About the Encyclopedia

Who runs the Literary Encyclopedia?
Who writes the entries?
Can I write an entry?

How do I become a member of the Literary Encyclopedia?
What are the benefits of becoming a member?
How much does it cost?

How do I link to the Literary Encyclopedia from my own website?
Can I reproduce content from the Encyclopedia on my own website?
How do I add a link from the Literary Encyclopedia to my own website?
Can I add my book to the Bookshop?

The person/work/topic I wanted to read about isn’t covered in the Encyclopedia. Why not?
How do I report an error in an entry, or notify the Encyclopedia that an entry is out of date?
Where can I study English / English Literature?

How do I advertise in the Literary Encyclopedia?

How do I cite the Literary Encyclopedia?

Using the Encyclopedia

What is in the Encyclopedia?

How do I find a Person?
How do I find a Work?
How do I find a Topic?

I didn’t find what I was looking for. How else can I look for it?
What’s the difference between the Simple Search and the Advanced Search?

How are the entries indexed? What is a Domain/Kind/Activity?
How do I search for people who do a particular thing (Novelists, Poets, Painters etc?)
How do I search for works by a particular person?

How do I look for people from a particular country?
How do I look for works published in a particular country?
How do I look for events that happened in a particular country?

What are the other research tools available on the Literary Encyclopedia?

How can I find other websites with useful information about a particular person/work/topic?

How can I find a book about a particular person/work/topic?


For information on the people that run the Literary Encyclopedia, please click here.

Who writes the entries?
The Literary Encyclopedia is not a wiki-based resource, and we do not publish work by unqualified writers. The vast majority of our contributors are practising academics who teach the subjects they write about in universities across the world. They are invited to contribute by our editors, and when each entry is written it is reviewed by the relevant members of our editorial board before being published. We also have a small number of independent scholars writing for the Encyclopedia who are not currently affiliated to a particular institution but whose publication records and experience amply qualify them to write on the subject in hand, and we do accept contributions from doctoral research students when it is approved by their supervisors.

Can I write an entry?

If you would like to write an entry for the Encyclopedia, please send your short-form CV (including publications record) and a writing sample to submissions@litencyc.com for consideration by our editorial board. Although the majority of our contributors are academics, we also welcome applications from teachers, members of learned societies, independent scholars, writers and teachers.

We are particularly keen to hear from scholars who would be interested in becoming “Author Editors“ to co-ordinating our coverage of an individual author’s entire oeuvre.

We only accept a limited number of postgraduates as contributors to the Encyclopedia, and these tend to be people who are writing their thesis on a specific text or on an author around whom relatively little criticism has already been generated. If you are a postgraduate student and you would like to write for us, please supply the name of your PhD supervisor or their email address so that we can request their opinion.

We do not accept undergraduate students as contributors to the Encyclopedia.

How do I become a member of The Literary Encyclopedia?

To become a member of The Literary Encyclopedia please click here to register and follow the onscreen instructions

What are the benefits of becoming a member?

Members of the Encyclopedia enjoy various benefits, including discounts on books from various retailers and publishers. For full details please click here

How much does it cost?

Registration is free and enables you to receive emails about The Literary Encyclopedia and University English and selected email circulars about conferences, publications and jobs.

Membership costs $9.95 a year from December 1st 2005 and enables you to use many advanced software features, use forums, obtain discounts on books and participate in monthly prize draws for free books. (Please click here to sign up.) Your membership will also make it possible for The Literary Encyclopedia to grow.

How do I link to the Literary Encyclopedia from my own website?

Individual pages in the Encyclopedia are organised with UIDs (Unique Identifiers). These are stable and you can use the URLs as they appear in the browser window to link to individual pages e.g.

<a href=/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=5160> Louis Potter: William Shakespeare in <em>The Literary Encyclopedia</em></a>.

To link to the Literary Encyclopedia homepage, insert the html <a href=http://www.litencyc.com> The Literary Encyclopedia</A> into your code.

For information about reproducing content from the Encyclopedia, please click here

How do I add a link from the Literary Encyclopedia to my own website?

The Literary Encyclopedia Links database is a searchable database of sites recommended by our contributors and readers and indexed by our editorial team. Appropriate links from the database appear when you click the “Links About” button at the head and foot of an Encyclopedia entry.

