Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Literature

Many works listed in section M: English Literature/General are useful for research in Restoration and eighteenth-century literature.

Research Methods


Bowers and Keeran, Literary Research and the British Renaissance and Early Modern Period (M1960).

Histories and Surveys


Butt, John. The Mid-Eighteenth Century. Ed. and completed by Geoffrey Carnall. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1979. 671 pp. Vol. 8 of The Oxford History of English Literature (M1310). John Buxton and Norman Davis, gen. eds. (Reprinted in 1990 as vol. 10, with the title The Age of Johnson, 1740–1789.) PR441.B83 820′.9′006.

A literary history of the period 1740–89, with chapters on Johnson; poetry (1740–60 and 1760–89); Scottish poetry; drama; history; travel literature, memoirs, and biography; essays, letters, dialogues, and speeches; major novelists (Richardson, Fielding, Smollett, Sterne); and other prose fiction. Concludes with a chronology and a selective bibliography. Indexed by authors, artists, and some subjects. Mid-Eighteenth Century received a mixed reception, with its “traditional” approach to literary history eliciting much of the negative criticism. Reviews: P. N. Furbank, Listener 12 July 1979: 61–62; Donald Greene, English Language Notes 18.2 (1980): 139–46; Ronald Paulson, Modern Language Review 76.3 (1981): 674–75; Pat Rogers, Review of English Studies ns 32.125 (1981): 83–86; G. S. Rousseau, Eighteenth-Century Studies 14.2 (1980–81): 181–93.


The Cambridge History of English Literature, 1660–1780. Ed. John Richetti. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2005. 945 pp. New Cambridge Hist. of English Lit. PR442.C26 820.9005. Online through Cambridge Histories Online (

A collection of 30 essays that address the “literary and cultural production” of the long eighteenth century and that both exemplify and evaluate new approaches to the literature of the period. The essays—written by a veritable who’s who of Restoration and eighteenth-century scholars—treat literary production and dissemination, genres, literature and intellectual life, literature and social and institutional change, and new forms of literary expression. Concludes with a chronology and a series of “bibliographies” (more properly, a list of works cited) for each essay. Indexed by authors, titles, and subjects (the online version omits the index). As in other volumes in the New Cambridge History, there is frequently little sense of relation among the essays, but the roster of contributors will likely make this one of the more influential volumes in the series. Review: Claudia Thomas Kairoff, Eighteenth-Century Life 31.3 (2007): 92–109.


Dobrée, Bonamy. English Literature in the Early Eighteenth Century, 1700–1740. Corrected rpt. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1964. 701 pp. Vol. 7 of The Oxford History of English Literature (M1310). Bonamy Dobrée and F. P. Wilson, gen. eds. (Reprinted in 1990 as vol. 9, with the title The Early Eighteenth Century, 1700–1740: Swift, Defoe, and Pope.) PR445.D6 820.903.

Emphasizes Defoe, Swift, and Pope but does not scant minor figures, in a three-part literary history of the period. Pt. 1 covers the period 1700–20 in chapters on the background of the age, Defoe to 1710, Swift to 1709, essayists and controversialists, poetry, and Pope to 1725; pt. 2 treats the period 1700–40 in chapters on drama (a weak discussion), philosophers, critics and aestheticians, and miscellaneous prose; pt. 3 covers the period 1720–40 in chapters on Defoe (1715–31), Swift (1715–45), poetry, and Pope (1725–44). Concludes with a chronology and an inadequate (and now outdated) selective bibliography. Indexed by authors and a few subjects. This work received a mixed reception, with some reviewers praising its thoroughness and critical sympathy and others censuring it as prejudiced and unreliable. Some of the numerous factual errors are corrected in the 1964 printing. Reviews: Donald F. Bond, Modern Philology 60.2 (1962): 138–41; Kathleen Williams, Modern Language Notes 76.4 (1961): 356–59.


Sutherland, James. English Literature of the Late Seventeenth Century. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1969. 589 pp. Vol. 6 of The Oxford History of English Literature (M1310). Bonamy Dobrée and Norman Davis, gen. eds. (Reprinted in 1990 as vol. 8, with the title Restoration Literature, 1660–1700: Dryden, Bunyan, and Pepys.) PR437.S9 820.9′004.

A critical history of the period 1660–1700, with chapters on the background of the age; drama; poetry; fiction; essays, letters, and journals; biography, history, and travel writings; religious literature; philosophy, politics, and economics; science; and criticism. Includes a chronology and a selective bibliography (with numerous errors and now outdated). Indexed by author, anonymous work, and subject. A good, sensible history but sometimes dated in its critical discussions. Review: TLS: Times Literary Supplement 5 June 1969: 611–12.

See also

Sec. M: English Literature/General/Histories and Surveys.

Literary Handbooks, Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias


The Blackwell Companion to the Enlightenment. Ed. John W. Yolton et al. Oxford: Blackwell, 1991. 581 pp. CB411.B57 940.2′53′03.

A dictionary of concepts, groups, movements, persons, places, events, professions, activities, and other topics associated with the period 1720–80 in Europe and North America. Many of the entries are signed and conclude with a brief bibliography. Indexed by persons and subjects; entrants are also indexed in Biography and Genealogy Master Index (J565). Although prefaced by an utterly inadequate discussion of editorial procedures, the uniformly high level of expertise of the contributors makes the Companion an informative and authoritative resource.


