Masterplots II: British and Commonwealth Fiction Series

At a Glance

4 Volumes 
1,971 Pages 
374 Essays
168 Authors
Author Index
Title Index
"Sources for Further Study"
     with Each Essay

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Clearly written, skillfully analytical, and critically adept, these four volumes serve as an introduction to the fiction of a wide range of writers of English.  -American Reference Books Annual, 1988

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Editor: Frank N. Magill

ISBN: 978-0-89356-468-1
# of Pages: 1971
# of Volumes: 4
Print List Price: $383

Masterplots II
British Fiction Series, Rev. Ed.

Masterplots II: British and Commonwealth Fiction Series reflects a growing awareness of a unique historical process: the development of English as an international language. The writers whose novels are discussed in these volumes represent an extraordinarily wide range of cultural experience - from Guyana to Nigeria, from Canada to Australia and from Ireland to India. They share a common historical experience - the mixed legacy of the British Empire - and even more important, a common language. Never before have so many speakers from so many different cultures shared a common tongue

More than 400 classic novels are covered in this set. These titles, spanning 1900 -1986, are broken into three categories. The first category includes British and Irish novels from the 1950's to present and includes such authors as Iris Murdoch and William Golding. The second category encompasses a larger time span, and covers literatures from Canada, Australia, West India, Africa and India. This group includes such well-known writers as Margaret Atwood, Patrick White and V.S. Naipaul. The third and smallest category includes novels by major writers whose principal works have already been covered in Masterplots. These novels, such as Virginia Woolf's The Voyage Out and D.H. Lawrence's Kangaroo were necessarily excluded from the selective coverage of Masterplots but are by no means unworthy of study.

Together, these three categories comprise all but a handful of the titles covered; the remainder are significant novels by writers as diverse as Wyndham Lewis, May Sinclair and Rosamund Lehmann.

Following the accessible format developed for Masterplots II, this set is arranged alphabetically by title by which the work is best known in the United States. The individual essays are divided into six sections, including ready-reference top matter outlining publication information; type of work; principal characters; discussion of the action and plot; analysis of characterization; themes; literary devices and writing techniques; relevant environments in which the novel was published; and a listing of the best secondary reference material that specifically addresses the work under discussion. 

Two indexes, a Title Index and an Author Index can be found at the end of volume 3. A complete list of writers who contributed articles to the set can be found at the beginning of volume 1.