Literary Criticism

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Alphabetical List

Twentieth Century Poetry logo20th Century Poetry

English and American Poetry

  • Many of the major themes of 20th century writing -- nationality, politics, war, sexuality, religion and gender -- can be understood anew through this vast and representative collection
  • The Imagists, Beat Poets, Harlem Renaissance, Black Mountain and Deep Image schools are all featured

Book Review Digest Plus logoBook Review Digest Plus

Brings together book reviews on subjects such as art, biography, business, education, general interest, history, humanities, literature, music and more with coverage back to 1983.

Content Includes:

  • A citation to every book review that appears in any of over 5,000+ indexed journals
  • Over 2 million review citations, many with generous excerpts, from review sources such as newspapers, popular magazines, and academic journals with more than 118,000 new reviews added each year
  • “Master” records for each book, with links to reviews from various sources
  • Retrospective coverage as far back as 1983
  • Over 270,000 full text reviews from more than 1,400 American, British, and Canadian periodicals
  • Coverage of books for children with a suggested grade range

Drama for Students logoDrama for Students (Gale Virtual Reference Library)

Provides critical overviews of the most-studied plays of all time periods, nations, and cultures. Includes discussions of themes, characters, critical reception, dramatic devices and traditions as well as cultural and historical context.

Gale Virtual Reference titles are:

  • Popular reference titles in a digital ebook format
  • Cross-searchable and print as PDF's
  • No need to checkout and no waiting

Essay and General Literature Index logoEssay & General Literature Index

Cites records in collections of essays and works published in the United States, Great Britain and Canada dating back to 1985 and spans the entire range of the humanities and social sciences.

Content Includes:

  • Nearly 86,000 essays found in over 7,000 printed anthologies and collections
  • Coverage dating as far back as 1985

Gale Literary Sources logoGale Literary Sources

Gale has integrated Literature Resources from Gale and Literature Criticism Online into a single research environment. You can research authors and their works, literary movements and genres. Search across your library's Literature databases to find full text of literary works, journal articles, literature criticism, reviews, biographical information and overviews. Unlock information in primary sources, critical articles, literary and cultural analysis, and biographies. Search across centuries to be able to see the broader continuum of the story you choose to tell.

Gale Literary Sources provides workflow tools and features that are brand new to Gale Literature Collections – term clusters, term frequency graphs, search assist functionality, mobile compatibility, and interface translation, along with an easier and more dynamic search.

Term Frequency
The term frequency tool aids researchers in tracking central themes and ideas. Researchers can now see the frequency of their search term within content to begin assessing how individuals, events, and ideas interacted and developed over time.

Term Cluster
The term cluster assists students in thoroughly developing their research topic. By identifying and organizing commonly occurring themes, this tool reveals hidden connections to search terms—helping students shape their research and integrate diverse content with relevant information.

Search Assist
Detailed subject indexing guides students in gathering relevant information from multiple sources to expose connections that simple search and retrieve does not. Whether conducting a short or a sustained research project, students will easily perform advanced searches to synthesize and select appropriate information.

Resources accessed:
   Literature Criticism Online
   Something about the Author

Gale Virtual Reference Library logoGale Literature e-Books

Writers and their works from around the world. Includes all the For Students reference books plus American, British, African, European and Latin writers.

Gale Virtual Reference Library is a database of encyclopedias, specialized reference tools and informational resources that all ages can benefit from using. These reference materials once were accessible only in the library, but now you can access them online from the library or remotely from home or school 24/7.

  • Popular reference and informational titles in a digital eBook format
  • Cross-searchable and printable as PDF's
  • No need to checkout – just use it
  • No waiting – unlimited simultaneous access

  Niche green arrow graphicGale Virtual Reference Tutorial

Humanities Full Text logoHumanities Full-Text

This database provides full text, abstracts and bibliographic indexing of the most noted scholarly sources in the humanities, as well as specialized magazines. Content includes feature articles, interviews, obituaries and original works of fiction, drama, poetry and much more in all fields of the humanities from art, classical studies, and film to journalism and more.

  • Full-text articles from over 330 journals
  • High-quality indexing of nearly 700 periodicals
  • Periodical coverage dating as far back as 1910

Literary Reference Center logoLiterary Reference Center

Provides information on thousands of authors and their works through an expansive collection of author biographies, plot summaries, poems, short stories, author interviews and more.

Content Includes:

  • More than 35,000 plot summaries, synopses and work overviews
  • Nearly 100,000 articles/essays of literary criticism
  • More than 252,000 author biographies
  • 450 literary journals
  • More than 693,000 book reviews
  • More than 78,400 classic and contemporary poems
  • More than 19,700 classic and contemporary short stories
  •  More than 6,600 author interviews


Literary Criticism Online logoLiterature Criticism Online

This collection brings together the most acclaimed literary series representing a range of modern and historical views on authors and their works across regions, eras and genres. More than 200,000 essays provide both critical perspectives and in-depth contextual information needed to understand the social, political and historical implications of a work. Take advantage of this great online resource — which matches the exact look and feel of the print series.