Varner, Paul. Historical Dictionary of Romanticism in Literature. Lanham: Rowman, 2015. 527 pp. PN603.V34 2015 809'.9145.

Part of an eclectic series of dictionaries, the Historical Dictionary of Romanticism in Literature sets out to create an overview of the international Romantic movement of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Over four hundred pages are devoted to the dictionary itself, with entries ranging from a few lines to four pages; covering people, works, schools, movements, and more; and crossing international and linguistic borders.

A selective chronology from 1726 to 1851 sets a broad framework for the dictionary. The introduction is particularly useful for researchers less familiar with Romanticism and offers concise explanations of the time, people, and ideals that characterize the movement. The author explains in his introduction that he has decided to give many of the better-known authors’ works less attention in order to allow for more extensive treatment of lesser-known works and to develop a more complete concept of Romanticism.

Bolded topics in an entry indicate that a complete entry exists for that topic in the dictionary. “See also” points readers to further information in another entry, and “see” sends the reader to a complete entry under another heading in the dictionary.

Bibliographies of Bibliographies


Lund, Roger D. Restoration and Early Eighteenth-Century English Literature, 1660–1740: A Selected Bibliography of Resource Materials. New York: MLA, 1980. 42 pp. Selected Bibliogs. in Lang. and Lit. 1. Z2012.L88 [PR43] 016.82.

A highly selective list of important bibliographies, concordances, and current journals published through 1978. Entries are listed alphabetically by author, editor, or title in divisions for current journals; annual bibliographies; general bibliographies; poetry; drama; fiction; literary criticism and language study; translation; publishing and bookselling; newspapers and periodicals; art and music; history, biography, and autobiography; religious literature; miscellaneous bibliographies; and individual authors. A brief descriptive annotation accompanies many works. Indexed by persons. A convenient, judicious (but now dated) guide to essential reference sources. Review: J. M. Armistead, Literary Research Newsletter 5.4 (1980): 189–91.

See also

Secs. D: Bibliographies of Bibliographies and M: English Literature/General/Bibliographies of Bibliographies.

Guides to Primary Works


Bibliographies and Indexes

Index of English Literary Manuscripts (M1365). Ed. P. J. Croft, Theodore Hofmann, and John Horden. Vol. 3: 1700–1800. 4 pts. Comp. Margaret M. Smith and Alexander Lindsay. London: Mansell, 1986–97. Z6611.L7 I5 [PR83] 016.82′08.

A descriptive catalog of extant literary manuscripts by 57 major English, Scottish, and Irish authors. The emphasis is on literary manuscripts, including diaries, notebooks, marginalia, and some scribal copies. Letters are excluded, but the introductions to individual authors identify collections of them. In addition, the introductions alert researchers to special problems and relevant scholarship, point out additional manuscripts and transcripts, discuss canon, note the disposition of any personal library, and conclude with an outline of the arrangement of entries. A typical entry provides a physical description, dates composition of the manuscript, includes any necessary commentary (as well as references to sale catalogs, editions, or scholarship), and identifies location (with shelf mark). Pt. 4 prints a first-line index to verse in pts. 1–4. Since some entries are based on inquiries to libraries and collectors, bibliographies, other reference works, and booksellers’ and auction catalogs rather than personal examination by the compiler, descriptions vary in fullness and accuracy.

Although there are errors and omissions, and the scope is unduly restricted by reliance on the Concise Cambridge Bibliography (M1365a), the Index is an essential, if limited, source for the identification and location of manuscripts. It must, however, be supplemented by the works listed in sections F: Guides to Manuscripts and Archives and M: English Literature/General/Guides to Primary Works/Manuscripts. Review: J. D. Fleeman, Notes and Queries ns 38.3 (1991): 390–92.


Location Register of English Literary Manuscripts and Letters: Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. Ed. David C. Sutton. 2 vols. London: British Lib., 1995. Z6611.L7 L629 [PR471] 016.82′08′0091.

A union catalog of manuscripts and letters by British literary figures (including immigrants and refugees) who wrote during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (the chronological limits are not clear: presumably, these volumes include persons who lived beyond 1699 and died before 1900; writers alive beyond 1900 are included in Location Register of Twentieth-Century English Literary Manuscripts [M2765]). Only items (including photocopies and microforms) available to the public (as of June 1994) in the British Isles are listed. Under each author, manuscripts are listed alphabetically by title, followed by editorial correspondence files, and then letters in chronological order (collections of letters are listed by date of the earliest one). A typical entry consists of title or description, date, physical description, location, shelf mark, and a note on access. Important recipients of letters are interfiled in the author list. When appropriate, an author section begins with a headnote on major collections (especially outside Great Britain), an author’s policy on the disposition of his or her papers, or the destruction of manuscripts. Because of the descriptive titles given several items, researchers must read the entire section for an author. Although the descriptions vary in detail (and are frequently based on finding aids supplied by repositories rather than personal examination) and although letters in large collections are frequently undifferentiated, the Location Register is an important resource and the most convenient tool for locating many eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literary manuscripts.

