the Internet Public Library
Online Literary Criticism Guide
Good literary criticism can be one of the hardest kinds of information
to find on the Internet. Although there are many sources of online author
information, it can often be difficult to find authoritative and critical
To help you find the best information, we've collected and described
some of the best starting places for finding online critical writing. This
resource is particularly good for finding information on English-language
authors, but also includes many authors whose works have been translated
If you find good guides to critical sites that we have missed, please
let us know by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best Starting Places | Other
Useful Starting Places | Starting Places for Particular
Best Starting Places
Monthly Magazine search
The Atlantic Monthly Magazine provides critical reviews of influential
books; their website contains reviews dating back to the 19th century to
show how authors were received by their contemporaries. Use their search
engine to find old articles about your author.
Resources on the Net
This is a searchable and comprehensive guide to author information
with more critical links than most other sites.
Internet Public Library Online Literary Criticism
The Online Literary Criticism Collection brings together hundreds of
critical and biographical sites with annotations. It is international in
scope, but emphasizes authors from North America, the British Isles, and
the former British Empire. The collection is arraged by author, title,
and nationality/literary period.
the Shuttle: Web Page for Humanities Research
The Voice of the Shuttle is a very comprehensive index to online information
about authors, but there is little actual criticism mixed in among the
online texts and links to other information about the authors. Despite
this limitation it is a very useful starting place, especially since much
of the criticism is labelled as such. Sections of the site which may prove
particularly useful include:
Other Useful Starting Places
Celebration of Women Writers
"The Celebration provides a comprehensive listing of links to biographical
and bibliographical information about women writers, and complete published
books written by women." Includes women writers from antiquity to the present,
with an excellent selection of current authors worldwide. Organized by
name, century, and country. The amount of criticism varies greatly among
This database contains commentary on literature that deals with medical
and psychological issues. While this may sound like a peculiar topic, it
does contain good criticism on a wider range of topics than you might imagine.
LitLinks has biographies and short lists of links to authors in five
literary genres: fiction, drama, poetry, essays, and critical theory. It
also categorizes some good sites on literary periods from medieval through
contemporary. A good starting point.
Perspectives in American Literature: A Research and Reference Guide
This detailed website is a guide to finding literary criticism and
commentary about American authors. It is arranged by literary periods,
and includes introductions and general bibliographies for each period.
and Verse Criticism of Poetry
This site links to many works of criticism in the form of poetry.
Arranged by the name of the author being critiqued, this is a good place
to find poems about pre-20th century authors, including some classical
Roman and Greek writers.
from the Gaps Women Writers of Color
"An instructional World Wide Web site focusing on the lives and works
of women writers of color." This is an excellent source for biographical
information as well as bibliographies about North American women writers
of many ethnic backgrounds. Some of the entries contain links to sites
with critical articles.
Good Starting Places for Specific Time Periods
Exploring Ancient World
Cultures Essay Index
(in approximately chronological order)
This index contains scholarly articles on ancient and medieval world
cultures including the Near East, India, China, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Early
Islam, and Medieval Europe. Many of the articles contain literary criticism.
This site offers biographical and critical essays on a range of authors
from Medieval, Renaissance, and seventeenth century Europe. The essays
themselves are written by a variety of people, many of whom are scholars
in their field. The amount of documentation (bibliographies, footnotes,
etc.) varies between essays.
A World-Wide Web Server for Medieval Studies
Developed at Georgetown University, this site is a huge collection
of resources about the Middle Ages and late antiquity, designed primarily
for professors but useful for students as well. For example, if you search
"Chaucer" on the site, you will get links to much useful information about
Chaucer's life and works, particularly the Canterbury Tales.
Modern Literary Studies
This is a good academic journal available in full text on the Internet.
"Articles in EMLS examine English literature, literary culture, and language
during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; responses to published
papers are also published as part of a Readers' Forum. Reviews evaluate
recent work as well as academic tools of interest to scholars in the field."
The journal also evaluates useful web sites.
Gothic: Materials for Study
"The text of the project is divided into five sections, and each has
an introductory page that can be accessed from the title page. Each section
is then broken down into subtopics that include excerpts from both primary
and secondary (critical) texts."
"This site is devoted to the study of Romantic-period literature and
culture. Romantic Circles is the collaborative product of an ever-expanding
community of editors, contributors, and users around the world."
on the Net
"Romanticism On the Net is a peer-reviewed electronic journal
devoted to Romantic studies." Includes articles, book reviews, and many
recommended web sites.
The site includes a timeline, authors, discussion of the literary canon,
literary techniques, genres and modes, Victorian serials, and literary
convergences. It is part of a larger site, The
Victorian Web, http://landow.stg.brown.edu/victorian/victov.html.
Index of Websites on Modernism
"This site offers "annotated references to web pages and gopher files
on artists, poets, novelists, musicians, critics, and philosophers who
wrote, created, and composed in the first half of the twentieth century."
Many authors are included. Critical sites are helpfully labelled as such,
and separated from sites which are informational or contain only online
texts. There are also some general modernism resources listed.
"An online review of the history and future of experimental literature
and poetry," including sections on beat, modern, indie, historical, and
global literature, almost exclusively 20th century. Contains links to biographical
information and some critical sources.
A web site which provides biographical and critical essays, bibliographies,
and links relating to experimental twentieth century authors, such as Pynchon,
Kafka, and Joyce.
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Last Updated Mar 9, 2000