Skip to Main Content

ENG 202: Writing and Research in English

Exploration of research materials for literary text analysis and completion of Dr. Kumbier's Literary Quest Assignment

Critical Reception of the Work

When the work first appeared, how was it received by readers and critics?  If it is a book or play, where was it reviewed and what were the reviews like?

Literary Quest Assignment Sheet,
Dr. Kumbier, Spring 2012

Reception of Authors Works
-- from Author Research LibGuide, Dr. William Kumbier, Sept. 26, 2011

One thing students of a particular author’s works often want to know is how the writer’s works were received by the public and by critics when they were first published and how they have been regarded since that time. It’s interesting to note, for example, that what many regard as an American classic, Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, received some mixed and unenthusiastic reviews when it first appeared. On the other hand, the public couldn’t wait for the latest installment of a Dickens novel like The Old Curiosity Shop to appear. (Dickens’ novels were usually published in serial form.) Reference works such as the Dictionary of Literary Biography or Nineteenth- or Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism will often provide an overview of a work’s publication history and reception. Other studies, such as those in the Critical Heritage series, will give a longer, more detailed account of how the regard for an author and the author’s works changed over the decades or centuries. Finally, book reviews in newspapers, magazines and journals offer invaluable perspectives not only on reception but on the cultural milieu in which a work first appeared.

Find Criticism and Interpretation Materials @ Spiva Library

1.  Do a 'LC Subject' Search of your author or the title of your work.

2.  On results page look for --Criticism and interpretation subheading.  There may be multiple instances since the subheading can be attached to multiple main headings (i.e. individual works by the same author)

3.  Click on the subject heading to see a list of materials containing criticism and interpretation information.

Library: Search by:
Search for:





How to Use the Gale Criticism Print Series

Uploaded to YouTube by on Jun 25, 2008.

To use, simply look up your author’s last name in the index (listed alphabetically), figure out what series and volume number the author is located in, and go to that source.

This site is maintained by the librarians of George A. Spiva Library.
If you have a question or comment about the Library's LibGuides, please contact the site administrator.