Although the database from which the Location Register was printed is being augmented, there is unfortunately no plan for systematic updating or for releasing an electronic version.

Text Archives

British Literary Manuscripts Online, c. 1660–1900 (M1373).

Printed Works

Bibliographies and Indexes

Arber, Edward, ed. The Term Catalogues, 1668–1709 A. D.; with a Number for Easter Term, 1711 A. D. 3 vols. London: Privately printed, 1903–06. Z2002.A31 015.42. Online—in a variety of formats—through Internet Archives (

An edition of the quarterly lists of books printed in London, Oxford, and Cambridge for London booksellers. Since the catalogs are advertising lists, not all books published during the period are included. Works are classified under various headings, such as divinity, physic, histories (including novels), humanity, poetry and plays, Latin books, music, miscellanies, law, and reprints. Entries record title (frequently descriptive rather than exact), author (but only occasionally), size, price, and the bookseller(s) for whom the work was printed. Two indexes in each volume: titles (accompanied by author); names, places, and subjects. An important source for identifying works and editions no longer extant, researching publishing history, establishing approximate publication dates, and studying the environment of a work.

The catalog of Michaelmas Term 1695 is reproduced as The “Missing” Term Catalogue: A Facsimile of the Term Catalogue for Michaelmas Term 1695 with a List of Identified Books (Oxford: Oxford Bibliog. Soc., 1987; n. pag.; Occasional Pub. 20).

See also

English Short Title Catalogue (M1377).

New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature, vol. 2: 1660–1800 (M2255).

Transcript of the Registers of the Worshipful Company of Stationers from 1640–1708 A. D. (M2005).

Wing, Short-Title Catalogue (M1995).

Text Archives

Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO). Gale. Gale-Cengage, n.d. 29 Dec. 2014. <>.

Eighteenth Century Collections Online: Part II (ECCO II). Gale. Gale-Cengage, n.d. 29 Dec. 2014. <>.

A digital archive that includes more than 186,000 works printed in Great Britain, North America, and elsewhere during the eighteenth century. Basic Search allows users to limit keyword searches of full text, authors, titles, or subjects by publication date and subject area; Advanced Search allows users to limit combined searches of authors, titles, full text, subjects, front matter, back mattter, main text, publishers, places of publication, document number, and ESTC number (M1377) by date, subject areas, language, and kinds of illustrations. Advanced Search also allows for fuzzy searches—an especially valuable feature for searching documents in an era before spelling became normalized. Users can also browse authors and titles. Results can be sorted by author, title, or date (ascending or descending) and narrowed by subject area. Images (which vary in quality and legibility, as expected in archives largely produced from microfilm, and thus affect the accuracy of the search engine) can be saved to a file or printed. For a discussion of the representativeness of ECCO’s coverage of eighteenth-century imprints and of ways to work around false hits generated by searches of the underlying OCR text, see Patrick Spedding’s account of his search for “condom” in “‘The New Machine’: Discovering the Limits of ECCO,” Eighteenth-Century Studies 44.4 (2011): 437–53. The breadth of coverage and the powerful search engine make possible numerous studies that heretofore would have consumed years of research or would have been simply untenable. ECCO is now cross-searchable with other Gale primary source collections through Gale’s Artemis interface (I524a).

The ECCO Text Creation Partnership ( is producing SGML/XML fully searchable texts of 10,000 editions included in ECCO. To search keyed documents, go to

ECCO and EEBO (M2009) can be cross-searched.

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism

Surveys of Research


““Recent Studies in the Restoration and Eighteenth Century”.” Studies in English Literature, 1500–1900. 1 (1961)– . Annually in the Summer issue. PR1.S82 820′.9.

A commissioned survey by established scholars, with recent surveys emphasizing full-length critical and historical studies and typically offering only cursory attention to editions and reference works. The essays vary considerably in soundness and rigor of assessment. Although highly selective and now generally limited to books received for review, the work is the most current annual survey, but it must be supplemented by the chapters in Year’s Work in English Studies (G330) on the period.

See also

YWES (G330): Later Seventeenth Century and Eighteenth Century chapters.

Serial Bibliographies


ECCB: The Eighteenth Century Current Bibliography for [1925– ] (ECCB). NS 1– . New York: AMS, 1978– . Annual. Former title: The Eighteenth Century: A Current Bibliography for [1975–2000]. Z5579.6.E36 [CB411] 016.909. <>.

  • 1925–74: Philological Quarterly 5–54 (1926–75). (Title varies: [1925–26] “English Literature of the Restoration and Eighteenth Century: A Current Bibliography”; [1927–69] “English Literature, 1660–1800: A Current Bibliography”; [1970–74] “The Eighteenth Century: A Current Bibliography.”)

  • (The bibliographies for 1925–70 are reprinted, with a few corrections and cumulative indexes in every second volume, as English Literature, 1660–1800: A Bibliography of Modern Studies, 6 vols. [Princeton: Princeton UP, 1950–72].)

