students embarking on a literature degree all the background information they need to stay afloat. It brings together the essential biblical, classical, historical, and academic material in a one-stop reference book.
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The Literature Student's Survival Kit gives students embarking on a literature degree all the background information they need to stay afloat. It brings together the essential biblical, classical, historical, and academic material in a one-stop reference book.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"What do Shadrach, Meshach, Abdegno and the Private of the Buffs have in common? What are Tabitha or Hecuba for you? When did the Porteous riots begin, when was the hearth tax abandoned? Littlewood’s Survival Kit provides all the answers to similar vexing questions, queries that students and teachers alike won’t have time to “google” accurately. This is the best and most up-to-date compendium of essential facts drawn from Biblical lore, universal history, literary chronologies, lists of tropes and poetic movements...a desperately needed survival kit for those who face our current mixture of information overload and short term memory."
J.M. Rabaté, University of Pennsylvania

"The Literature Student's Survival Kit is a remarkably useful collection of information of sure value to many students of literature. Written in a measured way, it presents with both clarity and grace a wide but manageable range of knowledge—historical, political, cultural, biographical, mythological, theological—that will help open up the textures of literary texts, past and present, for readers without that information already at their fingertips. Littlewood's text offers the kind of knowledge—accessibly laid out, accessibly written—that a reader so often needs to know in order to enable informed and sensitive literary interpretation. A book not only valuable but enjoyable too."
Francis O'Gorman, University of Leeds

“This is exactly the kind of book I wish I'd had as a student. It introduces and explains the unfamiliar: the Bible, classics, history. A remarkable combination of explanation, encyclopedia, glossary and database—an indispensable vade mecum. It contains fascinating insights as well as useful facts. How can a reference work be so readable?”
Laurie Maguire, University of Oxford

"This really is a remarkably useful little book."
Reference Reviews

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405122856
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 2/13/2006
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 314
  • Sales rank: 1,550,997
  • Product dimensions: 6.05 (w) x 9.05 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Meet the Author

Ian Littlewood has taught for many years at the University of Sussex as well as at universities in France, America and Japan. He is the author of a number of books on literature, travel and history, including The Writings of Evelyn Waugh (1983), literary guides to Paris and Venice (1987 and 1991), The Idea of Japan (1996), Sultry Climates (2001) and the Rough Guide History of France (2002).

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Table of Contents



1. Surviving the Bible.

Books of the Bible.

Historical Framework.

The Bible in English.


2. Surviving the Classics.


3. Surviving History.


Dictionary of Background Information.

The Roman Conquest to the Wars of the Roses.

The Tudors to the Commonwealth.

The Restoration to the American Revoluation.

The Romantics and the Nineteenth Century.

The Twentieth Century.

Fifty Dates.

English Monarchs.

4. Surviving the Academy.

Reading about Literature.

Literary Terms.

Poetry: Poetic Forms, Rhyme, Meter.

Roman Numerals.

The Critical Background.

Writing about Literature.

Survival-level Punctuation.

A Survivor's Guide to Grammatical Terms.

A Survivor’s Guide to Fifty Common Errors.

A Survivor’s Guide to Writing Essays.



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