Place - setting, location - is as central to the study of literature as character. Whole course studies have been designed around it; papers as short as one page and as long as doctoral dissertations have addressed it. Now, for the first time, librarians, students, and teachers have a comprehensive reference source that addresses it. This 3-volume reference set is a completely new concept: a title-driven reference work that analyzes the use of place in literary works. Cyclopedia of Literary Places is organized and presented in a form that will be familiar to users of Salem's Cyclopedia of Literary Characters. It will also be integrated into Salem's established family of literary reference works, to which it adds something entirely new: extensive and intensive coverage of place in literature. The set supports, supplements, and is a dynamic companion to both Masterplots, Second Revised Edition (1996) and Cyclopedia of Literary Characters. Cyclopedia of Literary Places contains articles on more than 1,300 literary works - representing the works of more than 630 authors - selected from the 1,805 titles covered in Masterplots.
The selected titles are those that best lend themselves to meaningful discussion of place as a literary device. These include virtually all the novels, most of the plays, and a selection of poetry. Every title covered in Cyclopedia of Literary Places also has related articles in both Masterplots and Cyclopedia of Literary Characters. Users will find detailed synopses and plot analyses in Masterplots and detailed character analyses in Cyclopedia of Literary Characters. The articles range in length from half-page articles for short stories, most plays, and poetry works, to one-to two-page articles for novels. Each article provides standard top-matter information: full title, author's name and vital dates, type of work, type of plot, time of plot, and date of original publication. A brief Introductory paragraph explains where the work is set and comments on themes and patterns in the work's use of place. The set contains more than 5,500 separate place entries. Help with the pronunciation of foreign names is provided in many entries. Discussions within the entries themselves focus on how locations are used as literary devices within the novels, plays, or poems.
The entries explore such issues as how places help to establish mood, how they symbolize the actions and characters of the story, how they appear to change as the story develops, and what their overall contribution to the work may be. Geographically real and invented settings are treated equally here. Articles in this set are arranged alphabetically by the titles of the works they discuss. A complete list of the titles, including cross-references, can be found at the back of volume 3, where users will also find an Author Index. The Place Index lists places covered in individual entries, with substantial cross-referencing.show more