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Literature Resource Guide
Copyright © 1996-2014 Middletown Thrall Library

Literature in the Library

Rediscovering Literature

Art, beauty, truth, the love of language, to hear unforgettable eloquence, witness awe-inspiring visions, to feel passion, experience purpose, to be inspired and awakened to new realities, to be delighted, surprised, to embark on incredible odysseys, to accompany heroes on epic quests, to dare to imagine and wonder "what if..."

These are a few of the many reasons we read and celebrate the exceptional quality of writing known as literature.

Literature represents much of the very best of humanity's writings, and it is not by any accident that, after bestsellers and sensationalized books have faded from memory, literature continues to thrive and remain intensely relevant to contemporary human conditions.

Literature's stories and texts survive the fires of time.

This is why for decades and centuries - long after their authors have gone silent - the writings of Dante, Shakespeare, and Austen, among so many other vital voices, will continue to captivate readers and comment upon life.

Literature has innumerable qualities and purposes and can open doors to unique situations and worlds which are never wholly removed from our own.

Literature introduces us to memorable characters who often have something in common with us or people we know, and those portraits and portrayals can speak directly to the many questions and challenges we individually or collectively face today.

Through literature we can discover new meanings, locate and begin to cross bridges between seemingly distant or dissimilar persons, places, things, and thoughts.

Literature remains relevant and essential because it relates as it conveys and carries us beyond ourselves and our world - metaphorically and literally - so that we might experience fresh perspectives, receive challenges to our knowledge and sensibilities, reach new understandings, perhaps even attain wisdom, through such things as poetry, plays, novels, short stories, memoirs, and all the other literary forms.

Through literature we have such amazing opportunities to rediscover ourselves, our world, a universe of thought, feeling, and insights waiting to be revealed anew to - and through each of us - and all because of a few well-chosen words which can speak volumes and clearly across languages, cultures, entire generations, and well beyond most boundaries.

In reading and interpreting literature we help to keep it alive, thriving, pertinent, personally interpretive and interesting. In doing this, we renew its promise, participating in it, influencing it in small or major ways, and ultimately help to preserve it for those readers yet to follow and recommence this most incredible journey of endless perceptions and revelations.

To be continued - by you...

To continue reading about the wonders and benefits of literature, consider one or more of these titles in the library system catalog:

General Literature


Also check out our...

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How Literature is Classified
Literary authors, collections of writings, literary criticism, and other related information can be found in both our circulating and reference collections at Middetown Thrall Library.

At Thrall, literature is classified according to the numerical "Dewey Decimal System" and can be found in the "800s" section of our nonfiction collections. To find them, just browse the nonfiction aisles until you reach the number 800.

The 800 section contains the following major subdivisions:

In addition to this, many literary fiction titles can be located in the Fiction sections of the library as well as the Large Print section.

Please feel free to ask a librarian for assistance or for recommendations based on your personal reading preferences.

There will always something at the library for you to read and enjoy!

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Classics in the Library Catalog

Middletown Thrall Library
Literature Explorer

[ Browse Authors ]       [ Browse Titles ]

Browse Topics: [ Literature ]   [ Poetry ]

(Looking for poetry? Please click here.)

A Select List of Authors

Jump to a letter: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K
L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Adams, Douglas
Aiken, Conrad
Albee, Edward
Alcott, Louisa May
Alighieri, Dante
Andersen, Hans Christian
Anderson, Sherwood
Aquinas, Saint Thomas
Arnold, Matthew
Asimov, Isaac
Auden, W. H.
Augustine, Saint
Austen, Jane
Bacon, Francis
Baldwin, James
Balzac, Honore de
Barthes, Roland
Baudelaire, Charles
Beckett, Samuel
Bellow, Saul
Bierce, Ambrose
Blake, William
Boccaccio, Giovanni
Borges, Jorge Luis
Bova, Ben
Bradbury, Ray
Bradstreet, Anne
Brecht, Bertolt
Bronte, Anne
Bronte, Charlotte
Bronte, Emily
Browning, Elizabeth Barrett
Browning, Robert
Bryant, William Cullen
Buck, Pearl S.
Bulfinch, Thomas
Bunyan, John
Burns, Robert
Burroughs, Edgar Rice
Butler, Samuel
Byron, Lord
Calvino, Italo
Campbell, Joseph
Camus, Albert
Capote, Truman
Carroll, Lewis
Carver, John
Castle, Egerton
Cather, Willa
Cervantes, Miguel de
Chaucer, Geoffrey
Cheever, John
Chekhov, Anton
Chesterton, G. K.
Chopin, Kate
Christie, Agatha
Clarke, Arthur C.
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor
Collins, Wilkie
Conrad, Joseph
Cooper, James Fenimore
Crane, Stephen
cummings, e. e.
Darwin, Charles
Defoe, Daniel
Descartes, Rene
Dickens, Charles
Dickinson, Emily
Dillard, Annie
Dostoevsky, Fyodor
Doyle, Arthur Conan
Dr. Seuss
Dreiser, Theodore
Dumas, Alexandre
Durrell, Lawrence
Eco, Umberto
Eliot, George
Eliot, T. S.
Ellison, Ralph
Emerson, Ralph Waldo
Erasmus, Desiderius
Faulkner, William
Fielding, Henry
Fitzgerald, F. Scott
Flaubert, Gustave
Ford, Ford Madox
Forster, E. M.
Freud, Sigmund
Frost, Robert
Frye, Northrop
Garcia Lorca, Federico
Garcia, Marquez Gabriel
Gay, John
Gibson, William
Gide, Andre
Ginsberg, Allen
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von
Gogol, Nikolai
Grant, Robert
Graves, Robert
Greene, Graham
Haley, Alex
Hardy, Thomas
Harte, Bret
Hawthorne, Nathaniel
Hazlitt, William
Heaney, Seamus
Hemingway, Ernest
Henry, O.
Herbert, Frank
Herrick, Robert
Hesse, Hermann
Howells, William Dean
Hughes, Langston
Hugo, Victor
Hurston, Zora Neale
Huxley, Aldous
Ibsen, Henrik
Ionesco, Eugene
Irving, Washington
Ives, Charles
James, Henry
Jewett, Sarah Orne
Johnson, Samuel
Jonson, Ben
Joyce, James
Jung, Carl
Kafka, Franz
Keats, John
Keillor, Garrison
Keller, Helen
Kerouac, Jack
Kierkegaard, Soren
King, Stephen
Kingsolver, Barbara
Kipling, Rudyard
L'Amour, Louis
Lamb, Charles
Lanier, Sidney
Lawrence, D. H.
Lee, Harper
Leroux, Gaston
Lessing, Doris
Lewis, Sinclair
London, Jack
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
Lowell, Amy
Macchiavelli, Niccolo
Macleish, Archibald
Maeterlinck, Maurice
Mailer, Norman
Mallarme, Stephane
Mallory, Sir Thomas
Mann, Thomas
Mansfield, Katherine
Marlowe, Christopher
Mason, Bobbie Ann
Masters, Edgar Lee
Mather, Cotton
Maugham, W. Somerset
Maupassant, Guy de
Melville, Herman
Millay, Edna St. Vincent
Miller, Arthur
Miller, Henry
Milton, John
Mishima, Yukio
Montaigne, Michel de
Morrison, Toni
Nabokov, Vladimir
Neruda, Pablo
Nietzsche, Friedrich
O'Connor, Flannery
O'Neill, Eugene
Oates, Joyce Carol
Odets, Clifford
Orwell, George
Paine, Thomas
Parker, Dorothy
Pascal, Blaise
Passos, John Dos
Pasternak, Boris
Paz, Octavio
Peacock, Thomas Love
Pinter, Harold
Pirandello, Luigi
Plain, Belva
Plath, Sylvia
Poe, Edgar Allan
Pope, Alexander
Potok, Chaim
Potter, Beatrix
Pound, Ezra
Pritchett, V.S.
Proust, Marcel
Pushkin, Aleksandr
Puzo, Mario
Pym, Barbara
Quindlen, Anna
Rabelais, Francois
Raleigh, Walter
Rand, Ayn
Rice, Anne
Rilke, Ranier Maria
Rimbaud, Arthur
Rossetti, Christina
Rossetti, D. G.
Rostand, Edmond
Roth, Henry
Roth, Philip
Rousseau, Jean Jacques
Rushdie, Salman
Ruskin, John
Russell, Bertrand
Sade, Marquis de
Saint-Exupery, Antoine de
Salinger, J. D.
Sandburg, Carl
Santayana, George
Scott, Sir Walter
Sexton, Anne
Shakespeare, William
Shaw, George Bernard
Shelley, Mary
Shelley, Percy Bysshe
Shreve, Anita
Sidney, Philip
Simon, Neil
Sinclair, Upton
Singer, Isaac Bashevis
Spenser, Edmund
Stein, Gertrude
Steinbeck, John
Sterne, Laurence
Stevens, Wallace
Stevenson, Robert Louis
Stoker, Bram
Stoppard, Tom
Stowe, Harriet Beecher
Strindberg, August
Swift, Jonathan
Tagore, Rabindranath
Tan, Amy
Tarkington, Booth
Tennyson, Alfred Lord
Thackeray, William Makepeace
Thomas, Dylan
Thoreau, Henry David
Tolkien, J. R. R.
Tolstoy, Leo
Trollope, Anthony
Turgenev, Ivan
Twain, Mark
Tyler, Anne
Updike, John
Verlaine, Paul
Verne, Jules
Vidal, Gore
Vonnegut, Kurt
Walker, Alice
Warren, Robert Penn
Wells, H. G.
Welty, Eudora
Wharton, Edith
White, Bailey
Whitman, Walt
Wilde, Oscar
Wilder, Laura Ingalls
Wilder, Thornton
Williams, Tennessee
Wodehouse, P. G.
Wollstonecraft, Mary
Woolf, Virginia
Wordsworth, William
Wouk, Herman
Wright, Richard
Yeats, William Butler
Zola, Emile

Literary Titles

What would you like to browse?