If you run a website about one of the People, Works or Topics mentioned in the Encyclopedia and it is not yet listed in our database, please feel free to bring your site to our attention by using the contact form to tell us about it. We will then invite our relevant expert to review your site and advise us on making a link.

Can I add my book to the Bookshop?

Our Bookshop advertises books whose publishers have paid us a very modest fee. If you would like your book to be included in the Bookshop, you should mention it to your editor and ask them to contact us.

Contributors to the Encyclopedia may add books they have written or edited to the Bookshop for free, providing that they are in print and available to purchase online (either direct from the publisher or from a third-party bookseller). If you are a contributor and you would like to add your book to the Bookshop, please see the Contributors' Page for details. For more information, see "How do I advertise in The Literary Encyclopedia?"

The person/work/topic I wanted to read about isn’t covered in the Encyclopedia. Why not?

Between January and November 2005 we published an average of between 50 and 60 new entries a month, and we expect our publication rate to increase throughout 2006. Although we are adding to the Encyclopedia every day, the fact that we commission and edit each entry on an individual basis does mean that we are unable to expand at the same rate as less carefully produced resources.

If you have tried both the simple and advanced searches (please see I didn’t find what I was looking for. How else can I look for it?) and have been unable to find a basic record for the person, work or topic you wanted to read about, it may be that we have yet to list them in the Encyclopedia. Please use the contact form to tell us about them so that we can set up a basic record and start looking for a contributor to write the entry. If you think you are qualified to write the entry yourself, or you know someone who is, (please see Can I write an entry? for our requirements) then please let us know.

How do I report an error in an entry, or notify the Encyclopedia that an entry is out of date?

The Literary Encyclopedia updates daily as new material is received from our editors and contributors. We are always very pleased – albeit a touch chagrined – to hear of the occasional error that has slipped past our eagle eyes, and we do our best to rectify them immediately. If you have spotted an error, or an entry that is out-of-date (e.g. the writer has died, a new book has been published but does not appear on the “Works by” list) then please use the contact form to tell us about it, including “Error in the Encyclopedia” in the subject line so that we can deal with the problem as quickly as possible.

Where can I study English / English Literature?

We are not a university and we do not run courses. If you would like to find information about studying English Literature, please visit www.University-English.com.

For more information about the University English site see What are the other research tools available on the Literary Encyclopedia?

How do I advertise in the Literary Encyclopedia?

During 2005 The Literary Encyclopedia was visited an average of 300,000 times a month, clocking up over 5 million page impressions monthly. Our community of readers include undergraduate and postgraduate students, lecturers, journalists, teachers and librarians. There are two ways in which you can advertise in the Encyclopedia.

Classified Advertisements:
Members can take advantage of our new Classified Advertisements features – log in and follow the links to view and place advertisements for accomodation, courses, books, and more. Advertisements are placed on the Classified Advertisements page and also cycled through the left-hand sidebar on the site.

Book Advertisements:
Our Bookshop currently advertises books from a wide range of publishers and booksellers including Cambridge University Press, Faber & Faber and the British Library. Publishers wishing to advertise their lists with us should use the contact form, including “Bookshop Advertising” in the subject line of the message. We will then be able to supply you with more information.

Contributors may add books that they have written or edited to the Bookshop for free. For more information see Can I add my book to the Bookshop?

For information on citing The Literary Encyclopedia, please see Citations

Using the Encyclopedia

What is in the Encyclopedia?

Our records are indexed and organised into three databases, covering People, Works and Topics & Events. By using the advanced search function, readers can list writers according to genre, sex, period and culture, making it possible in a few seconds to see, for example, which women writers of poetry in English were flourishing in the world between 1910 and 1920. Because all our records are given a detailed index, readers will be able to organise The Literary Encyclopedia to show, for example, lists of gothic novels or science fiction novels or tragic drama or travel writings, and restrict this subset by date of publication or sex or country of author. The Literary Encyclopedia therefore makes it possible to view literary history in ways which were previously possible only through arduous research.

We now have basic records for over nearly 6000 writers, painters, musicians, politicians and other people of note, and over 1200 completed biographies ranging from 500 to 3000 words. Although our broad remit is literature written or translated into English, readers often want to know who Nietzsche was, or when Descartes wrote, so we include entries on major non-English writers, composers, philosophers, politicians and artists. Our coverage of German Literature is particularly strong. We have basic records for over 17,500 individual works, and have published nearly 1300 entries on individual books and plays – an invaluable and unique resource. Our database of Topics entries include historical events, inventions, concepts, glosses on literary terms, descriptions of reigns, overviews of literary groups and "sets", and more. Our 1600 basic Topics entries and 600 published essays can be organised into bespoke Timelines, sorted on type, date, country etc., with a parallel display of People and Works entries.