A selective international bibliography of books, articles, and reviews that now offers interdisciplinary coverage of the period in Europe and the New World. Until the bibliography for 1970, ECCB emphasized English literature but always included numerous studies in other disciplines and national literatures. Both scope and criteria governing selection have varied over the years and within individual disciplines (see, e.g., the prefatory statements in the bibliographies for 1970 [50 (1971): 321–23]; for 1975 [ns 1: n. pag.]; for 1982 [ns 8: i–iv]; and for 2000 [ns 26: ix–xiii]) but have generally included important studies in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish (with other languages covered less systematically).

Currently, entries are listed alphabetically by scholar in seven divisions: printing and bibliographical studies; historical, social, and economic studies; philosophy, science, and religion; fine arts (with various classified sections such as general studies, art, architecture, dance, recordings, music, and theater); foreign literatures and languages; British literatures; and New World literatures and languages. Some articles are descriptively annotated (and sometimes evaluated); significant books are stringently reviewed by specialists (although the quality and authoritativeness of the reviewing are uneven in the volumes for the 1980s). Some entries for books cite reviews. Indexed since 1970 by persons (since indexing is by page number, users sometimes have to scan several entries).

For a history of the bibliography, see Donald Greene, “‘More Than a Necessary Chore’: The Eighteenth-Century Current Bibliography in Retrospect and Prospect,” Eighteenth-Century Studies 10.1 (1976): 94–110; and O M Brack, “Curt Zimansky: A Reminiscence,” ECCB ns 7 (for 1981): ix–xvii.

Although users would benefit from subject indexing and classified sections in the divisions (a shortcoming partly remedied beginning in ns 27 [for 2001]), ECCB is an indispensable resource. Unfortunately, while it long enjoyed a reputation as the best period serial bibliography, its importance and usefulness are compromised by delays in publication (the volume for 2007 was published in 2011); however, the editors are working to increase currency and the number of reviews. Review: (ns 3–4) Paula R. Backscheider, Modern Language Review 80.3 (1985): 681–84.

Since coverage is selective and omits dissertations, researchers must also consult the other bibliographies in this section as well as in sections G: Serial Bibliographies, Indexes, and Abstracts and H: Guides to Dissertations and Theses. Waldo Sumner Glock, Eighteenth-Century English Literary Studies: A Bibliography (Metuchen: Scarecrow, 1984; 847 pp.), a selective annotated list of studies from 1925 to 1980 on 25 authors, is an occasionally serviceable compilation of listings from ECCB, MLAIB (G335), ABELL (G340), and Year’s Work in English Studies (G330). Earlier scholarship is selectively covered in James E. Tobin, Eighteenth Century English Literature and Its Cultural Background: A Bibliography (New York: Fordham UP, 1939; 190 pp.), with additions in a review by Donald F. Bond, Library Quarterly 10.3 (1940): 446–50.

The two general selective bibliographies compiled by Bond for the Goldentree Bibliographies in Language and Literature series—The Age of Dryden (New York: Appleton, 1970; 103 pp.) and The Eighteenth Century (Northbrook: AHM, 1975; 180 pp.)—are too dated to be of much use. More current is Margaret M. Duggan, English Literature and Backgrounds, 1660–1700: A Selective Critical Guide, 2 vols. (New York: Garland, 1990; Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 711). Although coverage extends to a variety of general topics, genres, themes, related disciplines, and individual authors, the essay format—with commentary that is rarely “critical” and generally inadequate to describe content—results in a needlessly swollen compilation that cannot be efficiently consulted. In addition, English Literature and Backgrounds is plagued by errors and fails to indicate what criteria govern the inclusion of studies.


““Some Current Publications”.” Restoration: Studies in English Literary Culture, 1660–1700. 1 (1977– ). 2/yr. PR437.R47 820′.9′004.

A selective bibliography by a different compiler in each issue. The descriptively annotated entries are classified under sections for individual authors; bibliography; drama; and other topics (e.g., nondramatic literature; economics; history; gender and sexuality; race and ethnicity; print culture; philosophy; politics; religion; colonies; and sister arts) that vary from installment to installment. The criteria governing selection are unclear and the quality of annotations and coverage varies radically with the contributor (especially in recent installments), but the work is sometimes a useful source for identifying current scholarship.

Some additional studies can be found in the highly selective “Abstracts of Recent Articles,” Seventeenth-Century News 6.3–51.1-2 (1948–93).

See also

Secs. G: Serial Bibliographies, Indexes, and Abstracts and H: Guides to Dissertations and Theses.

ABELL (G340): English Literature/Seventeenth Century and Eighteenth Century sections.

MLAIB (G335): English Language and Literature division in the volumes for 1921–25; English VIII and IX in the volumes for 1926–56; English VII and VIII in the volumes for 1957–80; and English Literature/1600–1699 and 1700–1799 sections (as well as any larger chronological section encompassing either century) in the later volumes. Researchers must also check the headings beginning “Eighteenth-Century,” “Enlightenment,” and “Restoration” in the subject index to post-1980 volumes and in the online thesaurus.

Other Bibliographies


The New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature (NCBEL). Vol. 2: 1660–1800. Ed. George Watson. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1971. 2,082 cols. Z2011.N45 [PR83] 016.82.

Digital Bibliography of Eighteenth-Century Literature (DBEL). Ed. Shef Rogers. Miami University. Miami U, Oxford, n.d. 29 Dec. 2014. <>. In progress.