Fiction     Drama     Poetry     Nonfiction

A Select List of Fictional Works

1984 - George Orwell
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea - Jules Verne
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Mark Twain
The Adventures of Don Quixote - Cervantes
The Age of Innocence - Edith Wharton
Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
All the King's Men - Robert Penn Warren
An American Tragedy - Theodore Dreiser
Animal Farm - George Orwell
Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
Around the World in Eighty Days - Jules Verne
Arrowsmith - Sinclair Lewis
Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand
The Awakening - Kate Chopin
Babbit - Sinclair Lewis
Beloved - Toni Morrison
The Bluest Eye - Toni Morrison
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
The Brothers Karamazov - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Call of the Wild - Jack London
Candide - Voltaire
Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
Catcher in the Rye - J. D. Salinger
A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
Civil Disobedience - Henry David Thoreau
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
The Color Purple - Alice Walker
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court - Mark Twain
The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Crucible - Arthur Miller
David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
Death of a Salesman - Arthur Miller
The Deerslayer - James Fenimore Cooper
Deliverance - James Dickey
The Divine Comedy - Dante
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - Robert Lewis Stevenson
Dracula - Bram Stoker
Dubliners - James Joyce
Emma - Jane Austen
Ethan Frome - Edith Wharton
Fathers and Sons - Ivan Turgenev
Finnegans Wake - James Joyce
The Fountainhead - Ayn Rand
Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
Germinal - Emile Zola
Gone With the Wind - Margaret Mitchell
The Good Earth - Pearl S. Buck
The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
Gulliver's Travels - Jonathan Swift
The Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien
The Hound of the Baskervilles - Arthur Conan Doyle
The House of the Seven Gables - Nathaniel Hawthorne
Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain
The Hunchback of Notre Dame - Victor Hugo
The Iliad - Homer
The Chronicles of Narnia - C.S. Lewis
I, Claudius - Robert Graves
The Invisible Man - H. G. Wells
Invisible Man - Ralph Ellison
Ivanhoe - Sir Walter Scott
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
A Journey to the Center of the Earth - Jules Verne
The Jungle Book - Rudyard Kipling
Labyrinths - Jorge Luis Borges
Last of the Mohicans - James Fenimore Cooper
Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
Light in August - William Faulkner
Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
Lord of the Flies - William Golding
The Lord of the Rings - J. R. R. Tolkien
Love in the Time of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
Maggie, A Girl of the Streets - Stephen Crane
The Magic Mountain - Thomas Mann
The Man in the Iron Mask - Alexandre Dumas
The Metamorphosis - Franz Kafka
Middlemarch - George Eliot
Mrs. Dalloway - Virginia Woolf
Moby Dick - Herman Melville
Native Son - Richard Wright
Notes from the Underground - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Odyssey - Homer
Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway
Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
On the Road - Jack Kerouac
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Our Town - Thornton Wilder
A Passage to India - E.M. Forster
The Pearl - John Steinbeck
The Pilgrim's Progress - John Bunyan
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - James Joyce
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
The Prince and the Pauper - Mark Twain
The Red and the Black - Stendhal
The Red Badge of Courage - Stephen Crane
Rip Van Winkle - Washington Irving
Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe
Roots - Alex Haley
The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne
Sherlock Holmes Stories - Arthur Conan Doyle
Silas Marner - George Eliot
Sister Carrie - Theodore Dreiser
Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut
Song of Solomon - Toni Morrison
The Sound and the Fury - William Faulkner
The Stranger - Albert Camus
The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemingway
Tales and Poems - Edgar Allan Poe
A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
The Time Machine - H. G. Wells
Their Eyes Were Watching God - Zora Neale Hurston
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
To the Lighthouse - Virginia Woolf
Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson
Uncle Tom's Cabin - Harriet Beecher Stowe
Ulysses - James Joyce
Utopia - Sir Thomas More
Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
War of the Worlds - H. G. Wells
White Fang - Jack London
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

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A Select List of Dramatic Works

A Comedy of Errors - William Shakespeare
A Doll's House - Henrik Ibsen
A Midsummer Night's Dream - William Shakespeare
A Streetcar Named Desire - Tennessee Williams
The Alchemist - Ben Jonson
As You Like It - William Shakespeare
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof - Tennessee Williams
The Cherry Orchard - Anton Chekhov
Complete Plays - William Shakespeare
The Crucible - Arthur Miller
Cyrano de Bergerac - Edmond Rostand
Death of a Salesman - Arthur Miller
Faust - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The Glass Menagerie - Tennessee Williams
Hamlet - William Shakespeare
Hedda Gabler - Henrik Ibsen
Henry V - William Shakespeare
The Importance of Being Earnest - Oscar Wilde
Julius Caesar - William Shakespeare
Long Day's Journey into Night - Eugene O'Neill
Love's Labor Lost - William Shakespeare
Man and Superman - Bernard Shaw
The Merchant of Venice - William Shakespeare
The Merry Wives of Windsor - William Shakespeare
The Misanthrope - Moliere
Much Ado about Nothing - William Shakespeare
Oedipus Rex - Sophocles
The Orestian Trilogy - Aeschylus
Othello - William Shakespeare
Peer Gynt - Henrik Ibsen
Plays - Aristophanes
Plays - Bertolt Brecht
Plays - Euripides
Plays - Sean O'Casey
Richard III - William Shakespeare
Romeo and Juliet - William Shakespeare
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead - Tom Stoppard
Saint Joan - Bernard Shaw
Six Characters in Search of an Author - Luigi Pirandello
The Spanish Tragedy - Sir Thomas Kyd
Tamburlaine - Christopher Marlowe
The Tempest - William Shakespeare
Titus Andronicus - William Shakespeare
Tragical History of Doctor Faust - Christopher Marlowe
Two Gentlemen of Verona - William Shakespeare
Waiting for Godot - Samuel Beckett

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Select Poets, Works, and Themes

Jump to:     Poems   |   Poets   |   Collections

    Learn about Poetry   |   Topics & Themes

Select Poems

The Aeneid - Vergil
The Bridge - Crane, Hart
The Canterbury Tales - Chaucer, Geoffrey
The Cantos - Pound, Ezra
Les Fleurs du Mal - Baudelaire, Charles
Four Quartets - Eliot, T. S.
Hero and Leander - Marlowe, Christopher
Howl - Ginsberg, Allen
Kubla Khan - Coleridge, Samuel Taylor
Leaves of Grass - Whitman, Walt
The Metamorphoses - Ovid
Paradise Lost - Milton, John
Paradise Regained - Milton, John
Rime of the Ancient Mariner - Coleridge, Samuel Taylor
Song of Myself - Whitman, Walt
Sonnets - Shakespeare, William
Sonnets from the Portuguese - Browning, Elizabeth Barrett
Songs of Experience - Blake, William
Songs of Innocence - Blake, William
The Wasteland - Eliot, T. S.

