The Anthem Dictionary of Literary Terms and Theory

The Anthem Dictionary of Literary Terms and Theory

By Peter Auger
Foreword by Robert Douglas-Fairhurst

Anthem Nineteenth-Century Series

Thorough on the essentials and generous in its intellectual scope, 'The Anthem Dictionary of Literary Terms and Theory' is a guide to the literary terms most relevant to students and readers of English literature today.

PDF, 404 Pages


July 2010

£10.39, $18.36

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About This Book

This Dictionary is a guide to the literary terms most relevant to students and readers of English literature today, thorough on the essentials and generous in its intellectual scope. With terms as wide-ranging in theme as 'emphasis', 'ekphrasis', 'ecocriticism' and 'epithalamion' the definitions are always lively and precise in equipping students and general readers with a genuinely useful critical vocabulary. Above all, it directs readers to make full use of terms, in navigating the confusing world of literary criticism and discovering the concepts behind terms. It does this with the help of fresh examples, literary timeline and up-to-date bibliography (with recommended websites). Extensive cross-referencing is linked to a thematic index that makes it simple to find related terms (e.g. technical terms for repetition; names for six- or seven-line stanzas) and is explicit about the exact distinctions between such terms as 'metonym' and 'synecdoche', or 'couplet' and 'distich'.

In addition to teaching key terms, the Dictionary identifies the thinking and unresolved controversies surrounding them, and offers fresh insights and directions for future reading. It seeks to challenge as well as complement the reader’s own ideas about literature. It is a Dictionary for the twenty-first century, both in its broad view of literature in English and its emphasis on readers enjoying poetry, prose and drama.


‘The “Anthem Dictionary” defines literary terminology using modern examples with which twenty-first century students will relate. […] Although primarily for the serious use of students, the examples in the entries are frequently lively and entertaining. Seasoned scholars will benefit from not only updated words like “gynocriticism”, “ecocriticism”, and “kitchen sink drama”, but also by the new directions of terms such as disability studies. This volume is a highly useful research tool for everyone involved in literary criticism.’ —Charlotte Lingren, ‘American Reference Books Annual’

'Written in a plain-worded, conversational style by independent scholar Auger, this useful volume provides over 1,000 definitions for a wide range of terms in current usage in the field of English literature to enhance the reading experience of students and general readers alike. […] A useful thematic index, a time line of the works cited, and a bibliography of print and electronic resources greatly enhance the usefulness of this handy dictionary. Recommended.' —‘Choice’

Author Information

Peter Auger previously studied at the University of Cambridge, and is pursuing government-funded research at the University of Oxford.


Anthem Nineteenth-Century Series

Table of Contents

Foreword; Author's Preface; A-Z Entries;  Thematic Index;  Timeline of Works Cited; Bibliography of Print and Electronic Sources


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