(For a full discussion of NCBEL, see entry M1385.) Primary works and scholarship are organized in six major divisions (each subdivided and classified as its subject requires): introduction (general works, literary theory, literary relations with the Continent, medieval influences, book production and distribution), poetry (histories, collections, 1660–1700, 1700–50, 1750–1800), drama (theaters and actors, 1660–1700, 1700–50, 1750–1800, adaptations and translations), novel (principal novelists, minor fiction, children’s books), prose (essayists and pamphleteers; periodicals; travel; English-language translations; sport; letters, diaries, autobiographies, and memoirs; religion; history; literary studies; classical and oriental studies; philosophy; science; law; education), and Scottish literature. Vol. 2 of the Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature (M1385a) is still occasionally useful for its coverage of the social and political background (most of which NCBEL drops).

Users must familiarize themselves with the organization, remember that there is considerable unevenness of coverage among sections, and consult the index volume (vol. 5) rather than the provisional index in vol. 2. Reviews: TLS: Times Literary Supplement 15 Oct. 1971: 1296; Eric Rothstein, Modern Philology 71.2 (1973): 176–86.

Much of the data for 1700–1800 (along with some new material prepared for the now defunct CBEL [M1376]) is being incorporated into Digital Bibliography of Eighteenth-Century Literature; the project’s status seems unchanged since 2012.

See also

Kallendorf, Latin Influences on English Literature from the Middle Ages to the Eighteenth Century (S4895).

Related Topics


Pargellis, Stanley, and D. J. Medley, eds. Bibliography of British History: The Eighteenth Century, 1714–1789. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1951. 642 pp. Z2018.P37 [DA498] 016.94207.

A selective bibliography, with significantly fuller coverage of primary than secondary materials, of publications before 1941 than after, and of books than articles. The 4,558 entries are variously organized under 17 extensively classified divisions: general reference works; political, constitutional, legal, ecclesiastical, economic, military, naval, social, cultural, and local history; Scotland; Ireland; Wales; American Colonies; India; and Historical Manuscripts Commission reports. Annotations are generally descriptive and cite numerous related studies, but many entries lack annotation. Indexed by persons and some subjects. Although now badly dated and marred by an inadequate explanation of selection criteria, the Bibliography is still useful as a starting point for cross-disciplinary research. Entries for pre-1901 publications are included in Bibliography of British and Irish History (M1400). Reviews: E. R. Adair, Canadian Historical Review 32.4 (1951): 384–86; D. B. Horn, English Historical Review 66.261 (1951): 594–97.

Convenient selective bibliographies are Robert A. Smith, Late Georgian and Regency England, 1760–1837 (Cambridge: Cambridge UP for the Conf. on British Studies, 1984; 114 pp.; Conf. on British Studies Bibliog. Handbooks), with coverage through 1980, and William L. Sachse, Restoration England, 1660–1689 (Cambridge: Cambridge UP for the Conf. on British Studies, 1971; 115 pp.; Conf. on British Studies Bibliog. Handbooks), with coverage through 1968.


Spector, Robert D., comp. Backgrounds to Restoration and Eighteenth-Century English Literature: An Annotated Bibliographical Guide to Modern Scholarship. New York: Greenwood, 1989. 553 pp. Bibliogs. and Indexes in World Lit. 17. Z2012.S65 [PR441] 016.82′09.

An annotated guide to English-language books and articles published as late as 1987 that are important to the interdisciplinary study of English literature from 1660 to 1800. The entries are listed alphabetically by author in 12 divisions: bibliographies; publishing, printing, and journalism; history and politics; religion; philosophy; science, medicine, and technology; economics; crime and law; society, manners, customs, and attitudes (with sections on the family, on women, on sex, and on race, nationalities, and religion); education and scholarship; language and rhetoric; and literature and the arts (with sections on literary history; satire; music; painting, engraving, and sculpture; architecture, gardening, and decorative arts; and the sister arts). The brief but adequate descriptive annotations frequently incorporate an evaluative comment. Indexed by scholars. Several important works are omitted (while a number of superseded ones are included), the discussion of criteria governing selection and the explanation of scope are completely inadequate, several evaluations are inaccurate, and there are numerous typos; nevertheless, Spector is a starting place for identifying English-language works important to interdisciplinary research.

See also

Bibliography of British and Irish History (M1400).

Brown and Christie, Bibliography of British History, 1789–1851 (M2515).

Davies, Bibliography of British History: Stuart Period, 1603–1714 (M2045).

Biographical Dictionaries

Although the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (M1425) remains the standard general source of biographical information for the period, Highfill, Burnim, and Langhans, Biographical Dictionary (M2400), generally offers superior treatment of Restoration and eighteenth-century theatrical personnel (including dramatists who were also actors or managers), and Todd, Dictionary of British and American Women Writers (M2265), provides fuller coverage of female authors.


Todd, Janet, ed. A Dictionary of British and American Women Writers, 1660–1800. Totowa: Rowman, 1985. 344 pp. PR113.D5 820′.9′9287.

