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Last Updated: Jul 25, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts
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Full-Text Reference Books from Literati

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The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English
An authoritative and international survey of world literature in English. The Guide covers everything from Old English to Contemporary Writing from all over the English-speaking world. It covers poems, novels, literary journals and plays.

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The Edinburgh Encyclopaedia of Modern Criticism and Theory
Offers the student and scholar of literary and cultural studies a comprehensive guide to the history and development of criticism in the humanities.

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Continuum Encyclopedia of American Literature - Steven R. Serafin
Composed of signed biographical-critical entries, this Encyclopedia serves as both guide and companion to the study and appreciation of American literature.

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The Chronology of American Literature - Daniel S. Burt
An authoritative reference and an ideal browser's guide, this book outlines the indispensable information in America's rich literary past - from major publications to lesser-known gems - while also identifying larger trends along the literary timeline.


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Bronson Alcott

  • Bronson Alcott (1799–1888)
    From The Columbia Encyclopedia: American educational and social reformer, b. near Wolcott, Conn., as Amos Bronson Alcox. MORE
  • Alcott, Amos Bronson
    From Philosophy of Education: An Encyclopedia: American philosopher, educator, and reformer. Along with Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), and several other New England literati, he helped form the nucleus of what came to be known as American Transcendentalism. MORE
  • Alcott, Amos Bronson
    From Continuum Encyclopedia of American Literature: Educator, philosopher, reformer, conversationalist, and poet, A. epitomized the stereotypical extremes of idealism and impracticality associated with TRANSCENDENTALISM. MORE

Louisa May Alcott

  • Little Women
    From The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English: A novel by Louisa May Alcott, originally published in two parts. The first part, Little Women: or, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, appeared in 1868; the second, under the title Good Wives, in 1869. MORE

Henry David Thoreau

  • Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862): Topic Page
    US naturalist and author; his experiment in living in solitude recorded in Walden (1854), his thoughts on the individual in society in Civil Disobedience (1849). MORE
  • Walden
    From The Dictionary of Alternatives: The US writer Henry David Thoreau’s book Walden; or, Life in the Woods (1854) is a massively influential work which could be taken both as a manifesto for simple living and as a condemnation of property owning and competitive society. MORE
  • Thoreau, Henry David
    From American Environmental Leaders: From Colonial Times to the Present: Henry David Thoreau wrote A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849) and Walden (1854). Although these were the only two books he published in his lifetime, they, along with his poetry, essays, and extensive journals, provided a philosophical and aesthetic base for the later movement to preserve wilderness. MORE

Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-64): Topic Page
    American novelist and short-story writer, b. Salem, Mass., one of the great masters of American fiction. MORE
  • The Scarlett Letter
    From The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English: A novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne, published in 1850 and developed from an incident described by him in the story ‘Endicott and the Red Cross’ (1837). MORE
  • The House of the Seven Gables
    From The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English: A novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne, published in 1851 and inspired by the author's own family history. (According to legend, Hawthorne's great-grandfather, a judge at the Salem witch trials, was cursed by one of his victims.) MORE

Related Topics

  • Romanticism
    From Encyclopedia of the United States in the Nineteenth Century: Romanticism refers to a worldwide movement that emerged in late-eighteenth-century Europe within the realms of literature, law, philosophy, religion, art, and politics as a collective reaction to perceived excesses of the Enlightenment ideal of reason. MORE
  • American Literature: Topic Page
    Literature in English produced in what is now the United States of America. MORE
  • Environmentalism: Topic Page
    Movement to protect the quality and continuity of life through conservation of natural resources, prevention of pollution, and control of land use. MORE

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Harriet Lothrop

Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882): Topic Page
    Essayist, poet, and lecturer, born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. The son of a Unitarian minister, he was eight years old when his father died leaving six young children. MORE
  • Nature
    From The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English: A book by Ralph Waldo Emerson, developed from his early lectures, and published in 1836. MORE
  • Self-Reliance
    From The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Houghton Mifflin: An essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson that advises the reader to “Trust thyself” and argues that “whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist.” MORE

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