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The Edinburgh Introduction to Studying English Literature

Edited by Dermot Cavanagh, Alan Gillis, Michelle Keown, James Loxley, Randall Stevenson

Edition: 2

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The essential guide for students of literature

Extensively tested at the University of Edinburgh, this introduction to the tools required for literary study provides all the skills, background and critical knowledge which students require to approach their study of literature with confidence. This second edition includes 3 new chapters on Reading, Writing an Essay, and Reflecting. Each focuses on the ‘how to’ element when studying literature, and covers issues such as how to avoid plagiarism, and how to prepare a bibliography.

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Preface to the Second Edition
Section I: Introduction
1. What is Literature? Alex Thomson
2. English Literary Studies: Origins and Nature, Robert Irvine
3. Kinds of Literature, David Salter
Section II: Poetry
4. Poetry: An Introduction, Alan Gillis
5. Metre and Rhythm, Lee Spinks
6. Verse Forms, Penny Fielding
7. Poetic Imagery, Sarah M. Dunnigan
8. Poetry and History, Greg Walker
9. Vernacular Poetry, Colin Nicholson
Section II: Narrative
10. Genre and Form: The Short Story, Kenneth Millard
11. Narrative Language, Keith Hughes
12. Narrative Structure and Technique, Randall Stevenson
13. Constructing Character, Rajorshi Chakraborti
14. Narrative, Society and History, Aaron Kelly
15. Life Writing, Laura Marcus
Section IV: Drama
16. Introducing Drama, Roger Savage
17. Text and Performance, Olga Taxidou
18. Tragedy, Simon Malpas
19. Comedy, Jonathan Wild
20. History and Politics, Dermot Cavanagh
21. Sex, Gender and Performance, Suzanne Trill
Section V: Reading, Writing and Reflecting
22. Reading, Anna Vaninskaya
23. Writing as Essay, David Farrier
24. Reflecting, Paul Crosthwaite
Works Cited
Notes on Contributors

About the Author

Dermot Cavanagh is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Edinburgh. His interests centre on early modern political theatre, especially its relationship to late medieval drama and poetry. He is the author of Language and Politics in the Sixteenth-Century History Play (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003) and co-editor of Shakespeare's Histories and Counter-Histories (Manchester University Press, 2006).

Alan Gillis teaches creative writing as well as modern and contemporary poetry at the University of Edinburgh. Alan Gillis's first book of poetry Somebody, Somewhere (Gallery Press, 2004) was shortlisted for the Irish Times Award and won The Rupert and Eithne Strong Award for Best First Collection in Ireland. His second book Hawks and Doves (Gallery Press, 2007) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and was shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize. As a critic, he is author of Irish Poetry of the 1930s (Oxford University Press, 2005) and is currently co-editing The Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish Poetry.

Michelle Keown is Lecturer in English Literature and the University of Edinburgh and specialises in Postcolonial literature and theory, particularly that of the Pacific region. She has published widely on Maori and Pacific writing and is the author of Postcolonial Pacific Writing: Representations of the Body (Routledge, 2005) and Pacific Islands Writing: The Postcolonial Literatures of Aotearoa/New Zealand and Oceania (Oxford University Press, 2007). She is co-editor (with David Murphy and James Procter) of Comparing Postcolonial Diasporas (Palgrave, 2009) and has edited (with Stuart Murray) a special issue of the Journal of New Zealand Literature (no. 21, 2003) focusing upon diasporic connections between Aotearoa/New Zealand and the UK.

James Loxley works on Renaissance and early modern poetry and drama, especially the work of Ben Jonson; the literature and political discourse of the civil war period and the writing of Andrew Marvell; and contemporary literary theory, particularly issues of performativity.

Randall Stevenson is Professor of Twentieth-Century Literature at the University of Edinburgh. Born in the north of Scotland, grew up in Glasgow and studied in the universities of Edinburgh and Oxford. Lectured on modern literature in 15 countries in Europe and in Nigeria, South Korea and Egypt. General Editor of the Edinburgh History of Twentieth-Century Literature in Britain series.

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