A biographical dictionary of women who wrote published or unpublished literary or nonliterary works between 1660 and 1800. A writer is entered under her most commonly used name or title, with index entries for a married or family name used in her writing. Entries provide biographical details, a list (usually complete) of known works, and a brief assessment that sometimes includes contemporary critical comments. Unfortunately, unpublished works are not located. Indexed by names, periodicals, and a few subjects; entrants are also indexed in Biography and Genealogy Master Index (J565). Fuller subject indexing—especially of genres—would improve the utility of the work. Although it is selective—especially for authors in prolific nonbelletristic genres—the Dictionary is an indispensable guide to Restoration and eighteenth-century women writers, few of whom are accorded entries in the standard biographical dictionaries such as Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (M1425) and Dictionary of American Biography (Q3380). Of special importance are the numerous discussions of unpublished writers.

Important complements to Todd are Bell, Parfitt, and Shepherd, Biographical Dictionary of English Women Writers, 1580–1720 (M1433a); Todd, British Women Writers (M1433a); Blain, Clements, and Grundy, Feminist Companion to Literature in English (J593); and Schlueter and Schlueter, Encyclopedia of British Women Writers (M1433a).

See also

Valentine, British Establishment, 1760–1784 (M1425a).


Guides to Primary Works


Crane, R. S., and F. B. Kaye. A Census of British Newspapers and Periodicals, 1620–1800. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 1927. 205 pp. (A reprint of Studies in Philology 24.1 [1927]: 1–205.) Z6956.E5 C8.

A preliminary checklist in two parts: a finding list based on the holdings of 37 United States libraries; a list, compiled largely from other works, of periodicals and newspapers not found in the United States. Organized alphabetically (with cross-references for variant titles), entries supply title, variants, place of publication, beginning and ending dates, editor(s), publisher(s), printer(s), frequency, and (in the first part) locations (occasionally specifying the length of runs). Two indexes: chronological; geographic (excluding London). Compiled largely from institutional reports and published bibliographies, the Census is not comprehensive, and many entries are inaccurate or incomplete. As the fullest single list of newspapers and periodicals of the period, it remains a useful preliminary guide, but it has been superseded by the union lists in section K: Periodicals for locations and by the following for various periods:

  • Nelson and Seccombe, British Newspapers and Periodicals, 1641–1700 (M2060).

  • Ward, Index and Finding List of Serials Published in the British Isles, 1789–1832 (M2535).

A second edition was planned but never published, but several additions and corrections by J. G. Muddiman et al. appear as “The History and Bibliography of English Newspapers,” Notes and Queries 3 Jan. 1931: 3–6; 10 Jan. 1931: 21–24; 17 Jan. 1931: 40–43; 24 Jan. 1931: 57–59; 7 Mar. 1931: 174–75; 21 Mar. 1931: 207–09; 28 Mar. 1931: 227–30; 11 Apr. 1931: 264; 25 Apr. 1931: 298–300; 9 May 1931: 336–38; 23 May 1931: 375–76; 30 May 1931: 391; 20 June 1931: 442–43; 7 Nov. 1931: 337. Several periodicals are reproduced in two microfilm series published by University Microfilms International: Early British Periodicals, 1681–1921 and English Literary Periodicals, 1681–1914. Review: Walter Graham, JEGP: Journal of English and Germanic Philology 28.2 (1929): 303–07.

James E. Tierney is preparing A Digital Catalogue of Eighteenth-Century British Periodicals, which will include all extant periodicals published in England, Scotland, and Ireland.

See also

Sec. K: Periodicals/Union Lists.

Bibliography of British Newspapers (M1440).

Sullivan, British Literary Magazines, vols. 1–2 (M1445).


James E. Tierney is compiling A Digital Index to British Periodicals, 1660–1800, which will allow searches of the contents of c. 100 periodicals by authors, editors, publishers, printers, booksellers, genre, price, and frequency of publication.


Forster, Antonia. Index to Book Reviews in England, 1749–1774. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1990. 307 pp. Index to Book Reviews in England, 1775–1800. London: British Lib., 1997. 490 pp. Z1035.A1 F67 028.1′0942.

An index to reviews of poetry, fiction, and drama that appear in 16 English periodicals between 1749 and 1774 and 27 between 1775 and 1800. Excludes newspapers and reviews of dramatic productions. The 8,007 entries are listed alphabetically by author, translator, adapter, or anonymous title of the work reviewed, with cross-references for original authors of translated works or adaptations; a female is entered under her most generally used surname. A typical entry cites title, place and date of publication, format, price, bookseller, location of copy examined, and reviews. For most works, the title, place of publication, and date are based on personal examination of a copy; format, price, and bookseller are taken from the reviews. The introductions examine the theory and practice of reviewing during the respective periods. Although restricted to reviews of literary works in 43 periodicals, the Index is an invaluable source for locating reviews and studying the critical reception of belles lettres during the latter half of the eighteenth century. Review: (1749–1774) James G. Basker, Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography ns 4.2-3 (1990): 148–50.


Ward, William S., comp. Literary Reviews in British Periodicals, 1789–1797: A Bibliography: With a Supplementary List of General (Non-review) Articles on Literary Subjects. New York: Garland, 1979. 342 pp. Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 172. Z2013.W36 [PR442] 016.820′9′006.