It is free to read basic records and published entries on People, Works and Topics. You can read a list of Contents here or read about looking for a particular entry by clicking on one of the links below:

How do I find a Person?
How do I find a Work?
How do I find a Topic?

As well as our entries, the Encyclopedia also incorporates a Links database, Bookshop, Stylebook and Glossary, and offers various research tools. For more information see:

What are the other research tools available on the Literary Encyclopedia?

How do I find a Person?

Search by SURNAME
Select Search from the Menu bar above, and click on People. This will open the People Search page.
Type in the first few letters of the SURNAME only. Do NOT include the first name of the author.
Select “Search” or hit “Enter” and you will be presented with a list of authors to choose from.
If the author you are looking for does not appear in the list of results, click on “Go To Advanced Search”.

Advanced Search – Search by Activity, Domain, Date, Place
Select Search from the menu bar above and click on People. Then click on “Go To Advanced Search”. You can search by as many or as few search criteria as you wish by selecting from a list.

Activity = What a person does (e.g. Novelist, Playwright, Historian).
Domain = The general field in which they work (e.g. Science, Journalism, Literature)

Select “Search” or hit “Enter” and you will be presented with a list of authors to choose from.

See also:
I didn’t find what I was looking for. How else can I look for it?
What’s the difference between the Simple Search and the Advanced Search?

How do I find a Work?

(Note: To find works by a particular person, search for the author, open their profile and then click on “Works By” at the top of the page.)

Search by Title
Select Search from the Menu bar above, and click on Works. This will open the Works Search page.
Type in one or more adjacent words from the title.
Select “Search” or hit “Enter” and you will be presented with a list of works to choose from.
If the work you are looking for does not appear in the list of results, click on “Go To Advanced Search”.

Advanced Search – Search by Genre, Domain, Date, Place
Select Search from the menu bar above and click on Works. Then click on “Go To Advanced Search”. You can search by as many or as few search criteria as you wish by selecting from a list.

Genre = What type of work it is (e.g. Novel, Tragedy, Pamphlet)
Domain = The general field which the work is part of (e.g. Religion, Theatre, Literature)

Select “Search” or hit “Enter” and you will be presented with a list of works to choose from.

See also:
I didn’t find what I was looking for. How else can I look for it?
What’s the difference between the Simple Search and the Advanced Search?

How do I find a Topic or Event?

Search by Description
Select Search from the Menu bar above, and click on Topics & Events. This will open the Topic & Events Search page.
Type in one or more words that describe the Topic you are looking for. The fewer words you use, the more results you will have to choose from.
Select “Search” or hit “Enter” and you will be presented with a list of works to choose from.
If the Topic you are looking for does not appear in the list of results, click on “Go To Advanced Search”.

Advanced Search - Search by Kind, Domain, Date, Place
Select Search from the menu bar above and click on Topics. Then click on “Go To Advanced Search”. You can search by as many or as few search criteria as you wish by selecting from a list.

Kind = What sort of Topic it is (e.g. Battle, Theory, Method)
Domain = The general field which the Topic is part of (e.g. Cinema, Industry, Social Life)

Select “Search” or hit “Enter” and you will be presented with a list of topics to choose from.

See also:
I didn’t find what I was looking for. How else can I look for it?
What’s the difference between the Simple Search and the Advanced Search?

I didn’t find what I was looking for. How else can I look for it?

When using the advanced search tool, you will find that searching on only one or two criteria, will broaden your search so that you have more results to choose from.

By searching on several at the same time you will refine your search and have a shorter, more precise list to choose from.

You can also browse our People, Works, and Topics entries alphabetically by going to the simple search and clicking on the relevant letter of the alphabet. You can access a complete contents list here.

See also The person/work/topic I wanted to read about isn’t covered in the Encyclopedia. Why not?

What’s the difference between the Simple Search and the Advanced Search?

The simple search looks for an exact match to the letters of the surname that you type in. The Advanced search looks for entries which have indexing values that match those that you have set in the search. So if you set the Activity value in the People Advanced Search to “Poet”, it will display all the people in the database who have been tagged as a Poet. If you then add another search criteria – say, Country as “England” it will show all English writers who have been tagged as Poets.

