Literature Handbook: A Guide to Literary Analysis

Robert Beardwood

Insight’s Literature Handbook is a comprehensive and accessible reference book for senior secondary students of English literature, and strongly supports the Content and Learning Outcomes of the senior secondary Australian curricuum for Literature.

The Literature Handbook provides an overview of English literature, giving a sense of its history and development, and filling in some of the broader historical and social contexts in which literature evolved and which it has so often responded to and commented on.

The early chapters outline the broad sweep of Western literature, beginning with a time line from ancient Greece to the present day, then explaining the main forms of literature and discussing some of the key literary movements and styles, including romanticism, realism, modernism and postmodernism. In these chapters the emphasis is on placing texts in a social, cultural and historical context, and on understanding the ways in which these contexts and human experiences are represented in texts.

The central chapters drill down into the specific forms of texts, explaining the features, conventions and techniques used by authors of novels, plays, poetry and nonfiction. They also guide students in the analysis of these forms, providing strategies for close analysis and annotated essays. A chapter on film caters to those studying a film text alongside traditionally print-based literary forms.

Finally, there is a detailed overview of the history of literary criticism and of the main literary theories currently integral to the interpretation and study of literature. Each theory is clearly defined and explained, then applied to a literary work, thus demonstrating the ways in which theoretical frameworks and concepts can be used to generate a range of readings of literary works.

A detailed glossary, an index of authors and titles and the historical time line provide quick and convenient reference resources.

Shortlist, Reference Resource
Resource type
Reference Resource
December 2020

Insight Publications

Insight Publications is an independent Australian-owned company with over fifty years of experience publishing English resources for secondary students and teachers.

We believe that education is key to empowering young people across the globe. As publishers of educational content, we are committed to ensuring that our publications are of the highest standard, applying the latest pedagogical research to content from the best practitioners in their field.

Insight Publications develops innovative, engaging and evolving English resources to challenge, to inspire and to enrich learning.