A bibliography of reviews of books published between 1789 and 1797 by British and American literary authors. Works reviewed are organized alphabetically by author, then chronologically by date of publication, followed by reviews listed alphabetically by periodical title. Nonreview articles are divided among five appendixes: (A) general articles on contemporary authors and works; (B, which consists of five separate lists) volumes of general and genre criticism reviewed, general criticism, and articles on poetry, fiction, and drama and theater; (C) reviews of studies of contemporary authors and their works; (D) reviews of books and articles dealing with selected authors before 1789 (with separate sections for Shakespeare, Milton, Pope, and Johnson); (E) reviews of operas and musical dramas. The preface offers some general suggestions for further research. An essential source for investigating the contemporary critical reception of an author or work and for locating early criticism. Continued by Ward, Literary Reviews in British Periodicals, 1798–1820 and 1821–1826 (M2550).

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism

See James E. Tierney, “The Study of the Eighteenth-Century British Periodical,” Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 69.2 (1975): 165–86, for an assessment of the state of scholarship that surveys reference works, editions, and critical and historical studies; comments on difficulties researchers face; and offers detailed suggestions for topics needing investigation.


Weed, Katherine Kirtley, and Richmond Pugh Bond. Studies of British Newspapers and Periodicals from Their Beginning to 1800: A Bibliography. Studies in Philology extra ser. 2. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 1946. 233 pp. P25.S82 no.2.

A bibliography of studies (essentially through 1940, but with some as late as 1945) of serials published through 1800 in Great Britain and a few other countries. The approximately 2,100 entries are organized alphabetically in seven divisions: bibliographies and bibliographical studies; corantos, newsbooks, and newsletters; general studies; works on individual newspapers and periodicals, editors, authors, publishers, towns, and counties (classified by newspaper, editor, etc.); subjects; newspapers and periodicals in Europe (classified by country); newspapers and periodicals in North America (classified by country, then province or state). The last three divisions are highly selective. Several entries are accompanied by brief descriptive annotations, which include citations to selected reviews. Indexed by authors (excluding those who appear as a heading in the fourth division). Although the work is badly dated, its coverage of pre-1941 scholarship on serials published before 1789 remains unsuperseded. For studies of periodicals published after 1789, see Ward, British Periodicals and Newspapers, 1789–1832 (M2565). New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature (M2255) and Linton and Boston, Newspaper Press in Britain (M1455), offer the best coverage of post-1940 scholarship. Review: Donald F. Bond, Modern Philology 45.1 (1947): 65–66.

See also

White, English Literary Journal to 1900 (M1460).


Several works in sections L: Genres and M: English Literature/General/Genres are useful for research in Restoration and eighteenth-century English literature.


Some works in sections L: Genres/Fiction and M: English Literature/General/Genres/Fiction are useful for research in Restoration and eighteenth-century fiction.

Histories and Surveys

Baker, History of the English Novel, vols. 3–5 (M1505).

Salzman, English Prose Fiction, 1558–1700 (M2090).

Literary Handbooks, Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias

Dictionary of British Literary Characters: 18th- and 19th-Century Novels (M1507).

Guides to Primary Works
Bibliographies and Indexes

Beasley, Jerry C., comp. A Check List of Prose Fiction Published in England, 1740–1749. Charlottesville: UP of Virginia for the Bibliog. Soc. of the U of Virginia, 1972. 213 pp. Z2014.F4 B37 016.823′5′08.

An enumerative bibliography of original works, reprints, and English translations that continues McBurney, Check List of English Prose Fiction, 1700–1739 (M2325). Although admitting histories, lives, voyages, or collections of letters with a narrative line, Beasley excludes chapbooks, jestbooks, and magazine fiction (for the last, see Mayo, “Catalogue of Magazine Novels” [M2330]). Works are organized by year of initial publication; under each year are separate alphabetical lists of anonymous publications, works of known authorship, and translations. A typical entry includes author, short title, imprint, pagination or number of volumes, format, price, location of at least one copy, a descriptive annotation that identifies subject matter and type of work, and a list of subsequent editions through 1749. Appendixes list unverified editions of authentic works and unauthenticated titles. Indexed by titles, authors, and members of the book trade. Although limited to a decade, Check List of Prose Fiction is an accurate source for identifying works by subject or type, locating copies, and studying the environment of some of the major novels of the century. Several works are available on microfilm in Early British Fiction: Pre-1750 (Woodbridge: Research, 1980). Beasley’s checklist is complemented by his analysis of narrative forms in Novels of the 1740s (Athens: U of Georgia P, 1982; 238 pp.).


McBurney, William Harlin, comp. A Check List of English Prose Fiction, 1700–1739. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1960. 154 pp. Z2014.F4 M3 016.8235.