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Select Poets

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Poetry Collections

The 100 Best African American Poems - edited by Nikki Giovanni
American Hybrid: A Norton Anthology of New Poetry - edited by David St. John
Americans' Favorite Poems - edited by Robert Pinsky, Maggie Dietz
Basho: The Complete Haiku - Matsuo Basho
Best American Poetry [by year] - various editors
The Best Poems of the English Language: From Chaucer through Robert Frost - edited by Harold Bloom
A Book of Luminous Things: An International Anthology of Poetry - Czeslaw Milosz
The Collected Poems - Sylvia Plath
The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou - Maya Angelou
The Ecco Anthology of International Poetry - edited by Ilya Kaminsky
Essential Pleasures: A New Anthology of Poems to Read Aloud - edited by Robert Pinsky
The FSG Book of Twentieth-Century Latin American Poetry: An Anthology - edited by Ilan Stavans
Good Poems - edited by Garrison Keillor
New and Selected Poems (Volume One and Two) - Mary Oliver
The Norton Anthology of Poetry - edited by Margaret Ferguson, Jon Stallworthy and Mary Jo Salter
The Oxford Book of American Poetry - edited by David Lehman and John Brehm
The Oxford Book of English Verse - edited by Christopher Ricks
Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry - Billy Collins
The Poetry of Pablo Neruda - Pablo Neruda
The Poets Laureate Anthology - edited by Billy Collins
The Enlightened Heart: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry - edited by Stephen Mitchell.
Sailing Alone Around the Room: New and Selected Poems - Billy Collins
She Walks in Beauty: A Woman's Journey Through Poems - Caroline Kennedy
Till I End My Song: A Gathering of Last Poems - edited by Harold Bloom
The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry - edited by J.D. McClatchy

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Learn about Poetry

Fooling with Words: A Celebration of Poets and Their Craft - Bill Moyers
How to Read a Poem: And Fall in Love with Poetry - Robert Hirsch
The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms - Mark Strand, Eavan Boland
The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within - Stephen Fry
A Poetry Handbook - Mary Oliver
The Sounds of Poetry: A Brief Guide - Robert Pinsky

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Poetry by Topic or Theme

(See also: Literature Topics)

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A Select List of Nonfictional Works

The Age of Chivalry - Thomas Bulfinch
The Age of Fable - Thomas Bulfinch
The Anatomy of Criticism - Northrop Frye
The Art of War - Sun Tzu
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin - Benjamin Franklin
Being and Nothingness - Jean Paul Sartre
Brief History of Time - Stephen Hawking
Concerning the Wealth of Nations - Adam Smith
Discourse on Method - Descartes
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding - John Locke
Essays - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Essays - Sir Francis Bacon
Essays - T. S. Eliot
Ethics - Aristotle
The Federalist Papers
Hero with a Thousand Faces - Joseph Campbell
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings - Maya Angelou
The Histories - Herodotus
The Imitation of Christ - Thomas a Kempis
Leviathan - Hobbes
Man and His Symbols - Carl Jung
The Masks of God - Joseph Campbell
Metaphysics - Aristotle
Mythology - Thomas Bulfinch
New Atlantis - Sir Francis Bacon
On Liberty - John Stuart Mill
On the Interpretation of Dreams - Sigmund Freud
On the Nature of Things - Lucretius
The Origin of Species - Charles Darwin
Pensees - Blaise Pascal
Poetics - Aristotle
The Power of Myth - Joseph Campbell
The Prince - Niccolo Machiavelli
Principia Mathamatica - Isaac Newton
Relativity: The Special and General Theory - Albert Einstein
The Republic - Plato
The Rights of Man - Thomas Paine
A Room of One's Own - Virginia Woolf
The Seven Storey Mountain - Thomas Merton
Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human - Harold Bloom
The Social Contract - Jean Jacques Rousseau
Tao Te Ching - Lao Tzu
A Treatise on Human Nature - David Hume
Varieties of Religious Experience - William James
Vindication of the Rights of Woman - Mary Wollstonecraft
Walden - Henry David Thoreau
The Western Canon - Harold Bloom

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Literature Topics

in the Library Catalog

(See also: Poetry Topics & Themes)

& Virtual Reference Titles
These are some of the many databases available to you as a member of Middletown Thrall Library:

Biography in Context
You can use this to research lives of authors and many other notable indivduals throughout history.
Elizabethan World Reference Library
This "virtual reference" library item is a complete text on Elizabethan times. If you are doing research on writers of this period, including William Shakespeare or Christopher Marlowe, you might want to explore this text.
Fiction Connection
Books, audios and videos in print or forthcoming, including publisher information and availability.
Novelist Plus
With information on over 150,000 fiction and juvenile titles, this database was designed to help you find a great book to read. Includes read-alike lists and some book discussion guides.
Literature Criticism Online
Includes: Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism (CMLC), Contemporary Literary Criticism (CLC), Drama Criticism (DC), Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism (NCLC), Poetry Criticism (PC), Shakespearean Criticism (SC), Short Story Criticism (SSC), Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism.
Literature for Students
Drama for Students, Novels for Students, Poetry for Students, Shakespeare for Students, Short Stories for Students.
Literature Resource Center
Critical essays on contemporary authors, lives and careers of authors in all eras and genres, biographies and bibliographies for more than 90,000 contemporary authors.
Salem Literature
Criticism, biographical, and scholarly information on select classic and contemporary authors and their works. Includes Salem Literature (Critical Insights: Works & Authors; Critical Survey of Long Fiction), Critical Survey of Long Fiction, Masterplots.
Something about the Author
Biographical and bibliographical information on authors and illustrators of children's and young adult books.

Also worth mentioning is Gale Literary Index: You can use this cumulative index to search all Gale literature reference works, such as Contemporary Authors, Contemporary Literary Criticism, and Something about the Author. You can search by author's name or the title of a literary work. The "Custom Search" allows you to search using other criteria, such as birth date or nationality. After you find an author or literary work, you will see where references to either occur in any of the Gale literature reference works, many of which we own at Middletown Thrall Library. Each of those sets have printed cumulative indexes of their own, but this could be a convenient tool for you when you need to research literary criticism or find information on a writer.

Also be sure to explore our general research databases and complete encyclopedias for more information on authors or literary works.

If at any point you would like some assistance, please call our librarians at 341-5461 or use our Ask a Librarian service

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Literary Reference Materials
Available in Print at Thrall
Below you will find a select list of literary reference titles available to you at Middletown Thrall Library. Since these books cannot be borrowed, they are always available to researchers at the library.

Call numbers follow each title to indicate where you can find these items on our shelves. Titles marked with a "*" indicate those items can be found in a separate area located near the microfilm machines, just several shelves away from the main Reference Department collections.

Please scroll down this page to browse titles or click on a subtopic:

Classical Literature
* Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism: Excerpts from Criticism of the Works of World Authors from Classical Antiquity through the Fourteenth Century
(REF 809.09 CLA)

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Medieval Literature
* Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism: Excerpts from Criticism of the Works of World Authors from Classical Antiquity through the Fourteenth Century
(REF 809.09 CLA)

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Shakespearean Literature
Concordance to Shakespeare
(REF 822 B)
The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare
(REF 822.33 OXF)
* Shakespeare Criticism
(REF 822.33 SHA)
* Shakespeare for Students
(REF 822.33 SHA)

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Nineteenth Century Literature
* Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism
(REF 809 NIN)

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Twentieth Century Literature
* Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism
(REF 809.04 TWE)

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Contemporary Literature
* Contemporary Authors
(REF 928 CON)

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* Critical Survey of Drama
(REF 809.2 CRI)
* Drama Criticism
(REF 809.2 DRA)

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The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry
(REF 808.81 COL)
* Critical Survey of Poetry
(REF 809.1 CRI)
* Poetry Criticism: Excerpts from Criticism of the Works of the Most Significant and Widely Studied Poets of World Literature
(REF 809.1 POE)
* Poetry for Students
(REF 809.1 POE)

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* Novels for Students
(REF 809.3 NOV)
Encyclopedia of the Novel (Vols. 1 & 2)
(REF 809.3 ENC)

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Short Stories
* Short Story Criticism
(REF 809.3 SHO)
* Short Stories for Students
(REF 809.3 SHO)

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Other Literature Reference Works
A Dictionary of Literary and Thematic Terms by Edward Quinn
* Epics for Students: Presenting Analysis, Context, and Criticism on Commonly Studied Epics
(REF 809.132 EPI)
Literary Terms: A Dictionary
(REF 803 BEC)
The Oxford Companion to English Literature
(REF 820.3 HAR)
Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia
(REF 803 BEN)
Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable
(REF 803 BRE)
Cassell's Encyclopedia of World Literature (Vols. 1 & 2)
(REF 803 C)
The New York Public Library Literature Companion
(REF 803 NEW)
The Facts on File Dictionary of Classical, Biblical, & Literary Allusions
(REF 803 LAS)
Merriam Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature
(REF 803 MER)
The Longman Dictionary of Literary Terms
(REF 803 KEN)
Bartlett's Familiar Quotations
(REF 808.882 BAR)
* Literature and Its Times
(REF YA809.9 LIT)
* Something about the Author
(REF 028.52 SOM)
* Nonfiction Classics for Students
(REF YA809.93 Non)

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Literature on the Web
American Literature
American Novel by Carl Van Doren
Browse or search the full text of this literary reference work at
American Verse Project
Search or browse a large collection of American poets and poems. After finding a poem and clicking on the title of that poem, scroll down the page to see the table of contents or actual poem. Provided by University of Michigan Humanities Text Initiative (HTI) and the University of Michigan Press.
Brief Timeline of American Literature and Events: Pre-1620 to 1920
A timeline covering events in the history of American literature.
Cambridge History of English and American Literature: An Encyclopedia in Eighteen Volumes
Search or browse the full text of this exhaustive reference work at
Outline of American Literature: Early American and Colonial Period to 1776
Contents include: Early American and Colonial Period to 1776, Democratic Origins and Revolutionary Writers (1776-1820), The Romantic Period (1820-1860) - Essayists/Poets/Fiction, The Rise of Realism (1860-1914), Modernism and Experimentation (1914-1945), American Poetry (1945-1990) "The Anti-Tradition," American Prose (1945-1990) Realism and Experimentation, Contemporary American Poetry, Contemporary American Literature, Bibliography. Provided by the U.S. Department of State.
USA Literature in Brief
"USA Literature in Brief pinpoints and describes the contributions to American literature of some of the best-recognized American poets, novelists, philosophers and dramatists from pre-Colonial days through the present. Major literary figures are discussed in detail, as are their major works. Brief discussions of cultural periods and movements such as romanticism, modernism, and transcendentalism put individuals in context and lend perspective." From the U.S. Department of State.
Websites about American Literature
Directory of websites provided by Open Directory Project. Browse alphabetically and by time period.

