Scope of Gothic Literature

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Gothic Literature, the fourth set in the Gale Critical Companion Collection, consists of three volumes. Each volume includes a detailed table of contents, a foreword on the subject of Gothic literature written by noted scholar Jerrold E. Hogle, and a descriptive chronology of key events throughout the history of the genre. The mainbody of volume 1 consists of entries on five topics relevent to Gothic literature and art, including 1) Gothic Literature: An Overview; 2) Society, Culture, and the Gothic; 3) Gothic Themes, Settings, and Figures; 4) Performing Arts and The Gothic; and 5) Visual Arts and the Gothic. Volumes 2 and 3 include entries on thirty-seven authors and literary figures associated with the genre, including such notables as Matthew Gregory Lewis, Stephen King, Edgar Allan Poe, Ann Radcliffe, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, and Bram Stoker, as well as entries on individuals who have garnered less attention, but whose contributions to the genre are noteworthy, such as Joanna Baillie, Daphne du Maurier, Washington Irving, Edith Wharton, and Oscar Wilde.

Organization of Gothic Literature

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A Gothic Literature topic entry consists of the following elements:

  • The Introduction defines the subject of the entry and provides social and historical information important to understanding the criticism.
  • The list of Representative Works identifies writings and works by authors and figures associated with the subject. The list is divided into alphabetical sections by name; works listed under each name appear in chronological order. The genre and publication date of each work is given. Unless otherwise indicated, plays are dated by first performance, not first publication.
  • Entries generally begin with a section of Primary Sources, which includes essays, speeches, social history, newspaper accounts and other materials that were produced during the time covered.
  • Reprinted Criticism in topic entries is arranged thematically. Topic entries commonly begin with general surveys of the subject or essays providing historical or background information, followed by essays that develop particular aspects of the topic. For example, the Gothic Themes, Settings, and Figures entry in volume 1 of Gothic Literature begins with a section providing primary source material that demonstrates gothic themes, settings, and figures. This is followed by a section providing topic overviews, and three other sections: Haunted Dwellings and the Supernatural; Psychology and the Gothic; and Vampires. Each section has a separate title heading and is identified with a page number in the table of contents. The critic's name and the date of composition or publication of the critical work are given at the beginning of each piece of criticism. Unsigned criticism is preceded by the title of the source in which it appeared. Footnotes are reprinted at the end of each essay or excerpt. In the case of excerpted criticism, only those footnotes that pertain to the excerpted texts are included.
  • A complete Bibliographical Citation of the original essay or book precedes each piece of criticism.
  • Critical essays are prefaced by brief Annotations explicating each piece. Unless the descriptor "excerpt" is used in the annotation, the essay is being reprinted in its entirety.
  • An annotated bibliography of Further Reading appears at the end of each entry and suggests resources for additional study. In some cases, significant essays for which the editors could not obtain reprint rights are included here.

A Gothic Literature author entry consists of the following elements:

  • The Author Heading cites the name under which the author most commonly wrote, followed by birth and death dates. Also located here are any name variations under which an author wrote. If the author wrote consistently under a pseudonym, the pseudonym will be listed in the author heading and the author's actual name given in parenthesis on the first line of the biographical and critical information. Uncertain birth or death dates are indicated by question marks.
  • A Portrait of the Author is included when available.
  • The Introduction contains background information that introduces the reader to the author that is the subject of the entry.
  • The list of Principal Works is ordered chronologically by date of first publication and lists the most important works by the author. The genre and publication date of each work is given. Unless otherwise indicated, plays are dated by first performance, not first publication.
  • Author entries are arranged into three sections: Primary Sources, General Commentary, and Title Commentary. The Primary Sources section includes letters, poems, short stories, journal entries, and essays written by the featured author. General Commentary includes overviews of the author's career and general studies; Title Commentary includes in-depth analyses of seminal works by the author. Within the Title Commentary section, the reprinted criticism is further organized by title, then by date of publication. The critic's name and the date of composition or publication of the critical work are given at the beginning of each piece of criticism. Unsigned criticism is preceded by the title of the source in which it appeared All titles by the author featured in the text are printed in boldface type. However, not all boldfaced titles are included in the author and subject indexes; only substantial discussions of works are indexed. Footnotes are reprinted at the end of each essay or excerpt. In the case of excerpted criticism, only those footnotes that pertain to the excerpted texts are included.
  • A complete Bibliographical Citation of the original essay or book precedes each piece of criticism.
  • Critical essays are prefaced by brief Annotations explicating each piece. Unless the descriptor "excerpt" is used in the annotation, the essay is being reprinted in its entirety.
  • An annotated bibliography of Further Reading appears at the end of each entry and suggests resources for additional study. In some cases, significant essays for which the editors could not obtain reprint rights are included here. A list of Other Sources from Thomson Gale follows the Further Reading section and provides references to other biographical and critical sources on the author in series published by Gale.

