Saturday, April 7, 2012

Notable E-book: Cambridge History of the English Novel

Many of the ebooks that we get are part of ever-growing databases that correspond to print series. A key example of this is our Cambridge Histories Online which includes over 300 volumes published since 1960.

The online collection's title is a bit misleading, as this database covers many topics beyond the straight-forward "History" of Britain and the United States. Topics also include language and linguistics, philosophy, music, political and social theory and--as title we are featuring here would indicate--literature.

A new 2012 online volume is The Cambridge History of the English Novel. Cambridge University Press describes the volume thusly: "The Cambridge History of the English Novel chronicles an ever-changing and developing body of fiction across three centuries. An interwoven narrative of the novel's progress unfolds in more than fifty chapters, charting continuities and innovations of structure, tracing lines of influence in terms of themes and techniques, and showing how greater and lesser authors shape the genre. Pushing beyond the usual period-centered boundaries, the History's emphasis on form reveals the range and depth the novel has achieved in English. This book will be indispensable for research libraries and scholars, but is accessibly written for students." For more from the publisher, including the table of contents and an excerpt, see this page.

When you click the link from our online catalog (OPAC), you can either step through chapters by clicking the "next chapter" button, or you can search for keywords in the content using the search box in the upper right. Just make sure that you change the radio button to This Volume, or you'll search the entire database! There's also a link for Advanced Search that will possibly give you a more precise search. And if you are searching a proper name or other phrase, you are advised to put them in quotation marks (as in "George Eliot").

The actual chapter is delivered in PDF form, so look for the Adobe symbol on the pages for each entry--as illustrated below.

Although this particular volume sounds interesting, there is valuable analysis in ALL of the books in this scholarly online collection. So remember this database when you want 24/7 book content from an academic publisher with an impeccable pedigree.

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