Titles in the digital collection:

  • Contemporary Literary Criticism
  • Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism
  • Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism
  • Shakespearean Criticism
  • Poetry Criticism
  • Short Story Criticism
  • Drama Criticism

Novels for Students logoNovels for Students (Gale Virtual Reference)

Easily accessible and content-rich discussions of the literary and historical background of works from various cultures and time periods.

  • Student friendly: Homework help format, w/ criticism at H.S. students' interest and reading levels,
  • Reader friendly: For patrons interested in more info on the classics or bestsellers they're reading,
  • Beginning with volume 32, each volume will include "Literature to Film" entries profiling film versions of plays/novels

Gale Virtual Reference titles are:

  • Popular reference titles in a digital ebook format
  • Cross-searchable and print as PDF's
  • No need to checkout and no waiting

Play Index logoPlay Index

Covers over 31,000 classic and historical plays dating from 1949, including one-act plays, pageants, plays in verse, radio and television plays, classic drama and monologues from famous playwrights


Poetry for Students logoPoetry for Students (Gale Virtual Reference)

A quick but information-rich reference source, each volume of Poetry for Students provides analysis of approximately 15-16 poems that teachers and librarians have identified as the most frequently studied in literature courses.

  • An overview essay on the poem.
  • An analysis of the work's construction and form.
  • An examination of key themes addressed in the poem.
  • A discussion of the historical and cultural context in which the poem was composed.
  • Selected criticism on the poem or poet.
  • A brief author biography.
  • Other features include a list of sources for further study and suggested research topics.

Gale Virtual Reference titles are:

  • Popular reference titles in a digital ebook format
  • Cross-searchable and print as PDF's
  • No need to checkout and no waiting

Picture of ShakespeareShakespeare for Students (GALE VIRTUAL REFERENCE)

A diverse blend of criticism along with plot summaries and character profiles that help further decode these dramatic masterpieces for students.

Each detailed, illustrated entry provides:

  • An introduction that provides an overview of the play or poem
  • A plot summary
  • An annotated character list
  • A discussion of the play's principal themes
  • Understandable essays on the plays construction (setting, dialogue, imagery)
  • Historical and cultural context sections that illuminate the play's role in inter-curricular studies
  • Excerpted critical commentary on various facets of the play
  • Extensive theme index
  • A chronology of Shakespeare's life, work, and times

Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL) titles are:

  • Popular reference titles in a digital ebook format
  • Cross-searchable and print as PDF's
  • No need to checkout and no waiting Short Stories for Students (GVRL)
  • Popular reference titles in a digital ebook format
  • Cross-searchable and print as PDF's
  • No need to checkout and no waiting


Short Stories for Students logoShort Stories for Students  (GALE VIRTUAL REFERENCE)

Each biannual volume presents vital information on approximately 20 of the most-studied short stories at the high school and early-college levels.

Each illustrated entry contains:

  • concise synopses of the story's plot, characters and themes
  • a brief author biography
  • a discussion of the story's cultural and historical significance
  • excerpted criticism geared specifically toward the high school student
  • Researchers will also find information on media adaptations of the story, discussion questions, and suggestions on what to read next.

Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL) titles are:

  • Popular reference titles in a digital ebook format
  • Cross-searchable and print as PDF's
  • No need to checkout and no waiting Short Stories for Students (GVRL)
  • Popular reference titles in a digital ebook format
  • Cross-searchable and print as PDF's
  • No need to checkout and no waiting


Short Story Index logoShort Story Index

This database is an essential resource for readers seeking short stories by author or genre, or for those researching a body of work of a literary figure. It provides detailed indexing for hundreds of thousands of short stories.

Content Includes:

  • Detailed indexing of more than 117,000 stories from more than 4,200 collections and anthologies
  • Full text for nearly 5,000 stories
  • Coverage dating as far back as 1984

Something About the Author logoSomething About the Author Online

An award-winning reference series started in 1971, Something About the Author examines the lives and works of authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults. It includes not only well-known writers and artists but also less prominent individuals whose works are just coming to be recognized and is often the only readily available source on emerging authors and illustrators. Something About the Author Online also includes hundreds of original specially commissioned autobiography essays that have never been available online until now. These truly unique essays average about 10,000 words in length; are illustrated with an abundance of personal photos; and present an entertaining and informative first-person perspective on the lives and careers of prominent authors and illustrators.