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Authors on the Web
Directory from Open Directory Project. Browse lists arranged by nation or alphabetically according to author's last name.
Author Yellow Pages
Browse by author's last name to locate publisher's and author's websites.
Index of Authors
Extensive index of authors arranged alphabetically by last names. Includes: concise biographical entries, stories about the author, and list of selected works by and about the author, and recommended web links. Each author information page also contains links to related authors from the same period or style of writing. Provided by Authors List
Biographical information about classic and contemporary authors of children's literature.
New York State Literary Tree
Provides biographical and historical information along with lists of literary works under two areas: New York State Authors and New York City Authors. Browse alphabetically by last name. At the top of the website are two Map buttons you can click to view NYS/NYC Literary Maps, which contain links to authors. From Bright Hill Press, New York State Council on the Arts, and SUNY Buffalo's Electronic Poetry Center director.

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Awarded Books
Bestsellers & "Best" Books
Contemporary fiction, nonfiction, along with Nobel / Pulitzer winners and more in the library system catalog.
Nobel Laureates in Literature
A list of all Nobel Prize winners for Literature. Provided by the Nobel Foundation.
The Pulitzer Prizes
Current and past Pultzer Prize winners for fiction, drama, nonfiction, and other categories.
Booklover's Guide: Awarded Books Lists
Links to major awards websites and winners. Includes "Award Winners in the Library Catalog," where you can instantly locate and request items to be reserved for you in the online catalog. From Middletown Thrall Library.

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Booklover's Blog
Middletown Thrall Library's own blog about new and notable authors and titles. Includes monthly title selections and other news of interest to readers.
Classic Literature Blog
Contemporary Literature Blog
Literature Blogs
Alphabetical list of literature blogs. Includes direct links to RSS feeds for blogs offering them.
Weblogs - Author Blogs on the Web
A directory of contemporary author blogs. Provided by Open Directory Project.

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Classical & Medieval Literature
Anthology of Middle English Literature
Topics include: Geoffrey Chaucer, John Gower, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, William Langland and Piers Plowman, Julian of Norwich, Margery Kempe, Thomas Malory, John Lydgate, Thomas Hoccleve, Paston Letters, Everyman, Medieval Plays, Middle English Lyrics, Essays and Articles, as well as Additional Medieval Sources.
Classical Literature and Language
Features information and links to Greek/Lating texts and websites. From
Digital Dante
Extensive resources on Dante Alighieri, author of The Divine Comedy (La Commedia). Includes full text (original and translated) of the Infero, Purgatorio, and Paradiso, and other writings. Also has recommended Medieval Study web resources, image collections. Provided by Institute for Learning Technologies (ILT), Columbia University.
Internet Classics Archive
Contains texts and information for over 400 Classic Literature titles. Authors included, among others, are: Cicero, Epicurus, Homer, Ovid, Sophocles, and Virgil.
The Online Medieval and Classical Library
Search or browse by author, title, genre, or language.
The Perseus Digital Library
Features Greek and Roman classical texts and authors as well as other archaeological information, such as maps and artifacts.
Wikipedia: Classical Literature
Definition and related web links. Please note Wikipedia's disclaimers.
Wikipedia: Medieval Literature
Definition and related web links. Please note Wikipedia's disclaimers.

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Comparative Literature
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
Electronic journal articles Published by Purdue University. View articles (in PDF format) with the Adobe Reader.
Comparative Literature Worldwide
Directory of colleges and university comparative literature programs and resources around the world. British Comparative Literature Association. See also BCLA's Comparative Literature in the USA page.
What Was Comparative Literature?
Definition provided by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Comparative Literature Department.
Wikipedia: Comparative Literature
Definition and related web links. Please note Wikipedia's disclaimers.

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Criticism and Literary Theory
Databases for Literary Criticism
Middletown Thrall Library members can follow the above link to log in to either Salem Literature (Critical Insights: Works & Authors and Critical Survey of Long Fiction), the Literature Resource Center, where you will find many full text articles and literary criticism on major authors and literary works.
Enotes: Literature Guides
Guides to reading, understanding, interpreting, and exploring literary texts, symbols, and more.
IPL Literary Criticism Collection
Directory of websites provided by the Internet Public Library. Browse by author, title, country, or year.
Introduction to Theory of Literature
A free course (OpenCourseWare/OCW) From Yale University. From the course description: "This is a survey of the main trends in twentieth-century literary theory. Lectures will provide background for the readings and explicate them where appropriate, while attempting to develop a coherent overall context that incorporates philosophical and social perspectives on the recurrent questions: what is literature, how is it produced, how can it be understood, and what is its purpose?"
An Introduction to Modern Literary Theory
Definitions, key terms, "further reading" suggestions, and links to related websites for each topic. Includes topics such as New Criticism, Postmodernism, Post-Structuralism, Deconstruction, Avant-Garde/Surrealism/Dadaism, and Reader-Response Theory. Provided by Mount Mary College.
Literary Theory
Extensive article from The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Literary Resources: Theory
Provided through Rutgers University.
Voice of the Shuttle: Literary Theory Websites
Signs, Symbols, Meaning, & Interpretation
Sections of this college-level introduction include: Signs, Ciphers & Symbols; Understanding, Explanation, Meaning, & Interpretation; Surplus Meaning. Additional related topics provided are: Interpretation and Literature, Definitions of Signs, Definition of Symbols, Reader Response Theory.
What Is a Classic?
"Defining the term or the concept of classics in literature." From
Wikipedia: Literary Criticism
Definition and related web links. There is also a list of literary critics. Please note Wikipedia's disclaimers.
Wikipedia: Literary Theory
Definition and related web links. Please note Wikipedia's disclaimers.

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Contemporary Drama
A list of contemporary drama websites provided by the Open Directory Project.
Drama Criticism (DC)
Database of play analysis and drama criticism. Available to members of Thrall.
Drama for Students
Database of play analysis and drama criticism. Available to members of Thrall.
Drama Study Guides
Character lists, analysis. From eNotes.
Drama Study Guides
Includes information on plays, their plots, characters, and themes, along with key facts, study questions, topics for essays, quizzes, and suggestions for further reading. From Spark Notes
Glossary of Drama Terms
Terminology about plays, dramatic concepts, characters, plots, and more. From McGraw-Hill.
Greek and Roman Comedy
An introduction from Brooklyn College.
Middle English Plays
Topics include: An Introduction to Medieval Drama, Texts of Plays, Images Related to Medieval Plays, Essays and Articles, and more.
Monologue Archive
Contains a variety of comedy and dramatic monologues.
Online Books Page: Drama
Electronic texts (etexts), eBooks of plays, drama criticism, theater, and more.
Plays and Drama
Topics include: Playwrights, Drama Basics & Advice, Plays, Monologues, Drama Activities, Stage Craft, Playwriting Business, History of the Stage, Experiences and Anecdotes, and Reviews. From
Playwriting 101
"This playwriting tutorial was written by playwright and screenwriter Jonathan Dorf, whose plays have been produced in more than 45 states and on five continents."
Theatre Database
Articles about playwrights and overviews of dramatic works from antiquity to the present day. Categories include: Ancient Theatre, Medieval Theatre, 16th Century, 17th Century, 18th Century, 19th Century, and 20th Century Drama.
Topics include: Origins of Theatre, Theatre and Drama in Ancient Greece, Roman and Byzantine Theatre and Drama, European Drama, Italian Theatre and Drama, English Theatre, Spanish Theatre, Theatre in France, Theatre of the Orient, U.S. Modern Theatre. From Central Washington University.
Topics include: Origins of Theatre, Ancient Theatre, Medieval Theatre, American Theatre, Asian Theatre, British Theatre, French Theatre, German Theatre, Irish Theatre, Italian Theatre, Russian Theatre, and Spanish Theatre. Also features "Today in Theatre History" as well as a "Script Archive" of Plays (full, one-act, 10-minute) and Monologues.
Tragedy: The Basics
Includes information on Aristotle's Poetics. From Grand Valley State University.