Because multiple indexing values are used by our databases, you may find that a writer you think of as an English novelist might appear on this list. We are currently in the process of re-indexing all of our entries to make a distinction between “primary” and “secondary” activities. This refinement, whilst labour-intensive, will improve the working of the Advanced Search and the accuracy of the results. We hope to launch these improvements during 2006.

How are the entries indexed? What is a Domain/Kind/Activity?

For People entries:
Activity = What a person does (e.g. Novelist, Playwright, Historian).
Domain = The general field in which they work (e.g. Science, Journalism, Literature)

For Works entries:
Genre = What type of work it is (e.g. Novel, Tragedy, Pamphlet)
Domain = The general field which the work is part of (e.g. Religion, Theatre, Literature)

For Topics entries:
Kind = What sort of Topic it is (e.g. Battle, Theory, Method)
Domain = The general field which the Topic is part of (e.g. Cinema, Industry, Social Life)

How do I search for people who do a particular thing (Novelists, Poets, Painters etc?)

Please see How do I find a Person? and follow the instructions for using the advanced search.

See also: What’s the difference between the Simple Search and the Advanced Search?

How do I search for works by a particular person?

First, you need to access the record of the person. Then click the “Works by…” link at the head or foot of the entry space for a list of works by that author.

See How do I find a Person?

How do I look for people from a particular country?
How do I look for works published in a particular country?
How do I look for events that happened in a particular country?

You can use the advanced search to look for people, works and events linked to a particular country. Follow the links below for more information:

What’s the difference between the Simple Search and the Advanced Search?
How do I find a Person?
How do I find a Work?
How do I find a Topic?

What are the other research tools available on the Literary Encyclopedia?

At the top and base of entries, you will find the following links to various features.

Bookshop

“Books About” links to our Bookshop, which publishers pay to advertise in. Clicking on this link searches for books about the same person, work or topic as the entry you are reading. There is a detailed description of the book with links to the publishers’ own pages and various retail sites from which you can order it. You can search the Bookshop by selecting “Bookshop” from the menu above.

See also: Can I add my book to the Bookshop?

Contemporaries

This new feature searches for all People, Works and Topics in the same time period, domain and location as the subject of the entry you are reading, thus providing an instant contextual overview. Find out who else was writing, what else was being published, and what events were taking place!

Please note that this function is still in development.

Links

Links to appropriate internet resources on other free sites are entered into the Literary Encyclopedia Links Database. The links database is vetted regularly to check for broken links and all sites are recommended by our contributors and readers. Please note that although The Literary Encyclopedia makes every effort to check the sites we are linking to, we cannot take any responsibility for the content of external sites. If you feel we are linking to a site which may not be suitable, please let us know so that we can re-assess its inclusion in our database.

Our database of links is currently being indexed and will soon be independently searchable by our readers.

See also: How do I add a link from the Literary Encyclopedia to my own website?

Works By...

This function opens a list of works by an author.

See also: How do I search for works by a particular person?

About [Author’s Name]

This link takes you from a Works entry to the People entry of its author

Extra Resources

Stylebook

The Style Book is primarily intended to provide basic information for undergraduate students in the humanities but it is a helpful resource for anybody writing an essay. With full instructions on citations, laying out a bibliography, rules of grammar and punctuation, and various examples from real essays, the StyleBook will help you avoid the most common pitfalls.

Glossary

This glossary provides a quick check-list of common poetic terms. The same or more extended entries can be found in the Topics table of The Literary Encyclopedia. Other terms not included in this list may also be found in our Topics database.

University English

The Literary Encyclopedia is closely linked to its companion site www.University-English.com which provides contact information for the global profession of higher education English studies. Specifically, University-English offers databases of English departments, Journals, Associations and Publishers, enabling users to move directly to the relevant homepage and subordinate pages of websites, and to search list by sophisticated indexing procedures. Our aim is to enable us all to find exactly what we need much more directly and efficiently; whereas a generic search engine might lead you to a university homepage, our database takes you straight to the departmental pages. University-English also provides dynamic lists of jobs and conferences around the world.

How can I find a book about a particular person/work/topic?

See the section on our Bookshop in What are the other research tools available on the Literary Encyclopedia?.

Please note that we do not currently maintain our own critical bibliographies. However, every effort is made to install links from our pages to other online bibliographies where they exist.