This is a literature-in-English textbook for high school and university students. It aims to guide students to a well-informed appreciation of literary texts in English and encourages them to relate works of literature to their own world. Ample historical, biographical and critical material is provided: with historical, social and literary context sections for each chapter, and a series of critical texts, often presenting the author in his/her own words.
However, the core of the book is the large number and wide range of literary extracts: each text is fully annotated to help students in the difficult task of deciphering the literary code. The exercises include focusing and contextualisation (pre-reading), comprehension of what is being said, as well as textual analysis of how this is achieved and scope for personal response to the text or the ideas underlying it.
Each chapter also includes a series of cross-cultural and more general essay-type questions, aimed at giving a panorama of the development of literature or society during the period. Other features of each book include: detailed links to other European literature and extensive American and Post Colonial sections.