Literary Research Guide/M

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Literary Research Guide  (2017)  by James L. Harner
English Literature

English Literature

Section M includes works devoted primarily to literature in England or the British Isles generally. Works limited to Irish, Scottish, or Welsh literature will be found in their respective sections.

General[edit]

This part includes works that encompass several periods of English literature. Works limited to a movement, century, or period will be found in the appropriate parts of section M. Users should note that most of the reference works in sections A–L of the Guide are useful to research in English literature.

Histories and Surveys[edit]

Literary Histories[edit]

M1310[edit]

The Oxford History of English Literature (OHEL). Ed. F. P. Wilson et al. 15 vols. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1945–97. PR823.09 820.9.

  • Vol. 1, pt. 2: Bennett, J. A. W. Middle English Literature. Ed. and completed by Douglas Gray. 1986. (M1785).
  • Vol. 2, pt. 1: Bennett, H. S. Chaucer and the Fifteenth Century. 1947. (M1780).
  • Vol. 2, pt. 2: Chambers, E. K. English Literature at the Close of the Middle Ages. 2nd impression with corrections. 1947. (M1790).
  • Vol. 3: Lewis, C. S. English Literature in the Sixteenth Century Excluding Drama. 1954. (M1975).
  • Vol. 4, pt. 1: Wilson, F. P. The English Drama, 1485–1585. Ed. G. K. Hunter. 1969. (M2125).
  • Vol. 4, pt. 2: Hunter, G. K. The English Drama, 1586–1642: The Age of Shakespeare. 1997. (M2117).
  • Vol. 5: Bush, Douglas. English Literature in the Earlier Seventeenth Century, 1600–1660. 2nd ed. rev. 1962. (M1970).
  • Vol. 6: Sutherland, James. English Literature of the Late Seventeenth Century. 1969. (M2215).
  • Vol. 7: Dobrée, Bonamy. English Literature in the Early Eighteenth Century, 1700–1740. Corrected rpt. 1964. (M2210).
  • Vol. 8: Butt, John. The Mid-Eighteenth Century. Ed. and completed by Geoffrey Carnall. 1979. (M2205).
  • Vol. 9: Renwick, W. L. English Literature, 1789–1815. 1963. (M2460).
  • Vol. 10: Jack, Ian. English Literature, 1815–1832. 1963. (M2455).
  • Vol. 11, pt. 1: Turner, Paul. English Literature, 1832–1890, Excluding the Novel. 1989. 522 pp.
  • Vol. 11, pt. 2: Horsman, Alan. The Victorian Novel. 1990. 465 pp.
  • Vol. 12: Stewart, J. I. M. Eight Modern Writers. 1963. 704 pp.

In 1990 Oxford University Press needlessly complicated the lives of researchers and bibliographers by reprinting, without revision but with new volume numbers and titles, 14 of the published volumes:

  • Vol. 1: Bennett. Middle English Literature, 1100–1400.
  • Vol. 2: Bennett. Chaucer and Fifteenth-Century Verse and Prose.
  • Vol. 3: Chambers. Malory and Fifteenth-Century Drama, Lyrics, and Ballads.
  • Vol. 4: Lewis. Poetry and Prose in the Sixteenth Century.
  • Vol. 5: Wilson. English Drama, 1485–1585.
  • Vol. 7: Bush. The Early Seventeenth Century, 1600–1660: Jonson, Donne, and Milton.
  • Vol. 8: Sutherland. Restoration Literature, 1660–1700: Dryden, Bunyan, and Pepys.
  • Vol. 9: Dobrée. The Early Eighteenth Century, 1700–1740: Swift, Defoe, and Pope.
  • Vol. 10: Butt. The Age of Johnson, 1740–1789.
  • Vol. 11: Renwick. The Rise of the Romantics, 1789–1815: Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Jane Austen.
  • Vol. 12: Jack. English Literature, 1815–1832: Scott, Byron, and Keats.
  • Vol. 13: Horsman. The Victorian Novel.
  • Vol. 14: Turner. Victorian Poetry, Drama, and Miscellaneous Prose, 1832–1890.
  • Vol. 15: Stewart. Writers of the Early Twentieth Century: Hardy to Lawrence.

A traditional history of English literature, with each volume by a distinguished scholar. Most volumes open with a chapter on the social, scientific, political, and religious background; examine major and minor writers; include a chronology (with sections for public events, literary history, verse, prose, and drama); and conclude with a highly selective bibliography (with sections for reference works, collections and anthologies, literary history and criticism, studies of topics and subjects, background studies, and authors). Indexed by persons, anonymous works, and a few subjects. Although their bibliographies are dated in varying degrees, many volumes rank among the better histories of their respective periods; a few are classics (especially those by Bush and Lewis); but others have met with a mixed reception (such as those by Dobrée and Butt) or are clearly inadequate (such as those by Stewart and Renwick). See the individual entries for fuller discussions of volumes not superseded by Oxford English Literary History (see below). The manifold inadequacies of the original vol. 12 are detailed in the review by Robert Martin Adams, Hudson Review 16.4 (1963–64): 594–600.

To replace OHEL, Oxford University Press is publishing the Oxford English Literary History:

  • Vol. 1: Georgianna, Linda, and Katherine O’Brien O’Keeffe. To 1350: The Literary Cultures of Early England.
  • Vol. 2: Simpson, James. 1350–1547: Reform and Cultural Revolution. 2002. (M1778).
  • Vol. 3: Burrow, Colin. 1533–1603: The Elizabethans.
  • Vol. 4: Maus, Katharine Eisaman. 1603–1660: Literary Cultures of the Early Seventeenth Century.
  • Vol. 5: Ezell, Margaret. 1645–1714: The Later Seventeenth Century.
  • Vol. 6: Mullan, John. 1709–1784: The Eighteenth Century.
  • Vol. 7: Robertson, Fiona. 1785–1832: The Romantic Period.
  • Vol. 8: Davis, Philip. 1830–1880: The Victorians. 2002. (M2462).
  • Vol. 9: Bristow, Joseph. 1875–1914: From “Victorian” to “Edwardian.”
  • Vol. 10: Baldick, Chris. 1910–1940: The Modern Movement. 2004. (M2752).
  • Vol. 11: Rylance, Rick. 1930–1970: Literature among the Wars.
  • Vol. 12: Stevenson, Randall. 1960–2000: The Last of England? 2004. (M2753).
  • Vol. 13: King, Bruce. 1948–2000: The Internationalization of English Literature. 2004. (M2753a).

While each volume “offers an individual scholar’s vision of a discrete period of literary history,” all give attention to the institutions associated with literary creation, forms and genres, and “the relationship between literature and broader historical continuities and transformations.” The selective bibliographies that conclude each volume vary substantially in their quality: some (e.g., Simpson) are little more than inadequate—and sometimes untrustworthy—lists of editions and studies; others (e.g., Davis) offer fuller, evaluative guides to further reading. Indexed by persons and subjects.

Some of the individual chapters in the Cambridge History of English Literature (CHEL), ed. A. W. Ward and A. R. Waller, 15 vols. (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1907–27; online as The Cambridge History of English and American Literature [1]), have never been completely superseded, although the work as a whole is outdated. George Sampson, The Concise Cambridge History of English Literature, rev. R. C. Churchill, 3rd ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1970; 976 pp.), is a revised digest of CHEL that extends coverage to the mid-twentieth century for British literature and adds discussions of Commonwealth and American literature (through James).

M1315[edit]

Baugh, Albert C., ed. A Literary History of England. 2nd ed. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1967. 1,605 pp. PR83.B3 820.9.

A traditional history in four books written (and then updated with bibliographical supplements) by eminent scholars: Kemp Malone and Albert C. Baugh, the Middle Ages (to 1500); Tucker Brooke, Renaissance (1500–1660), supplemented by Matthias A. Shaaber; George Sherburn, Restoration and eighteenth century (1660–1789), supplemented by Donald F. Bond; Samuel C. Chew, nineteenth century and after (1789–1939), supplemented by Richard D. Altick. The second edition reprints with minor corrections the text of the 1948 edition with bibliographical supplements at the back. Indexed by authors and titles. Although dated in many respects, the work is still the best single-volume history of English literature. Review: René Wellek, Modern Philology 47.1 (1949): 39–45.

Other Histories[edit]

M1323[edit]

New Oxford History of England. Ed. J. M. Roberts. 16 vols. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1989– .

  • Bartlett, Robert. England under the Norman and Angevin Kings, 1075–1225. 2000. 772 pp. DA195.B28 942.02.
  • Prestwich, Michael. Plantagenet England, 1225–1360. 2005. 638 pp. DA225.P744 942.03.
  • Harriss, Gerald. Shaping the Nation: England, 1360–1461. 2005. 705 pp. DA245.H3155 942.04.
  • Williams, Penry. The Later Tudors: England, 1547–1603. 1995. 606 pp. DA355.W4835 942.05.
  • Hoppit, Julian. A Land of Liberty? England, 1689–1727. 2000. 580 pp. DA460.H66 941.06′8′092.
  • Langford, Paul. A Polite and Commercial People: England, 1727–1783. 1989. 803 pp. DA480.L26 941.07′2.
  • Hilton, Boyd. A Mad, Bad, and Dangerous People? England, 1783–1846. 2006. 755 pp. DA520.H64 941.07.
  • Hoppen, K. Theodore. The Mid-Victorian Generation, 1846–1886. 1998. 787 pp. DA560.H58 941.081.
  • Searle, G. R. A New England? Peace and War, 1886–1918. 2004. 951 pp. DA560.S396 941.081.
  • Harrison, Brian. Seeking a Role: The United Kingdom, 1951–1970. 2009. 658 pp. DA589.4.H37 941.085′5.
  • Harrison. Finding a Role? The United Kingdom, 1970–1990. 2010. 679 pp. DA589.4.H36 941.0857.

A general history of England that focuses on the political but that also treats, as the period demands, military, demographic, cultural, religious, economic, and governmental topics. Each volume concludes with a chronology, selective bibliography, and an index of persons and subjects. Review: (Hilton) Rohan McWilliam, Journal of Victorian Culture 15.1 (2010): 164–67. New Oxford History of England is gradually superseding the following:

  • The Oxford History of England. Ed. George N. Clark. 17 vols. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1936–91.
    • Vol. 1a: Salway, Peter. Roman Britain. 1981. 824 pp. DA145.S26 936.1′04.
    • Vol. 1b: Myres, J. N. L. The English Settlements. 1986. 248 pp. DA152.M97 942.01. (This and the preceding volume replace R. G. Collingwood and Myres, Roman Britain and the English Settlements, 2nd ed. [1937, 515 pp.].)
    • Vol. 2: Stenton, F. M. Anglo-Saxon England. 3rd ed. 1971. 765 pp. DA152.S74 942.01.
    • Vol. 3: Poole, Austin Lane. From Domesday Book to Magna Carta, 1087–1216. 2nd ed. 1955. 541 pp. DA175.P6 942.02.
    • Vol. 4: Powicke, Maurice. The Thirteenth Century, 1216–1307. 2nd ed. 1962. 829 pp. DA225.P65 942.034.
    • Vol. 5: McKisack, May. The Fourteenth Century, 1307–1399. 1959. 598 pp. DA230.M25 942.037.
    • Vol. 6: Jacob, E. F. The Fifteenth Century, 1399–1485. 1961. 775 pp. DA245.J3 942.05.
    • Vol. 7: Mackie, J. D. The Earlier Tudors, 1485–1558. Rpt. with corrections. 1978. 699 pp. DA325.M3 942.05.
    • Vol. 8: Black, J. B. The Reign of Elizabeth, 1558–1603. 2nd ed. 1959. 539 pp. DA355.B65 942.055.
    • Vol. 9: Davies, Godfrey. The Early Stuarts, 1603–1660. 2nd ed. 1959. 458 pp. DA390.D3 942.06.
    • Vol. 10: Clark, George N. The Later Stuarts, 1660–1714. 2nd ed., rpt. with corrections. 1961. 479 pp. DA435.C55 942.06.
    • Vol. 11: Williams, Basil. The Whig Supremacy, 1714–1760. 2nd ed., rev. C. H. Stuart. 1962. 504 pp. DA498.W5 942.071.
    • Vol. 12: Watson, J. Steven. The Reign of George III, 1760–1815. 1960. 637 pp. DA505.W38 942.073.
    • Vol. 13: Woodward, Llewellyn. The Age of Reform, 1815–1870. 2nd ed. 1962. 681 pp. DA530.W6 942.07.
    • Vol. 14: Ensor, R. C. K. England, 1870–1914. 1936. 634 pp. DA560.E6 942.08.
    • Vol. 15: Taylor, A. J. P. English History, 1914–1945. 1965. 708 pp. DA566.T38 942.083.
    • Raper, Richard, comp. The Oxford History of England: Consolidated Index. 1991. 622 pp. DA32.A1 R36 016.942.

A general economic, social, political, and military history. Individual volumes are variously organized, but each includes a selective bibliography, maps, and an index of persons and subjects.

M1325[edit]

The Victoria History of the Counties of England (Victoria County History, VCH). Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer for Inst. of Hist. Research, 1900– . DA670 942. <http://www.victoriacountyhistory.ac.uk>.

A collaborative history, with several volumes devoted to each county. Among the topics covered are the physical environment; prehistory; archaeology; schools; industries; sports and pastimes; topography (with descriptions of manors, estates, and other places); and natural, political, social, and economic history. Some volumes have an index of persons, places, and subjects; a cumulative index is planned for each county when all the volumes are published. The quality of the essays varies considerably, but coverage has generally become more thorough over the years; however, there is no consistency in the publication schedule of volumes for each county. Although frequently pedestrian, the volumes offer an incomparable accumulation of local history. The General Introduction, ed. R. B. Pugh (1970; 282 pp.), and Supplement, ed. C. R. Elrington (1990; 67 pp.), offer a thorough discussion of the origin and history of the project; an overview of changes in titles, publishers, and printers; and a detailed list of contents of all volumes published by 1990. For the status of the work on each county and links to volumes and drafts available online, consult the Victoria County History Web site.

For a county-by-county survey of histories, see English County Histories: A Guide: A Tribute to C. R. Elrington, ed. C. R. J. Currie and C. P. Lewis (Stroud: Sutton, 1994; 483 pp.).

Literary Handbooks, Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias[edit]

M1330[edit]

The Oxford Companion to English Literature. Ed. Dinah Birch. 7th ed. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009. 1,164 pp. PR19.O94 820.9. Online through Oxford Reference (I530).

A wide-ranging encyclopedia, with entries for authors, works, characters, literary prizes, movements, critical theories, periods, groups, historical figures and foreign writers important to English literature, critics, theaters, periodicals, terminology, places, prosody, and allusions (although the last two are treated less fully than in the fourth edition). The 31 pages devoted to four prefatory essays (“Literary Culture and the Novel in the New Millennium,” “Cultures of Reading,” “Black British Literature,” and “Children’s Literature”) could better be filled instead with additional entries. The seventh edition offers enhanced coverage of science fiction, fantasy, postcolonial literature, travel writing, and (especially) children’s literature. There is a helpful index of new and extensively revised entries (most of which are for individuals). Entries emphasize information rather than critical evaluation, although the latter is inevitably present. Discussions of authors are very inconsistent in directing readers to standard editions and critical works. This edition concludes with a chronology and lists of poets laureate, children’s laureates, and literary awards, which unfortunately replace the valuable appendixes that conclude the fifth and earlier editions (“Censorship and the Law of the Press”; “Notes on the History of English Copyright”; “The Calendar,” with tables for the Gregorian and Julian calendars, movable feast days, and saints’ days—all essential to dating documents). Individuals with separate entries in the fourth, fifth, revised fifth, sixth, and revised sixth editions are indexed in Biography and Genealogy Master Index (J565). Despite omissions, errors, and inconsistencies, the Oxford Companion retains its stature as the most reliable and readable single source for essential information on English literary culture. Review: (7th ed.) Henry Hitchings, TLS: Times Literary Supplement 30 Oct. 2009: 32.

On the genesis of Paul Harvey’s first edition of the Oxford Companion (1932) and the changes made to it by Margaret Drabble in the fifth edition (1985) and Birch in the seventh edition, see A. Bannerjee, “Oxford Companions,” Sewanee Review 120.4 (2012): 658–67.

The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Literature, ed. Steven R. Serafin and Valerie Grosvenor Myer (New York: Continuum, 2003; 1,184 pp.; online through Credo Reference [2]) offers lengthier entries on some 1,200 authors and topics associated with British literature; however, it is not even remotely the “comprehensive survey” or “most extensive single-volume treatment of its subject,” and far too few contributors can legitimately be called “literary authorities.”

The Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature, ed. David Scott Kastan, 5 vols. (New York: Oxford UP, 2006; online through The Oxford Digital Reference Shelf [3] and through Oxford Reference [I530]) offers even longer entries on more than 500 themes, genres, movements, institutions, and (predominantly) “major authors.” Written for the most part by established scholars, entries conclude with suggestions for further reading. The electronic version can be searched by keyword or browsed by entry; entries can be e-mailed. There will be quibbles over admissions (e.g., Richard Barnfield) and omissions (e.g., Nicholas Rowe), but Oxford Encyclopedia will be welcomed by those who need more information than Oxford Companion can offer.

M1331[edit]

The Encyclopedia of British Literature, 1660–1789. Gary Day and Jack Lynch, gen. eds. Malden: Wiley Blackwell, 2015. 1474 pp. PR442.E67.

A three-volume encyclopedia covering genres, individuals, criticism, movements, and various facets thereof, this encyclopedia defines the eighteenth century as beginning in 1660 with the restoration of the Stuart monarchy (and the year Pepys began his diaries, although he is not given an entry in the encyclopedia) and as ending in 1789 with the French Revolution. An introduction explains the scope in detail, attempting comprehensiveness by incorporating new and original interpretations of the literature while maintaining an awareness of traditional scholarship. Essays on historically marginalized authors provide an expanded landscape of the eighteenth century.

The encyclopedia begins with an alphabetical list of entries, followed by a thematic list of entries, and includes a list of contributors with academic affiliations. Signed articles range from approximately 100 to 5,000 words and contain extensive references and suggestions for further reading. Includes cross-references and a comprehensive index (vol. 3).

M1335[edit]

The Oxford Guide to Literary Britain and Ireland. Ed. Daniel Hahn and Nicholas Robins. 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2008. 370 pp. PR109.E18 820.9. Online through Oxford Reference (I530).

A guide to some 2,000 places, real and imaginary, associated with some 1,364 living and dead authors. Organized alphabetically within nine regions (three of which are subdivided), the entries succinctly identify associations with writers and works (occasionally quoting relevant passages) and provide directions for locating places. New to this edition are eleven short essays “on writers whose work demonstrates a particularly strong sense of place” (e.g., James Joyce and Dublin) and maps of ten cities with numerous literary sites (e.g., Bath). Two indexes: authors; places. Based on visits to most of the places described and offering aptly chosen illustrations, the work offers the fullest, most authoritative general guide to British literary topography (and is a delight to browse).

M1340[edit]

Goode, Clement Tyson, and Edgar Finley Shannon. An Atlas of English Literature. New York: Century, 1925. 136 pp. PR109.G6 820′.9.

A series of historical maps, each accompanied by a list of writers and associated places. The maps and lists for England and Wales are organized by period (449–1066, 1066–1500, 1500–1660, 1660–1798, and 1798–1900); a single map and list cover each of the following: Scotland, Ireland, London, and Italian locales associated with British authors. Two indexes: places (with authors listed under each); authors. Although in need of revision, the Atlas remains useful for identifying the literary associations of locales as they existed in various periods.

Although lacking this historical perspective, Michael Hardwick, A Literary Atlas and Gazetteer of the British Isles (Detroit: Gale, 1973; 216 pp.), prints detailed county maps (keyed to terse explanatory notes on literary associations) and is more current.

See also[edit]

Sec. C: Literary Handbooks, Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias.

Annals[edit]

Literature[edit]

M1345[edit]

Oxford Chronology of English Literature. Ed. Michael Cox. 2 vols. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2002. Z2011.O98 016.82. CD-ROM.

A selected chronological record of printed works authored, for the most part, by British writers and printed between 1474 and 2000 in Britain, but the approximately 4,000 individuals include some foreign authors who made their home in the British Isles, some colonial writers who were published primarily by British publishers, and some postcolonial writers influential in the United Kingdom. The focus is imaginative writing, but some translations, periodicals, works for children, and nonfictional works are admitted (by the editor’s count, there are approximately “30,000 works—over 11,000 works of fiction, nearly 6,000 poetry titles, 2,500 dramatic works, and over 6,500 works of non-fiction”). Entries are organized chronologically by date of publication (which can differ from the imprint date and, sometimes substantially, from date of composition), then alphabetically (first by title of anonymous works, then by author); a typical entry includes date of birth (and date of death if the work was published posthumously), category (e.g., fiction, prose satire, verse), title, imprint, and a note (including, e.g., date of first performance for a play, bibliographical information, names of illustrators, references to later editions, or cross-references to related works). Three indexes: authors (with titles listed chronologically under each); titles; translated authors (with titles listed chronologically under each).

Although a work that is so catholic in its scope will always invite carping over who or what did or did not survive the editorial delete key, coverage seems even-handed and representative. Users must remember, however, that titles and bibliographical information are not based on copies in hand.

A substantially expanded successor to Annals of English Literature, 1475–1950: The Principal Publications of Each Year Together with an Alphabetical Index of Authors with Their Works, [ed. R. W. Chapman and W. K. Davin], 2nd ed. rpt. with corrections (Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1965; 380 pp.), Oxford Chronology of English Literature is the best print-based resource for placing a work in its literary milieu, tracing changes in reading tastes, and charting more clearly the outlines of a literary period; however, the chronological sorting capabilities of several electronic databases (e.g., English Short Title Catalogue [M1377]) can provide a much more detailed conspectus of the print record for many periods.

Related Topics[edit]

M1350[edit]

Handbook of British Chronology. 3rd ed., corr. Ed. E. B. Fryde et al. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1996. 605 pp. Royal Hist. Soc. Guides and Handbooks 2. DA34.P6 942.002.

A chronology of rulers, officers of state, archbishops, and bishops to 1985 and of peers, parliaments, and church councils for earlier periods. Entries are organized in six divisions: rulers (by country, with details of “parentage, birth, accession, death [or removal], marriage and issue” as well as changes in titles and regents); officers of state (by country, office, then ruler, with dates of assumption and demission); archbishops and bishops (by country, see, then date of accession); dukes, marquesses, and earls (by country, then title, but covering only 1066 to 1714 for England); English and British parliaments and related assemblies to 1832; and provincial and national councils of the church in England, c. 600–1536. An introduction to each division (and to many sections) fully explains content, organization, limitations, and sources. Although access is hampered by the lack of an index and information is provisional for the period to 1066, the Handbook is the standard chronology and an indispensable source for dating documents.

Equally important for dating documents is A Handbook of Dates for Students of British History, ed. C. R. Cheney, new ed. rev. Michael Jones (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2000; 246 pp.; Royal Hist. Soc. Guides and Handbooks 4), which provides tables listing rulers of England and regnal years, popes, saints’ days and festivals, law terms, and dates of Easter.

Bibliographies of Bibliographies[edit]

M1355[edit]

Howard-Hill, T. H. Index to British Literary Bibliography. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1969–98. Z2011.A1 H68 [PR83] 016.82.

  • Vol. 1: Bibliography of British Literary Bibliographies. 2nd ed., rev. and enl. 1987. 886 pp.
  • Vol. 2: Shakespearian Bibliography and Textual Criticism: A Bibliography. 2nd ed., rev. and enl. Signal Mountain: Summertown, 2000. 290 pp.
  • Vol. 3: British Literary Bibliography to 1890: A Bibliography. See below.
  • Vol. 4: British Bibliography and Textual Criticism: A Bibliography. 1979. 732 pp.
  • Vol. 5: British Bibliography and Textual Criticism: A Bibliography (Authors). 1979. 488 pp.
  • Vol. 6: British Bibliography and Textual Criticism, 1890–1969: An Index. 1980. 409 pp.
  • Vol. 7: British Literary Bibliography, 1970–1979. 1992. 912 pp.
  • Vol. 8: Dissertations on British Literary Bibliography to 2000. A preliminary version was published as British Book Trade Dissertations to 1980 (Signal Mountain: Summerton, 1998; 314 pp.).
  • Vol. 9: British Literary Bibliography, 1980–1989: A Bibliography (Authors). 1999. 591 pp.

The British Book Trade, 1475–1890: A Bibliography. 2 vols. London: British Lib.; New Castle: Oak Knoll, 2008. Z324.H69 016.381′.450020941. (This replaced the planned vol. 3, above.)

Additions and corrections to volumes are posted at Bib Site (http://www.bibsocamer.org/BibSite/HowardHill/).

The work is a broad-ranging index of bibliographies and bibliographical and textual studies originally intended to cover books, substantial parts of books, and periodical articles written in English and published in the English-speaking Commonwealth and the United States after 1890, on the bibliographical and textual examination of English manuscripts, books, printing and publishing, and any other books published in English in Great Britain or by British authors abroad, from the establishment of printing in England, except for material on modern (post-1890) printing and publishing not primarily of bibliographical or literary interest. Coverage was extended back to the beginning of printing in Britain by British Book Trade, 1475–1890.

Among kinds of publications initially excluded are bibliographical and textual discussions in editions; catalogs of manuscripts; and most library, auction, booksellers’, and private library catalogs. During the course of publication, Howard-Hill has included some studies in foreign languages and on foreign language books published in Britain; has added coverage of manuscripts before 1475 by authors for whom studies of printed books are listed; has included some material on some modern private presses, studies published before 1890, and discussions in editions; and has modified organization and citation form. For a full discussion of changes in scope, see his “The Index to British Literary Bibliography,” TEXT: Transactions of the Society for Textual Scholarship 2 (1985): 1–12.

In general, entries are organized by date of publication within sections. The brief descriptive annotations frequently note contents and selected reviews. Since a work is usually entered only once and seldom cross-referenced, users must check the index volume (vol. 6) or the CD-ROM accompanying British Book Trade, 1475–1890 to locate all entries relevant to an author or topic.

Vol. 1 classifies enumerative bibliographies (published c. 1890–1969) in divisions for general bibliographies, periods, regions (generally works printed at or written by inhabitants of—rather than those about—a place), book production and distribution, forms and genres (e.g., ballads, emblem books, forgeries, poetry, unfinished books), subjects (e.g., alchemy, circus, fencing, tobacco, witchcraft), and authors. Under some literary authors, the bibliographies of primary works are preceded by a selective list of bibliographies of scholarship; both are organized by date of publication, and the latter sometimes admits works belonging to the former list. The brief descriptive annotations frequently note organization, type of bibliography, content of bibliographical descriptions, revised editions or supplements published after 1969, and reviews. Indexed by persons and subjects; vol. 6 also indexes most entries in the revised edition of vol. 1.

British Book Trade, 1475–1890 generally follows the organization of vol. 1 but adds an initial division for general works on bibliography and textual criticism, moves authors to the general and period bibliography division, emphasizes works about places in the regional division, and combines forms and subjects. The author and title index and the subject index are on a CD-ROM.

Vol. 2 organizes Shakespearean textual and bibliographical research (published c. 1890 through 1995) in divisions for general bibliographies and guides, editions (with sections on quartos and the various folios), and textual studies (with sections on handwriting and paleography, collected emendations, and individual works). Bibliographies appear first in each section, followed by studies in chronological order. Coverage of suggested emendations is not complete. Two indexes: persons; subjects.

Vols. 4 and 5 classify bibliographical and textual studies (published c. 1890–c. 1969) on printed works and manuscripts in divisions for bibliography and textual criticism; general and period bibliography; regional bibliography; book production and distribution; forms, genres, and subjects; and authors. Only a very few entries are annotated. Corrections appear in vol. 6 (pp. xvii–xix).

Vol. 6 indexes vols. 1 (including most entries in the revised edition), 2 (the original 1971 edition), 4, and 5 in two sequences: persons and titles of anonymous works; subjects. The organization of the subject index requires considerable study before it can be used efficiently, as it must be if all entries on an author or subject are to be located.

Vol. 7 continues the coverage of vols. 1, 2, 4, and 5 but excludes most publications in Asian languages.

Vol. 8 includes doctoral dissertations, master’s theses, and other diploma theses.

Vol. 9 continues the coverage of vols. 1, 2, 4, 5, and 7.

Mastering indexing principles and changes in scope and organization amply rewards a user’s perseverance because Howard-Hill offers the fullest single guide to bibliographical scholarship on and bibliographies of English literature. Reviews: (vols. 4–6) Peter Davison, Library 6th ser. 4.2 (1982): 185–87; (British Book Trade) David McKitterick, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 103.4 (2009): 533–38; David Pearson, Library 7th ser. 10.3 (2009): 330–31.

For bibliographies published after 1969, see Bibliographic Index (D145); for recent bibliographical and textual studies, see ABHB: Annual Bibliography of the History of the Printed Book (U5275).

M1357[edit]

Bracken, James K. Reference Works in British and American Literature. 2nd ed. Englewood: Libs. Unlimited, 1998. 726 pp. Reference Sources in the Humanities Ser. Z2011.B74 [PR83] 016.8209.

An annotated bibliography of “bibliographies (including exhibition, book dealer’s, and library catalogs); dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks (ranging from chronologies and gazetteers to companions and prefaces); indexes and concordances (including topical indexes and collections of quotations, proverbs, symbolic language, and critical terminology); and currently published, or recently ceased periodicals (ranging from yearbooks to newsletters, but excluding monographic series)” and a few electronic resources devoted to one of about 1,500 British or American authors or anonymous works (such as Beowulf). The most important or useful separately published English-language works (through early 1997) receive full entries, with annotations frequently citing journal articles and sections of composite or collective reference sources (such as NCBEL [M1385] or BAL [Q3250]). The annotations are thorough (with nicely succinct descriptions of scope, organization, contents, kinds of annotations, and indexing), helpfully cite related or superseded works, usually compare works when two or more are listed under an author, and—unlike in the first edition—are more pointedly evaluative. Unfortunately, the indexing is inadequate: main entries are indexed by persons and titles; titles of books (but not their authors or editors) cited in annotations are indexed (unaccountably by page rather than entry number like other titles); journal articles mentioned in annotations are not indexed. Nonetheless, Bracken is an invaluable starting place for identifying and sorting through published book-length single-author reference works, and it serves to highlight the many authors awaiting a bibliographer.

See also[edit]

Sec. D: Bibliographies of Bibliographies.

Guides to Primary Works[edit]

Manuscripts[edit]

Bibliographies and Indexes[edit]
M1365[edit]

Index of English Literary Manuscripts. Ed. P. J. Croft, Theodore Hofmann, and John Horden. 4 vols. London: Mansell; New York: Bowker, 1980–97. Z6611.L7 I5 [PR83] 016.82908.

  • Vol. 1: 1450–1625. Comp. Peter Beal. 2 pts. 1980. (M1985).
  • Vol. 2: 1625–1700. Comp. Beal. 2 pts. 1987–93. (M1985).
  • Vol. 3: 1700–1800. Comp. Margaret M. Smith and Alexander Lindsay. 4 pts. 1986–97. (M2225).
  • Vol. 4: 1800–1900. Comp. Barbara Rosenbaum and Pamela White. 3 pts. 1982–93. (M2465).

A descriptive catalog of extant literary manuscripts by about 300 British and Irish writers who flourished between 1450 and 1900. The authors included are essentially those listed in Concise Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature, 600–1950, ed. George Watson, 2nd ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1965; 270 pp.). The emphasis is on literary manuscripts, including an author’s typescripts, corrected proof sheets, diaries, notebooks, and marginalia in printed books, but excluding letters; scribal copies to c. 1700 are also included. The individual volumes are organized alphabetically by author, with entries listed as the nature of the surviving manuscripts and canon demands. An introduction to each author describes the manuscripts generally, summarizes scholarship, alerts researchers to special problems, comments on nonliterary papers, discusses canon, and concludes with an outline of the arrangement of entries. A typical entry provides a physical description, dates composition of the manuscript, lists editions and facsimiles, notes provenance, cites relevant scholarship, and identifies location (with shelf mark). Additions and corrections were to be printed in vol. 5, but publication of the Index ceased in 1997. Since some entries are based on inquiries to libraries and collectors, on bibliographies and other reference works, and on booksellers’ and auction catalogs, rather than on personal examination by a compiler, the descriptions vary in fullness and accuracy. Terminology and format also vary somewhat from volume to volume. Although there are inevitable errors and omissions, and although the scope is unduly restricted by reliance on the Concise Cambridge Bibliography, the Index has brought to light a number of significant unrecorded manuscripts and is an essential, if limited, source for the identification and location of manuscripts. It must, however, be supplemented by the works listed in section F: Guides to Manuscripts and Archives.

M1370[edit]

Mullins, E. L. C. Texts and Calendars: An Analytical Guide to Serial Publications. Rpt. with corrections. London: Royal Historical Soc., 1978. 674 pp. Royal Hist. Soc. Guides and Handbooks Main Ser. 7. Texts and Calendars II: An Analytical Guide to Serial Publications, 1957–1982. 1983. 323 pp. Royal Hist. Soc. Guides and Handbooks Main Ser. 12. Z2016.M82 [DA30] 016.941.

Guide to Record Societies and Their Publications (Texts and Calendars). Royal Historical Society. Royal Historical Soc., 2013. 29 Aug. 2013. <http://www.royalhistoricalsociety.org/textandcalendars.htm>.

An annotated guide to the contents of serial publications issued by government bodies or learned societies since the eighteenth century and devoted to printing texts or calendars of records and documents important to the history of England and Wales. In the print volumes, serials are grouped by issuing body in four divisions: official bodies (including the Public Record Office and Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, which merged to form the National Archives [F285]), national societies (e.g., Hakluyt Society), English local societies (including records, antiquarian, historical, and archaeological societies), and Welsh societies. Vol. 2 adds a division for series begun after 1957. The citation to each publication is accompanied by a full description of contents and, in vol. 2, a summary of prefatory matter. Corrections to the corrected reprint appear in vol. 2, pp. 317–20. Indexed in each volume by persons, places, subjects, and types of documents. Guide to Record Societies and Their Publications (Texts and Calendars) (which replaces the defunct online Texts and Calendars since 1982: A Survey, ed. Ian Mortimer) continues Texts and Calendars and David Stevenson and Wendy B. Stevenson, Scottish Texts and Calendars: An Analytical Guide to Serial Publications (London: Royal Historical Soc.; Edinburgh: Scottish Historical Soc., 1987; 233 pp.; Royal Hist. Soc. Guides and Handbooks Main Ser. 14) as an alphabetical list of organizations with links to PDF bibliographies of their publications. Besides being the only sources that index many of these volumes, Texts and Calendars and Guide to Record Societies offer an invaluable conspectus of the numerous publications of the Public Record Office (in the print volumes) and Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts.

See also[edit]

Sec. F: Guides to Manuscripts and Archives.

Storey and Madden, Primary Sources for Victorian Studies (M2450).

Text Archives[edit]
M1373[edit]

British Literary Manuscripts Online, c. 1660–1900. Gale Digital Collections. Gale, 2009. 19 Mar. 2013. <http://www.gale.cengage.com/DigitalCollections/products/BritLit/>.

British Literary Manuscripts Online, Medieval and Renaissance. Gale Digital Collections. Gale, 2010. 19 Mar. 2013. <http://www.gale.cengage.com/DigitalCollections/products/BritLit/>.

Digitized images of British literary manuscripts based on a series of microfilm collections (listed and described under “Source Microfilm Collections”). The c. 564,000 pages in Medieval and Renaissance and the c. 400,000 pages in 1660–1900 include letters, diaries, poems, novels, plays, and other materials. Users must remember that only the metadata associated with a manuscript can be searched; the text of the manuscript itself is not searchable. Records can be searched in three ways: Search, Advanced Search, and Browse. Search allows a keyword search of the citation or catalog entry to be limited by century. Advanced Search allows Boolean searches of fields (full citation or catalog entry, document author, title, document type, persons about, manuscript number, Gale document number, and previous search) to be limited by date, document type, source library, specific library collection, and source microfilm collection. Browse is limited to document authors. Users can search both modules simultaneously or select one. Results can be sorted by relevance, source library or collection, or manuscript number and can be narrowed by document author, document type, century, or source library (the pull-down menu helpfully generates links). For each record, a searcher can elect to view the manuscript, thumbnail images, or full citation and to mark records (not the manuscripts themselves) for viewing or comparing manuscripts, downloading, printing, bookmarking, or e-mailing. Images of the manuscripts can be resized to fit the full screen (a necessity for most of the images); a screen image—which consists of two manuscript pages—can be bookmarked, and up to eight images at a time can be printed or downloaded as a PDF file. The quality of the microfilm images varies, and many screen images are inevitably difficult—and sometimes impossible—to read, but this archive offers a valuable resource that allows a researcher to do meaningful preliminary work before sitting in front of the actual manuscript.

Printed Works[edit]

M1376[edit]

The Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature (CBEL). 3rd ed. 6 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1999. Z2001.N45 [PR83] 016.82. (Cambridge UP has suspended publication; no other volumes will appear.)

  • Vol. 1: 600–1500. Ed. Peter Brown.
  • Vol. 2: 1500–1700. Ed. Douglas Sedge.
  • Vol. 3: 1700–1800. Ed. Shef Rogers. (See M2255.)
  • Vol. 4: 1800–1900. Ed. Joanne Shattock. 2,995 cols. (M2467).
  • Vol. 5: 1900–2000.
  • Vol. 6: Index.

More a reconceptualization than a revision of NCBEL (M1385), CBEL was to focus on primary works, textual and bibliographical studies, biographies, the initial reception of an author’s works, and critical studies before 1920. For many authors and subjects, it would have offered the fullest information available on primary works, but the general exclusion of post-1920 secondary works (based on the unfounded assumption that such studies are adequately covered and easily identified in MLAIB [G335] and ABELL [G340]) meant that CBEL—unlike NCBEL—would no longer be one of the principal starting points for research.

M1377[edit]

English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC; EngSTC); formerly The Eighteenth-Century Short-Title Catalogue. British Lib.–U of California, Riverside, 2010. 12 Nov. 2012. <http://estc.bl.uk/F/?func=file&file_name=login-bl-estc>. Updated daily. <http://estc.ucr.edu>; <http://www.bl.uk/reshelp/findhelprestype/catblhold/estcintro/estcintro.html>.

A bibliographic database and union list of editions; issues; impressions; and variant states of books, serials, pamphlets, bookplates, and single sheets printed in any language in the British Isles (including those with false London imprints), North America, and British territories (for a list, see Michael S. Smith, comp., The English and British Empires, c. 1497–1800 [4]) and printed entirely or partly in English, Irish, Welsh, or Gaelic throughout the rest of the world between c. 1473 and 1800. Excludes most engraved single sheets without letterpress (unless the text is significant), forms intended to be completed in manuscript, trade cards, tickets, playbills, concert and theater programs, playing cards, maps, and games. The database includes records of the North American Imprints Program (Q4010) as well as expanded, edited RSTC (M1990) and Wing (M1995) entries.

A typical record includes author; title; edition; imprint; pagination; illustrations; format; notes on authorship, language, type of work, and content (if not clear from the title) and bibliographical and publication details; references to other bibliographies; identification of microform copies; and locations (with call number or shelf mark and notes on provenance or imperfections); many records also include a subject field. The amount of detail and degree of bibliographical sophistication vary; many records taken over from RSTC and Wing are placeholders that will eventually be expanded. Users should be aware that information included in entries is frequently not precise enough to identify reprints and variant issues, that many titles for eighteenth-century publications are not fully recorded (but full transcriptions are being added), and that the list of locations of copies is frequently seriously incomplete. For an informative analysis of the errors and omissions in records for eighteenth-century publications, see James E. May, “Who Will Edit the ESTC? (and Have You Checked OCLC Lately?),” Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography ns 12.3-4 (2001): 288–304. For a convenient summary of cataloging practices, see R. C. Alston, The First Phase: An Introduction to the Catalogue of the British Library Collections for ESTC, Occasional Paper 4, Factotum: Newsletter of the XVIIIth Century STC (London: British Lib., 1983; 29 pp.); fuller details are provided in J. C. Zeeman, The Eighteenth Century Short Title Catalogue: The Cataloguing Rules, 1991 ed. (London: British Lib., 1991; 140 pp.).

Basic Search allows users to search by keyword, author, title, place of publication, publisher, date, subject (i.e., Library of Congress subject heading), shelf mark, library, or ESTC number. Advanced Search allows users to combine the preceding fields with ones for language, genre, notes, and format and to restrict searches by language, date, format, and country of publication. Users can also browse lists of authors, titles, places of publication, subjects, genres, shelf marks, and libraries. Up to 1,000 results, which are listed in ascending order by title then by date of publication, can be sorted by author or date and can be marked for e-mailing, printing, downloading, or moving to a personal folder at the site. (If a search returns more than 1,000 records, only the first 1,000 will appear in ESTC number order and cannot be re-sorted.) Searchers should consult the most recent help screen for search instructions. The guides published by ESTC—M. J. Crump, Searching ESTC on Blaise-Line: A Brief Guide, Occasional Paper 6, Factotum: Newsletter of the XVIIIth Century STC (London: British Lib., 1989; 37 pp.); and John Bloomberg-Rissman, Searching ESTC on RLIN, Factotum: Newsletter of the English STC, Incorporating the XVIIIth Century STC (1996; 22 pp.; Occasional Paper 7; also available at the project’s Web site [5]); and Searching the ESTC (http://estc.ucr.edu/estcsrch.html)—are obsolete.

A portion of the database was published as The Eighteenth Century Short Title Catalogue 1990 (ESTC 1990) (London: British Lib., 1990; microfiche), an author-title list of about 284,000 entries from the database, with indexes for date and place of publication and five types of publications (advertisements, almanacs, directories, prospectuses, and single-sheet verse); the 2003 CD-ROM has about 465,000 records. On the vagaries of the search interface for the 2003 CD-ROM, see the review by E. Thomson Shields, Jr., Early Modern Literary Studies 10.3 (M2005): 9 pars. <http://purl.oclc.org/emls/10-3/revshiel.html>.

Factotum: Newsletter of the English STC, Incorporating the XVIIIth Century STC (1978–95) carried progress reports as well as notes derived from research in ESTC records; for an index see http://estc.ucr.edu/factotum_index.html. (From 1978 to 1980, ESTC Facsimile: The Newsletter of the Eighteenth-Century Short Title Catalogue in America recorded the progress of the North American group.) For a history of the project and examples of research based on ESTC, see M. Crump and M. Harris, eds., Searching the Eighteenth Century: Papers Presented at the Symposium on the Eighteenth Century Short Title Catalogue in July 1982 (London: British Lib. in association with Dept. of Extra-mural Studies, U of London, 1983; 104 pp.) and Henry L. Snyder and Michael S. Smith, eds., The English Short-Title Catalogue: Past, Present, Future (New York: AMS, 2003; 290 pp.). Alston also recounts the history of the project in “The History of ESTC,” Age of Johnson 15 (2004): 269–329.

The ESTC is the most sophisticated and accessible of the short-title catalogs, and supplants—but does not supersede—RSTC and Wing. Since the database can be searched in a variety of ways and is continually updated to reflect corrections and additions, it is an important source for identifying extant works by an author, about a topic, or published within a time period and for locating copies. A major international cooperative project that has already unearthed a number of unknown works and unrecorded editions, the ESTC is effecting a revolution in all areas of pre-nineteenth-century studies, and it has precipitated similar projects such as the ISTC (M1820a). Users must, however, be aware that the disparate nature of the records brought together in this database means that there are substantial inconsistencies and hundreds of errors (for which, see the exchange of letters between Peter W. M. Blayney and Henry L. Snyder and M. J. Crump in Library 7th ser. 1.1 [2000]: 72–78). For important strictures on using ESTC records for 1475–1700, see William Proctor Williams and William Baker, “Caveat Lector, English Books 1475–1700 and the Electronic Age,” Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography ns 12.1 (2001): 1–29. For suggestions on how this continually evolving database could be improved, see Stephen Tabor, “ESTC and the Bibliographical Community,” Library 7th ser. 8.4 (2007): 367–86.

M1380[edit]

Records of the Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers. Stationers’ Hall, London EC4M 7DD. <http://www.stationers.org/>.

The records, which date from 1554, are in three main groups: the court books (valuable for biographical research on printers and publishers and essential sources for publishing history); miscellaneous documents; and—of primary interest to literary researchers—the registers of printed books, usually called the Stationers’ Register (SR). The registers are virtually complete for 1554–1911, when compulsory registration halted. For 1554–1708, the registers consist of works entered for ownership by a member of the company; for 1710–1911, of works entered for copyright. The so-called voluntary register (1920–2000) is not available to researchers. Arranged chronologically, the registers identify the member claiming ownership or copyright, title (frequently descriptive in the early registers), author (but infrequently in the early years), and registration fee.

The registers for 1554–1842 and other records of the company are available to researchers at Stationers’ Hall (by appointment only); the registers for 1842–1911 are held by the National Archives (F285). In addition, many records can be consulted in microfilm (Robin Myers, ed., Records of the Stationers’ Company, 1554–1920 [Cambridge: Chadwyck-Healey, 1987]) or in various published transcripts:

  • 1554–1640: Transcript of the Registers of the Company of Stationers (M2000).
  • 1640–1708: Transcript of the Registers of the Worshipful Company of Stationers (M2005).
  • (David Foxon has unfortunately had to abandon his transcript of the registers for the period 1710–46.)
  • The court books of the company have been indexed in Alison Shell and Alison Emblow, Index to the Court Books of the Stationers’ Company, 1679–1717 (London: Bibliog. Soc., 2007; 433 pp.).

Review: (microfilm) Michael Robertson, Microform Review 20 (1991): 85–88.

Since the records are the property of the company, scholars should seek permission to cite them in books and articles.

Essential reading for those consulting the records is Robin Myers, The Stationers’ Company Archive: An Account of the Records, 1554–1984 (Winchester: St. Paul’s Bibliographies; Detroit: Omnigraphics, 1990; 376 pp.), which offers a brief history of the archives, an essential glossary, an analytical catalog of records in the muniment room (together with references to editions, indexes, and published commentary), and registers of documents (together with a name index). For a history of the company, see Cyprian Blagden, The Stationers’ Company: A History, 1403–1959 (Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1960; 321 pp.), portions of which are superseded by The Stationers’ Company: A History of the Later Years, 1800–2000, ed. Robin Myers (London: Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers, 2001; 265 pp.), and Peter W. M. Blayney, The Stationers’ Company before the Charter, 1403–1557 (London: Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspapermakers [sic], 2003; 62 pp.).

Researchers must remember that the registers are records of ownership or copyright by members of the company and thus do not include everything actually printed or published in England and that many works entered were never published or appeared under a different title. See entry M2000 for a further discussion of problems in the use of the early registers. The records—many of which await adequate exploration—are essential sources for identifying lost works, aiding in dating composition or publication, and researching all aspects of printing or publishing history.

See also[edit]

Sec. U: Literature-Related Topics and Sources/Anonymous and Pseudonymous Works/Dictionaries.

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism[edit]

Surveys of Research[edit]

M1383[edit]

Greenblatt, Stephen, and Giles Gunn, eds. Redrawing the Boundaries: The Transformation of English and American Literary Studies. New York: MLA, 1992. 595 pp. PR21.R43 820.9′0001.

A collection of surveys of conceptual, methodological, and theoretical shifts since the 1960s in literary studies. Essays—which typically examine significant developments in the field, comment on major studies, and conclude with a selective annotated bibliography—cover historical periods in English and American literature; composition studies; and feminist, gender, African American, Marxist, psychoanalytic, deconstruction, new historicist, cultural, and postcolonial criticism (but not textual criticism). The omission of a subject index is inexplicable in a volume devoted to shifts and interdisciplinarity in literary studies; limiting the index to persons makes it impossible to use the collection to trace across periods or critical schools the effects of a methodology, concept, approach, ideology, or critical school. Despite this drawback, the volume does offer a convenient overview of the evolution of literary studies from the 1960s to the early 1990s.

Other Bibliographies[edit]

M1385[edit]

The New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature (NCBEL). Ed. George Watson and I. R. Willison. 5 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1969–77. Z2011.N45 [PR83] 016.82.

  • Vol. 1: 600–1660. Ed. Watson. 1974. 2,476 cols. (M1675, M1840, and M2035).
  • Vol. 2: 1660–1800. Ed. Watson. 1971. 2,082 cols. (M2255).
  • Vol. 3: 1800–1900. Ed. Watson. 1969. 1,948 cols. (M2505).
  • Vol. 4: 1900–1950. Ed. Willison. 1972. 1,408 cols. (M2785).
  • Vol. 5: Index. Comp. J. D. Pickles. 1977. 542 pp.

A selective, but extensive, bibliography of works by and about “literary authors native to or mainly resident in the British Isles” from the Old English period through those established by 1950. Because of the scope, coverage of scholarship is necessarily selective and excludes unpublished dissertations, ephemeral publications, encyclopedia articles, insignificant notes, and superseded studies. Parts of books are omitted from the lists of secondary materials, thus leading researchers to overlook important studies. Otherwise, the thoroughness of coverage and terminal date (from c. 1962 to 1969) vary widely from section to section, with only extended use revealing how adequate an individual part is.

Entries are organized by literary period and then by six major divisions (each extensively subdivided and classified as its subject and the period require): introduction, poetry, novel, drama, prose, and Scottish or Anglo-Irish. For a fuller account of the organization of each period, see entries for the individual volumes.

Listings under individual authors are divided into bibliographies, collections, primary works, and secondary materials. Headnotes sometimes locate manuscripts or unique items. The full entry for an author who writes in several genres appears under the genre with which he or she is most closely associated; briefer entries emphasizing primary works usually appear under other genres or forms. Since these entries are not always cross-referenced, users must check the index volume (vol. 5) to locate all listings for an author. In the various subdivisions and author entries, primary and secondary works are listed chronologically by date of publication. Editions and translations follow, in chronological order, a primary work. When a list of secondary materials includes more than one study by a scholar, the chronological sequence is unnecessarily violated by grouping all the studies under the earliest publication date of those cited. This practice, which requires considerable backtracking in lengthy lists (since scholars are not indexed), is almost universally condemned by reviewers and users.

Scholars are identified by surname and initial(s); titles are short titles, with only the first word capitalized and no designation of a title within a title; bibliographical information is incomplete. Although these conventions save space and create an uncluttered page, they also frequently prolong searches in library catalogs and volumes of journals.

The index (vol. 5) lists literary authors, major anonymous works, and some headings for subdivisions but is insufficiently detailed to provide adequate access to the wealth of information in vols. 1–4. To be certain of locating all sections on an author, form, or genre, users must consult vol. 5 rather than the provisional index in each volume. Entrants are also indexed in Biography and Genealogy Master Index (J565).

Although NCBEL is a revision of The Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature (CBEL), ed. F. W. Bateson, 4 vols. (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1940), and Supplement, ed. George Watson (1957), CBEL is still occasionally useful for its sections on political and social background and Commonwealth literature dropped from NCBEL. See the entries on individual volumes for details of differences in coverage. For a discussion of the significance and history of CBEL and NCBEL, see George Watson, CBEL: The Making of the Cambridge Bibliography (Los Angeles: School of Lib. Service, U of California, 1965; 13 pp.).

NCBEL, despite its unevenness, errors, inconsistencies, and deficiencies in organization, remains frequently the best starting point for research, especially for authors, forms, genres, and subjects that are not themselves subjects of bibliographies.

Reviews: (vol. 1) Fred C. Robinson, Anglia 97.3 (1979): 511–17; (vol. 2) TLS: Times Literary Supplement 15 Oct. 1971: 1296; Eric Rothstein, Modern Philology 71.2 (1973): 176–86; (vol. 3) Richard D. Altick, JEGP: Journal of English and Germanic Philology 70.1 (1971): 139–45; (vol. 4) TLS: Times Literary Supplement 29 Dec. 1972: 1582; T. A. Birrell, Neophilologus 59.2 (1975): 306–15.

Addressed to the student and general reader, The Shorter New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature, ed. Watson (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1981; 1,612 cols.), emphasizes the traditional canon of English literature by reprinting, with few changes, the sections on primary works by major authors and several minor ones, listing only a very few basic studies about each author, and completely cutting or severely trimming other sections. Although the Shorter NCBEL includes a few additions and corrections, it is, as Peter Davison points out in his review, “an unimaginative scissors-and-paste job which shows little thought for the needs of” its intended audience (Library 6th ser. 4.2 [1982]: 188–89).

M1387[edit]

Oxford Bibliographies Online: British and Irish Literature. Ed. Andrew Hadfield. Oxford UP, 2009– . 15 Jan. 2015. <http://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/obo/page/british-and-irish-literature>.

Oxford Bibliographies Online are peer-reviewed, concisely annotated, expertly selected bibliographic citations. Each of the articles within a bibliography, written by scholars in the field, consists of an introduction that covers the history behind the field or subfield, followed by a categorized list of useful academic publications (e.g., introductions, textbooks, journals, handbooks and guides, reference works, primary texts or documents) and sections on debates and controversies, criticism, genres, and more. The lists of citations are highly selective, chosen to represent the best scholarship in a given field. Some articles include links to full text or Web content.

British and Irish Literature includes articles covering such topics as 1916; Anglo-Irish poetry, 1500–1800; John Gower; Charles and Mary Lamb; coffeehouse; Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke; Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; Tobias Smollett; and Robin Hood literature.

Content is browsable, and users can search the database with the option of limiting by resource type. Searches can be saved, and users can receive e-mails alerting them to new additions.

M1390[edit]

Baer, Florence E. Folklore and Literature of the British Isles: An Annotated Bibliography. New York: Garland, 1986. 355 pp. Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 622: Garland Folklore Bibliogs. 11. Z2014.F6 B34 [PR149.F64] 016.82′09.

A bibliography of studies that discuss folklore elements in literary works written in English in the British Isles. Baer includes scholarly and popular studies (all but a few in English and published between 1890 and 1980) as well as dissertations after 1950 but excludes most of the standard reference works. Listed alphabetically by scholar, the 1,039 entries are accompanied by descriptive annotations offering clear, informative summaries that isolate significant elements of a study; cite tale types, motifs, or Child numbers for ballads; provide appropriate cross-references; and sometimes include an astute evaluation. Because of the organization, users must approach the contents through the detailed general index, which covers literary and folklore genres, literary authors, titles, subjects, theoretical approaches, and theorists. Three additional indexes cover tale types, folklore motifs, and Child ballad numbers. Although the work is not comprehensive, the careful annotations and thorough indexing make it a valuable, time-saving source for identifying studies of the folklore content and relationships of British literature. Until MLAIB for 1981 (G335), such studies are not easily identified in the standard serial bibliographies and indexes in section G.

See also[edit]

Secs. G: Serial Bibliographies, Indexes, and Abstracts and U: Literature-Related Topics and Sources/Folklore and Literature/Guides to Scholarship and Criticism.

ABELL (G340): English Literature division.

Bailey and Burton, English Stylistics (U6080).

Gaillet, Present State of Scholarship in the History of Rhetoric (U5565).

Hayes, Sources for the History of Irish Civilisation (N2980).

Horner, Historical Rhetoric (U5600).

Kallendorf, Latin Influences on English Literature from the Middle Ages to the Eighteenth Century (S4895).

Kirby, America’s Hive of Honey (Q4190).

MLAIB (G335): English Language and Literature (or English Literature) division through the volume for 1980; the Literatures of the British Isles/General and English Literature sections in the volumes for 1981–90; the British and Irish Literatures/General and English sections in the volumes for 1991–2008. Researchers must also check the “English Literature” and “British and Irish Literatures” headings in the subject index to post-1980 volumes and in the online thesaurus.

Ross, Film as Literature, Literature as Film (U5800).

Schwartz, Articles on Women Writers (U6605).

YWES (G330) has a chapter on general literary history and criticism.

Dissertations and Theses[edit]

M1395[edit]

Howard, Patsy C., comp. Theses in English Literature, 1894–1970. Ann Arbor: Pierian, 1973. 387 pp. Z2011.H63 [PR83] 016.82.

A list of baccalaureate and master’s theses accepted by American and some foreign institutions. Includes a limited number of institutions (whether completely is unclear) and apparently only theses on an identifiable author. Entries are organized alphabetically under literary authors. Cross-references identify studies of multiple authors. Two indexes: subject (inadequate); thesis author. Although marred by an insufficient explanation of scope and coverage, Theses in English Literature will save some hunting through elusive institutional lists. A companion volume is devoted to Theses in American Literature (Q3315).

See also[edit]

Sec. H: Guides to Dissertations and Theses.

Related Topics[edit]

M1400[edit]

Bibliography of British and Irish History. Brepolis. Royal Historical Soc., Inst. of Historical Research, and Brepols, 2001. 29 Dec. 2014. <http://apps.brepolis.net/BrepolisPortal/default.aspx>. Updated three times a year.

A bibliographic database of historical writings about the British Isles (including their relations with the British Empire and Commonwealth) from 55 BC to the present. Coverage is more complete for publications after 1900 than before. The database incorporates and supersedes the following:

  • The Royal Historical Society Bibliography: A Guide to Writing about British and Irish History. The Web site closed 1 Jan. 2010.
  • Annual Bibliography of British and Irish History: Publications of [1975–2002]. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1976–2003. Annual. Coverage is highly selective, with many entries taken at second hand.
  • Writings on British History, [1946–74]: A Bibliography of Books and Articles on the History of Great Britain from about 450 A. D. to 1939. 12 vols. London: Inst. of Historical Research, U of London, 1973–86.
  • Writings on British History, [1934–45]: A Bibliography of Books and Articles on the History of Great Britain from about 450 A. D. to 1914, Published during the Year [1934–45], with an Appendix Containing a Select List of Publications . . . on British History since 1914. Comp. Alexander Taylor Milne. 8 vols. London: Cape, 1937–60.
  • Writings on British History, 1901–1933: A Bibliography of Books and Articles on the History of Great Britain from about 400 A. D. to 1914, Published during the Years 1901–1933 Inclusive, with an Appendix Containing a Select List of Publications in These Years on British History since 1914. 5 vols. London: Cape, 1968–70. An important complementary work is E. L. C. Mullins, comp., A Guide to the Historical and Archaeological Publications of Societies in England and Wales, 1901–1933 (London: Athlone, 1968; 850 pp.).
  • Royal Historical Society Bibliography on CD-ROM. Oxford UP, 1998. Covers 1901–92.

In addition, the database includes pre-1901 publications listed in Graves, Bibliography of English History to 1485 (M1845); Read, Bibliography of British History: Tudor Period, 1485–1603 (M2050); Davies, Bibliography of British History: Stuart Period, 1603–1714 (M2045); Pargellis and Medley, Bibliography of British History: The Eighteenth Century, 1714–1789 (M2260); Brown and Christie, Bibliography of British History, 1789–1851 (M2515); and Hanham, Bibliography of British History, 1851–1914 (M2520).

Simple Search allows a keyword, author, title, or index term search to be limited by date. Advanced Search allows users to combine the following fields: keyword, author, title, journal or series title, date of publication, index term, subject, place-name, person as subject, and period covered. Records, which can be sorted by author, title, or date (ascending or descending), can be downloaded or e-mailed. Bibliography of British and Irish History offers the most current list of publications on British history and is useful for literature researchers because of its inclusion of several literary studies from periodicals not covered by the standard bibliographies and indexes in section G.

Language[edit]

Guides to Primary Works[edit]

M1405[edit]

Alston, R. C., comp. A Bibliography of the English Language from the Invention of Printing to the Year 1800: A Systematic Record of Writings on English, and on Other Languages in English, Based on the Collections of the Principal Libraries of the World. 22 vols. N.p.: Privately printed, 1965– . Z2015.A1 A4.

  • Vol. 1: English Grammars Written in English and English Grammars Written in Latin by Native Speakers. 1965. 119 pp.
  • Vol. 2: Polyglot Dictionaries and Grammars; Treatises on English Written for Speakers of French, German, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, Hungarian, Persian, Bengali, and Russian. 1967. 311 pp.
  • Vol. 3, pt. 1: Old English, Middle English, Early Modern English: Miscellaneous Works; Vocabulary. 1970. 205 pp.
  • Vol. 3, pt. 2: Punctuation, Concordances, Works on Language in General, Origins of Language, Theory of Grammar. 1971. 66 pp.
  • Vol. 4: Spelling Books. 1967. 277 pp.
  • Vol. 5: The English Dictionary. 1966. 195 pp.
  • Vol. 6: Rhetoric, Style, Elocution, Prosody, Rhyme, Pronunciation, Spelling Reform. 1969. 202 pp.
  • Vol. 7: Logic, Philosophy, Epistemology, Universal Language. 1967. 115 pp.
  • Vol. 8: Treatises on Short-Hand. 1966. 152 pp.
  • Vol. 9: English Dialects, Scottish Dialects, Cant and Vulgar English. 1971. 178 pp.
  • Vol. 10: Education and Language-Teaching. 1972. 75 pp.
  • Supplement: Additions and Corrections, Volume I–X; List of Libraries; Cumulative Indexes. 1973. 117 pp.
  • Vol. 11: Place Names and Personal Names. 1977. 148 pp.
  • Vol. 12, pt. 1: The French Language: Grammars, Miscellaneous Treatises, Dictionaries. 1985. 208 pp.
  • Vol. 12, pt. 2: The Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Romansh Languages: Grammars, Dictionaries, Miscellaneous Treatises. 1987. 55 pp.
  • Vol. 13: The Germanic Languages. 1999. 208 pp.
  • Vol. 14: The British Isles; Hebrew; Eastern Europe; Africa; South Asia; Australasia; The Americas; Pacific Islands. 2000. 561 pp.
  • Vol. 15: Greek; Latin to 1500. 2001. 454 pp.
  • Vol. 16: Latin, 1651–1800. 2 vols. 2002.
  • Vol. 17: Botany, Horticulture, Agriculture. 2 vols. 2003.
  • Vol. 18, pt. 1: Zoology, Geology, Chemistry, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Mathematics, Astronomy, Miscellaneous. 2 vols. 2004.
  • Vol. 18, pt. 2: Law, Art, Architecture, Building, Heraldry. 2 vols. 2004.
  • Vol. 18, pt. 3: Military and Naval Arts and Sciences. 2 vols. 2005.
  • Vol. 18, pt. 4: Horsemanship, Commerce, Trade, Classics, Cookery, Technology, Religion, Recreation, Sports, Music, Satire. 3 vols. 2006.
  • Vol. 19: Periodical Literature. 3 vols. 2007–11.
  • Vol. 20: Materials in Manuscript. 2 vols. 2009.
  • Vol. 21: Addenda: Volumes I–X. 3 vols. 2008.
  • Vol. 22: Indexes. In progress.

(The compiler’s annotated copies of vols. 1–10 were reprinted, without the facsimiles, in a single volume [Ilkley: Janus, 1974]. The corrections and additions are incorporated into the printed supplement to the first ten volumes.)

A massive bibliography of English-language works through 1800 related to the history of the English language. Works are organized by publication date within various subject classifications; subsequent editions follow, in chronological order, the first. A typical entry provides author, short title, publication information, format, pagination, citations to standard bibliographies, locations, references to important scholarship and contemporary reviews, and occasional notes on content. Most volumes print several facsimiles of title pages and other printed material. Each volume has up to four indexes: titles; authors; subjects and other persons; places (however, indexing is less thorough in recent volumes). Based on research in an extensive number of libraries, Alston is an indispensable guide to the identification and location of works essential for the study of the early history of the English language. Review: (rpt. of vols. 1–10) TLS: Times Literary Supplement 8 Nov. 1974: 1267.

Alston supersedes (for publications before 1800) Arthur G. Kennedy, A Bibliography of Writings on the English Language from the Beginning of Printing to the End of 1922 (Cambridge: Harvard UP; New Haven: Yale UP, 1927; 517 pp.). For extensive additions and corrections to Kennedy, see the following reviews: Arvid Gabrielson, “Professor Kennedy’s Bibliography of Writings on the English Language: A Review with a List of Additions and Corrections,” Studia Neophilologica 2.2 (1929): 117–68; Rudolph Brotanek, “Englische Sprachbücher aus frühneuenglischer Zeit,” Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik 4.1 (1956): 5–18; and Hermann M. Flasdieck, Anglia Beiblatt 39.6 (1928): 166–74.

Guides to Scholarship[edit]

See[edit]

Sec. U: Literature-Related Topics and Sources/Linguistics and Literature/General Linguistics/Guides to Scholarship.

ABELL (G340): English Language division.

MLAIB (G335): English Language and Literature division in the volumes for 1922–25; English Language and Literature I/Linguistics in the volumes for 1926–66; Indo-European C/Germanic Linguistics IV/English in those for 1967–80; and Indo-European Languages/Germanic Languages/West Germanic Languages/English Language in later volumes. Researchers must also check “British English Dialect” in the subject index to post-1980 volumes and in the online thesaurus.

Dictionaries[edit]

M1410[edit]

Oxford English Dictionary Online (OED Online). Oxford University Press. Oxford UP, 2013. 29 Aug. 2013. <http://www.oed.com>. Updated quarterly.

Oxford English Dictionary (OED). Ed. J. A. Simpson and E. S. C. Weiner. 2nd ed. 20 vols. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1989. CD-ROM. The Compact Oxford English Dictionary. Ed. Simpson and Weiner. New ed. New York: Oxford UP, 1991. (A micrographic reprint of the second edition; a third edition is in progress; a draft of the preface is at the OED Web site.) PE1625.O87 423.

Oxford English Dictionary Additions. Ed. Simpson and Weiner. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1993– .

An integrated expansion of the following:

  • The Oxford English Dictionary (OED). Ed. James A. H. Murray et al. 12 vols. and supplement. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1933. (A corrected reissue of A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles [NED], originally published in 125 fascicles between 1884 and 1928.) CD-ROM.
  • A Supplement to the Oxford English Dictionary. Ed. R. W. Burchfield. 4 vols. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1972–86.
  • The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles. Ed. Lesley Brown. 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1993. CD-ROM.

A historical dictionary that attempts to record all English words (including obsolete ones, dialect terms before 1500, and archaisms, as well as a considerable number of scientific, technical, and slang terms) used since c. 1150. Words obsolete by 1150 and dialect terms new after 1500 are excluded. Although the OED emphasizes standard British usage and vocabulary, it admits meanings and senses used in English worldwide (especially for words added in the Supplement and second edition). The entries for more than 600,000 words are based on several million excerpts from written works (a majority of which are belles lettres).

The best access to the OED is offered by OED Online, which allows parallel searching of the text of the second edition and the database containing additions and revisions for the third edition; searches display a link to earlier versions of revised entries. Quick Search allows keyword searching of main entries (including phrases and compounds). In Advanced Search, users can restrict searches of full entries, quotations, headwords, lemmas, definitions, or etymologies to parts of an entry, a subject, language of origin, region, usage (e.g., archaic), date, part of speech, and entry letter or range of letters; most of the preceding options have a pull-down menu or are linked to a list. In addition, users can browse the dictionary alphabetically or by category (subject, usage, region, or language of origin), timeline, or sources; Browse is also linked to Kay et al., Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary (M1420). Entries consist of two parts: the headword section (which includes status [e.g., obsolete], pronunciation, variant spellings, etymology, and label indicating context in which the word is used); the sense section (which includes definitions that list quotations in which the word appears, compound forms, and derivatives). Entries can be printed, e-mailed, or saved to a personal account. Many entries are linked to earlier versions and other dictionaries. To search the OED Online efficiently and thoroughly, users must read the Help page.

