A Little History of Literature John Sutherland

Series:
Little Histories
Format:
Hardback
Publication date:
27 Sep 2013
ISBN:
9780300186857
Dimensions:
288 pages: 216 x 138 x 26mm
Illustrations:
40 black-&-white illustrations

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This 'little history' tackles a very big subject: the glorious span of literature from Greek myth to graphic novels, from The Epic of Gilgamesh to Harry Potter. John Sutherland is perfectly suited to the task, having researched, taught and written on every area of literature. His infectious passion for books and reading has defined his own life. Now he guides young readers and adults on an entertaining journey revealing how literature from across the world can transport us and help us to make sense of what it means to be human. Sutherland introduces great classics in his own irresistible way, enlivening his offerings with humour as well as learning: Beowulf, Shakespeare, Don Quixote, the Romantics, Dickens, Moby Dick, The Waste Land, Woolf, 1984 and dozens of others. He adds to these a less-expected, personal selection of authors and works, including literature usually considered well below 'serious attention' - from the rude jests of Anglo-Saxon runes to The Da Vinci Code. With masterful digressions into various themes - censorship, narrative tricks, self-publishing, taste, creativity and madness - Sutherland demonstrates the full depth and intrigue of reading.

John Sutherland is Lord Northcliffe Professor Emeritus of Modern English Literature, University College London. A trenchant critic and columnist, he has taught students at every level and is the author or editor of more than 20 books including Is Heathcliff a Murderer? and Lives of the Novelists.

"As a guidebook, it's a cracker. What Sutherland has to offer is formidable breadth of reading, a generous spirit and a rebounding enthusiasm for his subject."—Sam Leith, Spectator

“Written in prose that is clear and free from the diktat of theory and criticism, A Little History of Literature is an enjoyable account of a lifelong involvement with literature.”—John Vukmirovich, Times Literary Supplement

A Little History of Literature, which begins with Beowulf and ends with bestsellers, is primarily a guide for teenagers, and John Sutherland brings to the vast and unruly subject some order, clarity and commonsense.”—Frances Wilson, New Statesman

“For many, this book will be intellectual comfort food. For younger readers, it will, or should, function as a blueprint or study guide. Written in prose that is clear and free from the diktat of theory and criticism, A Little History of Literature is an enjoyable account of a lifelong involvement with literature.”—John Vukmirovich, Times Literary Supplement

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