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Electronic texts (e-texts),
Digital Editions & Archives of Literary Works
Alex Catalogue of Electronic Texts
Described as "a collection of about 14,000 'classic' public domain documents from American and English literature as well as Western philosophy."
Literature and reference works. Browse or search.
Over 2,000 classic texts in electronic form.
The Camelot Project
Arthurian texts, images, and bibliographies. Provided by the University of Rochester in collaboration with several other universities.
Catalogue of Digitized Medieval Manuscripts
"This site was designed to enable users to find fully digitized manuscripts currently available on the web." Search or browse by different categories. Directory provided by the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Classic Works of Literature, Philosophy, Science, History and Exploration and Travel
Provided by the University of Adelaide.
Electronic Text Archives
Directory of websites with electronic texts (e-texts) on the web. List provided by Open Directory Project.
Eserver Poetry Collection
A variety of classical and contemporary verse in electronic form.
"On Feedbooks you'll discover thousands of public domain books and original books from new authors that you can read on any mobile device." Downloadable etexts are provided in a number of formats (EPUB, Mobipocket, Kindle, PDF, and more).
The Online Books Page
Listing over 30,000 etexts on the web. Hosted with the University of Pennsylvania. Also contains a list of Banned Books Online.
Project Gutenberg
Search or browse by author name or title. One of the most popular and oldest sources of electronic texts on the web. New e-texts are added regularly.
The Pulp Magazines Project - An Archive of All-Fiction Pulpwood Magazines from 1896-1946
"The Pulp Magazines Project is an open-access digital archive dedicated to the study and preservation of one of the twentieth century's most influential literary & artistic forms: the all-fiction pulpwood magazine. The Project also provides information on the history of this important but long neglected medium, along with biographies of pulp authors, artists, and their publishers."
RCLS eFiles: Literary Classics
Thrall/RCLS members: explore electronically available classics in the library system and download free ebooks to a computer or ebook reader.
University of Virginia: Digital Collections
Formerly the "Electronic Text Center" at the University of Virginia (now called "Scholar's Lab"). Contains thousands of texts in digital format. A number of texts are restricted to UVA students/faculty. Featured collections include: African-American Poetry (1760-1900), American Poetry to 1900, Early American Fiction (1789-1875), English Poetry (600-1900), English Verse Drama, and the Lewis & Clark Collection.
Victorian Prose Archive
Featuring the writings of Matthew Arnold, Thomas Carlyle, Walter Pater, Oscar Wilde, and others. Documents are in the PDF format: view them with the Adobe Reader.

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English Literature
English Literature by Period
Websites arranged chronologically by the following periods: Anglo-Saxon and Medieval, Renaissance and 17th Century, Restoration and 18th Century, Romantics, Victorian, Modern (British and American), Contemporary (British and American). Provided by the Voice of the Shuttle website.
Harvard Classics
Search or browse the context of this multi-volume text at
History of English Literature
Literary movements and more.
Luminarium: Anthology of English Literature
Medieval, Renaissance, 17th Century, and Restoration literary periods. Also includes these topics: Religious Writers, English Renaissance Drama, Metaphysical Poets, and Cavalier Poets.
The Norton Anthology of English Literature Web Companion
"Prepared by the Norton Anthology editors, this extensive, freely accessible Web resource for The Norton Anthology of English Literature offers twenty-seven topics for study and discussion." Scroll down their page and click on topics (starting with "The Middle Ages") to begin viewing information at this site.
Shakespearean Literature
Explore the life and writings of the Bard.
Wikipedia: English Literature
Definition and related web links. Please note Wikipedia's disclaimers.

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& Essayists
Essays of Henry David Thoreau
Read essays such as "Civil Disobedience" or "Life without Principle." From The Thoreau Reader website hosted at
Essays of Michel de Montaigne
Search or browse. Provided by Oregon State University.
Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson
Includes essays from Emerson's First Series, Second Series, Nature (Addesses and Lectures), Representative Man, The Conduct of Life, and more.
Essays of Sir Francis Bacon
59 essays and a "Glossary of Archaic Words and Phrases."
Project Gutenberg: Essays
Downloadable electronic texts (e-texts) of famous literary and historic essays.
Types of Essays
A brief guide to various types of essays, including persuasive, descriptive, and narrative essays. Provided by
Wikipedia: Essay
Definition and related web links. See also this list of essayists. Please note Wikipedia's disclaimers.

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History of Literature
Cambridge History of English and American Literature: An Encyclopedia in Eighteen Volumes
Search or browse the full text of this encyclopedia at
English Literature: History and Criticism
Electronic texts relating to various times and aspects of literature through history. Directory provided by The Online Books Page.
List of Years in Literature
Major events in literary history, including writings, authors' births/deaths, awards, etc. Arranged by year (reverse chronological order). (Note Wikipedia's disclaimer.)
Literary Movements
Definitions of a number of literary movements. See also the timeline at this website. Provided by the Department of English at Washington State University.
Literature: Periods & Movements
Directory of literature web sites arranged according to literary movements and eras. Provided by the Open Directory Project.

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Jane Austen's
Life, World, Writings
The Complete Jane Austen
Companion website to the PBS Masterpiece series. Includes information about movie adaptations of Austen's works as well as features such as The Men of Austen, The Complete Guide to Teaching Jane Austen, Learning Resources, and more.
Jane Austen Centre: Celebrating Bath's Most Famous Resident
Located in Bath, England. Sections include: Jane Austen's World, In Praise of Jane, Minor Works and Juvenilia, Jane Austen's Books and Characters, Regency Fashion/Recipies/History, Biographies, and an E-newsletter with online articles.
Jane Austen Lives On!
"Novels Inspired by Jane Austen's Life and Works."
The Jane Austen Society of North America
Includes a brief biography, bibliographies, Austen on Film (compilation of titles and cast lists for past/current/upcoming Austen-inspired movies and cinematic adaptations of her works), a web guide, and more.
Topics include: Biography, Life Timeline, The Novels, Quotations, Movies, Event, a Regency Glossary, Rank and Class in the Regency Period, and a Jane Austen Word Search Game (requires Adobe Flash Player).
The Republic of Pemberley
Includes discussion groups, a Jane Austen Information Page, the Pemberley Literary Companion (a "compilation of literature mentioned in Austen"), electronic texts (e-texts) of Austen's writings, and more.
Wikipedia: Jane Austen
Biography, writings, and related web links. Please note Wikipedia's disclaimers.

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Literary Journals
Literature: Literary Journals, Magazines, E-zines
Directory of literary journals on the web. Provided by Open Directory Project.
Literature Periodicals
Periodical literary publications in the Ramapo Catskill Library System (RCLS).
Paris Review
News and events, interviews, select articles and full text poems, as well as electronic audio feeds from various authors.
Poetry Magazine
Includes news, featured, poets, bestseller lists for poetry, the Poetry Tool (an interactive archive of full text poems you can locate by category, occasion, title, first lines, popularity, or poets' names, birth/death dates, or school/period), and more.

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Literary Terms
Glossary of Literary and Rhetorical Terms
A clickable list of literary terminology. Provided by Jack Lynch of Rutgers University.
LitGloss: Glossary of Literary Terms
Provided by the publisher of the Bedford Introduction to Literature.
Glossary of Terms
A free resource explaining key literary terminology. From Gale.
Glossary of Literary Terms
Provided by University of Cambridge, Faculty of English.
Poetry Words Worth Learning
An easy, one-page glossary of poetry terms. PDF format. From Middletown Thrall Library.

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Academy of American Poets: Poetry News and Press Releases
Recent award winners and more.
Booklovers: Forthcoming Fiction and Nonfiction
Directory provided by Middletown Thrall Library.
Booklovers: Literary and Publishing Industry News
Directory provided by Middletown Thrall Library.
Booklovers Blog
Monthly titles, literary news, and more. Blog by Middletown Thrall Library.
Current Interests Center: Library and Literary News
Bestsellers, Pulitzer Prizes / Winners, Nobel Prize Winner, Oprah Bookclub Selection, and more.
The New York Times - See topics below:

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American Novel by Carl Van Doren
Browse or search the full text of this literary reference work at
Based on the Book
A "compilation of over 1,250 books, novels, short stories, and plays that have been made into motion pictures." Browse by movie (title or release year), book title, or book author.
The Nineteenth Century English Novel
Educational resource initially developed as part of a college curriculum. Also contains information on Austen and other notable writers from this period.
One Hundred Best Novels
Two lists of novels voted respectively "best of the century" by The Modern Library and readers. Also has an alternate "Radcliffe's Rival 100 Best Novels List."
One Hundred Best First Lines of Novels
Provides quote, author, title of work quoted, and the year the novel was published. Provided by
Wikipedia: Novels
Definition and related web links. Please note Wikipedia's disclaimers.

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Poets, Poems, & Poetics
Please select a topic or scroll down...

Biographies of Poets
The Academy of American Poets: Biographies
Over 500 poets. Includes select poems. Famous Poets
Over 200 poets.
Biography in Context: Poets
Over 6,000 biographical articles on classic and contemporary poets. Available to members of Thrall: please log in with your library card number (no spaces).
The Poetry Foundation: Poets
Browse by school / period, region, birthdate, and other criteria, or search by name / poem.
Poetry Season
Biographies of select poets, videos and commentaries from contemporary poets, text of select poems, and more. From the BBC.

