Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism

Criticism of the Works of World Authors from Classical Antiquity through the Fourteenth Century, from the First Appraisals to Current Evaluations.

Since its inception in 1988, Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism (CMLC) has been a valuable resource for students and librarians seeking critical commentary on the works and authors of antiquity through the fourteenth century. The great poets, prose writers, dramatists, and philosophers of this period form the basis of most humanities curricula, so that virtually every student will encounter many of these works during the course of a high school and college education. Reviewers have found CMLC “useful” and “extremely convenient,” noting that it “adds to our understanding of the rich legacy left by the ancient period and the Middle Ages,” and praising its “general excellence in the presentation of an inherently interesting subject.” No other single reference source has surveyed the critical reaction to classical and medieval literature as thoroughly as CMLC.

Scope of the Series

CMLC provides an introduction to classical and medieval authors, works, and topics that represent a variety of genres, time periods, and nationalities. By organizing and reprinting an enormous amount of critical commentary written on authors and works of this period in world history, CMLC helps students develop valuable insight into literary history, promotes a better understanding of the texts, and sparks ideas for papers and assignments.

Each entry in CMLC presents a comprehensive survey of an author’s career, an individual work of literature, or a literary topic, and provides the user with a multiplicity of interpretations and assessments. Such variety allows students to pursue their own interests; furthermore, it fosters an awareness that literature is dynamic and responsive to many different opinions. Early commentary is offered to indicate initial responses, later selections document changes in literary reputations, and retrospective analyses provide the reader with modern views. The size of each author entry is a relative reflection of the scope of the criticism available in English.

An author or work may appear more than once in the series if they have been the subject of a substantial amount of criticism. Individual works or groups of works by an author may also be covered in separate entries. For example, Homer will be represented by three entries, one devoted to the Iliad, one to the Odyssey, and one to the Homeric Hymns.

CMLC is part of the survey of criticism of world literature that is contained in Gale’s Contemporary Literary Criticism (CLC), Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism (TCLC), Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism (NCLC), Literature Criticism from 1400 to 1800 (LC), and Shakespearean Criticism (SC).

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