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Based on the bestselling Oxford Companion to English Literature, this is an indispensable, compact guide to all aspects of English literature. Over 5,500 new and revised A to Z entries give unrivalled coverage of writers, works, historical context, literary theory, allusions, characters, and plot summaries. Discursive feature entries supply a wealth of information about important genres in literature. For this fourth edition, the dictionary has been fully revised and updated to include expanded coverage of postcolonial, African, black British, and children's literature, as well as improved representation in the areas of science fiction, biography, travel literature, women's writing, gay and lesbian writing, and American literature. The appendices listing literary prize winners, including the Nobel, Man Booker, and Pulitzer prizes, have all been updated and there is also a timeline, chronicling the development of English literature from c. 1000 to the present day. Many entries feature recommended web links, which are listed and regularly updated on a dedicated companion website. Written originally by a team of more than 140 distinguished authors and extensively updated for this new edition, this book provides an essential point of reference for English students, teachers, and all other readers of literature in English.