For an examination of the post-1928 evolution of the OED see Charlotte Brewer, Treasure House of the Language: The Living OED (New Haven: Yale UP, 2007; 334 pp.), and the author’s Web site, Examining the OED (http://oed.hertford.ox.ac.uk/main). For an overview of the principles guiding the revision of the etymology and other linguistic elements appearing in brackets at the beginning of an entry, see Philip N. R. Durkin, “Root and Branch: Revising the Etymological Component of the Oxford English Dictionary,” Transactions of the Philological Society 97.1 (1999): 1–49; for a critique of the plan to rely on MED (M1860) and DOST (O3090a) for Middle English etymologies, see William Rothwell, “OED, MED, AND: The Making of a New Dictionary of English,” Anglia 119.4 (2002): 527–53; for changes in the use of literary works as sources of quotations, see Brewer, “The Use of Literary Quotations in the Oxford English Dictionary,” Review of English Studies 61.248 (2010): 93–125. For examples of the kind of revision being undertaken in the third edition, see John Simpson, Edmund Weiner, and P. Durkin, “The Oxford English Dictionary Today,” Transactions of the Philological Society 102.3 (2004): 335–91.

In the printed OED there are three classifications of headwords: main words (all single words, whether radical or derivative, as well as compounds requiring separate treatment), subordinate words (mostly obsolete and variant forms, irregular inflections, or alleged words), and combined forms. Entries for subordinate words and combinations typically refer users to related main words for fuller information. A typical entry for a main word consists of four parts: (1) identification, with the headword appearing in its current or most usual spelling, pronunciation, part of speech, any specification of vocation, status, earlier spellings (with indication of chronological range), and inflected forms; (2) morphology, with etymology, history of the form, and notes on the history of the word; (3) signification, with senses organized from the earliest to most recent; (4) dated illustrative quotations listed chronologically (averaging one per century for words in the first edition and one per decade for those added in the Supplement or later). Each grammatical form of a main word is accorded a separate entry. New entries (including headwords as well as new senses and collocations) are also recorded in Oxford English Dictionary Additions, each volume of which prints words from throughout the alphabet. Cumulatively indexed beginning with vol. 2.

The 1933 corrected reissue adds a supplement that records new words and senses, corrections, and spurious words and lists the sources of illustrative quotations. Except for the list of sources, the 1933 supplement is superseded by the four-volume Supplement, which records new words or senses since 1884–1928 to 1965–85 (depending on when the part of the alphabet was sent to the printer), includes several words (especially “taboo” terms) and senses omitted from or overlooked in the original volumes and offers more substantial coverage of colloquialisms and English outside the British Isles. The necessity of having the original volumes in hand for effective use of the Supplement is remedied by the second edition, which integrates (but does not correct or revise) the original volumes and Supplement, adds 5,000 new words or senses, and converts Murray’s phonetic system to the International Phonetic Alphabet. (For an explanation of the phonetic theory behind and practice in the original edition and Supplement, see M. K. C. MacMahon, “James Murray and the Phonetic Notation in the New English Dictionary,” Transactions of the Philological Society 83.1 [1985]: 72–112.)

To make effective use of the OED users must study the introductory explanation (in the 1933 reissue, Supplement, second edition, and OED Online) of principles of compilation and editorial practices and must keep in mind the following points:

  1. The OED is not exhaustive in its coverage of standard vocabulary and is limited in its treatment of slang, dialect, scientific, and technical terms. Thus, it must be supplemented by more specialized dictionaries such as Eric Partridge, A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English: Colloquialisms and Catch-Phrases, Solecisms and Catachreses, Nicknames and Vulgarisms, ed. Paul Beale, 8th ed. (New York: Macmillan, 1984; 1,400 pp.; for an important discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of this edition, see the review by Richard A. Spears, American Speech 62.4 [1987]: 361–68); Tom Dalzell and Terry Victor, eds., The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, 2nd ed., 2 vols. (London: Routledge–Taylor and Francis, 2013; <http://www.partridgeslangonline.com>), which covers slang after 1945; Jonathon Green, Green’s Dictionary of Slang, 3 vols. (London: Chambers, 2010; online through Oxford Reference [I530]; in her review [English Language and Linguistics 16.1 (2012): 193–99], Julie Coleman asserts that this “is quite simply the best historical dictionary of English slang there is, ever has been or (in print at least) is ever likely to be” [193]; see also the reviews by Brewer, Review of English Studies 63.258 [2012]: 139–44, and Michael Adams, Dictionaries 33 [2012]: 208–44); UrbanDictionary.com (http://www.urbandictionary.com); Dictionary of Old English (M1690); Middle English Dictionary (M1860); Dictionary of the Scots Language (O3090); Dictionary of American English (Q3355); Dictionary of Americanisms (Q3360); Webster’s Second and Third (Q3365); Dictionary of American Regional English (Q3350); and English Dialect Dictionary (M1415). For an important account of the day-to-day editing of the original OED (including decisions to drop words and to restrict coverage of scientific terminology), see Lynda Mugglestone, Lost for Words: The Hidden History of the Oxford English Dictionary (New Haven: Yale UP, 2005; 273 pp.).
  2. Each grammatical form of a main word has a separate entry; thus, explicators in search of a definition must be certain to locate the entry for the grammatical form of the word as it is used in the literary work.
  3. Subsequent research has corrected several etymologies; since erroneous ones are not revised in the Supplement or second edition, users must consult a good etymological dictionary such as The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology, ed. C. T. Onions, G. W. S. Friedrichsen, and R. W. Burchfield, rpt. with corrections (Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1969; 1,024 pp.). For others, see Anatoly Liberman, “An Annotated Survey of English Etymological Dictionaries and Glossaries,” Dictionaries 19 (1998): 21–96.
  4. Dates of first recorded uses are frequently incorrect (for an important study of the unreliability of first citations, see Jürgen Schäfer, Documentation in the O. E. D.: Shakespeare and Nashe as Test Cases [Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1980; 176 pp.]).
  5. Additions of new words and senses, corrections, and antedatings are regularly published in a variety of journals (especially Notes and Queries and American Speech; several of these are indexed in Wall and Przebienda, Words and Phrases Index [U6025]). More than 5,000 additions, antedatings, and corrections from the period 1475–1640 make up Jürgen Schäfer, Early Modern English Lexicography, vol. 2: Additions and Corrections to the OED (Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1989; 227 pp.). Neither the Supplement nor the second edition records antedatings before 1820; the OED Online includes numerous antedatings.

For a detailed critique of the unreliability of readers, selection of source material, and editorial processing of data from readers in the first edition and Supplement and of the implications of merging first-edition entries unrevised into the second edition, see Brewer, “The Second Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary,” Review of English Studies ns 44.175 (1993): 313–42. Users should also consult John Willinsky, Empire of Words: The Reign of the OED (Princeton: Princeton UP, 1994; 258 pp.), which explores the prejudices underlying the compilation and questions the assumptions behind the ongoing revision.

Novices—and those who have never bothered to read the introduction to the OED—will benefit from Donna Lee Berg, A Guide to the Oxford English Dictionary (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1993; 206 pp.), a remarkably clear guide to the parts and types of entries, with a glossary of terms used in and related to the dictionary.

One of the truly great dictionaries, the OED is an indispensable source for the historical study of the English language and for the explication of literary works. Reviews of Supplement: (vol. 1) Fred C. Robinson, Yale Review 62.3 (1973): 450–56; Donald B. Sands, College English 37.7 (1976): 710–18; (vol. 2) Robinson, Yale Review 67.1 (1977): 94–99; (vol. 3) Roy Harris, TLS: Times Literary Supplement 3 Sept. 1982: 935–36; Thomas M. Paikeday, American Speech 60.1 (1985): 74–79; (vol. 4) Pat Rogers, TLS: Times Literary Supplement 9 May 1986: 487–88; Gabriele Stein, Anglia 107.2 (1989): 482–91. Reviews of 2nd ed.: John Algeo, Transactions of the Philological Society 88.2 (1990): 131–50; Geoffrey Hill, TLS: Times Literary Supplement 21–27 Apr. 1989: 411–14; E. G. Stanley, Review of English Studies ns 41.161 (1990): 76–88 (with a rejoinder by I. S. Asquith, ns 42.165 [1991]: 81–82, and a reply by Stanley, 82–83). Reviews of 2nd ed. and CD-ROM: Andreas H. Jucker, Literary and Linguistic Computing 9.2 (1994): 149–54; Edward Mendelson, Yale Review 81.4 (1993): 111–23.

An informative and entertaining account of the inception, editing, and publication of OED is K. M. Elizabeth Murray, Caught in the Web of Words: James A. H. Murray and the Oxford English Dictionary (New Haven: Yale UP, 1977; 386 pp.); an equally entertaining account of one individual’s contributions is Simon Winchester, The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary (New York: Harper, 1998; 242 pp.). More scholarly are the essays in Mugglestone, ed., Lexicography and the OED: Pioneers in the Untrodden Forest (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2000; 288 pp.), which focus on the first edition. The best short history of the OED appears in three essays in The Oxford History of English Lexicography, ed. A. P. Cowie, vol. 1 (Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 2009): Mugglestone, “The Oxford English Dictionary” (230–59); Brewer, “The OED Supplements” (260–78); and Weiner, “The Electronic OED: The Computerization of a Historical Dictionary” (378–409).

In addition to those noted above, the following are important complementary works:

  • Bailey, Richard W. Michigan Early Modern English Materials. Ann Arbor: Xerox U Microfilms, 1975. Microfiche. Bailey, ed. Early Modern English: Additions and Antedatings to the Record of English Vocabulary, 1475–1700. Hildesheim: Olms, 1978. 367 pp. Both can be searched at http://quod.lib.umich.edu/m/memem. These works are derived from data collected for the Early Modern English Dictionary, 1475–1700, the materials for which are being incorporated into the third edition of the OED.
  • The Barnhart Dictionary Companion (Q3365a) updates several standard dictionaries, including the OED, Supplement, and Partridge, Dictionary of Slang.
  • Fowler, H. W. The New Fowler’s Modern English Usage. Ed. R. W. Burchfield. Rev. 3rd ed. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1998. 873 pp. Reissued in 2004 with the title Fowler’s Modern English Usage.) Offers a fuller guide than the OED to usage; the third edition is less prescriptive and idiosyncratic than its predecessors. On the history and reception of the work, see Ulrich Busse and Anne Schröder, “How Fowler Became ‘The Fowler’: An Anatomy of a Success Story,” English Today 26.2 (2010): 45–54. Reviews: Herbert C. Morton, American Speech 73.3 (1998): 313–25 (an important comparison of Fowler’s and Burchfield’s editions); Mugglestone, Notes and Queries 44.4 (1997): 437–43.
  • Garner, Bryan A. Garner’s Modern American Usage. 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009. 942 pp. Includes entries for individual words or phrases as well as essay entries on questions of usage (e.g., “comparatives and superlatives,” “phrasal adjectives,” and “titular tomfoolery”). New to this edition is a language-change index that uses a five-stage system (ranging from unacceptable to universally accepted) “to measure how widely accepted various linguistic innovations have become” (e.g., “butt naked for buck naked: Stage 3” or “interpretate for interpret: Stage 1”).
  • Lancashire, Ian, ed. LEME: Lexicons of Early Modern English. <http://leme.library.utoronto.ca> (free access); <http://www.utpjournals.com/Lexicons-of-Early-Modern-English-LEME.html> (subscription). Allows searches of 166 dictionaries, hard-word glossaries, and similar works from 1480 to 1702.
M1415[edit]

The English Dialect Dictionary: Being the Complete Vocabulary of All Dialect Words Still in Use, or Known to Have Been in Use during the Last Two Hundred Years. Ed. Joseph Wright. 6 vols. London: Frowde; New York: Putnam’s, 1898–1905. (Originally issued in parts.) PE1766.W8.

EDD Online. Beta vers. Universität Innsbruck. Universität Innsbruck, Institut für Anglistik, 2011. 29 Dec. 2014. <http://www.uibk.ac.at/anglistik/projects/speed/>.

A dictionary of dialect terms (as distinct from those appearing in “the literary language”) and Americanisms used in Great Britain and Ireland. A typical entry consists of headword, geographic area, variant spellings, pronunciation, definitions organized by parts of speech, illustrative dated quotations taken from printed sources and organized by area, and etymology. Vol. 6 includes a supplement (179 pp.), bibliography of sources (59 pp.), and grammar of English dialect (187 pp.).

In the beta version of EDD Online, Simple Search allows users to filter headword or full-text searches by dialect area, usage label, part of speech, source, or etymology; Advanced Search allows users to restrict a search to definitions, compounds, citations, derivations, comments, combinations, variants, or phrases and to filter results as in Simple Search. Users can also browse an index of headwords. Results can be printed or exported.

On the genesis and uses of the Dictionary, see the essays in Joseph Wright’s English Dialect Dictionary and Beyond: Studies in Late Modern English Dialectology, ed. Manfred Markus, Clive Upton, and Reinhard Heuberger (Frankfurt: Lang, 2010; 271 pp.).

Although incomplete and dated, the work remains the fullest English dialect dictionary and, for literary scholars, an essential source for explicating dialect terms in English literature.

Two essential complements, both based on data collected for the Survey of English Dialects, are

  • Orton, Harold, Stewart Sanderson, and John Widdowson, eds. The Linguistic Atlas of England. London: Croom Helm; Atlantic Highlands: Humanities, 1978. N. pag. With maps illustrating the distribution of phonological, morphological, lexical, and syntactic features. Review: K. M. Petyt, English World-wide 7.2 (1986): 287–310.
  • Viereck, Wolfgang, and Heinrich Ramisch, dialectological eds. The Computer Developed Linguistic Atlas of England. 2 vols. Tübingen: Niemeyer, 1991–97. With maps that illustrate in a more sophisticated fashion the distribution of morphological, lexical, and syntactic features. Unfortunately, the laid-in transparent overlay of localities will likely disappear from most library copies. For a description of the project, see Viereck, “The Computer Developed Linguistic Atlas of England, Volumes 1 (1991) and 2 (1997): Dialectological, Computational, and Interpretative Aspects,” ICAME Journal 21 (1997): 79–90. Review: Ossi Ihalainen and Juhani Klemola, Neuphilologische Mitteilungen 94.3-4 (1993): 377–81.

Thesauruses[edit]

M1420[edit]

Kay, Christian, Jane Roberts, Michael Samuels, and Irené Wotherspoon. Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary with Additional Material from A Thesaurus of Old English (HTOED). 2 vols. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009. PE1591.H55. (Available online through Oxford English Dictionary Online [M1410]. Updated quarterly.)

A historical thesaurus of the English language that includes Old and Middle English as well as rare and obsolete words and senses from modern English arranged according to sense and with synonymous forms dated and listed in chronological order. In each major section (the external world, the mental world, and the social world) words and phrases are organized by semantic categories and subcateogies (see the list on pp. xxix–xxx of vol. 1). Users should study carefully the guides to using the thesaurus (1: xxi–xxvii) and index (2: vii–ix) and note that the index excludes “words occurring only in Old English, those with no citations after 1399, and phrases of more than four words.” In the online version, users can browse headings or search by heading or word. Based on the OED (2nd ed. [M1410]), the additions to it, and A Thesaurus of Old English (M1707), HTOED is an invaluable resource for analyzing the semantic development of English, explicating literary works, and charting the history of ideas. For the scholar, it supersedes Roget’s International Thesaurus, ed. Barbara Ann Kipfer, 7th ed. (New York: Collins Reference–HarperCollins, 2010; 1,282 pp.). Reviews: Charlotte Brewer, Review of English Studies 61.252 (2010): 801–05; R. F. Ilson, International Journal of Lexicography 24.2 (2011): 241–60.

Biographical Dictionaries[edit]

M1425[edit]

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography in Association with the British Academy: From the Earliest Times to the Year 2000 (ODNB). Ed. H. G. C. Matthew and Brian Harrison. 60 vols. and Index of Contributors. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2004. DA28.O95 920.041. <http://www.oxforddnb.com>. Updated three times a year.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2001–2004. Ed. Lawrence Goldman. 2009. 1,268 pp. 2005–2008. 2013. 1,242 pp.

A biographical dictionary of dead individuals of some eminence, celebrity, or notoriety born or resident in the British Isles or the colonies (when under British rule). Of the 54,922 persons in the print edition, 50,113 receive individual entries while the others appear in family entries or in subsidiary notices appended to an individual entry. Included among these are revised or rewritten entries for the 38,607 persons in the ODNB’s predecessor, the Dictionary of National Biography from the Earliest Times to 1900 (DNB), ed. Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee, 22 vols. (London: Oxford UP, 1967–68; originally published in 63 parts between 1885 and 1900), and its supplements. Many of the new entries are from “fields that were poorly represented in the DNB: women; people in business and the world of labour; Britain’s Roman rulers . . .; pre-independence Americans; and twentieth-century subjects.” The signed entries typically provide standard details of an individual’s personal life, relationships, and career, along with an assessment of character, reputation, and importance; when possible, they end with a list of primary and secondary sources, the location of archives (manuscript, sound, and film) and important papers, an enumeration of likenesses or portraits, and an indication of wealth at death (sometimes with precise amounts from probate records; sometimes with generalizations, e.g., “died in debtor’s prison”); approximately 20 percent include a portrait or likeness. The introduction supplies a full account of the inception, organization, editorial principles and practices, and production of the work. For the publishing history of the DNB and its relationship to the ODNB, see Robert Faber and B. Harrison, “The Dictionary of National Biography: A Publishing History,” Lives in Print: Biography and the Book Trade from the Middle Ages to the 21st Century, ed. Robin Myers, Michael Harris, and Giles Mandelbrote (New Castle: Oak Knoll; London: British Lib., 2000; Publishing Pathways) 171–92.

The online ODNB—which incorporates corrections and updates to the print volumes, adds entries for those who died after 31 December 2000 as well as essays on groups and includes the original text of rewritten or revised articles—allows users to browse entries (alphabetically or by date of birth or death, with the option of limiting the results to males, females, families, or illustrated entries), isolate entries by themes (e.g., Olympic titleholders, poets laureate, or consorts of monarchs), and search the database through six screens: Quick Search (persons and keyword or phrase); People (with the ability to limit a search by combinations of name, field of interest [users should choose the Open Full List option with its nested lists that offer quite narrow fields, e.g. bibliographer, duelist, and forger], sex, birth and death dates, places, date, life events, religious affiliation, presence of a likeness, and keyword or phrase); Full Text (with pull-down menus allowing restriction to specific fields of an entry); Images reproduced in the ODNB (by artist, date, present location, and copyright holder); References (primary and secondary sources, archives, likenesses [i.e., portraits and pictures cited, but not necessarily reproduced, in ODNB], wealth at death); and Contributors. Most search fields support the * and ? wildcards; no search field allows for Boolean operators. Most search functions are intuitive, but users wanting to perform sophisticated searches—especially in the People search screen—will want to study the clear explanations of search protocols in the Help screen or read Rupert Mann, “Searching the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography” (Indexer 25.1 [2006]: 16–18), an explanation of the metadata that supports searches. Users must remember (1) to type names in normal order or to insert a comma between surname and forename(s) or initial(s) and (2) to use the Images screen to locate portraits and pictures reproduced in the ODNB and the References/likenesses box to search for pictures and portraits cited in the entries. In general, the user interface is well designed and easily navigated; the database design allows for sophisticated ways of mining the enormous amount of data.

Besides its superior search capabilities, the online ODNB offers other advantages over the print version: it is updated and corrected three times per year (though the noncurrent lists of newly added entries are hidden in the Themes/List All Themes screen, with each headed Updates), hyperlinks allow for easy navigation between related articles (and within longer ones) and for connections to other electronic sources that provide additional information on the biographee, and images are in color.

For an analysis of the place of the ODNB in the evolution of collective national biography, see Keith Thomas, Changing Conceptions of National Biography: The Oxford DNB in Historical Perspective, Leslie Stephen Special Lecture (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2005; 56 pp.).

Any biographical dictionary—even one of the magnitude and quality of the ODNB—is destined to contain factual errors and wrongheaded conclusions and to be criticized for omitting some individuals while including others, but no other national biography measures up to this one: it is both a scholar’s first resource and a browser’s delight. Reviews: Nicolas Barker, TLS: Times Literary Supplement 10 Dec. 2004: 5–7; Stefan Collini, London Review of Books 20 Jan. 2005: 3+; John Gross, TLS: Times Literary Supplement 17 Dec. 2004: 12–13; James Raven, Historical Journal 50.4 (2007): 991–1006.

With all the original articles in the DNB and its supplements accessible in the online ODNB, the earlier print version is largely of historical interest. Anyone consulting it needs to be aware that unflattering details were frequently suppressed in the original dictionary and early supplements; however, recent supplements and the ODNB are more candid about the foibles of entrants (e.g, in the ODNB one person is described as a “duelist, gambler, and womanizer”; another as a “bibliographer and forger”). For an important discussion of biases, editorial intervention in the original contributions, and unacknowledged revisions made in successive printings, see Laurel Brake, “The DNB and the DNB ‘Walter Pater,’” Subjugated Knowledges: Journalism, Gender, and Literature in the Nineteenth Century (New York: New York UP, 1994) 169–87 (a revision of “Problems in Victorian Biography: The DNB and the DNB ‘Walter Pater,’” Modern Language Review 70.4 [1975]: 731–42). For the treatment of women in the DNB, see Gillian Fenwick, Women and the Dictionary of National Biography: A Guide to DNB Volumes 1885–1985 and Missing Persons (Aldershot: Scolar, 1994; 181 pp.).

Among major dictionaries that cover a more restricted period but incorporate additional lives, the most important are the following:

  • Baylen, Joseph O., and Norbert J. Gossman, eds. Biographical Dictionary of Modern British Radicals, [1770–1914]. 3 vols. Hemel Hempstead: Harvester, 1979–88. Vol. 1 covers 1770–1830; vol. 2, 1830–70; and vol. 3, 1870–1914.
  • Boase, Frederic. Modern English Biography: Containing Many Thousand Concise Memoirs of Persons Who Have Died between the Years 1851–1900. 6 vols. Truro: Netherton, for the author, 1892–1921. Indexed by subject in each volume; women are indexed in Peter Bell, comp., Index to Biographies of Women in Boase’s Modern English Biography (Edinburgh: Bell, 1986; n. pag.).
  • Valentine, Alan. The British Establishment, 1760–1784: An Eighteenth-Century Biographical Dictionary. 2 vols. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 1970. About one-half of the approximately 3,000 entries are for people not in the DNB.

For members of the aristocracy, see

  • C[okayne], G[eorge] E[dward], ed. Complete Baronetage. 6 vols. Exeter: Pollard, 1900–09. Covers only the period 1611–1800. (The microreprint edition [Gloucester: Sutton, 1983] includes an introduction on the Order of the Baronetage by Hugh Montgomery-Massingberd.)
  • Cokayne, George Edward, ed. The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain, and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct, or Dormant. Ed. Vicary Gibbs et al. New ed. 14 vols. London: St. Catherine P; Stroud: Sutton, 1910–98. Records “particulars of the parentage, birth, honours, orders, offices, public services, politics, marriage, death and burial, of every holder of a Peerage.”

M1430[edit]

Allibone, S. Austin. A Critical Dictionary of English Literature, and British and American Authors, Living and Deceased, from the Earliest Accounts to the Middle of the Nineteenth Century. 3 vols. Philadelphia: Lippincott; London: Trübner, 1859–71. <http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/b/bib/bibperm?q1=AHN9011.0001.001>.

Kirk, John Foster. A Supplement to Allibone’s Critical Dictionary of English Literature and British and American Authors. 2 vols. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1892. Z2010.A44 820.3.

A dictionary of British and American writers through 1888. The approximately 83,000 entries provide biographical details, a list of books by the entrant, and references to other biographical dictionaries, all interspersed with biographical and critical comments extracted from the major nineteenth-century periodicals and other sources. The supplement provides less biographical information and fewer extracts. The original dictionary is indexed in vol. 3 by broad topic, but the supplement is not indexed; entrants in both are indexed in Biography and Genealogy Master Index (J565). Although saddled with one of the most tedious introductions of any reference work, riddled with inaccuracies (partly because of its heavy reliance on untrustworthy sources), and thoroughly outdated in its treatment of authors of any note, Allibone remains occasionally useful for its inclusion of a host of minor writers nowhere else listed and extracts from nineteenth-century periodicals. Information taken from Allibone must always be verified.

M1433[edit]

Orlando: Women’s Writing in the British Isles from the Beginnings to the Present. Ed. Susan Brown, Patricia Clements, and Isobel Grundy. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge UP, n.d. 22 Mar. 2013. <http://orlando.cambridge.org>. Updated semiannually.

A database of biographical, critical, and bibliographical information on more than 1,000 dead and living British women writers, along with entries on literary and historical events and some males (c. 200) and non-British females of importance to women’s writing. People can be searched by name, occupation, genre, or place (the last three can be combined); tags (i.e., an extensive set of semantic or conceptual tags dealing with an author’s life and literary production and reception) can be searched in sections of entries (lives, writings, bibliographies, and full text); and chronologies can be created by date, keyword(s), or tags. Many search options provide pull-down lists. Searches can be limited by date and scope (with the latter depending on the type of search). To make full use of this resource, users must consult the search tutorials.

An entry for an author presents information in a series of tabbed screens: Overview (with a list of milestones and links to writings and life highlights); Writing (content varies with the writer, but an outline appears at the top left of the screen); Life; Writing and Life (the content of the Writing and Life tabs presented side-by-side); Timeline; Links (i.e., a hyperlinked list of semantic tags included in the entry); and Works By (a list of primary works and some studies).

The tagging allows for extensive hyperlinking and for sophisticated searches of the data; for example, users can identify governesses who wrote poetry, authors for whom press run data is cited, or entrants with the same political affiliation or sexual identity. In addition, users can create timelines by various elements, such as genre, place, or theme. Occasional indiscriminate tagging does bring inessential data to the screen (e.g., in the chronology for Jane Austen, the first six entries include two for books owned by Austen and a comment by a modern scholar that Austen was not influenced by a particular work).

Because of the ways in which the extensive data can be mined or formulated, Orlando offers the best access to information on British women writers and serves as a model for similar databases that will (one hopes) supplant printed literary dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks.

On the design and development of Orlando, see Brown, Clements, Renée Elio, and Grundy, “Between Markup and Delivery; or, Tomorrow’s Electronic Text Today,” Mind Technologies: Humanities Computing and the Canadian Academic Community, ed. Ray Siemens and David Moorman (Calgary: U of Calgary P, 2006) 15–31. Review: Alison Booth, Biography 31.4 (2008): 725–34.

Those without access to Orlando will have to make do with the static content of the following:

  • Schlueter, Paul, and June Schlueter, eds. An Encyclopedia of British Women Writers. Rev. and expanded ed. New Brunswick: Rutgers UP, 1998. 741 pp. A collection of separately authored biographical and critical discussions of approximately 600 writers who were born in or were residents of Great Britain from the Middle Ages to the present. Entries provide an overview of the subject’s life and career, as well as a critical estimate of major works, and conclude with lists of books by and works about the entrant. Indexed by persons and subjects; entrants in the first edition are indexed in Biography and Genealogy Master Index (J565). Although lacking an adequate explanation of the basis of selection, Schlueter offers the fullest printed guide to British women writers.
  • Todd, Janet, ed. British Women Writers: A Critical Reference Guide. New York: Ungar-Continuum, 1989. 762 pp. A collection of separately authored biographical and critical discussions of approximately 440 writers since the Middle Ages. The entries—ranging from approximately 500 to 2,500 words—provide an overview of the subject’s life and career, as well as a critical estimate of major works, and conclude with lists of works by and about the entrant. Indexed by names (including alternative forms and pseudonyms) and subjects (including genres and forms). Although marred by an utterly inadequate explanation of editorial procedures and criteria governing selection, Todd frequently offers the most extensive entries of any biographical-critical dictionary devoted solely to British women writers. Blain, Clements, and Grundy, Feminist Companion to Literature in English (J593), includes far more writers, but the entries rarely exceed 500 words. For Restoration and eighteenth-century authors, see Todd, Dictionary of British and American Women Writers (M2265).

For those writing between 1580 and 1700, the most thorough source is Maureen Bell, George Parfitt, and Simon Shepherd, A Biographical Dictionary of English Women Writers, 1580–1720 (Boston: Hall, 1990; 298 pp.), whose approximately 550 brief entries include women “whose only known writing is a single surviving manuscript letter”; entrants are also indexed in Biography and Genealogy Master Index (J565).

For a comparison of Todd, Blain, and the first edition of Schlueter, see the review of Schlueter by Joyce Zonana, Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography ns 4.4 (1990): 186–89.

M1435[edit]

Who’s Who: An Annual Biographical Dictionary. London: Black, 1849– . Annual. DA28.W6 920.042. <http://www.ukwhoswho.com/>.

A biographical dictionary of living persons of distinction and influence primarily in the British Isles and current and former Commonwealth countries. The compact entries provide basic biographical, family, and career information; a list of publications, awards, and honors; and address. Some volumes are indexed in Biography and Genealogy Master Index (J565). This is the best general source for biographical data and addresses of notable residents of the British Isles.

Biographies of dead entrants are reprinted with corrections in Who Was Who: A Companion to Who’s Who Containing the Biographies of Those Who Died during the Period [1897– ] (London: Black, 1920– ). Volumes are now issued for each five-year period; several early volumes have been published in revised editions. Cumulatively indexed in Who Was Who: A Cumulated Index, 1897–2000 (2002; 908 pp.).

See also[edit]

Sec. J: Biographical Sources.

Oxford Companion to English Literature (M1330).

Periodicals[edit]

See section K: Periodicals.

Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, and Handbooks[edit]

M1437[edit]

The Encyclopedia of the British Press, 1422–1992. Ed. Dennis Griffiths. New York: St. Martin’s, 1992. 694 pp. PN5114.E53 072′.09.

An encyclopedia of representative national and local newspapers, journalists and other persons associated with newspapers, and “terms, ideas, places and events associated with the British press.” The approximately 3,000 entries are preceded by six historical overviews and followed by a chronology, circulation figures as of 1991, lists of women and Fleet Street editors, and miscellaneous brief essays on, for example, professional and trade organizations, the British Library Newspaper Library, newspaper collecting, and women in British journalism. Encyclopedia of the British Press is a convenient source for facts on all aspects of the British press (including addresses of current newspapers).

Guides to Primary Works[edit]

Bibliographies[edit]
M1440[edit]

Bibliography of British Newspapers. Charles A. Toase, gen. ed. 6 vols. London: British Lib., 1975–91. Z6956.G6 B5 [PN5114] 016.079′41.

  • Vol. 1: Wiltshire. Ed. R. K. Bluhm. 1975. 28 pp.
  • Vol. 2: Kent. Ed. Winifred E. Bergess, Barbara R. M. Riddell, and John Whyman. 1982. 139 pp.
  • Vol. 3: Durham and Northumberland. Ed. F. W. D. Manders. 1982. 65 pp.
  • Vol. 4: Derbyshire. Ed. Anne Mellors and Jean Radford. 1987. 74 pp.
  • Vol. 5: Nottinghamshire. Ed. Michael Brook. 1987. 62 pp.
  • Vol. 6: Cornwall; Devon. Ed. Jean Rowles and Ian Maxted, resp. 1991. 123 pp.

A bibliography of current and defunct newspapers, with individual volumes devoted to a single county or related counties according to boundaries before the 1974 reorganization (and in the case of greater London, the pre-1965 boundaries). Titles are organized geographically by “main area of news coverage or . . . principal area of circulation,” then (depending on the volume) chronologically by date of first issue or alphabetically by title. Defunct newspapers are listed by earliest title; others by current title. A typical entry records place of publication, publisher, address (if still being published), dates of publication, mergers and name changes, locations of copies (with information on completeness of holdings), and references to historical studies. Two indexes: places; titles. For the areas covered, this bibliography offers the fullest, most current general record of British newspapers and the locations of copies.

As part of the NEWSPLAN program to microfilm all newspapers published in the United Kingdom, many participating regional library systems have established databases that supply basic bibliographical information and locations of copies. (For the databases, see http://www.bl.uk/reshelp/bldept/news/newsplan/newsplan.html.) The amount of information and user interfaces vary from site to site.

The single fullest list of newspapers published in England and Wales is Tercentenary Handlist of English and Welsh Newspapers, Magazines, and Reviews, [comp. J. G. Muddiman] (London: The Times, 1920; 324 pp.), which covers 1620 through 1919. Based on the British Library holdings, the Handlist is far from complete (especially for the eighteenth century) and lists titles chronologically by date of the first issue extant in the library’s collection. Numerous additions and corrections are scattered throughout Notes and Queries 12th ser. 8 (1921), 12th ser. 10 (1922), and 161 (1931). Although covering briefer periods, the following are superior in thoroughness and accuracy:

  • Crane and Kaye, Census of British Newspapers and Periodicals, 1620–1800 (M2270).
  • Nelson and Seccombe, British Newspapers and Periodicals, 1641–1700 (M2060).
  • North, Waterloo Directory of English Newspapers and Periodicals, 1800–1900 (M2540).
  • ———, Waterloo Directory of Irish Newspapers and Periodicals, 1800–1900 (N3000).
  • ———, Waterloo Directory of Scottish Newspapers and Periodicals, 1800–1900 (O3103).
  • Ward, Index and Finding List of Serials Published in the British Isles, 1789–1832 (M2535).
M1445[edit]

Sullivan, Alvin, ed. British Literary Magazines. 4 vols. Westport: Greenwood, 1983–86. Hist. Guides to the World’s Periodicals and Newspapers. PN5124.L6 B74 820′.8.

  • Vol. 1: The Augustan Age and the Age of Johnson, 1698–1788. 1983. 427 pp.
  • Vol. 2: The Romantic Age, 1789–1836. 1983. 491 pp. (Errata in vol. 3, p. xii.)
  • Vol. 3: The Victorian and Edwardian Age, 1837–1913. 1984. 560 pp.
  • Vol. 4: The Modern Age, 1914–1984. 1986. 628 pp.

Profiles of major and representative minor literary magazines. Each volume includes an introductory survey, essays on 80 to 90 magazines, and a chronology of social and literary events and literary magazines; vols. 1 and 3 list other magazines with literary content, and vol. 4, Scottish literary periodicals and magazines with short runs. The individual essays, which vary widely in quality, survey publishing history, characterize content, note important literary contributions, and provide publication details (title changes, volume and issue data, frequency of publication, publishers, and editors) and selective lists of studies, indexes, reprints, and locations. Indexed by persons and magazine titles. Although the lack of clear criteria governing selection leads to the inclusion of some magazines that can hardly qualify as literary, Sullivan is a serviceable compilation of basic information on a number of periodicals. Reviews: (vols. 1–2) Hugh Amory, Book Collector 34 (1985): 386–92; G. E. Bentley, Jr., Victorian Periodicals Review 17.3 (1984): 109–13; (vol. 3) Charles Brownson, English Literature in Transition, 1880–1920 29.3 (1986): 340–42; Rosemary T. VanArsdel, Victorian Periodicals Review 18.3 (1985): 99–101; (vol. 4) Joel H. Wiener, English Literature in Transition, 1880–1920 30.4 (1987): 504–06.

Indexes[edit]
M1450[edit]

The Times Index, [1906– ]. Andover: Primary Source Microfilm–Cengage, 1907– . Monthly, with annual cumulations. Former titles: The Annual Index to the Times (1907–13); The Official Index to the Times (1914–57). AI21.T46 072′.1. CD-ROM.

A subject and author index to the final editions of the Times and, since 1973, Sunday Times, TLS: Times Literary Supplement, Times Educational Supplement, Times Scottish Educational Supplement, and Times Higher Education Supplement (coverage of Times Educational Supplement Cymru began in 2004). Users should watch for changes in coverage and indexing practices over the years, and note that annual cumulations do not begin until 1977. In most volumes, books reviewed are listed by title under the heading “Books” as well as under the authors. The Index offers the best access to one of the world’s great newspapers, which for literature scholars is a valuable source of biographical information (especially in obituaries). And, like other indexes of major newspapers, the source can be used to narrow dates for searching unindexed papers. The CD-ROM covers 1906–80.

For issues before 1906, see Palmer’s Index to the Times Newspaper [10 October 1790–30 June 1941] (Corsham: Palmer, 1868–1943; the indexes for 1790–1905 are also searchable on CD-ROM [Chadwyck-Healey, 1994]; the indexes for 1880–90 can be searched in 19th Century Masterfile [Q4147]), which is much less thorough and more idiosyncratic in indexing practices, and The Times Index, [1785–90], 6 vols. (Reading: Newspaper Archive Developments, 1978–84). Times Literary Supplement Index (K765a) offers superior access to TLS: Times Literary Supplement (K765).

Doreen Morrison, “Indexes to the Times of London: An Evaluation and Comparative Analysis,” Serials Librarian 13.1 (1987): 89–106, offers a useful comparison of the two indexes and discussion of the difficulties in using Palmer’s Index.

Issues since 1 January 1995 can be searched at the newspaper’s Web site (http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/); issues since 1 July 1985 can be searched through Academic OneFile (G387) and other databases; earlier issues can be searched through The Times Archive (1785–1985; http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/archive), The Times Digital Archive, 1785–2007 (http://find.galegroup.com), and Academic OneFile (G387).

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism[edit]

M1455[edit]

Linton, David, and Ray Boston, eds. The Newspaper Press in Britain: An Annotated Bibliography. London: Mansell, 1987. 361 pp. Z6956.G6 L56 [PN5114] 016.072.

A bibliography of published studies (through c. 1985), dissertations, theses, and a few manuscripts (although the latter are inadequately identified and unlocated). The approximately 2,900 entries are listed alphabetically by author. Unfortunately the citations do not record pagination for articles or essays in collections, there are inconsistencies in citation form, and many of the brief descriptive annotations fail to provide an adequate sense of contents. Two appendixes: a chronology of British newspaper history from 1476 through 1986; locations of papers and archives of newspapers and persons connected with the trade. Indexed by subjects (including newspapers). Although Newspaper Press in Britain is the fullest general list of scholarship on British newspapers, it omits numerous important studies, and the lack of a classified organization, frequently inadequate annotations, and insufficiently thorough subject indexing make the work far less accessible than it should be. Review: Donald Munro, Journal of Newspaper and Periodical History 3.3 (1987): 33–39.

Partially expanded by Linton, The Twentieth-Century Newspaper Press in Britain: An Annotated Bibliography (London: Mansell, 1994; 386 pp.). The 3,799 entries exclude studies in the 1987 volume published before 1900 and those concerned with only pre-twentieth-century topics. Coverage extends through 1994 (many of the most recent studies are relegated to the section “Late Entries”). Except for an initial section listing reference works, the organization is the same as the earlier volume’s; the chronology begins at 1900; and the appendix listing archives and collections of papers has disappeared. And Twentieth-Century Newspaper Press in Britain suffers the same shortcomings as its parent volume.

M1460[edit]

White, Robert B. The English Literary Journal to 1900: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale, 1977. 311 pp. Amer. Lit., English Lit., and World Lits. in English: An Information Guide Ser. 8. Z6956.G6 W47 [PN5114] 016.81′05.

An annotated bibliography of English-language studies (published between c. 1890 and c. 1973) and modern critical editions of literary periodicals. Entries are organized in five chapters: bibliographies, general studies, periodicals, persons (including authors), and places. Few annotations are adequately informative, and many entries are unannotated. Of the four indexes (authors, periodicals, persons, places), only the first is necessary; the others merely repeat classified listings without incorporating cross-references. Because the lack of clarity in the selection policy and definition of the term literary periodical results in considerable unevenness of coverage (which is more thorough for eighteenth- than nineteenth-century periodicals), White is little more than a place to begin research. For nineteenth-century periodicals, see Madden and Dixon, Nineteenth-Century Periodical Press (M2560). Reviews: Richard Haven, Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography 1.3 (1977): 250–55; Lionel Madden, Victorian Periodicals Newsletter 11.3 (1978): 108–10; Joanne Shattock, Yearbook of English Studies 10 (1980): 230–32.

Genres[edit]

Most of the works in section L: Genres are useful for research in English literature.

Fiction[edit]

Most of the works in section L: Genres/Fiction are important to research in English fiction.

Histories and Surveys[edit]
M1505[edit]

Baker, Ernest A. The History of the English Novel. 10 vols. London: Witherby, 1924–39. PR821.B3 823.09.

  • Vol. 1: The Age of Romance; from the Beginnings to the Renaissance. 1924. 336 pp.
  • Vol. 2: The Elizabethan Age and After. 1929. 303 pp.
  • Vol. 3: The Later Romances and the Age of Realism. 1929. 278 pp.
  • Vol. 4: Intellectual Realism: From Richardson to Sterne. 1930. 297 pp.
  • Vol. 5: The Novel of Sentiment and the Gothic Romance. 1934. 300 pp.
  • Vol. 6: Edgeworth, Austen, Scott. 1929. 277 pp.
  • Vol. 7: The Age of Dickens and Thackeray. 1936. 404 pp.
  • Vol. 8: From the Brontës to Meredith: Romanticism in the English Novel. 1937. 411 pp.
  • Vol. 9: The Day before Yesterday. 1938. 364 pp.
  • Vol. 10: Yesterday. 1939. 420 pp.
  • Vol. 11: Stevenson, Lionel. Yesterday and After. New York: Barnes, 1967. 431 pp.

A descriptive history, ranging from Anglo-Saxon fiction through the mid-twentieth century, with an emphasis on major authors. Each volume includes a highly selective bibliography (now outdated) and is indexed by author, anonymous work, and subject. Although pedestrian and predictable, Baker remains the most comprehensive general history of the English novel. More compact surveys include Lionel Stevenson, The English Novel: A Panorama (Boston: Houghton, 1960; 539 pp.); Edward Wagenknecht, Cavalcade of the English Novel (New York: Holt, 1954; 686 pp., with a supplementary bibliography); and Walter Allen, The English Novel: A Short Critical History (New York: Dutton, 1955; 454 pp.). Major desiderata are a multivolume history that would replace Baker and a good general compact history of the novel.

Literary Handbooks, Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias[edit]
M1507[edit]

Dictionary of British Literary Characters: 18th- and 19th-Century Novels. Ed. John R. Greenfield. New York: Facts on File, 1993. 655 pp. PR830.C47 D5 823′.80927′03.

Dictionary of British Literary Characters: 20th-Century Novels. Ed. Greenfield. New York: Facts on File, 1994. 583 pp. PR888.C47 D53 823′.910927′03.

A dictionary of major characters and those who contribute significantly to plot or theme in 1,172 British novels, from 1678 to around 1980. Coverage includes established novelists and a representative sampling of lesser-known writers; the selection of individual titles is based on the work’s significance, its popularity, and its critical reception. Organized alphabetically by surname (if there is one), first name, or salient characteristic of an unnamed character (such as the Gentleman of Bath in Moll Flanders), the succinct entries provide information about “characters’ occupations, family relations, relations with other characters, class, and gender roles as well as the characters’ contributions to the novels’ plot and themes.” Indexed in each volume by author (including novels and a list of characters therein that are indexed); in addition, the twentieth-century volume includes a title index for both volumes. Although the lack of a subject index will inhibit its use for “various historical, sociological, or thematic studies,” the Dictionary allows researchers to identify characters and the novels in which they appear.

Entries from both volumes are incorporated into Michael D. Sollars, Dictionary of Literary Characters, 5 vols. (New York: Facts on Files, 2011), which includes more recent novels (and adds short stories and plays) and broadens coverage to literature worldwide; however, H. C. Williams (Choice 48 [May 2011]: entry 48-4825 [6]) found “several worrisome inaccuracies.”

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism[edit]
Surveys of Research[edit]
= M1510 =[edit]

Dyson, A. E., ed. The English Novel: Select Bibliographical Guides. London: Oxford UP, 1974. 372 pp. Z2014.F5 D94 016.823′03.

A collection of evaluative surveys of the best editions, critical studies, biographies and collections of letters, bibliographies, and background studies (published through the early 1970s) for 22 novelists: Bunyan, Defoe, Swift, Richardson, Fielding, Sterne, Smollett, Scott, Austen, Thackeray, Dickens, Trollope, the Brontë sisters, Eliot, Hardy, James, Conrad, Forster, Lawrence, and Joyce. The quality of individual essays varies widely, but Dyson is a serviceable guide to important scholarship published through the early 1970s. See Year’s Work in English Studies (G330) for evaluations of later works. Review: David Leon Higdon, Modern Fiction Studies 20.4 (1974–75): 607–08.

Other Bibliographies[edit]
= M1515 =[edit]

Bell, Inglis F., and Donald Baird. The English Novel, 1578–1956: A Checklist of Twentieth-Century Criticisms. Denver: Swallow, 1958. 168 pp. Z2014.F4 B4 016.82309.

Continued by

  • Palmer, Helen H., and Anne Jane Dyson, comps. English Novel Explication: Criticisms to 1972. Hamden: Shoe String, 1973. 329 pp.
  • Supplement I. Comp. Peter L. Abernethy, Christian J. W. Kloesel, and Jeffrey R. Smitten. 1976. 305 pp.
  • Supplement II. Comp. Kloesel and Smitten. 1981. 326 pp.
  • Supplement III. Comp. Kloesel. 1986. 533 pp.
  • Supplement IV. Comp. Kloesel. 1990. 351 pp.
  • Supplement V. Comp. Kloesel. 1994. 431 pp.
  • Supplement VI. Comp. Kloesel. 1997. 478 pp.
  • Supplement VII. Comp. Kloesel. North Haven: Archon–Shoe String, 2002. 597 pp. Z2014.F5 P26 [PR821] 016.823′009.

Bell and Baird provide a highly selective list of English-language books, parts of books, and articles published from c. 1900 to c. 1957, with entries organized alphabetically by novelist and then by novel. The emphasis is rather loosely on explication, but the criteria for selection are unclear. The degree of selectivity, typographical errors, lack of indexing, and inadequate explanation of editorial policy render Bell and Baird the least useful of these checklists.

Palmer and Dyson interpret “novel” more broadly, range beyond explication, extend coverage back to Malory’s Morte Darthur, and include dissertation abstracts, some book reviews, and foreign language criticism. Their work covers studies published between 1958 and 1972, with selection apparently based on what the compilers could discover. Indexed by literary authors and novel titles.

The first supplement lists books, parts of books, and articles published between 1972 and 1974 (with some earlier works and some from 1975); is more precisely limited to explication; and coordinates coverage with Twentieth-Century Short Story Explication (L1090). The supplements extend coverage through early 2000.

Although English Novel and English Novel Explication (and supplements) make a handy set of volumes for preliminary work (especially because of the inclusion of parts of books), many novelists are more adequately treated in author bibliographies.

= M1520 =[edit]

The English Novel: Twentieth Century Criticism. Vol. 1: Defoe through Hardy. Ed. Richard J. Dunn. Chicago: Swallow, 1976. 202 pp. Vol. 2: Twentieth Century Novelists. Ed. Paul Schlueter and June Schlueter. Athens: Swallow–Ohio UP, 1982. 380 pp. Z2014.F4 E53 [PR821] 016.823′91′09.

Highly selective lists of English-language books, parts of books, and articles (published through 1974 in vol. 1; 1975 in vol. 2). Vol. 1 covers general studies of the novel and 45 novelists, each with sections for general studies (an alphabetical hodgepodge), bibliographies, and works on individual novels. Vol. 2 covers 80 established writers, each with sections for bibliographies, interviews, general studies, and works on individual novels. Both volumes fail to clarify selection criteria, and the second hardly bears out its editors’ claim as “the most nearly complete bibliography of criticism of the twentieth century British novel yet published.” Although these volumes are occasionally useful as a starting point, most of the novelists included are more adequately treated in period and author bibliographies.

= See also =[edit]

ABELL (G340): English Literature/General/Fiction section.

MLAIB (G335): English III/Prose Fiction section in pre-1981 volumes; Literatures of the British Isles/Fiction, Novel, English Literature/Fiction, and Novel sections in pt. 1 of the volumes for 1981–90; and the British and Irish Literatures/Fiction, Novel, English Literature/Fiction, and Novel sections in pt. 1 of the later volumes. Researchers must also check the “British Fiction,” “British Novel,” “English Fiction,” “English Novel,” and “English Novelists” headings in the subject index to post-1980 volumes and in the online thesaurus.

Drama and Theater[edit]

Most works in section L: Genres/Drama and Theater are important to research in English drama.

Histories and Surveys[edit]
M1525[edit]

Nicoll, Allardyce. A History of English Drama, 1660–1900. 6 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1952–59. PR625.N52 822.09.

  • Vol. 1: Restoration Drama. 4th ed. 1952. (M2360).
  • Vol. 2: Early Eighteenth Century Drama. 3rd ed. 1952. (M2360).
  • Vol. 3: Late Eighteenth Century Drama, 1750–1800. 2nd ed. 1952. (M2360).
  • Vol. 4: Early Nineteenth Century Drama, 1800–1850. 2nd ed. 1955. (M2670).
  • Vol. 5: Late Nineteenth Century Drama, 1850–1900. 2nd ed. 1959. (M2670).
  • Vol. 6: A Short-Title Alphabetical Catalogue of Plays Produced or Printed in England from 1660 to 1900. 1959. (M1545).

Emphasizes the history of the stage and dramatic forms of the legitimate and popular theater. Each volume includes a chapter on the theater, discussions of genres or kinds of dramatic entertainments, an appendix on playhouses, and an author list of plays first printed or produced during the respective period. Readers should watch for the supplementary sections containing revisions that could not be incorporated into the text. Each volume is indexed by persons and subjects; vol. 6 indexes by title plays in the author list to each volume and includes numerous additions and corrections. Although the history of the stage is now dated and the production details for 1660–1800 are now largely superseded by London Stage (M2370), the volumes include a wealth of information, especially on minor writers, not readily available elsewhere. Continued by Nicoll, English Drama, 1900–1930 (M2855). See the individual entries for a fuller description of each volume. Reviews: Rudolf Stamm, English Studies 37.5 (1956): 220–22; 42.1 (1961): 46–48.

Although more current, The Cambridge History of British Theatre, Peter Thomson, gen. ed., 3 vols. (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2004; online through Cambridge Histories Online [7]) eschews a “seamless narrative” in favor of allowing contributors “to use a searchlight rather than a floodlight to illuminate the past.” The result is a series of disconnected essays and case studies, albeit ones written by major scholars. Each volume concludes with a list of works cited (not a bibliography as the list is denominated in vols. 2–3). Indexed by persons and subjects in each volume (the online version omits the indexes).

M1530[edit]

The Revels History of Drama in English. Clifford Leech, T. W. Craik, and Lois Potter, gen. eds. 8 vols. London: Methuen, 1975–83. PR625.R44 822′.009.

Each volume includes a chronology; essays that examine the social or literary context, actors and the stage, and the plays and playwrights; an evaluative survey of important scholarship; and an index of authors, titles, and subjects. The Revels History offers a useful synthesis of scholarship rather than a connected history of the drama, with many volumes justly faulted for unevenness and inconsistencies.

Annals[edit]
M1535[edit]

Harbage, Alfred. Annals of English Drama, 975–1700: An Analytical Record of All Plays, Extant or Lost, Chronologically Arranged and Indexed by Authors, Titles, Dramatic Companies, &c. Rev. S. Schoenbaum. Rev. Sylvia Stoler Wagonheim. 3rd ed. London: Routledge, 1989. 375 pp. Z2014.D7 H25 016.822008.

A chronology of dramatic and quasidramatic works (including translations) written in England or by English writers in other countries. Entries are organized according to the known or probable date of first performance: under each century (to 1495) or year (1495–1700), plays of known authorship are listed alphabetically by author, followed by anonymous plays listed by title. Information is presented in tabular format, with columns for author, title, date of first performance (when known), type of play, auspices of first production (including acting company and place), date of first edition or manuscript, and date of most recent modern edition (which is not always the best edition). To decipher information in the columns, users must refer continually to the explanation of symbols in the introduction (some symbols can be deciphered only by consulting the second edition). Following the chronology are supplementary lists of plays omitted because of uncertain date or identity, of selected collections of medieval drama texts, and of theaters. An appendix lists extant play manuscripts, with location and shelf number. Five indexes: English playwrights (including collected editions); English plays (including modern editions, both printed and in dissertations); foreign playwrights; foreign plays translated or adapted; dramatic companies. The third edition incorporates scholarship through the late 1980s but remains as conservative as its predecessor in dating and attributing works. The second edition (1964) with its supplements (1966, 1970) of the Annals was an authoritative accumulation of factual information and an essential source for investigating the environment of a play or the evolution of the early drama; the same cannot be said for the third edition, which is so rife with errors, misprints, omissions, and inconsistencies that it cannot be trusted. Researchers must consult the second edition and its supplements, along with London Stage, 1660–1800 (M2370) for 1660–1700, DEEP: Database of Early English Playbooks (M2137), and Kawachi, Calendar of English Renaissance Drama (M2130), for 1558–1642. Anyone who uses the third edition should first study Anne Lancashire’s account of its deficiencies in her review in Shakespeare Quarterly 42.2 (1991): 225–30.

For an instructive discussion of how the Annals led to the discovery of a “lost” play, see Arthur H. Scouten and Robert D. Hume, eds., introd., The Country Gentleman: A “Lost” Play and Its Background (Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 1976) 10–17.

Guides to Primary Works[edit]
Manuscripts[edit]
= M1540 =[edit]

Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts: Additional Manuscripts 42865–43038: Plays Submitted to the Lord Chamberlain, 1824–1851. London: British Museum, 1964. 357 pp. Z6621.B8422 016.091.

One result of the Licensing Act of 1737, which required that every play intended for performance be approved by the lord chamberlain, is an unrivaled collection of manuscripts and printed acting copies and editions documenting English theater and drama since the early eighteenth century. Unfortunately, the collection is split between the Huntington Library and the British Library, and only plays submitted between 1737 and 1851 have published catalogs.

1737–January 1824. Held in the Huntington Library and cataloged in Catalogue of the Larpent Plays in the Huntington Library, comp. Dougald MacMillan (San Marino: Huntington Lib., 1939; 442 pp.; Huntington Lib. Lists 4).

February 1824–December 1851. Held in the Department of Manuscripts, British Library. The catalog lists plays in order of submission, with a typical entry recording manuscript title, any alternative title, author (frequently taken from Nicoll, History of English Drama, vol. 4 [M2670]), and the presence of an autograph copy. Two indexes: authors; titles. British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue (F300) offers the best access to the contents of this catalog.

1852–1967. Held in the Department of Manuscripts, British Library, and indexed by title in a card index there. Plays submitted from 1852 to 1863 are cataloged in Laurie Garrison, Caroline Radcliffe, Kate Mattacks, and Kathryn Johnson, Catalogue of the Lord Chamberlain’s Plays, 1852–1863 (http://www.rhul.ac.uk/dramaandtheatre/research/researchprojects/lordchamberlainsplays/thelordchamberlainsplays,1852-1863.aspx). For a description of the project, see Radcliffe and Mattacks, “From Analogues to Digital: New Resources in Nineteenth-Century Theatre,” 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century 8 (2009): n. pag.; 19 Nov. 2012; <http://19.bbk.ac.uk/index.php/19/article/viewFile/499/359>.

1968– . Since 1968, plays no longer must be licensed, but a copy of the script of every play produced in Great Britain must be deposited in the Department of Manuscripts. Indexed by authors and titles in a card index there. Unfortunately, the Modern Playscripts Collection (as the post-1967 deposits are called) is missing more than 1,000 works produced between 1968 and April 2005 because of a lack of compliance with the deposit provision of the Theatres Act of 1968. Fortunately, though, Theatre Archive Project (http://www.bl.uk/reshelp/findhelprestype/manuscripts/mssliterarytheatre/msslittheatre.html) is sponsoring a Scripts Collection project that is devoted to identifying and recovering copies of the missing playscripts.

An invaluable collection that preserves hundreds of unique copies of dramatic presentations, legitimate and popular, London and provincial, and whose existence is too little known among researchers.

Printed Works[edit]
= Bibliographies and Indexes =[edit]
== M1545 ==[edit]

Nicoll, Allardyce. A Short-Title Alphabetical Catalogue of Plays Produced or Printed in England from 1660 to 1900. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1959. 565 pp. Vol. 6 of A History of English Drama, 1660–1900 (M1525). PR625.N52 822.09.

More than a title index to the author lists of plays in vols. 1–5, this is an independent record of plays and dramatic entertainments (excluding most Italian operas and “the repertoire of the French and Italian comedians”) first produced or printed in England from 1660 to 1900. The entries, which identify authors and dates of first productions, include corrections and additions to the individual lists. Of particular value is the inclusion of alternative titles and subtitles along with main titles. Although not exhaustive and partly superseded by London Stage (M2370) for the period 1660–1800, the Catalogue remains the most complete list of dramatic works for the period 1660–1900. It must be supplemented with Judith Milhous and Robert D. Hume, “One Hundred and Thirty-Seven Neglected English Play Manuscripts in the British Library (c. 1779–1809),” Library 7th ser. 9.1–9.2 (2008): 37–61, 158–96; the end of the second part discusses limitations in Nicoll’s coverage.

== M1550 ==[edit]

Stratman, Carl J., C. S. V., comp. and ed. Bibliography of English Printed Tragedy, 1565–1900. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP; London: Feffer, 1966. 843 pp. Z2014.D7 S83 016.822051.

A bibliography of editions published between 1565 and the early 1960s of 1,483 tragedies written in English and first printed between 1565 and 1900. Stratman excludes Shakespeare’s tragedies (but includes adaptations of them), translations, one-act plays unless the author also wrote full-length plays, and works existing only in manuscript. Plays are organized alphabetically by author, then title, with editions listed chronologically. Additions and corrections appear on pp. 837–43. An entry typically includes title, imprint, pagination, notes (principally bibliographical or textual, with references to standard bibliographies), and locations. Useful features include a list of anthologies and collections, a chronological list of plays by date of first edition, and a list of locations of manuscripts of works included in the bibliography. Indexed by titles. Although not comprehensive (especially for nineteenth-century works), Stratman is valuable for identifying and locating editions and for studying the genre. Review: Inga-Stina Ewbank, Shakespeare Studies 5 (1969): 366–69.

== See also ==[edit]

Davis, Drama by Women to 1900 (Q3513).

= Text Archives =[edit]
== M1553 ==[edit]

English Drama. Chadwyck-Healey Literature Collections. ProQuest, 1996–2013. 30 Aug. 2013. <http://collections.chadwyck.com/marketing/index.jsp>.

An archive of rekeyed texts of about 3,900 English-language plays, in verse and prose and intended for the stage, by British writers and ranging from the thirteenth to the twentieth century. Being listed in NCBEL (M1385) is the criterion on which dramatists or anonymous works were admitted. Editions—preferably not modernized—were selected according to the following criteria: “the first authorised edition”; a later edition if an early one is unreliable or if a work was significantly revised; a collected edition.

Simple keyword, title, and author searches can be limited by speaker, date of first performance, date of publication, genre, gender, literary period, verse or prose drama, notes, and part of a work (e.g., prologues, stage directions). Searchers must be certain to checkmark the Include Typographical Variants box but must be aware that this feature works on simple variants (e.g. “glove/gloue”) but not more complicated ones (“dogs/dogges/doges”). Searchers can also browse an author list of the contents of the database. Results appear in ascending alphabetical order (by author, including “Anon.” and “Anonymous”) and cannot be re-sorted. Citations (but not the full text of plays) can be marked for e-mailing, downloading, or printing; each citation includes a durable URL to the full text.

Some works are rekeyed from textually unsound editions; however, the bibliographic record for each work identifies the source of the text and any omissions (e.g., preliminary matter). Besides being a useful source for identifying an elusive quotation or half-remembered line, the scope of English Drama’s text archive makes feasible a variety of kinds of studies (stylistic, generic, thematic, imagistic, and topical).

The contents of English Drama can also be searched through LiOn (I527).

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism[edit]
Surveys of Research[edit]
= M1555 =[edit]

Wells, Stanley, ed. English Drama (Excluding Shakespeare): Select Bibliographical Guides. London: Oxford UP, 1975. 303 pp. Z2014.D7 E44 [PR625] 822′.009.

A collection of essays that delineate trends in criticism, evaluate the best editions and studies published through the early 1970s, and frequently suggest work that needs to be undertaken on medieval through contemporary drama. Chapters are devoted to reference works and general studies; medieval drama; Tudor and early Elizabethan drama; Marlowe; Jonson and Chapman; Marston, Middleton, and Massinger; Beaumont and Fletcher, Heywood, and Dekker; Webster, Tourneur, and Ford; the court masque; Davenant, Dryden, Lee, and Otway; Etherege, Shadwell, Wycherley, Congreve, Vanbrugh, and Farquhar; Gay, Goldsmith, Sheridan, and other eighteenth-century dramatists; nineteenth-century drama; Shaw; the Irish School; English drama, 1900–45; and English drama since 1945. Shakespeare occupies a separate volume: Shakespeare: A Bibliographical Guide, ed. Wells, new ed. (Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1990; 431 pp.). Indexed by dramatists and anonymous plays. The judicious (sometimes pointed) evaluations serve as useful guides through the mass of scholarship. See Year’s Work in English Studies (G330) for evaluations of works published after c. 1970, and Logan and Smith (M2145) for more thorough treatment of Renaissance dramatists.

Other Bibliographies[edit]
= M1560 =[edit]

Arnott, James Fullarton, and John William Robinson. English Theatrical Literature, 1559–1900: A Bibliography Incorporating Robert W. Lowe’s A Bibliographical Account of English Theatrical Literature Published in 1888. London: Soc. for Theatre Research, 1970. 486 pp. Z2014.D7 A74 016.792′0942.

A bibliography of works published between 1559 and 1900 on British theater (including opera, pantomime, and music hall, but not ballet or circus). Studies are organized chronologically within classified divisions for bibliography, government regulation of the theater, theater arts (e.g., acting, costume, playwriting), general history, London theater, theater out of London, a national theater, opera, irregular forms (pantomime, music hall, etc.), societies, amateur theater, biography, theory and criticism, and periodicals (see Stratman, Britain’s Theatrical Periodicals [M1565] for a fuller list of periodicals). Only British editions are fully described; only one location is cited for each work; and the notes generally deal with bibliographical matters. (Descriptions of fifty-three items are augmented by David Wallace Spielman, “Bibliographic Information for Fifty-Three Unlocated Eighteenth-Century Items in Arnott and Robinson’s English Theatrical Literature, 1559–1900[8].) Three indexes: author; title; place of publication. The classified organization and cross-references do not compensate for the absence of a subject index. Although limited by its exclusion of articles (unless also separately printed) and terminal date, Arnott is still the best single guide to early publications, many of which are indexed nowhere else. Coverage is continued by Cavanagh, British Theatre (M1563).

= M1562 =[edit]

Douglas, Krystan V. Guide to British Drama Explication: Beginnings to 1640. New York: Hall–Simon and Schuster Macmillan; London: Prentice, 1996. 552 pp. Reference Pub. in Lit. Z2014.D7 D68 [PR625] 016.822009.

A highly selective guide to English-language articles (of more than one page) and parts of books (published between the early 1940s and 1991) that offer a close reading of a dramatic text. Entries are classified by poet, then by title, and parts of frequently cited books are keyed to a list at the back (which also identifies volumes of journals searched). Nearly half of vol. 1 is devoted to Shakespeare. The focus is explication; therefore, studies of theater history, productions, and authorship are excluded. Although the guide lacks an adequate explanation of the selection criteria for books and journals, is based on only a partial examination of a majority of the journals listed at the back, is poorly proofread in many parts, and is current through 1991 for only a few of the journals covered, British Drama Explication is useful for its indexing of parts of books. The planned vol. 2 (covering the Restoration to the present) was never published.

= M1563 =[edit]

Cavanagh, John. British Theatre: A Bibliography, 1901 to 1985. Mottisfont: Motley, 1989. 510 pp. Motley Bibliogs. 1. Z2014.D7 C38 [PN2581] 016.792′0941.

A continuation through December 1985 of Arnott, English Theatrical Literature (M1560), that, like its predecessor, is limited to separately published works (including some periodicals) on the theater, medieval to modern, in the British Isles, but expands the scope to include master’s theses, dissertations, and books published outside Great Britain and in languages other than English and to place more emphasis on drama (as it relates to the stage). Users must be certain to study the admirably clear explanation (pp. 9–11) of scope and coverage for the bibliography generally as well as for individual sections, several of which supplement (but do not duplicate coverage in) existing bibliographies. The 9,310 entries—which usually cite the “best” edition—are divided among three classified divisions: theater (with sections for reference works; government intervention; religion; theater arts; history; theater in London; theater outside London; theater companies, clubs, and societies; biography; criticism; pantomime; music hall, revues, and concert parties; amateur theater; and pedagogy); drama (with sections for history, foreign influences, and dramatic biography and criticism [including studies not cited in NCBEL (M1385) of individual dramatists]); and music (with sections on music in the dramatic theater and opera, operetta, and musical comedy). Within each section, books are listed chronologically (by date of edition cited, which may not be the first edition), then alphabetically by author within a year. Some entries are accompanied by brief annotations that provide bibliographical information, list contents, or elucidate an unclear title; for all but the most obscure or ephemeral works, locating the copy described at one of 18 institutions is superfluous. The indexing needlessly confuses users: only the first author or editor is listed in the author index; all others—including writers of prefatory matter or of essays mentioned in annotations—appear in the subject index. Neither index is thorough. Although it excludes articles, is very selective in some sections, and omits several foreign language publications, British Theatre is especially valuable for its coverage of pamphlets and publications of limited distribution, is accurately and attractively printed, and offers the best general list of separately published books on all aspects of British theater. Review: Thomas Postlewait, Theatre History Studies 11 (1991): 207–10.

= See also =[edit]

ABELL (G340): English Literature/General/Drama and the Theatre section.

MLAIB (G335): English III/Drama section in the pre-1981 volumes; Literatures of the British Isles/Drama, Theater, English Literature/Drama, and Theater sections in pt. 1 of the volumes for 1981–90; and the British and Irish Literatures/Drama, Theater, English Literature/Drama, Theater sections in pt. 1 of the later volumes. Researchers must also check the “English Drama” and “English Theater” headings in the subject index to post-1980 volumes and in the online thesaurus.

Biographical Dictionaries[edit]
Indexes[edit]
= See =[edit]

Wearing, American and British Theatrical Biographies (L1175).

Periodicals[edit]
Guides to Primary Works[edit]
= M1565 =[edit]

Stratman, Carl J., C. S. V. Britain’s Theatrical Periodicals, 1720–1967: A Bibliography. 2nd ed. New York: New York Public Lib., 1972. 160 pp. Z6935.S76 016.792′0942.

A chronological bibliography of periodicals devoted to the theater and published in Great Britain between 1720 and 1967. Entries are listed by date of original issue and include title, publication information, and locations. Indexed by titles, editors, and places of publication. Britain’s Theatrical Periodicals remains useful for identifying periodicals and locating complete (or the most complete) runs. For additional locations, consult WorldCat (E225), New Serial Titles (K640), Union List of Serials (K640a), and Serials in the British Library (K645). Review: J. W. Robinson, Victorian Periodicals Newsletter 8.3 (1975): 109–10.