Poetry eBooks & Online Archives
American Verse Project
Search or browse a large collection of American poets and poems. After finding a poem and clicking on the title of that poem, scroll down the page to see the table of contents or actual poem. Provided by University of Michigan Humanities Text Initiative (HTI) and the University of Michigan Press.
Audio Poetry
"Listen to poems by well known poets read aloud. These free poetry recordings were uploaded by Internet Archive users." From the Internet Archive.
Bartleby: Verse
Online editions of poetry anthologies such as The Oxford Book of English Verse, The Oxford Book of Ballads, Anthology of Irish Verse, The Golden Treasury. Also included: Major poetic works by famous poets including Robert Frost, T.S. Eliot, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Emily Dickinson. Also see's alphabetical and chronological indexes of poets as well as an index of first lines of poems.
Book of Poetry
Chinese classic with English translations. Also known as The Book of Odes, Classic of Poetry, and Shijing. From the Chinese Text Project.
Old Norse poetry. Includes the Elder Eddas and Younger Edda. From Project Gutenberg. See also The Poetic Edda and The Prose Edda at the Internet Sacred Text Archive.
LibriVox: Poetry
Downloadable audio of famous poems read aloud. MP3 and OGG audio files format.
Naropa Poetics Audio Archives
"The Naropa University Archive Project is preserving and providing access to over 5000 hours of recordings made at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. The library was developed under the auspices of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics (the university's Department of Writing and Poetics) founded in 1974 by poets Anne Waldman and Allen Ginsberg. It contains readings, lectures, performances, seminars, panels and workshops conducted at Naropa by many of the leading figures of the U.S.literary avant-garde." From Naropa Univeristy (hosted at
The Online Books Page: Poetry
Directory of online editions and eBooks of poems, poetry collections, thematic anthologies, poets, related literary theory and criticism, prosody/versification, and more.
Poem Flow
Classic poems visually presented line by line on the screen. Choose from over 1,000 poems. Also available as a free app for the iPhone and iPad.
Poem Hunter
Search or browse popular poets and poetry. Includes "Top 500 Poems," a thematic "Poems About" section, and more.
The Poet and the Poem
Poems and poetry readings (presented as webcasts / podcasts) from the Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress.
Poetry Archive
"The Poetry Archive exists to help make poetry accessible, relevant and enjoyable to a wide audience. It came into being as a result of a meeting, in a recording studio, between Andrew Motion, soon after he became U.K. Poet Laureate in 1999, and the recording producer, Richard Carrington. They agreed about how enjoyable and illuminating it is to hear poets reading their work and about how regrettable it was that, even in the recent past, many important poets had not been properly recorded." Text and audio. Browse or search.
Poetry Center Digital Archive
"Poetry Center Digital Archive makes available significant portions of early audio recordings from the Poetry Center's American Poetry Archives collection, supplemented by select archival texts and images." From The Poetry Center at San Francisco State University.
Poetry eBooks
Poetry eBooks within the Ramapo Catskill Library System (RCLS). Members of Thrall may access available titles at home over the Internet.
The Poetry Foundation: Poems
Browse popular and famous poems by subject, occasion, literary school / period, poet's region, poet's birthdate, poetic terms, and more.
Poetry 180
"Poetry 180 is designed to make it easy for students to hear or read a poem on each of the 180 days of the school year." Provided through the Library of Congress.
Poets on Poets
"The Poets on Poets project is an audio archive published by Romantic Circles that testifies to the continued importance of Romanticism in the contemporary poetry world. The premise of the collection is simple: we have asked practicing poets from around the world to read a Romantic-period poem that they particularly admire and that has influenced the way in which they think about their craft. The results are gathered here." From the Romantic Circles project of the University of Maryland. Hosted at
Project Gutenberg: Poetry Bookshelf
Online anthologies / collections of poems from various poets. Available in a variety of text/eBook formats.
Sonnets Central
Numerous electronic texts (e-texts) of sonnets from various poets.
Walt Whitman Archive
"The Walt Whitman Archive is an electronic research and teaching tool that sets out to make Whitman's vast work, for the first time, easily and conveniently accessible to scholars, students, and general readers. Whitman, America's most influential poet and one of the four or five most innovative and significant writers in United States history, is the most challenging of all American authors in terms of the textual difficulties his work presents." From the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Introduction to Poetry
Getting into Poetry
A friendly invitation into the wonderful world of poetry. PDF format. From Middletown Thrall Library.
How to Read a Poem
Tips from poet and critic Edward Hirsch. Provided by The Poetry Foundation.
How to Read a Poem
"Learn how to read a poem and understand it." From The Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin.
How to Read a Poem Out Loud
Tips from the Library of Congress (Poetry 180 project).
Looking for: Poetry
A guide to finding poets, poetry, anthologies of poems, and more. PDF format. From Middletown Thrall Library.
Poetic Forms & Techniques
Definitions and examples of major poetic forms and techniques. Click on each term on the page for an expanded definition. Provided by the Academy of American Poets.
Poetry: Patterns and Parts
Explore the structure, sound, and inner-workings of three famous poems. PDF format. From Middletown Thrall Library.
Poetry Study Guides
Information on classic and modern poets and their poems. Includes analysis, study questions, and suggestions for further reading. From Spark Notes.
Poetry Words Worth Learning
An easy, one-page glossary of poetry terms. PDF format. From Middletown Thrall Library.
Poetry: Writing Basics
Sections include: Forms and Techniques, Poetry Glossary (Poetic Terminology), On Craft (essays on writing poetry from famous writers/poets), Interviews, The Writing Life, and more. From The Academy of American Poets. See also their Poetry Writing and Publishing FAQ.
Shmoop Learning Guides: Poetry
Overviews and analyses of popular poems. Poems are listed alphabetically by title. Click tabs on their page for more information (Intro, The Poem, Summary, Analysis, Themes, etc.).
See also: Poetry - OpenCourseWare (OCW)

Lesson Plans & Learning Materials
- Resources for Students & Educators
The Academy of American Poets: Curriculum and Lesson Plans
"The Academy of American Poets presents lesson plans that align with Common Core Standards, each of which have been prepared by a curriculum specialist concerned with developing skills of perception and imagination." See also their Educators page.
The Art of the Metaphor
A five-minute animation. "How do metaphors help us better understand the world? And, what makes a good metaphor? Explore these questions with writers like Langston Hughes and Carl Sandburg, who have mastered the art of bringing a scene or emotion to life." Narrated by poet Jane Hirshfield. Video provided by TED-Ed.
From EDSITEment:
Introducing Metaphors Through Poetry
Introduction to Modernist Poetry
Listening to Poetry: Sounds of the Sonnet
Poems that Tell a Story
Poetry for the Common Core
"This year for National Poetry Month, in response to the Common Core State Standards initiative, EDSITEment has strung a garland of multimedia resources for students of all ages."
Preparing for Poetry: A Reader's First Steps
Education World: Poetry Lessons
"Education World editors have gathered poetry resources from our archive to help teachers everywhere celebrate National Poetry Month."
Favorite Poem Project: Lesson Plans
"The Favorite Poem Project seeks to improve poetry's place in American classrooms by encouraging active, engaging poetry lessons that emphasize a direct, vocal connection to poems."
National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE): Poetry Lesson Plans
Various lesson plans from ReadWriteThink / NCTE. See also their main Poetry page.
The Poetry Foundation: Learning Lab
Includes: Core Learning Poems, Articles for Students and Teachers, Essays on Poetic Theory, and Poetry Terms. See also their Common Core State Standards Text Exemplars page.
Poetry Out Loud: Lesson Plans
Resources focus on memorizing poems, and poetry recitations (readings and public performances).
Lyrical Legacy: 400 Years of American Song and Poetry
"Lyrical Legacy helps teachers explore eighteen American songs and poems from the digital collections of the Library of Congress. Each song and poem is represented by an original primary source document, along with historical background information and, in many cases, sound recordings and alternate versions." Provided by the Library of Congress.
See also: Introduction to Poetry,   OpenCourseWare (OCW)

OpenCourseWare (OCW)
Online Poetry Courses
From Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) OpenCourseWare:
Literary Interpretation: Interpreting Poetry
"This seminar offers a course of readings in lyric poetry. It aims to enhance the student's capacity to understand the nature of poetic language and the enjoyment of poetic texts by treating poems as messages to be deciphered."
Modern Poetry
"This course considers some of the substantial early twentieth-century poetic voices in America. Authors vary, but may include Moore, Frost, Eliot, Stevens, and Pound."
Poetry in Translation
"This seminar addresses the inherent challenges of translating poetry from different languages, cultures, and eras. Students do some translation of their own, though accommodations are made if a student lacks even a basic knowledge of any foreign language."
Reading Poetry
"Reading Poetry has several aims: primarily, to increase the ways you can become more engaged and curious readers of poetry; to increase your confidence as writers thinking about literary texts; and to provide you with the language for literary description. The course is not designed as a historical survey course but rather as an introductory approach to poetry from various directions - as public or private utterances; as arranged imaginative shapes; and as psychological worlds, for example."
Romantic Poetry
"This course examines readings of the major British Romantic poets (Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Scott, Shelley, and Keats) and important fiction writers (Mary Shelley and Walter Scott). Attention is also given to literary and historical contexts."
Studies in Poetry: Does Poetry Matter?
"The landscape we will explore is the troublesome one of the relevance, impact, and importance of poetry in a troubled modern world. We will read both poetry and prose by several substantial modern writers, each of whom confronted the question that is the subject's title."

