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Literary Theory & Cultural Studies



Publication Date

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Tolstoy: A Very Short Introduction


Liza Knapp

May 2019

Very Short Introductions

Leo Tolstoy is one of the greatest novelists ever to have lived, whose books have stood the test of time to remain widely recognised as literary masterpieces today. This Very Short Introduction explores his celebrated novels and nonfiction writings to reveal the core themes and thought at the heart of Tolstoy's work.

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C. S. Lewis: A Very Short Introduction


James Como

January 2019

Very Short Introductions

The writings of C.S. Lewis have a universal appeal. His Chronicles of Narnia are by far the best known, but he was also a prolific literary scholar, essayist, broadcaster, novelist, poet, and Christian apologist. Following the chronology of Lewis's life, James Como draws out the core themes of his writings, showing how his ideas evolved.

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Autobiography: A Very Short Introduction


Laura Marcus

July 2018

Very Short Introductions

Autobiography is one of the most popular of written forms. Laura Marcus defines what autobiographies are, considering their relationship with similar literary forms, and analysing the core themes in autobiographical writing. She also discusses how autobiography offers the most fundamental accounts of what it means to be a self in the world.

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Comparative Literature: A Very Short Introduction


Ben Hutchinson

March 2018

Very Short Introductions

Considering literature comparatively can help readers realize how much can be learned by looking beyond the horizon of their own cultures, discovering not only more about other literatures, but also about their own. Ben Hutchinson offers a history of comparative literature, placing it at the heart of literary criticism.

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Common Writing: Essays on Literary Culture and Public Debate


Stefan Collini

January 2018

In a series of penetrating and attractively readable essays, Stefan Collini, one of the most brilliant essayists of our time, explores aspects of the literary and intellectual culture of Britain in the twentieth century.

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The Reader in the Book: A Study of Spaces and Traces


Stephen Orgel

November 2017

Oxford Textual Perspectives

The Reader in the Book examines the history, archaeology, and sociology of the use of margins and other blank spaces in early modern books to shed light on reading practices, how books were read, and what early modern readerse wanted texts to tell them.

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Charles Dickens: An Introduction


Jenny Hartley

October 2016

Jenny Hartley introduces Charles Dickens's life and works, looking at the vitality of his characters and the energy which surges through his writing. Examining the themes running through his books, she considers the institutions which influenced his work (such as the workhouse) and looks at his critique of nineteenth century society.

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Once Upon a Time: A Short History of Fairy Tale


Marina Warner

July 2016

In ten succinct chapters, Marina Warner guides us through the rich world of fairy tale, from Cinderella and Hansel and Gretel to Snow White and Pan's Labyrinth. Exploring pervasive themes of folklore, myth, the supernatural, imagination, and fantasy, Warner highlights the impact of the genre on human understanding, history, and culture.

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The Hebrew Bible as Literature: A Very Short Introduction


Tod Linafelt

March 2016

Very Short Introductions

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Crime Fiction: A Very Short Introduction


Richard Bradford

May 2015

Very Short Introductions

Since the mid-19th century crime fiction has been one of the most popular sub-genres of the novel. In this Very Short Introduction, Richard Bradford explores its origins and the features that define its varied style. He considers its role in popular culture around the world and considers why its classification as 'literature' is still ambiguous.

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The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms

Fourth Edition


Chris Baldick

May 2015

Oxford Quick Reference

The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms provides clear and concise definitions of even the most complex literary terms from abjection to zeugma. An essential reference tool for students of literature in any language. Recommended web links are available via a companion website.

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Dante: A Very Short Introduction


Peter Hainsworth, David Robey

February 2015

Very Short Introductions

This Very Short Introduction examines all the major aspects of Dante's work, emphasizing the features that have made him such an important point of reference for modern writers and their readers. Exploring and explaining The Divine Comedy, they also discuss his life and poetry as well as issues of truth, humanity, politics, and religion.

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The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare


Arthur F Kinney

December 2014

Oxford Handbooks

An essential resource for the study of Shakespeare, The Oxford Handbook to Shakespeare contains forty specially written essays. It provides fresh and distinctive readings of his plays and poems, reflects on the current state of Shakespeare Studies, and speculates on the likely future directions it will take.

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How To Interpret Literature: Critical Theory for Literary and Cultural Studies

Third Edition


Robert Dale Parker

November 2014

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Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry: Volume 2

Second Edition


Cary Nelson

August 2014

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The Oxford Handbook of Edmund Spenser


Richard A. McCabe

July 2014

Oxford Handbooks

The Oxford Handbook of Edmund Spenser examines the entire canon of Spenser's work and the social and intellectual environments in which it was produced. It explores technical matters of style, language, and metre, the poet's use of sources and subtexts, and the reception of his work amongst editors, critics, writers, and visual artists.

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Classical Literature: A Very Short Introduction


William Allan

March 2014

Very Short Introductions

William Allan's Very Short Introduction provides a concise and lively guide to the major authors, genres, and periods of classical literature. Drawing upon a wealth of material, he reveals just what makes the 'classics' such masterpieces and why they continue to influence and fascinate today.

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The World of Myth: An Anthology

Second Edition


David A. Leeming

January 2014

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The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature

Third Edition


M.C. Howatson

August 2013

Oxford Quick Reference

A unique A-Z reference work of over 3,100 entries spanning the length and breadth of classical literature. It ranges from detailed biographies of authors, overviews of myths and legends, and explanations of literary styles, to topical entries on the wider aspects of classical society, and on the literary works that shed light on them.

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The Oxford Handbook of Children's Literature


Julia Mickenberg, Lynne Vallone

November 2012

Oxford Handbooks

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