Get unlimited online access to over 9000 articles written by specialist scholars, 20-30 new articles each month, for only $29.00/year. Or persuade your institution to subscribe on your behalf. Details at SUBSCRIPTIONS.

What's Included in the Encyclopedia
  • Access to over 15 million words in reference and critical material
  • Coverage of world literatures: British, American, Canadian, Classics, German, French, Italian, postcolonial and more
  • Selective, reliable and authoritative material, commissioned and refereed by specialist subject editors
  • Continually updated material; indexed and searchable in EBSCO
  • Integrated digital resources: recommended critical reading lists, author life-chronologies, related article clusters, personal and institutional bookshelves
  • Mobile and tablet integration for a seamless browsing experience

Travel Awards 2022

We are delighted to announce that in 2022 The Literary Encyclopedia is resuming its Research Travel Award Programme suspended in 2021 on account of Covid19-related restrictions.

Read more

Featured Bookshelf

American post-1945 poetry

A list of postwar American poets whose profiles we have covered in the LE.

Quotation of the Day

Their crowning curse is their drudging impulse to straightforwardness in a belittered world.

Herman Melville, The Encantadas

African Italian literature

African Italian literature Featured Article

Most overviews of postcolonial cultures in Africa focus overwhelmingly on Anglophone or Francophone literary production; this article seeks to provide a much-needed corrective by discussing a corpus of works that emerged starting with the 1990s mainly as a result of successive waves of migration from the African continent to Italy. They represent a new perspective not only within a literary tradition where postcolonial approaches have arrived late to the table, but also within larger decolonial discourses.

Irish Rebellion of 1798

Irish Rebellion of 1798 Featured Article

With roots that lay deep in the complex political and social situation of eighteenth-century Ireland, and in the political developments in the American colonies and in France, the rebellion was the bloodiest domestic event on either island of the last two hundred years. The article sheds light and comments on some of these complexities, leading to a finer understanding of crucial political settlements such as the Act of Union that absorbed Ireland fully into the United Kingdom in 1801.

Libertine Fiction

Libertine Fiction Featured Article

As the article argues, “the libertine phenomenon … corresponds to the moment when the Western world started to see the body as the receptacle of the self’s deepest secrets, and night as the space-time when such secrets would reveal themselves”. A new understanding of human nature in the Age of Enlightenment was emerging, and this influential trend in 18th century French fiction provided a channel for the expression of daring and emancipated ideals within an aesthetic framework that was at once flirtatious and liberating. 

Medieval Literary Theory

Medieval Literary Theory Featured Article

The essay provides a wide-ranging overview of three overlapping domains in which literary theory was articulated, contested, and redefined over the Middle Ages – education, philosophy and literary making. It illuminates some of the tendencies later developed in the Renaissance and contributes to a better understanding of medieval culture in general.

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.