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English, Nineteenth-Century Literature Guide

Find Articles

When searching for journal articles, an indexing and abstracting database or print index is usually the best place to begin. Below are some recommended print indexes and databases for research in English Literature. For other databases, check the Indexes and Abstracts page of the library website.

Key Resources

  • Literature Online
    Literature Online offers full text access to rare and inacessible works, up-to-date, reference resources, in addition to the full text of poetry, drama, and prose fiction from the seventh century to the present day. Materials are included from almost every period and genre of English literature as well as many works by 20th century authors. Contemporary criticism is available through the Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature (ABELL).
    Unlimited simultaneous users.

Additional Resources

  • Project Muse
    "Project MUSE covers the fields of literature and criticism, history, the visual and performing arts, cultural studies, education, political science, gender studies, and many others." UNB subscribes to almost 400 eJournals, and provides access to select Open Access eBooks.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • JSTOR Archival Collection
    JSTOR provides access to back issues of a variety of scholarly journals. UNB Libraries currently subscribes to the Arts & Sciences (I through X) collections, along with the Life Sciences and Ireland collections.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.

A list of electronic journals about the Nineteenth Century can be found here. (Please note that not all of these journals cover topics specific to Great Britain.)

A list of electronic journals about the Romantic Period can be found here.

A list of electronic journals about the Victorian Period can be found here.


Reference Sources

Please note that this guide contains resources about both the Romantic Period (1789-1832) and the Victorian Period (1837-1901). Some sources cover a slightly wider range of dates.

When researching a new topic, it is often necessary to get an overview, explanations of unfamiliar terms, or brief factual information. The print and electronic resources listed below include selected reference materials (dictionaries, encyclopaedias, handbooks, guides, and standards) for English literature of the nineteenth century. To find additional reference materials, check Quest (the library catalogue) or our Reference Materials database.

Key Resources

  • British Romantic novelists, 1789-1832 [HIL-REF PN41 .D5 vol.116]
  • British romantic poets, 1789-1832. First series [HIL-REF PN41 .D5 vol.93]

    Bio-critical essays present the lives, accomplishments, and literary contributions of 20 "first generation" romantic poets including Blake, Coleridge, Scott and Wordsworth. Each author entry also includes biographical data, primary and secondary bibliographies, and information about published letters and the locations of collected papers. The fascinating complementary illustrations include author portraits, scenes from the author's life, and manuscript pages. Note: DLB 96 (0-8103-4576-5) covers the "second generation", including Byron, Keats and Shelley. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.

  • British romantic poets, 1789-1832. Second series [HIL-REF PN41 .D5 vol.96]

    The first generation of Romantic poets (Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, et al.) were treated in the First series, (DLB 93). Of the 22 writers covered in the Second series, three poets--Byron, Shelley, and Keats--receive extended treatment, and three others--John Clare, Leigh Hunt, and Thomas Love Peacock--receive more attention than minor writers. But those familiar with the series will know that all of the essays are rich and reliable, replete with personalities and influences, lives and works, bibliographies and illustrations. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.

  • Romantic literature : a guide to romantic literature 1780-1830 [HIL-REF PR447 .R65 1993]

    This work is a combination of critical essays on understanding romantic poetry, prose and drama, as well as the contemporary historical background, with a complementary A-Z section of detailed entries. Authors featured include Blake, Wordsworth, Byron, Shelley and Keats.

  • Victorian literature handbook, The [HIL-REF PR463 .V533 2008]

    The Victorian Literature Handbook is an accessible and comprehensive introduction to literature and culture in the Victorian period. It provides a one-stop resource for literature students from introducing the historical and cultural context to key authors, texts and genres. It includes case studies for reading literary and critical texts, a guide to key critical concepts, introductions to key critical approaches, and a timeline of literary and cultural events. Essays on changes in the canon, interdisciplinary research and current and future directions in the field lead into more advanced topics and guided further reading enables further independent work. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.