Poetry Awards - Award-Winning Poets,
Poems, Poetry Collections
Academy of American Poets: Academy Book Awards
Information and award recipient lists for the Wallace Stevens Award, Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, James Laughlin Award, Walt Whitman Award, Raiziss/de Palchi Translation Awards, Harold Morton Landon Translation Award, University and College Poetry Prizes, and more. Click each award title on their page to view winners and judges by year.
Current State Poets Laureate
Information on current and past poets representing New York and other states. From the Library of Congress.
National Book Awards: Poetry
Winners from 1950 to the present.
Nobel Prizes in Literature
Includes winning poets (among other writers in this category).
Poet Laureates of the United States
Current U.S. poet laureate and past poets. Includes news, articles, and podcasts. From the U.S. Library of Congress. See also their United States Poets Laureate: A Guide to Online Resources page.
Poetry Foundation: Poetry Awards
Pegasus Awards, Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, Children?s Poet Laureate, Emily Dickinson Award, Neglected Masters Award, Mark Twain Poetry Award, Randall Jarrell Award in Criticism, Verse Drama Prize. From the Poetry Foundation (publisher of Poetry magazine).
Poetry Society of America Awards
"The PSA's Annual Awards are among the most prestigious honors available to poets. They offer emerging and established poets recognition at all stages of their careers. The awards recognize everything from a single poem to our highest honor, the Frost Medal, which celebrates lifetime achievement in poetry."
Pulitzer Winners for Poetry
Poets and winning poems/poetry collections for each year.
The T.S. Eliot Prize
Current and past winners. From Truman State University Press. See also this page or more about the prize.

Videos - Poetry Readings & Performances
The Academy of American Poets: Videos
Favorite Poem Project
Griffin Poetry Prize
Moving Poems: The Best Poetry Videos on the Web
PBS: Poetry Everywhere
Pearls of Wisdom
Poetry (YouTube Channel)
A Poetry Channel
The Poetry Foundation
Vancouver Poetry Slam

General Poetry Resources
The American Poetry Review
"Bimonthly issues of original poetry, literary criticism, interviews, essays and social commentary."
Favorite Poem Project
"The Favorite Poem Project is dedicated to celebrating, documenting and encouraging poetry's role in Americans' lives. Robert Pinsky, the 39th Poet Laureate of the United States, founded the Favorite Poem Project shortly after the Library of Congress appointed him to the post in 1997." Select and click on videos on home page or click the Videos link for more recorded readings of favorite poetry read by celebrities and other people throughout the United States. Provided by Boston University, the Library of Congress, and others. Video playback requires the Adobe Flash plugin.
Modern and Contemporary American Poetry
A free course (OpenCourseWare/OCW) from the University of Pennsylvania. From the course description: "ModPo is a fast-paced introduction to modern and contemporary U.S. poetry, from Dickinson and Whitman to the present. Participants (who need no prior experience with poetry) will learn how to read poems that are supposedly 'difficult.'" Free registration (via required.
Modern Poetry
A free course (OpenCourseWare/OCW) From Yale University. From the course description: "This course covers the body of modern poetry, its characteristic techniques, concerns, and major practitioners. The authors discussed range from Yeats, Eliot, and Pound, to Stevens, Moore, Bishop, and Frost with additional lectures on the poetry of World War One, Imagism, and the Harlem Renaissance. Diverse methods of literary criticism are employed, such as historical, biographical, and gender criticism."
The New York Times: Poetry and Poets
News, articles, and reviews.
No Fear Shakespeare: Sonnets
Modern, easy-to-understand renditions of the Sonnets of William Shakespeare. Includes the original Sonnets for comparison.
PBS NewsHour Poetry Series
"The NewsHour Poetry Series, funded by the Poetry Foundation, intends to engage a broader audience with poetry through a series of thoughtful, in-depth reports on contemporary poets and poetry." Includes Poet Profiles, videos, and resources for teachers.
A podcast series sponsored by the Poetry Foundation (publisher of Poetry magazine), the Kelly Writers House, and PennSound. In addition to audio clips there are full text articles on classic and contemporary poets and poetry.
Poetry of America
"The 'Poetry of America' initiative is part of the Poetry and Literature Center's 75th Anniversary celebration. Through two features, 'Poetry of American Identity' and 'Poetry of American History,' this initiative explores how poetry connects to the following themes: immigration and migration, work and industry, social change, and peace and war." From the Library of Congress.
PoetryBase: Poetic Forms
A list of major poetic forms linked to descriptions and explanations of how they work in terms of rhyme, structure, meter, and more.
Poetry Catalog: Poets & Poetry in the Library Catalog
Locate poetry books, anthologies, and more at Middletown Thrall Library and the RCLS library system.
Poetry Daily
Features contemporary poetry and poets from new books, journals, and magazines.
The Poetry Foundation
"The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience." Includes news, articles, featured poems and poets, reviews, audio, videos, and more.
Poetry: How-to Help and Videos
Topics include: How to Read a Poem Aloud, Looking at Rhythm and Meter in Poetry, Why You Should Read Poems Aloud, Understanding the Subject of a Poem, and more. From
Poetry Journals
Directory of poetry journals. From Poetry Society of America (PSA). See also their Poetry Publishers list.
Poetry Out Loud
Browse titles and text of poems, poets, and recorded performances of poetic readings. Includes teaching resources and tips on reciting poetry.
Poetry Resources: Poets & Poems
Middletown Thrall Library's metaguide to poetry resources on the Web and in the library system. Includes links to poetry criticism, ebooks.
Poetry Society of America (PSA)
"The Poetry Society of America, the nation's oldest poetry organization, was founded in 1910 for the purpose of creating a public forum for the advancement, enjoyment, and understanding of poetry. Through a diverse array of programs, initiatives, contests, and awards, the Poetry Society of America works to build a larger audience for poetry, to encourage a deeper appreciation of the art, and to place poetry at the crossroads of American life." Includes audio recordings of poets reading their works, news, a blog, articles, information on poetry contests and awards, and more.
Poetry Tool
An interactive archive of full text poems you can locate by category, occasion, title, first lines, popularity, or poets' names, birth/death dates, or school/period.
The Academy of American Poets. Includes Daily Poetry, weekly highlights, a poem/poet search engine, resources for educators, audio feeds of poets reading their works, and poetry news.
Poets & Writers
Resources for creative writers. Includes monthly features of contemporary poets, select articles from the Poets & Writers magazine, news, as well as grants and awards.
Find rhyming words and phrases. Also allows you to search William Shakespeare's works alphabetically by lines/word order and "coined words."
Writing about Poetry
"The basics of how to write about poetry, including why it is done, what you should know, and what you can write about." From Purdue University's Writing Lab.

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Famous Literary Quotes
The Columbia World of Quotations
Search or browse 65,000 quotations. Over 5,000 authors are included. Provided by
Familiar Quotations - Compiled by John Bartlett
Search or browse the the text of Bartlett's Quotations (10th ed.) courtesy of Handy for locating quotes in major classic texts.
Includes: Daily Quotes, Quotes by Subject, Quotes by Title or Author.
One Hundred Best First Lines of Novels
Provides quote, author, title of work quoted, and the year the novel was published. Provided by

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William Shakespeare's
Life, Writings, Criticism
Featured Resources
Shakespearean Criticism (SC)
In the Literature Criticism Online database. Available at Thrall (and to Thrall members at home).
Shakespeare for Students
In the Literature for Students database. Available at Thrall (and to Thrall members at home).