Poetry[edit]

Most of the works listed in section L: Genres/Poetry are important to research in English poetry.

Histories and Surveys[edit]
M1575[edit]

Courthope, W. J. A History of English Poetry. 6 vols. New York: Macmillan, 1895–1910. PR502.C8 821.09.

A historical survey of the development of poetry (including dramatic poetry) through the Romantic movement. In treating poetry as an aspect of intellectual history, Courthope emphasizes the impact of political and social history but gives little attention to minor figures. Cumulative index of authors and titles in vol. 6. Although uneven in places and generally superseded by surveys limited to individual periods, the work remains the most extensive connected history of English poetry.

M1583[edit]

The Columbia History of British Poetry. Ed. Carl Woodring. New York: Columbia UP, 1994. 732 pp. PR502.C62 821.009.

A collection of separately written essays on periods, groups of poets, kinds of poetry, and individuals. Employing a variety of critical approaches, the contributors consider “voices long suppressed” as well as resituate “some of the more celebrated poets within more sharply defined social and literary contexts.” Each essay concludes with a brief list of related studies, and the volume concludes with brief biographies of some of the poets discussed. Indexed by authors and titles. Sporting an impressive array of contributors, the Columbia History covers a substantial range of English, Scottish, Welsh, and Irish poets; but, since it is a collaborative volume, it does not offer a seamless history of the subject.

Literary Handbooks, Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias[edit]
M1585[edit]

Malof, Joseph. A Manual of English Meters. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1970. 236 pp. PE1505.M3 426.

A technical manual of metrical forms and techniques of scansion. After a preliminary discussion of basic terms and symbols, chapters define and illustrate the patterns and forms of foot verse, stress verse, syllabic verse, and free verse; a section on the application of scansion in critical reading concludes the body of the manual. Appendixes include common stanza forms, checklist of rhymes, glossary of additional terms, selected bibliography, and summary of metrical forms. Indexed by subjects. Clear explanations combined with aptly chosen examples make Malof the best manual for learning scansion.

A useful complementary handbook for the analysis of English prosody is Karl Shapiro and Robert Beum, A Prosody Handbook (New York: Harper, 1965; 214 pp.), which moves from syllable to stanza.

Guides to Primary Works[edit]
Bibliographies and Indexes[edit]
= M1590 =[edit]

Crum, Margaret, ed. First-Line Index of English Poetry, 1500–1800, in Manuscripts of the Bodleian Library, Oxford. 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1969. Z2014.P7 F5 821′.0016.

An index to poems in manuscripts acquired before April 1961. Entries, arranged alphabetically according to the initial word of the first line, include first and last line, author, title of poem, references to printed versions, and a list of Bodleian manuscripts containing the poem. Five indexes: Bodleian manuscripts by shelf marks; poets; names mentioned; authors of works translated, paraphrased, or imitated; composers of settings and of tunes named or quoted. Crum is the essential index to the most important collection of English poetry manuscripts of the three centuries. Manuscripts acquired after April 1961 are described in Clapinson and Rogers, Summary Catalogue of Post-medieval Western Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library (F300a); significant manuscripts are also described in the “Notable Acquisitions” section of Bodleian Library Record (1938– , 2/yr.). Crum is incorporated into Union First Line Index of English Verse (M2190a).

Michael Londry (see below) reports that a supplemental card index and an interleaved copy of Crum “noting later identifications and other information concerning individual manuscript versions of poems” are available in Duke Humfrey’s Library at the Bodleian.

For important guides to other works—print, manuscript, and electronic—that index first lines of poems, see Londry, “On the Use of First-Line Indices for Researching English Poetry of the Long Eighteenth Century, c. 1660–1830, with Special Reference to Women Poets,” Library 7th ser. 5.1 (2004): 12–38; and James Woolley, “Finding English Verse, 1650–1800: First-Line Indexes and Searchable Electronic Texts” (http://www.bibsocamer.org/BibSite/Woolley/index.pdf).

= See also =[edit]

Davis and Joyce, Poetry by Women to 1900 (Q3534).

Union First Line Index of English Verse (M2190a).

Text Archives[edit]
= M1593 =[edit]

English Poetry. 2nd ed. Chadwyck-Healey Literature Collections. ProQuest, 1996–2013. 30 Aug. 2013. <http://collections.chadwyck.com/marketing/index.jsp>.

An archive of rekeyed texts of more than 183,000 English-language poems by writers of the British Isles, Commonwealth, and former colonial countries from the Anglo-Saxon era to the early twentieth century. English-language translations and hymns published after 1800 are excluded, as are verse dramas intended for performance and unpublished poems or ones that appeared only in periodicals or miscellanies. Editions were selected according to the following criteria: “editions published during the author’s lifetime or shortly afterwards”; “later editions” if “the early editions of a poet’s work are unreliable or incomplete”; copyrighted editions if rights were available. Being listed as a poet in NCBEL (M1385) or being recommended by the editorial board are the criteria on which British poets were admitted. Simple keyword, first line or title, and author searches can be limited by date during an author’s lifetime, gender, nationality, literary period, to rhymed or unrhymed poems, and to parts (e.g., dedications). Searchers must be certain to checkmark the Include Typographical Variants box but must be aware that this feature works on simple variants (e.g., “glove/gloue”) but not on more complicated ones (“dogs/dogges/doges”). Searchers can also browse an author list of the contents of the database. Results appear in ascending alphabetical order (by author, including “Anon.” and “Anonymous”) and cannot be re-sorted. Citations (but not the full text of poems) can be marked for e-mailing, downloading, or printing; each citation includes a durable URL to the full text.

Some works are rekeyed from textually unsound editions; however, the bibliographic record for each work identifies the source of the text and any omissions (e.g., preliminary matter), and the site is refreshingly forthcoming in its explanations of editorial procedures and revision history. Besides being a useful source for identifying an elusive quotation or half-remembered line, the scope of English Poetry’s text archive makes feasible a variety of kinds of studies (stylistic, thematic, imagistic, and topical). The contents of English Poetry can also be searched through LiOn (I527). Continued by Twentieth-Century English Poetry (M2894).

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism[edit]
Surveys of Research[edit]
= M1595 =[edit]

Dyson, A. E., ed. English Poetry: Select Bibliographical Guides. London: Oxford UP, 1971. 378 pp. Z2014.P7 E53 016.821.

A collection of essays that evaluate the best editions, critical studies, biographies and collections of letters, bibliographies, and background studies published before 1970 on 20 major poets (Chaucer, Spenser, Donne, Herbert, Milton, Marvell, Dryden, Pope, Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, Keats, Tennyson, Browning, Arnold, Hopkins, Yeats, and Eliot). English Poetry remains useful for its generally judicious evaluations of scholarship before 1970. See Year’s Work in English Studies (G330) for later editions and studies.

Other Bibliographies[edit]
= M1600 =[edit]

Brogan, T. V. F. English Versification, 1570–1980: A Reference Guide with a Global Appendix. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1981. 794 pp. Z2015.V37 B76 [PE1505] 016.821′009. Online through Versification (http://depts.washington.edu/versif/resources/evrg).

A classified annotated bibliography of studies published from 1570 through 1979 on all aspects of versification in British and American poetry in English. An appendix selectively annotates major studies on versification in other languages. Pt. 1 treats modern poetry (since Wyatt), with sections, classified as the topic requires, on histories and bibliographies, general studies, sound, rhythm, meter, syntax and grammar, stanza structures, visual structures, and the poem in performance. Pt. 2 divides studies between sections for Old and Middle English verse. The appendix has sections for other languages as well as comparative studies, poetry and music, and classical versification. The lengthy annotations usually offer a trenchant evaluation, place a work in its theoretical or historical context, and cite selected reviews. Two indexes: British and American poets and anonymous works; scholars. Since classifications are sometimes ambiguous, access would be improved by a subject index (even though liberal cross-references conclude each section); the hypertext version resolves this limitation. An authoritative guide with admirably full coverage, English Versification deserves the acclaim of all those working in a field heretofore plagued by a lack of bibliographical control and standardized terminology.

Some additions and corrections appear in Brogan, “Addenda and Corrigenda to English Versification, 1570–1980,” Modern Philology 81.1 (1983): 50–52. Coverage is continued by Brogan as “Studies of Verseform [1979–89],” Eidos: The International Prosody Bulletin 1–3 (1984–90). Originally called “Current Bibliography,” “Studies of Verseform” is not annotated but provides fuller coverage of other languages.

In Verseform: A Comparative Bibliography (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1989; 122 pp.), Brogan selects the most important studies through 1987 of poetic form in the major languages. Unlike English Versification, however, very few of the 1,494 entries are annotated and most of those with only a brief descriptive sentence or two.

= See also =[edit]

ABELL (G340): English Literature/General/Poetry section.

MLAIB (G335): English III/Poetry section in the pre-1981 volumes; Literatures of the British Isles/Poetry and English Literature/Poetry sections in pt. 1 of the volumes for 1981–90; and British and Irish Literatures/English Literature/Poetry section in pt. 1 of the later volumes. Researchers must also check the “English Poetry” heading in the subject index to post-1980 volumes and in the online thesaurus.

Prose[edit]

Many works listed in section L: Genres/Prose are important to research in English prose.

Biography and Autobiography[edit]
Histories and Surveys[edit]
= M1605 =[edit]

Stauffer, Donald A. English Biography before 1700. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1930. 392 pp. CT34.G7 S7 920.002.

A critical history of published biographical works in prose and verse by English writers in any language to 1700. Emphasizing the place of biography in English literature and focusing on works important in themselves or to the development of biography, chapters treat the Middle Ages, Renaissance, ecclesiastical biography, Izaak Walton, intimate biography, autobiography, and biography as a form. The extensive bibliography is divided into two parts. The first is an author list, with cross-references to subjects, of biographical works before 1700. Each entry cites the most important modern edition; several entries provide notes on the importance, quality, or content of a work. The second part is a selected, evaluatively annotated list of scholarship. Concludes with a chronology of the most important biographies. Indexed by names and some titles. Although its bibliographies are incomplete and outdated, Stauffer is still the most comprehensive treatment of early English biography.

Continued by Stauffer, Art of Biography in Eighteenth Century England (M2430).

Guides to Primary Works[edit]
= M1610 =[edit]

Matthews, William, comp. British Autobiographies: An Annotated Bibliography of British Autobiographies Published or Written before 1951. Berkeley: U of California P, 1955. 376 pp. Z2027.A9 M3 016.920042.

A bibliography of English-language autobiographies, published and in manuscript, written by a British subject and treating a significant portion of the writer’s life. Matthews excludes works restricted to a single event (such as religious conversion); fiction; and discussions of life in Canada, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, and the United States. The majority of the works date from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Listed alphabetically by autobiographer or title of anonymous work, entries provide title, publication information or location of manuscript, dates of coverage, and a very brief note on content. Most descriptions are based on personal examination, but some are taken from reviews. Indexed by subjects (but utilizing headings that are sometimes too general). Although incomplete and offering briefer notes on content than Matthews’s other compilations (M1615, Q3540a, and R4765), this work remains an important initial source for identifying British autobiographies. Many of its entries are repeated or revised in Handley, An Annotated Bibliography of Diaries Printed in English (M1615a). Autobiographies by British subjects are also included in Matthews, Canadian Diaries and Autobiographies (R4765); Davis and Joyce, Personal Writings by Women to 1900 (Q3545a); and Arksey, Pries, and Reed, American Diaries (Q3540).

Much fuller descriptions of 1,040 published autobiographies by British women since the eighteenth century are offered by Barbara Penny Kanner, Women in Context: Two Hundred Years of British Women Autobiographers: A Reference Guide and Reader (New York: Hall-Simon; London: Prentice, 1997; 1,049 pp.). Entries, which are listed alphabetically by autobiographer, include a citation, biographical note, lengthy synopsis, and concluding sociohistorical commentary. Three indexes: authors (organized chronologically by 20-year segments); vocations and avocations; subjects. The detailed synopses offer a wealth of information that is, unfortunately, not easily accessible because of inadequate subject indexing.

= M1615 =[edit]

Matthews, William, comp. British Diaries: An Annotated Bibliography of British Diaries Written between 1442 and 1942. Berkeley: U of California P, 1950. 339 pp. Z5305.G7 M3 016.920042.

An annotated bibliography of published and manuscript English-language diaries written by British citizens in the British Isles, in Europe, and on the high seas and by foreigners traveling in the British Isles. Besides diaries by British travelers in the United States (listed in Arksey, Pries, and Reed, American Diaries [Q3540]), it excludes works that are not primarily daily accounts, explorers’ journals, ships’ logs, and parliamentary diaries. Although the majority of the works have been published separately or in periodicals, Matthews includes several manuscripts in public collections and private hands. Entries are organized chronologically by the New Style calendar according to the year of initial entry and then alphabetically by diarist. Annotations cite type of diary and inclusive dates, briefly describe content (major places, persons, and events), sometimes evaluate style or coverage, and give publication information or location of manuscript (including shelf number). Two indexes: diaries extending more than 10 years (at the beginning); diarists (at the end). Although incomplete (especially in its coverage of unpublished diaries) and lacking a subject index, it remains the fullest record of British diaries and an essential source for identifying where they were published or are held in manuscript. Reviews: T. A. Birrell, English Studies 33.6 (1952): 264–66; Hilary Jenkinson, American Historical Review 56.3 (1951): 552–54.

For manuscript diaries between 1800 and 1899, Matthews is superseded by John Stuart Batts, British Manuscript Diaries of the Nineteenth Century: An Annotated Listing (Totowa: Rowman, 1976; 345 pp.), a chronological list of unpublished diaries held primarily in public collections in Great Britain. There are numerous errors and inconsistencies in the entries, however.

Some additional published British diaries are listed in Patricia Pate Havlice, And So to Bed: A Bibliography of Diaries Published in English (Metuchen: Scarecrow, 1987; 698 pp.); however, its chief feature is the combined index of diarists in Matthews, British Diaries, American Diaries (Q3540a), and Canadian Diaries (R4765).

Many of the entries in Arksey, Pries, and Reed, American Diaries (Q3540), and in Matthews’s British Diaries, British Autobiographies (M1610), American Diaries (Q3540a), and Canadian Diaries (R4765) are repeated or revised in C. S. Handley, An Annotated Bibliography of Diaries Printed in English, 3rd ed., 8 vols. (Tyne and Wear: Hanover, 2002; CD-ROM); however, this work is not widely held (the text can be downloaded from The Diary Research Website [9]; the fourth edition is in progress).

A rekeyed full text of some of the diaries listed in the preceding and begun before 1950 can be searched in British and Irish Women’s Letters and Diaries, 1500–1950 (http://solomon.bwld.alexanderstreet.com/). A companion to North American Women’s Letters and Diaries (Q3540a), it shares many of its features and shortcomings but includes only about 332 documents.

= See also =[edit]

Davis and Joyce, Personal Writings by Women to 1900 (Q3545a).

Old English Literature[edit]

Many works listed in section M: English Literature/General are useful for research in Old English literature. In “Anglo-Saxon Studies: Present State and Future Prospects,” Mediaevalia 1.1 (1975): 62–77, Fred C. Robinson suggests a number of reference works still needed by Anglo-Saxonists.

Research Methods[edit]

M1625[edit]

O’Keeffe, Katherine O’Brien, ed. Reading Old English Texts. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1997. 231 pp. PR73.O38 829.

A collection of essays that outline approaches to reading Old English texts, including comparative approaches, source study, philology, historicist approaches, oral tradition, textual criticism, feminist criticism, poststructuralist criticism, and computer-assisted approaches. The essays typically outline and define the approach, provide examples of the approach (with attention to noteworthy applications), and suggest topics for further research. Indexed by persons, titles, and some subjects. An exemplary collection by a virtual who’s who of Old English studies, Reading Old English Texts is a model of the kind of work needed for every period of English and American literature.

See also[edit]

Powell, Medieval Studies (M1755).

Histories and Surveys[edit]

For an evaluative review of literary histories and surveys from the seventeenth century through 1977, see Daniel G. Calder, “Histories and Surveys of Old English Literature: A Chronological Review,” Anglo-Saxon England 10 (1982): 201–44. Particularly valuable are Calder’s analysis of trends in scholarship and trenchant evaluations of individual works.

Literary Histories and Surveys[edit]

M1635[edit]

Greenfield, Stanley B., and Daniel G. Calder. A New Critical History of Old English Literature. With a Survey of the Anglo-Latin Background by Michael Lapidge. New York: New York UP, 1986. 370 pp. PR173.G73 829′.09.

A critical history of Anglo-Saxon poetry and prose that incorporates important scholarship and criticism in its readings of texts. Chapters are devoted to the Anglo-Latin background; Alfredian translations and related prose; Ælfric, Wulfstan, and other late prose; the nature and quality of Old English poetry; secular heroic poetry; the Christian saint as hero; Christ as poetic hero; Old Testament narrative poetry; miscellaneous religious and secular poetry; lore and wisdom verse; and elegiac poetry. The extensive list of works cited also serves as the best selective bibliography of scholarship on Old English literature through the early 1980s. Indexed by literary authors and anonymous works (but unfortunately not by scholars). Like its predecessor—Greenfield, A Critical History of Old English Literature (New York: New York UP, 1965; 237 pp.)—this is an authoritative history that has had a profound impact on Old English scholarship. Review: E. G. Stanley, Comparative Literature 40.3 (1988): 286–89.

R. D. Fulk and Christopher M. Cain, A History of Old English Literature, Blackwell Histories of Literature (Oxford: Blackwell, 2003; 346 pp.) is an important complement because it emphasizes scholarship since the mid-1980s and offers a fuller treatment of prose.

See also[edit]

Sec. M: English Literature/General/Histories and Surveys.

Greenfield and Robinson, Bibliography of Publications on Old English Literature (M1670), lists histories and surveys (entries 530–611 in Greenfield).

Related Topics[edit]

M1637[edit]

Hill, David. An Atlas of Anglo-Saxon England. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 1981. 180 pp. G1812.21.S2.H5 912′.42. (A second edition was announced for 2002 but was never published.)

A series of maps, tables, diagrams, chronologies, and graphs that organize information on topography, demography, physical geography, historical events and periods, political administration, the economy, and the church. Indexed by place. An essential complement to narrative histories. Reviews: Rebecca V. Colman, Canadian Journal of History 17.3 (1982): 515–16; Simon Keynes, Antiquity 57.219 (1983): 66–67.

Literary Handbooks, Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias[edit]

M1640[edit]

Reallexikon der germanischen Altertumskunde. Ed. Heinrich Beck et al. 2nd ed. 37 vols. Berlin: de Gruyter, 1968–2008. DD51.R42.

Germanische Altertumskunde Online. De Gruyter. De Gruyter, n.d. 15 Mar. 2013. <http://www.degruyter.com/>.

An encyclopedia of pre-Christian Germanic culture, including Anglo-Saxon England. The signed entries—predominantly in German, but with some in English and a few lengthy ones in a mixture of the two languages—range from single paragraphs to extensive essays on persons, places, material culture, folklore, languages, archaeological discoveries, literary works, numismatics, religion, historical events, commerce, domestic matters, art works, and politics. The lengthy entries are helpfully subdivided and sometimes consist of separately authored divisions. All conclude with references to important scholarship. Generous cross-references guide users to appropriate headings. Germanische Altertumskunde Online (which includes new and revised entries) can be searched by full text, title, author, subject, region, period, language, figure (image), DOI, and academic discipline. Several essays in Altertumskunde—Altertumswissenschaft—Kulturwissenschaft: Erträge und Perspektiven nach 40 Jahren Reallexikon der germanischen Altertumskunde, ed. Beck, Dieter Geuenich, and Heiko Steuer, Ergänzungsbände zum Reallexikon der germanischen Altertumskunde 77 (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2012; 787 pp.) offer overviews of topics and perpectives in the encyclopedia. The Reallexikon offers the fullest encyclopedic coverage of Anglo-Saxon culture. Lexikon des Mittelalters (M1800) and Dictionary of the Middle Ages (M1795) include some Anglo-Saxon topics.

More compact is Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Anglo-Saxon England, ed. Michael Lapidge, John Blair, Simon Keynes, and Donald Scragg (Oxford: Blackwell, 1999; 537 pp.), which has signed entries that cover persons, places, objects, architecture, manuscripts, language, religion, literary works in both Old English and Latin, and subjects. The generous entries conclude with a list of related studies. Sporting many of the leading Anglo-Saxon scholars among its contributors, Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Anglo-Saxon England offers a sure-handed, interdisciplinary introduction to Anglo-Saxon culture; unfortunately, it is marred by an inexcusable lack of discussion of scope and editorial procedures.

See also[edit]

Dictionary of the Middle Ages (M1795).

Lexikon des Mittelalters (M1800).

Bibliographies of Bibliographies[edit]

See[edit]

Rouse, Serial Bibliographies for Medieval Studies (M1805).

Guides to Primary Works[edit]

M1645[edit]

Ker, N. R. Catalogue of Manuscripts Containing Anglo-Saxon. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1990. 579 pp. (A reissue of the 1957 edition with Ker’s “Supplement” [see below].) Z6605.A56 K4 015.4203.

A descriptive catalog of more than 400 manuscripts written before c. 1200 entirely or partly in Old English. Ker includes fragments, Latin–Old English glossaries, and Latin manuscripts that contain even a single gloss (other than a tag phrase) in Old English but excludes cartularies and charters. Entries are organized alphabetically by the city in which a collection is located or the surname of private owner, then by title of collection, then by shelf mark. Concludes with a section listing lost and untraced manuscripts and an appendix with brief descriptions of “manuscripts containing Anglo-Saxon written by foreign scribes.” Manuscripts entirely or substantially in Old English receive full descriptions, with references to significant scholarship and editions, and discussion of date, content, physical characteristics, script and decorations, and provenance. Ker’s “Supplement to Catalogue of Manuscripts Containing Anglo-Saxon,” Anglo-Saxon England 5 (1976): 121–31, is reprinted in the 1990 reissue (see above), but not Mary Blockley’s “Addenda and Corrigenda to N. R. Ker’s ‘A Supplement to Catalogue of Manuscripts Containing Anglo-Saxon,’” Notes and Queries ns 29.1 (1982): 1–3, with corrections by the editors, 29.6 (1982): 533; Blockley subsequently expanded the “Addenda and Corrigenda” as “Further Addenda and Corrigenda to N. R. Ker’s Catalogue,” Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts: Basic Readings, ed. Mary P. Richards (New York: Garland, 1994; Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 1434: Basic Readings in Anglo-Saxon England 2) 79–85.

The Catalogue of Manuscripts Containing Anglo-Saxon is the essential source for information about the location, dating, localization, and paleographic details of Anglo-Saxon manuscripts. Like Ker’s Medieval Manuscripts in British Libraries (M1810), it is a magisterial achievement informed by an incomparable knowledge of early manuscripts. Reviews: Kenneth Sisam, Review of English Studies ns 10.1 (1959): 68–71; Rudolph Willard, JEGP: Journal of English and Germanic Philology 59.1 (1960): 129–37.

For complementary lists, especially of Latin manuscripts, see Helmut Gneuss, Handlist of Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts: A List of Manuscripts and Manuscript Fragments Written or Owned in England up to 1100 (Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2001; 188 pp.; Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies), “Addenda and Corrigenda to the Handlist of Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts,” Anglo-Saxon England 32 (2003): 293–305, “Second Addenda and Corrigenda to the Handlist of Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts,” Anglo-Saxon England 40 (2011): 293–306, and “Liturgical Books in Anglo-Saxon England and Their Old English Terminology,” Learning and Literature in Anglo-Saxon England: Studies Presented to Peter Clemoes on the Occasion of His Sixty-Fifth Birthday, ed. Michael Lapidge and Gneuss (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1985) 91–141. These works represent preliminary stages in the compilation of Sources of Anglo-Saxon Literary Culture, a summary of current scholarship on the sources, written and oral, of Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Latin literary works. For a description of the project and sample entries, see Frederick M. Biggs, Thomas D. Hill, and Paul E. Szarmach, eds., Sources of Anglo-Saxon Literary Culture: A Trial Version (Binghamton: Center for Medieval and Early Renaissance Studies, State U of New York, Binghamton, 1990; 256 pp.; Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies 74) and the project’s Web site (http://saslc.nd.edu). Until completion of that project, J. D. A. Ogilvy, Books Known to the English, 597–1066 (Cambridge: Mediaeval Acad. of Amer., 1967; 300 pp.) and “Books Known to the English, A. D. 597–1066: Addenda et Corrigenda,” Mediaevalia 7.1 (1981): 281–325 (rpt. in Old English Newsletter 11, subsidia [1985]), along with Fontes Anglo-Saxonici: A Register of Written Sources Used by Anglo-Saxon Authors (http://fontes.english.ox.ac.uk) offer the fullest record. For iconographic descriptions of illustrations, see Thomas H. Ohlgren, comp. and ed., Insular and Anglo-Saxon Illuminated Manuscripts: An Iconographic Catalogue, c. A.D. 625 to 1100 (New York: Garland, 1986; 400 pp.; Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 631), which is revised and expanded as Ohlgren, Corpus of Insular, Anglo-Saxon, and Early Anglo-Norman Manuscript Art: A Hypertext System, HyperShell vers. 1.0 (ScholarWare, 1994; CD-ROM); a supplement, Anglo-Saxon Textual Illustration: Photographs of Sixteen Manuscripts with Descriptions and Index (Kalamazoo: Medieval Inst., 1992; 576 pp.) is also available on CD-ROM as ASTI: A Hypertext System for Anglo-Saxon Textual Illustration: Descriptions and Index, HyperShell vers. 1.0 (ScholarWare, 1994). Other major catalogs of Anglo-Saxon manuscripts are listed in Greenfield, Bibliography of Publications on Old English Literature (M1670), entries 108–28.

See also[edit]

Cameron, “A List of Old English Texts” (M1705a).

Dictionary of Old English Web Corpus (M1705).

Roberts, Guide to Scripts Used in English Writings up to 1500 (M1770a).

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism[edit]

Surveys of Research[edit]

M1655[edit]

“The Year’s Work in Old English Studies, [1967– ].” Old English Newsletter 2 (1968)– . PE101.O44 829′.09.

An evaluative survey of research based on the “Old English Bibliography” (M1665). The commentary by various scholars is currently arranged in nine classified divisions: general; memorials, tributes, and history of the discipline; language; literature; Anglo-Latin and ecclesiastical works; manuscripts, illumination, and charters; history and culture; onomastics; and archaeology and numismatics. Most sections conclude with a list of works not seen, which may be discussed in a following survey. Like the “Old English Bibliography” and the annual bibliography in Anglo-Saxon England (M1660), “The Year’s Work in Old English Studies” is an essential source for current scholarship and one that is more thorough and critical than the chapter on Old English literature in Year’s Work in English Studies (G330); unfortunately, coverage is now far in arrears. For a history and evaluation of this annual survey, see Twenty Years of the “Year’s Work in Old English Studies,” ed. Katherine O’Brien O’Keeffe, Old English Newsletter 15, subsidia (1989): 57 pp.

See also[edit]

YWES (G330) has a chapter on Old English literature.

Serial Bibliographies[edit]

M1660[edit]

“Bibliography for [1971– ].” Anglo-Saxon England 1 (1972)– . DA152.2.A75 942.01′05.

An international classified bibliography of books, articles, and significant reviews on all aspects of Anglo-Saxon studies. Entries are currently classified in 11 divisions: general; Old English language; Old English literature; Anglo-Latin, liturgy, and other ecclesiastical texts; paleography, diplomatics, and illumination; history; numismatics; onomastics; archaeology; inscriptions and runology; reviews. This bibliography, “Old English Bibliography” (M1665), and “The Year’s Work in Old English Studies” (M1655) are essential sources for identifying current scholarship.

M1665[edit]

“Old English Bibliography, [1969– ].” Old English Newsletter 3 (1970)– . PE101.O44 829′.09.

OEN Bibliography Database. Old English Newsletter. OEN, n.d. 21 Nov. 2012. <http://www.oenewsletter.org/OENDB/index.php>. Updated regularly.

An international bibliography of scholarship on England before 1066 in ten divisions: general; memorials, tributes, and history of the profession; language; literature; Anglo-Latin and ecclesiastical works; manuscripts, illumination, and charters; history and culture; names; archaeology and related subjects; and reviews. Many of the works are subsequently evaluated in “The Year’s Work in Old English Studies” (M1655). The bibliographies since the one for 1972 can be searched online in OEN Bibliography Database, which allows users to browse records by classified categories (chronological periods; people; places; objects; events; texts; language; religion and learning; government and economic life; history and culture; archaeology; and Anglo-Saxon studies) or to search by keyword, personal name, title, journal title, date, type of publication, and language. Each of these methods allows users to restrict searches by date and to sort results in ascending order by date, author, or title; users should note that reviews appear at the end of a list of results. Records can be marked for e-mailing or printing. Anglo-Saxon scholars are fortunate to have nearly all the installments of “Old English Bibliography” searchable through a well-designed interface. Like the annual bibliography in Anglo-Saxon England (M1660), this work is an essential source for current scholarship that offers fuller coverage than the serial bibliographies and indexes in section G. Unfortunately, coverage lags about six years.

See also[edit]

Sec. G: Serial Bibliographies, Indexes, and Abstracts.

ABELL (G340): English Literature/Old English section and, through the volume for 1933, English Literature/Old and Middle English: Subsidiary.

BREPOLiS Medieval Bibliographies: International Medieval Bibliography Online (M1835).

MLAIB (G335): English Language and Literature division in the volumes for 1921–25; English V in the volumes for 1926–56; English IV in the volumes for 1957–80; and the English Literature/400–1099: Old English section (as well as any larger chronological sections encompassing the period) in later volumes. Researchers must also check the headings beginning “Old English” and “Anglo-Saxon” in the subject index to post-1980 volumes and in the online thesaurus.

Other Bibliographies[edit]

M1670[edit]

Greenfield, Stanley B., and Fred C. Robinson. A Bibliography of Publications on Old English Literature to the End of 1972. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 1980. 437 pp. Z2012.G83 [PR173] 016.829.

The closest we are likely to come to an exhaustive bibliography of books, editions, articles, notes, and reviews published from the fifteenth century through 1972 (with a few later publications) on Old English literature. Since the focus is literature in Old English, Greenfield and Robinson exclude discussions of Anglo-Latin literature as well as linguistic, historical, and archaeological studies that do not bear directly on an Old English literary text; they also exclude unpublished dissertations as well as general anthologies and surveys of English literature. Entries are listed chronologically in three variously classified divisions: general works, poetry, and prose. Many entries are accompanied by a brief annotation that clarifies the topic or place of a study in a scholarly controversy; entries for books list reviews. The liberal cross-references exclude works within the same section and standard texts in collections. Two indexes: authors and reviewers; subjects. A magisterial achievement whose accuracy and comprehensiveness fully deserve the praise accorded it by reviewers. Reviews: Carl T. Berkhout, Speculum 57.4 (1982): 897–99; Donald K. Fry, Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography 6.3 (1982): 183–86; Fry, English Language Notes 20.1 (1982): 11–20.

A discursive examination of “the changing aims and achievements of [Anglo-Saxon] scholars” occasioned by the Greenfield and Robinson Bibliography, E. G. Stanley’s “The Scholarly Recovery of the Significance of Anglo-Saxon Records in Prose and Verse: A New Bibliography,” Anglo-Saxon England 9 (1981): 223–62, notes important sources for research in areas outside Greenfield and Robinson’s scope (as does New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature [M1675]). For supplementary coverage of prose (principally by King Alfred and his circle), see Carl T. Berkhout, “Research on Early Old English Literary Prose, 1973–1982,” Studies in Earlier Old English Prose, ed. Paul E. Szarmach (Albany: State U of New York P, 1986) 401–09, and Karen J. Quinn and Kenneth P. Quinn, A Manual of Old English Prose (New York: Garland, 1990; 439 pp.; Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 453), with coverage through 1982. For studies published after 1972, see the annual bibliographies in Anglo-Saxon England (M1660) and Old English Newsletter (M1655 and M1665). North American dissertations through 1986 are conveniently found in Phillip Pulsiano, An Annotated Bibliography of North American Doctoral Dissertations on Old English Language and Literature (East Lansing: Colleagues, 1988; 317 pp.; Medieval Texts and Studies 3).

For a description of a database that would incorporate and continue Greenfield and Robinson, see Berkhout, “The Bibliography of Old English: Back to the Future,” Old English Scholarship and Bibliography: Essays in Honor of Carl T. Berkhout, ed. Jonathan Wilcox, Old English Newsletter subsidia 32 ([Kalamazoo:] Medieval Inst., Western Michigan U, 2004) 107–14.

Areas not covered in existing or planned bibliographies constitute the principal subjects of Annotated Bibliographies of Old and Middle English Literature (Woodbridge: Brewer, 1992– ):

  • Vol. 1: Burnley, David, and Matsuji Tajima. The Language of Middle English Literature. 1994. 280 pp.
  • Vol. 2: Millett, Bella. Ancrene Wisse, the Katherine Group, and the Wooing Group. 1996. 260 pp.
  • Vol. 3: Easting, Robert. Visions of the Other World in Middle English. 1997. 119 pp.
  • Vol. 4: Hollis, Stephanie, and Michael Wright. Old English Prose of Secular Learning. 1992. 404 pp.
  • Vol. 5: Poole, Russell. Old English Wisdom Poetry. 1998. 418 pp.
  • Vol. 6: Waite, Greg. Old English Prose Translations of King Alfred’s Reign. 2000. 394 pp.
  • Vol. 7: Greentree, Rosemary. The Middle English Lyric and Short Poem. 2001. 570 pp.
  • Vol. 8: Scahill, John. Middle English Saints’ Legends. 2005. 209 pp.

The volumes typically include an evaluative overview of trends in scholarship along with extensively annotated entries (arranged by date of publication).

M1675[edit]

The New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature (NCBEL). Vol. 1: 600–1660. Ed. George Watson. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1974. 2,476 cols. Z2011.N45 [PR83] 016.82.

(For a full discussion of NCBEL, see entry M1385.) The part devoted to the Anglo-Saxon period (to 1100) has two major divisions: Old English Literature and Writings in Latin. The first includes sections for general works (subdivided by bibliographies, histories, anthologies, general studies, and ancillary studies), poetry (dictionaries, collections, manuscript studies, general criticism, and individual poems and authors), and prose (collections, general criticism, major translators of King Alfred’s reign, major writers of the later period, other religious prose, chronicles, laws and charters, and secular prose). Writings in Latin includes sections for general works, British Celtic writers, Irish writers, and Anglo-Saxon writers. The general introduction for the volume as a whole lists bibliographies, histories, anthologies, and works about prosody, prose rhythm, and language that include the Anglo-Saxon period. Vol. 1 of Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature (M1385a) is still occasionally useful for its coverage of the social and political background (which NCBEL drops).

Users must familiarize themselves with the organization, remember that there is considerable unevenness of coverage in subdivisions, and consult the index volume (vol. 5) rather than the provisional index in vol. 1. Review: Fred C. Robinson, Anglia 97.2 (1979): 511–17.

Although Greenfield and Robinson, Bibliography of Publications on Old English Literature (M1670), is the source for research on Old English literature, NCBEL is still useful for studies outside the scope of the former.

Related Topics[edit]

M1680[edit]

Rosenthal, Joel T. Anglo-Saxon History: An Annotated Bibliography, 450–1066. New York: AMS, 1985. 177 pp. AMS Studies in the Middle Ages 7. Z2017.R67 [DA152] 016.94201.

A highly selective bibliography of primary and secondary sources for the study of Anglo-Saxon history. Confined largely to English-language works published through the early 1980s, Anglo-Saxon History excludes most Celtic and literary topics. Entries are organized alphabetically in 11 variously classified divisions: reference works and collections of essays; primary sources and scholarship on them (including chronicles, biography and hagiography, and constitutional and administrative history); general and political history (including secular biography and Vikings); constitutional and administrative history; ecclesiastical history; social and economic history; science, technology, and agriculture; place and personal names; numismatics; archaeology; and fine arts, arts, and crafts (including manuscripts). Rarely do annotations adequately describe a work (although some do offer evaluative comments). Indexed by person. Although highly selective, poorly organized in many divisions, and lacking an adequate statement of editorial policy, the work is the most current guide to scholarship on Anglo-Saxon history. For more thorough coverage of recent scholarship on some topics, see “Old English Bibliography” (M1665), “The Year’s Work in Old English Studies” (M1655), and the annual bibliography in Anglo-Saxon England (M1660). Older bibliographies still of value are the following:

  • Altschul, Michael. Anglo-Norman England, 1066–1154. Cambridge: Cambridge UP for the Conf. on British Studies, 1969. 83 pp. Conf. on British Studies Bibliog. Handbooks. Coverage extends through mid-1968.
  • Bonser, Wilfrid. An Anglo-Saxon and Celtic Bibliography (450–1087). 2 vols. Berkeley: U of California P, 1957. Coverage extends through 1953.
See also[edit]

Bibliography of British and Irish History (M1400).

Graves, Bibliography of English History to 1485 (M1845).

Language[edit]

Guides to Scholarship[edit]

M1685[edit]

Cameron, Angus, Allison Kingsmill, and Ashley Crandell Amos. Old English Word Studies: A Preliminary Author and Word Index. Toronto: U of Toronto P–Centre for Medieval Studies, U of Toronto, 1983. 192 pp. and 5 microfiche. Toronto Old English Ser. 8. Z2015.S4 C35 [PE265] 016.429.

An interim bibliography of Old English vocabulary studies (published through 1980) compiled as part of the Dictionary of Old English project (M1690). Entries are listed by author in three sections: sixteenth- and seventeenth-century manuscript dictionaries; dictionaries, encyclopedias, concordances, and glossaries; and vocabulary studies. The third section is indexed (in the accompanying microfiche) by words discussed (see pp. xiv–xv for an explanation of the indexing of variant forms). Although not exhaustive, Old English Word Studies is an essential source for the study of Old English vocabulary. A revised edition is planned after publication of the Dictionary. Reviews: Susan Cooper, Medium Ævum 54.2 (1985): 290–91; Constance B. Hieatt, English Studies in Canada 11.2 (1985): 231–32; Ilkka Mönkkönen, Neuphilologische Mitteilungen 86.4 (1985): 599–601.

M1687[edit]

Tajima, Matsuji, comp. Old and Middle English Language Studies: A Classified Bibliography, 1923–1985. Amsterdam: Benjamins, 1988. 391 pp. Amsterdam Studies in the Theory and Hist. of Linguistic Science, Ser. 5: Lib. and Information Sources in Linguistics 13. Z2015.A1 T3 [PE123] 016.429.

A bibliography of studies, including dissertations and book reviews but excluding works in Slavic languages and most Japanese studies, published between 1923 and 1985 about Old and Middle English language. The approximately 3,900 entries are organized in 14 divisions (each with sections for general or historical studies, Old English, and Middle English): bibliographies; dictionaries, concordances, and glossaries; histories of the English language; grammars; general works; studies of the language of individual authors or works (however, numerous author studies appear without cross-references in other sections); orthography and punctuation; phonology and phonetics; morphology; syntax; lexicology, lexicography, and word formation; onomastics; dialectology; and stylistics. A few entries include a brief note on content or a list of later editions and reprints. Indexed by scholars. The lack of a subject index and cross-references means that users searching for studies of an author, an anonymous work, or a topic will find themselves skimming all entries. Although it is less accessible than it should be (with some entries not seen by the compiler) and although it excludes important studies published within critical editions, Tajima provides the fullest list of twentieth-century scholarship on Old and Middle English language. Review: George Jack, Diachronica 6.1 (1989): 151–54.

See also[edit]

ABELL (G340): Old English heading in the subdivisions of the English Language section in the volumes for 1934–84; in earlier and later volumes, studies treating Old English appear throughout the English Language division.

Mitchell, Critical Bibliography of Old English Syntax (M1710a).

MLAIB (G335): English Language and Literature division in the volumes for 1922–25; Old English headings in English I/Linguistics section in the volumes for 1926–66; Indo-European C/Germanic Linguistics IV/English/Old English section in the volumes for 1967–80; and the Indo-European Languages/Germanic Languages/West Germanic Languages/English Language/English Language (Old) section in pt. 3 of the later volumes. Researchers should also check the “English Language (Old)” and “Anglo-Saxon language” headings in the subject index to post-1980 volumes and in the online thesaurus.

YWES (G330): The chapter on English language covers Old English.

Dictionaries[edit]

M1690[edit]

Dictionary of Old English A–G (DOE). Ed. Angus Cameron, Ashley Crandell Amos, and Antonette diPaolo Healey. Vers. 1.0. University of Toronto Libraries. Pontifical Inst. of Mediaeval Studies for Dictionary of Old English Project, 2007. 25 Apr. 2012. <http://tapor.library.utoronto.ca/doe/dict/index.html>.

Dictionary of Old English: A–G on CD-ROM. Vers. 2.0. U of Toronto, 2008. Also published on microfiche; the early entries are revised in the electronic versions. (Publication began in 1986 with fascicle D; when complete, DOE will be issued in hard copy.)

A dictionary of Old English (600–1150) that excludes only place and personal names. There are three types of entries: common words receive full entries; rarer words, exhaustive ones; and grammar words, special entries. A full entry consists of headword (usually in late West-Saxon spelling), grammatical details, variant spellings, occurrence and usage information, definitions, illustrative citations (with hyperlinks to the full bibliographical information on texts and editions used; citations in the microfiches are keyed to the accompanying List of Texts and Index of Editions and to Pauline A. Thompson, Abbreviations for Latin Sources and Bibliography of Editions [1992; 50 pp.]), Latin equivalents in the same manuscript, typical collocations, and references to the Middle English Dictionary (M1860), English Dialect Dictionary (M1415), Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (O3090a), and Oxford English Dictionary (M1410; the electronic versions are linked to the OED Online). The DOE Online and the CD-ROM, which include revisions to the A–E microfiche, offer simple and Boolean searches of entry fields and allow users to browse by headword. Users must read the Search Tips screen (under Help) before initiating a pattern search. Editorial practices are outlined in the Preface (1987; 14 pp.), in prefaces to the individual microfiche fascicles, and in the electronic versions (under Entry Format). Progress reports appear regularly in Old English Newsletter; a discussion of the research for and possible uses of the Dictionary may be found in A. C. Amos, “The Dictionary of Old English,” Sources of Anglo-Saxon Culture, ed. Paul E. Szarmach (Kalamazoo: Medieval Inst., Western Michigan U, 1986; Studies in Medieval Culture 20) 407–13, and in two essays by Healey: “The Search for Meaning,” The Editing of Old English: Papers from the 1990 Manchester Conference, ed. D. G. Scrazz and Paul E. Szarmach (Woodbridge: Brewer, 1994) 85–96, and “Reasonable Doubt, Reasoned Choice: The Letter A in the Dictionary of Old English,” Studies in English Language and Literature: “Doubt Wisely”: Papers in Honour of E. G. Stanley, ed. M. J. Toswell and E. M. Tyler (London: Routledge, 1996) 71–84. For the importance of the DOE to the study of Old English syntax, see William F. Koopman, “The Study of Old English Syntax and the Toronto Dictionary of Old English,” Neophilologus 76.4 (1992): 605–15. Although DOE omits etymologies, it is an invaluable resource for linguists and literary scholars that will, when complete, supersede the Bosworth-Toller Dictionary (M1695). Reviews: Janet Bately, Notes and Queries 40.4 (1993): 510–12; Daniel Donoghue, Speculum 64.1 (1989): 155–57; R. D. Fulk, JEGP: Journal of English and Germanic Philology 90.1 (1991): 125–28; Mark Griffith, Medium Ævum 59.1 (1990): 148–52, and 63.1 (1994): 121–23; Joy Jenkyns, Review of English Studies ns 42.167 (1991): 380–416; Lucia Kornexl, Anglia 112.2 (1994): 421–53; Hans Sauer, Mitteilungen des Verbandes deutscher Anglisten 3.2 (1992): 41–53; Jonathan Wilcox, Philological Quarterly 71.1 (1992): 127–30.

The DOE project has been the source of other important reference works: Dictionary of Old English Web Corpus (M1705); Cameron, “A List of Old English Texts” (M1705a); and Cameron, Kingsmill, and Amos, Old English Word Studies (M1685).

M1695[edit]

Bosworth, Joseph. An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary. Ed. and enl. by T. Northcote Toller. 4 pts. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1882–98. Rpt. in 1 vol., 1898. 1,302 pp. Toller. Supplement. 3 pts. 1908–21. Rpt. in 1 vol., 1921. 768 pp. Both the Dictionary and Supplement are online at http://bosworth.ff.cuni.cz. Alistair Campbell. Enlarged Addenda and Corrigenda to the Supplement. 1972. 68 pp. PE279.B5 429.3.

The most complete Anglo-Saxon dictionary currently available. A typical entry includes part of speech, definition, Latin equivalents, illustrative passages (with modern English translation), etymology, and cross-references to variant and related forms. Campbell’s Enlarged Addenda incorporates Toller’s additions published in Modern Language Review 17 (1922): 165–66; 19 (1924): 200–04. Inconsistencies and unevenness in treatment occur, since editorial practices changed during the course of publication (e.g., in the Dictionary different forms are listed separately in the earlier part of the alphabet but grouped under a single form in the latter part); there are errors and omissions; and definitions of rare or difficult words are not always accurate. But until Dictionary of Old English (M1690) is complete, Bosworth-Toller remains the most authoritative dictionary. Reviews: Edward M. Brown, Journal of Germanic Philology 3.4 (1901): 505–09; Otto B. Schlutter, JEGP: Journal of English and Germanic Philology 18.1 (1919): 137–43.

The best concise dictionary is John R. Clark Hall, A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary, 4th ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1960; 432 pp.), which includes a supplement by Herbert D. Meritt.

The best source for etymology is F. Holthausen, Altenglisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch (Heidelberg: Winter, 1934; 428 pp.; Germanische Bibliothek, Reihe 4: Wörterbücher 7), with additions and corrections in Alfred Bammesberger, Beiträge zu einem etymologischen Wörterbuch des Altenglischen, Anglistische Forschungen 139 (Heidelberg: Winter, 1979; 156 pp.).

M1700[edit]

Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources. Ed. R. E. Latham and D. R. Howlett. London: Oxford UP for British Acad., 1975– . (Published in fascicles; for the publication schedule, see http://www.dmlbs.ox.ac.uk.) PA2891.L28 473′.21.

A dictionary of the Latin language used in Great Britain from c. 550 to c. 1550, but excluding most personal and place-names as well as Irish sources before 1200 because of their inclusion in Dictionary of Medieval Latin from Celtic Sources (in progress; see http://journals.eecs.qub.ac.uk/DMLCS/index.html) and covering Welsh sources very selectively. Classical Latin words used with little change are given brief entries; fuller treatment is accorded postclassical words and usages, with the fullest entries going to distinctly British words and usages. An entry provides basic meaning(s), accompanied by an extensive list of quotations to illustrate nuances of meaning. Arabic etymologies in the Dictionary are more fully explained in J. D. Latham, “Arabic into Medieval Latin,” Journal of Semitic Studies 17.1 (1972): 30–67; 21.1-2 (1976): 120–37; 34.2 (1989): 459–69. Users should note that the original prefatory matter is reprinted along with a supplementary bibliography at the end of fasc. 5; this is meant to replace the prefatory matter to fasc. 1 when fascs. 1–5 are bound as vol. 1. For the history of the Dictionary and a description of current editorial practice, see Richard Ashdowne, “Ut Latine minus vulgariter magis loquamur: The Making of the Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources,” Classical Dictionaries: Past, Present, and Future, ed. Christopher Stray (London: Duckworth, 2010) 195–222, the indispensable source for interpreting early British writings in Latin. Until the work is complete, R. E. Latham, ed., Revised Medieval Latin Word-List from British and Irish Sources (London: Oxford UP for British Acad., 1980; 535 pp.; a reprint of the 1965 edition along with a supplement listing additions and corrections), provides basic meanings for words. Review: (fasc. 1) A. B. Scott, Medium Ævum 46.1 (1977): 105–08.

See also[edit]

Greenfield, Bibliography of Publications on Old English Literature (M1670), lists other dictionaries (entries 52–82).

Concordances[edit]

M1705[edit]

Dictionary of Old English Web Corpus. Ed. Antonette diPaolo Healey. University of Toronto Libraries. Dictionary of Old English Project, 2009. 23 Nov. 2012. <http://tapor.library.utoronto.ca/doecorpus/>.

An electronic corpus of all extant Old English texts (except for some variants in manuscripts of individual works) as well as of the Latin texts attached to them. The search engine allows users to create their own concordances of words or phrases (though users must search all spelling variants to construct a full list; variants are listed in the Old English Word Wheel in Web Corpus). Basic, Boolean, and proximity searches can be limited to a class (prose, verse, or gloss) and to a specific work; doing the latter requires that one know the entry number or short title used in Cameron, “A List of Old English Texts” (see below), which can be found through the site’s Bibliography Searches screen. For an explanation of how the corpus can be used, see Healey, “The Dictionary of Old English Corpus on the World-Wide Web,” Old English Newsletter 33.1 (1999): 21–28 (reprinted from Medieval English Studies Newsletter 40 [1999]: 2–10). Dictionary of Old English Web Corpus is an incomparable resource for linguistic studies, thematic investigations, and stylistic analyses. It effectively supersedes the following:

  • Venezky, Richard L., and Antonette diPaolo Healey, comps. A Microfiche Concordance to Old English. Newark: U of Delaware, 1980. Microfiche.
  • Venezky, Richard L., and Sharon Butler, comps. A Microfiche Concordance to Old English: The High-Frequency Words. 1983. Microfiche.
    • An unlemmatized concordance based on an earlier version of Old English Corpus. Users should note that homographs are not differentiated. Editorial policies are explained and sources listed in the accompanying guides: Healey and Venezky, comps., A Microfiche Concordance to Old English: The List of Texts and Index of Editions, rpt. with revisions (Toronto: Pontifical Inst. of Mediaeval Studies for Dictionary of Old English Project, 1985; 202 pp.; Pubs. of the Dictionary of Old English 1), and Venezky and Butler, comps., A Microfiche Concordance to Old English: The High-Frequency Words (1985; 20 pp.; Pubs. of the Dictionary of Old English 2).
  • Bessinger, J. B., Jr., ed. A Concordance to The Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records . Programmed by Philip H. Smith, Jr. Cornell Concordances. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1978. 1,510 pp.
    • A concordance based on George Philip Krapp and Elliott Van Kirk Dobbie, eds., The Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records: A Collective Edition, 6 vols. (New York: Columbia UP, 1931–53), plus one other poem, “Instructions for Christians.” Madeleine M. Bergman, “Supplement to A Concordance to The Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records,” Mediaevalia 8.1 (for 1982): 9–52, adds 113 lines of verse and runic inscriptions. Review: Thomas Elwood Hart, Computers and the Humanities 13.3 (1979): 229–35 (an important discussion of limitations and uses).
  • Cameron, Angus. “A List of Old English Texts.” A Plan for the Dictionary of Old English. Ed. Roberta Frank and Angus Cameron. Toronto: U of Toronto P–Centre for Medieval Studies, U of Toronto, 1973. 25–306.
    • Prepared as a list of manuscripts and editions on which the Dictionary of Old English is based, this was the most complete record of extant Old English works. Each entry identifies the known manuscripts (or object, for inscriptions), facsimiles, and the most important editions. Except for the variant manuscripts Cameron records, the bibliographical records in the Corpus provides the most current information on editions.

Thesauruses[edit]

M1707[edit]

Edmonds, Flora, Christian Kay, Jane Roberts, and Irené Wotherspoon. Thesaurus of Old English. University of Glasgow. U of Glasgow, 2005. 23 Nov. 2012. <http://libra.englang.arts.gla.ac.uk/oethesaurus>.

An online expanded version of Jane Roberts and Christian Kay, A Thesaurus of Old English, new impression, 2 vols., Costerus ns 131–32 (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2000), that allows users to browse entries or to search the database by Old English word or phrase, modern English word, or tags (indicating that a word appears infrequently or only in poetry or in glosses or glossaries).

Much of the data in Thesaurus of Old English is incorporated into Kay et al., Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary (M1420).

Studies of Language[edit]

M1710[edit]

Mitchell, Bruce. Old English Syntax. 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1985. PE213.M5 429′.5.

A detailed study of the principles of Old English syntax using “the formal descriptive approach and traditional Latin-based grammar.” Vol. 1 examines concord, parts of speech, and sentence parts; vol. 2, subordinate clauses, other sentence elements and their order, and problems specifically related to poetry. An afterword (pp. 1000–05) prints additions to vol. 2. Throughout, Mitchell examines problems of interpretation in literary texts, emphasizes areas needing further study, and rigorously evaluates existing scholarship (which is more fully surveyed in his Critical Bibliography of Old English Syntax [below]). Includes a selective bibliography, a general index to each volume, and two cumulative indexes: words and phrases; passages discussed (authors are indexed in Critical Bibliography [below]). A seminal work, Old English Syntax admirably fulfills the author’s intent to provide a basis for definitive studies of individual topics and eventually “an authoritative Old English Syntax.” For Mitchell’s response to reviews and a list of additions and corrections, see “Old English Syntax: A Review of the Reviews,” Neuphilologische Mitteilungen 91.3 (1990): 273–93; lists of reviews and additions and corrections are also printed in Critical Bibliography 239–47 (below). Reviews: R. D. Fulk, Philological Quarterly 66.2 (1987): 279–83; Stanley B. Greenfield, JEGP: Journal of English and Germanic Philology 86.3 (1987): 392–99; Willem Koopman, Neophilologus 71.3 (1987): 460–66; T. A. Shippey, TLS: Times Literary Supplement 28 June 1985: 716.

Old English Syntax must be used with Mitchell, A Critical Bibliography of Old English Syntax to the End of 1984 Including Addenda and Corrigenda to Old English Syntax (Oxford: Blackwell, 1990; 269 pp.), and Mitchell and Susan Irvine, “A Critical Bibliography of Old English Syntax: Supplement, 1985–[2000],” Neuphilologische Mitteilungen 93.1 (1992): 1–56; 97.1 (1996): 1–28; 97.2 (1996): 121–61; 97.3 (1996): 255–78; 103.1 (2002): 3–32; 103.2 (2002): 179–204; 103.3 (2002): 275–304; 107.1 (2006): 91–116; 107.2 (2006): 169–85 with entries organized chronologically within classified divisions that usually match the organization of Old English Syntax. As in Old English Syntax, Mitchell is forthright and blunt (or rancorous, in at least one reviewer’s opinion) in his evaluations. Works that “can be safely disregarded by the general reader” are marked by a dagger and generally receive no further comment; a symbol resembling crossed swords identifies studies that are “written from a ‘modern linguistic’ viewpoint and often call for no further comment” (for Mitchell’s prejudice against such studies see the introduction to Old English Syntax and “Old English Syntax: A Review of the Reviews” [above]); a double dagger indicates works evaluated in Old English Syntax. Entries not preceded by one of the symbols are usually accompanied by full (usually evaluative) annotations; some, though, are for studies that, despite their titles, have little relevance to Old English. Reviews are cited as part of entries for books. The main volume concludes with three appendixes: a list of reviews of Old English Syntax; additions and corrections to Old English Syntax; and comments by reviewers that Mitchell did not accept. Two indexes in both the main volume and the supplement: subjects; authors and reviewers (including citations in Old English Syntax; to obtain a revised index of authors and reviewers, see p. 56 of the supplement). Admirably thorough in coverage, Critical Bibliography of Old English Syntax certainly fulfills the promise of the “critical” in its title and, if used with due regard to the clearly articulated prejudices of the foremost scholar of the subject, is an invaluable guide to scholarship on Old English syntax.

M1715[edit]

Hogg, Richard M., and R. D. Fulk. A Grammar of Old English. 2 vols. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 1992–2011. PE131.H64 429′.82421.

A detailed historical grammar of Old English, covering phonology (vol. 1), morphology (vol. 2), and almost all other aspects and features of the language except syntax (for which, see Mitchell, Old English Syntax [M1710]). Volume 1 concludes with an index of words discussed; volume 2 has two indexes: subjects; words discussed. Grammar of Old English is the authoritative work on the subject.

More suitable for beginners is Bruce Mitchell and Fred C. Robinson, A Guide to Old English, 8th ed. (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012; 427 pp.).

Genres[edit]

Poetry[edit]

Histories and Surveys[edit]
M1735[edit]

Pearsall, Derek. Old English and Middle English Poetry. London: Routledge, 1977. 352 pp. Vol. 1 of The Routledge History of English Poetry. R. A. Foakes, gen. ed. PR502.R58 821′.009.

Emphasizes poetry as a social, rather than artistic, phenomenon in a critical history of poetry to c. 1500. Ranging broadly through the poetic corpus, Pearsall offers chapters on “Beowulf and the Anglo-Saxon Poetic Tradition,” “Anglo-Saxon Religious Poems,” “Late Old English Poetry and the Transition,” “Poetry in the Early Middle English Period,” “Some Fourteenth-Century Books and Writers,” “Alliterative Poetry,” “Court Poetry,” and “The Close of the Middle Ages.” Concludes with an appendix listing technical terms (mostly describing metrics) and a chronology (with sections for historical events, poems by composition date, and the most important poetry manuscripts). Indexed by persons, anonymous works, and a few subjects. Although reviewers have pointed out errors in translations, objected to a number of interpretations, and faulted the density of many passages, they generally commend the breadth and learning of the work. Reviews: Daniel G. Calder, Anglo-Saxon England 10 (1982): 243–44; Margaret E. Goldsmith, English 27.127 (1978): 33–37; Stanley B. Greenfield, Modern Philology 77.2 (1979): 188–91; Fred C. Robinson, Modern Language Review 76.3 (1981): 651–54.

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism[edit]
See[edit]

Martinez and Martinez, Guide to British Poetry Explication, vol. 1 (L1255a).

Middle English Literature[edit]

Many works listed in section M: English Literature/General are important to research in Middle English literature.

Research Methods[edit]

General Guides[edit]

M1755[edit]

Powell, James M., ed. Medieval Studies: An Introduction. 2nd ed. Syracuse: Syracuse UP, 1992. 438 pp. D116.M4 940.1′072.

A collection of introductions to research in Latin paleography, diplomatics, numismatics, archaeology, prosopography, computer-assisted analysis of statistical documents, chronology, English literature (with some inaccuracies and errors of judgment in the discussions of reference works), Latin philosophy, law, science and natural philosophy, art, and music. Each essay outlines the historical development of its field, identifies major reference tools and important studies, explains research methods, and ends with a selective bibliography. Indexed by authors and anonymous works. Although addressed to “the beginner in medieval studies,” the volume offers expert orientations to research in unfamiliar fields. Review: Charles T. Wood, Speculum 68.2 (1993): 554–55.

Manuscripts[edit]

M1757[edit]

Clemens, Raymond, and Timothy Graham. Introduction to Manuscript Studies. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 2007. 301 pp. Z105.C58 091.

An introduction to the paleography and codicology of Western European medieval manuscripts, primarily those in Latin. The first part explains how manuscripts were made, with attention to paper and skins; assembling the quires; the scribe’s tools; writing, decorating, correcting, and glossing the text; and assembling, binding, and storing the manuscript. The second part treats the reading of a manuscript, with discussion of transcription (including valuable advice on preparing to visit a library and discussion of the tools of the paleographer), punctuation, abbreviation, working with damaged manuscripts, determining provenance, describing a manuscript, and recognizing selected hands (with tables of distinctive letters, ligatures, and abbreviations). The third part describes some of the commonly encountered genres, such as bibles, books of hours, cartularies, and maps. An appendix by Anders Winroth identifies important tools for the study of medieval Latin. The clear, detailed explanations accompanied by a plethora of aptly chosen illustrations make Introduction to Manuscript Studies essential reading for scholars embarking on the study of medieval manuscripts. Review: A. S. G. Edwards, TLS: Times Literary Supplement 16 May 2008: 16.

M1760[edit]

A Guide to Editing Middle English. Ed. Vincent P. McCarren and Douglas Moffat. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 1998. 338 pp. PR275.T45 G85 820.9′001.

A collection of essays that treat practical aspects of editing Middle English manuscripts. Although addressed to the neophyte, few experienced editors will fail to benefit from the discussions of such topics as editing methods, parallel texts, using sources, annotating a text, preparing a glossary, electronic editions, and editing kinds of literary and nonliterary manuscripts. Of particular importance for both students and aspiring editors is the admirably straightforward “Practical Guide to Working with Middle English Manuscripts.” Indexed by subjects. Written by many of the top Middle English scholars, Guide to Editing Middle English stands as a model for the kind of guide needed for other periods and will—if thoroughly studied by aspiring editors—accomplish its goal of “rais[ing] the standard of scholarly editing for Middle English texts.” Review: Eric Eliason, Text: An Interdisciplinary Annual of Textual Studies 13 (2000): 277–83.

This work supersedes Charles Moorman, Editing the Middle English Manuscript (Jackson: UP of Mississippi, 1975; 107 pp.).

For a convenient (and effectively illustrated) guide to terminology, see Michelle P. Brown, Understanding Illuminated Manuscripts: A Guide to Technical Terms (Malibu: Getty Museum–British Lib., 1994; 127 pp.).

Paleography[edit]
M1765[edit]

Johnson, Charles, and Hilary Jenkinson. English Court Hand, A. D. 1066 to 1500, Illustrated Chiefly from the Public Records. 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1915. Z115.E5 J6 421′.7.

A manual for those learning to read English court hand. Vol. 1 traces the evolution of the hand, outlines methods of abbreviations (with a helpful list of common ones), offers practical hints on transcription, provides a selected bibliography, traces the development of individual forms (with valuable dated illustrations of letters, runes, abbreviations, signs, numerals, and other marks), and concludes with extensively annotated transcriptions of the plates in vol. 2. The detailed illustrations of various forms make this the best introduction to court hand and an essential companion for those who work with medieval English documents.

Hands from the fifteenth through seventeenth centuries are described and illustrated in Jenkinson, Later Court Hands in England (entry M1965).

M1770[edit]

Parkes, M. B. English Cursive Book Hands, 1250–1500. Corrected rpt. Berkeley: U of California P, 1980. 26 pp. Oxford Palaeographical Handbooks. Z115.E5 P37 745.6′1.

Wright, C. E. English Vernacular Hands from the Twelfth to the Fifteenth Centuries. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1960. 24 pp. Oxford Palaeographical Handbooks. Z115.E5 W7 421.7.

Each work prints a series of plates with accompanying transcriptions and notes that illustrate the different types of hands used in England for writing books. The plates are arranged chronologically to show the development of each hand. Although lacking a discussion of abbreviations used by scribes, Parkes and Wright are convenient sources for identifying and learning to read the hands used for writing the majority of Middle English literary manuscripts. Reviews: (Parkes) Ruth J. Dean, Speculum 46.1 (1971): 177–80; (Wright) A. I. Doyle, Medium Ævum 30.1 (1961): 117–20.

Parkes and Wright are complemented by Jane Roberts, Guide to Scripts Used in English Writings up to 1500 (London: British Lib., 2005; 294 pp.), which includes Old English scripts.

See also[edit]

Jenkinson, Later Court Hands in England (M1965).

Guides to Scholarship[edit]
M1775[edit]

Braswell, Laurel Nichols. Western Manuscripts from Classical Antiquity to the Renaissance: A Handbook. New York: Garland, 1981. 382 pp. Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 139. Z105.B73 091.

A selective annotated bibliography of reference works and scholarship (published through the late 1970s) on the identification, study, and editing of early manuscripts from the ninth through the mid-fifteenth centuries, principally in Romance and Germanic languages, with particular attention to medieval English literary and scientific manuscripts. The 2,074 entries are listed alphabetically in 15 classified sections: bibliographies, libraries, microforms, incipits, subjects, paleography, diplomatics and archives, fragments and booklets, decoration and illumination, music, codicology, reference works, contexts of manuscripts, journals, and textual criticism. Although importance is the main criterion determining selection, a number of works of dubious value are admitted, and there are some notable omissions. The descriptive annotations are neither as precise nor as accurate as they might be, but there are some judicious brief evaluations. Indexed by persons and anonymous titles. Despite the errors and some lack of balance among sections, Braswell is a serviceable basic guide to scholarship on early manuscripts. Reviews: Revilo P. Oliver, Classical Journal 78.4 (1983): 367–69; Germaine Warkentin, University of Toronto Quarterly 52.4 (1983): 403–04.

Histories and Surveys[edit]

The best guides to earlier literary histories and surveys are Robert W. Ackerman, “Middle English Literature to 1400,” pp. 73–123 in Fisher, Medieval Literature of Western Europe (entry M1830), and John H. Fisher, “English Literature,” pp. 1–54 in Cooke, The Present State of Scholarship in Fourteenth-Century Literature (M1830a).

For an account of the emergence of Middle English studies as a scholarly discipline, see David Matthews, The Making of Middle English, 1765–1910 (Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1999; 231 pp.; Medieval Cultures 18).

M1777[edit]

The Cambridge History of Medieval English Literature. Ed. David Wallace. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1999. 1,043 pp. New Cambridge Hist. of English Lit. PR255.C35 820.9′001. Online through Cambridge Histories Online (http://histories.cambridge.org).

A collaborative history of “literature composed or transmitted in the British Isles between 1066 and 1547.” Although separately authored, the 31 chapters are designed to offer a continuous narrative (but not a grand récit) and attend to the conditions of the production and reception of a wide range of works. Unlike so many recent multiauthored literary histories, this one has a chronology and bibliography; unfortunately, the layout of the former makes it difficult to compare literary and historical events, and the lack of any topical organization in the bibliography of secondary works leaves a reader with 73 pages to skim. Two indexes: manuscripts; persons, subjects, and titles of anonymous works (only the index of manuscripts is included in the online version). Including contributions by many of the leading medieval scholars, Cambridge History of Medieval English Literature has exerted substantial influence on the study of medieval British literature. Review: Tom Shippey, TLS: Times Literary Supplement 14 May 1999: 18–19.

M1778[edit]

Simpson, James. 1350–1547: Reform and Cultural Revolution. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2002. 661 pp. Vol. 2 of The Oxford English Literary History (M1310a). Jonathan Bate, gen. ed. PR85.O96 820.9.

In a literary history of the progression from medieval to early modern, this work emphasizes the centralization of language and literature in chapters on genres and social, political, and religious contexts. Concludes with a series of author bibliographies and a selected bibliography; both omit many important works. Indexed by persons, subjects, and anonymous works. Because of the short shrift accorded several important authors and works (e.g., Thomas More and John Skelton), Simpson does not supplant the other literary histories in this section or Lewis, English Literature in the Sixteenth Century Excluding Drama (M1975).

M1780[edit]

Bennett, H. S. Chaucer and the Fifteenth Century. Corrected rpt. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1979. 348 pp. Vol. 2, pt. 1 of The Oxford History of English Literature (M1310). John Buxton and Norman Davis, gen. eds. (Reprinted in 1990 as vol. 2, with the title Chaucer and Fifteenth-Century Verse and Prose.) PR255.B43 821.17.