  • Stanford companion to Victorian fiction, The [HIL-REF PR871 .S87 1989]
  • Late-Victorian and Edwardian British novelists. First series [HIL-REF PN41 .D5 vol.153]
    Information on the lives and works of British novelists of the late-Victorian and Edwardian era.
  • Late-Victorian and Edwardian British novelists. Second series [HIL-REF PN41 .D5 vol.197]
    Information on the lives and works of British novelists of the late-Victorian and Edwardian era.
  • Cambridge companion to Victorian poetry, The [HIL-REF PR591 .C36 2000]
  • Victorian women poets [HIL-REF PN41 .D5 vol.199]

Additional Resources


Find Books

To search for books at UNB Libraries, first use the library's online catalogue, Quest. Quest contains materials held at the Harriet Irving, Science and Forestry, Engineering, and Law libraries, as well as the Ward Chipman Library in Saint John. Course reserves are also available via Quest's Reserve Desk.


Bibliographies list publications that have been written about a particular subject, including books, journals, government publications, etc. Annotated bibliographies provide concise summaries of what has been published in a given area.

Bibliographies of material about the Romantic Period:

  • Romantic poetry by women: a bibliography, 1770-1835
    HIL-REF PR 509 .W6 J32 1993
  • The Romantic movement bibliography, 1936-1970: a master cumulation from ELJ, Philological Quarterly, and English language notes
    HIL-REF PN603 .R54 vols.1-7 1966/47-1968/70

Bibliographies of material about the Victorian Period:

  • The Victorian novel: an annotated bibliography
    HIL-REF PR871 .M39 1989
  • The British Empire in the Victorian press, 1832 - 1867: a bibliography
    HIL-REF  DA16 .P29 1987
  • Victorian science and religion: a bibliography with emphasis on evolution, belief, and unbelief, comprised of works published from c. 1900 - 1975
    HIL-REF QH305 .2 .E5 E37 1984
  • The nineteenth-century periodical press in Britain: a bibliography of modern studies, 1901 - 1971
    HIL-REF PN5177 .M3 1975


Find Internet Sites

While there is a wealth of information freely available on the internet, not all sites are created equal. Careful evaluation is a critical part of doing research on the Internet. Below are some recommended sites:


Citing Your Sources

Accurate, properly formatted footnotes, reading lists, and bibliographies are hallmarks of good academic research. Through citing, you acknowledge the source of any ideas you mention in your writing, document your research, and provide the information your readers need to track down your sources.

Numerous citation styles exist, and each specifies what elements are required (title, author, journal name, etc.) and how the citation should be formatted. The standard citation style for English Literature is MLA, but your instructor may require or recommend that you use another. Consult your course syllabus or check with your instructor to be sure of using the correct citation style for your assignment.



Primary Sources

These primary sources are documents such as letters, poems, or books that are from (rather than about) the Victorian period. Using primary sources can help you learn more about the author(s) you are researching and/or develop a historical context for your literary analysis.

You may find the following resources helpful:

  • Primary sources for Victorian studies : a guide to the location and use of unpublished materials
    HIL-REF DA550 .S743
  • How to find out about the Victorian period; a guide to sources of information
    DA533 .M223
  • British literary magazines
    PN5124 .L6 B74 1983 vols. 1-4
  • British women's diaries: a descriptive bilbiography of selected nineteenth-century women's manuscripts
    HIL-REF HQ1593 .H84 1985
  • Wellesley index to Victorian periodicals, 1824-1900
    AI3 .W4 vols. 1-5

Key Resources

  • Past Masters (Intelex)
    InteLex Past Masters is comprised of 100+ full-text humanities and sciences databases that make available cohesive collections of editions, in both original language and in English translation, of seminal figures in the humanities and sciences.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • English Poetry Database
    The English Poetry Database "contains poems in English from Anglo-Saxon times to the end of the nineteenth century by writers from the British Isles. The database covers the works of 1,257 named poets and many items by different anonymous hands."
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • British and Irish Women's Letters and Diaries
    British and Irish Women’s Letters and Diaries spans more than 400 years of personal writings, bringing together the voices of women from England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. This database allows researchers to view history in the context of women’s thoughts – their struggles, achievements, passions, pursuits, and desires.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.


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