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A classic in its own right, comparable to little else in scope and authority currently on the market.
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Editor: Laurence W. Mazzeno, Alvernia College
Masterplots, 4th Edition
A classic reference work for more than sixty years, Masterplots analyzes the most important works in all genres—long fiction, short fiction, poetry, drama, and nonfiction—throughout history and around the world, helping to define and critique the literary canon.
THE PRINTED REFERENCE
Twelve volumes, including 6,144 pages
Extensive finding aids
Complimentary online access
Unlimited users at your library
Full access from home or dorm room
Immediate access via online registration
A simple, intuitive interface
User profile areas for students and patrons
Sophisticated search functions
Complete content, including appendixes
First Revision in Fourteen Years
Salem's most popular title, Masterplots, is being revised for the first time since 1996. Masterplots, Fourth Edition is an expanded and updated version of 1996's Masterplots, Third Edition which was itself a culmination of the Masterplots sets published at intervals since 1949. Masterplots, Fourth Edition, in twelve volumes, retains the original purpose of the Masterplots concept: providing fundamental reference data, plot synopses where applicable, and critical evaluations of a comprehensive selection of English-language and world literature that has been translated into English. The essays are in alphabetical order by title, and each includes an annotated bibliography to aid readers in further study.
New Content & Revision Details
Masterplots, Fourth Edition features 2,220 essays in 12 volumes: 438 essays are newly written, 98 feature thoroughly revised or replaced plot synopses or critical evaluations; and 1,684 have been previously published but reedited for this new edition. No titles from the previous edition were dropped. The 1,684 titles from the 1996 set were carefully reviewed for currency, accuracy, biased language, and quality of critical analysis before inclusion in the new edition. In adding new titles, the editors considered classroom curricula at both high school and college levels, as well as the broader context of literary culture both within and beyond North America. Editors added classics that had been previously overlooked and contemporary classics that represent a range of cultural identities and diverse modern experiences.
Organization & Format
Masterplots essays are intended to be efficient reference sources; they have been formatted to provide the available factual information about a work at a glance. All essays open with ready reference data on the type of work, the author, and the date of first publication and, where applicable, first English translation. For all works of fiction, the opening section also provides information on the "Type of Plot," "Time of Plot," and "Locale." In addition, there is for most works of fiction a section entitled "Principal Characters," which lists the work's main characters, along with brief descriptions.
Also retained from the 1996 Masterplots edition is the use of two types of format for the essays: the synopsis review and the essay review. The synopsis reviews, which treat works that have an identifiable narrative line, provide five categories of information: the opening reference data; "Principal Characters;" "The Story" or "The Poem," a straightforward summary of the plot; "Critical Evaluation," a critical analysis that discusses significant aspects of the work's artistry and history; and "Further Reading," a brief, annotated list of significant secondary sources. The essay reviews cover collections of poetry and short stories, as well as nonfiction. In this format, the essay has three subdivisions: the reference data, the analytical essay, and an annotated bibliography. Occasionally, as for some autobiographical and travel writing, an additional category—"Principal Personages"--is included. This category features a list and brief descriptions of historical figures mentioned in the work.
At the beginning of each volume are a list of Contents for that volume and a Complete List of Contents for the entire set. Volume 12 contains several helpful reference tools, including a Chronological Index, a Geographical Index, a Title Index, and an Author Index. New to this edition are the Genre Index, which groups titles by genre, and the Themes & Issues Index, which groups titles by their prominent subject matter to act as a guide for students, teachers, and reading groups.
The Online Database
For this new edition, Masterplots will be available online through Salem's online platform, Salem Literature. A single purchase of the printed set is all it takes to gain access to the entire twelve volumes of Masterplots online.
Libraries and schools will find an Activation Number in the first volume of their printed Masterplots. With this number it’s easy to log onto Salem Literature, register and get your library connected to this resource. The whole process takes only minutes, and our Customer Service department is ready to help every step of the way.
Searching Salem Literature can be as simple and direct or detailed and precise as users wish. Search results appear in a variety of user-defined ways, sorted and organized to help users find what they need, quickly. Traditional finding aids, such as indexes, also are available, and hyperlinked cross-references abound.
Personalized Profiles for Every Patron and Student
Every individual user can establish a simple personalized profile to save important information such as articles, searches or citations. These personalized areas are free and unlimited.
Every library with Salem Literature provides an unlimited number of users access to the content. There are no restrictions on how many people can use the database. There are some restrictions on how many buildings are allowed access if your system includes more than seven buildings. For details, please give us a call.
Patron & Student Access
With a library card number (or some other identifying key) students and patrons can access all the functionality of Salem Literature from home. It’s easy for your library to set up and terrific for your users.
The pricing, distribution and effective costs of this resource are remarkable. Smaller libraries and high schools will be able to provide extensive online literary reference at a very low cost. Larger institutions, especially multiple-branch libraries, will find that a single set of the printed Masterplots will activate online access at every library branch or school in your system. (Systems with more than seven library buildings may require more than one printed set to allow universal access across their entire system.) For systems with seven or fewer buildings, one set of Masterplots is available throughout your institution via Salem Literature.
For more information about activating Salem Literature and adding reference sets to your online access, click Activating Salem Literature.
Salem's online products are available to consortia, State-wide programs and other multiple-institution purchasing groups. For details, please call us at:(800) 221-1592.