When the Fifth Edition of The Oxford Companion to English Literature appeared in 1985, it received a glowing front-page review in The New York Times Book Review, which praised it as "a wonderful, infuriating, amusing, and informative war horse of a book." Now comes the new Sixth Edition, thoroughly updated and greatly expanded by editor Margaret Drabble and a team of 140 distinguished contributors, who include Salmon Rushdie, Brian Aldiss, Penelope Fitzgerald, Ian Buruma, and Michael Holroyd.
Readers will find over 660 new entries, over a third of which were written by Drabble herself, including hundreds of new biographies (from Kathy Acker to Stefan Zweig) as well as new entries on genres, literary terms, critical schools, and much more. In total, the new edition offers over 7,000 alphabetically arranged entries, providing incomparable coverage of the classical works of English literature, and of European authors and works that have influenced the development of English literature. Its wide range of articles cover not only authors and their works, but also fictional characters, plot summaries, composers and artists, literary and artistic movements, historians, philosophers, and critics, as well as publishing history, literary societies, newspapers and periodicals, critical terms and theory.