A critical history with chapters on fourteenth-century London, Chaucer, religion, the intellectual background, author-audience relationships, verse, and prose, as well as a chronology and selective bibliography (now outdated). Indexed by authors, anonymous works, and subjects. (The corrected reprint makes only minor corrections to the text of the 1947 edition but provides a much better index and updates the bibliography to c. 1970.) Bennett is an important history, although reviewers have argued with some interpretations and justifiably faulted the division of coverage between this volume and Chambers, English Literature at the Close of the Middle Ages (M1790)—a division that, for example, isolates Chaucer from his contemporaries. Reviews: Times Literary Supplement 17 Apr. 1948: 221; Francis Lee Utley, Speculum 26.2 (1951): 370–75.

M1785[edit]

Bennett, J. A. W. Middle English Literature. Ed. and completed by Douglas Gray. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1986. 496 pp. Vol. 1., pt. 2 of The Oxford History of English Literature (M1310). John Buxton and Norman Davis, gen. eds. (Reprinted in 1990 as vol. 1, with the title Middle English Literature, 1100–1400.) PR255.B45 820′.9′001.

A critical history organized in chapters devoted to genres and major authors: pastoral and comedy, didactic and homiletic verse, Layamon, romances, poems of the Gawain manuscript, prose, lyrics, Gower, and Langland. Concludes with a chronology and selected bibliography through 1984 (but the latter excludes some important works). Indexed by persons and works. Although the volume lacks any synthesis and gives little attention to historical and intellectual contexts, most chapters offer substantial—and, depending on one’s perspective, occasionally brilliant or opinionated—discussions of major authors and works. Middle English Literature is one of the standard works on the period. Reviews: Charles Blyth, Essays in Criticism 37.4 (1987): 321–29; A. J. Minnis, TLS: Times Literary Supplement 6 Feb. 1987: 140; A. C. Spearing, Yearbook of Langland Studies 2 (1988): 155–59.

M1790[edit]

Chambers, E. K. English Literature at the Close of the Middle Ages. 2nd impression with corrections. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1947. 247 pp. Vol. 2, pt. 2 of The Oxford History of English Literature (M1310). F. P. Wilson and Bonamy Dobrée, gen. eds. (Reprinted in 1990 as vol. 3, with the title Malory and Fifteenth-Century Drama, Lyrics, and Ballads.) PR291.C5 820.902.

Unlike other volumes of the Oxford History of English Literature (M1310), Chambers comprises four independent essays on the drama (an updated distillation of his Mediaeval Stage [M1905]), the carol and fifteenth-century lyric, popular narrative poetry and the ballad, and Malory. Concludes with a selective bibliography (now outdated). Indexed by authors, anonymous works, and subjects. Although composed of erudite, balanced discussions, the volume does not offer a literary history of the period. This and Bennett, Chaucer and the Fifteenth Century (M1780), have been justifiably faulted for the division of coverage. Reviews: A. C. Baugh, JEGP: Journal of English and Germanic Philology 46.3 (1947): 304–07; Beatrice White, Modern Language Review 41.4 (1946): 426–28.

See also[edit]

Sec. M: English Literature/General/Histories and Surveys.

Literary Handbooks, Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias[edit]

M1795[edit]

Dictionary of the Middle Ages. Ed. Joseph R. Strayer. 13 vols. New York: Scribner’s, 1982–89. Supplement 1. Ed. William Chester Jordan. New York: Scribner’s–Gale, 2004. 722 pp. D114.D5 909.07.

Covers the intellectual, ecclesiastical, political, and literary history, material culture, and geography of “the Latin West, the Slavic World, Asia Minor, the lands of the caliphate in the East, and the Muslim-Christian areas of North Africa” from the period 500 to 1500. The approximately 5,000 entries, ranging from brief identifications and definitions to major articles by established scholars, treat places, persons, art works, events, literary forms and genres, national literatures, and a variety of miscellaneous topics. Brief bibliographies, largely confined to English-language scholarship, conclude most entries. Errata to all volumes are printed in vol. 13, pp. 607–13. The best approach to persons and subjects is through the detailed index (vol. 13). There is an occasional imbalance in the treatment of similar topics, but readable discussions and solid scholarship make this a useful source of quick information and basic surveys. The Supplement emphasizes topics that have emerged since the 1970s, new evidence about old topics, and areas outside northwestern Europe; its selective bibliographies include more works in languages other than English. Complemented by Lexikon des Mittelalters (M1800), which is more scholarly but less broad in coverage. Reviews: Charles T. Wood, Speculum 60.4 (1985): 967–71; 66.1 (1991): 147–49.

The Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages, ed. Robert E. Bjork, 4 vols. (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2010; online through Oxford Reference [I530]), covers the same chronological period and geographic area, offers approximately the same number of entries, but claims to be more balanced in geographic and topical coverage than any other English-language dictionary of the period. Two indexes: thematic (vol. 1); persons and subjects (vol. 4). Readers should note the shortcomings identified by Ian Mortimer (TLS: Times Literary Supplement 21 Jan. 2011: 24), who finds the work marked by “intellectual confusion.”

M1800[edit]

Lexikon des Mittelalters Online (LexMA). Brepolis. Brepols, n.d. 21 Mar. 2013. <http://www.brepolis.net>.

International Encyclopedia for the Middle Ages: A Supplement to LexMa Online (IEMA). Brepolis. Brepols, n.d. 21 Mar. 2013. <http://www.brepolis.net>.

Lexikon des Mittelalters. 10 vols. München: Lexma, 1977–99. D101.5.L49 940.1′05.

A dictionary of the history and culture of the Middle Ages in Europe and parts of North Africa and the Middle East from c. 300 to c. 1500. Lexikon des Mittelalters Online reproduces the entries in the original Lexikon des Mittelalters; adds searchable and browsable lists of authors, categories, and headwords (in English or German for the last two); adds links to BREPOLiS Medieval Bibliographies (M1835); allows for keyword searches of the entire text (except the bibliographies appended to entries); and lets users download or print articles. Entries, ranging from brief definitions or identifications to lengthy articles by an international group of scholars, treat individuals, works, forms and genres, material culture, places, and events. Each concludes with a brief bibliography. (In the online version, users must click the Consult Select Bibliography link to view the citations.) The extensive use of symbols and abbreviations makes for slow reading, and there is some imbalance in the treatment of similar topics. Three indexes: subjects (subdivided; see, e.g., Englische Sprache und Literatur subdivision); cross-references; contributors.

The online version supersedes the CD-ROM (ed. Charlotte Bretscher-Gisiger and Thomas Meier [Coron, 2000]). Lexikon des Mittelalters is being supplemented in English by International Encyclopedia for the Middle Ages, which covers the same geographic area from 500 to 1500.

Authoritative and scholarly, Lexikon des Mittelalters, International Encyclopedia for the Middle Ages, and Dictionary of the Middle Ages (M1795) provide medievalists with essential information on a wide range of topics. Review: (vol. 1.1–5) Joseph R. Strayer, Speculum 55.3 (1980): 627–28.

Bibliographies of Bibliographies[edit]

M1805[edit]

Rouse, Richard H. Serial Bibliographies for Medieval Studies. Berkeley: U of California P, 1969. 150 pp. Pubs. of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies 3. Z6203.R66 016.016914′03′1.

A classified, descriptive guide to 294 current and defunct serial bibliographies covering medieval studies from the advent of Christianity to c. 1500. Rouse omits standard general indexes and national bibliographies but includes bibliographic essays, lists of contents of recent periodicals, accessions lists of special libraries, and reports of work in progress. Entries are classified in 11 divisions: general bibliographies; national and regional bibliographies; Byzantine, Islamic, and Judaic studies; archival and auxiliary studies; art and archaeology; ecclesiastical history; economic, social, and institutional history; intellectual history; literature and linguistics; music; science, technology, and medicine. Since the description of each bibliography is based primarily on a single volume published between 1964 and 1967, variations in scope, editorial policy, and organization are not always noted. An asterisk denotes an important work. Two indexes: title; editor. Although dated, Rouse remains useful for identifying essential serial bibliographies outside the field of literature (for which Wortman, Guide to Serial Bibliographies [G325], generally provides more thorough coverage).

See also[edit]

Sec. D: Bibliographies of Bibliographies.

Guides to Primary Works[edit]

Manuscripts[edit]

M1810[edit]

Ker, N. R., and A. J. Piper. Medieval Manuscripts in British Libraries. 5 vols. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1969–2002. Z6620.G7 K4 011.

A catalog of manuscripts written before c. 1500 in Latin or Western European languages and held in public collections that have not been previously or adequately cataloged. Thus Ker does not include private collections or major libraries (such as the British Library or the Bodleian), although researchers are directed to the standard catalogs of institutional collections. Vol. 1 covers London; vols. 2–4 list collections alphabetically by city; vol. 5 (ed. I. C. Cunningham and A. G. Watson) includes addenda and 11 indexes (authors, subjects, and titles; other names; Bibles; liturgies; iconography; languages other than Latin; origins and dates of manuscripts; secundo folios; incipits; repertories cited; manuscripts cited [some of the preceding are subdivided]). The detailed descriptions of uncataloged items—informed by Ker’s incomparable knowledge of medieval manuscripts—include short title; date; contents; bibliographical, paleographical, and codicological information; and provenance. (Manuscripts adequately described elsewhere receive summary treatment and references to published catalogs.) Besides making known for the first time a number of manuscripts, Medieval Manuscripts is an invaluable source for finding iconographic and paleographical information, identifying texts and provenance, and locating manuscripts. One of the truly great catalogs. Reviews: (vol. 2) Christopher de Hamel, Medium Ævum 50.1 (1981): 101–04; Jean F. Preston, Review 1 (1979): 223–31; (vols. 3–4) Book Collector 41.2 (1992): 161–79.

M1815[edit]

Ricci, Seymour de. Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. 3 vols. New York: Wilson, 1935–40. C. U. Faye and W. H. Bond. Supplement. New York: Bibliog. Soc. of Amer., 1962. 626 pp. Z6620.U5 R5.

Conway, Melissa, and Lisa Fagin Davis. Directory of Institutions in the United States and Canada with Pre-1600 Manuscript Holdings. BibSite. Bibliog. Soc. of Amer., 2012. 23 Nov. 2012. <http://www.bibsocamer.org/BibSite/Conway-Davis/Pre-1600.Mss.Holdings.pdf>.

Essentially a finding list of Western manuscripts before 1600 owned by institutions and private collectors. Except for Greek and Latin papyri, the work includes all written documents, but because of their number, letters, charters, and deeds are usually not described separately. Entries are organized alphabetically by state, then by city, then by institution or collector; Canadian listings appear in vol. 2, pp. 2201–38, and are followed by a lengthy list of errata and corrections (vol. 2, pp. 2239–343). Since Ricci is not intended to be a definitive catalog and since many descriptions are supplied by owners, an entry provides only basic information: author, title or incipit, brief physical description, place of composition, provenance, and references to scholarship. Vol. 3 is made up of six indexes (general index of names, titles, and headings; scribes, illuminators, and cartographers; incipits; Gregory numbers for Greek New Testament manuscripts; present owners; previous owners) but does not include the planned lists of unlocated manuscripts or those held by dealers. The Supplement (compiled almost exclusively from questionnaires) adds new manuscripts, records changes in ownership, and prints corrections. Ricci’s notes for his unfinished Bibliotheca Britannica Manuscripta—a companion to the Census—are available in Seymour de Ricci Bibliotheca Britannica Manuscripta Digitized Archive (http://sceti.library.upenn.edu/dericci/index.html), a searchable database.

Directory of Institutions—the first installment of a continuation of the Census and Supplement—updates the location of institutions, identifies institutions that no longer hold pre-1600 manuscripts or that have changed names, and adds 281 repositories; it does not include modern private collections. The three works offer an important starting point for locating manuscripts in collections that have not been fully cataloged and for tracing provenance.

A major desideratum is a descriptive catalog (such as Ker and Piper, Medieval Manuscripts in British Libraries [M1810]) for medieval manuscripts in North American collections—a need that might be met if institutions adopt the Electronic Access to Medieval Manuscripts (EAMMS) guidelines for cataloging manuscripts and contribute the records to WorldCat (E225). For a discussion of the latter and an assessment of the Census and Supplement, see Gregory A. Pass, “Electrifying Research in Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts,” Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 94.4 (2000): 507–30.

Printed Works[edit]

M1820[edit]

Gesamtkatalog der Wiegendrucke (GKW). Vols. 1–7. 2nd ed. 1968. Vols. 8– . Stuttgart: Hiersemann, 1972– . (The second edition reprints, with additions and corrections, the volumes published 1925–38.) Z240.G39. <http://www.gesamtkatalogderwiegendrucke.de/GWEN.xhtml>.

An analytical bibliography that attempts to describe every extant edition printed in fifteenth-century Europe. Listed alphabetically by author or title of anonymous work, the detailed entries include author, short title, editor, translator, corrector, commentator, place of printing, printer, publisher, date, format, collation, notes on typography, transcription of title and colophon, contents, references to standard bibliographies, and locations of copies. (See vol. 8 for a description in English [pp. *101–08], German, French, Russian, and Italian of the parts of an entry; an updated version appears on the Help page of the GKW Web site.) Vols. 1–7 locate no more than 10 copies, but the later ones attempt a complete census. Since the editors must frequently work from photographic copies, format and collation are not always accurately described, and there are errors in the identification of printers. For the history of GKW and discussions of editorial procedure, see the essays in Zur Arbeit mit dem Gesamtkatalog der Wiegendrucke (Berlin: Deutsche Staatsbibliothek, 1989; 155 pp.; Beiträge aus der Deutschen Staatsbibliothek 9). Although the prewar volumes now need revision, GKW is an essential source for identifying editions (and their contents and sometimes complex textual relationships), authors, and printers; for localizing and dating books; and for locating copies. Reviews: John L. Flood, Library 5th ser. 30.4 (1975): 339–44; Lotte Hellinga, Library 6th ser. 13.3 (1991): 268–71; Paul Needham, TLS: Times Literary Supplement 15 Aug. 1980: 922.

The online GKW is very much a work-in-progress. Currently the database is divided into two parts: A–H, which is an updated version of the print edition, and I–Z, which represents the working copy for the bibliography (for the status of the database consult the page A Work in Progress). Because the search engine allows only literal searches (i.e., it is case sensitive and requires diacritics), users must consult the Help file before attempting a search. The database currently has five search interfaces: Advanced (which allows keyword searches of the full text and the record fields [e.g., author, format, printer, collation, date, locations]); Printer, Place, and Date (with pull-down lists of the first two); Bibliography; Second Quires; Place of Printing. In addition, users can search indexes of authors, GKW numbers, personal names, printers (by city), titles, short titles, incipits, second quires, locations (by city), holdings (by city, then institution), and bibliography (by siglum). Users who take the time to master the search interfaces will be able to manipulate in sophisticated ways the massive amount of data in GKW.

Even when GKW is complete, existing general bibliographies of incunabula will remain valuable complements, especially for their fuller information on individual copies. Among the most important of these bibliographies are the following:

  • Bayerische Staatsbibliothek Inkunabelkatalog (BSB-Ink). Wiesbaden: Reichert, 1988–2005. Review: (vol. 1) John Goldfinch, Library 6th ser. 13 (1991): 275–78.
  • Catalogue des incunables. 2 vols. Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale, 1981– . Review: M. C. Davies, Library 7th ser. 9.2 (2008): 225–28.
  • Catalogue of Books Printed in the XVth Century Now in the British Library. Gay-Houten: HES and DeGraff, 1908–2007. (Title varies.) Reviews: David McKitterick, TLS: Times Literary Supplement 30 Mar. 2007: 7–8; Bettina Wagner, Library 7th ser. 9.2 (2008): 197–209.
  • Goff, Frederick R., comp. and ed. Incunabula in American Libraries: A Third Census of Fifteenth-Century Books Recorded in North American Collections. New York: Bibliog. Soc. of Amer., 1964. 798 pp. Supplement. 1972. 104 pp. A photographic reprint of Goff’s annotated copy was published by Kraus in 1973. Although the annotated copy served as the working copy for the Supplement, the latter does not include Goff’s notes on dealers’ and auction prices. The entries, along with substantial additions and corrections, are incorporated into the ISTC database (see below).
  • Hain, Ludwig. Repertorium Bibliographicum, in Quo Libri Omnes ab Arte Typographica Inventa usque ad Annum MD. Typis Expressi Ordine Alphabetico vel Simpliciter Enumerantur vel Adcuratius Recensentur. 2 vols. in 4 pts. Stuttgart: Cotta; Paris: Lutetiae, 1826–38. The work is indexed by K. Burger, Ludwig Hain’s Repertorium Bibliographicum: Register (Leipzig: Harrassowitz, 1891; 427 pp.; Zentralblatt für Bibliothekswesen 8). Copinger, W. A. Supplement to Hain’s Repertorium Bibliographicum . 2 pts. Berlin: Altmann, 1926 (with index by Konrad Burger).
  • Incunabula Short-Title Catalogue (ISTC). British Library. British Lib., n.d. 23 Nov. 2012. <http://www.bl.uk/catalogues/istc/index.html>. An online catalog that intends to record every copy of every extant edition. Although the database is currently the single most comprehensive list of incunabula, entries are based largely on printed catalogs and do not provide the detail of GKW. The Search screen allows for searching by keyword, author, title, place of publication, printer, bibliographical reference, ISTC number, format, locations of copies, date, language, and British Library shelf mark; the preceding fields can also be combined. In addition, all fields can be browsed. Many titles in the database are being reproduced in microfiche in Incunabula: The Printing Revolution in Europe, 1455–1500 (Woodbridge: Primary Source Microfilm, 1992– ).
  • Proctor, Robert. An Index to the Early Printed Books in the British Museum: From the Invention of Printing to the Year 1500. With Notes of Those in the Bodleian Library. London: Holland, 1960. 908 pp. A convenient reprint of the original two volumes and four supplements, 1898–1906.
  • Reichling, Dietrich. Appendices ad Hainii-Copingeri Repertorium Bibliographicum: Additiones et Emendationes. 6 fascicles and index. München: Rosenthal, 1905–11. Supplement. Monasterii Guestphalorum, 1914. 109 pp.
See also[edit]

English Short Title Catalogue (M1377).

Pollard and Redgrave, Short-Title Catalogue (M1990).

Severs, Hartung, and Beidler, Manual of the Writings in Middle English (M1825).

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism[edit]

Surveys of Research[edit]

M1825[edit]

Severs, J. Burke, Albert E. Hartung, and Peter G. Beidler, gen. eds. A Manual of the Writings in Middle English, 1050–1500. 12 vols. New Haven: Connecticut Acad. of Arts and Sciences, 1967– . PR255.M3 016.820′9′001.

  • Vol. 1: Romances. 1967. (Supplemented by Joanne A. Rice, Middle English Romance: An Annotated Bibliography, 1955–1985 [New York: Garland, 1987; 626 pp.; Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 545], although there are numerous omissions of studies published outside the United States.)
  • Vol. 2: Pearl Poet; Wyclyf and His Followers; Translations and Paraphrases of the Bible, and Commentaries; Saints’ Legends; Instructions for Religious. 1970.
  • Vol. 3: Dialogues, Debates, and Catechisms; Thomas Hoccleve; Malory and Caxton. 1972.
  • Vol. 4: Middle Scots Writers; Chaucerian Apocrypha. 1973.
  • Vol. 5: Dramatic Pieces [miracle, mystery, morality, and folk plays]; Poems Dealing with Contemporary Conditions. 1975.
  • Vol. 6: Carols; Ballads; John Lydgate. 1980. (See A. S. G. Edwards, “Additions and Corrections to the Bibliography of John Lydgate,” Notes and Queries ns 32 [1985]: 450–52.)
  • Vol. 7: John Gower; Piers Plowman; Travel and Geographical Writings; Works of Religious and Philosophical Instruction. 1986.
  • Vol. 8: Chronicles and Other Historical Writings. 1989.
  • Vol. 9: Proverbs, Precepts, and Monitory Pieces; English Mystical Writings; Tales. 1993.
  • Vol. 10: Works of Science and Information. 1998.
  • Vol. 11: Sermons and Homilies; Lyrics of MS Harley 2253. 2005.

Chapters are planned for letters, legal writings, lyrics, and miscellaneous prose.

The work is a survey of scholarship and bibliography that revises and expands John Edwin Wells, A Manual of the Writings in Middle English, 1050–1400 (New Haven: Connecticut Acad. of Arts and Sciences, 1916; 941 pp.), and its nine supplements (1919–51). Each chapter (and sometimes sections thereof) has two parts: (1) the commentary, which for each work discusses content, manuscripts, date, dialect, source, and form and summarizes scholarship and critical trends; (2) a classified bibliography (with sections for manuscripts, editions, textual matters, language, versification, date, authorship, sources, literary criticism, and bibliography). Many entries are briefly annotated. Coverage is less thorough in vols. 1–3 (“all serious studies down through 1955 . . . and all important studies from 1955 to” one or two years before publication); the later volumes strive to include “all serious studies” up to one or two years before publication. (See the preface to each volume—especially vol. 5—for specific terminal dates.) Reviewers have, however, noted a number of omissions in some chapters; and following Wells’s organization while expanding his scope has led to some inconsistent groupings in chapters. Indexed by authors, titles, early printers, and subjects; a master index is planned upon completion. Although the early chapters are now dated and some works and authors are now more exhaustively treated in separate bibliographies, Severs, Hartung, and Beidler remains an indispensable starting point for most research in medieval literature. Reviews: (vol. 1) Norman Davis, Review of English Studies ns 21.81 (1970): 72–74; (vol. 2) Anne Hudson, Medium Ævum 43.2 (1974): 199–201; (vol. 3) Davis, Review of English Studies ns 25.97 (1974): 67–69; (vol. 4) Davis, Review of English Studies ns 26.103 (1975): 325–27; (vol. 5) Hudson, Yearbook of English Studies 9 (1979): 361–62.

M1830[edit]

Fisher, John H., ed. The Medieval Literature of Western Europe: A Review of Research, Mainly 1930–1960. New York: New York UP for MLA; London: U of London P, 1966. 432 pp. Revolving Fund Ser. 22. PN671.F5 809.02.

Surveys of research from c. 1930 to c. 1964 on medieval Latin, Old English, Middle English (to 1400), French, German, Old Norse, Italian, Spanish, Catalan, Portuguese, and Celtic literatures. Addressed to advanced graduate students and scholars not specializing in the literatures, chapters typically examine bibliographical and reference works; background, language, and general studies; literary histories; and research on major forms, works, and authors. (The essay “Middle English Literature to 1400” [pp. 73–123], by Robert W. Ackerman, has sections for bibliographies, general and background studies, works of religious instruction, mysticism, translations and didactic works, poetry, romance, drama, Piers Plowman, Chaucer, and Gower.) Indexed by scholars and authors. Although now badly dated, Medieval Literature of Western Europe is still useful for its sensible evaluations of important studies published during the period. Review: A. A. Heathcote, Johanna H. Torringa, and R. M. Wilson, Modern Language Review 63.1 (1968): 141–42.

Essential supplements are Year’s Work in English Studies (G330), Year’s Work in Modern Language Studies (S4855), and especially the surveys and bibliographies of English, French, German, Italian, Latin, and Spanish literature in Thomas D. Cooke, ed., The Present State of Scholarship in Fourteenth-Century Literature (Columbia: U of Missouri P, 1982; 319 pp.). The essay by John H. Fisher on English literature (pp. 1–54) surveys bibliographies and research tools, anthologies and translations, facsimiles, thematic studies, language, major authors, works, and genres and concludes with a selective classified bibliography of 386 books published since the early 1960s.

See also[edit]

YWES (G330): Chapters for Middle English Literature; Chaucer.

Serial Bibliographies[edit]

M1835[edit]

BREPOLiS Medieval Bibliographies: International Medieval Bibliography Online. Brepolis. Brepols, n.d. 23 Nov. 2012. <http://www.brepolis.net>. Updated four times a year.

International Medieval Bibliography, [1967– ]: Multidisciplinary Bibliography of the Middle Ages / Bibliographie multidisciplinaire du Moyen Age / Multidisziplinäre Bibliographie des Mittelalters / Bibliografia multidisciplinaria del Medioevo / Bibliografía multidisciplinaria la Edad Media / Mul’tidistsdplinarnaya Bibliografiya Srednevekov’ya (300–1500) (IMB). Turnhout: Brepols, 1968– . 2/yr. Subtitle varies. Z6203.I63 016.914′03′1. CD-ROM.

An international bibliography of articles and notes in journals, Festschriften, and collections of essays that, through the bibliography for 1998, treated Europe and the Byzantine Empire from 450 to 1500; with the 1999 bibliography, coverage expanded to include the Middle East and North Africa and was extended back to 400 (and then to 300 with the 2003 bibliography). Single-author monographs, reviews, and (as of 1983) collections of previously published articles are excluded.

The IMB Online offers two search screens: Simple Search (which allows searches by keyword, author, academic discipline, geographic area, and date) and Advanced Search (which allows searches by keyword, author, title, language, date of publication, academic discipline, geographic area, index term, and century); both screens allow searches to include Bibliographie de civilisation médiévale, and both offer browsable lists of insertable terms for many fields. Records, which are organized by date of publication (descending) then alphabetically by author, can be sorted by ascending date and marked for downloading or e-mailing. A video slide show demonstrating how to search IMB Online is available at http://www.brepolis.net/BRP_Info_En.html (click Brepolis Databases).

In the print version, entries are classified by country or area under several divisions, which currently include ones for language; literature (with sections for general studies, drama, prose, and verse); manuscripts and paleography; folk studies; printing history; historiography; and women’s studies. Since these divisions have changed markedly over the years, users must consult the contents list in respective volumes. Some entries are now briefly annotated. Two indexes: scholars; subjects (selective). The CD-ROM, while cumulating the print version and offering basic search options, is hampered by a primitive search engine and less than user-friendly interface. Although the work is not comprehensive, its breadth makes it an important complement to the standard serial bibliographies and indexes in section G. Review: B. D. H. Miller, Review of English Studies ns 29.113 (1978): 78–79.

(A companion database—Bibliographie de civilisation médiévale [10]—indexes single-author books, but its coverage of Medieval English literature is neither extensive nor current.)

IMB is complemented by Iter: Gateway to the Middle Ages and Renaissance (http://www.itergateway.org; updated daily), which covers studies of the period 400–1700. As of 23 November 2012, the database included more than 1,162,000 records for books, articles, dissertations, book chapters, and reviews. The Basic Search screen allows for a keyword search of an entire record or of individual record fields (author, title, or subject). Advanced Search allows users to combine the preceding fields along with ones for Dewey Decimal or Library of Congress Classification; to limit searches by language, date, type of publication, and title (of journal, series, or edited collection); and to sort records by relevance, title, author, or date. Records can be marked for e-mailing, printing, or saving to a list. There is considerable disparity in the level of indexing of individual records, only a few records include summaries, and coverage of journals runs two to three years behind publication date; nevertheless Iter is a welcome resource, especially for its coverage of post-1500 topics. For a history of Iter, see William R. Bowen, “Iter: Where Does the Path Lead?” Early Modern Literary Studies 5.3 (2000): 26 pars.; 5 Mar. 2001; <http://purl.oclc.org/emls/05-3/bowiter.html>. For a comparison of Iter and IMB Online, see Daniel Newton and Jennalyn Tellman, “A Comparison of the Iter Bibliography and the International Medieval Bibliography: Tools for Researching the History of the European Middle Ages,” Reference and User Services Quarterly 49.3 (2010): 265–77.

The following defunct serial bibliographies are still useful:

  • “Bibliography of American Periodical Literature.” Speculum 9–47 (1934–72).
  • International Guide to Medieval Studies: A Continuous Index to Periodical Literature. 12 vols. Darien: Amer. Bibliog. Service, 1963–78. International coverage of articles from 1961 to 1973, with scholar and subject indexes.
  • Progress of Medieval and Renaissance Studies in the United States and Canada. 25 nos. Boulder: U of Colorado, 1921–60. Lists publications, dissertations, and works in progress, 1922–59.

For other serial bibliographies, see Rouse, Serial Bibliographies for Medieval Studies (M1805).

See also[edit]

Sec. G: Serial Bibliographies, Indexes, and Abstracts.

ABELL (G340): English Literature/Middle English through the volume for 1972; English Literature/Old and Middle English: Subsidiary through the volume for 1933; English Literature/Fifteenth Century in the volumes for 1927–72; and English Literature/Middle English and Fifteenth Century in later volumes.

MLAIB (G335): English Language and Literature division in the volumes for 1921–25; English VI in the volumes for 1926–56; English V in the volumes for 1957–80; and English Literature/1100–1499: Middle English Period section (as well as any larger chronological sections encompassing the period) in the later volumes. Some studies treating Middle English literature appear in General/Medieval in the volume for 1928; General II: Medieval Literature in the volumes for 1929–32; General/Medieval Literature in the volumes for 1933–52; General VII: Literature, General and Comparative/Medieval Literature in the volumes for 1953–55; General II: Literature, General and Comparative/Medieval Literature in the volume for 1956; and General III: Literature, General and Comparative/Medieval Literature in the volumes for 1957–80. Researchers must also check the headings beginning “English Literature,” “Medieval,” and “Middle Ages” in the subject index to post-1980 volumes and in the online thesaurus.

Other Bibliographies[edit]

M1840[edit]

The New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature (NCBEL). Vol. 1: 600–1660. Ed. George Watson. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1974. 2,476 cols. Z2011.N45 [PR83] 016.82.

(For a full discussion of NCBEL, see entry M1385.) The part devoted to the Middle English period (1100–1500) has six major divisions, each subdivided and classified as its subject requires: introduction, Middle English literature to 1400 (with sections for romances, literature, Chaucer, education), the fifteenth century (English Chaucerians, Middle Scots poets, English prose, miscellaneous verse and prose), songs and ballads, medieval drama, and writings in Latin. The general introduction for the volume as a whole lists bibliographies, histories, anthologies, and works about prosody, prose rhythm, and language important to the study of the Middle English period. Users must familiarize themselves with the organization, remember that there is considerable unevenness of coverage among subdivisions, and consult the index volume (vol. 5) rather than the provisional index in vol. 1. Review: Fred C. Robinson, Anglia 97.2 (1979): 511–17.

Vol. 1 of the Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature (M1385a) is still occasionally useful for its coverage of the social and political background (which NCBEL drops).

M1842[edit]

Oxford Bibliographies Online: Medieval Studies. Ed. Paul E. Szarmach. Oxford UP, 2010– . 15 Jan. 2015. <http://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/obo/page/medieval-studies>.

Oxford Bibliographies Online are peer-reviewed, concisely annotated, expertly selected bibliographic citations. Each of the articles within a bibliography, written by scholars in the field, consists of an introduction that covers the history behind the field or subfield, followed by a categorized list of useful academic publications (e.g., introductions, textbooks, journals, handbooks and guides, reference works, primary texts or documents) and sections on debates and controversies, criticism, genres, and more. The lists of citations are highly selective, chosen to represent the best scholarship in a given field. Some articles include links to full text or Web content.

Medieval Studies includes articles on Anglo-Saxon manuscript illumination, Pictish art, Beowulf, the Book of Kells, Chaucer, Robin Hood, troubadours, and scores of other subjects.

Content is browsable, and users can search the database with the option of limiting by resource type. Searches can be saved, and users can receive e-mails alerting them to new additions.

See also[edit]

Annotated Bibliographies of Old and Middle English Literature (M1670a).

Kallendorf, Latin Influences on English Literature from the Middle Ages to the Eighteenth Century (S4895).

Related Topics[edit]

M1845[edit]

Graves, Edgar B., ed. A Bibliography of English History to 1485. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1975. 1,103 pp. Z2017.B5 [DA130] 016.942.

An extensive, albeit selective, bibliography of primary works and scholarship on English (not British) history from prehistoric times to 1485 that revises Charles Gross, The Sources and Literature of English History from the Earliest Times to about 1485, 2nd ed. (London: Longmans, 1915; 820 pp.). Graves covers publications through December 1969 on the pre-Norman era and through December 1970 (along with some later works) on the period 1066–1485. Entries are organized in five classified divisions: general (with sections for bibliographies, journals, and ancillary areas such as philology, archaeology, and art); archives, source collections, and modern narratives (including a section on local history); prehistory to Anglo-Saxon conquest; Anglo-Saxon period; the period 1066–1485 (with sections on a variety of topics such as chronicles, public records, military and naval history, urban society, the church, and intellectual interests). Many annotations are evaluative or refer to related works; unfortunately, several entries are not annotated or are inadequately so. Indexed by persons and subjects. The authoritative guide to historical scholarship on the period, Graves is especially useful for cross-disciplinary research. Entries for pre-1901 publications are included in Bibliography of British and Irish History (M1400).

For broader geographic coverage, see Paetow, Guide to the Study of Medieval History (M1855), and Crosby, Bishko, and Kellogg, Medieval Studies (M1850). Convenient highly selective bibliographies are Bertie Wilkinson, The High Middle Ages in England, 1154–1377 (Cambridge: Cambridge UP for the Conf. on British Studies, 1978; 130 pp.; Conf. on British Studies Bibliog. Handbooks), and Delloyd J. Guth, Late-Medieval England, 1377–1485 (Cambridge: Cambridge UP for the Conf. on British Studies, 1976; 143 pp.; Conf. on British Studies Bibliog. Handbooks). Guth is continued (but less selectively) by Joel T. Rosenthal, Late Medieval England (1377–1485): A Bibliography of Historical Scholarship, 1975–1989 (Kalamazoo: Medieval Inst., Western Michigan U, 1994; 371 pp.) and Late Medieval England (1377–1485): A Bibliography of Historical Scholarship, 1990–1999 (2003; 285 pp.).

M1850[edit]

Crosby, Everett U., C. Julian Bishko, and Robert L. Kellogg. Medieval Studies: A Bibliographical Guide. New York: Garland, 1983. 1,131 pp. Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 427. Z5579.5.C76 [CB351] 016.9401.

A classified, annotated, selective bibliography of books and serials on all aspects of medieval studies from the period 200 to 1500. The approximately 9,000 entries are organized in 138 divisions covering reference works, the arts, sciences, social sciences, religion, laws, languages, literatures, numismatics, and heraldry. The broader topics have sections devoted to geographic areas, and each is subdivided as its subject requires. The brief annotations—many of them evaluative—are generally accurate and helpful. Two indexes: authors and editors; topics. Given the breadth of coverage, the organization of the work is clear and the selection judicious, but access is inhibited by the lack of a subject index. Still, Medieval Studies is useful for identifying important reference works and studies and for interdisciplinary research.

M1855[edit]

Paetow, Louis John. A Guide to the Study of Medieval History. Rev. and corrected ed. with errata by Gray C. Boyce and an addendum by Lynn Thorndike. Millwood: Kraus, 1980. 643 pp.

Boyce, Gray Cowan, comp. and ed. Literature of Medieval History, 1930–1975: A Supplement to Louis John Paetow’s A Guide to the Study of Medieval History. 5 vols. Millwood: Kraus, 1981. Z6203.P25 [D117] 016.9401.

A selective bibliography emphasizing studies in English, French, and German (with some in Spanish and Italian) published through 1975 on Western Europe. Entries are organized in three divisions, each elaborately classified: general works (with chapters for bibliographies, reference works, subjects related to the study of medieval history, general modern historical works, and collections of original sources), general history of the Middle Ages, and medieval culture (to 1300 in Paetow, 1500 in Boyce). In Paetow, most sections begin with an outline, followed by a list of the most important works and then a general bibliography. (See pp. xxi–li for errata and pp. liii–cxii for the addendum.) Indexed by scholars, collection titles, and subjects. Boyce generally follows Paetow’s organization (omitting the introductory outlines and providing a straightforward author list of studies) but offers more thorough coverage of scholarship and expands the section on medieval culture to 1500. Indexed by persons. Although poorly organized, both works are valuable guides to scholarship on literature-related subjects. Review (Boyce): C. Warren Hollister, American Historical Review 87.4 (1982): 1064–66.

See also[edit]

Bibliography of British and Irish History (M1400).

Language[edit]

Guides to Scholarship[edit]

See[edit]

ABELL (G340): Middle English headings in the subdivisions of the English Language section in the volumes for 1934–84; in earlier and later volumes, studies treating Middle English appear throughout the English Language division.

MLAIB (G335): English Language and Literature division in the volumes for 1922–25; Middle English headings in English I/Linguistics section of the volumes for 1926–66; Indo-European C/Germanic Linguistics IV/English/Middle English section in the 1967–80 volumes; and the Indo-European Languages/Germanic Languages/West Germanic Languages/English Language/English Language (Middle) section in pt. 3 of the later volumes. Researchers should also check the “English Language (Middle)” heading in the subject index to post-1980 volumes and in the online thesaurus.

Tajima, Old and Middle English Language Studies (M1687).

Dictionaries[edit]

M1860[edit]

Middle English Dictionary (MED). Ed. Hans Kurath et al. 13 vols. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 1952–2001. PE679.M54 427.02. Online through Middle English Compendium (http://quod.lib.umich.edu/m/mec).

A dictionary of Middle English from c. 1100 to 1500. Entries, based on the Southeast Midland dialect, cite variant and grammatical forms, part of speech, etymology, meanings (grouped by semantic relationship), and illustrative quotations. The electronic version can be searched by headword (and its forms), by elements of an entry, and by quotation and provides links to the HyperBibliography (which includes all the Middle English materials cited in the Dictionary and supersedes the printed bibliographies [see below]) and to texts in the Corpus of Middle English Prose and Verse; it offers far more versatile access than the print volumes. The electronic version corrects some obvious errors in the print version, revises numerous bibliographic citations, and supplies definitions for a few entries lacking them; the editor plans to supply entries for words originally intended for a supplement and for newly discovered words and meanings.

For a detailed description of editorial procedures and a bibliography of the manuscripts and printed editions from which passages are drawn, see Plan and Bibliography, ed. Robert E. Lewis, 2nd ed. (Ann Arbor: U of Michigan, 2007; 173 pp). Largely superseding the Middle English entries in Oxford English Dictionary (M1410) and justly praised for accuracy and reliability, MED is the indispensable source for the study of Middle English and for explication of the literature of the period.

Representative of the numerous reviews that suggest additions and corrections are those appearing in Medium Ævum: B. D. H. Miller, 37.3 (1968): 332–36; 42.1 (1973): 73–81; 44.1-2 (1975): 181–90; 46.2 (1977): 343–48; 47.2 (1978): 351–56; R. L. Thompson, 34.3 (1965): 269–74; Martyn Wakelin, 54.2 (1985): 292–95. English Studies and Review of English Studies also regularly reviewed volumes. In addition, there are a number of corrections and additions: F. Th. Visser, “Three Suggested Emendations of the Middle English Dictionary,” English Studies 36.1 (1955): 23–24, and “The Middle English Dictionary (Parts A, B1-4, E, and F),” English Studies 40.1 (1959): 18–27; Hans Käsmann, “Anmerkungen zum Middle English Dictionary,” Anglia 77.1 (1959): 65–74; Kurath, “Some Comments on Professor Visser’s Notes on the Middle English Dictionary,” English Studies 41.4 (1960): 253–54 (with a response by Visser, 254–55); Autumn Simmons, “A Contribution to the Middle English Dictionary: Citations from the English Poems of Charles, Duc d’Orléans,” Journal of English Linguistics 2.1 (1968): 43–56; George R. Keiser, “‘Epwort’: A Ghost Word in the Middle English Dictionary,” English Language Notes 15.3 (1978): 163–64; Lilo Moessner, “Some Remarks on the MED,” Neuphilologische Mitteilungen 83.2 (1982): 150–51 (with a response by Klaus Bitterling, “The Proverbs of Alfred and the Middle English Dictionary,” Neuphilologische Mitteilungen 84.3 [1983]: 344–46); Lister M. Matheson, “Licere: A Ghost Word in the Middle English Dictionary,” Notes and Queries 33.1 (1986): 9; Juhani Norri, “A Note on the Entry Rede-wale in the Middle English Dictionary,” Notes and Queries 35.1 (1988): 11–12, and “A Note on the Entries Catalempsi and Goute festre in the Middle English Dictionary,” Notes and Queries 36.1 (1989): 25–27.

An important complement for the localization of English from c. 1350 to c. 1450 is Angus McIntosh, M. L. Samuels, and Michael Benskin, A Linguistic Atlas of Late Mediaeval English (LALME), 4 vols. (Aberdeen: Aberdeen UP, 1986; a Web-based revision [e-LALME] is in progress). Although full of information, it is a difficult work to use even with the accompanying Guide (1987; 23 pp.). For examples of how the work can be used, see Regionalism in Late Medieval Manuscripts and Texts: Essays Celebrating the Publication of A Linguistic Atlas of Late Mediaeval English , ed. Felicity Riddy (Cambridge: Brewer, 1991; 214 pp.; York Manuscripts Confs.: Proc. Ser. 2). Review: M. C. Seymour, English Studies 72.1 (1991): 73–80. LALME is complemented by A Linguistic Atlas of Early Middle English, 1150–1325 (LAEME), vers. 2.1, comp. Margaret Laing and Roger Lass (http://www.lel.ed.ac.uk/ihd/laeme1/laeme1.html).

See also[edit]

Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources (M1700).

Studies of Language[edit]

M1865[edit]

Brunner, Karl. An Outline of Middle English Grammar. Trans. Grahame Johnston. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1963. 111 pp. PE531.B713 427.02.

A basic overview of the phonology and inflections of Middle English from c. 1100 to c. 1500. Indexed by lexical items. Terse but clear, Brunner is a basic introductory outline of the language.

Fernand Mossé, A Handbook of Middle English, trans. James A. Walker (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins P, 1952; 495 pp.), is a good complement because of its somewhat fuller explanations and generous selection of annotated illustrative texts. A more compact introduction for those new to the language is J. A. Burrow and Thorlac Turville-Petre, A Book of Middle English, 3rd ed. (Oxford: Blackwell, 2005; 419 pp.), with succinct discussions of pronunciation, vocabulary, inflections, syntax, and meter preceding selections from major texts.

Genres[edit]

Drama and Theater[edit]

Histories and Surveys[edit]
M1905[edit]

Chambers, E. K. The Mediaeval Stage. 2 vols. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1903. PN2152.C4 792.094.

A history of the development of the stage to 1558, in four parts: minstrelsy, folk drama, religious drama, and interludes. A variety of appendixes print documents or extracts from dramatic works, amplify points in the text, or provide bibliographies. The pioneering, seminal work on the topic, Chambers has never been completely superseded but must be supplemented by later histories and specialized studies such as the following:

  • Hardison, O. B., Jr. Christian Rite and Christian Drama in the Middle Ages: Essays in the Origin and Early History of Modern Drama. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins P, 1965. 328 pp.
  • Revels History of Drama, vols. 1–2 (M1530) and a number of the works cited in the bibliographies (vol. 1, pp. 303–36; vol. 2, pp. 259–82).
  • Wickham, Early English Stages (M1915).
  • Young, Karl. The Drama of the Medieval Church. 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1933. On the importance of Young’s study, see C. Clifford Flanigan, “Karl Young and the Drama of the Medieval Church: An Anniversary Appraisal,” Research Opportunities in Renaissance Drama 27 (1984): 157–66.

For an updated distillation, see the essay on drama in Chambers, English Literature at the Close of the Middle Ages (M1790); continued by his Elizabethan Stage (M2115).

M1915[edit]

Wickham, Glynne. Early English Stages, 1300 to 1660. 4 vols. London: Routledge; New York: Columbia UP, 1963–2002. PN2587.W53 792′.0941.

  • Vol. 1: 1300 to 1576. 2nd ed. 1980. 428 pp. (Originally published, 1959.)
  • Vol. 2: 1576–1660. 2 pts. 1963–72.
  • Vol. 3: Plays and Their Makers to 1576. 1981. 357 pp.
  • Vol. 4: Requiem and an Epilogue. 2002. 239 pp.

Traces the evolution of the drama, emphasizing visual elements in organizing the survey on the theory that festival is the basis for drama. Vol. 1 examines open-air and indoor entertainments and dramatic theory and practice; vol. 2, regulation of the theater, the emblematic tradition, playhouses and theaters, and stages and stage directions; vol. 3, the occasions of drama, emblems, and comedy and tragedy; vol. 4, the development of drama from 975 to 1580. A variety of appendixes print documents and texts. Indexed by persons, subjects, works, and places (in a single index in vols. 1, 2, and 4, but separately in 3). Reviewers note many factual errors but generally agree that Wickham is an important, provocative work. Reviews: (vol. 1) Hardin Craig, Speculum 34.4 (1959): 702–05; (vol. 2, pt. 1) Times Literary Supplement 15 Mar. 1963: 180; (vol. 3) Clifford Davidson, Comparative Drama 16.1 (1982): 86–88; Gordon Kipling, Renaissance Quarterly 36.4 (1983): 654–59.

Important complementary works are Chambers, Mediaeval Stage (M1905) and Elizabethan Stage (M2115); Revels History of Drama, vols. 1–4 (M1530); and Bentley, Jacobean and Caroline Stage (M2110).

Annals[edit]
See[edit]

Harbage, Annals of English Drama (M1535).

Guides to Primary Works[edit]
M1920[edit]

Records of Early English Drama (REED). Sally-Beth MacLean, exec. ed.; dir. Alexandra F. Johnston. London: Brewer–Boydell and Brewer, 1979– . <http://reed.utoronto.ca>.

  • York. Ed. Alexandra F. Johnston and Margaret Rogerson. 2 vols. 1979. (Covers 1370–1642.) PN2596.Y6 Y6 790.2′09428′43.
  • Chester. Ed. Lawrence M. Clopper. 1979. 591 pp. (Covers 1268–1642.) PN2596.C48 C4 790.2′09427′14. [Superseded by Chesire including Chester (below).]
  • Coventry. Ed. R. W. Ingram. 1981. 712 pp. (Covers 1392–1642.) PN2596.C68 C6 790.2′09424′98.
  • Newcastle upon Tyne. Ed. J. J. Anderson. 1982. 216 pp. (Covers 1427–1641.) PN2596.N4 N48 790.2′09428′76.
  • Norwich, 1540–1642. Ed. David Galloway. 1984. 501 pp. PN2596.N6 N67 790.2′09426′15.
  • Cumberland, Westmorland, Gloucestershire. Ed. Audrey Douglas and Peter Greenfield. 1986. 547 pp. (Covers 1345–1643, 1537–1642, 1283–1643, respectively.) PN2589.C86 790.2′09427′8.
  • Devon. Ed. John M. Wasson. 1986. 623 pp. (Covers 1444–1637.) PN2596.D48 D48 790.2′09423′5.
  • Cambridge. Ed. Alan H. Nelson. 2 vols. 1989. (Covers 1342–1642.) PN2596.C3 C36 790.2′09426′59.
  • Herefordshire/Worcestershire. Ed. David N. Klausner. 1990. 734 pp. (Covers c. 1265–1643 and 1186–1643, respectively.) PN2595.5.H47 R4 792.094244.
  • Lancashire. Ed. David George. 1991. 471 pp. (Covers 1352–1668.) PN2595.5.L35 L35. Lancashire Including Isle of Man: Addenda. Ed. Elizabeth Baldwin, George, and David Mills. 2009. 53 pp. <http://www.reed.utoronto.ca/lancsadd.pdf>.
  • Shropshire. Ed. J. A. B. Somerset. 2 vols. 1994. (Covers 1269–1642.) PN2596.S67 S57 791′.09424′5.
  • Somerset and Bath. Ed. James Stokes and Robert J. Alexander. 2 vols. 1996. (Covers 1258–1642.) PN2592.S65 790.2′09423′8.
  • Bristol. Ed. Mark C. Pilkington. 1997. 382 pp. (Covers 1255–1643.) PN2596.B75 R435 790.2′0942′2393.
  • Dorset/Cornwall. Ed. Rosalind Conklin Hays and C. E. McGee, and Sally L. Joyce and Evelyn S. Newlyn, respectively. 1999. 719 pp. (Covers 1311–1642 and 1287–1642, respectively.) PN2595.5.D67 R43 791′.09423′3.
  • Sussex. Ed. Cameron Louis. 2000. 403 pp. (Covers 1245–1643.) PN2595.5.S87 R43 790.2′09422′5.
  • Kent: Diocese of Canterbury. Ed. James M. Gibson. 3 vols. 2002. (Covers 1272–1641.) PN2595.5.K46 R43 792′.09422′3.
  • Oxford. Ed. John R. Elliott, Jr., Nelson, Johnston, and Diana Wyatt. 2 vols. 2004. (Covers 1284–1643.) PN2596.O94 R43 791′.0942574.
  • Wales. Ed. Klausner. 2005. 528 pp. (Covers c. 540–1654.) PN2607.R43 790.2′09429′0902.
  • Cheshire including Chester. Ed. Baldwin, Clopper, and Mills. 2 vols. 2007. (Covers 1194–1642.) PN2595.5.C44 R43 792.09427′1. [Supersedes Chester (above).]
  • Lincolnshire. Ed. Stokes. 2 vols. 2009. (Covers 1235–1643.) PN2595.5.L56 L56 792.09425′3.
  • Inns of Court. Ed. Nelson and Elliott. 3 vols. 2010. PN2596.L6 792.0942109031.
  • Bedfordshire. Ed. Greenfield. In progress.
  • Berkshire. Ed. Johnston. In progress.
  • Beverley. Ed. Wyatt. In progress.
  • Buckinghamshire. Ed. Johnston. In progress.
  • Clifford Family. Ed. Wasson. In progress.
  • Cambridgeshire. Ed. Anne Brannen. In progress.
  • Derbyshire. Ed. McGee and Sylvia Thomas. In progress.
  • Dudley Family. Ed. MacLean. In progress.
  • Durham. Ed. John McKinnell. In progress.
  • Essex. Ed. Nelson. In progress.
  • Hampshire. Ed. Jane Cowling and Greenfield. In progress.
  • Hertfordshire. Ed. Greenfield. In progress.
  • Huntingdonshire and the Soke of Peterborough. Ed. Brannen. In progress.
  • Ireland. Ed. Alan Fletcher. In progress.
  • Kent: Diocese of Rochester. Ed. Gibson. In progress.
  • Leicestershire. Ed. Alice Hamilton. In progress.
  • London: Corporation and Guilds. Ed. Anne Lancashire. In progress.
  • London: Parishes and Middlesex. Ed. Mary Erler. In progress.
  • Middlesex and Westminster. Ed. Jessica Freeman, Erler, and Sheila Lindenbaum. In progress.
  • Northamptonshire. Ed. Brannen and Johnston. In progress.
  • Northumberland. Ed. Suzanne Westfall. In progress.
  • Norwich (to 1540). Ed. JoAnna Dutka and Matthew Woodcock. In progress.
  • Nottinghamshire. Ed. David Postles. In progress.
  • Oxfordshire. Ed. Johnston. In progress.
  • Percy Family. Ed. Alexander. In progress.
  • Rutland. Ed. Stokes. In progress.
  • Salisbury. Ed. Douglas. In progress.
  • Scotland (Provinces). Ed. John McGavin and Eila Williamson. In progress.
  • Scotland Royal Court. Ed. Sarah Carpenter. In progress.
  • Staffordshire. Ed. Somerset. In progress.
  • Suffolk. Ed. Stokes. In progress.
  • Surrey. Ed. MacLean. In progress.
  • Warwickshire. Ed. Somerset. In progress.
  • Wiltshire. Ed. Hays and McGee. In progress.
  • Yorkshire (East Riding). Ed. Wyatt. In progress.
  • Yorkshire (North Riding). Ed. Klausner. In progress.
  • Yorkshire (West Riding). Ed. McGee and Thomas. In progress.

Almost all the published volumes can be downloaded from the Internet Archive (http://www.archive.org); however, formatting has not been preserved in some instances and, as of late November 2012, the files have not been proofread for scanning errors. Corrected, supplemented data from published volumes are being added to a database (http://link.library.utoronto.ca/reed) that can be searched by patron, event, venue, and troupe (as well as by keyword). eREED, which will transform REED from a print into a digital project, is in development.

Transcribes—but does not interpret—civic, guild, and ecclesiastical records, wills, and antiquarians’ compilations that relate to dramatic, ceremonial, or minstrel activity before 1642. Each volume includes a general introduction to the urban center or county (with the latter following pre-1642 boundaries), its dramatic activities, and the nature of the records; transcriptions of the pertinent documents (arranged chronologically in the city volumes, by place in the county ones); various appendixes (including one with English translations of Latin-language documents); a glossary; and an index of persons, places, subjects, and titles.

These volumes are incomparable sources of raw material for theatrical, dramatic, and musical history, but they must be consulted with due regard for the sociohistorical context of the records transcribed. For a critique of the assumptions about historical scholarship that inform that project’s editorial policies, see Theresa Coletti, “Reading REED: History and the Records of Early English Drama,” Literary Practice and Social Change in Britain, 1380–1530, ed. Lee Patterson (Berkeley: U of California P, 1990; New Historicism: Studies in Cultural Poetics 8) 248–84. For histories of REED and examples of uses of the data gathered by the project, see Douglas and MacLean, eds., REED in Review: Essays in Celebration of the First Twenty-Five Years (Toronto: U of Toronto P, 2006; 271 pp.; Studies in Early English Drama 8). Reviews: (York) Barrie Dobson, Renaissance and Reformation ns 6.1 (1982): 47–55; Sheila Lindenbaum, Modern Philology 80.1 (1982): 80–83; Alan H. Nelson, Modern Language Review 78.1 (1983): 131–33; (Newcastle) Richard C. Kohler, Shakespeare Studies 18 (1986): 279–84; (Cambridge) Peter Happé, Comparative Drama 24.1 (1990): 78–82 (with an assessment of the entire project); Hilton Kelliher, Library 6th ser. 13.4 (1991): 360–63; (Lancashire) Richard Rastall, Music and Letters 74.3 (1993): 417–21 and Comparative Drama 27.2 (1993): 256–63; (Cheshire including Chester) Happé, Comparative Drama 42.2 (2008): 253–57; Theodore K. Lerud, Modern Philology 108.2 (2010): E79–E84.

The Records of Early English Drama Newsletter (REEDN) (1976–97) printed news of the project, additions and corrections to published volumes, transcriptions of records, and occasional updates of Lancashire, Dramatic Texts and Records of Britain (M1925).

M1925[edit]

Lancashire, Ian. Dramatic Texts and Records of Britain: A Chronological Topography to 1558. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 1984. 633 pp. Studies in Early English Drama 1. PN2587.L36 792′.0941.

A calendar and finding list of references to “a text . . . or the record of a dramatic representation or show, a playing place, a playwright, visits of acting troupes, an official act of control over playing, or other evidence relating to plays and their production” from Roman times to 1558. Entries are organized chronologically under specific sites in separate sections for England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. An entry includes a brief summary of a record along with references to the most reliable printed editions or manuscript sources. The chronological list of published and unpublished dramatic works refers to editions and important scholarship. The mass of information is best approached through the several indexes: playing companies (two indexes: place; patron or player); playwrights; playing places and buildings (chronological); salient dates and entry numbers; general index of places, persons, and subjects. (Unfortunately, users must contend with five different number systems.) The emphasis is on collecting rather than interpreting evidence, but the introduction provides a brief history of dramatic activity and suggestions for further research. (Confusing, though, is the use of italic numbers to refer to the list of bibliographical abbreviations, since numbers in the list are hidden at the end of citations.) Dramatic Texts and Records is a valuable systematic guide to widely scattered primary evidence and scholarship that serves as an important complement to Records of Early English Drama (M1920).

Incorporates and is continued by the biennial “Annotated Bibliography of Printed Records of Early British Drama and Minstrelsy [for 1976–83],” Records of Early English Drama Newsletter (entry M1920a) 1978.1–9.2 (1978–84), and by Mary Blackstone, “A Survey and Annotated Bibliography of Records Research and Performance History Relating to Early British Drama and Minstrelsy for 1984–8,” 15.1 (1990): 1–104, cont. in 15.2 (1990): 1–104.

M1927[edit]

Grantley, Darryll. English Dramatic Interludes, 1300–1580: A Reference Guide. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2004. 427 pp. Z2014.D7 G73 [PR643.I57] 016.822′041.

A bibliography of extant noncycle drama in English from 1300 to 1580; coverage extends to “saint plays, farces, early history plays and neoclassical drama” but excludes liturgical and closet drama and stray single plays that probably belonged to a larger cycle. The plays are listed alphabetically by title, with each entry including sections for date, authorship, and auspices; texts (including manuscripts) and editions (with modern editions keyed to the first part of the bibliography at the back of the book); sources; characters; plot summary; length; commentary; significant topics or narrative patterns; dramaturgical and rhetorical features (including verbal features, costume, stage directions and significant actions, songs and music, set and staging, and stage properties); place-names and allusions; modern productions and recordings; and a list of critical studies (with some citations keyed to the second part of the bibliography at the back of the book). Concludes with indexes of characters and songs; biographical notes on authors; a list of closet plays and noncycle plays in languages other than English; a bibliography that confusingly separates lists of modern editions and critical studies cited by short form in the play entries; and recommendations for further reading. English Dramatic Interludes includes a wealth of information, but much of it is rendered frustratingly inaccessible by the inexcusable failure to index topics, narrative patterns, rhetorical features, costumes, stage directions, settings, stage properties, place-names, and allusions.

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism[edit]
Surveys of Research[edit]

For a convenient overview of criticism and selective bibliography, see Peter Happé, “A Guide to Criticism of Medieval English Theatre,” and Richard Beadle and Happé, “Select Bibliography,” The Cambridge Companion to Medieval English Theatre, ed. Beadle (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1994) 312–67.

Other Bibliographies[edit]
= M1930 =[edit]

Stratman, Carl J., C. S. V. Bibliography of Medieval Drama. 2nd ed., rev. and enl. 2 vols. New York: Ungar, 1972. Z5782.A2 S8 016.80882′02.

A bibliography of manuscripts and editions and studies of liturgical, mystery, morality, and miracle plays, interludes, and folk drama written before c. 1600, principally in England; there is very selective coverage of Continental and Byzantine works. Entries are organized in 10 variously classified divisions: general studies; Festschriften; liturgical Latin; and English, Byzantine, French, German, Italian, Low Countries, and Spanish drama. The English division has sections for bibliographies, collections of plays, general studies, mystery and miracle plays, moralities and interludes, and folk drama. Plays are organized alphabetically by title, with listings for manuscripts, editions, and studies (with the last arranged chronologically and including theses and dissertations). Entries are not annotated, but important studies are marked by an asterisk, and library locations are provided for manuscripts and books. Indexed by scholars, dramatists, titles, and subjects. The lack of clear organization within some divisions is compounded by poor layout and typography. Although untrustworthy because of the numerous errors and omissions, the Bibliography of Medieval Drama is useful as a preliminary list of works published before 1970. Reviews: Lorrayne Y. Baird, Speculum 50.1 (1975): 155–58; J. W. Robinson, Theatre Research International 1.1 (1975): 47–48.

Stratman’s coverage of English drama is continued to about 1986 by Sidney E. Berger, Medieval English Drama: An Annotated Bibliography of Recent Criticism (New York: Garland, 1990; 500 pp.; Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 956: Garland Medieval Bibliogs. 2). Coverage is reasonably thorough (except of dissertations not abstracted in ProQuest Dissertations and Theses [H465]), and most of the 1,744 entries are accompanied by adequate descriptive annotations; however, the rudimentary division into editions and criticism, coupled with insufficient, unrefined subject indexing, render Medieval English Drama much less accessible than it should be. Review: John C. Coldewey, Speculum 67.2 (1992): 377–78.

Stratman and Berger are supplemented by Jim Villani, Lorrayne Y. Baird, Alice Crosetto, and Mary Sandra Moller, “Musical Texts, Recordings, Films, and Filmstrips for Medi[e]val Drama,” Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching 10.1 (1983): 3–8. For a more complete and trustworthy guide to English drama c. 1495–1580, see White, Early English Drama (M2165).

Continued by Maria Spaeth Murphy and James Hoy, eds., “Bibliography of Medieval Drama, 1969–1972,” Emporia State Research Studies 34.4 (1986): 44 pp.; Murphy, Carole Ferguson, and Hoy, “Bibliography of Medieval Drama, 1973–1976,” 35.1 (1986): 41 pp.; and Ferguson and Hoy, “Bibliography of Medieval Drama, 1977–1980,” 37.2 (1988): 53 pp. Entries are organized chronologically (with separate lists of books, articles, and dissertations under each year); most are accompanied by a descriptive annotation.

= See also =[edit]

Lancashire, Dramatic Texts and Records (M1925).

John Leyerle, “Medieval Drama,” pp. 19–28 in Wells, English Drama (M1555).

Poetry[edit]

Histories and Surveys[edit]
M1935[edit]

Boffey, Julia, and A. S. G. Edwards. A Companion to Fifteenth-Century English Poetry. Woodbridge: Brewer, 2013. 244 pp. PR313 .C648 2013x.

This edited collection of seventeen essays by recognized scholars seeks to rehabilitate the reputation of and increase academic familiarity with fifteenth-century English poetry. Because of long-standing lack of printed collections, fifteenth-century poetry was largely ignored until the early twentieth century and of interest to only a few scholars until the 1970s. The collection is arranged in three sections. Part 1 includes two background essays, on patronage and circulation. The eight essays in the part 2 focus on authors, including five essays on Thomas Hoccleve or John Lydgate. Part 3 is concentrated on themes and genres, including historical and political verse, classical and humanist translations, romance, scientific and encyclopedic verse, and verse tales. Includes a short chronology, a helpful index of manuscripts, and a general index including authors, titles, and places. Review: Rebecca Lyons, English 63.242 (2014): 246–47.

See[edit]

Pearsall, Old and Middle English Poetry (M1735).

Guides to Primary Works[edit]
M1940[edit]

Boffey, Julia, and A. S. G. Edwards. A New Index of Middle English Verse. London: British Lib., 2005. 344 pp. Z2014.P7 016.8211.

A first-line index to poems, for the most part in manuscripts and written before c. 1500 (but including copies after 1500 of poems written before that date). In revising, expanding, and correcting Carleton Brown and Rossell Hope Robbins, The Index of Middle English Verse (New York: Columbia UP for the Index Soc., 1943; 785 pp.), and its Supplement, by Robbins and John L. Cutler (Lexington: U of Kentucky P, 1965; 551 pp.), Boffey and Edwards retain the Brown-Robbins-Cutler numbers (which are standard for referring to Middle English verse) but delete post-1500 entries, erroneous ones, those for extracts, and ones that are not verse; attempt to record significant variants; and insert some 1,500 new entries into the sequence. A typical entry includes first line, author, title, genre, length, verse form, a list of manuscripts including the verse, and early printed editions. Two indexes: manuscripts (with a list of entries included in each); authors, titles, and subjects (which the authors admit is not as comprehensive as that in the parent volumes). For addenda, see Edwards, “Identifying Individual Middle English Lyrics: NIMEV 2321, Etc.,” Notes and Queries 60.1 (2013): 22–24. Based on firsthand examination of many of the entries and conflating, correcting, and expanding the original Index and its Supplement, New Index of Middle English Verse is the essential resource for investigating verse of the period. Review: E. G. Stanley, Notes and Queries 53.3 (2006): 362–64.

For discussion of the questions and challenges the editors faced, see Edwards, “Towards a New Index of Middle English Verse,” Studies in Medieval English Language and Literature 15 (2000): 51–75.

Complemented and continued by Ringler, Bibliography and Index of English Verse Printed, 1476–1558 (M2190) and Bibliography and Index of English Verse in Manuscript, 1501–1558 (M2190).

Prose[edit]

Guides to Primary Works[edit]
M1945[edit]

The Index of Middle English Prose. A. S. G. Edwards, gen. ed. In progress since 1977.

An attempt to locate and identify all Middle English printed and manuscript prose texts (except letters and legal documents) composed between c. 1200 and c. 1500 (as well as later transcripts). The project and editorial procedures are outlined in A. S. G. Edwards, “Towards an Index of Middle English Prose,” and Robert E. Lewis, “Editorial Technique in the Index of Middle English Prose,” Middle English Prose: Essays on Bibliographical Problems, ed. Edwards and Derek Pearsall (New York: Garland, 1981) 23–41, 43–64. Preparation of the comprehensive index is proceeding in a number of stages:

  • Lewis, R. E., N. F. Blake, and Edwards. Index of Printed Middle English Prose. New York: Garland, 1985. 362 pp. Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 537. An index of literary prose written from c. 1150 to c. 1500; entries include first line, title, and lists of printed editions and manuscripts.
  • A series of bibliographical catalogs of genres and authors.
  • Handlists to major collections, of which the following have appeared under the main title The Index of Middle English Prose:
    • Handlist I: A Handlist of Manuscripts Containing Middle English Prose in the Henry E. Huntingdon [sic] Library. By Ralph Hanna III. Cambridge: Brewer, 1984. 81 pp.
    • Handlist II: A Handlist of Manuscripts Containing Middle English Prose in the John Rylands University Library of Manchester and Chetham’s Library, Manchester. By G. A. Lester. 1985. 112 pp.
    • Handlist III: A Handlist of Manuscripts Containing Middle English Prose in the Digby Collection, Bodleian Library, Oxford. By Patrick J. Horner. 1986. 86 pp.
    • Handlist IV: A Handlist of Douce Manuscripts Containing Middle English Prose in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. By Laurel Braswell. 1987. 110 pp. Reviewers have noted numerous errors in this volume.
    • Handlist V: A Handlist of Manuscripts Containing Middle English Prose in the Additional Collection (10001–[14000]), British Library, London. By Peter Brown and Elton D. Higgs. 1988. 68 pp.
    • Handlist VI: A Handlist of Manuscripts Containing Middle English Prose in Yorkshire Libraries and Archives. By O. S. Pickering and Susan Powell. 1989. 81 pp. Pickering. “A London Chronicle in Yorkshire: An Addendum to Handlist VI of the Index of Middle English Prose.” Notes and Queries ns 40.3 (1993): 305–07.
    • Handlist VII: A Handlist of Manuscripts Containing Middle English Prose in Parisian Libraries. By James Simpson. 1989. 38 pp.
    • Handlist VIII: A Handlist of Manuscripts Containing Middle English Prose in Oxford College Libraries. By S. J. Ogilvie-Thomson. 1991. 198 pp.
    • Handlist IX: A Handlist of Manuscripts Containing Middle English Prose in the Ashmole Collection, Bodleian Library, Oxford. By L. M. Eldredge. 1992. 164 pp.
    • Handlist X: Manuscripts in Scandinavian Collections. By Irma Taavitsainen. 1994. 46 pp.
    • Handlist XI: Manuscripts in the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge. By Lynne R. Mooney. 1995. 251 pp.
    • Handlist XII: Smaller Bodleian Collections: English Miscellaneous, English Poetry, English Theology, Finch, Latin Theology, Lyell, Radcliffe Trust. By Hanna. 1997. 45 pp.
    • Handlist XIII: Manuscripts in Lambeth Palace Library, Including Those Formerly in Sion College Library. By Pickering and V. M. O’Mara. 1999. 133 pp.
    • Handlist XIV: Manuscripts in the National Library of Wales (Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru), Aberystwyth. By William Marx. 1999. 100 pp.
    • Handlist XV: Manuscripts in Midland Libraries. By Valerie Edden. 2000. 110 pp.
    • Handlist XVI: Manuscripts in the Laudian Collection, Bodleian Library, Oxford. By Ogilvie-Thomson. 2000. 140 pp.
    • Handlist XVII: Manuscripts in the Library of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. By Kari Anne Rand Schmidt. 2001. 168 pp.
    • Handlist XVIII: Manuscripts in the Library of Pembroke College, Cambridge, and the Fitzwilliam Museum. By Kari Anne Rand. 2006. 129 pp.
    • Handlist XIX: Manuscripts in the University Library, Cambridge (Dd–Oo). By Margaret Connolly. 2009. 467 pp.
    • Handlist XX: Manuscripts in the Library of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. By Rand. 2009. 212 pp.

