Tackling literary theory for the first time can seem a daunting task, but it is also one of the most rewarding. This accessible guide provides the ideal first step in understanding theory, as the author:
* leads you through the major approaches to literature which are signaled by the term "literary theory"
* places each critical movement in its historical (and often political) context
* illustrates theory in practice with examples from much-read texts
* suggests further reading for those especially interested in a particular critical approaches
* shows not only that theory can make sense but that it can radically change the way you read.