Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable 19th edition
The Continuum Encyclopedia of American Literature
The Oxford Companion to English Literature
The Oxford Companion to Modern Poetry
The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Literature
The Concise Oxford Companion to Classical Literature
The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms
Tips for finding Literary Criticism
1. Identify the work and/or author to be studied.
2. Search the Library Catalog for books about the work or author. Library of Congress Subject Headings, labeled "Subject Terms" in the Catalog, can help you.
Sample Subject Terms:
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616—Biography (search for: shakespeare william biography)
Austen, Jane, 1775-1817—Criticism and Interpretation (search for: austen jane criticism)
Homer—Criticism and Interpretation (search for: homer criticism)
Biographies about authors often include significant discussions of their work. Books of literary criticism frequently discuss a range or group of authors' works. Only a chapter or portion of the book may be relevant to your research. Newer editions of classics may also include critical essays about the work.
3. Browse the shelves. Original works, books about the work, and books about the author are usually shelved together. Start by finding the call number for the original work using the Library Catalog.
4. Some works have significance to other disciplines, such as history, religion, or philosophy. Broaden your search to include books about the relevant historical period, theological issue, or other topics related to the work.
5. Broaden your search to the relevant literary period, for example classical literature. Then check tables of content and indexes to discover which of these books refer to the work you are researching.