Entries, organized by the library’s shelf mark, include incipit and explicit (for each item in a collection), physical description, and references to other manuscripts, reference works, and scholarship. Users must watch for the peculiar alphabetization practices in the indexes (e.g., variant spellings are not regularized). For suggestions on the recording of recipes, see Rand Schmidt, “The Index of Middle English Prose and Late Medieval English Recipes,” English Studies 75.5 (1994): 423–29. Reviews: (Handlist III) H. L. Spencer, Studies in the Age of Chaucer 11 (1989): 238–41 (noting several errors); (Handlist IV) Jeremy Griffiths, Studies in the Age of Chaucer 11 (1989): 191–94; Patricia Deery Kurtz, Speculum 65.2 (1990): 426–29 (both noting numerous inaccuracies); (Handlist V) Juris G. Lidaka, Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography ns 3.3-4 (1989): 171–74; (Handlist IX) Spencer, Review of English Studies 47.185 (1996): 73–75 (with several corrections); (Handlist XI) John B. Friedman, JEGP: Journal of English and Germanic Philology 98.2 (1999): 252–54.

If editorial problems involving dates of coverage and handling of items such as recipes and macaronic texts can be solved, the Index could exert an influence on the study of prose similar to that of Boffey and Edwards, New Index of Middle English Verse (entry M1940) on poetry.

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism[edit]
M1950[edit]

Edwards, A. S. G., ed. Middle English Prose: A Critical Guide to Major Authors and Genres. New Brunswick: Rutgers UP, 1984. 452 pp. PR255.M52 828′.108′09.

Surveys of scholarship and editions, with essays on Ancrene Wisse, the Katherine Group, and the Wohunge Group; Richard Rolle and related works; The Cloud of Unknowing and Walter Hilton’s Scale of Perfection; Nicholas Love; Julian of Norwich; Margery Kempe; John Mandeville; John Trevisa; minor devotional writings; sermon literature; historical prose; Wycliffite prose; romances; Chaucer; medical prose; utilitarian and scientific prose; Caxton; and works of religious instruction. (Malory is omitted because of the existence of recent author bibliographies such as Page West Life, Sir Thomas Malory and the Morte Darthur: A Survey of Scholarship and Annotated Bibliography [Charlottesville: UP of Virginia for Bibliog. Soc. of U of Virginia, 1980; 297 pp.].) Each essay concludes with a selective bibliography of manuscripts, editions, and studies. Indexed by authors, scholars, and anonymous works. Although the essays are uneven in covering dissertations and editions, their perceptive evaluations of scholarship and suggestions for further study make Middle English Prose an essential starting point for research on prose works. Reviews: A. J. Colaianne, Studies in the Age of Chaucer 7 (1985): 188–91; Siegfried Wenzel, Anglia 104.2 (1986): 478–81.

Although A Companion to Middle English Prose, ed. Edwards (Cambridge: Brewer–Boydell and Brewer, 2004; 334 pp.), covers most of the same topics, few contributors survey editions or scholarship.

Renaissance Literature (1500–1660)[edit]

Many works listed in section M: English Literature/General are useful for research in Renaissance literature.

Research Methods[edit]

M1960[edit]

Bowers, Jennifer, and Peggy Keeran. Literary Research and the British Renaissance and Early Modern Period: Strategies and Sources. Lanham: Scarecrow, 2010. 381 pp. Lit. Research: Strategies and Resources 8. (Updates appear at http://www.literaryresearchseries.org.) PR421.B68 820.9′003.

A guide to research strategies and reference sources for the scholar working with early modern British literature (1500–1700) with an emphasis on works produced in England. Following an admirably clear explanation of the basics of online searching are chapters on general literary reference sources (including some devoted to individual writers); library catalogs; print and electronic bibliographies, indexes, and annual reviews (again, with some devoted to individual writers); scholarly journals; seventeenth-century periodicals; resources for studying the contemporary reception of a writer or a work; manuscripts and archives; genres; translations and lexicons; microform and digital collections; and Web resources. A final chapter demonstrates how to use many of the works and strategies previously discussed to develop a research plan. Indexed by titles, authors, and subjects. Describing fully the uses of kinds of reference tools, providing illuminating examples in discussions of key individual resources, detailing techniques for finding kinds of information (including primary works), and illustrating research processes, Literary Research and the British Renaissance admirably fulfills its intent: “to cover the best practices and to describe important references sources . . . that can be used in conducting literary research on this era.” In a series noted for its quality, this volume stands out.

M1965[edit]

Jenkinson, Hilary. The Later Court Hands in England from the Fifteenth to the Seventeenth Century: Illustrated from the Common Paper of the Scriveners’ Company of London, the English Writing Masters, and the Public Records. 2 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1927. Z115.E5 J57 745.6′1.

A manual for reading the hands used in documents from c. 1400 to c. 1700. Vol. 1 consists of succinct discussions of the development of the hands; forms of documents; languages used in English archives; the teaching and practice of handwriting in England; letter forms current in the fifteenth century; runes; abbreviations, ligatures, conjoined letters, and elisions; the letter forms of each of the hands; dating court hands; personal marks, paraphs, and signatures; symbols and ciphers; numerals; punctuation, accents, and the apostrophe; paragraph marks and other conventional divisions; alterations and corrections; decoration; and hints on reading, interpreting, transcribing, and describing hands. Concludes with a selective bibliography and annotated transcriptions of the plates in vol. 2. Among the plates are alphabets for each of the hands. Indexed in vol. 1 by persons and subjects. Although more detailed in its treatment of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, it remains the best introduction to the reading of the hands commonly used between 1400 and 1700. Also useful are Giles E. Dawson and Laetitia Kennedy-Skipton, Elizabethan Handwriting, 1500–1650: A Manual (New York: Norton, 1966; 130 pp.), and Jean F. Preston and Laetitia Yeandle, English Handwriting, 1400–1650: An Introductory Manual (Binghamton: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1992; 103 pp.); the illustrations of variant letter forms in the latter are especially useful. The National Archives offers an online tutorial for reading hands from 1500 to 1800 (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/palaeography/). For earlier hands, see Johnson and Jenkinson, English Court Hand (M1765).

Anthony G. Petti, English Literary Hands from Chaucer to Dryden (Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1977; 133 pp.), which emphasizes manuscripts after 1500, must be consulted with care because of its oversimplifications and errors (see the review by M. C. Seymour, followed by Petti’s response, Library 5th ser. 33.4 [1978]: 343–49).

Useful for tracing the later development of English handwriting is P. J. Croft, comp. and ed., Autograph Poetry in the English Language: Facsimiles of Original Manuscripts from the Fourteenth to the Twentieth Century, 2 vols. (London: Cassell, 1973), which reproduces and transcribes examples from holograph manuscripts by 146 poets.

See also[edit]

Bland, Guide to Early Printed Books and Manuscripts (U5195a).

Histories and Surveys[edit]

M1970[edit]

Bush, Douglas. English Literature in the Earlier Seventeenth Century, 1600–1660. 2nd ed. rev. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1962. 680 pp. Vol. 5 of The Oxford History of English Literature (M1310). Bonamy Dobrée, Norman Davis, and F. P. Wilson, gen. eds. (Reprinted in 1990 as vol. 7, with the title The Early Seventeenth Century, 1600–1660: Jonson, Donne, and Milton.) PR431.B8 820.903.

A literary history of the period organized by “types of writing and modes of thought,” with chapters on the background of the age; popular literature and translations; successors of Spenser, songbooks, and miscellanies; Jonson, Donne, and their successors; travel literature; essays and characters; history and biography; political thought; science; religion; heroic verse; and Milton. Concludes with a chronology and a now outdated selective bibliography (both omitted in the 1973 paperback edition). Indexed by authors and subjects. A magisterial work that fully merits its reputation as the best volume of the Oxford History and a model of traditional literary history. Review: Arthur E. Barker, JEGP: Journal of English and Germanic Philology 62.3 (1963): 617–28 (a detailed examination of revisions).

M1975[edit]

Lewis, C. S. English Literature in the Sixteenth Century Excluding Drama. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1954. 696 pp. Vol. 3 of The Oxford History of English Literature (M1310). F. P. Wilson and Bonamy Dobrée, gen. eds. (Reprinted in 1990 as vol. 4, with the title Poetry and Prose in the Sixteenth Century.) PR411.L4 820.903.

A literary history covering the latter part of the fifteenth century to 1600. After an initial chapter outlining the background of the age, divides the literature into three periods: late medieval, “drab,” and “golden”—a division that has not gained wide acceptance. Includes a chronology and a now outdated selective bibliography (both omitted in the 1973 paperback edition). Indexed by authors, subjects, and anonymous works. A provocative, opinionated, sometimes brilliant work that has occasioned widespread controversy. Reviews: Donald Davie, Essays in Criticism 5.2 (1955): 159–64; Charles T. Harrison, Sewanee Review 63.1 (1955): 153–61; Yvor Winters, Hudson Review 8.2 (1955): 281–87.

M1977[edit]

The Cambridge History of Early Modern English Literature. Ed. David Loewenstein and Janel Mueller. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2002. 1,038 pp. New Cambridge Hist. of English Lit. PR421.C26 820.9′003. Online through Cambridge Histories Online (http://histories.cambridge.org).

A collaborative history of “English literature written in Britain between the Reformation and the Restoration.” Although separately authored, the 26 chapters are designed to attend to “the aesthetic and generic features of early modern texts” as well as the conditions (especially political and religious) of their production and reception. Unlike many recent multiauthored literary histories, this one has a chronology and bibliography; unfortunately, the layout of the former makes it useless for comparisons of literary and historical events, and the lack of any topical organization will deter most readers from skimming the 40-page selective bibliography of secondary works (a curious mishmash that omits too much essential to the study of the period). Indexed by persons, subjects, and anonymous works (the online version omits the index). Including contributions by many of the leading early modern scholars, Cambridge History of Early Modern English Literature will likely exert substantial influence on the study of the period.

See also[edit]

Sec. M: English Literature/General/Histories and Surveys.

Literary Handbooks, Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias[edit]

M1980[edit]

Ruoff, James E. Crowell’s Handbook of Elizabethan and Stuart Literature. New York: Crowell, 1975. 468 pp. British ed.: Macmillan’s Handbook of Elizabethan and Stuart Literature. London: Macmillan, 1975. PR19.R8 820′.9′003.

A handbook to the period 1558–1660, with entries for authors, works, genres, movements, and literary terms. Author entries include biographical information, a brief career survey, and a summary critical evaluation. Entries for works note details of composition, date, and source and offer a brief synopsis and critical evaluation. Those for genres survey major developments and works. Most entries conclude with a very brief list of standard editions, reference works, and major critical studies. Indexed in Biography and Genealogy Master Index (J565). Although a useful compendium, whose commentary is frequently more illuminating than one expects in a handbook, the work must be used with care, since there are inexplicable omissions, questionable evaluations, untrustworthy or outdated bibliographies, and numerous factual errors. Reviews: J. Max Patrick, Seventeenth-Century News 35.1-2 (1977): 26–27; Warren W. Wooden, Literary Research Newsletter 3.3 (1978): 135–37.

Historical topics and persons are more fully covered in John A. Wagner, Historical Dictionary of the Elizabethan World: Britain, Ireland, Europe, and America (Phoenix: Oryx, 1999; 392 pp.).

Bibliographies of Bibliographies[edit]

For a survey and selected list of bibliographies published before 1700, see Archer Taylor, Renaissance Guides to Books: An Inventory and Some Conclusions (Berkeley: U of California P, 1945; 130 pp.).

See also[edit]

Secs. D: Bibliographies of Bibliographies and M: English Literature/General/Bibliographies of Bibliographies.

Guides to Primary Works[edit]

Manuscripts[edit]

For an overview of studies relating to codicology, paleography, attribution, and other aspects of manuscripts, see Noel J. Kinnamon, “Recent Studies in Renaissance English Manuscripts,” English Literary Renaissance 27.2 (1997): 281–326 and “Recent Studies in Renaissance English Manuscripts (1996–2006),” English Literary Renaissance 38.2 (2008): 356–83.

M1985[edit]

Index of English Literary Manuscripts (M1365). Ed. P. J. Croft, Theodore Hofmann, and John Horden. Vol. 1: 1450–1625. 2 pts. Comp. Peter Beal. Vol. 2: 1625–1700. 2 pts. Comp. Beal. London: Mansell; New York: Bowker, 1980–93. (In progress is Catalogue of English Literary Manuscripts, 1450–1700 [CELM], comp. Beal [11].) Z6611.L7 I5 [PR83] 016.82′08.

A descriptive catalog of extant literary manuscripts. Vol. 1 covers 72 British and Irish authors who flourished between 1450 and 1625, with the bulk dating from the latter years of the period; vol. 2 covers 52 authors from the years 1625–1700. The authors are essentially those listed in Concise Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature, 600–1950 (M1365a). The emphasis is (rather loosely at times) on literary manuscripts, including scribal copies. Letters are excluded, although the introductions to individual authors list either individual ones or collections. Moreover, the introductions alert researchers to special problems and relevant scholarship, point out additional manuscripts, discuss canon, and conclude with an outline of the arrangement of entries. A typical entry provides a physical description, identifies the hand(s), dates composition of the manuscript, includes any necessary commentary (as well as references to editions or scholarship), and identifies location (with shelf mark). Since some entries are based on inquiries to libraries and collectors, bibliographies and other reference works, and booksellers’ and auction catalogs, rather than personal examination by the compiler, descriptions vary in fullness and accuracy. Also, terminology and format vary somewhat from part to part.

Addenda to the list of Donne manuscripts can be found in Peter Beal, “More Donne Manuscripts,” John Donne Journal 6 (1987): 213–18; Ernest W. Sullivan II, “Updating the John Donne Listings in Peter Beal’s Index of English Literary Manuscripts,” John Donne Journal 6 (1987): 219–34, and “Updating the John Donne Listings in Peter Beal’s Index of English Literary Manuscripts II,” John Donne Journal 9 (1990): 141–48.

Although there are errors and omissions, and the scope is unduly restricted by reliance on the Concise Cambridge Bibliography, these volumes have brought to light a number of significant unrecorded manuscripts and are an essential, if limited, source for the identification and location of manuscripts. They must, however, be supplemented by the works listed in section F: Guides to Manuscripts and Archives. Reviews: (vol. 1) Hilton Kelliher, Library 6th ser. 4.4 (1982): 435–40; Anthony G. Petti, Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography 5.3 (1981): 153–56.

Catalogue of English Literary Manuscripts, 1450–1700, which will initially record the surviving manuscripts of more than 200 authors, will eventually supersede Beal’s Index. The database will be searchable by “authors, patrons, scholars, compilers, composers, etc. (with the ability to distinguish by gender), titles of works, first lines of poems and songs, and up-to-date locations.” For a description of the project, see http://www.ies.sas.ac.uk/research/current-projects/catalogue-english-literary-manuscripts-1450-1700-celm.

M1987[edit]

Digital Scriptorium. U of California, Berkeley, Lib., n.d. 15 Jan. 2015. <http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/digitalscriptorium/>.

The Digital Scriptorium is a still growing database of images of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts (over 5,000 to date), hosted by the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley. It brings together resources from twenty disparate institutions to create a unified scholarly research and teaching tool. Over 24,000 images of manuscripts are accompanied by descriptive metadata. Users are able to browse the collections by location or language. The basic option searches the complete record or the shelf mark. The advanced option allows keyword searching with Boolean and proximity operators and can be limited by date, country of origin, current location, and figurative decoration. Researchers can also browse the Census of Greek Manuscripts and the Census of Petrarch Manuscripts. Because the catalog is a combination of records from many catalogs, there are occasional irregularities among records, and the controlled vocabulary is weak.

Developers of this amalgamation of collections concentrated on adding items that were signed and dated by scribes and that were not widely reproduced. To include as much material as possible, catalogers describe collections in broad terms, cataloging many items extensively rather than few items intensively. Images can be used for “research, teaching, and private study,” and owning institutions request that proper attribution be provided, although sercuring permission in advance is not required.

See also[edit]

Sec. F: Guides to Manuscripts and Archives.

Ricci, Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts (M1815).

Printed Works[edit]

Bibliographies and Indexes[edit]
M1990[edit]

Pollard, A. W., and G. R. Redgrave, comps. A Short-Title Catalogue of Books Printed in England, Scotland, and Ireland, and of English Books Printed Abroad, 1475–1640 (RSTC, NSTC). Rev. Katharine F. Pantzer, W. A. Jackson, and F. S. Ferguson. 2nd ed., rev. and enl. 3 vols. London: Bibliog. Soc., 1976–91. Z2002.P77 015′.42.

A bibliography of extant editions, impressions, issues, and occasionally states and variants of books and other printed matter published or printed in the British Isles and of books in English, Irish, or Welsh printed abroad from c. 1473 through 1640. Although it lists a few unique items seen by the compilers but now destroyed or untraceable, RSTC is not a bibliography of all works actually printed during the period. The work revises—more precisely, transforms—the venerable Short-Title Catalogue (STC), comp. Pollard and Redgrave (London: Bibliog. Soc., 1926; 609 pp.), by adding some 10,000 entries, including fuller transcriptions of titles, and providing considerably expanded bibliographical detail and helpful cross-references. (For a full account of the revision and the history of STC and RSTC, see the preface to vol. 1 and “STC: The Scholar’s Vademecum,” Book Collector 33 [1984]: 273–304.) As far as possible, RSTC retains the STC numbers, which have become the standard of reference for printed works of the period.

Entries, based largely on personal examination of copies or extensive correspondence with librarians and scholars, are arranged by author; corporate heading (with extensive sections such as “England” or “Liturgies” clearly subdivided); or, for anonymous works, by author’s initials, proper noun or adjective, or first noun. (See vol. 1, pp. xxx–xxxi for a fuller explanation of the handling of anonymous works. A useful aid to locating entries for attributed works in English is Halkett and Laing, Dictionary of Anonymous and Pseudonymous Publications [U5110], which includes RSTC references as well as a concordance of RSTC numbers.) A typical entry includes author, title, format, imprint, Stationers’ Register entry, locations, references to standard bibliographies, and editorial information (which offers sometimes extensive bibliographical detail and references to scholarship). Each volume concludes with a list of additions and corrections, which are cumulated, revised, and supplemented in vol. 3. Other addenda are printed in Stephen Tabor, “Additions to STC,” Library 6th ser. 16 (1994): 190–207. Although the ESTC (M1377) once assumed responsibility for augmenting and amending RSTC records, the agreement with the Bibliographical Society has lapsed. (On the difficulties of identifying in ESTC works, editions, and issues not in RSTC, see David McKitterick, “‘Not in STC’: Opportunities and Challenges in the ESTC,” Library 7th ser. 6.2 [2005]: 178–94.) Users should study the admirably clear explanation of parts of an entry and procedures in the introduction to vol. 1.

Each entry lists up to five locations in Europe (principally in the British Isles) and five in North America (primarily), Australia, or New Zealand. A plus sign signifies that additional copies are known. Most locations are institutions or libraries, although a few private collections are listed. For the location “Private Owner,” a query addressed to the secretary of the (London) Bibliographical Society will be forwarded to the owner where possible. (For the secretary’s address, see the current issue of Library or the society’s Web site [12].) Additional locations for entries in the STC may be found in William Warner Bishop, comp., A Checklist of American Copies of Short-Title Catalogue Books, 2nd ed. (Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 1950; 201 pp.), and David Ramage, comp., A Finding-List of English Books to 1640 in Libraries in the British Isles (Excluding the National Libraries and the Libraries of Oxford and Cambridge) (Durham: Council of the Durham Colls., 1958; 101 pp.). Researchers should also note that most STC works are available on microfilm through Early English Books, 1475–1640 (UMI) and Early English Books Online (M2009). Reels are indexed by STC numbers, some of which are changed in RSTC, and there are instances where the filmed image does not match the STC record (see McKitterick, above).

Vol. 3 offers several invaluable indexes—printers and publishers; places of publication (other than London); London imprints; dates of publication (by Philip R. Rider)—that will make practicable numerous studies of publishing, printing, and intellectual history. As Pantzer cautions, users of vol. 3 must “remember to read the headnotes” to the indexes and their appendixes. Some title access is offered by A. F. Allison and V. F. Goldsmith, Titles of English Books (and of Foreign Books Printed in England): An Alphabetical Finding-List by Title of Books Published under the Author’s Name, Pseudonym, or Initials, vol. 1: 1475–1640 (Hamden: Archon–Shoe String, 1976; 176 pp.). This source must be used with care, however, since it omits anonymous works and is based on unauthorized use of an unrevised draft of vol. 1 and proof of vol. 2 of RSTC. (For details, see the review by Peter Davison, Library 5th ser. 31.3 [1976]: 273.) Writers of prefatory matter and dedicatees are indexed in Franklin B. Williams, Jr., Index of Dedications and Commendatory Verses in English Books before 1641 (London: Bibliog. Soc., 1962; 256 pp.) and “Dedications and Verses through 1640: Addenda,” a 19-page supplement printed at the end of Library 5th ser. 30.1 (1975). Works of American interest are identified in Jackson Campbell Boswell, A Check List of Americana in A Short-Title Catalogue of Books Printed in England, Scotland, and Ireland and of English Books Printed Abroad, 1475–1640 , Supplement to Early American Literature 9.2 (1974), 124 pp. Several of the preceding works are being superseded by ESTC (M1377). Provisional statistical analysis of the data in RSTC is offered by Maureen Bell and John Barnard, “Provisional Count of STC Titles 1475–1640,” Publishing History 31 (1992): 48–64; however, anyone using these statistics must first read Peter W. M. Blayney, “STC Publication Statistics: Some Caveats,” Library 7th ser. 8.4 (2007): 387–97.

RSTC is the indispensable source for identifying and locating extant works (and various editions, issues, variants, and impressions). Exemplary thoroughness in searching out material and precision in its analysis make the RSTC one of the truly monumental reference works. Like its predecessor, RSTC is the essential basis for scholarship of the period; however, it is gradually being supplanted but not superseded by ESTC, which incorporates augmented, corrected, and new records and offers all the advantages of computer searching. Continued by Wing, Short-Title Catalogue, 1641–1700 (M1995). Reviews: (vol. 1) Book Collector 35 (1986): 417–30; Arthur Freeman, TLS: Times Literary Supplement 13 Feb. 1987: 170; Freeman, Library 6th ser. 9.3 (1987): 289–92; (vol. 2) R. C. Alston, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 71.3 (1977): 391–95; James L. Harner, Seventeenth-Century News 36.1 (1978): 24–25; David Rogers, TLS: Times Literary Supplement 27 Aug. 1976: 1061; William P. Williams, Review 1 (1979): 249–54; (vol. 3) T. A. Birrell, TLS: Times Literary Supplement 13 Dec. 1991: 25; (vols. 1–3) Peter W. M. Blayney, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 88.3 (1994): 353–407.

A useful complement is M. A. Shaaber, Check-list of Works by British Authors Printed Abroad, in Languages Other Than English, to 1641 (New York: Bibliog. Soc. of America, 1975; 168 pp.).

M1995[edit]

Wing, Donald, comp. Short-Title Catalogue of Books Printed in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and British America and of English Books Printed in Other Countries, 1641–1700 (Wing). 2nd ed., rev. and enl. 4 vols. New York: MLA, 1982–98. Z2002.W52 015.42. CD-ROM: Chadwyck-Healey, 1996.

  • Vol. 1: A1–E2926L. Rev. and ed. John J. Morrison and Carolyn W. Nelson. 1994. 954 pp.
  • Vol. 2: E2927–O1000. Ed. Timothy J. Crist. 1982. 690 pp.
  • Vol. 3: P1–Z28. Ed. Morrison. 1988. 766 pp.
  • Vol. 4: Indexes. Comp. Nelson and Matthew Seccombe. 1998. 1,078 pp.

Continues the Short-Title Catalogue (M1990), employing the same basic organization but providing less comprehensive coverage and much less bibliographical detail. Like RSTC, Wing is an enumerative bibliography of extant works printed in the British Isles and North America, and in English elsewhere in the world. Vols. 2 and 3 do include a few unique items destroyed during World War II; other than annuals, periodicals, which are listed in Nelson and Seccombe, British Newspapers and Periodicals (M2060), are excluded.

Works are entered by author, corporate author, or title of anonymous work. A typical entry provides author, short title (several titles are truncated too much to indicate contents or subject), imprint, format, references to standard bibliographies, and locations. Researchers should note that “anr. ed.” (another edition) refers indiscriminately to edition, issue, or state, and “var.” merely indicates that undifferentiated variants exist. The revised vol. 3 provides somewhat fuller descriptions and is more precise in identifying editions and variants. There are occasional duplicate entries.

Up to 10 copies are located in libraries and a few private collections: five in the British Isles, and five in North America (primarily), New Zealand, Australia, or the Continent. (Several entries actually provide more than 10 locations.) Additions and corrections are printed in Studies in Bibliography 29 (1976): 386–87; 30 (1977): 276–80; 31 (1978): 266–71; and in works listed in vol. 1, p. ix. Like RSTC, Wing is not a census of copies; however, information on additional locations—as well as some details of bibliographical references, provenance, and auction records—can be obtained from the editor (Wing STC Revision Project, Yale U Lib., 130 Wall St., Box 208240, New Haven, CT 06520-8240).

The Indexes volume, which covers additions and corrections made to the CD-ROM version, provides an index of printers, publishers, and booksellers and a chronological list of non-London publications. The CD-ROM or ESTC (M1377) offers the best way to locate anonymous works, those listed by corporate author, and those for which a researcher knows only the titles. Poems in Wing titles are being indexed in Union First Line Index of English Verse (M2190a).

Researchers must be certain to use only the 1994 revised edition of vol. 1, not the original revision (1972), because of serious flaws arising from the reassignment of 7–8% of the original numbers that serve as standard references in bibliographies, catalogs, studies, and editions and are essential to locating microfilmed works in University Microfilms International’s Early English Books, 1641–1700 collection. Several entries were canceled without notice or moved without cross-reference, and typographical errors abound. These problems are not fully redressed by the list of changes in vol. 2, pp. 669–90. Vol. 2 seldom reassigns numbers and the 1994 revision of vol. 1 and vol. 3 never does; all three scrupulously note canceled or moved entries.

The Wing STC has spawned a number of useful supplementary works:

  • Early English Books, 1641–1700: A Cumulative Index to Units 1–60 of the Microfilm Collection. 8 vols. Ann Arbor: UMI, 1990. Author, title, subject, and reel-position-Wing-number indexes to the first 42,500 titles in the microfilm collection. The title index expands the short titles in Wing and is sometimes useful in locating anonymous works in the catalog; the subject index, based on Library of Congress headings, is not adequate for most narrow subject searches. The indexes must be used with the original edition of vol. 1. The handlists to the later microfilm units are not indexed. Works filmed are searchable through WorldCat (E225) and Early English Books Online (M2009).
  • Allison, A. F., and V. F. Goldsmith. Titles of English Books (and of Foreign Books Printed in England): An Alphabetical Finding-List by Title of Books Published under the Author’s Name, Pseudonym, or Initials. Vol. 2: 1641–1700. Hamden: Archon–Shoe String, 1977. 318 pp. Only marginally useful because of the exclusion of anonymous works and the failure to include many entries in the revised vol. 1. Better title access to many entries is offered by the CD-ROM, title index to Early English Books, 1641–1700, and ESTC.
  • Smith and Cardinale, Women and the Literature of the Seventeenth Century: An Annotated Bibliography Based on Wing’s Short-Title Catalogue (M2007).
  • Wing, Donald. A Gallery of Ghosts: Books Published between 1641–1700 Not Found in the Short-Title Catalogue . New York: Index Committee of the MLA, 1967. 225 pp. A catalog of works and editions listed in bibliographies and dealers’ or auction catalogs but not identified or located. Those found are incorporated in the revised edition.

Despite its faults, Wing is an essential guide to the identification and location of works published during the period. The CD-ROM resolves many of the difficulties of searching Wing; much fuller records (with additional access points) are being added to the ESTC, which will eventually supplant but not completely supersede Wing.

For an account of the compilation of the first edition, see Donald G. Wing, “The Making of the Short-Title Catalogue, 1641–1700,” Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 45.1 (1951): 59–69; for the revision, see Timothy Christ [i.e., Crist], “The Wing STC Revision Project: A Progress Report,” Literary Research Newsletter 4.2 (1979): 67–72. Provisional statistical analysis of the data in Wing is offered by Maureen Bell and John Barnard, “Provisional Count of Wing Titles, 1641–1700,” Publishing History 44 (1998): 89–97.

Reviews: (vol. 1) TLS: Times Literary Supplement 26 Jan. 1973: 100 (and the subsequent correspondence by James M. Osborn and the reviewer, 23 Mar. 1973: 325; and Peter Grant, 6 Apr. 1973: 395); B. J. McMullin, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 72.4 (1978): 435–54 (with a reply by Timothy Crist, 73.2 [1979]: 273–75); (vol. 2) D. F. McKenzie, TLS: Times Literary Supplement 17 Dec. 1982: 1403; Alexandra Mason, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 80.2 (1986): 255–62; (vol. 3) Theodore Hofmann, Library 6th ser. 11.4 (1989): 383–88; David McKitterick, Book Collector 37.4 (1988): 461–78.

M2000[edit]

A Transcript of the Registers of the Company of Stationers of London, 1554–1640 A. D. Ed. Edward Arber. 5 vols. London and Birmingham: Privately printed, 1875–94. Z2002.S69 655.442. <https://archive.org/details/transcriptofregi01statuoft>.

An edited transcript of part of the surviving records relating to the ownership of written works or to members of the company, as well as a number of miscellaneous documents. (See entry M1380 for a discussion of the records of the company.) Of principal interest to literary scholars are the registers of copies entered and records of fines for unlawful printing. In the registers, entries are listed chronologically according to the Old Style calendar and include the member entering the work (or being fined), a descriptive “title” (sometimes accompanied by the author’s name), and registration fee. (For the typographical distinctions of parts of an entry, see vol. 1, pp. 27–30.) Users must remember that (1) the registers are records of ownership claims by members of the company; (2) they were never intended as a record of authorized publication; (3) an entry does not automatically mean the work actually existed at that date; (4) many works entered were never published (or intended to be, as in the case of “blocking entries” used to prevent unauthorized printing of plays) or are no longer extant; (5) many works were printed with a different title; (6) sometimes a year or more elapsed between entry and publication; (7) later editions, unless a transfer of ownership occurred, were typically not entered; (8) a considerable number of works actually printed were never entered; (9) Register B and Arber’s transcript of it include entries forged by John Payne Collier (see Franklin Dickey, “The Old Man at Work: Forgeries in the Stationers’ Registers,” Shakespeare Quarterly 11.1 [1960]: 39–47).

The online version consists of DjVu or PDF files of OCR scans, some of which are difficult to read.

Because the Transcript is incomplete, confusingly organized, and inadequately indexed, it must be supplemented by the following:

  • Short-Title Catalogue (M1990), which includes references to entries in the register and thus serves as a handy index to extant publications that were entered.
  • Greg, W. W. Bibliography of the English Printed Drama (M2135), which prints a superior transcription of all entries relating to the drama.
  • Greg, W. W., ed. A Companion to Arber: Being a Calendar of Documents in Edward Arber’s Transcript. . . . Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1967. 451 pp. A calendar and index to the illustrative documents scattered haphazardly through the Transcript, as well as documents from other sources.
  • Greg, W. W., and E. Boswell, eds. Records of the Court of the Stationers’ Company, 1576 to 1602, from Register B. London: Bibliog. Soc., 1930. 144 pp.
  • Jackson, William A., ed. Records of the Court of the Stationers’ Company, 1602 to 1640. London: Bibliog. Soc., 1957. 555 pp. This and the preceding work transcribe documents Arber was not allowed to publish.
  • Rollins, Hyder E., comp. An Analytical Index to the Ballad-Entries (1557–1709) in the Registers of the Company of Stationers of London. 1924. Rpt., with some corrections in a foreword by Leslie Shepard. Hatboro: Tradition, 1976. 324 pp.

Of major value would be a published index to the early records. (Although one can search the DjVu or PDF files, the old-spelling transcription and abbreviations require considerable ingenuity to identify all possible spellings of a word, and there are errors in the OCR transcriptions, e.g. “Jonsox” for “Jonson.”)

Despite its faults, the Transcript offers the most convenient access to records essential for identifying lost works, researching publishing history, and dating composition (but the evidence must be carefully evaluated, since entry in the register establishes only a possible terminus ad quem for composition and only a possible terminus a quo for publication). Some research will require the use of the original records at Stationers’ Hall or the microfilm (M1380a). For a description of the records and a useful annotated list of published and unpublished catalogs, indexes, and transcripts, see Myers, Stationers’ Company Archive (M1380a).

M2005[edit]

A Transcript of the Registers of the Worshipful Company of Stationers from 1640–1708 A. D. [Ed. George Edward Briscoe Eyre, Charles Robert Rivington, and Henry Robert Plomer.] 3 vols. London: Privately printed, 1913–14. PR1105.R7. <http://www.archive.org/stream/1913transcriptof01statuoft#page/n0/mode/2up>.

A transcript that continues the 1554–1640 Transcript (M2000) to March 1709 (NS) and employs the same typographic conventions to print entries. See entry M2000 for a discussion of the organization and use of the registers and entry M1380 for the records of the Stationers’ Company. Fortunately for scholars, the Transcript has been indexed by printers, publishers, authors, editors, translators, compilers, and titles in William P. Williams, ed., Index to the Stationers’ Register, 1640–1708: Being an Index to A Transcript of the Registers of the Worshipful Company of Stationers from 1640–1708 A. D. , Edited by Eyre, Rivington, and Plomer (1913–1914) (La Jolla: McGilvery, 1980; 67 pp. and 2 microfiche). Ballad entries are indexed in Rollins, Analytical Index to the Ballad-Entries (M2000a).

M2007[edit]

Smith, Hilda L., and Susan Cardinale, comps. Women and the Literature of the Seventeenth Century: An Annotated Bibliography Based on Wing’s Short-Title Catalogue . New York: Greenwood, 1990. 332 pp. Bibliogs. and Indexes in Women’s Studies 10. Z2013.5.W6.S6 [PR113] 016.8208′09287.

An annotated bibliography of works published between 1641 and 1700 by and about women. Although based on the revised edition of Wing, Short-Title Catalogue (M1995), Smith includes some works not in Wing, buried in collections unanalyzed in Wing or published after but written before 1700. The approximately 1,800 entries are listed alphabetically by author in three divisions: works by women (including some of indeterminate authorship and a few published after 1700 but written before that year); works about specific living or dead females (but excluding fictional characters); works discovered too late to be annotated and incorporated into the preceding divisions. A typical entry records author, title, publication information, number of pages, Wing number of the edition consulted, and reel and position location for the Early English Books (M1995a) or Thomason Tracts microfilm collections. The accompanying annotations—obviously based on a careful perusal of each work—offer a succinct, informative account of contents. The concluding list of women printers, publishers, and booksellers is rendered useless since it cites no page or entry numbers. Because the chronological and subject indexes cite page numbers, users must be certain to scan all entries on a given page.

Given the shortened titles in Wing, merely to have identified therein works by and about women would have rendered an important service to researchers; by offering informative annotations for all but 183 of the works, Women and Literature makes feasible a variety of studies of themes, subjects, social attitudes, groups of writers, and types of works that would otherwise daunt all but the hardiest scholar. Unfortunately, users must examine every entry because of utterly inadequate indexing: works in the third division are unindexed; the subject indexing of the other divisions is incomplete and inconsistent. Review: Mary Ann O’Donnell, Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography ns 4.4 (1990): 212–16.

Researchers can also use EEBO (M2009) to identify works about women, both real and fictional.

Text Archives[edit]
M2008[edit]

English Broadside Ballad Archive (EBBA). U of California, Santa Barbara, 2008– . 15 Jan. 2015. <http://ebba.english.ucsb.edu/>.

Developed by the Early Modern Center in the English Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara, EBBA provides access to facsimiles and transcriptions of broadside ballads predominantly from the seventeenth century, items that are difficult to access in their original form and disappointing to use in microform. The project explores the ballads for their text, their artistic features, and their musical history.

Ballads are available on the site as facsimiles, transcriptions, and recordings accompanied by comprehensive catalog records. Thus far, the archive includes over 1,800 ballads from the Pepys Collection at Magdalene College, Cambridge University; 1,500 ballads from the Roxburghe Collection at the British Library; 420 ballads from the Euing Collection at the University of Glasgow; and 600 ballads from various smaller collections

EBBA is searchable by a basic keyword search. The advanced option allows searching by title, full text, first lines, date, author, printer or publisher, imprint, license, collection, and ESTC number; searching can be limited to EBBA or Pepys categories. The site includes extensive explanations of transcription, deciphering words and phrases, and fonts and features several scholarly resources: commentary on the ballads, a lengthy bibliography of secondary resources, and a list of other ballad sites. All resources are for noncommercial use, free of charge. Attribution is required for all noncommercial use of resources.

M2009[edit]

Early English Books Online (EEBO). Chadwyck-Healey. ProQuest, 2003–13. 3 Sept. 2013. <http://eebo.chadwyck.com>. Updated regularly.

Digitized copies of approximately 128,000 titles included in the two Short-Title Catalogues (M1990 and M1995), in the Thomason Collection (tracts, periodicals, broadsides, and other publications from 1640 through 1660), and (eventually) a group of tract volumes (bound collections of broadside ballads, proclamations, almanacs, some manuscripts, and ephemera). Although most of the images are captured from the microfilms that make up Early English Books, 1475–1640 and Early English Books, 1641–1700 (M1990a and M1995a) and thus are not searchable, an increasing number of titles (approximately 44,000 of a planned 69,000) can be searched by keyword in a rekeyed full text. For the current status of the archive, click the About EEBO button on the EEBO home page and follow the Status—What’s Online Now? and Status of the Microfilm Project links; for information about the Text Creation Partnership that is producing the keyed full-text documents, see http://www.textcreationpartnership.org; to search the keyed documents, go to http://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/eebogroup/.

Users must understand that the microfilms that are the source of most of the images preserve some incomplete copies, include copies whose missing leaves were photographed from other copies, reproduce nineteenth-century type facsimilies of some copies, do not necessarily reproduce the most authoritative edition(s) of a work, and do not include multiple copies of an edition that exists in variant states. Although the EEBO record for a document records the owner of the copy filmed, it does not identify the specific copy among multiple copies in an institutional collection. Thus, like the majority of text archives, EEBO is a resource for text-based studies but cannot be relied on for bibliographical analyses. (For particulars, see B. J. McMullin, “Getting Acquainted with EEBO,” Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand Bulletin 26.3–4 [2002]: 220–30; Diana Kichuk, “Metamorphosis: Remediation in Early English Books Online (EEBO),” Literary and Linguistic Computing 22.3 [2007]: 291–303; and Ian Gadd, “The Use and Misuse of Early English Books Online,” Literature Compass 6.3 [2009]: 680–92.)

Users can browse or search the contents. The browse window allows users to browse by author (with the option of restricting the list to those with at least one work available in full text), to scan the Thomason Collection volume by volume (an important feature since the volumes are organized chronologically), and to peruse the periodicals by date or title. The Basic Search window allows users to search by full-text keyword, author, title keyword, subject (Library of Congress subject headings assigned to the MARC record for each title), and bibliographic record number (e.g., RSTC and Wing numbers); default fields are combined with the Boolean “and.” Searches can be limited by date. Records can be sorted alphabetically, by author or title, or chronologically (with either the earliest or most recent first). The Advanced Search window offers additional options: users can search by record keyword, imprint, reel position in the Early English Books microfilm collections, and type of illustration; they can limit full-text keyword searches to genres or parts of texts (e.g., colophons, dedications, prefaces); and they can select additional limiters: UMI collections, libraries (i.e., owners—some of which are not libraries—of the digitized copies at the time they were microfilmed), language, and country of origin. Because the full-text transcriptions follow the spelling of the underlying original copies, searchers must be certain to check the Variant Spellings and Variant Forms boxes and click the Check for Variants link when performing a keyword search. Periodicals, which have their own search screen, can be searched by keyword, date, author or editor, title, bibliographic record number, reel position, and type of illustration; users must remember to click the Variant Spelling and Variant Forms boxes at the top of the screen. Records can be sorted by date, title, or chronologically by separate issue. Users can combine searches by clicking on Search History.

Images can be viewed on-screen (and resized or adjusted), printed, or downloaded as PDF or TIFF files (users must save a title to the marked list before exporting it); full-text files are linked to each screen image of the transcribed text.

Although the digitized images vary in quality because of the condition of the copies originally microfilmed and although there are quirks in the search engine (e.g., locating a record by RSTC number requires the insertion of the Boolean “and” between “STC” and the number, but no “and” is required between “Wing” and the number; the addition of Library of Congress subject headings to records sometimes results in false hits, especially in author searches), the ability to search the database in such a variety of ways and the increasing number of keyed full-text documents make EEBO an incomparable resource, and studies—linguistic and topical—that would otherwise take a lifetime of searching and reading are now feasible. Review: John Jowett and Gabriel Egan, Interactive Early Modern Literary Studies (Jan. 2001): 1–13. 3 Sept. 2013. <http://purl.oclc.org/emls/iemls/reviews/jowetteebo.htm>.

Addenda, corrigenda, and commentaries can be found at EEBO Interactions: A Social Network for Early English Books Online (http://eebo-interactions.chadwyck.com).

ECCO (M2238) and EEBO can be cross-searched.

See also[edit]

New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature, vol. 1: 600–1660 (M2035).

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism[edit]

Surveys of Research[edit]

M2010[edit]

“Recent Studies in the English Renaissance.” English Literary Renaissance 1 (1971)– . PR1.E43 920.9′002.

Most issues of English Literary Renaissance conclude with a survey of recent research on an author, topic, or group of related works from 1485 to 1665. Modeled on those in Logan and Smith (M2145) and based on MLAIB (G335), ABELL (G340), and Year’s Work in English Studies (G330), the surveys typically examine biographical and general works, editions, studies of special topics and individual works, canon and text, and the current state of scholarship. Each survey concludes with a bibliography of works not discussed in the text. Coverage and evaluation vary with the individual contributor, but the general quality is high and the series treats a number of authors who are not the subject of a more comprehensive author bibliography. The individual surveys are conveniently indexed in MLAIB (G335) and ABELL (G340).

M2015[edit]

“Recent Studies in the English Renaissance.” Studies in English Literature, 1500–1900 1 (1961)– . Annually in the Winter issue. PR1.S82 820′.9.

A commissioned survey by an established scholar of studies on nondramatic literature, with recent ones emphasizing full-length critical and historical works and typically offering only cursory attention to editions or reference works. (Drama is covered in the Spring issue [M2150].) The essays vary considerably in soundness and rigor of assessment. Although it is the most current annual survey, the work is generally limited to books submitted for review and must be supplemented by the chapters in Year’s Work in English Studies (G330) on the nondramatic literature of the period.

Some volumes of Manuscripta (7–28 [1963–84]) include “A Review of English Renaissance Textual Studies,” a survey of editions and textual and bibliographical scholarship.

Broader authoritative surveys include the following:

  • Hamilton, A. C. “The Modern Study of Renaissance English Literature: A Critical Survey.” Modern Language Quarterly 26.1 (1965): 150–83.
  • Schoeck, Richard J. “English Literature.” The Present State of Scholarship in Sixteenth-Century Literature. Ed. William M. Jones. Columbia: U of Missouri P, 1978. 111–68.
  • Summers, Joseph H. “Notes on Recent Studies in English Literature of the Earlier Seventeenth Century.” Modern Language Quarterly 26.1 (1965): 135–49.
  • Tuve, Rosemond. “Critical Survey of Scholarship in the Field of English Literature of the Renaissance.” Studies in Philology 40.2 (1943): 204–55.
See also[edit]

YWES (G330): Chapters for Sixteenth Century: Excluding Drama after 1550; Shakespeare; Renaissance Drama: Excluding Shakespeare; Earlier Seventeenth Century: Excluding Drama; Milton.

Serial Bibliographies[edit]

M2020[edit]

World Shakespeare Bibliography Online [1960– ] (WSB Online). Ed. James L. Harner. Johns Hopkins UP for the Folger Shakespeare Lib., 2000–13. 3 Sept. 2013. <http://www.worldshakesbib.org>. Updated quarterly. An expanded cumulation and continuation of “World Shakespeare Bibliography, [1949–2003].” Shakespeare Quarterly 1–55 (1950–2004). Annual. Title varies. PR2885.S63 822.3′3.

An annotated bibliography of Shakespearean scholarship and productions that lists a significant number of works important to Renaissance literature generally. The international coverage (120 languages) encompasses books, articles, dissertations, productions, films, computer software, and reviews of the foregoing—in short, anything that is related to the study of Shakespeare. Basic Search allows users to search by keyword; Advanced Search allows searches by keyword, title, author, persons other than authors, publisher or journal, date, version, type of document, language, and year. The Browse feature allows users to access records according to the taxonomy employed in the annual print version (e.g., users can skim all textual studies of Hamlet, translations of Coriolanus, or discussions of the sources of As You Like It). In all three search modes, records can be sorted in ascending or descending order by date, author, or title. Records can be marked for printing, exporting, or e-mailing. The extensive coverage, clear organization, numerous hyperlinks, and thorough indexing make this work the indispensable bibliography of Shakespeare studies and an important guide to scholarship on Renaissance literature generally.

Earlier Shakespeare scholarship can be located in

  • Ebisch, Walther, and Levin L. Schücking. A Shakespeare Bibliography. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1931. 294 pp.
  • ———. Supplement for the Years 1930–1935 to A Shakespeare Bibliography . Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1937. 104 pp.
  • Sajdak, Bruce T., ed. Shakespeare Index: An Annotated Bibliography of Critical Articles on the Plays, 1959–1983. 2 vols. Millwood: Kraus, 1992. An admirably thorough guide to English-language articles that is noteworthy for its incisive annotations and its character, scene, and subject indexes.
  • “Shakespeare.” Year’s Work in English Studies (G330).
  • Smith, Gordon Ross. A Classified Shakespeare Bibliography, 1936–1958. University Park: Penn State UP, 1963. 784 pp.
  • “The Year’s Contributions to Shakespeare Studies.” Shakespeare Survey 1 (1948– ).

The best selective bibliographies of Shakespeare scholarship are David M. Bergeron and Geraldo U. de Sousa, Shakespeare: A Study and Research Guide, rev. 3rd. ed. (Lawrence: UP of Kansas, 1995; 235 pp.), and Larry S. Champion, The Essential Shakespeare: An Annotated Bibliography of Major Modern Studies, 2nd ed. (New York: Hall-Macmillan; Toronto: Maxwell, 1993; 568 pp.; Reference Pub. in Lit.).

M2025[edit]

Bibliographie internationale de l’humanisme et de la Renaissance (BIHR). Genève: Droz, 1966– . Annual. Z6207.R4 B5 016.9402′1. <http://bihr.droz.org>.

An international, interdisciplinary bibliography of scholarship on all aspects of humanism and the Renaissance that continues and expands “Bibliographie des articles relatifs à l’histoire de l’humanisme et de la Renaissance [1956–64],” Bibliothèque d’humanisme et Renaissance 20–27 (1958–65). Coverage in BIHR begins with 1963. Since vol. 34 (for 1998), entries are organized in a single alphabetized list followed by four indexes: subjects; geographic areas; persons and anonymous works; and document authors (largely superfluous given the alphabetized list of entries). Earlier volumes consisted of seven divisions: studies of individuals and anonymous works; general studies; history (including geography and political, social, and economic history); religion, philosophy, politics, and law; general literary studies, linguistics, and bibliography; the arts (including music and dance); science and technology. Except in the first division, which is organized alphabetically by writer, historical personage, or anonymous work, studies are grouped by country or geographic area, then listed alphabetically by author. Two indexes: scholars; writers and other individuals not separately classified in the first division. Researchers would benefit from a more refined classification system and greater currency (the lag is currently five to six years).

The online version can be searched by document author, title keyword, date, subject, geographic area, and persons; before using the last three search fields, users should consult the Help file. Results can be sorted by author (ascending), date (descending), or theme (apparently, subject headings). Records can be printed or copied to a file but not e-mailed. Although the subject and geographic area searches are limited by the taxonomy of vols. 1–33 and by the indexes since vol. 34, although records for essays from edited collections lack a full citation and are (inexcusably) not linked to main-entry records, and although the search interface is cumbersome, the online version keeps searchers from having to slog through stacks of printed volumes.

The coverage of British literature is much less thorough than in MLAIB (G335) or ABELL (G340), but the interdisciplinary scope and more extensive survey of European publications make BIHR an essential complement to these standard serial bibliographies.

For a discussion of the editorial difficulties that have beset BIHR and the unsuccessful attempt to establish an Annual Bibliography of Early Modern Europe, see John B. Dillon, “Renaissance Bibliography in the Electronic Age: Recent Work on a Computer-Produced Annual Bibliography of Studies on Early Modern Europe,” Collection Development 6.1–2 (1984): 217–26. Coverage must be complemented by Iter: Gateway to the Middle Ages and Renaissance (M1835a)

M2030[edit]

“Literature of the Renaissance in [1917–68]: A Bibliography.” Studies in Philology 14–66 (1917–69). P25.S8 405.

An annual bibliography originally limited to English literature but expanded in vol. 36 (1939) to encompass French, Germanic, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese literature. At its demise, coverage was international and included dissertations and some reviews as well as books and articles. Entries in the English division are listed by author in nine sections: general; history, manners, and customs; drama and stage; Shakespeare; nondramatic literature; More; Spenser; Donne; Milton. Indexed by persons. Although never comprehensive, it includes many works omitted from the other standard bibliographies such as MLAIB (G335) and ABELL (G340).

See also[edit]

Secs. G: Serial Bibliographies, Indexes, and Abstracts and H: Guides to Dissertations and Theses.

ABELL (G340): English Literature/Sixteenth Century and Seventeenth Century sections.

MLAIB (G335): English Language and Literature division in the volumes for 1921–25; English VII and VIII in the volumes for 1926–56; English VI and VII in the volumes for 1957–80; and English Literature/1500–1599 and 1600–1699 sections (as well as any other larger chronological section encompassing either century) in the later volumes. Researchers must also check the headings beginning “Elizabethan,” “Jacobean,” and “Renaissance” in the subject index to post-1980 volumes and in the online thesaurus.

Progress of Medieval and Renaissance Studies (M1835a).

Other Bibliographies[edit]

M2035[edit]

The New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature (NCBEL). Vol. 1: 600–1660. Ed. George Watson. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1974. 2,476 cols. Z2011.N45 [PR83] 016.82.

(For a full discussion of NCBEL, see entry M1385.) The part devoted to Renaissance literature (1500–1660) has seven divisions, each subdivided and classified as its subject requires: introduction (general works, literary relations with the Continent, book production and distribution); poetry (general works, Tudor poetry, Elizabethan sonnet, minor Tudor poetry, Jacobean and Caroline poetry, Milton, minor Jacobean and Caroline poetry, emblem books, epigrams and formal satire, songbooks); drama (general works, theaters and actors, Puritan attack on the stage, moralities, early comedies, early tragedies, later Elizabethan drama, minor Elizabethan drama, Shakespeare, Jacobean and Caroline drama, minor Jacobean and Caroline drama, university plays); religion (humanists and reformers, English Bible, Prayer Book, versions of the Psalms, sermons and devotional writings, Richard Hooker, Marprelate controversy, Caroline divines); popular and miscellaneous prose (pamphleteers and miscellaneous writers, minor popular literature, character books and essays, prose fiction, news sheets and newsbooks, travel, translations into English); history, philosophy, science, and other forms of learning (historians, biographers, and antiquaries; letters, diaries, autobiographies, and biographies; economics and politics; law; scholarship; literary criticism; philosophy; science; education); and Scottish literature (general works, poetry and drama, prose). The general introduction for the volume as a whole lists bibliographies, histories, anthologies, and works about prosody, prose rhythm, and language important to the study of the Renaissance period. Vol. 1 of the Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature (M1385a) is still occasionally useful for its coverage of the social and political background (which NCBEL drops).

Users must familiarize themselves with the organization, remember that there is considerable unevenness of coverage among subdivisions, and consult the index volume (vol. 5) rather than the provisional index in vol. 1. Despite its shortcomings (see entry M1385), NCBEL offers the best general coverage of both primary and secondary works for the study of Renaissance literature, but it must be supplemented by the other works in this section and by MLAIB (G335), ABELL (G340), and Year’s Work in English Studies (G330). Review: Fred C. Robinson, Anglia 97.2 (1979): 511–17.

M2040[edit]

Tannenbaum, Samuel A., and Dorothy R. Tannenbaum. Elizabethan Bibliographies. 10 vols. Port Washington: Kennikat, 1967. Z2012.T3 016.8208′003.

A convenient reprint of the 41 volumes and seven supplements privately printed in limited numbers between 1937 and 1950. The individual volumes—devoted to a variety of Renaissance writers, some of Shakespeare’s works, and Mary Stuart—vary in organization but typically include sections for editions, selections, biography and commentary, and bibliography. Indexed by person and subject. The highly abbreviated entries rarely transcribe a title exactly, include a number of inessential passing notices, and are replete with errors.

The Tannenbaums also compiled the annual “Shakespeare and His Contemporaries (A Classified Bibliography for [1925–48]),” Shakespeare Association Bulletin 1–24 (1924–45), which supplements their Elizabethan Bibliographies series. Many of the volumes are updated and new authors added in Elizabethan Bibliographies Supplements, Charles A. Pennel, gen. ed., 17 vols. (London: Nether, 1967–71). Entries are listed chronologically and indexed by scholar and title.

The Tannenbaum and Pennel volumes are convenient starting points for research on a writer who has not been the subject of a recent author bibliography. Neither series, however, offers comprehensive coverage.

M2042[edit]

Oxford Bibliographies Online: Renaissance and Reformation. Ed. Margaret L. King. Oxford UP, 2010– . 15 Jan. 2015. <http://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/obo/page/renaissance-and-reformation>.

Oxford Bibliographies Online are peer-reviewed concisely annotated, expertly selected bibliographic citations. Each of the articles within a bibliography, written by scholars in the field, consists of an introduction that covers the history behind the field or subfield, followed by a categorized list of useful academic publications (e.g., introductions, textbooks, journals, handbooks and guides, reference works, primary texts or documents) and sections on debates and controversies, criticism, genres, and more. The lists of citations are highly selective, chosen to represent the best scholarship in a given field. Some articles include links to full text or Web content.

Renaissance and Reformation includes articles covering astrology, alchemy, and magic; Francis Bacon; black death and the plague, the disease and medical thought; Calvinsim; Cervantes; opera; and scores of other subjects.

Content is browsable, and users can search the database with the option of limiting by resource type. Searches can be saved, and users can receive e-mails alerting them to new additions.

See also[edit]

Kallendorf, Latin Influences on English Literature from the Middle Ages to the Eighteenth Century (S4895).

Related Topics[edit]

M2045[edit]

Davies, Godfrey, ed. Bibliography of British History: Stuart Period, 1603–1714. Ed. Mary Frear Keeler. 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1970. 734 pp. Z2018.D25 016.9142.

An extensive, albeit selective, bibliography of primary and secondary materials published for the most part before 1963. Entries are organized in 15 classified divisions: general reference works, politics, constitutional history, law, ecclesiastical history, military history, naval history, economics, social history, cultural history (e.g., fine arts, music, science, and education), local history, colonization, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. Annotations are largely descriptive, with frequent references to related studies, but many entries lack annotation. Indexed by persons and subjects. The authoritative guide to historical studies on the period and a valuable resource for cross-disciplinary research. Entries for pre-1901 publications are included in Bibliography of British and Irish History (M1400). Review: J. P. Cooper, English Historical Review 89.350 (1974): 118–22.

A useful supplement because of its pointed evaluations and inclusion of works published to mid-1979 is J. S. Morrill, Seventeenth-Century Britain, 1603–1714 (Folkestone: Dawson; Hamden: Archon–Shoe String, 1980; 189 pp.; Critical Bibliogs. in Mod. Hist.). Coverage is highly selective and for articles does not extend before 1957.

M2050[edit]

Read, Conyers, ed. Bibliography of British History: Tudor Period, 1485–1603. 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1959. 624 pp. Z2018.R28 016.94205.

An extensive, albeit rigorously selective, bibliography of primary and secondary materials published largely before 1 January 1957. Entries are organized in 14 classified divisions: general studies (including reference works); political history; constitutional history; political theory; law; ecclesiastical history; economics; discovery, exploration, and colonization; military and naval history; cultural and social history (e.g., education, music, science, and fine arts); local history; Scotland; Ireland; and Wales. Several annotations are helpfully evaluative or refer to related studies; unfortunately, many entries are inadequately annotated or not at all. Indexed by persons and subjects (with several errors in the indexing). The authoritative guide to historical studies on the period and a valuable resource for cross-disciplinary research. Entries for pre-1901 publications are included in Bibliography of British and Irish History (M1400).

A very selective but useful supplement with coverage through 1 September 1966 is Mortimer Levine, Tudor England, 1485–1603 (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1968; 115 pp.; Conf. on British Studies Bibliog. Handbooks), with frequent brief but pointed annotations.

See also[edit]

Bibliography of British and Irish History (M1400).

Language[edit]

Dictionaries[edit]

See[edit]

Bailey, Early Modern English (M1410a).

———. Michigan Early Modern English Materials (M1410a).

Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources (M1700).

Biographical Dictionaries[edit]

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (M1425) remains the standard general source of biographical information for the period. Additional details, especially about less prominent individuals, may be found in Mark Eccles, Brief Lives: Tudor and Stuart Authors, Texts and Studies, 1982, Studies in Philology 79.4 (1982): 135 pp.; and J. W. Saunders, A Biographical Dictionary of Renaissance Poets and Dramatists, 1520–1650 (Brighton: Harvester; Totowa: Barnes, 1983; 216 pp.). The latter suffers from a lack of balance and numerous errors. Neither fulfills the need for a reliable and thorough biographical dictionary of Renaissance authors.

See also[edit]

Bell, Parfitt, and Shepherd, Biographical Dictionary of English Women Writers, 1580–1720 (M1433a).

Dictionary of Literary Biography (J600).

Ruoff, Crowell’s Handbook of Elizabethan and Stuart Literature (M1980).

Periodicals[edit]

Guides to Primary Works[edit]

M2060[edit]

Nelson, Carolyn, and Matthew Seccombe, comps. British Newspapers and Periodicals, 1641–1700: A Short-Title Catalogue of Serials Printed in England, Scotland, Ireland, and British America. New York: MLA, 1987. 724 pp. Index Soc. Fund Pubs. Z6956.G6 N44 [PN5115] 015.41034.

An enumerative bibliography and finding list of extant issues of serials printed between 1641 and 1700, with a supplementary checklist extending coverage through March 1702. The approximately 700 titles encompass newspapers, newsbooks, miscellanies, official journals, trade bulletins, and other publications with numbered or dated issues bearing uniform titles and formats and published at intervals of less than a year. (Annuals are included in Wing, Short-Title Catalogue [M1995].) The serials are organized alphabetically by title of the first number, followed by issues in chronological order, with separate entries for different editions or versions; variant, general, and later titles are thoroughly cross-referenced to main entries. Preceding the list of issues is a headnote that includes, when known, variant titles, inclusive dates, format, average length of issue, frequency, price, author or editor, notes on variants, and references to standard bibliographies. The entry for an issue cites, when appropriate, title, volume number, issue number, date (in New Style), imprint, variants, standard bibliographies, and up to 20 locations (with those in the British Isles to the left of the semicolon, and those elsewhere in the world to the right). An extensive appendix on variants identifies different typesettings of selected serials after June 1642; variants in earlier publications are described in the main list. Descriptions are based on personal examination of at least one copy of nearly every issue. Six indexes: chronological by month; publishers and printers; editors and authors; subjects; places of publication other than London; foreign languages. Users must be certain to study the full explanation of organization and editorial policies and remember that, like Wing, this work is not a census of copies and that the identification of authors and editors is based on New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature (M2035 and M2255), which is not trustworthy in many of its ascriptions. The first reliable guide to the identification and location of issues, British Newspapers and Periodicals provides the necessary groundwork for further bibliographical investigations and studies of authorship, editorship, and content. For addenda and corrigenda, see Joad Raymond, “Some Corrections and Additions to British Newspapers and Periodicals 1641–1700: A Short-Title Catalogue,” Notes and Queries ns 42.4 (1995): 451–53. Review: Michael Harris, Library 6th ser. 11.4 (1989): 378–83.

For a preliminary analysis of publishing practices, along with suggestions for further research on serial publications, see Nelson and Seccombe, Periodical Publications, 1641–1700: A Survey with Illustrations (London: Bibliog. Soc., 1986; 109 pp.; Occasional Papers of the Bibliog. Soc. 2).

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism[edit]

See[edit]

Linton and Boston, Newspaper Press in Britain (M1455).

Weed and Bond, Studies of British Newspapers and Periodicals (M2285).

Genres[edit]

Fiction[edit]

Histories and Surveys[edit]
M2090[edit]

Salzman, Paul. English Prose Fiction, 1558–1700: A Critical History. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1985. 391 pp. PR836.S24 823′.3′09.

A critical history of the development of prose fiction, organized by genre or type and including an extended critical analysis of at least one example of each. Concludes with a two-part bibliography of extant works: pt. 1 is an author list of Elizabethan fiction; pt. 2 classifies seventeenth-century fiction in 25 types. Although the bibliography is not comprehensive, it does complement Mish, English Prose Fiction (M2095), and O’Dell, Chronological List of Prose Fiction (M2100). Indexed by persons, genres, and titles (but with some inconsistencies in the last). Salzman is by far the best survey, with especially perceptive treatment of seventeenth-century fiction. Reviews: Jerry C. Beasley, Studies in the Novel 17.3 (1985): 303–10; John J. O’Connor, Renaissance Quarterly 39.1 (1986): 130–32.

For fiction before 1558, Margaret Schlauch, Antecedents of the English Novel, 1400–1600 (from Chaucer to Deloney) (Warszawa: PWN; London: Oxford UP, 1963; 264 pp.), remains useful although colored by an anachronistic search for realism.

See also[edit]

Baker, History of the English Novel, vols. 1–2 (M1505).

Guides to Primary Works[edit]
Bibliographies and Indexes[edit]
= M2095 =[edit]

Mish, Charles C., comp. English Prose Fiction, 1600–1700: A Chronological Checklist. Charlottesville: Bibliog. Soc. of the U of Virginia, 1967. 110 pp. Z2014.F4 M5.

A chronological short-title list of editions of original fictional works and translations that depends heavily on the Short-Title Catalogues (M1990 and M1995) and Arundell Esdaile, A List of English Tales and Prose Romances Printed before 1700 (London: Blades for the Bibliog. Soc., 1912; 329 pp.). Editions are listed alphabetically by author or title of anonymous work under the year of publication (although the dating of many editions is conjectural). Indexed by authors and titles. Although Mish is more conservative than O’Dell (M2100) in defining fiction and generally superior to O’Dell for editions after 1599, both works are bedeviled by the difficulty in determining what constitutes prose fiction before the eighteenth century. Mish supersedes Esdaile but must be supplemented by the bibliography in Salzman, English Prose Fiction (M2090).

= M2100 =[edit]

O’Dell, Sterg. A Chronological List of Prose Fiction in English Printed in England and Other Countries, 1475–1640. Cambridge: Technology P of MIT, 1954. 147 pp. Z2014.F5 O33 016.823.

A chronological list of editions of original works and translations that is based largely on Short-Title Catalogue (M1990), Transcript of the Registers of the Company of Stationers (M2000), and Esdaile, List of English Tales and Prose Romances (M2095a). Editions are listed alphabetically by author or title of anonymous work under the year of publication (or entry in the Stationers’ Register for nonextant editions). Entries include Short-Title Catalogue or Stationers’ Register references, locations of copies (superseded by the revised Short-Title Catalogue), and occasional citations to modern editions (superseded by Harner, English Renaissance Prose Fiction [M2105]). Indexed by authors and anonymous works. Although it is the fullest bibliography of early fiction, O’Dell is swollen by the inclusion of many works that cannot qualify as fiction and several bibliographical ghosts. O’Dell supersedes Esdaile, but Mish, English Prose Fiction (M2095), is generally preferable as a guide to editions printed after 1599; see also the bibliography in Salzman, English Prose Fiction (M2090).

Text Archives[edit]
= M2103 =[edit]

Early English Prose Fiction. Chadwyck-Healey Literature Collections. ProQuest, 1996–2013. 3 Sept. 2013. <http://collections.chadwyck.com/marketing/index.jsp>.

An archive of rekeyed texts of about 211 works of English-language fiction printed between 1500 and 1700. Editions were selected by an editorial board to offer “a balanced and representative survey of fictional prose in English from the period 1500–1700”; no other selection criteria are stipulated.

Simple keyword, title, and author searches can be limited by date of publication, date during an author’s lifetime, gender, nationality, and part of a work (e.g., front matter, epigraphs). Searchers must be certain to check the Include Typographical Variants box but must be aware that this feature works on simple variants (e.g. “glove/gloue”) but not more complicated ones (“dogs/dogges/doges”). Searchers can also browse an author or title list of the contents of the database. Results appear in ascending alphabetical order and cannot be re-sorted. Citations (but not the full text) can be marked for e-mailing, downloading, or printing; each citation includes a durable URL to the full text.

Some works are rekeyed from textually unsound editions; however, the bibliographic record for each work identifies the source of the text and any omissions (e.g., preliminary matter). Besides being a useful source for identifying an elusive quotation, Early English Prose Fiction’s text archive makes feasible a variety of kinds of studies (stylistic, thematic, imagistic, and topical).

The contents of Early English Prose Fiction can also be searched through LiOn (I527).

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism[edit]
M2105[edit]

Harner, James L. English Renaissance Prose Fiction, 1500–1660: An Annotated Bibliography of Criticism. Boston: Hall, 1978. 556 pp. Reference Pub. in Lit. English Renaissance Prose Fiction, 1500–1660: An Annotated Bibliography of Criticism (1976–1983). 1985. 228 pp. 1984–1990. 1992. 185 pp. Z2014.F4 H37 [PR833] 016.823′009.

An annotated bibliography of studies and editions since 1800 of English-language fiction (including translations) written or printed in England from 1500 to 1660. The descriptively annotated entries are arranged in four divisions: bibliographies; anthologies; general studies; and authors, translators, and titles. The last is organized alphabetically, with anonymous works entered (sometimes awkwardly) by title of the earliest extant edition. Each author, translator, or title includes sections for bibliographies, editions, and studies. Indexed by persons, anonymous works, and subjects (with the supplements more fully indexed). Although conservative in defining prose fiction and overlooking some studies, English Renaissance Prose Fiction offers the most thorough coverage of international scholarship on the topic. Reviews: Jane Belfield, Library 6th ser. 3.1 (1981): 73–74; Charles C. Mish, Seventeenth-Century News 38.1 (1980): 10; Robert Yeager, Studies in the Novel 13.3 (1981): 340–41.

