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Historic Literary Criticism: About

A guide to all aspects of Historic Literary Criticism including content, searching, and viewing results on the new ProQuest platform.

Subject Coverage

  • Literary criticism
  • Literature
  • English literature

Publication Types

  • Books
  • Magazines
  • Historical periodicals
  • Scholarly journals

Publication Coverage

To view the latest title list and publication coverage, please visit:

What is Historic Literary Criticism?

Historic Literary Criticism is a collection of over 20,000 historical contemporary reviews, essays and commentary related to more than 500 influential authors from the 17th to the early 20th century. The content comes from a range of sources such as contemporary periodicals as well as published and unpublished letters. The cornerstone of the collection comes from the renowned Critical Heritage series from Routledge.

These historical documents and essays allow readers to contextualise some of the most important authors in order to investigate how contemporary critics assessed their works. The provision of the historical literary context allows researchers at all levels, but particularly undergraduates, to place authors and texts into a full historical critical environment, allowing them to understand how contemporary reviewers and peers viewed texts when they were first published. The ability to historicise texts is a key requirement for undergraduate literature students.

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Selection Policy

Historic Literary Criticism includes the complete contents of over 100 volumes from Routledge’s highly acclaimed “Critical Heritage Series”. These volumes are expertly curated and introduced by leading scholars and offer unparalleled surveys of the critical reception (published and unpublished) of key 17th, 18th and 19th Century authors.  The Routledge Critical Heritage Series is not available online anywhere else.