Other Resources
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
Comedies, histories, and tragedies.
Folger Shakespeare Library
Described as "the world's largest and finest collection of Shakespeare materials and to major collections of other rare Renaissance books, manuscripts, and works of art."
Google Books: Books by or about William Shakespeare
Includes many older "full view" works (anthologies, criticism, essays, etc.) Google has scanned from libraries.
In Search of Shakespeare
"While much is known about the works of William Shakespeare, information about the man behind the words can be hard to find. Separating fact from rumor can be even harder." Documentary from PBS.
Literature Study Guides: William Shakespeare
Plot summaries of the plays, character lists, analysis, criticism, and more. From CliffsNotes.
Mr. Shakespeare and the Internet
Biography of Shakespeare, study guides, criticism, reviews, a blog, and more.
National Portrait Gallery: Portraits of William Shakespeare
From the British National Portrait Gallery.
No Fear Shakespeare
"No Fear Shakespeare puts Shakespeare's language side-by-side with a facing-page translation into modern English - the kind of English people actually speak today." Modern editions of plays including: As You Like It, The Comedy of Errors, Henry IV (part I and part II), Henry V, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, King Lear, Macbeth, The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, Richard III, Romeo and Juliet, Sonnets, The Taming of the Shrew, The Tempest, Twelfth Night.
Phrases from William Shakespeare
Includes phrase and quoted text from the plays. From Phrase Finder. William Shakespeare
Brief biography as well as poems. From the Academy of American Poets.
Project Gutenberg: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
Downloadable electronic texts (e-texts/ebooks) of Shakespeare's plays.
Shakespeare - Free Resources for Students and Teachers
Quotes, articles, quizzes, and more. From
Shakespeare Authorship Coalition
"The Shakespeare Authorship Coalition runs this website so anyone who cares about Shakespeare, as we do, can easily see why his identity has long been in doubt, and sign a definitive declaration addressing the issue - the Declaration of Reasonable Doubt About the Identity of William Shakespeare, located on this site."
Shakespeare at eNotes
"Our Shakespeare section contains thousands of pages of content on the life and work of the world's greatest author, including eNotes to more than 20 titles." Sections include: Shakespeare Study Guides (Study Guides to the Plays and Sonnets, Shakespeare Essays, Shakespeare Criticism, Shakespeare in Modern English), About William Shakespeare, Shakespeare Quotes.
Shakespearean Criticism
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre
Official website of the Globe Theatre.
Shakespeare in the Park
"Shakespeare in the Park is one of one of New York City's most beloved summer traditions. New York natives and visitors alike have been enjoying free Shakespeare in Central Park since performances began in 1954."
Shakespeare's Life and Times
Illustrated biography.
The Shakespeare Mystery: Who, in Fact, Was He?
This special from PBS looks into questions regarding Shakespeare's authorship - whether he actually existed or someone else wrote his plays.
Shakespeare on the Web
Directory of websites about the life and writings of William Shakespeare. Listing provided by Open Directory Project.
Shakespeare Resource Center
Topics include: Shakespeare's biography, language, life, will, as well as the debate concerning the authorship (who wrote) Shakespeare's plays.
Shakespeare Study Guides
Browse by title of play. From SparkNotes.
Shakespeare: The Authorship Debate
A concise examination of possible persons some critics and others believe to have actually written the works of Shakespeare (Christopher Marlowe, Edward de Vere, Francis Bacon, among others). Includes links to other websites on this topic. From the Shakespeare Resource Center.
Shakespeare Illustrated
"Shakespeare Illustrated, a work in progress, explores nineteenth-century paintings, criticism and productions of Shakespeare's plays and their influences on one another." From Emory University.
Shakespeare in Performance
"Shakespeare in Performance is a searchable database of performance materials from over 1000 film and stage productions related to Shakespeare's works. Whether you are an actor, director, student, scholar or Shakespeare enthusiast, this database provides an exciting and innovative resource of items and artifacts related to stage production from start to finish."
Shakespeare Online
Read or search the plays and poetry (sonnets) of William Shakespeare. Includes plot summaries, study guides, literary critcism and analysis, a glossary, quotations, and more.
Shakespeare's Will
Image and text transcript. From the United Kingdom's National Archives.
Shakespeare's Words
"The site integrates the full text of the plays and poems with the entire Glossary database, allowing you to search for any word or phrase in Shakespeare's works, and in particular to find all instances of all words that can pose a difficulty to the modern reader." Click on their Glossary button to search for words.
Shmoop: Shakespeare's Plays and Sonnets
Overviews and analyses of the plays and poems of William Shakespeare. Browse by title. Click tabs on their page for more information (Intro, Summary, Themes, Quotes, Characters, Analysis, Questions, etc.).
William Shakespeare Filmography
A chronologically sorted list of movies and television shows based on Shakespeare's works and plays. Provided by Fandango.
William Shakespeare in the Library Catalog
Books by or about Shakespeare, including his works, criticism/critical analysis, interpretations, stories and adaptations, movies, videos, audiobooks, and other items located throughout the Ramapo Catskill Library System (RCLS).
William Shakespeare News
From The New York Times.

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Short Stories
Bibliomania: Short Stories
Short stories by O. Henry, Chekhov, Mark Twain, Rudyard Kipling, Washington Irving, and others.
Short Fiction
Electronic texts (e-texts) of short stories hosted at
The Short Story: Specimens Illustrating Its Development
Edited Brander Matthews. Over 20 short stories from the Middle Ages to the 20th Century. Provided by
The Short Story Library
Full text to many famous short stories. Also includes a "Short Story of the Day."
Wikipedia: Short Story
Definition and related web links. See also Wikipedia's list of short story authors. Please note Wikipedia's disclaimers.

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Study Guides
Bibliomania: Literature Study Guides
Study guide topics include: Biographies, Plot Synopses, Themes, Character Lists Summaries, and Further Reading.
CliffsNotes: Literature Study Guides
Books, novels, drama / plays, poetry, essays, short stories, and more.
"Thousands of literature study guides, lesson plans, literary criticism." Designed with students and teachers in mind. Search or browse. Also has a discussion board and featured questions/answers about literature.
Hundreds of study guides, summaries, chapter notes, analyses, and classic texts.
Shmoop Literature Learning Guides and Teacher Resources
Overviews and analyses of classics and modern literary works. Works are listed alphabetically by title. Click tabs on their page for more information (Intro, Summary, Themes, Quotes, Characters, Analysis, Questions, etc.).
SparkNotes: Literature Study Guides
Study guide topics include: Plot Overviews, Character Lists, Analyses of Major Characters, Themes, Motifs & Symbols, Important Quotations, Key Facts, Study Questions, Essay Topics, Quizzes, and Suggestions for Further Reading.

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Fun & Interesting Literary Facts
A-to-Z Characters - Who Was It? - Names in Literature
Browse by author names or "character types." Provided by
Behind the Names: Literature Names
Meanings behind the names of major characters from literature. Includes pronunciation for each name.
Best 100 Characters in Fiction Since 1900
A list produced in 2002 summarizing some of the most popular literary characters of all time.
Book Trivia
A variety of fun facts and interesting trivia about famous books and literary writings throughout the history of literature. Provided by Information Please's "Fact Monster."
Books Under Fire
Lists of recent and past (back to 1990) challenged, banned, and censored books in the United States.
Calendar of Literary Facts
Said to cover "more than 6,500 events in literary history." Click on calendar dates for various trivia. From
Fact Monster: All About Books
Numerous trivia lists and fun facts about literature, literary characters, and authors. Some examples include: Mystery Initials (and full names of authors, as in J.R.R. Tolkien), Famous Storytellers, Books Inside and Out (all about the parts of a book and related technical terms, such as "bookplate" and "front matter"). Provided by Information Please's "Fact Monster."
Female Literary Figures
An alphabetically arranged list of some of the most popular women writers in the history of English and world literature. Click on any of the authors' names for a brief biography and list of their major writings. Provided by Literature Quizzes and Trivia
Nearly 7,000 quizzes to test you knowledge of literature, literary characters, famous books and authors. Click on any of the A-Z links to browse quizzes by writers' last names.
FunTrivia: Literary Characters
Includes such lists as: "Mixed Up Heroines," "Classic Couples," "What Book Am I From," "Characters' Names," "Literary Antagonists," and "Famous Literary Heroes And Heroines," among others.
Literary Hoaxes
A new feature at focusing on recent hoaxes perpetrated by several authors attempting to pass their writings off as based on true stories.
Literary Places
"This database of writerly destinations-places writers can visit for inspiration, to promote their writing, for research, and to discover community-includes historical sites, reading venues, literary collections, writing centers, and writers spaces. Save your selections to My P&W and populate a personal Google Map that can be used to plan reading tours and visits to literary meccas, or just to keep track of your favorite literary locales." From Poets & Writers.

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World Literature
Asian Literature
Lists of classics and summaries. From Infoplease.
Chinese Literature in English
Directory of classics online. from
Top 100 Works in World Literature
Wikipedia: World Literature
Definition and related web links. Please note Wikipedia's disclaimers.
World Literature: By Country
Browse works, authors, and articles by country. From
World Literature Directory
Websites arranged by country. Provided by Open Directory Project.
Words Without Borders: The Online Magazine for International Literature
Features news, interviews with contemporary authors from around the world, educational resources for teachers and students, book reviews,
World Literature Today
Features select WLT articles, interviews, and essays from the premium subscription journal. From the University of Oklahoma.

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Writing about Literature
Criticism and Literary Theory Resources
Enotes: Literature Guides
Guides to reading, understanding, interpreting, and exploring literary texts, symbols, and more. Some examples of guides include:
How to Write a Persuasive Literature Essay
Literary and Literary Criticism Databases
Articles and biographies of classics and literary authors. Available to members of Thrall.
What Makes a Good Literature Paper?
From Purdue University.
Writing about Literature
From W. W. Norton.

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