Selected recent studies (as late as 1994) are surveyed in Reid Barbour, “Recent Studies in Elizabethan Prose Fiction,” English Literary Renaissance 25.2 (1995): 248–76.

Drama and Theater[edit]

Several works in sections L: Genres/Drama and Theater and M: English Literature/General/Genres/Drama and Theater are useful for research in Renaissance literature.

Histories and Surveys[edit]
M2110[edit]

Bentley, Gerald Eades. The Jacobean and Caroline Stage. 7 vols. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1941–68. PN2592.B4 792.0942.

  • Vols. 1–2: Dramatic Companies and Players. 1941.
  • Vols. 3–5: Plays and Playwrights. 1956.
  • Vol. 6: Theatres. 1968. 309 pp.
  • Vol. 7: Appendixes to Volume VI; General Index. 1968. 390 pp.

A massive cumulation of factual information on all aspects of the stage from 1616 to 1642, designed to continue Chambers, Elizabethan Stage (M2115). Vols. 1–2 trace the history of each of the London dramatic companies (with lists of actors and repertory) and the career of each known actor (quoting in chronological order “every scrap of biographical evidence”); appendixes transcribe various documents. Vols. 3–5 collect biographical details on dramatists and bibliographical information on plays. A typical entry for a play lists editions, scholarship, and seventeenth-century records and evaluates what is known of its date, authorship, source(s), allusions, and performance. Vol. 6 examines the private and public London theaters. Vol. 7 prints appendixes to vol. 6 (among which is a chronology of theatrical affairs) and a detailed analytical index of plays, authors, scholars, actors, places, and subjects. The careful evaluation of primary evidence and scholarship makes Bentley the essential source for facts about acting companies, players, playwrights, plays, and theaters. Reviews: (vols. 1–2) K. M. Lea, Review of English Studies 18.72 (1942): 491–96; (vols. 3–5) Harold Jenkins, Review of English Studies ns 9.34 (1958): 196–202; (vols. 6–7) Jenkins, Review of English Studies ns 20.78 (1969): 222–24.

M2115[edit]

Chambers, E. K. The Elizabethan Stage. 4 vols. Rpt. with corrections. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1951. PN2589.C4 792.0942. (The 2009 reprint includes White’s Index [see below].)

Continues Chambers’s Mediaeval Stage (M1905) in a history of the development of the Elizabethan stage that emphasizes the social and economic conditions affecting the drama from 1558 to 1616. Detailed examinations of court entertainments, the control of the stage, acting companies, playhouses, and plays and playwrights are supplemented by extensive appendixes (a calendar of court entertainments, extracts from records and texts, and bibliographies of academic, printed, lost, and manuscript plays). For additions, see Chambers, “Elizabethan Stage Gleanings,” Review of English Studies 1.1 (1925): 75–78 and 1.2 (1925): 182–86. Four indexes: plays; persons; places; subjects; more fully indexed by Beatrice White, comp., An Index to The Elizabethan Stage and William Shakespeare by Sir Edmund Chambers (Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1934; 161 pp.). An indispensable source, Elizabethan Stage has never been superseded but must be supplemented with other histories (such as Revels History of Drama [M1530]) and specialized studies such as those listed in the bibliographies of the Revels History, vol. 2, pp. 259–82; vol. 3, pp. 475–508. For an important critique of Chambers’s treatment of the Revels Office, see W. R. Streitberger, “Chambers on the Revels Office and Elizabethan Theater History,” Shakespeare Quarterly 59.2 (2008): 185–209. Continued by Bentley, Jacobean and Caroline Stage (M2110). Review: Ralph Berry, Notes and Queries 57.4 (2010): 586–88.

M2117[edit]

Hunter, G. K. English Drama, 1586–1642: The Age of Shakespeare. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1997. 623 pp. Vol. 6 [originally vol. 4, pt. 2] of The Oxford History of English Literature (M1310). PR421.H86 822′.309.

A history of English drama from 1586 to 1642 that emphasizes the contradictory pressures—from audiences, censorship, profit-driven theatrical managers, and authors hoping for social or literary esteem—on the composition and production of plays. Following an introductory chapter on the “preconditions of Elizabethan drama,” organizes chapters around genres; Shakespeare is central in the discussions. Concludes with brief biographies, a chronology, and a selective bibliography. Two indexes: playwrights and plays; persons and subjects. Written by one of the foremost scholars of Renaissance drama, English Drama, 1586–1642 seems destined to become one of the classic volumes in the Oxford History. Reviews: Paul Dean, English Studies 79.5 (1998): 441–46; Marion Trousdale, Huntington Library Quarterly 64.1-2 (2001): 237–44.

M2125[edit]

Wilson, F. P. The English Drama, 1485–1585. Ed. G. K. Hunter. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1969. 244 pp. Vol. 4, pt. 1 of The Oxford History of English Literature (M1310). Bonamy Dobrée and Norman Davis, gen. eds. (Reprinted in 1990 as vol. 5 of OHEL.) PR641.W58 822′.2′09.

A critical history of the morality, interlude, masque, pageant, entertainment, sacred drama, comedy, and tragedy, with a chapter on the major dramatic companies. Includes a chronology and a now dated selective bibliography. Indexed by authors, titles, and subjects. A judicious, authoritative account that remains one of the better introductions to the drama of the period. Reviews: Norman Sanders, Shakespeare Studies 6 (1970): 389–91; S. Schoenbaum, Yearbook of English Studies 1 (1971): 226–27.

See also[edit]

Chambers, Mediaeval Stage (M1905).

Revels History of Drama in English (M1530).

Wickham, Early English Stages, 1300 to 1660 (M1915).

Annals[edit]
M2130[edit]

Kawachi, Yoshiko. Calendar of English Renaissance Drama, 1558–1642. New York: Garland, 1986. 351 pp. Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 661. PN2589.K36 792′.0941.

A daily calendar of performances of plays, masks, entertainments, and other theatrical presentations and of tours of acting companies in England. Modeled on Harbage, Annals of English Drama (M1535), and borrowing many of its conventions and symbols (along with a good bit of information), the Calendar presents details in tabular format, with columns for date of production (according to the New Style calendar), information (such as licensing or entry in Stationers’ Register [M1380 and M2000]) that qualifies the preceding date, acting company, location of performance or tour (including patrons or other important persons in the audience), title, type of play, author(s), date of manuscript or earliest printed text, and sources of information. Deciphering an entry requires constant reference to the explanations of abbreviations and symbols (pp. x–xvi). Three indexes: titles of plays; playwrights; dramatic companies (classified by types of companies). Although the lack of running heads makes the year difficult to ascertain and articles used as sources are not identified (e.g., the code “K” stands for 23 different journals), Kawachi is valuable for its compilation and organization of widely scattered scholarship. While the daily record of performances allows for more precise studies of dramatic trends, stage history, and repertory than does its complement, Harbage, Annals of English Drama (M1535), Kawachi must be used with due regard to the impreciseness and incompleteness of the records as well as the provisional dating of many plays and performances. Review: Carol Chillington Rutter, Theatre Notebook 42.2 (1988): 83–86.

See also[edit]

Harbage, Annals of English Drama, 975–1700 (M1535).

Guides to Primary Works[edit]
M2135[edit]

Greg, W. W. A Bibliography of the English Printed Drama to the Restoration. 4 vols. London: Bibliog. Soc., 1939–59. Illustrated Monographs 24: 1–4. Z2014.D7 G78 016.822.

A descriptive bibliography of all editions, issues, and variants to 1700 of dramatic works (including many translations) “written before the end of 1642 . . . and printed before the end of 1700 . . . together with those written after 1642 but printed before the beginning of 1660.” After an initial section that transcribes extracts relating to drama from the records of the Stationers’ Company (M1380), plays are described in four divisions: individual plays, Latin plays, lost plays, and collected editions. Individual and Latin plays are listed chronologically by publication date of the earliest extant edition (with issues, variants, and later editions following in order of printing); lost plays, by date of presumed publication; and collected editions, by author. Additions and corrections appear in vol. 4, pp. 1643–711.

An entry for a printed play includes the Greg number (now the standard reference number); a full analytical description for each edition, issue, and variant, with notes on bibliographical and textual matters; references to advertisements and bibliographies; and locations in a limited number of British and American libraries (see the revised Short-Title Catalogue [M1990], Wing, Short-Title Catalogue [M1995], and English Short Title Catalogue [M1377] for current and additional locations). Users must consult the lengthy introduction (vol. 4, pp. i–clxxiv) for a detailed explanation of scope, content, and procedures.

Vol. 3 prints several useful appendixes—advertisements in newspapers, prefatory matter and actor lists from editions, contemporary lists of plays—as well as 18 indexes (e.g., prologues and epilogues; acting companies; court performances; printers, publishers, and booksellers; and general indexes of persons and titles and of subjects mentioned in descriptions and commentary). Vol. 4 provides a title index to the entire work.

A cornucopia of historical, bibliographical, and textual detail derived from meticulous examination of copies, Greg is the authoritative source for information on the publication and identification of early texts and the foundation for much of the important research on Renaissance drama. For a discussion of the genesis and reception of the work, see T. H. Howard-Hill, “W. W. Greg as Bibliographer,” Textual Cultures 4.2 (2009): 63–73. Reviews: (vols. 3–4) Times Literary Supplement 15 Jan. 1960: 40; Harold Jenkins, Review of English Studies ns 12.46 (1961): 201–04.

M2136[edit]

Wiggins, Martin. British Drama, 1533–1642: A Catalogue. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2012– . Z2014.D7 016.8223.

  • Vol. 1: 1533–1566. 2012. 500 pp.
  • Vol. 2: 1567–1589. 2012. 519 pp.

An analytic catalog of plays, extant and lost, written by English, Welsh, Irish, and Scottish writers between 1533 and 1642. Included are plays written by British expatriates and translations by British authors of foreign plays; for criteria determining inclusion of such forms as dialogues, civic pageants, tilts, masques, and royal entertainments, see vol. 1, pp. xii–xx. A supplementary list of plays written before 1533 and printed or transcribed between 1533 and 1642 appears in vol. 1, pp. 471–72. Two appendixes are planned for the final volume: “plays of doubtful status and works which are sometimes said to be dramatic, but which have been definitively excluded from the Catalogue.” For plays that exist in more than one substantive state, the main entry records the earliest extant one followed by a separate subentry for any other state. Entries are arranged chronologically by year, then as far as possible by date within each year; both chronological sequences follow the Julian calendar. A full entry includes the following:

  • heading (title or descriptive title, with combinations of white or black type against white, grey, or black background indicating whether a play is largely extant, known only by fragments, or lost; since preference is given to the title as performed rather than the title of a manuscript or a printed edition, users will be confronted with some unfamiliar titles)
  • text (a list of substantive manuscript and print sources with information about the textual nature of each)
  • evidence (source of evidence for the existence of a lost play)
  • genre
  • title (a list of all titles, including variants, associated with the play)
  • author
  • date
  • original production (with information on acting company and venue)
  • plot summary
  • scene designation (a record of act and scene division along with prologues, epilogues, and choruses)
  • roles (a list, in order of appearance onstage, with name or descriptor and “information about their age, occupation, relationships with other roles, and gender”)
  • number of speaking parts
  • number of allegorical roles
  • doubling (with evidence for actual doubling)
  • stage directions and speech prefixes (a list of “all forms used to refer to a role in the non-dialogue parts of the original witness to the text”)
  • other characters (for the most part, a list of characters who are mentioned but are never onstage [e.g., Yorick in Hamlet])
  • setting (geographic and chronological)
  • sources (a list of narrative and verbal sources [e.g., quotations] and allusions)
  • language (includes the principal language and the number of words in all others spoken)
  • form (meters and rhyme; formal structures such as prologues or dumb shows; number of lines, both spoken and written)
  • staging (including architectural features of the playing space and audience)
  • music and sound
  • props
  • costumes and makeup (organized by role)
  • early stage history (up to 1 January 1649)
  • early textual history (significant aspects of textual transmission from composition to 1699)
  • editions (selective)
  • references (sources of the entry’s information)

Before consulting an entry, users absolutely must read the detailed explanation of the preceding parts in vol. 1, pp. xxii–xxxix, which unfortunately is not reprinted in subsequent volumes. Three indexes: persons; places; plays.

Prefaced by an admirably thorough (and sometimes humorous) explanation of scope, editorial principles, and organization, vol. 1 of British Drama, 1533–1642 offers an astounding amount of information that is clearly organized and whose analysis is based on a magisterial command of the primary works and scholarship; however, until the remaining volumes are complete and the electronic edition (being prepared by Catherine Richardson and Mark Merry) is available, extracting and synthesizing much of the detail will be laborious. Users will quickly prefer a simpler way of identifying at a glance whether a play is extant, a fragment, or lost (see heading above). When complete, British Drama, 1533–1642 will make possible sophisticated analyses of a vast amount of data and will be enshrined as one of the monumental works of scholarship on Renaissance drama.

M2137[edit]

Farmer, Alan B., and Zachary Lesser. DEEP: Database of Early English Playbooks. University of Pennsylvania. School of Arts and Sciences, U of Pennsylvania, 2007–13. 3 Sept. 2013. <http://deep.sas.upenn.edu>.

A database of information about plays printed in England, Scotland, and Ireland through 1660. Users should note that this is not a text archive. Records for single-play playbooks, collections of plays, and plays within collections consist of four parts: reference information (including RSTC [M1990], Wing [M1995], Greg [M2135], and DEEP numbers; type of play; genre; date of first publication and approximate date of the first production; acting company; edition and total number of editions printed before 1660; number of leaves; format; presence of black letter typeface; and variant issues and states); transcription of the title page (although in original spelling, the transcription is not a quasi-facsimile), as well as a colophon and a description of any title-page illustration or frontispiece; paratextual material (e.g., dedications, dramatis personae, advertisements, and illustrations within the body of the book); and stationer information (printer, publisher, bookseller, imprimatur, and references to the Stationers’ Register [M2000 and M2005]). Entries for a play from a collection or a collection of plays vary somewhat in the information provided; users should see “Understanding the Results Display” on the “How to Use DEEP” page. Both Basic Search and Advanced Search use pull-down menus for most search fields. In Basic Search users can combine two of the following fields: title (in modern spelling), author (modern attribution), acting company, theatrical venue, stationer, Greg number, and RSTC or Wing number. Advanced Search allows combinations of the following fields: title (in modern spelling), title-page text (in both old and modern spelling), author (both modern and playbook attribution), acting company, venue, genre, paratext, illustrations, presence of black letter type or Latin motto, printer, publisher, stationer, imprint location, date of first production or publication, format, edition number, Greg number, and RSTC or Wing number. Searches can be restricted to separately published plays, plays in collections, or collections. Thus researchers could identify editions that included commendatory verses or lists of actors, claim a play was acted at court, identify a play’s genre, or name an author on the title page. (For other examples of how the database can be used, see Farmer and Lesser, “Early Modern Digital Scholarship and DEEP: Database of Early English Playbooks,” Literature Compass 5.6 [2008]: 1139–53.)

In making information from several standard sources readily and quickly accessible, DEEP allows for sophisticated analyses of data involving printed plays that would otherwise be inordinately time-consuming or impossible. In doing so, it is superior to ESTC (M1377) and EEBO (M2009) for the analysis of editions of plays printed before 1660.

M2140[edit]

Berger, Thomas L., William C. Bradford, and Sidney L. Sondergard. An Index of Characters in Early Modern English Drama Printed Plays, 1500–1660. Rev. ed. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998. 170 pp. PR1265.3.B4 016.822009.

An index to characters (including animals and inanimate objects represented by actors, such as Wall in Midsummer Night’s Dream) who appear in printed English and Latin plays listed in Greg, Bibliography of the English Printed Drama (M2135). Characters are indexed by surname, given name, alias, nationality, occupation, religion, psychological state (e.g., melancholic), and type (e.g., poisoner, tyrant, magician). Plays are identified by Greg number (a finding list is appended). Effective use requires close familiarity with the description of scope and procedures in the introduction. Although the indexing by psychological state and type is sometimes inexact, surname and given name are not indexed together, and variants of the same name are entered separately, the work is a valuable resource for character studies of the drama. Reviews: (first edition) G. K. Hunter, Yearbook of English Studies 9 (1979): 297–99; J. L. Simmons, Research Opportunities in Renaissance Drama 18 (1975): 25–28.

See also[edit]

Lancashire, Dramatic Texts and Records (M1925).

Records of Early English Drama (M1920).

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism[edit]
Surveys of Research[edit]
= M2145 =[edit]

Logan, Terence P., and Denzell S. Smith, eds. The Predecessors of Shakespeare. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1973. 348 pp. Z2014.D7 L83 [PR646] 016.822′3′09.

———. The Popular School. 1975. 299 pp. Z2014.D7 L82 [PR651] 016.822′3′09.

———. The New Intellectuals. 1977. 370 pp. Z2014.D7 N29 [PR671] 016.822′3.

———. The Later Jacobean and Caroline Dramatists. 1978. 279 pp. Z2014.D7 L816 [PR671] 016.822′3′09.

  • (Each volume bears the subtitle A Survey and Bibliography of Recent Studies in English Renaissance Drama.)

Selective surveys of research and bibliographies for dramatists (excluding Shakespeare) and plays from 1580 to 1642. Coverage extends from 1923 to 1968–76, supplemented by some important earlier and later publications (see the preface to each volume for details of coverage). Each volume consists of chapters on individual major writers, anonymous works, and minor dramatists. Those on individual authors are in three parts: (1) a survey of biographical and general studies of the plays as well as nondramatic works; (2) a survey of criticism of individual plays (with plays awkwardly arranged in order of critical importance) and a summary of the state of scholarship; (3) a survey of scholarship on canon, dating, and textual studies and a critique of editions. A selective bibliography of studies not discussed concludes each chapter. Anonymous plays are grouped by date of performance in a single chapter with sections, when necessary, on editions, authorship, date, source, genre, and general studies. The chapter on minor dramatists consists of an annotated bibliography of studies and editions. Two indexes: persons; plays. Although the extent and quality of evaluation vary from contributor to contributor and although many playwrights are now the subjects of more thorough author bibliographies, these volumes remain important for their evaluative surveys of scholarship. Reviews: (Popular School) Michael Shapiro, Literary Research Newsletter 3.2 (1978): 79–83; (New Intellectuals) David M. Bergeron, Shakespeare Quarterly 31.3 (1980): 443–44; Philip R. Rider, Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography 2.1 (1978): 63–71; (Later Jacobean) Rider, Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography 4.1 (1980): 49–54.

Coverage should be supplemented with Year’s Work in English Studies (G330); Wells, English Drama (M1555); “Recent Studies in Tudor and Stuart Drama” (M2150); World Shakespeare Bibliography Online (M2020); installments devoted to dramatists in the “Recent Studies in the English Renaissance” survey in English Literary Renaissance (M2010); and the following:

  • Fordyce, Rachel. Caroline Drama: A Bibliographic History of Criticism. 2nd ed. New York: Hall; Toronto: Maxwell, 1992. 332 pp. Reference Pub. in Lit. Although occasionally useful for its inclusion of early scholarship, the work is badly marred by poor organization, superfluous entries in the divisions for reference works and textual studies, and numerous errors.
  • Lidman, Mark J. Studies in Jacobean Drama, 1973–1984: An Annotated Bibliography. New York: Garland, 1986. 278 pp. Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 597. Updates Logan and Smith’s coverage of English-language scholarship on Chapman, Dekker, Heywood, Tourneur, Marston, Middleton, Webster, Massinger, Ford, Brome, and Shirley.

The best (albeit dated) selective bibliography of studies of non-Shakespearean drama 1580–1642 is Brownell Salomon, Critical Analyses in English Renaissance Drama: A Bibliographic Guide, rev. 3rd ed. (New York: Garland, 1991; 262 pp.; Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 1370). The 936 informatively annotated entries are accompanied by an admirably thorough subject index of themes, images, topics, character types, forms, rhetorical figures, topoi, titles, critical approaches, dramatic and theatrical conventions, and individuals.

= M2150 =[edit]

“Recent Studies in Tudor and Stuart Drama.” Studies in English Literature, 1500–1900 1 (1961)– . Annually in the Spring issue. PR1.S82. 820'.9.

A commissioned survey by an established scholar, with recent ones emphasizing full-length critical and historical studies and typically offering only cursory attention to editions and reference works. (Nondramatic literature is covered in the Winter issue [M2015].) The essays vary considerably in soundness and rigor of assessment. Although the most current annual survey, the work is generally limited to books received for review and must be supplemented by the chapters in Year’s Work in English Studies (G330) on Renaissance drama and Shakespeare. The broader surveys listed in entry M2015 also treat drama.

= See also =[edit]

YWES (G330): Chapters for Shakespeare; Renaissance Drama: Excluding Shakespeare.

Other Bibliographies[edit]
= M2155 =[edit]

Bergeron, David M. Twentieth-Century Criticism of English Masques, Pageants, and Entertainments, 1558–1642. With a supplement on the folk play and related forms by Harry B. Caldwell. San Antonio: Trinity UP, 1972. 67 pp. Checklists in the Humanities and Educ. Z2014.D7 B44 016.822′3.

A selective bibliography of English-language studies published through 1971. Entries are arranged alphabetically in five divisions: general studies, Ben Jonson (including works on Inigo Jones), Milton’s Comus, other writers, and folk plays, with additions to the first four parts on pp. 39–40. Two indexes: authors; subjects. Although in need of updating, sometimes superseded by author bibliographies (especially the sections on Jonson and Comus), and limited by the exclusion of foreign language criticism, Bergeron remains useful as a starting point for research on the masque and related dramatic forms.

Recent studies are selectively surveyed in Suzanne Gossett, “Recent Studies in the English Masque,” English Literary Renaissance 26.3 (1996): 586–627.

= M2160 =[edit]

Stevens, David. English Renaissance Theatre History: A Reference Guide. Boston: Hall, 1982. 342 pp. Reference Guide to Lit. Z2014.D7 S78 [PN2589] 016.792′0942.

An annotated bibliography of scholarship published between 1664 and 1979 on theater history from 1558 through 1642. The descriptively annotated entries, arranged chronologically, include (for example) studies of acting, playhouses, the stage, audience, actors and other theater personnel, finance, government regulation, and music. Indexed by playwrights, scholars, and subjects. There are errors and omissions, and reviewers have criticized the inadequate coverage of music and repertory, but Stevens offers the best starting point for research on many aspects of theater history of the period. Reviews: David M. Bergeron, Shakespeare Quarterly 35.2 (1984): 253–54; Reavley Gair, Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography 7.4 (1983): 239–42.

= M2165 =[edit]

White, D. Jerry. Early English Drama, Everyman to 1580: A Reference Guide. Boston: Hall, 1986. 289 pp. Reference Guide to Lit. Z2014.D7 W48 [PR641] 016.822′2′09.

An extensive, although not comprehensive, bibliography of studies and scholarly editions (published from 1691 to 1982, with a few later items) on plays from c. 1495 to 1580 by British playwrights. Biographical material not related to plays is excluded, as are studies of folk drama, pageants, entertainments, masques, and John Skelton, since they are the subjects of other bibliographies (see Stevens, English Renaissance Theatre History [M2160]; Bergeron, Twentieth-Century Criticism of English Masques [M2155]; and Robert S. Kinsman, John Skelton, Early Tudor Laureate: An Annotated Bibliography, c. 1488–1977 [Boston: Hall, 1979; 179 pp.; Reference Pub. in Lit.]). The succinctly annotated entries are listed chronologically in divisions for bibliographies, collections, general studies, and authors, translators, or anonymous works; the last has sections for bibliographies and editions and studies. Since there are few multiple listings, users must consult the index to locate all studies on an author or work. Indexed by authors, scholars, anonymous works, and subjects. Breadth, accuracy, and clear annotations make this an essential starting point for research on the early drama.

= See also =[edit]

Berger, Medieval English Drama (M1930a).

Kallendorf, Latin Influences on English Literature from the Middle Ages to the Eighteenth Century (S4895).

Lancashire, Dramatic Texts and Records (M1925).

Stratman, Bibliography of Medieval Drama (M1930).

Poetry[edit]

Many works in sections L: Genres/Poetry and M: English Literature/General/Genres/Poetry are important to research in Renaissance poetry.

Histories and Surveys[edit]

Lewis, English Literature in the Sixteenth Century (M1975), and Bush, English Literature in the Earlier Seventeenth Century (M1970), remain the best general histories of Renaissance poetry.

Guides to Primary Works[edit]
M2180[edit]

Case, Arthur E. A Bibliography of English Poetical Miscellanies, 1521–1750. London: Oxford UP for the Bibliog. Soc., 1935. 386 pp. Z2014.P7 C3 016.8210822.

An analytical bibliography of 481 collections of miscellaneous verse (including translations) by British writers in any language and printed in any country. Case excludes song and hymn books but otherwise lists any volume with “a fairly considerable section devoted to miscellaneous verse.” Collections are listed chronologically by date of earliest known edition, followed by later editions to 1750 (with additions on p. 344). An entry includes title, collation, brief indication of content (but not a list of individual poems), bibliographical notes, and a few locations (superseded by the Short-Title Catalogues [M1377, M1990, and M1995]); for additional locations of eighteenth-century editions, see Richard C. Boys, “A Finding-List of English Poetical Miscellanies, 1700–48, in Selected American Libraries,” ELH: A Journal of English Literary History 7.2 (1940): 144–62. Five indexes: titles; chronological index of editions other than the earliest known ones; places of publication (other than London); persons; printers and publishers. The descriptions are accurate, but researchers would benefit from a published list of first lines (a first-line index compiled by Boys and Arthur Mizener is held by the Dept. of Special Collections, Kenneth Spencer Research Lib., U of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045). Review: Times Literary Supplement 10 Oct. 1935: 626.

For 54 collections published before 1640, a first-line index to English-language poems is available in Frederic William Baue, A Bibliographical Catalogue and First-Line Index of Printed Anthologies of English Poetry to 1640 (Lanham: Scarecrow, 2002; 282 pp.). Although Baue includes some miscellanies not in Case, his descriptions must be used with caution since the majority of his title-page transcriptions and collations are based on examination of a single microfilm copy. The disorganization of data and ineffective indexing means that most users will be reduced to scanning all entries. Review: T. H. Howard-Hill, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 97.4 (2003): 621–22.

Miscellanies published between 1640 and 1682 are more fully described and more easily searched in Adam Smyth, Index of Poetry in Printed Miscellanies, 1640–1682 (http://tinyurl .com/3xadpbd). The 4,639 poems in 41 collections are arranged in fully searchable tables that include first and last lines, title of miscellany, date, page number and title of poem, number of lines, and author. Developed as part of the research underlying Smyth’s doctoral dissertation, Index of Poetry in Printed Miscellanies, 1640–1682 serves as a fine example of how scholars can use the World Wide Web to share valuable data.

The Digital Miscellanies Index (http://dmi.gnostyx.com:8899/exist/dmi/search.xml) indexes c. 1,400 eighteenth-century miscellanies.

M2185[edit]

Frank, Joseph. Hobbled Pegasus: A Descriptive Bibliography of Minor English Poetry, 1641–1660. Albuquerque: U of New Mexico P, 1968. 482 pp. Z2014.P7 F7 016.821′4′08.

A bibliography of English-language poetry written and printed in the British Isles from March 1641 to 29 May 1660 (with a few additional works to June 1661). Frank excludes plays and any work of which more than half is in prose. The approximately 800 entries, listed chronologically by date of first publication, give Wing, Short-Title Catalogue (M1995), and Case, Bibliography of English Poetical Miscellanies (M2180), numbers; short title; author; length (see p. 29 for an explanation of the abbreviations); publication details; subsequent editions to 1700; political or religious classification, “literary category,” and subject (see pp. 5–12 for an explanation); meter or stanza form; illustrative extract; content; an incomplete list of reprints; and references to related poems, scholarship, and bibliographies. Additions appear on p. 462. Two indexes: authors; titles. There are numerous inconsistencies and inaccuracies in transcribing details; the lack of a first-line index seriously inhibits use; and most editions are listed in Wing, Short-Title Catalogue. Even so, Hobbled Pegasus is a time-saving compilation for researchers interested in this body of mostly second-rate poetry. Review: Charles Clay Doyle, Eighteenth-Century Studies 2.4 (1969): 490–93.

M2190[edit]

Ringler, William A., Jr. Bibliography and Index of English Verse Printed, 1476–1558. London: Mansell, 1988. 440 pp. Z2014.P7 R56 [PR531] 016.811′208.

Ringler, William A., Jr. Bibliography and Index of English Verse in Manuscript, 1501–1558. Prepared and completed by Michael Rudick and Susan J. Ringler. London: Mansell, 1992. 315 pp. Z2014.P7 R55 [PR521] 016.821′208.

May, Steven W., and William A. Ringler, Jr. Elizabethan Poetry: A Bibliography and First-Line Index of English Verse, 1559–1603. 3 vols. London: Thoemmes Continuum, 2004. Z2014.P7 M348 [PR531] 016.821′308.

Bibliography and Index of English Verse Printed, 1476–1558 indexes more than 2,900 English-language poems or parts thereof. Books containing poems are organized by revised Short-Title Catalogue (M1990) number in separate lists for 1476–1500 and 1501–58. Each entry provides revised STC number; author; title; notes on authorship; publication information; copy consulted; reel number for editions available in University Microfilms International’s Early English Books, 1475–1640 (M1990a) series; earliest, best, and most recent reprints and facsimiles; number of poems in the volume; and Brown-Robbins-Cutler (M1940a) or first-line index number of each poem. Each chronological list is followed by a first-line index, whose entries cite, when appropriate, Brown-Robbins-Cutler number, first line, author, title of poem, date of composition if different from publication date, total number of lines and verse form (as well as number of stresses or syllables per line, burdens, and refrains), revised STC number of the edition(s) printing the poem and its location in the first edition of each book, and genre and subject classifications. Two indexes (1475–1500; 1501–58); both have headings for refrains, verse forms, poets, authors translated, literary kinds and subjects, and titles; that for 1501–58 adds headings for burdens, rhyme schemes, historical persons and events, religious topics, and translations and adaptations (by language). Unfortunately, the volume is marred by numerous typographical errors and inconsistencies and is incompletely indexed. Review: Thomas Moser, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 84.3 (1990): 305–08.

Bibliography and Index of English Verse in Manuscript, 1501–1558 records 2,045 poems from nearly 400 documents, including manuscripts, printed books, and funeral monuments. Entries are grouped by libraries and other depositories. A typical entry cites shelf mark, describes the contents, lists printed versions, records the total number of poems and lines transcribed, and concludes with a sequential list (keyed to the first-line index) of poems transcribed. Entries in the first-line index cite collection and shelf mark, date of transcription, location of the poem within the manuscript or printed book, title or other identification of the poem (including author when known), number of lines in the copy, verse form, stanza form, rhyme scheme, verse measure, burden or refrain, other manuscript copies, references to standard bibliographies (including Brown-Robbins-Cutler number), and subject and genre categories under which the poem is indexed. Concludes with separate indexes for burdens, refrains, verse forms and rhyme schemes, poets, composers, historical persons and events, genres and kinds, subjects (including titles and fictional characters), and translations. An appendix offers a concordance of transcribed poems with Brown-Robbins-Cutler and Bibliography and Index of English Verse Printed, 1476–1558.

Elizabethan Poetry covers verse printed or transcribed (including drama—with prologues, epilogues, and songs entered separately— as well as “a sampling of epitaphs from contemporary funeral monuments, poems from Elizabethan paintings, and one couplet from a wall painting”) between 1559 and 1603 (though several works were composed well before 1559 and many poems written during the period were not published until after 1603). Coverage of printed verse is, understandably, much more complete than that in manuscript. Books containing verse are listed by Short-Title Catalogue (M1990) number, with each entry supplying the revised STC number; author; short title; date of publication; copy examined; details of facsimile reprints or modern editions (though this information is not intended to be exhaustive); reel number for editions available in University Microfilms International’s Early English Books, 1475–1640 series; number of poems in the volume; and the first-line index number for each poem in the volume. Manuscripts are listed alphabetically by sigla (largely those used in the STC), with an entry typically including shelf mark; number of folios or pages; date of transcription of the Elizabethan verse; contents; modern editions or facsimiles; references to scholarship on the manuscript; number of poems; and the first-line index number of each poem in the document. In the first-line index entries for poems in printed works typically consist of entry number, first line (in modern English to facilitate searching), STC number, date of publication, signature(s) on which the poem is printed, author, context in which the poem appears, title of book, number of lines, number of stanzas and lines per stanza, rhyme scheme and meter (and the number of lines, rhyme scheme, and meter of any burden, along with its first line), refrain, and subject matter and genre. The entry for a poem from a manuscript includes entry number, first line, symbol for the location of the manuscript, shelf mark, date of transcription, folios on which the poem is written, author, title, number of lines, rhyme scheme and meter, and subject matter and genre. Eleven indexes (some of which are subdivided): English poets; fictional names and topics; historical persons and events; literary kinds (genres and forms); poems set to music; rhyme schemes and verse forms; scribes and owners; subjects; subscriptions (i.e., a name, phrase, or pseudonym affixed to a poem); titles; and translations. Reviews: Brian Vickers, TLS: Times Literary Supplement 10 Feb. 2006: 7–8; Paul J. Voss, Ben Jonson Journal 12 (2005): 259–66.

Bibliography and Index of English Verse in Manuscript, 1501–1558, Bibliography and Index of English Verse Printed, 1476–1558, and—especially—Elizabethan Poetry are invaluable compilations. They complement and continue Brown and Robbins, Index of Middle English Verse (M1940a), offer a nearly exhaustive finding list of English verse for the period (including a substantial amount hidden in unlikely volumes), and—by indexing of subjects, genres, rhyme schemes, and verse forms—make feasible a number of approaches to the study of early Tudor poetry (for valuable examples, see May, “Interdisciplinary Research with the Indexes of Tudor Verse,” Ben Jonson Journal 11 [2004]: 89–101; for the value of the works to editors, see May, “Queen Elizabeth’s ‘Future Foes’: Editing Manuscripts with the First-Line Index of Elizabethan Verse (a Future Friend),” New Ways of Looking at Old Texts, III: Papers of the Renaissance English Text Society, 1997–2001, ed. W. Speed Hill [Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies–Renaissance English Text Soc., 2004; Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies 270]1–12).

A useful complement to all of the preceding is Union First Line Index of English Verse (http://firstlines.folger.edu), which covers manuscript verse (primarily) and some printed poetry from 1300 to 1900 but emphasizes the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It also includes data from several major libraries and published sources (including Crum, First-Line Index of English Poetry, 1500–1800 [M1590]; manuscripts in Elizabethan Poetry; and first lines in Pollard and Redgrave, Short-Title Catalogue [M1990], and Wing, Short-Title Catalogue [M1995]). Keyword Search searches all searchable fields (first line, author, title, last line, shelf mark, reference number, names, translations, musical setting); searches can be limited to a collection, source, or women poets. Advanced Search allows a keyword search to be limited to searchable field, a collection, source, or women poets. Results can be sorted by first line/author/library, author/title/first line/library, library/shelf mark/folio, or gender/author/first line. Users should consult the “Searching the Union First Line Index” page for instructions on coding keyword searches. Although the search interface is unsophisticated, Union First Line Index helpfully brings together information from several in-house and printed resources.

See also[edit]

Crum, First-Line Index of English Poetry, 1500–1800 (M1590).

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism[edit]

There is no adequate general bibliography of scholarship on Renaissance poetry; however, most poets, major and minor, are the subjects of author bibliographies, and studies of poetry are well covered in the guides to scholarship and criticism listed at the beginning of the Renaissance literature section.

See[edit]

Brogan, English Versification, 1570–1980 (M1600).

Donow, Sonnet in England and America (L1250).

Kuntz and Martinez, Poetry Explication (L1255).

Martinez and Martinez, Guide to British Poetry Explication, vol. 2 (L1255a).

Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Literature[edit]

Many works listed in section M: English Literature/General are useful for research in Restoration and eighteenth-century literature.

Research Methods[edit]

See[edit]

Bowers and Keeran, Literary Research and the British Renaissance and Early Modern Period (M1960).

Histories and Surveys[edit]

M2205[edit]

Butt, John. The Mid-Eighteenth Century. Ed. and completed by Geoffrey Carnall. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1979. 671 pp. Vol. 8 of The Oxford History of English Literature (M1310). John Buxton and Norman Davis, gen. eds. (Reprinted in 1990 as vol. 10, with the title The Age of Johnson, 1740–1789.) PR441.B83 820′.9′006.

A literary history of the period 1740–89, with chapters on Johnson; poetry (1740–60 and 1760–89); Scottish poetry; drama; history; travel literature, memoirs, and biography; essays, letters, dialogues, and speeches; major novelists (Richardson, Fielding, Smollett, Sterne); and other prose fiction. Concludes with a chronology and a selective bibliography. Indexed by authors, artists, and some subjects. Mid-Eighteenth Century received a mixed reception, with its “traditional” approach to literary history eliciting much of the negative criticism. Reviews: P. N. Furbank, Listener 12 July 1979: 61–62; Donald Greene, English Language Notes 18.2 (1980): 139–46; Ronald Paulson, Modern Language Review 76.3 (1981): 674–75; Pat Rogers, Review of English Studies ns 32.125 (1981): 83–86; G. S. Rousseau, Eighteenth-Century Studies 14.2 (1980–81): 181–93.

M2207[edit]

The Cambridge History of English Literature, 1660–1780. Ed. John Richetti. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2005. 945 pp. New Cambridge Hist. of English Lit. PR442.C26 820.9005. Online through Cambridge Histories Online (http://histories.cambridge.org).

A collection of 30 essays that address the “literary and cultural production” of the long eighteenth century and that both exemplify and evaluate new approaches to the literature of the period. The essays—written by a veritable who’s who of Restoration and eighteenth-century scholars—treat literary production and dissemination, genres, literature and intellectual life, literature and social and institutional change, and new forms of literary expression. Concludes with a chronology and a series of “bibliographies” (more properly, a list of works cited) for each essay. Indexed by authors, titles, and subjects (the online version omits the index). As in other volumes in the New Cambridge History, there is frequently little sense of relation among the essays, but the roster of contributors will likely make this one of the more influential volumes in the series. Review: Claudia Thomas Kairoff, Eighteenth-Century Life 31.3 (2007): 92–109.

M2210[edit]

Dobrée, Bonamy. English Literature in the Early Eighteenth Century, 1700–1740. Corrected rpt. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1964. 701 pp. Vol. 7 of The Oxford History of English Literature (M1310). Bonamy Dobrée and F. P. Wilson, gen. eds. (Reprinted in 1990 as vol. 9, with the title The Early Eighteenth Century, 1700–1740: Swift, Defoe, and Pope.) PR445.D6 820.903.

Emphasizes Defoe, Swift, and Pope but does not scant minor figures, in a three-part literary history of the period. Pt. 1 covers the period 1700–20 in chapters on the background of the age, Defoe to 1710, Swift to 1709, essayists and controversialists, poetry, and Pope to 1725; pt. 2 treats the period 1700–40 in chapters on drama (a weak discussion), philosophers, critics and aestheticians, and miscellaneous prose; pt. 3 covers the period 1720–40 in chapters on Defoe (1715–31), Swift (1715–45), poetry, and Pope (1725–44). Concludes with a chronology and an inadequate (and now outdated) selective bibliography. Indexed by authors and a few subjects. This work received a mixed reception, with some reviewers praising its thoroughness and critical sympathy and others censuring it as prejudiced and unreliable. Some of the numerous factual errors are corrected in the 1964 printing. Reviews: Donald F. Bond, Modern Philology 60.2 (1962): 138–41; Kathleen Williams, Modern Language Notes 76.4 (1961): 356–59.

M2215[edit]

Sutherland, James. English Literature of the Late Seventeenth Century. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1969. 589 pp. Vol. 6 of The Oxford History of English Literature (M1310). Bonamy Dobrée and Norman Davis, gen. eds. (Reprinted in 1990 as vol. 8, with the title Restoration Literature, 1660–1700: Dryden, Bunyan, and Pepys.) PR437.S9 820.9′004.

A critical history of the period 1660–1700, with chapters on the background of the age; drama; poetry; fiction; essays, letters, and journals; biography, history, and travel writings; religious literature; philosophy, politics, and economics; science; and criticism. Includes a chronology and a selective bibliography (with numerous errors and now outdated). Indexed by author, anonymous work, and subject. A good, sensible history but sometimes dated in its critical discussions. Review: TLS: Times Literary Supplement 5 June 1969: 611–12.

See also[edit]

Sec. M: English Literature/General/Histories and Surveys.

Literary Handbooks, Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias[edit]

M2218[edit]

The Blackwell Companion to the Enlightenment. Ed. John W. Yolton et al. Oxford: Blackwell, 1991. 581 pp. CB411.B57 940.2′53′03.

A dictionary of concepts, groups, movements, persons, places, events, professions, activities, and other topics associated with the period 1720–80 in Europe and North America. Many of the entries are signed and conclude with a brief bibliography. Indexed by persons and subjects; entrants are also indexed in Biography and Genealogy Master Index (J565). Although prefaced by an utterly inadequate discussion of editorial procedures, the uniformly high level of expertise of the contributors makes the Companion an informative and authoritative resource.

M2219[edit]

Varner, Paul. Historical Dictionary of Romanticism in Literature. Lanham: Rowman, 2015. 527 pp. PN603.V34 2015 809'.9145.

Part of an eclectic series of dictionaries, the Historical Dictionary of Romanticism in Literature sets out to create an overview of the international Romantic movement of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Over four hundred pages are devoted to the dictionary itself, with entries ranging from a few lines to four pages; covering people, works, schools, movements, and more; and crossing international and linguistic borders.

A selective chronology from 1726 to 1851 sets a broad framework for the dictionary. The introduction is particularly useful for researchers less familiar with Romanticism and offers concise explanations of the time, people, and ideals that characterize the movement. The author explains in his introduction that he has decided to give many of the better-known authors’ works less attention in order to allow for more extensive treatment of lesser-known works and to develop a more complete concept of Romanticism.

Bolded topics in an entry indicate that a complete entry exists for that topic in the dictionary. “See also” points readers to further information in another entry, and “see” sends the reader to a complete entry under another heading in the dictionary.

Bibliographies of Bibliographies[edit]

M2220[edit]

Lund, Roger D. Restoration and Early Eighteenth-Century English Literature, 1660–1740: A Selected Bibliography of Resource Materials. New York: MLA, 1980. 42 pp. Selected Bibliogs. in Lang. and Lit. 1. Z2012.L88 [PR43] 016.82.

A highly selective list of important bibliographies, concordances, and current journals published through 1978. Entries are listed alphabetically by author, editor, or title in divisions for current journals; annual bibliographies; general bibliographies; poetry; drama; fiction; literary criticism and language study; translation; publishing and bookselling; newspapers and periodicals; art and music; history, biography, and autobiography; religious literature; miscellaneous bibliographies; and individual authors. A brief descriptive annotation accompanies many works. Indexed by persons. A convenient, judicious (but now dated) guide to essential reference sources. Review: J. M. Armistead, Literary Research Newsletter 5.4 (1980): 189–91.

See also[edit]

Secs. D: Bibliographies of Bibliographies and M: English Literature/General/Bibliographies of Bibliographies.

Guides to Primary Works[edit]

Manuscripts[edit]

Bibliographies and Indexes[edit]
M2225[edit]

Index of English Literary Manuscripts (M1365). Ed. P. J. Croft, Theodore Hofmann, and John Horden. Vol. 3: 1700–1800. 4 pts. Comp. Margaret M. Smith and Alexander Lindsay. London: Mansell, 1986–97. Z6611.L7 I5 [PR83] 016.82′08.

A descriptive catalog of extant literary manuscripts by 57 major English, Scottish, and Irish authors. The emphasis is on literary manuscripts, including diaries, notebooks, marginalia, and some scribal copies. Letters are excluded, but the introductions to individual authors identify collections of them. In addition, the introductions alert researchers to special problems and relevant scholarship, point out additional manuscripts and transcripts, discuss canon, note the disposition of any personal library, and conclude with an outline of the arrangement of entries. A typical entry provides a physical description, dates composition of the manuscript, includes any necessary commentary (as well as references to sale catalogs, editions, or scholarship), and identifies location (with shelf mark). Pt. 4 prints a first-line index to verse in pts. 1–4. Since some entries are based on inquiries to libraries and collectors, bibliographies, other reference works, and booksellers’ and auction catalogs rather than personal examination by the compiler, descriptions vary in fullness and accuracy.

Although there are errors and omissions, and the scope is unduly restricted by reliance on the Concise Cambridge Bibliography (M1365a), the Index is an essential, if limited, source for the identification and location of manuscripts. It must, however, be supplemented by the works listed in sections F: Guides to Manuscripts and Archives and M: English Literature/General/Guides to Primary Works/Manuscripts. Review: J. D. Fleeman, Notes and Queries ns 38.3 (1991): 390–92.

M2227[edit]

Location Register of English Literary Manuscripts and Letters: Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. Ed. David C. Sutton. 2 vols. London: British Lib., 1995. Z6611.L7 L629 [PR471] 016.82′08′0091.

A union catalog of manuscripts and letters by British literary figures (including immigrants and refugees) who wrote during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (the chronological limits are not clear: presumably, these volumes include persons who lived beyond 1699 and died before 1900; writers alive beyond 1900 are included in Location Register of Twentieth-Century English Literary Manuscripts [M2765]). Only items (including photocopies and microforms) available to the public (as of June 1994) in the British Isles are listed. Under each author, manuscripts are listed alphabetically by title, followed by editorial correspondence files, and then letters in chronological order (collections of letters are listed by date of the earliest one). A typical entry consists of title or description, date, physical description, location, shelf mark, and a note on access. Important recipients of letters are interfiled in the author list. When appropriate, an author section begins with a headnote on major collections (especially outside Great Britain), an author’s policy on the disposition of his or her papers, or the destruction of manuscripts. Because of the descriptive titles given several items, researchers must read the entire section for an author. Although the descriptions vary in detail (and are frequently based on finding aids supplied by repositories rather than personal examination) and although letters in large collections are frequently undifferentiated, the Location Register is an important resource and the most convenient tool for locating many eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literary manuscripts.

Although the database from which the Location Register was printed is being augmented, there is unfortunately no plan for systematic updating or for releasing an electronic version.

Text Archives[edit]
= See =[edit]

British Literary Manuscripts Online, c. 1660–1900 (M1373).

Printed Works[edit]

Bibliographies and Indexes[edit]
M2235[edit]

Arber, Edward, ed. The Term Catalogues, 1668–1709 A. D.; with a Number for Easter Term, 1711 A. D. 3 vols. London: Privately printed, 1903–06. Z2002.A31 015.42. Online—in a variety of formats—through Internet Archives (http://www.archive.org/details/termcatalogues1601arbeuoft).

An edition of the quarterly lists of books printed in London, Oxford, and Cambridge for London booksellers. Since the catalogs are advertising lists, not all books published during the period are included. Works are classified under various headings, such as divinity, physic, histories (including novels), humanity, poetry and plays, Latin books, music, miscellanies, law, and reprints. Entries record title (frequently descriptive rather than exact), author (but only occasionally), size, price, and the bookseller(s) for whom the work was printed. Two indexes in each volume: titles (accompanied by author); names, places, and subjects. An important source for identifying works and editions no longer extant, researching publishing history, establishing approximate publication dates, and studying the environment of a work.

The catalog of Michaelmas Term 1695 is reproduced as The “Missing” Term Catalogue: A Facsimile of the Term Catalogue for Michaelmas Term 1695 with a List of Identified Books (Oxford: Oxford Bibliog. Soc., 1987; n. pag.; Occasional Pub. 20).

See also[edit]

English Short Title Catalogue (M1377).

New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature, vol. 2: 1660–1800 (M2255).

Transcript of the Registers of the Worshipful Company of Stationers from 1640–1708 A. D. (M2005).

Wing, Short-Title Catalogue (M1995).

Text Archives[edit]
M2238[edit]

Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO). Gale. Gale-Cengage, n.d. 29 Dec. 2014. <http://find.galegroup.com/ecco/>.

Eighteenth Century Collections Online: Part II (ECCO II). Gale. Gale-Cengage, n.d. 29 Dec. 2014. <http://find.galegroup.com/ecco/>.

A digital archive that includes more than 186,000 works printed in Great Britain, North America, and elsewhere during the eighteenth century. Basic Search allows users to limit keyword searches of full text, authors, titles, or subjects by publication date and subject area; Advanced Search allows users to limit combined searches of authors, titles, full text, subjects, front matter, back mattter, main text, publishers, places of publication, document number, and ESTC number (M1377) by date, subject areas, language, and kinds of illustrations. Advanced Search also allows for fuzzy searches—an especially valuable feature for searching documents in an era before spelling became normalized. Users can also browse authors and titles. Results can be sorted by author, title, or date (ascending or descending) and narrowed by subject area. Images (which vary in quality and legibility, as expected in archives largely produced from microfilm, and thus affect the accuracy of the search engine) can be saved to a file or printed. For a discussion of the representativeness of ECCO’s coverage of eighteenth-century imprints and of ways to work around false hits generated by searches of the underlying OCR text, see Patrick Spedding’s account of his search for “condom” in “‘The New Machine’: Discovering the Limits of ECCO,” Eighteenth-Century Studies 44.4 (2011): 437–53. The breadth of coverage and the powerful search engine make possible numerous studies that heretofore would have consumed years of research or would have been simply untenable. ECCO is now cross-searchable with other Gale primary source collections through Gale’s Artemis interface (I524a).

The ECCO Text Creation Partnership (http://www.textcreationpartnership.org/tcp-ecco) is producing SGML/XML fully searchable texts of 10,000 editions included in ECCO. To search keyed documents, go to http://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/ecco/.

ECCO and EEBO (M2009) can be cross-searched.

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism[edit]

Surveys of Research[edit]

M2240[edit]

“Recent Studies in the Restoration and Eighteenth Century.” Studies in English Literature, 1500–1900. 1 (1961)– . Annually in the Summer issue. PR1.S82 820′.9.

A commissioned survey by established scholars, with recent surveys emphasizing full-length critical and historical studies and typically offering only cursory attention to editions and reference works. The essays vary considerably in soundness and rigor of assessment. Although highly selective and now generally limited to books received for review, the work is the most current annual survey, but it must be supplemented by the chapters in Year’s Work in English Studies (G330) on the period.

See also[edit]

YWES (G330): Later Seventeenth Century and Eighteenth Century chapters.

Serial Bibliographies[edit]

M2245[edit]

ECCB: The Eighteenth Century Current Bibliography for [1925– ] (ECCB). NS 1– . New York: AMS, 1978– . Annual. Former title: The Eighteenth Century: A Current Bibliography for [1975–2000]. Z5579.6.E36 [CB411] 016.909. <http://www.eccb.net>.

  • 1925–74: Philological Quarterly 5–54 (1926–75). (Title varies: [1925–26] “English Literature of the Restoration and Eighteenth Century: A Current Bibliography”; [1927–69] “English Literature, 1660–1800: A Current Bibliography”; [1970–74] “The Eighteenth Century: A Current Bibliography.”)
  • (The bibliographies for 1925–70 are reprinted, with a few corrections and cumulative indexes in every second volume, as English Literature, 1660–1800: A Bibliography of Modern Studies, 6 vols. [Princeton: Princeton UP, 1950–72].)

A selective international bibliography of books, articles, and reviews that now offers interdisciplinary coverage of the period in Europe and the New World. Until the bibliography for 1970, ECCB emphasized English literature but always included numerous studies in other disciplines and national literatures. Both scope and criteria governing selection have varied over the years and within individual disciplines (see, e.g., the prefatory statements in the bibliographies for 1970 [50 (1971): 321–23]; for 1975 [ns 1: n. pag.]; for 1982 [ns 8: i–iv]; and for 2000 [ns 26: ix–xiii]) but have generally included important studies in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish (with other languages covered less systematically).

Currently, entries are listed alphabetically by scholar in seven divisions: printing and bibliographical studies; historical, social, and economic studies; philosophy, science, and religion; fine arts (with various classified sections such as general studies, art, architecture, dance, recordings, music, and theater); foreign literatures and languages; British literatures; and New World literatures and languages. Some articles are descriptively annotated (and sometimes evaluated); significant books are stringently reviewed by specialists (although the quality and authoritativeness of the reviewing are uneven in the volumes for the 1980s). Some entries for books cite reviews. Indexed since 1970 by persons (since indexing is by page number, users sometimes have to scan several entries).

For a history of the bibliography, see Donald Greene, “‘More Than a Necessary Chore’: The Eighteenth-Century Current Bibliography in Retrospect and Prospect,” Eighteenth-Century Studies 10.1 (1976): 94–110; and O M Brack, “Curt Zimansky: A Reminiscence,” ECCB ns 7 (for 1981): ix–xvii.

Although users would benefit from subject indexing and classified sections in the divisions (a shortcoming partly remedied beginning in ns 27 [for 2001]), ECCB is an indispensable resource. Unfortunately, while it long enjoyed a reputation as the best period serial bibliography, its importance and usefulness are compromised by delays in publication (the volume for 2007 was published in 2011); however, the editors are working to increase currency and the number of reviews. Review: (ns 3–4) Paula R. Backscheider, Modern Language Review 80.3 (1985): 681–84.

Since coverage is selective and omits dissertations, researchers must also consult the other bibliographies in this section as well as in sections G: Serial Bibliographies, Indexes, and Abstracts and H: Guides to Dissertations and Theses. Waldo Sumner Glock, Eighteenth-Century English Literary Studies: A Bibliography (Metuchen: Scarecrow, 1984; 847 pp.), a selective annotated list of studies from 1925 to 1980 on 25 authors, is an occasionally serviceable compilation of listings from ECCB, MLAIB (G335), ABELL (G340), and Year’s Work in English Studies (G330). Earlier scholarship is selectively covered in James E. Tobin, Eighteenth Century English Literature and Its Cultural Background: A Bibliography (New York: Fordham UP, 1939; 190 pp.), with additions in a review by Donald F. Bond, Library Quarterly 10.3 (1940): 446–50.

The two general selective bibliographies compiled by Bond for the Goldentree Bibliographies in Language and Literature series—The Age of Dryden (New York: Appleton, 1970; 103 pp.) and The Eighteenth Century (Northbrook: AHM, 1975; 180 pp.)—are too dated to be of much use. More current is Margaret M. Duggan, English Literature and Backgrounds, 1660–1700: A Selective Critical Guide, 2 vols. (New York: Garland, 1990; Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 711). Although coverage extends to a variety of general topics, genres, themes, related disciplines, and individual authors, the essay format—with commentary that is rarely “critical” and generally inadequate to describe content—results in a needlessly swollen compilation that cannot be efficiently consulted. In addition, English Literature and Backgrounds is plagued by errors and fails to indicate what criteria govern the inclusion of studies.

M2250[edit]

“Some Current Publications.” Restoration: Studies in English Literary Culture, 1660–1700. 1 (1977– ). 2/yr. PR437.R47 820′.9′004.

A selective bibliography by a different compiler in each issue. The descriptively annotated entries are classified under sections for individual authors; bibliography; drama; and other topics (e.g., nondramatic literature; economics; history; gender and sexuality; race and ethnicity; print culture; philosophy; politics; religion; colonies; and sister arts) that vary from installment to installment. The criteria governing selection are unclear and the quality of annotations and coverage varies radically with the contributor (especially in recent installments), but the work is sometimes a useful source for identifying current scholarship.

Some additional studies can be found in the highly selective “Abstracts of Recent Articles,” Seventeenth-Century News 6.3–51.1-2 (1948–93).

See also[edit]

Secs. G: Serial Bibliographies, Indexes, and Abstracts and H: Guides to Dissertations and Theses.

ABELL (G340): English Literature/Seventeenth Century and Eighteenth Century sections.

MLAIB (G335): English Language and Literature division in the volumes for 1921–25; English VIII and IX in the volumes for 1926–56; English VII and VIII in the volumes for 1957–80; and English Literature/1600–1699 and 1700–1799 sections (as well as any larger chronological section encompassing either century) in the later volumes. Researchers must also check the headings beginning “Eighteenth-Century,” “Enlightenment,” and “Restoration” in the subject index to post-1980 volumes and in the online thesaurus.

Other Bibliographies[edit]

M2255[edit]

The New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature (NCBEL). Vol. 2: 1660–1800. Ed. George Watson. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1971. 2,082 cols. Z2011.N45 [PR83] 016.82.

Digital Bibliography of Eighteenth-Century Literature (DBEL). Ed. Shef Rogers. Miami University. Miami U, Oxford, n.d. 29 Dec. 2014. <http://dbel.muohio.edu/>. In progress.

(For a full discussion of NCBEL, see entry M1385.) Primary works and scholarship are organized in six major divisions (each subdivided and classified as its subject requires): introduction (general works, literary theory, literary relations with the Continent, medieval influences, book production and distribution), poetry (histories, collections, 1660–1700, 1700–50, 1750–1800), drama (theaters and actors, 1660–1700, 1700–50, 1750–1800, adaptations and translations), novel (principal novelists, minor fiction, children’s books), prose (essayists and pamphleteers; periodicals; travel; English-language translations; sport; letters, diaries, autobiographies, and memoirs; religion; history; literary studies; classical and oriental studies; philosophy; science; law; education), and Scottish literature. Vol. 2 of the Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature (M1385a) is still occasionally useful for its coverage of the social and political background (most of which NCBEL drops).

Users must familiarize themselves with the organization, remember that there is considerable unevenness of coverage among sections, and consult the index volume (vol. 5) rather than the provisional index in vol. 2. Reviews: TLS: Times Literary Supplement 15 Oct. 1971: 1296; Eric Rothstein, Modern Philology 71.2 (1973): 176–86.

Much of the data for 1700–1800 (along with some new material prepared for the now defunct CBEL [M1376]) is being incorporated into Digital Bibliography of Eighteenth-Century Literature; the project’s status seems unchanged since 2012.

See also[edit]

Kallendorf, Latin Influences on English Literature from the Middle Ages to the Eighteenth Century (S4895).

Related Topics[edit]

M2260[edit]

Pargellis, Stanley, and D. J. Medley, eds. Bibliography of British History: The Eighteenth Century, 1714–1789. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1951. 642 pp. Z2018.P37 [DA498] 016.94207.

A selective bibliography, with significantly fuller coverage of primary than secondary materials, of publications before 1941 than after, and of books than articles. The 4,558 entries are variously organized under 17 extensively classified divisions: general reference works; political, constitutional, legal, ecclesiastical, economic, military, naval, social, cultural, and local history; Scotland; Ireland; Wales; American Colonies; India; and Historical Manuscripts Commission reports. Annotations are generally descriptive and cite numerous related studies, but many entries lack annotation. Indexed by persons and some subjects. Although now badly dated and marred by an inadequate explanation of selection criteria, the Bibliography is still useful as a starting point for cross-disciplinary research. Entries for pre-1901 publications are included in Bibliography of British and Irish History (M1400). Reviews: E. R. Adair, Canadian Historical Review 32.4 (1951): 384–86; D. B. Horn, English Historical Review 66.261 (1951): 594–97.

Convenient selective bibliographies are Robert A. Smith, Late Georgian and Regency England, 1760–1837 (Cambridge: Cambridge UP for the Conf. on British Studies, 1984; 114 pp.; Conf. on British Studies Bibliog. Handbooks), with coverage through 1980, and William L. Sachse, Restoration England, 1660–1689 (Cambridge: Cambridge UP for the Conf. on British Studies, 1971; 115 pp.; Conf. on British Studies Bibliog. Handbooks), with coverage through 1968.

M2263[edit]

Spector, Robert D., comp. Backgrounds to Restoration and Eighteenth-Century English Literature: An Annotated Bibliographical Guide to Modern Scholarship. New York: Greenwood, 1989. 553 pp. Bibliogs. and Indexes in World Lit. 17. Z2012.S65 [PR441] 016.82′09.

An annotated guide to English-language books and articles published as late as 1987 that are important to the interdisciplinary study of English literature from 1660 to 1800. The entries are listed alphabetically by author in 12 divisions: bibliographies; publishing, printing, and journalism; history and politics; religion; philosophy; science, medicine, and technology; economics; crime and law; society, manners, customs, and attitudes (with sections on the family, on women, on sex, and on race, nationalities, and religion); education and scholarship; language and rhetoric; and literature and the arts (with sections on literary history; satire; music; painting, engraving, and sculpture; architecture, gardening, and decorative arts; and the sister arts). The brief but adequate descriptive annotations frequently incorporate an evaluative comment. Indexed by scholars. Several important works are omitted (while a number of superseded ones are included), the discussion of criteria governing selection and the explanation of scope are completely inadequate, several evaluations are inaccurate, and there are numerous typos; nevertheless, Spector is a starting place for identifying English-language works important to interdisciplinary research.

See also[edit]

Bibliography of British and Irish History (M1400).

Brown and Christie, Bibliography of British History, 1789–1851 (M2515).

Davies, Bibliography of British History: Stuart Period, 1603–1714 (M2045).

Biographical Dictionaries[edit]

Although the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (M1425) remains the standard general source of biographical information for the period, Highfill, Burnim, and Langhans, Biographical Dictionary (M2400), generally offers superior treatment of Restoration and eighteenth-century theatrical personnel (including dramatists who were also actors or managers), and Todd, Dictionary of British and American Women Writers (M2265), provides fuller coverage of female authors.

M2265[edit]

Todd, Janet, ed. A Dictionary of British and American Women Writers, 1660–1800. Totowa: Rowman, 1985. 344 pp. PR113.D5 820′.9′9287.

A biographical dictionary of women who wrote published or unpublished literary or nonliterary works between 1660 and 1800. A writer is entered under her most commonly used name or title, with index entries for a married or family name used in her writing. Entries provide biographical details, a list (usually complete) of known works, and a brief assessment that sometimes includes contemporary critical comments. Unfortunately, unpublished works are not located. Indexed by names, periodicals, and a few subjects; entrants are also indexed in Biography and Genealogy Master Index (J565). Fuller subject indexing—especially of genres—would improve the utility of the work. Although it is selective—especially for authors in prolific nonbelletristic genres—the Dictionary is an indispensable guide to Restoration and eighteenth-century women writers, few of whom are accorded entries in the standard biographical dictionaries such as Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (M1425) and Dictionary of American Biography (Q3380). Of special importance are the numerous discussions of unpublished writers.

Important complements to Todd are Bell, Parfitt, and Shepherd, Biographical Dictionary of English Women Writers, 1580–1720 (M1433a); Todd, British Women Writers (M1433a); Blain, Clements, and Grundy, Feminist Companion to Literature in English (J593); and Schlueter and Schlueter, Encyclopedia of British Women Writers (M1433a).

See also[edit]

Valentine, British Establishment, 1760–1784 (M1425a).

Periodicals[edit]

Guides to Primary Works[edit]

Bibliographies[edit]
M2270[edit]

Crane, R. S., and F. B. Kaye. A Census of British Newspapers and Periodicals, 1620–1800. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 1927. 205 pp. (A reprint of Studies in Philology 24.1 [1927]: 1–205.) Z6956.E5 C8.

A preliminary checklist in two parts: a finding list based on the holdings of 37 United States libraries; a list, compiled largely from other works, of periodicals and newspapers not found in the United States. Organized alphabetically (with cross-references for variant titles), entries supply title, variants, place of publication, beginning and ending dates, editor(s), publisher(s), printer(s), frequency, and (in the first part) locations (occasionally specifying the length of runs). Two indexes: chronological; geographic (excluding London). Compiled largely from institutional reports and published bibliographies, the Census is not comprehensive, and many entries are inaccurate or incomplete. As the fullest single list of newspapers and periodicals of the period, it remains a useful preliminary guide, but it has been superseded by the union lists in section K: Periodicals for locations and by the following for various periods:

  • Nelson and Seccombe, British Newspapers and Periodicals, 1641–1700 (M2060).
  • Ward, Index and Finding List of Serials Published in the British Isles, 1789–1832 (M2535).

A second edition was planned but never published, but several additions and corrections by J. G. Muddiman et al. appear as “The History and Bibliography of English Newspapers,” Notes and Queries 3 Jan. 1931: 3–6; 10 Jan. 1931: 21–24; 17 Jan. 1931: 40–43; 24 Jan. 1931: 57–59; 7 Mar. 1931: 174–75; 21 Mar. 1931: 207–09; 28 Mar. 1931: 227–30; 11 Apr. 1931: 264; 25 Apr. 1931: 298–300; 9 May 1931: 336–38; 23 May 1931: 375–76; 30 May 1931: 391; 20 June 1931: 442–43; 7 Nov. 1931: 337. Several periodicals are reproduced in two microfilm series published by University Microfilms International: Early British Periodicals, 1681–1921 and English Literary Periodicals, 1681–1914. Review: Walter Graham, JEGP: Journal of English and Germanic Philology 28.2 (1929): 303–07.

James E. Tierney is preparing A Digital Catalogue of Eighteenth-Century British Periodicals, which will include all extant periodicals published in England, Scotland, and Ireland.

See also[edit]

Sec. K: Periodicals/Union Lists.

Bibliography of British Newspapers (M1440).

Sullivan, British Literary Magazines, vols. 1–2 (M1445).

Indexes[edit]

James E. Tierney is compiling A Digital Index to British Periodicals, 1660–1800, which will allow searches of the contents of c. 100 periodicals by authors, editors, publishers, printers, booksellers, genre, price, and frequency of publication.

M2275[edit]

Forster, Antonia. Index to Book Reviews in England, 1749–1774. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1990. 307 pp. Index to Book Reviews in England, 1775–1800. London: British Lib., 1997. 490 pp. Z1035.A1 F67 028.1′0942.

An index to reviews of poetry, fiction, and drama that appear in 16 English periodicals between 1749 and 1774 and 27 between 1775 and 1800. Excludes newspapers and reviews of dramatic productions. The 8,007 entries are listed alphabetically by author, translator, adapter, or anonymous title of the work reviewed, with cross-references for original authors of translated works or adaptations; a female is entered under her most generally used surname. A typical entry cites title, place and date of publication, format, price, bookseller, location of copy examined, and reviews. For most works, the title, place of publication, and date are based on personal examination of a copy; format, price, and bookseller are taken from the reviews. The introductions examine the theory and practice of reviewing during the respective periods. Although restricted to reviews of literary works in 43 periodicals, the Index is an invaluable source for locating reviews and studying the critical reception of belles lettres during the latter half of the eighteenth century. Review: (1749–1774) James G. Basker, Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography ns 4.2-3 (1990): 148–50.

M2280[edit]

Ward, William S., comp. Literary Reviews in British Periodicals, 1789–1797: A Bibliography: With a Supplementary List of General (Non-review) Articles on Literary Subjects. New York: Garland, 1979. 342 pp. Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 172. Z2013.W36 [PR442] 016.820′9′006.