Indexes

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The Author Index lists all of the authors featured in the Gothic Literature set, with references to the main author entries in volumes 2 and 3 as well as commentary on the featured author in other author entries and in the topic volumes. Page references to substantial discussions of the authors appear in boldface. Authors featured in sidebars are indexed as well. The Author Index also includes birth and death dates and cross references between pseudonyms and actual names, and cross references to other Gale series in which the authors have appeared. A complete list of these sources is found facing the first page of the Author Index.

The Title Index alphabetically lists the titles of works written by the authors featured in volumes 2 and 3 and provides page numbers or page ranges where commentary on these titles can be found. Page references to substantial discussions of the titles appear in boldface. English translations of foreign titles and variations of titles are cross-referenced to the title under which a work was originally published. Titles of novels, plays, nonfiction books, films, and poetry, short story, or essay collections are printed in italics, while individual poems, short stories, and essays are printed in roman type within quotation marks.

The Subject Index includes the authors and titles that appear in the Author Index and the Title Index as well as the names of other authors and figures that are discussed in the set. The Subject Index also lists hundreds of literary terms and topics covered in the criticism. The index provides page numbers or page ranges where subjects are discussed and is fully cross referenced.

Citing Gothic Literature

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When writing papers, students who quote directly from the GL set may use the following general format to footnote reprinted criticism. The first example pertains to material drawn from periodicals, the second to material reprinted from books.

Markley, A. A. "The Godwinian Confessional Narrative and Psychological Terror in Arthur Gordon Pym." The Edgar Allan Poe Review 4, no. 1 (spring 2003): 4-16; reprinted in Gothic Literature: A Gale Critical Companion, vol. 3, ed. Jessica Bomarito (Farmington Hills, Mich.: Thomson Gale, 2006), 29-42.

Mishra, Vijay. "Theorizing the (Gothic) Sublime," in The Gothic Sublime (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1994), 19-43; reprinted in Gothic Literature: A Gale Critical Companion, vol. 1, ed. Jessica Bomarito (Farmington Hills, Mich.: Thomson Gale, 2006), 211-17.

Gothic Literature Advisory Board

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The members of the Gothic Literature Advisory Board—reference librarians and subject specialists from public, academic, and school library systems—offered a variety of informed perspectives on both the presentation and content of the Gothic Literature set. Advisory board members assessed and defined such quality issues as the relevance, currency, and usefulness of the author coverage, critical content, and topics included in our product; evaluated the layout, presentation, and general quality of our product; provided feedback on the criteria used for selecting authors and topics covered in our product; identified any gaps in our coverage of authors or topics, recommending authors or topics for inclusion; and analyzed the appropriateness of our content and presentation for various user audiences, such as high school students, undergraduates, graduate students, librarians, and educators. We wish to thank the advisors for their advice during the development of Gothic Literature

Suggestions are Welcome

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Readers who wish to suggest new features, topics, or authors to appear in future volumes of the Gale Critical Companion Collection, or who have other suggestions or comments are cordially invited to call, write, or fax the Product Manager.

Product Manager, Gale Critical Companion Collection
Thomson Gale
27500 Drake Road
Farmington Hills, MI 48331-3535
1-800-347-4253 (GALE)
Fax: 248-699-8054

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Chronology Of Key Events