A bibliography of reviews of books published between 1789 and 1797 by British and American literary authors. Works reviewed are organized alphabetically by author, then chronologically by date of publication, followed by reviews listed alphabetically by periodical title. Nonreview articles are divided among five appendixes: (A) general articles on contemporary authors and works; (B, which consists of five separate lists) volumes of general and genre criticism reviewed, general criticism, and articles on poetry, fiction, and drama and theater; (C) reviews of studies of contemporary authors and their works; (D) reviews of books and articles dealing with selected authors before 1789 (with separate sections for Shakespeare, Milton, Pope, and Johnson); (E) reviews of operas and musical dramas. The preface offers some general suggestions for further research. An essential source for investigating the contemporary critical reception of an author or work and for locating early criticism. Continued by Ward, Literary Reviews in British Periodicals, 1798–1820 and 1821–1826 (M2550).

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism[edit]

See James E. Tierney, “The Study of the Eighteenth-Century British Periodical,” Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 69.2 (1975): 165–86, for an assessment of the state of scholarship that surveys reference works, editions, and critical and historical studies; comments on difficulties researchers face; and offers detailed suggestions for topics needing investigation.

M2285[edit]

Weed, Katherine Kirtley, and Richmond Pugh Bond. Studies of British Newspapers and Periodicals from Their Beginning to 1800: A Bibliography. Studies in Philology extra ser. 2. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 1946. 233 pp. P25.S82 no.2.

A bibliography of studies (essentially through 1940, but with some as late as 1945) of serials published through 1800 in Great Britain and a few other countries. The approximately 2,100 entries are organized alphabetically in seven divisions: bibliographies and bibliographical studies; corantos, newsbooks, and newsletters; general studies; works on individual newspapers and periodicals, editors, authors, publishers, towns, and counties (classified by newspaper, editor, etc.); subjects; newspapers and periodicals in Europe (classified by country); newspapers and periodicals in North America (classified by country, then province or state). The last three divisions are highly selective. Several entries are accompanied by brief descriptive annotations, which include citations to selected reviews. Indexed by authors (excluding those who appear as a heading in the fourth division). Although the work is badly dated, its coverage of pre-1941 scholarship on serials published before 1789 remains unsuperseded. For studies of periodicals published after 1789, see Ward, British Periodicals and Newspapers, 1789–1832 (M2565). New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature (M2255) and Linton and Boston, Newspaper Press in Britain (M1455), offer the best coverage of post-1940 scholarship. Review: Donald F. Bond, Modern Philology 45.1 (1947): 65–66.

See also[edit]

White, English Literary Journal to 1900 (M1460).

Genres[edit]

Several works in sections L: Genres and M: English Literature/General/Genres are useful for research in Restoration and eighteenth-century English literature.

Fiction[edit]

Some works in sections L: Genres/Fiction and M: English Literature/General/Genres/Fiction are useful for research in Restoration and eighteenth-century fiction.

Histories and Surveys[edit]
See[edit]

Baker, History of the English Novel, vols. 3–5 (M1505).

Salzman, English Prose Fiction, 1558–1700 (M2090).

Literary Handbooks, Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias[edit]
See[edit]

Dictionary of British Literary Characters: 18th- and 19th-Century Novels (M1507).

Guides to Primary Works[edit]
Bibliographies and Indexes[edit]
= M2320 =[edit]

Beasley, Jerry C., comp. A Check List of Prose Fiction Published in England, 1740–1749. Charlottesville: UP of Virginia for the Bibliog. Soc. of the U of Virginia, 1972. 213 pp. Z2014.F4 B37 016.823′5′08.

An enumerative bibliography of original works, reprints, and English translations that continues McBurney, Check List of English Prose Fiction, 1700–1739 (M2325). Although admitting histories, lives, voyages, or collections of letters with a narrative line, Beasley excludes chapbooks, jestbooks, and magazine fiction (for the last, see Mayo, “Catalogue of Magazine Novels” [M2330]). Works are organized by year of initial publication; under each year are separate alphabetical lists of anonymous publications, works of known authorship, and translations. A typical entry includes author, short title, imprint, pagination or number of volumes, format, price, location of at least one copy, a descriptive annotation that identifies subject matter and type of work, and a list of subsequent editions through 1749. Appendixes list unverified editions of authentic works and unauthenticated titles. Indexed by titles, authors, and members of the book trade. Although limited to a decade, Check List of Prose Fiction is an accurate source for identifying works by subject or type, locating copies, and studying the environment of some of the major novels of the century. Several works are available on microfilm in Early British Fiction: Pre-1750 (Woodbridge: Research, 1980). Beasley’s checklist is complemented by his analysis of narrative forms in Novels of the 1740s (Athens: U of Georgia P, 1982; 238 pp.).

= M2325 =[edit]

McBurney, William Harlin, comp. A Check List of English Prose Fiction, 1700–1739. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1960. 154 pp. Z2014.F4 M3 016.8235.

A bibliography of fictional prose narratives by English writers or translators first published in England between 1700 and 1739. McBurney omits reprints of earlier fiction, chapbooks, jestbooks, pamphlets, and periodical fiction. Works are listed chronologically by year of first publication; under each year are sections for original works and translations, each organized alphabetically by author or title of anonymous work. A typical entry includes author, complete title, imprint, pagination, format, price, location of at least one copy, translator and original title (for translations), miscellaneous notes, and a chronological list of subsequent editions through 1739. Dubious or unauthenticated titles occupy a separate section at the back. Indexed by authors, titles, translators, printers, publishers, and booksellers. The selection policy could be clearer and transcriptions more accurate, but McBurney is the standard bibliography for identifying and locating works, establishing the fictional environment of a novel, and charting trends in fiction (although the last two tasks are made difficult because subsequent editions are not cross-referenced to years of publication and because periodical fiction and reprints of pre-1700 works are excluded). Reviews: Donald F. Bond, Modern Philology 59.3 (1962): 231–34; C. J. Rawson, Notes and Queries ns 9.12 (1962): 468–71; Andrew Wright, Library 5th ser. 17.3 (1962): 273.

Several titles are available on microfilm in Early British Fiction: Pre-1750 (Woodbridge: Research, 1980). Continued by Beasley, Check List of Prose Fiction Published in England, 1740–1749 (M2320).

= M2330 =[edit]

Mayo, Robert D. “A Catalogue of Magazine Novels and Novelettes, 1740–1815.” The English Novel in the Magazines, 1740–1815: With a Catalogue of 1,375 Novels and Novelettes. Evanston: Northwestern UP; London: Oxford UP, 1962. 431–677. PR851.M37 823.09.

A bibliography of narrative prose works of more than 5,000 words printed in serial publications (except newspapers). Includes translations, abridgments of and self-contained excerpts from novels, as well as travels, voyages, biographies, and histories that are predominantly fictional. Works are listed alphabetically by title (with identical texts listed under the title of the first magazine appearance); additions appear on p. 647. Entries identify the periodical, number of parts (and approximate number of words), and, when possible, author or translator, reprints, source, alternative titles, and related works. Users should note that the bibliography is indexed separately in three parts: authors, editors, translators, titles, alternative titles, and series titles; publication date; periodicals. Although not exhaustive, Mayo is the indispensable pioneering guide to fiction previously ignored in histories and bibliographies. Numerous additions and corrections are printed in Edward W. R. Pitcher, Discoveries in Periodicals, 1720–1820: Facts and Fictions (Lewiston: Mellen, 2000; Studies in British and Amer. Magazines 7) 357–421 (a cumulation and expansion of a series of articles and notes published 1976–97). Reviews: Richard D. Altick, Library Quarterly 34.1 (1964): 131–32; J. M. S. Tompkins, Review of English Studies ns 15.58 (1964): 208–10.

= M2335 =[edit]

Raven, James. British Fiction, 1750–1770: A Chronological Check-list of Prose Fiction Printed in Britain and Ireland. Newark: U of Delaware P; London: Assoc. UP, 1987. 349 pp. Z2014.F4 R34 [PR851] 016.823′6′08.

A checklist of editions of prose fiction—original works, reprints, and translations extant as well as lost—printed in the British Isles and Ireland between 1750 and 1770. Although emphasizing the novel, British Fiction includes representative examples of imaginary voyages, fictional biographies, and miscellanies; it excludes jestbooks, children’s books, chapbooks, reports of crimes, and serial and magazine fiction. The 1,363 entries are organized by year of actual publication (which sometimes differs from imprint date); under each year, anonymous works are listed alphabetically by title, followed by works of known or attributed authorship (alphabetically by author, with translations listed by original author), and then a selection of miscellanies, imaginary voyages, and fictional biographies. A typical entry includes author, title, imprint, number of pages or volumes, format, price, references to reviews and standard bibliographies, notes on authorship, other editions, cross-references, and locations in selected British and American libraries. Two indexes: authors and translators; titles. Raven is an indispensable source for locating copies and charting trends in prose fiction during the two decades. It must, however, be supplemented with ESTC (M1377).

= M2336 =[edit]

The English Novel, 1770–1829: A Bibliographical Survey of Prose Fiction Published in the British Isles. Ed. Peter Garside, James Raven, and Rainer Schöwerling. 2 vols. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2000. Z2014.F4 E52 [PR851] 016.823′508.

  • Vol. 1: 1770–1799. Ed. Raven and Antonia Forster. 864 pp.
  • Vol. 2: 1800–1829. Ed. Garside and Schöwerling. 753 pp.

A bibliography of first editions of separately published works of English-language fiction printed in Britain and Ireland between 1770 and 1829 (with information on subsequent editions to 1850). Excludes chapbooks, religious tracts, short tales, and works written for young readers. Entries (which are organized chronologically by date in imprint, then alphabetically by title of anonymous work and then author) record full title and imprint, details of authorship attribution, format, price, references to contemporary reviews, locations of copies, call number of copy consulted, and notes (including details of subscription lists, dedications, advertisements, excerpts from reviews, and bibliographical matters; the notes are far more extensive in vol. 1 than in vol. 2, and in both volumes the extensive use of abbreviations inhibits readability). When no copy of the first edition exists, title and publication details are reconstructed from publishing records or later editions. Four indexes: authors and translators; titles; publishers and booksellers; notes (vol. 2 omits this). Based on the actual examination of at least one copy of extant works and boasting an admirably full account of scope and organization, English Novel, 1770–1829 is an invaluable and trustworthy guide to six decades of English fiction.

An important complement to and extension of the 1800–1829 volume is Peter Garside et al., British Fiction, 1800–1829: A Database of Production, Circulation, and Reception (http://www.british-fiction.cf.ac.uk/index.html), which allows users to browse the records by author, title, or publisher and to search by keyword, author and translator, title, gender, place of publication, publisher, publication date, and notes (with the option of restricting a search to titles with advertisements, reviews, contemporary library information, anecdotal information, publishing history, or subscription lists).

English Novel, 1770–1829 supersedes the two existing, but absolutely inadequate, bibliographies covering late-eighteenth-century fiction. Leonard Orr, A Catalogue Checklist of English Prose Fiction, 1750–1800 (Troy: Whitston, 1979; 204 pp.), compiled almost exclusively from other sources, is riddled with errors and omissions. (See the reviews by Edward W. Pitcher, Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography 5.1 [1981]: 56–60, and Jerry C. Beasley, Literary Research Newsletter 5.3 [1980]: 140–47.) Andrew Block, The English Novel, 1740–1850: A Catalogue Including Prose Romances, Short Stories, and Translations of Foreign Fiction, rev. ed. (London: Dawsons, 1961; 349 pp.), is, as Richard Altick points out, “one of the worst such compilations published in modern times—inaccurate, incomplete, wholly dependent on secondary sources and not even using them in any systematic way” (Librarianship and the Pursuit of Truth [New Brunswick: Graduate School of Lib. Science, Rutgers U, 1974] 11). For particulars, see the following reviews: Times Literary Supplement 25 Mar. 1939: 180; Robert A. Colby, Nineteenth-Century Fiction 16.4 (1962): 354–59.

Text Archives[edit]
= M2339 =[edit]

Eighteenth-Century Fiction. Chadwyck-Healey Literature Collections. ProQuest, 1996–2013. 3 Sept. 2013. <http://collections.chadwyck.com/marketing/index.jsp>.

An archive of rekeyed texts of 96 English-language works of fiction published in the British Isles between 1700 and 1780. First editions were selected for inclusion, but some extensively revised works are present in two versions. Selection was done by an editorial board. Simple keyword, title, and author searches can be limited to parts (e.g., front matter, epigraphs) and by publication date, genre, date during an author’s lifetime, gender, nationality, and ethnicity. Searchers can also browse author and title lists of the contents of the database. Results appear in ascending alphabetical order and cannot be re-sorted. Citations (but not the full text) can be marked for e-mailing, downloading, or printing; each citation includes a durable URL to the full text. Some works are rekeyed from textually unsound editions; however, the bibliographic record for each work identifies the source of the text and any omissions (e.g., preliminary matter). Besides being a useful source for identifying an elusive quotation or allusion, Eighteenth-Century Fiction’s text archive makes feasible a variety of kinds of studies (stylistic, thematic, imagistic, and topical).

The contents of Eighteenth-Century Fiction can also be searched through LiOn (I527).

Continued by Nineteenth-Century Fiction (M2663).

= See also =[edit]

Mish, English Prose Fiction, 1600–1700 (M2095).

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism[edit]
M2340[edit]

Letellier, Robert Ignatius. The English Novel, 1660–1700: An Annotated Bibliography. Westport: Greenwood, 1997. 448 pp. Bibliogs. and Indexes in World Lit. 53. Z2014.F4 L46 [PN3491] 016.823′408.

———. The English Novel, 1700–1740: An Annotated Bibliography. Westport: Greenwood, 2002. 625 pp. Bibliogs. and Indexes in World Lit. 56. Z2014.F4 L47 [PR851] 016.823′508.

Annotated bibliographies of editions and studies of prose fiction in English (including translations) published between 1660 and 1740. The 3,138 entries (through 1995 in 1660–1700, through 1997 or 1999—depending on the section—in 1700–1740) are organized in sections for bibliographies (including far too many works only tangentially related to the subject), anthologies, general studies, and individual authors. Entries for authors include sections for primary works, editions, bibliographies, and criticism (for many authors in 1700–1740 this section includes numerous studies that have no bearing on prose fiction); coverage for some writers (such as Behn, Bunyan, and Defoe) supplements existing bibliographies, and coverage for foreign writers is appropriately limited to discussions of English translations. Each volume concludes with a chronological list of fiction and two indexes: scholars; subjects. With full and informative annotations (though some are commentary and others, summary) and only a few studies listed as unseen, English Novel, 1660–1700 and 1700–1740 offer the most current, thorough guide to scholarship on fiction of the period.

For 1660–1740, Letellier’s two volumes supersede Jerry C. Beasley, English Fiction, 1660–1800: A Guide to Information Sources (Detroit: Gale, 1978; 313 pp.; Amer. Lit., English Lit., and World Lits. in English: An Information Guide Ser. 14), a highly selective annotated bibliography restricted largely to English-language scholarship published through the mid-1970s, and H. George Hahn and Carl Behm III, The Eighteenth-Century British Novel and Its Background: An Annotated Bibliography and Guide to Topics (Metuchen: Scarecrow, 1985; 392 pp.), which combines inadequate annotations with an unsuccessful attempt to index scholarship through 1984 by topic.

M2345[edit]

Spector, Robert Donald. The English Gothic: A Bibliographic Guide to Writers from Horace Walpole to Mary Shelley. Westport: Greenwood, 1984. 269 pp. Z2014.H67 S66 [PR830.T3] 016.823′0872′09.

An evaluative survey of the most important English-language publications on the genre and major authors. After a lengthy introduction that treats the definition and development of the genre, an initial chapter examines bibliographies; genre, influence, and critical reception studies; and scholarship on several minor writers. The remaining four chapters range beyond Gothic fiction in evaluating biographies, editions, and scholarship on pairs of related authors: Walpole and Reeve, Charlotte Smith and Radcliffe, Lewis and Beckford, Maturin and Mary Shelley. The index of subjects and authors is seriously marred by inconsistencies and numerous omissions. Although highly selective and inadequately indexed, English Gothic is valuable for its extensive evaluations of studies and surveys of critical trends.

Less selective but provisionally complete through only 1971 is Dan J. McNutt, The Eighteenth-Century Gothic Novel: An Annotated Bibliography of Criticism and Selected Texts (New York: Garland, 1975; 330 pp.). There are numerous omissions in the background sections; foreign language studies are relegated (unannotated) to an appendix; and the indexing is inadequate. Nevertheless, the clearly annotated entries include studies omitted by Spector.

See also[edit]

Frank, Guide to the Gothic (L875).

Drama and Theater[edit]

Many works in sections L: Genres/Drama and Theater and M: English Literature/General/Genres/Drama and Theater are useful to research in Restoration and eighteenth-century drama and theater.

Histories and Surveys[edit]
M2355[edit]

Hume, Robert D. The Development of English Drama in the Late Seventeenth Century. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1976. 525 pp. PR691.H8 822′.4′09.

A study of the development of the drama from 1660 to 1710 in two parts: an examination of the dramatic types in theory and practice; and a decade-by-decade analysis of theatrical fashions, particularly as they are influenced by political and social change. Two indexes: names and subjects; plays. A provocative, scholarly work on a neglected period of the drama, but Hume’s categorization of types of plays and individual readings have elicited some controversy. Reviews: Anne Barton, TLS: Times Literary Supplement 10 Sept. 1976: 1110–11; Maximillian E. Novak, Eighteenth-Century Studies 10.4 (1977): 512–16; Eric Rothstein, Modern Language Quarterly 38.2 (1977): 191–94.

M2360[edit]

Nicoll, Allardyce. Restoration Drama, 1660–1700. 4th ed. Early Eighteenth Century Drama. 3rd ed. Late Eighteenth Century Drama, 1750–1800. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1952. Vols. 1–3 of A History of English Drama, 1660–1900 (M1525). PR625.N52 822.09.

Emphasizing the history of the stage and dramatic forms, each volume includes chapters on the theater, tragedy, comedy, and (except vol. 1) miscellaneous dramatic forms. Appendixes treat playhouses and government documents related to the stage. Each volume concludes with an author list of plays, operas, and other dramatic forms written during the period, with information on performances, printed editions, and manuscripts (although the last are sketchily treated). Revisions that could not be incorporated readily into the text are printed as supplementary sections. Indexed by persons and subjects; the lists of plays (excluding most Italian operas and “the repertoire of the French and Italian comedians”) are indexed and supplemented in vol. 6 (entry M1545). (Further additions are printed in Raymond A. Biswanger, Jr., “Additions to Allardyce Nicoll’s ‘Hand-List of Plays, 1700–1750,’” Restoration and 18th Century Theatre Research 15.1 [1976]: 46–60; 15.2: 60.) Although in need of updating (most notably by reference to London Stage, 1660–1800 [M2370]), the volumes contain a wealth of information not available elsewhere and the most complete bibliographies of dramatic works for the period.

See also[edit]

Revels History of Drama in English (M1530).

Annals[edit]
See[edit]

Harbage, Annals of English Drama, 975–1700 (M1535).

Guides to Primary Works[edit]
M2370[edit]

The London Stage, 1660–1800: A Calendar of Plays, Entertainments, and Afterpieces Together with Casts, Box-Receipts, and Contemporary Comment: Compiled from the Playbills, Newspapers, and Theatrical Diaries of the Period. 5 pts. and index in 12 vols. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1960–79. PN1582.G72 L65 792′.09421.

  • Part 1: 1660–1700. Ed. William Van Lennep. 1965. 532 pp. (A revision by Judith Milhous and Robert D. Hume is in progress.)
  • Part 2: 1700–1729. 2 vols. Ed. Emmett L. Avery. 1960. (A revision by Milhous and Hume is in progress; a draft of the 1700–11 calendar is available at http://www.personal.psu.edu/faculty/h/b/hb1/London%20Stage%202001.)
  • Part 3: 1729–1747. 2 vols. Ed. Arthur H. Scouten. 1961.
  • Part 4: 1747–1776. 3 vols. Ed. George Winchester Stone, Jr. 1962.
  • Part 5: 1776–1800. 3 vols. Ed. Charles Beecher Hogan. 1968.
  • Index to The London Stage , 1660–1800. Comp. Ben Ross Schneider, Jr. 1979. 939 pp.

A calendar of spoken and in some instances sung dramatic entertainments, organized by theatrical season and then by date of performance. A typical entry identifies date, theater, title, afterpiece, cast (a full list for the initial performance, with changes noted for subsequent ones), prologues, epilogues, dancing, singing, music, or other entertainment; a concluding section notes “benefits, requests for particular plays, box office receipts, the presence of royalty and other persons named in the bills, and references to or quotations from contemporary documents which throw light upon the evening’s whole entertainment.” Entries vary in fullness, depending on the available information.

Each season is prefaced by a brief summary, and each part begins with an extensive general introduction that typically examines the playhouses and their organization, finances, management, advertising, costumes, scenery, repertory, players, music, production details, audience, and contemporary criticism. (These important introductions have been separately published as The London Stage, 5 vols. [Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP; London: Feffer, 1968].)

Entries—but not the introductions—are indexed by titles, names, places, theaters, and some subjects in Schneider’s Index, which cumulates and expands the index in each volume; however, the index volume must be used very cautiously, since there are innumerable errors and misidentifications. (For important strictures on the use of the Index, see Langhans’s review.)

Users must remember that (1) completeness and accuracy vary markedly from part to part; (2) editorial policy changes somewhat from part to part; (3) performance records are very incomplete in the early years; (4) before 1705, dates are frequently those of publication rather than performance; (5) an advertised play or entertainment was not necessarily performed or acted by the announced cast; (6) many additions and corrections have been made (see, for example, William J. Burling and Hume, “Theatrical Companies at the Little Haymarket, 1720–1737,” Essays in Theatre 4.2 [1986]: 98–118; Burling, Checklist of New Plays [M2377]; Burling, “New London Cast Listings, 1696–1737, with Other Additions and Corrections to The London Stage,” Theatre Notebook 51.1 [1997]: 42–54; Rob Jordan, “An Addendum to The London Stage, 1660–1700,” Theatre Notebook 47.2 [1993]: 62–75; and the following by Milhous and Hume in Harvard Library Bulletin: “Dating Play Premières from Publication Data,” 22.4 [1974]: 374–405; “Lost English Plays, 1660–1700,” 25.1 [1977]: 5–33; and “Attribution Problems in English Drama, 1660–1700,” 31.1 [1983]: 5–39). The revisions of pts. 1 and 2 will be based on a fresh examination of the primary sources, add several fringe performances, include texts or summaries of a substantial number of ancillary documents, distinguish among performers with the same name, and index fully all actors and actresses by role.

Despite its flaws, London Stage is an indispensable source for research on theater and stage history, repertory, acting careers, theater personnel, trends in drama, reception history—in short, on nearly every aspect of the drama and stage of the period. Important advice on the use of the work is offered by Hume, “Theatre History, 1660–1800: Aims, Materials, Methodology” (M2385a). Researchers must also consult Highfill, Burnim, and Langhans, Biographical Dictionary (M2400), whose entries make numerous corrections and additions to London Stage. Until the revisions of pts. 1 and 2 are published, scholars should also see Milhous and Hume, Register of English Theatrical Documents (M2380). Reviews: (pt. 1) Arthur Sherbo, JEGP: Journal of English and Germanic Philology 65.1 (1966): 194–96; (pt. 2) Sherbo, 60.2 (1961): 299–305; (pt. 3) Sherbo, 61.4 (1962): 926–31; (pt. 4) Sherbo, 63.2 (1964): 365–69; (pt. 5) Hume, Philological Quarterly 50.3 (1971): 389–90; (index) Edward A. Langhans, Eighteenth-Century Studies 14.1 (1980): 72–78 (including a list of entries in the Biographical Dictionary [M2400] corrected by the Index).

M2375[edit]

Bowers, Fredson. A Bibliography of the English Printed Drama, 1660–1700. Temporarily suspended.

A descriptive bibliography of all editions, impressions, issues, and states of plays published between 1660 and 1700 that are excluded from Greg, Bibliography of the English Printed Drama (M2135). Titles are arranged according to date of publication. Each entry provides a full bibliographical description based on personal examination of multiple copies, with extensive notes on printing, dating, advertisements, and identification of printers. Indexes include printers, publishers, dedicatees, writers of prologues and epilogues, first lines of epilogues and prologues, and first lines of songs. Since Bowers’s death, David L. Vander Meulen (Dept. of English, U of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4121) has custody of the project until a suitable successor can be found.

M2377[edit]

Burling, William J. A Checklist of New Plays and Entertainments on the London Stage, 1700–1737. Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson UP; London: Assoc. UP, 1993. 235 pp. PN2596.L6 B84 792′.09421′09033.

A chronological checklist—keyed to London Stage (M2370)—of plays, pantomimes, operas, ballad-operas, farces, afterpieces, and other entertainments first performed in London between 1700 and 1737. A typical entry includes “date of premiere, venue, title, author(s) or attribution, type of play (genre), printer or publisher, date of publication, and notes . . . on attribution, performance history, or secondary studies.” The introduction offers a refreshingly clear explanation of scope and parts of an entry. Concludes with two appendixes: entertainments at minor London venues (such as taverns, fairs, and minor playhouses); plays not produced. Indexed by authors, titles, and subtitles. Combining a thorough synthesis of standard sources and recent scholarship with a fresh examination of primary sources—especially London newspapers—Checklist of New Plays complements (and frequently corrects) London Stage and offers an invaluable conspectus that makes feasible the systematic study of trends in and the milieu of London theatrical activity 1700–37.

M2380[edit]

Milhous, Judith, and Robert D. Hume, comps. and eds. A Register of English Theatrical Documents, 1660–1737. 2 vols. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1991. Z6611.T28 M55 [PN2599] 016.792′0942′09032.

A chronological calendar of manuscript and printed documents related to the management and regulation of the theater, principally in London, from 1660 through 1737. Entries are organized by theatrical season, then by date (but users must study the introductory discussion of how certain kinds of documents, such as lawsuits, are dated). Each entry provides date, location, title (descriptive in the case of manuscripts), description of content (with a full transcription in many instances; some documents will be printed in full or excerpted in the revision of pts. 1 and 2 of London Stage [M2370]), and notes (amplifying location information, giving bibliographical details for printed works, and referring to other copies, published transcriptions, or scholarship). Four appendixes list undatable bills from Drury Lane (1714–16), documents spanning more than one season, documents misdated by earlier authorities, and Chancery suits by Public Record Office number. Indexed by persons, subjects, and play titles. An outgrowth of the editors’ revision of London Stage, 1660–1800, pts. 1–2, the work is an invaluable compilation that carefully describes and locates a mass of widely scattered documents, corrects numerous published accounts, and adds much that is new. By ordering what is known, the Register should stimulate the identification and publication of additional material.

See also[edit]

Nicoll, History of English Drama, vols. 1–3 (M2360).

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism[edit]
Surveys of Research[edit]
= M2385 =[edit]

Hume, Robert D. “English Drama and Theatre, 1660–1800: New Directions in Research.” Theatre Survey 23.1 (1982): 71–100. PN2000.T716.

A summary of the state of scholarship, with evaluations of reference works, bibliographies, critical studies, and histories; comments on research methodologies; and valuable suggestions for further research (many of which have not been taken up).

Additional suggestions for research and important advice on the use of London Stage (M2370) and Highfill, Burnim, and Langhans, Biographical Dictionary (M2400), can be found in Hume, “Theatre History, 1660–1800: Aims, Materials, Methodology,” Players, Playwrights, Playhouses: Investigating Performance, 1660–1800, ed. Michael Cordner and Peter Holland (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2007; Redefining British Theatre Hist.) 9–44.

Serial Bibliographies[edit]
= M2387 =[edit]

“Restoration and 18th Century Theatre Research Bibliography, [1961–75].” Restoration and 18th Century Theatre Research 1–15 (1962–76). PN2592.R46 792.

A descriptively annotated subject bibliography that resurfaced briefly as the unannotated “Selective Bibliography, [1986–90]” (2nd ser. 4.2–6.2 [1989–91]), but with no explanation of the criteria governing selection. The bibliographies for 1961–67 are incorporated into Stratman, Spencer, and Devine, Restoration and Eighteenth Century Theatre Research (M2395), and are cumulated in Carl J. Stratman, C. S. V., ed., and Edmund A. Napieralski and Jean E. Westbrook, comps., Restoration and 18th Century Theatre Research Bibliography, 1961–1968 (Troy: Whitston, 1969; 241 pp.). Although subject headings are not as refined as they might be and coverage is not comprehensive, this work is a useful complement to ECCB: The Eighteenth Century Current Bibliography (M2245) and the serial bibliographies and indexes in section G.

Other Bibliographies[edit]
= M2390 =[edit]

Link, Frederick M. English Drama, 1660–1800: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale, 1976. 374 pp. Amer. Lit., English Lit., and World Lits. in English: An Information Guide Ser. 9. Z2014.D7 L55 [PR701] 016.822.

A selective survey of “every substantial book and article” through 1973 (along with a few from 1974). The emphasis is on English-language studies, and researchers must read the prefatory list of topics excluded before consulting the guide. Unlike other volumes in the series, this one consists of a series of surveys of research in two divisions. The first examines general works in sections for reference works, collections, playhouses and audience, biography, dramatic theory, history of drama, general criticism, and antecedents and influences. The second treats a variety of playwrights, major and minor. The commentary tends toward brief description, with occasional incisive evaluations and perceptive suggestions for research. The format—more effective for the treatment of individual authors than for general topics—does not accommodate scanning. Two indexes: persons; play titles. Accuracy, judicious selectivity and evaluation, clear organization, and broad coverage make English Drama, 1660–1800 a useful starting point, especially for minor writers, but it must be supplemented by Stratman, Spencer, and Devine, Restoration and Eighteenth Century Theatre Research (M2395); ECCB: The Eighteenth Century Current Bibliography (M2245); and Year’s Work in English Studies (G330). Review: David Mann, Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography 1.3 (1977): 246–50.

= M2395 =[edit]

Stratman, Carl J., C. S. V., David G. Spencer, and Mary Elizabeth Devine, eds. Restoration and Eighteenth Century Theatre Research: A Bibliographical Guide, 1900–1968. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP; London: Feffer, 1971. 811 pp. Z2014.D7 S854 016.822′5′09.

An annotated bibliography of editions and studies (including dissertations and master’s theses) through 1967 on all aspects of drama and theater in the British Isles. The approximately 6,000 entries are listed chronologically under 780 alphabetically arranged subject headings, with those for playwrights having separate lists of editions and studies. By the editors’ count, 81.6% of the entries are descriptively annotated. The work is indexed by persons and subject headings, but because of the insufficiently refined headings and lack of cross-references, it is difficult to locate studies of specific topics. The numerous errors and omissions make this an untrustworthy source, yet it offers the most extensive single list of scholarship on the topic. Reviews: Hilbert H. Campbell, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 67.2 (1973): 200–03; D. F. McKenzie, Notes and Queries ns 21.6 (1974): 237–39; Geoffrey Marshall, Seventeenth-Century News 31.1 (1973): 18–19.

This work incorporates the “Restoration and 18th Century Theatre Research Bibliography for [1961–67]” (M2387); for post-1967 publications, see “Restoration and 18th Century Theatre Research Bibliography” (M2387); “Some Current Publications,” Restoration (M2250); ECCB: The Eighteenth Century Current Bibliography (M2245); “Recent Studies in the Restoration and Eighteenth Century” (M2240); and the serial bibliographies and indexes in section G. For a selective bibliography, see Link, English Drama, 1660–1800 (M2390).

= See also =[edit]

“Restoration and 18th Century Theatre Research Bibliography” (M2387).

Biographical Dictionaries[edit]
M2400[edit]

Highfill, Philip H., Jr., Kalman A. Burnim, and Edward A. Langhans. A Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Actresses, Musicians, Dancers, Managers, and Other Stage Personnel in London, 1660–1800. 16 vols. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1973–93. PN2597.H5 790.2′092′2.

A biographical dictionary of about 8,500 persons (and some animals) associated with professional dramatic entertainments. Entries include “actors and actresses, dancers, singers, instrumental musicians, scene painters, machinists, management officials, prompters, acrobats, contortionists, pyrotechnists, magicians, dwarfs, freaks, animal trainers, strong men, public orators, mimics, dressers, callers, concessionaires, and also members of certain trades operating on salary and within the physical confines of the theatres—such employees as tailors, carpenters, and barbers.” Excludes dramatists except those who were also actors, managers, or otherwise connected with the theater. The informative, well-written entries, which vary from a single line to more than a hundred pages and include at least one portrait if any exists, are based on extensive research in primary sources. Although many biographies are the most authoritative available, entries lack full documentation—the only major flaw and one that will not be rectified by a bibliography volume. There are omissions and errors (but the majority of corrections and additions have come to light only because of the publication of the biographies); nevertheless, the Biographical Dictionary is undeniably a major achievement that, along with London Stage (M2370), has stimulated much research. Important advice on the use of the dictionary is offered by Hume, “Theatre History, 1660–1800: Aims, Materials, Methodology” (M2385a). For an entertaining account of the research undergirding the Biographical Dictionary, see Highfill, “A Peep behind the Curtain: Mass Theatrical Biography,” In Search of Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Theatrical Biography, by George Winchester Stone, Jr., and Highfill (Los Angeles: William Andrews Clark Memorial Lib., 1976) 33–66. Reviews: (vols. 1–2) Robert D. Hume, Eighteenth-Century Studies 8.4 (1975): 510–17; (vols. 3–4) Judith Milhous, Eighteenth Century: A Current Bibliography ns 2 (1976): 162–65.

Poetry[edit]

Some works in sections L: Genres/Poetry and M: English Literature/General/Genres/Poetry are useful for research in Restoration and eighteenth-century English poetry.

Histories and Surveys[edit]
M2410[edit]

Rothstein, Eric. Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Poetry, 1660–1780. Boston: Routledge, 1981. 242 pp. Vol. 3 of The Routledge History of English Poetry. R. A. Foakes, gen. ed. PR502.R58 [PR561] 821′.009.

A critical history that emphasizes the continuity of the period in chapters on poetry (1660–1720), style, uses of the past, and poetry (1720–80). A chronology features commentary on principal poems and collections by minor poets and summaries of important historical events, especially political ones. Indexed by authors and anonymous works. Although sometimes lapsing into dense lists of authors and poems, the volume is overall an intelligent, well-organized, authoritative treatment of both major and minor writers. Reviews: John M. Aden, Eighteenth Century: A Current Bibliography ns 7 (for 1981): 371–72; James Engell, Modern Philology 79.4 (1982): 438–41.

Guides to Primary Works[edit]
M2415[edit]

Foxon, D. F. English Verse, 1701–1750: A Catalogue of Separately Printed Poems with Notes on Contemporary Collected Editions. 2 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1975. Z2014.P7 F69 [PR551] 016.821.

A short-title catalog of separately published verse, translations, and collections by a single author, in any language, written and printed between 1701 and 1750 in the British Isles. Since Foxon is not a catalog of all poems written and printed during the period, it excludes miscellanies (see Case, Bibliography of English Poetical Miscellanies [M2180]), periodical verse, popular broadside ballads, slip songs, chapbooks, engraved sheets with music or cartoons, oratorios, and libretti (but see vol. 1, pp. xii–xiii, for some exceptions). Entries are listed alphabetically by author, translator, or title of anonymous work; under each author, collected editions are listed chronologically, with separately published poems following in alphabetical order. An entry for a single work includes short title, imprint, collation, bibliographical notes (which distinguish editions, issues, impressions, or states; describe watermark; and cite standard bibliographies), first line, notes on authorship and subject matter, and locations (up to five libraries in the British Isles and five in the United States). Collected editions receive abbreviated descriptions. Six indexes: first lines; first editions (listed chronologically); imprints; bibliographical notes; epithets describing authors of anonymous books; subjects (including forms and genres). Inevitably there are omissions, but the accuracy and detail of the descriptions (based almost exclusively on personal examination of multiple copies) make this an indispensable source for textual study, publishing history, and the identification and location of editions. Thorough coverage, detailed indexes (which open new approaches to the poetry), and numerous attributions render this a landmark catalog that lays the groundwork for definitive studies. For some additions and corrections, see Bryan Coleborne, “Some Notes on D. F. Foxon’s English Verse, 1701–1750,” Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand Bulletin 7.2 (1983): 45–48, as well as the following reviews: L. J. Harris, Library 5th ser. 31.2 (1976): 158–64; James Woolley, Modern Philology 75.1 (1977): 59–73.

M2420[edit]

Jackson, J. R. de J. Jackson Bibliography of Romantic Poetry. University of Toronto Libraries. U of Toronto Libs., n.d. 11 Dec. 2012. <http://jacksonbibliography.library.utoronto.ca/index.cfm>.

A database that expands Jackson’s Annals of English Verse, 1770–1835: A Preliminary Survey of the Volumes Published (New York: Garland, 1985; 709 pp.; Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 535) and Romantic Poetry by Women: A Bibliography, 1770–1835 (Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1993; 484 pp.) and that will eventually extend coverage through 1797. Coverage extends to English-language volumes of poems and verse drama (of at least nine pages) and of prose and verse (with at least nine pages of the latter) and English-language translations originally published between 1770 and 1835 throughout the world. Jackson excludes hymnbooks (except for some that print original hymns), books of songs not intended to be read, periodicals and annuals, reprints and new editions of works originally published before 1770, broadsides, and most chapbooks. Entries—which record author, title, editor or translator, publication information, edition if other than the first, format (i.e., size of page), number of volumes, pagination for single-volume works, price, source(s) of the citation, libraries, shelf mark, and notes—can be searched by keyword (including edition, format, and price), author, title, date, publisher, place, and library. Results can be sorted by date, author, or title (all ascending). Records must be printed individually by using a Web browser’s print function.

Compiled from personal examination of many copies as well as standard reference works and offering a clear account of scope and editorial procedure, Jackson Bibliography is the best resource for identifying a volume of verse originally published within its chronological scope, for situating a volume in its literary context, and for differentiating editions (especially of minor works); however, because Jackson Bibliography cannot be searched by gender, Romantic Poetry by Women remains useful for identifying poetry by females and locating frequently elusive volumes. For the period 1770–1800, researchers should also consult ESTC (M1377).

See also[edit]

Case, Bibliography of English Poetical Miscellanies (M2180).

Crum, First-Line Index of English Poetry, 1500–1800 (M1590).

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism[edit]
M2425[edit]

Mell, Donald C., Jr. English Poetry, 1660–1800: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale, 1982. 501 pp. Amer. Lit., English Lit., and World Lits. in English: An Information Guide Ser. 40. Z2014.P7 M44 [PR551] 016.821.

A selective bibliography of English-language scholarship (primarily from the 1930s through 1979) organized in two divisions: general studies and individual authors. The first lists works in three classified sections: reference materials; background studies of English literature, 1660–1800; and general studies of poetry, 1660–1800 (with subsections for themes, genres, poetic forms and structures, and language and versification). The second is devoted to 31 poets, each with separate lists of major editions; correspondence; bibliographies, textual studies, and concordances; collections of studies; biographical works; and critical studies. Annotations to the 2,264 entries are occasionally evaluative (but not always reliably so). Indexed by persons and titles of works listed. The established canon is emphasized, and subject indexing is lacking; nonetheless, the judicious selection of studies and clear annotations make his work, as Mell says, “imperfect yet useful.” Review: David L. Vander Meulen, Literary Research Newsletter 9.1 (1984): 29–31.

A useful complement, especially for its evaluations and coverage of studies through 1987, is David Nokes and Janet Barron, An Annotated Critical Bibliography of Augustan Poetry (Hemel Hempstead: Harvester; New York: St. Martin’s, 1989; 158 pp.; Annotated Critical Bibliogs.). Users should note that Nokes and Barron offers a highly selective guide to the most important or representative English-language scholarship; is marred by an organizational scheme that unnecessarily separates books, articles, and parts of books in the generally brief chronological lists under each author; omits Swift since he was to have been the subject of a separate volume in the series; and renders superfluous the needlessly complex entry number system by citing page numbers in the indexes of scholars and literary authors.

See also[edit]

Donow, Sonnet in England and America (L1250).

Kuntz and Martinez, Poetry Explication (L1255).

Martinez, Martinez, and Anderson, Guide to British Poetry Explication, vol. 3 (L1255a).

Prose[edit]

Some works in sections L: Genres/Prose and M: English Literature/General/Genres/Prose are useful for research in Restoration and eighteenth-century prose.

Biography and Autobiography[edit]
Histories and Surveys[edit]
= M2430 =[edit]

Stauffer, Donald A. The Art of Biography in Eighteenth Century England. Princeton: Princeton UP; London: Oxford UP, 1941. 572 pp. Bibliographical Supplement (M2435). 1941. CT34.G7 S67 808.06.

A critical history of eighteenth-century English biography that emphasizes its place in the literature of the period. Chapters are devoted to biography and the drama, biography and the novel, biography and the Romantic spirit, lives of eccentrics and antiquaries, inner life, major biographers, and trends of biography. Indexed by persons and a few titles. Although now dated, this work remains the fullest history of biography during the century. Reviews: James R. Sutherland, Review of English Studies 18.71 (1942): 350–54; René Wellek, Modern Philology 39.4 (1942): 432–36.

Art of Biography continues Stauffer, English Biography before 1700 (M1605). For the Bibliographical Supplement, see entry M2435.

Guides to Primary Works[edit]
= M2435 =[edit]

Stauffer, Donald A. The Art of Biography in Eighteenth Century England: Bibliographical Supplement. Princeton: Princeton UP; London: Oxford UP, 1941. 293 pp. CT34.G7 S67 808.06.

A bibliography of biographies written or translated in England from 1700 through 1800 and of important scholarship on the genre. The bulk of the work consists of an author list of biographies, with cross-references to subjects. Each entry cites editions through 1800, along with an occasional modern one. Works not discussed in the text of Art of Biography in Eighteenth Century England (M2430) are accompanied by a brief description of content or evaluative comment. The second part is a selective list of important studies. Concludes with a chronology of the most important biographies from 1700 through 1800. Although incomplete and including some works more properly classified as fiction, the Supplement remains the most complete list of biographies of the period.

Nineteenth-Century Literature[edit]

Many works listed in section M: English Literature/General are important for research in nineteenth-century literature. See also sections N: Irish Literature; O: Scottish Literature; P: Welsh Literature; and U: Literature-Related Topics and Sources/Children’s Literature.

Research Methods[edit]

M2445[edit]

Keeran, Peggy, and Jennifer Bowers. Literary Research and the British Romantic Era: Strategies and Sources. Lanham: Scarecrow, 2005. 255 pp. Lit. Research: Strategies and Resources 1. (Updates appear at http://www.literaryresearchseries.org.) PR457.K44 820.9′145′072.

A guide to research strategies and reference sources for the scholar working with British Romantic literature (here, 1775–1830). Following an admirably clear explanation of the basics of online searching are chapters on general literary reference sources (including some devoted to individual writers); library catalogs; print and electronic bibliographies, indexes, and annual reviews (again, with some devoted to individual writers); scholarly journals; contemporary reviews; contemporary journals and newspapers; microform and digital collections; manuscripts and archives; and Web resources. A final chapter demonstrates how to use many of the works and strategies previously discussed to develop a research plan. An appendix lists sources in related disciplines. Indexed by titles, authors, and subjects. Describing fully the uses of kinds of reference tools, providing illuminating examples in discussions of key individual resources, detailing techniques for finding kinds of information (including primary works), and illustrating research processes, Literary Research and the British Romantic Era admirably fulfills its intent: “to explain the best practices for conducting research in the British Romantic era and to address the challenges scholars working in this era face.” It sets the benchmark for the volumes to follow in this important series.

M2447[edit]

Van Vuuren, Melissa S. Literary Research and the Victorian and Edwardian Ages, 1830–1910: Strategies and Sources. Lanham: Scarecrow, 2011. 321 pp. Lit. Research: Strategies and Sources 9. (Updates appear at http://www.literaryresearchseries.org.) PR461.V35 820.7′2.

A guide to research strategies and reference sources for the scholar working with Victorian or Edwardian literature. Following an admirably clear explanation of the basics of online searching are chapters on general literary reference sources; library catalogs; print and electronic bibliographies, indexes, and annual reviews; scholarly journals; contemporary reviews and literary magazines; period journals and newspapers; microform and digital collections; manuscripts and archives; and Web resources. The last chapter demonstrates how to use many of the works and strategies previously discussed to develop a research plan (with a lesser-known author writing abroad serving as an example). An appendix lists sources in related disciplines. Several chapters include reference works devoted to single authors. Indexed by authors, titles, and subjects. Describing fully the uses of kinds of reference tools, providing illuminating examples in discussions of key individual resources, detailing techniques for finding kinds of information, illustrating research processes, and perpetuating the high standards reflected by the other volumes in the series, Literary Research and the Victorian and Edwardian Ages is the essential starting point for anyone working with literature of the two periods.

M2450[edit]

Storey, Richard, and Lionel Madden. Primary Sources for Victorian Studies: A Guide to the Location and Use of Unpublished Materials. London: Phillimore, 1977. 81 pp. Storey. Primary Sources for Victorian Studies: An Updating. Leicester: Victorian Studies Centre, U of Leicester, 1987. 38 pp. Occasional Papers in Bibliog. Z2019.S86 [DA550] 016.941081.

A basic guide to the location and use of manuscripts and records. Except for a very brief discussion of guides to collections outside Britain, the work emphasizes British resources in chapters on the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts (F285a) and National Register of Archives (F285a), national repositories, local repositories, general published guides, and special topics (such as art, education, literature, and religious history), terminology, and practical hints to researchers. Indexed by subjects. A clear, practical introduction whose usefulness as a guide to locating and using unpublished materials extends well beyond the Victorian period.

Guides to Reference Works[edit]

M2453[edit]

Propas, Sharon W. Victorian Studies: A Research Guide. 2nd ed. High Wycombe: Rivendale, 2006. 267 pp. Z2019.P76 [DA550] 016.941.

An annotated multidisciplinary guide to reference works published through 2004 that are important to research in the Victorian period (1832–1900) in Great Britain, Ireland, and the British Empire. The 957 entries are organized by ascending date of publication in seven classified divisions: guides and bibliographies; union lists, catalogs, and guides to collections; manuscripts and archives; guides to museums and collections; general reference works; multidisciplinary reference works; works devoted to a specific discipline (including book arts, literature and language, and theater and drama). Indexed by authors, titles, and subjects. Although commendably broad in its coverage, Victorian Studies omits a number of revised editions or supplements published before its cutoff date and is marred by numerous errors in citations and annotations (the latter typically offer unsophisticated descriptions or evaluations).

Histories and Surveys[edit]

M2455[edit]

Jack, Ian. English Literature, 1815–1832. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1963. 643 pp. Vol. 10 of The Oxford History of English Literature (M1310). Bonamy Dobrée, Norman Davis, and F. P. Wilson, gen. eds. (Reprinted in 1990 as vol. 12, with the title English Literature, 1815–1832: Scott, Byron, and Keats.) PR457.J24 820.903.

A history of the period, with chapters on the literary scene in 1815; Byron; Shelley; Keats; Clare and minor poets; the Waverley romances; Peacock; Galt and minor prose fiction; Hazlitt; Lamb; De Quincey; miscellaneous prose; history, biography, and autobiography; the interest in foreign and earlier English literature; and the literary scene in 1832. Includes a chronology and an outdated selective bibliography. Indexed by persons and a few titles. A solid but not critically adventuresome work, whose accuracy, range, lucidity, and clarity of style cause reviewers to rate this work as one of the better Oxford History volumes. Reviews: Geoffrey Carnall, Essays in Criticism 14.3 (1964): 310–18; John Jones, Review of English Studies ns 16.63 (1965): 319–20.

The earlier Romantic writers are treated in a separate, unsatisfactory volume by Renwick (M2460).

M2457[edit]

The Cambridge History of English Romantic Literature. Ed. James Chandler. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2009. 782 pp. New Cambridge Hist. of English Lit. PR146.C355 820.9′007. Online through Cambridge Histories Online (http://histories.cambridge.org).

A collaborative history of English literature from the end of the Enlightenment to the end of the Romantic period in the United Kingdom. The twenty-eight chapters—many written by top scholars in the field—are divided among four parts: the transition from the Enlightenment to Romanticism, the places associated with literary life, forms of writing, and the end of Romanticism. Concludes with a skimpy chronology and a series of “bibliographies” (i.e., lists of works cited in each essay). Indexed by persons, titles, and subjects (the online version omits the index). As in other volumes in the New Cambridge History, there is frequently little sense of relation among the essays, but the roster of contributors will likely make this volume essential reading for Romanticists.

M2460[edit]

Renwick, W. L. English Literature, 1789–1815. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1963. 293 pp. Vol. 9 of The Oxford History of English Literature (M1310). Bonamy Dobrée, Norman Davis, and F. P. Wilson, gen. eds. (Reprinted in 1990 as vol. 11, with the title The Rise of the Romantics, 1789–1815: Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Jane Austen.) PR447.R4 820.903.

Covers the full careers of writers whose “most characteristic work was published between 1789 and 1815” in eight chapters: background of the period; political works; science and travel writing; novels; writers of the early 1790s; Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Southey; Scottish literature; and drama and historical writing. Concludes with a chronology and an outdated bibliography. Indexed (inadequately) by person. A frequently impenetrable style, imbalances in discussions of important figures, and a lack of synthesis make this one of the least successful Oxford History volumes. Reviews: Times Literary Supplement 1 Mar. 1963: 154; Robert Martin Adams, Hudson Review 16.4 (1963–64): 594–600; Anne Kostelanetz, Minnesota Review 4.4 (1964): 532–43.

The later Romantic writers are more adequately treated by Jack, English Literature, 1815–1832 (M2455).

M2462[edit]

Davis, Philip. 1830–1880: The Victorians. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2002. 631 pp. Vol. 8 of The Oxford English Literary History (M1310a). Jonathan Bate, gen. ed. PR85.O96 820.9.

A literary history devoted to the literature of the Victorian era, with chapters on the social and cultural background, nature, religion, the rise of psychology, literary production, the drama, the novel, biography, and poetry. Concludes with a selective bibliography that frequently offers evaluations of editions and studies. Indexed by persons and subjects. Reviews: Josephine Guy, Reviews in History 336 (2003): n. pag.; 11 Dec. 2012; <http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/336>; Herbert F. Tucker, Victorian Studies 47.1 (2004): 95–97.

This volume is meant to replace Turner, English Literature, 1832–1890, Excluding the Novel (M1310a), which favors critical evaluation at the expense of social-historical context, and Horsman, The Victorian Novel (M1310a), which remains useful for writers and works not discussed by Davis.

See also[edit]

Sec. M: English Literature/General/Histories and Surveys.

Literary Handbooks, Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias[edit]

M2463[edit]

Mitchell, Sally, ed. Victorian Britain: An Encyclopedia. New York: Garland, 1988. 986 pp. Garland Reference Lib. of Social Science 438. DA550.V53 941.081′03′21.

An encyclopedia covering individuals, events, groups, topics, places, and types of publications associated with the cultural, political, social, religious, literary, and intellectual milieu from 1837 to 1901. The signed entries range from about 100 to 3,600 words, include liberal cross-references, and end with a brief list of suggested readings. The volume begins with a chronology and concludes with an evaluative bibliography of important reference works. An especially useful feature is the index of persons, places, subjects, and anonymous works mentioned in entries; entrants are also indexed in Biography and Genealogy Master Index (J565). The entries vary in quality and the volume emphasizes lesser-known individuals and has more than its share of errors and inconsistencies, but Victorian Britain is a valuable encyclopedia of aspects of Victorian culture. Reviews: Bruce L. Kinzer, Albion 21.4 (1989): 650–52; William Thesing, Victorian Studies 33.3 (1990): 490–91.

The last decade of the nineteenth century is treated more extensively in The 1890s: An Encyclopedia of British Literature, Art, and Culture, ed. G. A. Cevasco (New York: Garland, 1993; 714 pp.; Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 1237), whose approximately 800 signed entries cover topics of cultural interest (most entries are devoted to individuals).

The early part of the century is less satisfactorily treated in Encyclopedia of Romanticism: Culture in Britain, 1780s–1830s, ed. Laura Dabundo (New York: Garland, 1992; 662 pp.; Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 1299). Few of the signed entries are written by top scholars in the field, there is no explanation of the selection criteria or editorial principles, and there are numerous errors.

Bibliographies of Bibliographies[edit]

See[edit]

Secs. D: Bibliographies of Bibliographies and M: English Literature/General/Bibliographies of Bibliographies.

Guides to Primary Works[edit]

Manuscripts[edit]

Bibliographies and Indexes[edit]
M2465[edit]

Index of English Literary Manuscripts (M1365). Ed. P. J. Croft, Theodore Hofmann, and John Horden. Vol. 4, 1800–1900. 3 pts. Comp. Barbara Rosenbaum and Pamela White. London: Mansell, 1982–93. Z6611.L7 I5 [PR83] 016.8208′008. (Publication ceased with pt. 3.)

A descriptive catalog of extant literary manuscripts by a limited number of major British and Irish authors drawn from among those in Concise Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature, 600–1950 (M1365a). The emphasis is on literary manuscripts, including diaries, notebooks, and marginalia. Letters are excluded, although the introductions to individual authors identify important collections. In addition, the introductions alert researchers to special problems and relevant scholarship, point out additional manuscripts, discuss canon, note the disposition of an author’s library, and conclude with an outline of the arrangement of entries. A typical entry provides a physical description of the manuscript, dates its composition, includes any necessary commentary (as well as references to editions, facsimiles, sales catalogs, or scholarship), and identifies its location (with shelf mark). Additions and corrections appear in pt. 1, pp. 825–31. Since some entries are based on inquiries to libraries and collectors, bibliographies, other reference works, and booksellers’ and auction catalogs rather than personal examination by the compilers, the descriptions vary in fullness and precision.

Although restricted in the number of authors covered, this volume is an essential source for identifying and locating manuscripts. It must, however, be supplemented by the works listed in sections F: Guides to Manuscripts and Archives and M: English Literature/General/Guides to Primary Works/Manuscripts. Reviews: (pt. 1) T. A. J. Burnett, TLS: Times Literary Supplement 4 Feb. 1983: 120; Philip Collins, Library 6th ser. 5.3 (1983): 309–12; (pt. 2) Michael Millgate, Library 6th ser. 14.1 (1992): 66–68.

See also[edit]

Secs. F: Guides to Manuscripts and Archives and M: English Literature/General/Guides to Primary Works/Manuscripts.

Location Register of English Literary Manuscripts and Letters: Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries (M2227).

Text Archives[edit]
See[edit]

British Literary Manuscripts Online, c. 1660–1900 (M1373).

Printed Works[edit]

M2466[edit]

C19: The Nineteenth Century Index. Chadwyck-Healey. ProQuest, 2005–13. 3 Sept. 2013. <http://c19index.chadwyck.com>. Updated regularly.

An electronic index that includes Nineteenth-Century Short Title Catalogue (M2475), Poole’s Index to Periodical Literature (Q4150), Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals, 1824–1900 on CD-ROM (M2545), and Curran Index (M2545a); bibliographic records for Chadwyck-Healey’s The Nineteenth Century microfiche collection; and selected records from American Periodicals Series Online, 1740–1900 (Q4050), Periodicals Index Online (G397), Periodicals Archive Online (G397), and Archive Finder (F280). Some records are linked to full text. The databases that make up C19 can be searched together by keyword, title, author, date, periodical subject, and periodical title; searches can be limited by date and type of document and can be saved to a personal archive. Results are grouped by kind of source (e.g., books, newspapers, archives); within most groups, records appear in ascending chronological order and cannot be otherwise sorted; records can be marked for printing, e-mailing, downloading, or saving to an archive. Some sources can be browsed, and each database can also be searched individually through its own search interface, which offers more versatility in refining a search and sorting results. In either case, users should check for spelling variants by using the pull-down lists associated with the search fields. C19 is a valuable resource that allows the cross-searching of so many important resources for the study of nineteenth-century literature.

M2467[edit]

The Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature (CBEL) (M1376). Vol. 4: 1800–1900. Ed. Joanne Shattock. 3rd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1999. 2,995 cols. Z2001.N45 [PR83] 016.82.

A revision—more properly a reconceptualization—of part of vol. 2 of NCBEL (M2255). Primary and some secondary works are organized by author or subject in 16 divisions: book production and distribution, literary relations with the Continent, poetry, novel (including children’s literature), drama, prose, history, political economy, philosophy and science, religion, English studies, travel, household books, sport, education, and newspapers and magazines. The main entry for an author who writes in several genres or on a variety of subjects is located under the genre or subject with which he or she is most closely associated; briefer entries appear under other genres or subjects, with a cross-reference to the main one. A full author entry consists of two parts: primary works (with sections, as needed, for manuscripts; bibliographies and reference works; collected editions; selective editions; individual works [listed chronologically by date of first publication, with each followed by significant English-language editions, translations, and contemporary reviews]; contributions to periodicals and collaborative works; published letters, journals, diaries, notebooks, and marginalia; translations, editions, introductions, and prefaces; pseudonymous works; attributed or spurious works; imitations or -ana) and secondary works (a selective list of studies published before 1920—though many entries cite later scholarship and criticism), including textual studies and selected biographies. Within each section, works are listed by date of publication; mercifully, CBEL discontinues NCBEL’s vexing practice of interrupting the chronological sequence to group all studies by a scholar under the year of the first one cited. As in NCBEL, scholars are identified by surname and initial(s), titles are sometimes shortened, and page numbers are not given for essays in periodicals—practices that deter users from actually laying hands on works cited. Indexed by writers and a few subdivision headings; fuller indexing was to have been offered by vol. 6. Predictably, entries for authors and subjects vary in their thoroughness, consistency, accuracy, and currency, but the volume adds coverage of hundreds of writers and broadens the notion of literature. For many authors and subjects, it offers the fullest information available on primary works, but the general exclusion of post-1920 secondary works (based on the unfounded assumption that such studies are adequately covered and easily identified in MLAIB [G335] and ABELL [G340]) means that this volume of CBEL—unlike NCBEL—is no longer one of the principal starting points for research. Users must remember that there is considerable unevenness of coverage among authors and subjects and that, for secondary works, CBEL does not supersede vol. 3 of NCBEL (M2505). Review: Stefan Collini, Notes and Queries 48.4 (2001): 454–58.

For a discussion of the compilation of this volume, see Shattock, “Revising The Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature: Bibliographical Research in an Electronic Age,” European English Messenger 10.2 (2001): 56–61.

M2470[edit]

The English Catalogue of Books, [1801–1968]. Irregular, with various cumulations and index volumes. London: Publishers’ Circular, 1858–1969. Z2001.E52 015.42.

An author, title, and subject list of books published in Great Britain, American books imported or issued in England, and English-language books published on the Continent. Since the lists are augmented compilations of various trade catalogs, there are several ghosts and coverage is not thorough, especially for provincial British, American, and Continental publications. Through 1905, series are listed in an appendix, as are publications of learned societies (through 1941). Subject indexing is largely confined to title keywords. Separate subject indexes were published through 1889; thereafter, subject heads appear in the main alphabetic sequence. Entries vary in details but usually cite publisher, edition, size, and price. Although superseded in many respects by the union and national library catalogs in section E, the English Catalogue, as the most complete record of books published in Great Britain during the nineteenth century, is occasionally useful as a limited subject guide and for identifying and dating editions. Beginning in 1874, Reference Catalogue of Current Literature (M2770) is an important supplement; after 1924, more thorough coverage of works published or issued in Great Britain is provided by Whitaker’s Cumulative Book List (M2770a) and after 1950 by British National Bibliography (M2775).

M2475[edit]

Nineteenth-Century Short Title Catalogue (NSTC). Chadwyck-Healey. ProQuest, 2004–13. 4 Sept. 2013. <http://nstc.chadwyck.com>. NSTC can also be searched through C19: The Nineteenth Century Index (M2466). (Chadwyck-Healey plans to augment the database and add full text and digital images.)

  • Series I, Phase I, 1801–1815. 6 vols. Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Avero, 1984–86. CD-ROM.
  • Series II, Phase I, 1816–1870. 56 vols. 1986–95. CD-ROM.
  • Series III, 1871–1919. 1996–2002. CD-ROM.

An attempt to record all books (and other unspecified letterpress material) printed between 1801 and 1919 in Great Britain, the colonies, and the United States; in English throughout the rest of the world; and in translation from English. NSTC plans a series of increasingly complete listings: the first phase is limited to a series of author catalogs based on the holdings of a few major libraries; phase two will draw upon the catalogs of specialist libraries.

Series I, Phase I, 1810–1815 is a union list derived from the published and in-house catalogs of the Bodleian; British Library; Library of Trinity College, Dublin; National Library of Scotland; and University Libraries of Cambridge and Newcastle. An entry cites NSTC number, author, short title, as many as three Dewey Decimal Classification numbers (the bases for the subject index), date and place of publication (but not printer or publisher), format, bibliographical notes, number of volumes, locations (with a complete list only in the main entry), and cross-references. Although cataloging generally follows the practices of the British Museum General Catalogue of Printed Books (see E250a), the entries are subject to the limitations, errors, and vagaries of the individual catalogs. Vols. 1–4 are author catalogs, each with imprint (i.e., place of publication only) and subject indexes (which are cumulated in vol. 5). Vol. 5 includes subject listings (essentially taken over from the British Museum General Catalogue of Printed Books) for England, Ireland, London, Scotland, directories, ephemerides, and periodical publications, with separate imprint and subject indexes for each; a title index to the subject listings; a supplement to vols. 1–4, listing British Library accessions from 1976 to 1984; imprint and subject indexes to the supplement; and cumulative imprint and subject indexes to the first four volumes. (London is omitted from all the imprint indexes.) Vol. 6 is a cumulative title index to vols. 1–4 and the supplement in vol. 5. Although five of the six libraries included are copyright deposit libraries, coverage of works published in Great Britain is not comprehensive (especially for provincial and ephemeral publications); that for the rest of the world is much less so. For United States imprints, bibliographies listed in section Q: American Literature/Nineteenth Century/Guides to Primary Works offer superior coverage. Because of an inadequate explanation of scope, users cannot be certain what kinds of publications are excluded.

Series II, Phase I, 1816–1870 provides better coverage of American imprints by incorporating the catalogs of the Library of Congress and Harvard University Libraries and transcribes titles and imprints more fully, but otherwise retains the features of the first series. Subject and imprint (i.e., place of publication only) indexes appear in every fifth volume through vol. 35 and erratically thereafter; a cumulative title index for the regular entries occupies vols. 44–53.

Series III, which was published on CD-ROM only, offers fuller information (including printers and publishers and more numerous and precise subject headings). The main volumes are useful primarily as a union list (although it appears that locations are incomplete for many entries); the imprint indexes are important tools for identifying works printed in a locale other than London; and the title indexes are essential to locating entries for anonymous works; but the subject indexes, based on and organized by Dewey classifications, are too unrefined, especially for literary topics (e.g., the English Poetry entry in 1801–1815 consists of 10 densely packed columns of NSTC numbers).

If possible, researchers should ignore the print and CD-ROM versions in favor of the online one, which augments Series I–III with more than 25,000 records for works published between 1801 and 1919. (In the CD-ROMs the Boolean search process is hopelessly complicated and the help files are anything but helpful.) Users can search by keyword, author, dates during author’s lifetime, title, publication date, place of publication, publisher, subject, language, source library, NSTC series, and NSTC number; most of the preceding have browsable lists. Results (which can be sorted by author, title, relevance, or ascending or descending date) can be marked for e-mailing, printing, downloading, or saving to a personal archive.

News of the project and progress reports were published in Nineteenth Century Short Title Catalogue (NSTC) Newsletter (1983–91, irregular). Chadwyck-Healey is publishing microform collections based on selected subject categories from the NSTC.

The larger scope, greater number of publications, and reliance on library catalog entries rather than examination of copies mean that NSTC will never attain the comprehensiveness, sophistication, and level of accuracy of the other Short-Title Catalogues (M1377, M1990, and M1995). Fortunately, with the move to electronic form the publishers have addressed some of the weaknesses of the NSTC, making it far more accessible. Reviews: (1801–1815) Robin Alston, TLS: Times Literary Supplement 6 Apr. 1984: 381–82; Patricia Fleming, Victorian Periodicals Review 19.2 (1986): 68–69; Donald H. Reiman, Studies in Romanticism 28.4 (1989): 650–56; (1801–1815 and 1816–1870) David McKitterick, TLS: Times Literary Supplement 8 May 1987: 497; (CD-ROM) McKitterick, TLS: Times Literary Supplement 4 July 1997: 11; Joanne Shattock, Historical Journal 47.2 (2004): 511–13; (online) Angela Courtney, Victorian Studies 46.4 (2003–04): 682–84.

For a description of the use of NSTC in the quantitative study of publishing and book history, see Simon Eliot, “Patterns and Trends and the NSTC: Some Initial Observations,” Publishing History 42 (1997): 79–105 and 43 (1998): 71–112.

See also[edit]

Sec. E: Libraries and Library Catalogs.

Halkett and Laing, Dictionary of Anonymous and Pseudonymous English Literature (U5110).

New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature, vol. 3 (M2505).

Records of the Worshipful Company of Stationers (M1380).

Whitaker’s Books in Print (M2770).

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism[edit]

Surveys of Research[edit]

M2477[edit]

O’Neill, Michael, ed. Literature of the Romantic Period: A Bibliographical Guide. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1998. 410 pp. Z2013.L58 [PR457] 016.8209′007.

Separately authored surveys of research on major authors, groups, and genres associated with English Romanticism. Chapters typically treat editions, textual studies, bibliographies, biographies, and criticism and conclude with a list of works cited (that sometimes cites additional publications), but there is no consistency across chapters in the chronological span of studies included or in organization (some discussions are excessively subdivided). Although all the chapters are by established scholars, the depth of evaluation varies considerably: the better ones compare editions, place studies within the critical reception of (or controversies surrounding) the author, and isolate topics that need investigation; some chapters, though, are little more than lists; few subject reference works to more than a cursory comment. Indexed by names and a smattering of topics. Although needing a much firmer editorial hand and a clearer statement of the editorial policy that guided selection and organization, Literature of the Romantic Period offers generally authoritative guidance to the state of research on British Romantic writers.

M2480[edit]

“Recent Studies in the Nineteenth Century.” Studies in English Literature, 1500–1900. 1 (1961)– . Annually in the Autumn issue. PR1.S82 820'.9.

A commissioned survey by an established scholar, with recent issues emphasizing book-length critical and historical studies and typically offering only cursory attention to editions and reference works. The essays vary considerably in breadth as well as soundness and degree of assessment. Now generally limited to books received for review, this work must be supplemented by Romantic Movement (M2485) and the chapters in Year’s Work in English Studies (G330) on the Romantic and Victorian periods.

See also[edit]

YWES (G330): Chapters for Nineteenth Century: Romantic Period and Nineteenth Century: Victorian Period.

Serial Bibliographies[edit]

M2485[edit]

The Romantic Movement: A Selective and Critical Bibliography for [1936–98]. West Cornwall: Locust Hill, 1980–99. Annual. Z6514.R6 R63 [PN603] 016.809′9145.

  • 1964–78: Supplement to English Language Notes 3–17 (1965–79).
  • 1949–63: Philological Quarterly 29–43 (1950–64).
  • 1936–48: ELH: A Journal of Literary History 4–16 (1937–49).
  • (The bibliographies for 1936–70 are reprinted, with cumulative indexes, as A. C. Elkins and L. J. Forstner, eds., The Romantic Movement Bibliography, 1936–1970: A Master Cumulation, 7 vols. [Ann Arbor: Pierian in association with Bowker, 1973].)

A bibliography of significant books, articles, and reviews on the Romantic movement in Great Britain and Western Europe. Although this work includes minor items that fall outside the scope of MLAIB (G335) and studies of American Romanticism that relate to the European movement, it makes no attempt at comprehensiveness. The scope has altered over the years and within individual sections so that recent volumes are more critical and selective. (For an overview of changes, see David V. Erdman’s foreword to the reprint of the 1936–70 bibliographies [vol. 1, pp. vii–xi].) Entries are organized in six major divisions: general, English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish (at various times there were divisions for other national literatures such as Portuguese, Russian, and Scandinavian); each national literature has sections for bibliographies, general studies, and individual authors (some have a section for the “environment”—art, philosophy, politics, religion, science, and society). The chronological scope varies from country to country and alters to reflect changes in critical perspectives (e.g., while the English section has remained fairly stable at 1789–1837, the German one has undergone some major shifts in chronological coverage). In the later volumes, most entries are annotated: many descriptively, several critically, with a number of books receiving full reviews. Recent volumes quote from other reviews. Since the 1961 bibliography, reviews of previously listed books, composite reviews, and review essays are grouped at the end of a section. Although the later annual volumes unfortunately provide only an index of critics, the reprint of the 1936–70 bibliographies offers three cumulative indexes: authors, main entries, reviewers; subjects: personal names; subjects: categories. Although the lack of a complete subject index is inexcusable and coverage varies substantially among the national literatures (Italian and Spanish are so sketchily treated that their coverage should have been discontinued), timeliness and judicious evaluation made this before its unfortunate demise the best guide to significant scholarship on the Romantic movement. Since it made no attempt at comprehensiveness, scholars must also consult “Current Bibliography” in Keats-Shelley Journal (M2495) and the standard serial bibliographies in section G.

M2490[edit]

Victorian Database Online, [1945– ]. Comp. and ed. Brahma Chaudhuri. LITIR Database. U of Alberta, 2012. 15 Jan. 2015. <http://www.victoriandatabase.com>.

This produces and subsumes a confusing array of print and CD-ROM products (with recent ones produced on demand):

  • A Comprehensive Bibliography of Victorian Studies, 1970–1984. 3 vols. Edmonton: LITIR Database, 1984–85.
  • Cumulative Bibliography of Victorian Studies, 1945–1969. Comp. and ed. Chaudhuri and Fred Radford. 2 vols. 2000. 1970–1984. Comp. and ed. Chaudhuri. 2 vols. 1988. 1985–1989. 1990. 1,037 pp. 1990–1994. 1995. 880 pp. 1995–1999. 1999. 825 pp. 1945–1969. 2 vols. 2000. 1970–2000. 3 vols. 2001. 2000–2004. 2005. 726 pp. 2005–2009. 2010. 729 pp.
  • Annual Bibliography of Victorian Studies, [1976– ]. Edmonton: LITIR Database, 1980– . Annual. Z2019.A64 [DA533] 016.941.
  • Victorian Database on CD-ROM: 1945–2004. Comp. and ed. Chaudhuri and Radford. LITIR Database, 2005.
  • Reviews, which are not included until 1995, can be located in Chaudhuri, Cumulated Index to Reviews of Books on Victorian Studies, 1975–1989 (1990; 1,197 pp.).

A database of books, articles, and dissertations, primarily in English, on Great Britain from c. 1830 to 1914. This work emphasizes studies of language and literature, with some attention to other subjects; for transitional authors, it includes only those studies treating the Victorian period. The online version can be searched only by author, title, and keyword (each limited by date; however, the date limitation sometimes malfunctions). Records (which are returned only in descending alphabetical order) can be marked for printing or downloading. In the print versions entries are listed alphabetically by scholar in seven classified divisions: general and reference works, fine arts, philosophy and religion, history, social sciences, science and technology, and language and literature. The last has sections for general works, reference works, drama and theater, poetry, prose, fiction, children’s literature, and individual authors (with lists of general works, bibliographies, biography and correspondence, general criticism, and studies of individual works). A few entries are accompanied by brief descriptive annotations. Users searching the print versions for publications on a minor author must be sure to use the subject index, since writers who are the subject of fewer than three studies are lumped together under “Other Authors” in the classified listings. Four indexes in each Annual Bibliography and the Cumulated Index (subjects; scholars; reviewers; titles of works); each volume of the Comprehensive Bibliography has three indexes (subjects; scholars; titles of works), and those in vol. 3 are cumulative; the Cumulative Bibliography offers the same three indexes. The subject indexing and keyword access in the online version, while useful, are limited to literary authors and title keywords (with some significant omissions); records do not consistently expand journal titles or other abbreviations (a list of journal abbreviations can be accessed through the Help screen). Much less accessible than it should be (especially the online version), reliant on secondary sources for citations to some books rather than firsthand examination, and far short of the comprehensiveness it claims, Victorian Database Online is nonetheless useful for its cumulation of studies. Researchers must also consult the other bibliographies listed in this section and in section G: Serial Bibliographies, Indexes, and Abstracts, as well as “RSVP Bibliography” (M2555) and “Guide to the Year’s Work,” Victorian Poetry (M2720).

M2495[edit]

“Annual Bibliography, [1 July 1950– ].” Keats-Shelley Journal 1 (1952)– . Title varies. PR4836.A145 821.705.

The work is cumulated as the following:

  • Hartley, Robert A., ed. Keats, Shelley, Byron, Hunt, and Their Circles: A Bibliography: July 1, 1962–December 31, 1974. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1978. 487 pp.
  • Green, David Bonnell, and Edwin Graves Wilson, eds. Keats, Shelley, Byron, Hunt, and Their Circles: A Bibliography: July 1, 1950–June 30, 1962. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1964. 323 pp.
  • Current Bibliography: Keats-Shelley Journal [1994–99]. Romantic Circles. U of Maryland, n.d. 12 Dec. 2012. <http://www.rc.umd.edu/reference/ksjbib>. (The current bibliographer plans to make additional years available.)

A bibliography that attempts comprehensive coverage of Byron, Shelley, Keats, Hunt, and their circles. Excludes textbooks but otherwise includes substantial references as well as reprints or translations of even a single poem and (between 1 July 1955 and 31 December 1972) phonograph recordings. The early numbers list publications from 1940 through 1950 that were omitted from other standard bibliographies. Entries in the print version are currently organized in five divisions: general works (with sections for bibliographies and general studies of English Romanticism), Byron and his circle, Hunt and Hazlitt and their circle, Keats and his circle, and the Shelleys and their circle (until 41 [1992], only Percy Shelley); the online version separates Hunt and Hazlitt and Percy Bysshe and Mary Shelley. In the author sections, primary works appear first, followed by an alphabetical list of studies on the writer and his circle. In some years, entries are accompanied by brief descriptive annotations (with several works left unannotated in the early volumes; the annotations disappear altogether with the bibliography for 2000 in 50 [2001] then reappear sporadically in the bibliography for 2004 in 55 [2006]) and review citations (in recent years, reviews are interspersed in the lists of studies). In the online version descriptions are longer (but journal acronyms are not expanded), some entries include links to a table of contents or other material, and reviews appear in a separate file. Indexed by names. The two reprints cumulate the individual indexes. Because the makeup of the various circles is not consistent throughout the volumes, users should consult the index to locate studies of individuals other than the four principal authors. Individual annual bibliographies and sections therein can be searched using a Web browser’s find function; a separate Search screen allows for keyword searching of the complete bibliographies, reviews, or sections. This offers fuller coverage of the six writers and their circles than Romantic Movement (M2485) or the serial bibliographies and indexes in section G.

M2500[edit]

Victorian Studies Bibliography, [1999– ]. Ed. Andrew H. Miller and Ivan Kreilkamp. LETRS: Library Electronic Text Resource Service. Indiana UP, 2006–11. 12 Dec. 2012. <http://www.letrs.indiana.edu/web/v/victbib/index.html>.

“Victorian Bibliography for [1932–2001].” Victorian Studies 1–45 (1958–2003). (The bibliographies for 2000–01 are available only in electronic form through Project Muse [K705].) PR1.V5 820′.9′008.

  • 1932–56: Modern Philology 30–54 (1933–57).

Reprinted, with cumulative indexes, as follows:

  • Tobias, Richard C., ed. Bibliographies of Studies in Victorian Literature for the Ten Years 1975–1984. New York: AMS, 1991. 1,130 pp.
  • Freeman, Ronald E., ed. Bibliographies of Studies in Victorian Literature for the Ten Years 1965–1974. New York: AMS, 1981. 876 pp.
  • Slack, Robert C., ed. Bibliographies of Studies in Victorian Literature for the Ten Years 1955–1964. Urbana: U of Illinois P, 1967. 461 pp.
  • Wright, Austin, ed. Bibliographies of Studies in Victorian Literature for the Ten Years 1945–1954. Urbana: U of Illinois P, 1956. 310 pp.
  • Templeman, William D., ed. Bibliographies of Studies in Victorian Literature for the Thirteen Years 1932–1944. Urbana: U of Illinois P, 1945. 450 pp.

A selective international bibliography of “noteworthy” publications, including reviews, on Victorian England. Over the years, coverage has become more inclusive but with a corresponding decrease in annotations, so that recent bibliographies offer only an occasional brief explanation of an uninformative title. (Early volumes offer more substantial commentary, including some full reviews and quotations from others; however, evaluations during the first two decades are far less rigorous than they should be.) The bibliographies for 1932–74 list works alphabetically in four divisions: bibliographical materials; economic, political, religious, and social environment; movements of ideas, literary forms, and anthologies; individual authors. With the 1975 bibliography, entries appear in one of six divisions: bibliographical materials; history, historiography, and historical documents; economics, education, politics, religion, science, and social environment; architecture, fine arts, household arts, performing arts, music, painting, photography, and sculpture; literature, literary history, and literary forms; individual authors. Since the bibliography for 1966, listings under transitional figures such as Conrad and Shaw are restricted to studies dealing with the Victorian period. Articles in author journals and newsletters are awkwardly grouped under a single entry for the periodical, in some volumes books are not listed unless they have been reviewed, and users would benefit from a more refined classification system and better cross-referencing. Until recently, the annual issues (and subsequent cumulations) are seriously marred by a multitude of typographical errors, inaccurate citations, and faulty cross-references. The five volumes of reprints provide useful—but incomplete—cumulative indexes: of Victorian authors in the 1932–44 volume; of scholars, Victorian figures, and some topics in those for 1945–74; and of scholars, authors (Victorian and otherwise), and subjects in that for 1975–84. The cumulation for 1965–74 corrects some errors (pp. 739–42) and provides an introductory statistical and narrative survey of trends in scholarship for the period. For the history of the print bibliography, see Edward H. Cohen, “‘Victorian Bibliography’: Seventy Years after,” Victorian Studies 44 (2001–02): 625–35.

In the online version, Simple Search allows for keyword searches of the entire record or of the title or author (including reviewer) field; Advanced Search allows users to combine keyword searches of the entire record and the author and title fields and to limit a search by date. Users can also browse the six divisions listed above. Because only the subheadings economics, education, politics, religion, science, and social environment are in separate lists, browsing the other divisions (except architecture, fine arts, household arts, performing arts, music, painting, photography, and sculpture) exceeds the search engine’s sort limit. If a search returns fewer than 1,000 records, they can be sorted by author (ascending) or date (both ascending and descending); if a search returns more than 1,000 records, they appear in no discernible order and cannot be sorted. Records must be saved to a bookbag for downloading or e-mailing. Reviews of books are not always conflated into a single record; many journal acronyms are not expanded (and there is no key on the Web site); and related records (e.g., essays in edited collections) are not linked.

Despite its faults (and the limited functionality of the online version), the work offers the fullest, most current list of scholarship on the period, but scholars must also consult Victorian Database Online (M2490); “RSVP Bibliography” (M2555); “Guide to the Year’s Work,” Victorian Poetry (M2720); and the standard serial bibliographies and indexes in section G. The Victorian Studies Bibliography has been inactive since 2011.

See also[edit]

Sec. G: Serial Bibliographies, Indexes, and Abstracts.

ABELL (G340): English Literature/Nineteenth Century section.

MLAIB (G335): English Language and Literature division in the volumes for 1921–25; English X in the volumes for 1926–56; English IX in the volumes for 1957–80; and English Literature/1800–99 (as well as any larger chronological sections encompassing the century) in later volumes. Researchers must also check the headings beginning “English Literature,” “Romantic,” and “Victorian” in the subject index to post-1980 volumes and in the online thesaurus.

Other Bibliographies[edit]

M2505[edit]

The New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature (NCBEL). Vol. 3: 1800–1900. Ed. George Watson. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1969. 1,948 cols. Z2011.N45 [PR83] 016.82.

(For a full discussion of NCBEL, see entry M1385.) Primary works and scholarship are organized in six divisions (each subdivided and classified as its subject requires): introduction (general studies, book production and distribution, literary relations with the Continent), poetry (1800–35, 1835–70, 1870–1900), novel (1800–35, 1835–70, 1870–1900, children’s books), drama (1800–35, 1835–70, 1870–1900), prose (1800–35, 1835–70, 1870–1900, history, philosophy, religion, English studies, travel, sport, education, periodicals), Anglo-Irish literature (through 1916). Vol. 3 of the Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature (M1385a) is still occasionally useful for its coverage of the intellectual, social, and political background; education; and Commonwealth literature (which NCBEL drops).

Users must familiarize themselves with the organization, remember that there is considerable unevenness of coverage among subdivisions, realize that the third edition of CBEL (M1376) does not supersede NCBEL’s coverage of secondary works, and consult the index volume (vol. 5) rather than the provisional index in vol. 3. Review: Richard D. Altick, JEGP: Journal of English and Germanic Philology 70.1 (1971): 139–45.

M2507[edit]

Oxford Bibliographies Online: Victorian Literature. Ed. Juliet John. Oxford UP, 2011– . 15 Jan. 2015. <http://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/obo/page/victorian-literature>.

Oxford Bibliographies Online are peer-reviewed, concisely annotated, expertly selected bibliographic citations. Each of the articles within a bibliography, written by scholars in the field, consists of an introduction that covers the history behind the field or subfield, followed by a categorized list of useful academic publications (e.g., introductions, textbooks, journals, handbooks and guides, reference works, primary texts or documents) and sections on debates and controversies, criticism, genres, and more. The lists of citations are highly selective, chosen to represent the best scholarship in a given field. Some articles include links to full text or Web content.

Victorian Literature includes articles covering aestheticism, children’s literature, visual culture, decadence, scores of authors, and many other subjects.

Content is browsable, and users can search the database with the option of limiting by resource type. Searches can be saved, and users can receive e-mails alerting them to new additions.

See also[edit]

McKenna, Irish Literature, 1800–1875 (N2985).

Dissertations and Theses[edit]

M2510[edit]

Altick, Richard D., and William R. Matthews, comps. Guide to Doctoral Dissertations in Victorian Literature, 1886–1958. Urbana: U of Illinois P, 1960. 119 pp. Z2013.A4 016.82′09′008.

A classified bibliography of 2,105 dissertations entirely or partly on British literature from c. 1837 to 1900. Coverage extends through 1957 for France, 1956 for the United Kingdom and Germany, and 1958 for Austria, Switzerland, and the United States. Dissertations are listed alphabetically by writer in nine sections: general topics, themes and intellectual influences, fiction, drama, poetry, literary criticism, periodicals, foreign relations, and individual authors. Indexed by dissertation writers. Although compiled largely from printed institutional and national lists (which are themselves not always accurate or complete), the Guide also includes several dissertations that have otherwise escaped notice. Thorough but not exhaustive, this work significantly reduces the time researchers would otherwise spend poring over the bibliographies in section H: Guides to Dissertations and Theses. A supplement would be welcomed by scholars.

See also[edit]

Sec. H: Guides to Dissertations and Theses.

Related Topics[edit]

M2515[edit]

Brown, Lucy M., and Ian R. Christie, eds. Bibliography of British History, 1789–1851. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1977. 759 pp. Z2019.B76 [DA520] 016.94107′3.

An extensive, albeit rigorously selective, bibliography of primary and secondary materials published through the early 1970s. Because of the multitude of publications on the era, Brown emphasizes reference sources. The 4,782 entries are listed chronologically (for the most part) in 15 extensively classified divisions: general reference works; political, constitutional, legal, ecclesiastical, military, naval, economic, social, cultural, and local history; Wales; Scotland; Ireland; and British Empire. A majority of the entries are descriptively annotated and frequently cite several related studies. Indexed by persons and a few subjects. An essential guide for cross-disciplinary research. Entries for pre-1901 publications are included in Bibliography of British and Irish History (M1400). Review: John Saville, Victorian Studies 22 (1979): 203–04.

Continued by Hanham, Bibliography of British History, 1851–1914 (M2520). A convenient, more selective bibliography is Smith, Late Georgian and Regency England, 1760–1837 (M2260a).

M2520[edit]

Hanham, H. J., comp. and ed. Bibliography of British History, 1851–1914. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1976. 1,606 pp. Z2019.H35 [DA530] 016.942.

A massive, yet selective, bibliography of primary and secondary works (through 1973) organized in 13 extensively classified divisions: general reference works and studies, political and constitutional history, colonies and foreign relations, armed forces, legal system, religion, economic history, social history, intellectual and cultural history, local history, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. A majority of the entries are annotated, many with judicious evaluative comments and citations to related studies (which nearly double the 10,829 numbered entries). Indexed by persons and subjects. An indispensable guide to historical scholarship on the period (and one of the better volumes of this important series). Entries for pre-1901 publications are included in Bibliography of British and Irish History (M1400). The earlier half of the century is covered in Brown and Christie, Bibliography of British History, 1789–1851 (M2515). Review: Josef L. Altholz, Victorian Studies 21 (1977): 108–09.

Convenient, more selective bibliographies are Josef L. Altholz, Victorian England, 1837–1901 (Cambridge: Cambridge UP for the Conf. on British Studies, 1970; 100 pp.; Conf. on British Studies Bibliog. Handbooks), and David Nicholls, Nineteenth-Century Britain, 1815–1914, (Folkestone: Dawson; Hamden: Archon, 1978; 170 pp.; Critical Bibliogs. in Mod. Hist.). Altholz is decidedly more thorough and authoritative, cites articles as well as books (through 1967), but offers only an occasional brief descriptive comment. Nicholls is current through 1977 and provides evaluative annotations, but it cites only books and is designed for the undergraduate.

See also[edit]

Bibliography of British and Irish History (M1400).

Smith, Late Georgian and Regency England, 1760–1837 (M2260a).

Biographical Dictionaries[edit]

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (M1425) remains the standard general source of biographical information for the nineteenth century; however, Boase, Modern English Biography (M1425a), is an important supplement.

See also[edit]

Sec. J: Biographical Sources.

Dictionary of Literary Biography (J600).

Periodicals[edit]

Contemporary Periodicals[edit]

Research Methods[edit]
M2525[edit]

Vann, J. Don, and Rosemary T. VanArsdel, eds. Victorian Periodicals: A Guide to Research. 2 vols. New York: MLA, 1978–89. PN5124.P4 V5 052.

Vol. 1 is a guide to research methods and reference works (to 1977) essential to the study of periodicals (primarily elite British ones) from 1824 to 1900. Individual essays treat bibliographies and inventories, finding lists, biographical resources, general histories of the press, histories and studies of individual periodicals, identification of authors, and circulation and the Stamp Tax. Vol. 2 is both a companion and a supplement to the earlier one. Along with appendixes evaluating the Wellesley Index (M2545) and updating the essays on finding lists, biographical resources, general histories, and histories and studies of individual periodicals, it has chapters on Scottish, Welsh, feminist, religious, and children’s periodicals; the radical and labor press; publishers’ archives; periodicals of the 1890s; serialized novels; periodicals and art history; and desiderata to the twenty-first century. In both volumes, contributors typically outline their subject, describe (with occasional evaluative comments) essential reference sources (but without complete citations), discuss research strategies, and sometimes suggest topics for further work. Indexed by persons and titles. Individual essays vary in accuracy (in both citations and evaluations of reference works), but, overall, Victorian Periodicals is an essential guide for those working in this expanding field. Review: John Bush Jones, Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography 4.2 (1980): 107–23.

Some of the preceding essays are complemented by Vann and VanArsdel, eds., Victorian Periodicals and Victorian Society (Toronto: U of Toronto P, 1994; 370 pp.), a collection of 18 essays on law, medicine, architecture, the military, science, music, illustration, authorship and the book trade, theater, transport, the financial and trade press, advertising, agriculture, temperance, comic periodicals, sports, workers’ journals, and student publications. Each contributor typically offers a general introduction to the subject, a discussion of available bibliographic tools (or the lack thereof), an annotated list of periodicals (with locations), and suggestions for further research. Indexed by persons and titles of periodicals.

For the state of research on nineteenth-century periodicals in Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, southern Africa, and other former British colonies, see Vann and VanArsdel, eds., Periodicals of Queen Victoria’s Empire: An Exploration (Toronto: U of Toronto P, 1996; 371 pp.).

See also[edit]

Latham and Scholes, “The Rise of Periodical Studies” (A45).

Guides to Primary Works[edit]

For other guides, indexes, lists, and bibliographies, see Scott Bennett, “The Bibliographic Control of Victorian Periodicals” (vol. 1, pp. 35–51), in Vann and VanArsdel, Victorian Periodicals (M2525). Many nineteenth-century periodicals have been reproduced in microfilm in two series by University Microfilms International: Early British Periodicals, 1681–1921 and English Literary Periodicals, 1681–1914; these have been digitized as British Periodicals (http://search.proquest.com/britishperiodicals).

Union Lists[edit]
= M2530 =[edit]

Fulton, Richard D., and C. M. Colee, gen. eds. Union List of Victorian Serials: A Union List of Selected Nineteenth-Century British Serials Available in United States and Canadian Libraries. New York: Garland, 1985. 732 pp. Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 530. Z6956.G6 F85 [PN5124.P4] 011′.34.

A union list of periodicals published between 1824 and 1900 and listed in New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature (M2505) (augmented by about 100 science and technology titles). Compiled from regional union lists, library lists, and reports by volunteers who examined actual holdings, the Union List records the holdings of 376 libraries (predominantly in the United States), especially major regional libraries and those with important Victorian serials collections. (There are some notable omissions, however.) A typical entry provides Waterloo Directory of Victorian Periodicals number (entry M2540a), NCBEL reference, bibliographical information, notes (which may include title, series, and volume changes; details of conflicting information in standard references; and numbering irregularities), and locations (with exact holdings—accurate and complete for 1824–1900 only for those periodicals published outside these dates—including microform copies or reprints and notes on special copies or cataloging problems). While many questions of dates and titles remain unsolved, entries alert researchers to conflicting information in standard reference sources. Although neither comprehensive nor definitive, this work is more thorough and reliable in its bibliographical descriptions and locations than Union List of Serials (K640a), British Union-Catalogue of Periodicals (K645a), or New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature. See WorldCat (E225) for other locations; for serials after 1800 Fulton’s descriptions are frequently superseded by Waterloo Directory of English Newspaper and Periodicals (M2540), Waterloo Directory of Irish Newspapers and Periodicals (N3000), and Waterloo Directory of Scottish Newspapers and Periodicals (O3103). Review: Kathryn Chittick, Victorian Periodicals Review 18.4 (1985): 149–51.

= M2535 =[edit]

Ward, William S., comp. Index and Finding List of Serials Published in the British Isles, 1789–1832. Lexington: U of Kentucky P, 1953. 180 pp. Z6956.E5 W27 016.052.

———. “Index and Finding List of Serials Published in the British Isles, 1789–1832: A Supplementary List.” Bulletin of the New York Public Library 77 (1974): 291–97. Z881.N6B 027.47471.

A list of periodicals and newspapers held by some 475 libraries and newspaper offices in the United States and Great Britain. Serials are listed by title (or by institution or learned society for publications lacking a distinctive title) and accompanied by minimal bibliographical information. Ward is designed to be used with Union List of Serials (K640a); Union Catalogue of the Periodical Publications in the University Libraries of the British Isles, comp. Marion G. Roupell (London: Joint Standing Committee on Lib. Co-operation, Natl. Central Lib., 1937; 712 pp.); and British Union-Catalogue of Periodicals (K645a); therefore, only additional or corrected holdings are recorded (but imprecisely in many instances). Although it offers numerous additions to the standard union lists, Ward must be supplemented by WorldCat (E225) and Serials in the British Library (K645). For serials after 1800, Ward is superseded by Waterloo Directory of English Newspapers and Periodicals (M2540), Waterloo Directory of Irish Newspapers and Periodicals (N3000), and Waterloo Directory of Scottish Newspapers and Periodicals (O3103). A new edition covering 1789–1800, with full bibliographical information and details of holdings, would be welcome.

= See also =[edit]

Sec. K: Periodicals/Union Lists.

Bibliographies[edit]
= M2540 =[edit]

North, John S., ed. The Waterloo Directory of English Newspapers and Periodicals, 1800–1900. 5 sers. Waterloo: North Waterloo Academic P, 1994– . Z6956.E5 W38 [PN5117] 015.42′035. Ser. 2. <http://www.victorianperiodicals.com/series2>. Updated daily.

A bibliography and finding list of approximately 125,000 serials (when complete) published in England during the nineteenth century. Publications are listed alphabetically by earliest title or issuing body for nonspecific titles (entries are repeated under absorbed or merged titles). Entries record, when possible, titles, alternative or later titles, subtitles, and title changes, along with reproductions of title pages for about 3,000 publications; series, volume, and issue numbering; publication dates; places of publication; editors; proprietors; publishers; printers; editorial or production staff; size; price; circulation; frequency of publication; illustrations; issuing bodies; indexing; departments; religious or political perspectives; miscellaneous notes; mergers; references to studies or bibliographies; and locations. Six indexes: titles; cities of publication; counties of publication; issuing bodies; persons; subjects. Much of the information is based on firsthand examination of representative issues. The online version and publication in a rolling series of printed sets (wherein each new set cumulates, integrates, expands, and corrects the preceding one) allow for continual revision and expansion as additional collections are visited.

The online version offers four search options: Basic Search (keyword searching of title, issuing body, persons, town, county or country, or subject); Advanced Search (combined keyword searching of title, issuing body, persons, subject, place of publication, and date); Global Search (keyword searching of all records except the locations, price, size, indexing, volume, date, and circulation fields); Browse (the six indexes included in the printed version [see above]). Results of a search can be printed or saved only through a Web browser.

Even though incomplete, Waterloo Directory already offers the most thorough and accessible accumulation of information on English serial publications. The flexibility of searching the online version provides ready access for the first time to essential sources for the study of nearly all facets of nineteenth-century English life. An indispensable work that—like its companions, Waterloo Directory of Irish Newspapers and Periodicals (N3000) and Waterloo Directory of Scottish Newspapers and Periodicals (O3103)—stands as an example of the kind of guide needed for serials of other countries and periods. For a history of the Waterloo Directory project and explanation of its importance, see Rosemary T. Van Arsdel, “John North, the Waterloo Directory, and an RSVP History Lesson!” Victorian Periodicals Review 36.2 (2003): 100–08.

For a list of periodicals addressed to women and of articles about women in other serials, see E. M. Palmegiano, Women and British Periodicals, 1832–1867: A Bibliography (New York: Garland, 1976; 118 pp.; Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 55)—also published as Victorian Periodicals Newsletter 9.1 (1976): 1–36—with additions in Anne Lohrli, “Women in British Periodicals,” Victorian Periodicals Newsletter 9.4 (1976): 128–30.

= See also =[edit]

Bibliography of British Newspapers (M1440).

Sullivan, British Literary Magazines (M1445).

Indexes[edit]
= M2545 =[edit]

Houghton, Walter E., Esther Rhoads Houghton, and Jean Harris Slingerland, eds. Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals, 1824–1900. ProQuest. ProQuest, 2006–13. 4 Sept. 2013. <http://wellesley.chadwyck.com/home.do>. Wellesley Index can also be searched through C19: The Nineteenth Century Index (M2466).

———.Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals, 1824–1900, on CD-ROM. Vers. 1.0. London: Routledge, 1999.

———. Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals, 1824–1900. 5 vols. Toronto: U of Toronto P; London: Routledge, 1966–89. AI3.W45 052′.016.

The print version is an index to the prose contents of 43 major periodicals. Poetry is excluded—unfortunately, but understandably so, because of the quantity and insurmountable problems in attributing authorship. Vols. 1 through 4 each consists of three parts. Organized by periodical, pt. A is an issue-by-issue list of contents that explains uninformative titles, identifies reprints, and attributes authorship (citing evidence) for individual articles and reviews. The list for each periodical is prefaced by a summary of publishing history and editorial policy, discussion of sources for attribution of authorship, and a bibliography. Pt. B is an author bibliography of works listed in pt. A. Pt. C indexes initials and pseudonyms. Unfortunately, authors and titles of books reviewed are not indexed, nor are subjects. Additions and corrections to vol. 1 appear in vol. 2, pp. 1181–221; to vols. 1 and 2, in vol. 3, pp. 977–1012; and to vols. 1–3, in vol. 4, pp. 765–826. Vol. 5 cumulates pts. B and C, prints additions and corrections to the preceding volumes, and identifies entries in pt. A that were subsequently altered in appendixes to vols. 1–4; users must be certain to check Victorian Periodicals Review beginning with 23.2 (1990) for important additions and corrections. In addition, Eileen M. Curran tracks addenda and corrigenda in The Curran Index: Additions to and Corrections of The Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals (http://victorianresearch.org/curranindex.html).

The CD-ROM adds coverage of two periodicals, incorporates some corrections and additions from the print volumes as well as Victorian Periodicals Review to the end of 1997, and provides hyperlinks among entries. The ability to search by periodical, contributor, pseudonym, and title keyword remedies some of the problems of access faced by users of the print volumes. The text of the CD-ROM and Curran Index are also searchable through the ProQuest Wellesley Index and C19: The Nineteenth Century Index (M2466), which offer a superior search interface that allows users to search by the preceding fields as well as periodical subject and editor, to limit searches by date, and to sort results by author, periodical title, relevance, or date (ascending or descending). Users can also browse some fields. Records (some of which are linked to full text) can be marked for e-mailing, printing, downloading, or saving to a personal archive. Because of spelling variants, users should check the pull-down lists associated with the search fields.

The high degree of accuracy and reliability makes the Wellesley Index an indispensable source for efficiently scanning the contents of journals (especially inaccessible ones), for gauging the spirit of the age as reflected in a range of leading periodicals, for comparing the contents of influential serials, for determining the authorship of a majority of the numerous unsigned or pseudonymous contributions (although attributions cannot be automatically accepted, since some are based on unauthenticated sources or internal evidence), and for identifying pseudonyms used in periodicals, which Halkett and Laing, Dictionary of Anonymous and Pseudonymous English Literature (U5110), does not cover. A monumental scholarly work that has revolutionized the study of Victorian periodicals. For a history of the work, see Rosemary T. VanArsdel, “The Wellesley Index Forty Years Later (1966–2006),” Victorian Periodicals Review 39.3 (2006): 257–65. Reviews: (vol. 1) Robert A. Colby, Modern Philology 65.4 (1968): 411–14; Ian Jack, Review of English Studies ns 19.74 (1968): 228–31; (vol. 2) Colby, Modern Philology 71.4 (1974): 455–59; Jack, Review of English Studies ns 25.100 (1974): 491–93; (vol. 3) William S. Ward, JEGP: Journal of English and Germanic Philology 79.3 (1980): 454–57; (vol. 4) Richard D. Altick, Modern Philology 87.1 (1989): 101–04; Barbara Quinn Schmidt, Victorian Periodicals Review 22.2 (1989): 71–74; P. L. Shillingsburg, Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography ns 2.3 (1988): 126–28.

The Wellesley Index archive, on deposit in the Wellesley College Archives, contains incomplete records of an additional 15 periodicals. For a brief description of the archive and evaluation of Wellesley Index, see VanArsdel, “The Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals, 1824–1900” (vol. 2, pp. 165–67), in Vann and VanArsdel, Victorian Periodicals (M2525).

Periodical Poetry Index: A Research Database of Poetry in Nineteenth-Century Periodicals, ed. Natalie Houston, Lindsy Lawrence, and April Patrick, Vers. 1.0 (http://www.periodicalpoetry.org) plans to index poems in journals covered by Wellesley Index and in other periodicals. The project, however, is in a very early developmental stage and has not been updated since 2012.

= M2550 =[edit]

Ward, William S., comp. Literary Reviews in British Periodicals, 1798–1820: A Bibliography: With a Supplementary List of General (Non-review) Articles on Literary Subjects. 2 vols. New York: Garland, 1972.

———. Literary Reviews in British Periodicals, 1821–1826: A Bibliography: With a Supplementary List of General (Non-review) Articles on Literary Subjects. New York: Garland, 1977. 301 pp. Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 60. Z2013.W36 [PR453] 016.809′034.

A bibliography of reviews of belles lettres, criticism, and other writings by literary authors published between 1798 and 1826. Books are organized alphabetically by author, then by publication date, with reviews following alphabetically by periodical title. Nonreview articles are relegated to various appendixes. Appendix A includes general articles about authors appearing in the reviews section. Appendix B is in five parts: (1) volumes of general criticism reviewed, (2) general criticism articles, and articles on (3) poetry, (4) fiction, and (5) drama and theater. Appendix C (in 1798–1820 only) lists reviews of operas. The prefaces offer general suggestions for further research. These two works are essential sources for investigating the contemporary critical reception of an author or work and for locating early criticism. For earlier coverage, see Ward, Literary Reviews in British Periodicals, 1789–1797 (M2280).

Most reviews published between 1793 and 1824 of books by Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, and Keats (along with a few reviews of other writers) are conveniently reproduced in Donald H. Reiman, ed., The Romantics Reviewed: Contemporary Reviews of British Romantic Writers, 9 vols. (New York: Garland, 1972).

= See also =[edit]

Poole’s Index to Periodical Literature (Q4150).

Times Index (M1450).

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism[edit]
Serial Bibliographies[edit]
= M2555 =[edit]

“RSVP Bibliography, [1971– ].” Victorian Periodicals Review 6 (1973)– . Irregular. Title varies. PN5124.P4 V52 052. (The Research Society for Victorian Periodicals plans to make the bibliographies available at http://rs4vp.org/bibliography-2/; as of 29 Dec. 2014, only the bibliography for 1999–2001 is accessible there.)

An annotated author list of books, dissertations, articles, and reviews about periodicals published between 1800 and 1914 (1837–1901 beginning with the 2007–09 bibliography) in the United Kingdom and its colonies (with some coverage of English-language periodicals from the rest of the world). Unfortunately, annotations in some installments rarely extend beyond a terse sentence. Indexed by persons, subjects, and periodicals. Entries for 1972 through 1987 are cumulated and supplemented in Uffelman, Nineteenth-Century Periodical Press in Britain (M2560). For earlier scholarship, see Madden and Dixon, Nineteenth-Century Periodical Press in Britain (M2560). Although this work is the standard serial bibliography, its coverage is far from exhaustive.

Other Bibliographies[edit]
= M2560 =[edit]

Madden, Lionel, and Diana Dixon, comps. The Nineteenth-Century Periodical Press in Britain: A Bibliography of Modern Studies, 1901–1971. Supplement to Victorian Periodicals Newsletter 8.3 (M1975). Toronto: Victorian Periodicals Newsletter, 1975. 76 pp. Also published as Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 53. New York: Garland, 1976. 280 pp. Z6956.G6 M3 [PN5117] 016.072.

Uffelman, Larry K., comp. The Nineteenth-Century Periodical Press in Britain: A Bibliography of Modern Studies, 1972–1987. Supplement to Victorian Periodicals Review 25 (1992): 124 pp.

An annotated bibliography of books, articles, dissertations, and theses devoted to the history, editing, and publication of general interest periodicals; Uffelman cumulates and expands “RSVP Bibliography” (M2555). Madden and Dixon excludes examinations of a periodical’s treatment of specific topics, literary history studies, and attributions of individual works (however, such exclusions are not rigorously observed); Uffelman is much less restrictive. The 4,717 entries are organized in four liberally cross-referenced divisions: reference works (listed chronologically), general histories of periodicals and newspapers (listed chronologically), studies of individual periodicals (listed alphabetically by the earliest nineteenth-century title, then chronologically), and studies and memoirs of proprietors, editors, journalists, and contributors (listed alphabetically by person, then chronologically). Indexed by names. Madden and Dixon is carelessly compiled (there are numerous omissions, uneven annotations, inconsistencies in coverage, and far too many errors in the citations and index), Uffelman is more accurate but also offers uneven annotations (a substantial number of entries are unannotated) and overlooks numerous studies, and both are inefficiently organized and inadequately indexed; nevertheless, the two offer the most complete guide to scholarship on the topic. They must be supplemented, however, by the serial bibliographies and indexes in section G and by Ward, British Periodicals and Newspapers, 1789–1832 (M2565). For studies published after 1987, see the annual “RSVP Bibliography” (M2555). Reviews: (Madden and Dixon) Walter E. Houghton, Library 5th ser. 32.4 (1977): 386–87; John Bush Jones, Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography 4.2 (1980): 107–23 (with several additions and corrections).

= M2565 =[edit]

Ward, William S. British Periodicals and Newspapers, 1789–1832: A Bibliography of Secondary Sources. Lexington: UP of Kentucky, [1972]. 386 pp. Z6956.G6 W37 016.052.

A bibliography of books, articles, theses, and dissertations (through the late 1960s) about periodicals and newspapers listed in Ward, Index and Finding List of Serials (M2535). Entries are listed in six divisions: general bibliographies and bibliographical studies, general studies, periodicals, people, places, and special subjects. Brief descriptive annotations accompany some entries. Three indexes: scholars; subjects; library catalogs and union lists. Ward offers generally better coverage than Madden and Dixon, Nineteenth-Century Periodical Press (M2560), of the early decades of the nineteenth century, especially for studies of topics and literary authors; however, the organization, paucity of cross-references, and utterly inadequate subject indexing make it a frustrating work to search. For recent scholarship, see “RSVP Bibliography” (M2555).

= See also =[edit]

Linton and Boston, Newspaper Press in Britain (M1455).

Vann and VanArsdel, Victorian Periodicals (M2525).

White, English Literary Journal to 1900 (M1460).

Genres[edit]

Many works in section L: Genres and most in section M: English Literature/General/Genres are useful for research in nineteenth-century literature.

Fiction[edit]

Sections L: Genres/Fiction and M: English Literature/General/Genres/Fiction include several works useful for research in nineteenth-century fiction.

Histories and Surveys[edit]
See[edit]

Oxford History of the Novel in English, vols. 3–4 (L1057).

Literary Handbooks, Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias[edit]
M2633[edit]

Sutherland, John. The Stanford Companion to Victorian Fiction. Stanford: Stanford UP, 1989. 696 pp. British ed.: The Longman Companion to Victorian Fiction. Harlow: Longman, 1988. 696 pp. PR871.S87 823′.809′03.

An encyclopedia, whose 1,606 entries include novelists, publishers, illustrators, periodicals, genres, forms, schools, and more than 500 novels. Two appendixes: pseudonyms; maiden and married names of women. Indexed in Biography and Genealogy Master Index (J565). With its informative entries—leavened with wit, pithy judgments, and the significant detail or anecdote—Sutherland is an entertaining and generally trustworthy companion, especially to the lesser-known Victorian novelists and their works. Reviews: Miriam Allott, Review of English Studies ns 42.165 (1991): 130–32; Richard Jenkyns, TLS: Times Literary Supplement 28 July–3 Aug. 1989: 817.

See also[edit]

Dictionary of British Literary Characters: 18th- and 19th-Century Novels (M1507).

Guides to Primary Works[edit]
Bibliographies and Indexes[edit]

Unfortunately, Monica Correa Fryckstedt has abandoned her A Guide to English Fiction of the 1860s, which was to have been a checklist, organized by title, of some 2,500 novels published in Great Britain during the 1860s, along with reviews of them in more than 50 periodicals. For a description of the project and sample entries, see Fryckstedt, “Compiling A Guide to English Fiction of the 1860s,” Publishing History 39 (1996): 55–86.

= M2635 =[edit]

Sadleir, Michael. XIX Century Fiction: A Bibliographical Record Based on His Own Collection. 2 vols. London: Constable; Berkeley: U of California P, 1951. Z2014.F4 S16 016.8237.

A descriptive catalog of Sadleir’s collection—now at the University of California, Los Angeles—with some additions (identified by an asterisk) from other sources to complete the list of first editions for authors not previously subjects of bibliographies. Reflecting Sadleir’s tastes and interests, the collection emphasizes rare and unusual editions of British authors between 1800 and 1899, especially “Silver Fork” novels and those published in two or three volumes; generally excludes major novelists and those who published fiction before 1800; and includes a few foreign writers notable for the rarity of their English editions and some British novels published after 1900. The novels are organized in three divisions: an author catalog of first editions as well as variant issues, later editions of textual significance, and multiple copies; the Yellow-Back collection (books issued in colored noncloth bindings); and principal series of fiction and novels. Only the author catalog fully describes editions by recording title, subtitle, number of volumes and pagination, imprint, binding, provenance, notes on bibliographical points, and references to other bibliographies. A headnote indicates the completeness of each author list. (Users should note that entry numbers skip from 2099 to 3000.) Indexed by titles in vol. 1, by titles and by authors in vol. 2. Although the catalog includes only a small fraction of the novels published during the century, the careful descriptions and numerous unique items make Sadleir a valuable source of bibliographical and textual information, a significant contribution to the much needed record of fiction published during the nineteenth century, and one of the monumental catalogs of a private collection. Supplemented by Wolff, Nineteenth-Century Fiction (M2660), which Sadleir’s catalog inspired, and by English Catalogue of Books (M2470), which remains the most complete list of novels published during the century. The subject index described by Bradford A. Booth (“An Analytical Subject-Index to the Sadleir Collection,” Nineteenth-Century Fiction 23.2 [1968]: 217–20) has apparently not survived. Reviews: Hugh G. Dick, Nineteenth-Century Fiction 6.3 (1951): 209–17; Times Literary Supplement 13 Apr. 1951: 234.

= M2640 =[edit]

Grimes, Janet, and Diva Daims. Novels in English by Women, 1891–1920: A Preliminary Checklist. New York: Garland, 1981. 805 pp. Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 202. Z2013.5.W6.G75 [PR1286] 016.823′912.

An author list of 15,174 titles (including translations) by 5,267 authors, primarily published in England and the United States. Excludes most juvenile fiction and novels by joint authors when one is male. Entries are arranged by author in three divisions: verified entries, novels by anonymous or pseudonymous authors whose gender could not be determined, and unverified novels. Approximately 75% of the entries are annotated with what are aptly described as “working notes not originally intended for publication,” which consist principally of quotations from or rough paraphrases of reviews. Indexed by titles. Although it is a reproduction of a printout of a minimally edited working copy based on secondary sources, Novels in English by Women does record the bulk of novels written by women during the period (as well as reviews of them in several major periodicals). Unfortunately, work on the checklist for 1781–1890 has been suspended.

The potential value of these working notes is illustrated by Daims and Grimes, Toward a Feminist Tradition: An Annotated Bibliography of Novels in English by Women, 1891–1920 (New York: Garland, 1982; 885 pp.; Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 201), which extracts entries for novels offering “unconventional treatment of women characters which focuses attention either on the efforts of women to control their lives or on social attitudes and conditions functioning as counterforces to that achievement.” The annotations have been edited, but readers must consult Novels in English for sources of the reviews. Indexed by titles. Although neither comprehensive nor based on firsthand knowledge of the works, Toward a Feminist Tradition is nonetheless an important source for studying attitudes toward women, especially in British novels.

Intended as a companion to Novels in English and Toward a Feminist Tradition, Doris Robinson, Women Novelists, 1891–1920: An Index to Biographical and Autobiographical Sources (New York: Garland, 1984; 458 pp.; Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 491), lists separately published autobiographies and biographies as well as entries in collective biographies for 1,565 of the women. Indexed in Biography and Genealogy Master Index (J565).

Additional works of fiction—along with poetry and drama—can be identified in R. C. Alston, A Checklist of Women Writers, 1801–1900: Fiction, Verse, Drama (Boston: Hall, 1990; 517 pp.); however, the title fails to make clear that coverage is limited to English-language works published in the British Isles or British territories and held in the British Library.

= M2645 =[edit]

Harris, Wendell V. British Short Fiction in the Nineteenth Century: A Literary and Bibliographic Guide. Detroit: Wayne State UP, 1979. 209 pp. PR861.H35 823′.01.

The “Bibliographic Appendix” (pp. 164–203) is an author list of collections of short fiction made by the author, standard collections published after the author’s death, and selected other collections. British Short Fiction lists contents of collections not analyzed in New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature (M1385) or Short Story Index (L1085) and, for all authors, cites standard general and author bibliographies that list short fiction. Harris, NCBEL, and Short Story Index combined provide the best guide to the collected short fiction during the century. Review: Robert A. Colby, Victorian Studies 24.2 (1981): 254–55.

= M2650 =[edit]

Snell, K. D. M. The Bibliography of Regional Fiction in Britain and Ireland, 1800–2000. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2002. 213 pp. Z2014.F4 S64 [PR868.R45] 016.823′808032.

A bibliography of English-language fiction (loosely conceived) published between 1800 and 2000 that is set at least partly in a particular region of Great Britain or Ireland and that uses “recognizable and distinctive features of the life, customs, language, dialect or other aspects of that area’s culture and people.” Among the kinds of publications excluded are folktales, chapbooks, most temperance novels, and short fiction not collected in book form. Entries—which consist of author, title, and date of first publication—are generally listed under the county as it existed at the work’s composition (though there are headings for some broader topographical regions [e.g., the Scottish Highlands and the Welsh borders], for cities that have inspired a large body of fiction, and for political categories [e.g., the northern Irish border]); there are separate lists for England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Although a bare-bones listing that is difficult to consult because of the lack of author and title indexes, Snell offers the fullest and most current guide to the regional fiction of the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland; it supersedes Lucien Leclaire, A General Analytical Bibliography of the Regional Novelists of the British Isles, 1800–1950, rev. ed., Collection d’histoire et de littérature étrangères (Paris: Belles Lettres, 1969, 399 pp.), and is an essential complement to Brown, Ireland in Fiction (N3025).

= M2655 =[edit]

Vann, J. Don. Victorian Novels in Serial. New York: MLA, 1985. 181 pp. Index Soc. Fund Pubs. Z2014.F4 V36 [PR871] 016.823′8.

Identifies the date of publication and content of each installment of 192 serialized novels by Ainsworth, Collins, Dickens, Eliot, Gaskell, Hardy, Kingsley, Kipling, Bulwer-Lytton, Marryat, Meredith, Reade, Stevenson, Thackeray, Trollope, and Ward. Under each author, Vann lists novels by date of publication of the first part and for each installment cites date of publication and identifies, as precisely as possible, its content in relation to the separately published volume. The introduction discusses the history of serialization, its effect on authorship, the impact of the form on plot (especially the ending of an installment), and publishing practices. Concludes with a selected bibliography of scholarship on serial novels. Since the periodicals are frequently difficult to obtain and few modern editions identify installments, Vann offers essential information to those studying the initial reception and structure of the more important Victorian serial novels. Reviews: Michael Lund, Studies in the Novel 19.4 (1987): 503–05; Rosemary T. VanArsdel, Victorian Periodicals Review 19.2 (1986): 78–79.

= M2660 =[edit]

Wolff, Robert Lee, comp. Nineteenth-Century Fiction: A Bibliographical Catalogue Based on the Collection Formed by Robert Lee Wolff. 5 vols. New York: Garland, 1981–86. Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 261, 331–34. Z2014.F4 W64 [PR861] 016.823′8.

A descriptive author catalog of Wolff’s extensive collection of novels published between 1837 and 1901 (as well as other works written by novelists during the period, novels before 1837 and after 1901 by novelists published between those years, and related manuscripts and letters). The collection—now owned by the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas, Austin—complements Michael Sadleir’s, since Wolff sought the minor authors (especially women) not favored by collectors. Effective use of the catalog requires a copy of XIX Century Fiction (M2635) at hand, because Wolff assumes familiarity with Sadleir’s procedures and records only significant variants and details of provenance for editions fully described by Sadleir. The 7,938 titles (plus numerous editions thereof and duplicates) are listed alphabetically by author, then title; there are separate alphabetic sequences for unattributed anonymous works, pseudonymous works, and multiple-author collections, annuals, and periodical fiction in vol. 5. Letters relating to novels are fully transcribed; manuscripts receive extensive descriptions. Entries vary in content but typically include title; imprint; description of binding; number of volumes and pagination; bibliographical notes, with information on condition, provenance, and references to standard bibliographies; and a variety of miscellaneous notes, including publishing history, content, and frequently eccentric critical observations. Indexed by title in vol. 5. Wolff corrected only the entries from A to mid-D before his death; hence, many errors and incomplete references remain, and most entries would benefit from considerable pruning. (Wolff’s notecards, which are held by the Ransom Center, include annotations that are not incorporated into the printed catalog.) Although the work is not one of the monumental catalogs of a private collection, its emphasis on minor novels, the several corrections to standard author bibliographies, and descriptions of numerous unique items, variant editions, manuscripts, and association copies make Wolff an essential complement to Sadleir and an important contribution toward a much needed comprehensive list of Victorian novels. Review: (vol. 1) Walter E. Smith, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 76.4 (1982): 481–88.

= See also =[edit]

Bleiler, Guide to Supernatural Fiction (L860).

English Novels, 1770–1829: A Bibliographical Survey of Prose Fiction Published in the British Isles (M2336).

Hubin, Crime Fiction, 1749–1980 (L915).

Mayo, English Novel in the Magazines, 1740–1815 (M2330).

Sargent, British and American Utopian Literature (L1055).

Tymn, Horror Literature (L860a).

Wright, [Author/Chronological/Title] Bibliography of English Language Fiction (L1060).

Text Archives[edit]
= M2663 =[edit]

Nineteenth-Century Fiction. Chadwyck-Healey Literature Collections. ProQuest, 1996–2013. 4 Sept. 2013. <http://collections.chadwyck.com/marketing/index.jsp>.

An archive of rekeyed texts of 250 English-language works of fiction published in the British Isles between 1782 and 1903. First editions were selected for inclusion, although some serialized versions and revised later editions are used. The About Nineteenth-Century Fiction page offers no explanation of the criteria used to select authors or works.

Simple keyword, title, and author searches can be limited to parts (e.g., front matter, epigraphs) and by publication date, date during an author’s lifetime, gender, nationality, and ethnicity. Searchers can also browse author and title lists of the contents of the database. Results appear in ascending alphabetical order and cannot be re-sorted. Citations (but not the full text) can be marked for e-mailing, downloading, or printing; each citation includes a durable URL to the full text.

Some works are rekeyed from textually unsound editions; however, the bibliographic record for each work identifies the source of the text and any omissions (e.g., preliminary matter). Besides being a useful source for identifying an elusive quotation or allusion, Nineteenth-Century Fiction’s text archive makes feasible a variety of kinds of studies (stylistic, thematic, imagistic, and topical).

The contents of Nineteenth-Century Fiction can also be searched through LiOn (I527).

Continues Eighteenth-Century Fiction (M2339).

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism[edit]
Surveys of Research[edit]
= M2665 =[edit]

Stevenson, Lionel, ed. Victorian Fiction: A Guide to Research. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1964. 440 pp. PR873.S8 823.809.

Ford, George H., ed. Victorian Fiction: A Second Guide to Research. New York: MLA, 1978. 401 pp. PR871.V5 823′.8′09.

Evaluative surveys of research on established novelists. The original volume covers scholarship from the 1930s through 1962 (with some important earlier and later studies) in chapters on general works, Disraeli and Bulwer-Lytton, Dickens, Thackeray, Trollope, the Brontës, Gaskell and Kingsley, Collins and Reade, Eliot, Meredith, Hardy, and Moore and Gissing. The Second Guide continues coverage through 1974 (and carries over some significant omissions from the earlier volume and includes a few 1975 publications) and adds chapters on Butler and Stevenson. The individual essays are variously subdivided but typically examine bibliographies, biographical studies, editions, collections of letters, and critical studies (with the sequel utilizing more subdivisions, giving more attention to manuscripts, and adding a discussion of film adaptations). Most include suggestions for further research (more consistently and fully in the 1978 volume). Indexed by persons. Marred only by incomplete citations, these volumes offer magisterial surveys that remain valuable guides to earlier scholarship. Reviews: (Stevenson) Geoffrey Tillotson and Kathleen Tillotson, Nineteenth-Century Fiction 19.4 (1965): 405–10; (Ford) David J. DeLaura, English Language Notes 16.2 (1978): 178–91; Sylvère Monod, Yearbook of English Studies 11 (1981): 310–12.

= See also =[edit]

Spector, English Gothic (M2345).

Other Bibliographies[edit]

There is no adequate bibliography of criticism of nineteenth-century British fiction. Although it does index parts of some monographs, Lynndianne Beene, Guide to British Prose Fiction Explication: Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (New York: Hall-Simon; London: Prentice, 1997; 697 pp.; Reference Pub. in Lit.), is plagued by too many serious deficiencies: an inadequate set of principles governing selection (“Pragmaticism, the availability of resources, and the author’s sense of identification shaped the decisions to include or exclude a writer”); the inclusion of authors (such as Atwood, Mansfield, and Durrell) who hardly qualify as British; the citation of numerous reviews that cannot remotely be labeled “explication”; and the lack of an index.

= See =[edit]

Albert, Detective and Mystery Fiction (L920).

Frank, Guide to the Gothic (L875).

Kirby, America’s Hive of Honey (Q4190).

Twentieth-Century Short Story Explication (L1090).

Drama and Theater[edit]

Sections L: Genres/Drama and Theater and M: English Literature/General/Genres/Drama and Theater include many works useful for research in nineteenth-century drama and theater.

Histories and Surveys[edit]
M2670[edit]

Nicoll, Allardyce. Early Nineteenth Century Drama, 1800–1850. 2nd ed. Late Nineteenth Century Drama, 1850–1900. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1955–59. Vols. 4–5 of A History of English Drama, 1660–1900 (M1525). PR625.N52 822.09.

Emphasizing the history of the stage and dramatic forms, vol. 4 includes chapters on the theater, dramatic conditions, the illegitimate drama (e.g., melodrama, farce, burlesque), the legitimate drama, and the poetic drama not intended for production; vol. 5 has chapters on the theater, dramatic conditions, and each decade of the last half of the century. Both volumes provide an appendix listing playhouses and an author list of plays and other dramatic forms written and produced during the respective period (with details of first performance, printed editions, and manuscripts, although the last are sketchily treated). Readers should note the supplementary sections that print revisions that could not be incorporated readily into the text. Although the history of the stage requires supplementing, the volumes assemble a wealth of information, and the lists of plays produced (although not exhaustive) are the most complete available. Indexed by persons and subjects in each volume; the lists of plays are indexed, with additions and corrections, in vol. 6 (entry M1545). For further additions and corrections, see

  • Hauger, George. “English Musical Theatre, 1830–1900.” Theatre Notebook 36.2 (1982): 55–64 and 36.3 (1982): 122–25.
  • Stratman, Carl J., C. S. V. “Additions to Allardyce Nicoll’s Hand-List of Plays: 1800–1818.” Notes and Queries ns 8.6 (1961): 214–17.
  • ———. “English Tragedy: 1819–1823.” Philological Quarterly 41.2 (1962): 465–74.
See also[edit]

Revels History of Drama in English (M1530).

Guides to Primary Works[edit]
M2685[edit]

Gänzl, Kurt. The British Musical Theatre. 2 vols. New York: Oxford UP, 1986. ML1731.8.L7.G36 782.81′0941.

  • Vol. 1: 1865–1914. 1,196 pp.
  • Vol. 2: 1915–1984. 1,258 pp.

A year-by-year account of original light musical theater produced in London’s West End. Gänzl excludes operas, ballad operas, and burlesques, but otherwise encompasses a wide range of musical entertainments. Each year consists of two parts: (1) an extensive overview that combines plot summary with evaluation and comments on critical reception; (2) a list of productions, recording for each the author, librettist, producer, director, composer, theater, opening and closing dates, number of performances, original cast (along with understudies and replacements), revivals, adaptations in a different medium, some productions outside London (with cast lists for revivals and foreign productions), and touring dates. Each volume concludes with two appendixes: list of printed music; discography. Indexed separately in each volume by persons and titles of musicals. The massive and generally trustworthy accumulation of factual information makes Gänzl an indispensable source for the theater historian and should encourage a general critical history of the London musical theater as well as a host of specialized studies.

See also[edit]

Dramatic Compositions Copyrighted in the United States, 1870 to 1916 (Q4195).

Wearing, London Stage, 1890–1899 (M2865).

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism[edit]
M2690[edit]

Conolly, L. W., and J. P. Wearing. English Drama and Theatre, 1800–1900: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale, 1978. 508 pp. Amer. Lit., English Lit., and World Lits. in English: An Information Guide Ser. 12. Z2014.D7 C72 [PR721] 016.822′7′08.

A selective bibliography of English-language scholarship (including dissertations) and editions through 1973. The 3,324 entries are arranged chronologically in 10 classified divisions: contemporary history and criticism; modern history and criticism; individual authors; reference works; anthologies; theaters; acting and management; critics; stage design, scenic art, and costume; and periodicals. The 110 authors have sections, when required, for collected works, major acted plays, unacted plays, bibliographies, biographies, critical studies, and author journals and newsletters. Annotations generally consist of brief descriptive comments. Since there are few cross-references, users must be certain to check the person, anonymous title, and selected subject index. Although lacking a clear statement of criteria governing selection, English Drama and Theatre is a convenient starting place, but coverage must be supplemented by Arnott, English Theatrical Literature (M1560), general bibliographies on the period (entries M2480–510), “Nineteenth-Century Theatre Research: A Bibliography for [1972–81]” (in Nineteenth Century Theatre 1–10 [1973–83]), and the serial bibliographies and indexes in section G. Reviews: James Ellis, Victorian Periodicals Review 12.4 (1979): 146–49; Jan McDonald, Theatre Notebook 34.1 (1980): 42–44.

See also[edit]

International Bibliography of Theatre (L1160).

Poetry[edit]

Many works in sections L: Genres/Poetry and M: English Literature/General/Genres/Poetry are important to research in nineteenth-century poetry.

Histories and Surveys[edit]

For evaluative surveys of histories and general studies, see Frank Jordan, “The Romantic Movement in England,” pp. 1–112 in Jordan, English Romantic Poets (M2710), and Jerome H. Buckley, “General Materials,” pp. 1–31 in Faverty, Victorian Poets (M2715).

Guides to Primary Works[edit]
M2707[edit]

Reilly, Catherine W. Late Victorian Poetry, 1880–1899: An Annotated Biobibliography. London: Mansell, 1994. 577 pp. Z2014.P7 R453 [PR581] 016.821′808.

A bibliography of separately published volumes of poetry in English by 2,964 authors who lived in the United Kingdom between 1880 and 1899. Excluded are literal translations, verse drama, dialect poetry, songs, verse for children, books of fewer than eight leaves, publications that include the work of more than two poets, and volumes by poets dead before 1880. Entries, listed alphabetically by author, begin with a biographical note, followed by a list of works that supplies standard bibliographical information and identifies the libraries holding the copies examined. (The few entries for works that the author could not examine are clearly identified.) The subtitle is misleading since very few entries are annotated and even there, the commentary is typically restricted to details of printing or publication. Indexed by titles. Although inevitably incomplete (only one library outside the United Kingdom was searched), Late Victorian Poetry brings under bibliographic control a substantial body of minor verse. Review: Edwin Gilcher, English Literature in Transition, 1880–1920 39.2 (1996): 270–72.

See also[edit]

Jackson, Jackson Bibliography of Romantic Poetry (M2420).

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism[edit]
Surveys of Research[edit]
= M2710 =[edit]

Jordan, Frank, ed. The English Romantic Poets: A Review of Research and Criticism. 4th ed. New York: MLA, 1985. 765 pp. PR590.E5 016.821′7′09.

An evaluative guide to important scholarship and criticism through the early 1980s, with chapters by major scholars on the Romantic movement in England, Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, and Keats. The organization of each chapter varies, but all chapters except the first include sections for reference works, editions, biographical studies, general criticism, and studies of individual works; all examine trends and prospects in criticism as well as identify topics needing attention. As in other MLA reviews of research, the failure to cite full publication information makes tracking down articles (and some books) needlessly time-consuming. Indexed by persons (with titles of works listed under the six poets). Clear organization, judicious selection and evaluation, and authoritative commentary make this the indispensable guide to important earlier studies of English Romanticism and the six poets.

Although largely superseded, the third edition, ed. Jordan (1972; 468 pp.), is still occasionally useful for its evaluation of outdated works. A complementary volume that has not been superseded but is now badly dated is Carolyn Washburn Houtchens and Lawrence Huston Houtchens, eds., The English Romantic Poets and Essayists: A Review of Research and Criticism, rev. ed. (New York: New York UP for MLA; London: U of London P, 1966; 395 pp.; Revolving Fund Ser. 21). Essays survey bibliographies, editions, biographical studies, and criticism on Blake, Lamb, Hazlitt, Scott, Southey, Campbell, Moore, Landor, Hunt, De Quincey, and Carlyle.

= M2715 =[edit]

Faverty, Frederic E., ed. The Victorian Poets: A Guide to Research. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1968. 433 pp. PR593.F3 821′.8′09.

An evaluative guide to scholarship through 1966, with chapters on general works, Tennyson, R. Browning, E. B. Browning, FitzGerald, Clough, Arnold, Swinburne, Pre-Raphaelites (D. G. Rossetti, C. Rossetti, Morris, and minor poets), Hopkins, and later Victorian poets (Patmore, Meredith, Thomson, Hardy, Bridges, Henley, Stevenson, Wilde, Davidson, Thompson, Housman, Kipling, Johnson, and Dowson). The chapters vary in organization but typically include sections for bibliographies, editions, biographies, and general criticism. Unfortunately, citations do not record full publication information, and there are more than a few errors. The directness of evaluation varies with the contributor, but all suggest topics for further research. Indexed by persons. A trustworthy guide to significant research through 1966, but a new edition is needed. Review: Kenneth Allott, Victorian Poetry 8.1 (1970): 82–91.

Supplemented by “Guide to the Year’s Work,” Victorian Poetry (M2720).

Serial Bibliographies[edit]
= M2720 =[edit]

“Guide to the Year’s Work: [1962– ].” Victorian Poetry 1 (1963)– . Title varies. PR500.V5 811.

An evaluative survey of important scholarship on poetry (with some attention to nonfiction prose). The surveys for 1962–71 are by R. C. Tobias; those since 1972 consist of brief essays on general studies, groups, and major authors by a variety of scholars. The surveys for 1972 through 1974 are titled “Guide to the Year’s Work in Victorian Poetry and Prose” and intended to supplement DeLaura, Victorian Prose (M2740), but those since 1975 give less attention to nonfiction prose. (The guide for 1972, which was published as a supplement to vol. 10 [1974], covers studies published between 1966 and 1972.) The most authoritative annual survey and a valuable supplement to Faverty, Victorian Poets (M2715). Less satisfying surveys appear in Studies in English Literature, 1500–1900 (M2480) and Year’s Work in English Studies (G330).

Other Bibliographies[edit]
= M2725 =[edit]

Reiman, Donald H. English Romantic Poetry, 1800–1835: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale, 1979. 294 pp. Amer. Lit., English Lit., and World Lits. in English: An Information Guide Ser. 27. Z2014.P7 R46 [PR590] 016.821′7′09.

A selective annotated bibliography, principally of English-language scholarship through the mid-1970s. Entries are organized in eight classified divisions: general and background studies, the Romantic movement, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, Keats, and secondary poets (Beddoes, Campbell, Clare, Hogg, Hood, Hunt, Landor, Moore, Peacock, Rogers, Scott, and Southey). The author divisions have sections for reference works, editions, biographical studies, and criticism. Most of the brief annotations offer pointed evaluations, and various symbols (see p. xiii) identify levels of use and audience. Three indexes: authors; titles; subjects. Judicious selection, evaluation, and subject indexing make Reiman a trustworthy starting point for research on the minor writers and one of the better volumes in this highly uneven series. Jordan, English Romantic Poets (M2710), is a more authoritative guide to scholarship on the major writers. Reviews: James H. Averill, Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography 5.3 (1981): 180–83; E. D. Mackerness, Notes and Queries ns 28.5 (1981): 438–40.

= See also =[edit]

Brogan, English Versification, 1570–1980 (M1600).

Donow, Sonnet in England and America (L1250).

Kuntz and Martinez, Poetry Explication (L1255).

Martinez and Martinez, Guide to British Poetry Explication (L1255a).

Prose[edit]

Some works in sections L: Genres/Prose and M: English Literature/General/Genres/Prose are useful for research in nineteenth-century prose.

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism[edit]
M2740[edit]

DeLaura, David J., ed. Victorian Prose: A Guide to Research. New York: MLA, 1973. 560 pp. PR785.D4 820′.9′008.

An evaluative survey of research through 1971 (with some publications from 1972) that includes chapters on general works, Macaulay, Thomas and Jane Carlyle, Newman, Mill, Ruskin, Arnold, Pater, the Oxford Movement, the Victorian churches, critics (Lewes, Bagehot, Hutton, Dallas, Lee, Swinburne, Symonds, Moore, Saintsbury, Gosse, Wilde, and Symons), and the unbelievers (Harrison, T. Huxley, Morley, and Stephen). Individual chapters are variously subdivided (with headings listed in the table of contents), but typically cover bibliographies, editions, manuscripts, biographies, and general studies. Unfortunately, full publication details are not cited. Evaluations are fair-minded (sometimes trenchant), and all contributors point out topics needing further research. Indexed by persons. A trustworthy, essential guide to scholarship through 1971, but a new edition is needed. Supplemented in part by “Guide to the Year’s Work,” Victorian Poetry (M2720). Reviews: Miriam Allott, Victorian Studies 19.1 (1975): 107–11; Alan Shelston, Critical Quarterly 16.1 (1974): 91–94; Vincent L. Tollers, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 69.2 (1975): 284–85.

This collection and its supplement are preferable to Harris W. Wilson and Diane Long Hoeveler, English Prose and Criticism in the Nineteenth Century: A Guide to Information Sources (Detroit: Gale, 1979; 437 pp.; Amer. Lit., English Lit., and World Lits. in English: An Information Guide Ser. 18), which is inadequately annotated and plagued by errors, omissions, and inconsistencies (for details, see the review by David J. DeLaura, Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography 5.1 [1981]: 61–63).

Twentieth-Century Literature[edit]

Many reference works devoted to twentieth-century literature are international in scope. Multinational works that emphasize British literature and those that treat British and American literature more or less equally appear in this part. Other works important to research in twentieth-century English literature are listed in sections G: Serial Bibliographies, Indexes, and Abstracts; M: English Literature/General; and Q: American Literature/General and American Literature/Twentieth-Century Literature.

Research Methods