A bibliography of fictional prose narratives by English writers or translators first published in England between 1700 and 1739. McBurney omits reprints of earlier fiction, chapbooks, jestbooks, pamphlets, and periodical fiction. Works are listed chronologically by year of first publication; under each year are sections for original works and translations, each organized alphabetically by author or title of anonymous work. A typical entry includes author, complete title, imprint, pagination, format, price, location of at least one copy, translator and original title (for translations), miscellaneous notes, and a chronological list of subsequent editions through 1739. Dubious or unauthenticated titles occupy a separate section at the back. Indexed by authors, titles, translators, printers, publishers, and booksellers. The selection policy could be clearer and transcriptions more accurate, but McBurney is the standard bibliography for identifying and locating works, establishing the fictional environment of a novel, and charting trends in fiction (although the last two tasks are made difficult because subsequent editions are not cross-referenced to years of publication and because periodical fiction and reprints of pre-1700 works are excluded). Reviews: Donald F. Bond, Modern Philology 59.3 (1962): 231–34; C. J. Rawson, Notes and Queries ns 9.12 (1962): 468–71; Andrew Wright, Library 5th ser. 17.3 (1962): 273.

Several titles are available on microfilm in Early British Fiction: Pre-1750 (Woodbridge: Research, 1980). Continued by Beasley, Check List of Prose Fiction Published in England, 1740–1749 (M2320).


Mayo, Robert D. ““A Catalogue of Magazine Novels and Novelettes, 1740–1815”.” The English Novel in the Magazines, 1740–1815: With a Catalogue of 1,375 Novels and Novelettes. Evanston: Northwestern UP; London: Oxford UP, 1962. 431–677. PR851.M37 823.09.

A bibliography of narrative prose works of more than 5,000 words printed in serial publications (except newspapers). Includes translations, abridgments of and self-contained excerpts from novels, as well as travels, voyages, biographies, and histories that are predominantly fictional. Works are listed alphabetically by title (with identical texts listed under the title of the first magazine appearance); additions appear on p. 647. Entries identify the periodical, number of parts (and approximate number of words), and, when possible, author or translator, reprints, source, alternative titles, and related works. Users should note that the bibliography is indexed separately in three parts: authors, editors, translators, titles, alternative titles, and series titles; publication date; periodicals. Although not exhaustive, Mayo is the indispensable pioneering guide to fiction previously ignored in histories and bibliographies. Numerous additions and corrections are printed in Edward W. R. Pitcher, Discoveries in Periodicals, 1720–1820: Facts and Fictions (Lewiston: Mellen, 2000; Studies in British and Amer. Magazines 7) 357–421 (a cumulation and expansion of a series of articles and notes published 1976–97). Reviews: Richard D. Altick, Library Quarterly 34.1 (1964): 131–32; J. M. S. Tompkins, Review of English Studies ns 15.58 (1964): 208–10.


Raven, James. British Fiction, 1750–1770: A Chronological Check-list of Prose Fiction Printed in Britain and Ireland. Newark: U of Delaware P; London: Assoc. UP, 1987. 349 pp. Z2014.F4 R34 [PR851] 016.823′6′08.

A checklist of editions of prose fiction—original works, reprints, and translations extant as well as lost—printed in the British Isles and Ireland between 1750 and 1770. Although emphasizing the novel, British Fiction includes representative examples of imaginary voyages, fictional biographies, and miscellanies; it excludes jestbooks, children’s books, chapbooks, reports of crimes, and serial and magazine fiction. The 1,363 entries are organized by year of actual publication (which sometimes differs from imprint date); under each year, anonymous works are listed alphabetically by title, followed by works of known or attributed authorship (alphabetically by author, with translations listed by original author), and then a selection of miscellanies, imaginary voyages, and fictional biographies. A typical entry includes author, title, imprint, number of pages or volumes, format, price, references to reviews and standard bibliographies, notes on authorship, other editions, cross-references, and locations in selected British and American libraries. Two indexes: authors and translators; titles. Raven is an indispensable source for locating copies and charting trends in prose fiction during the two decades. It must, however, be supplemented with ESTC (M1377).


The English Novel, 1770–1829: A Bibliographical Survey of Prose Fiction Published in the British Isles. Ed. Peter Garside, James Raven, and Rainer Schöwerling. 2 vols. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2000. Z2014.F4 E52 [PR851] 016.823′508.

  • Vol. 1: 1770–1799. Ed. Raven and Antonia Forster. 864 pp.

  • Vol. 2: 1800–1829. Ed. Garside and Schöwerling. 753 pp.

A bibliography of first editions of separately published works of English-language fiction printed in Britain and Ireland between 1770 and 1829 (with information on subsequent editions to 1850). Excludes chapbooks, religious tracts, short tales, and works written for young readers. Entries (which are organized chronologically by date in imprint, then alphabetically by title of anonymous work and then author) record full title and imprint, details of authorship attribution, format, price, references to contemporary reviews, locations of copies, call number of copy consulted, and notes (including details of subscription lists, dedications, advertisements, excerpts from reviews, and bibliographical matters; the notes are far more extensive in vol. 1 than in vol. 2, and in both volumes the extensive use of abbreviations inhibits readability). When no copy of the first edition exists, title and publication details are reconstructed from publishing records or later editions. Four indexes: authors and translators; titles; publishers and booksellers; notes (vol. 2 omits this). Based on the actual examination of at least one copy of extant works and boasting an admirably full account of scope and organization, English Novel, 1770–1829 is an invaluable and trustworthy guide to six decades of English fiction.

An important complement to and extension of the 1800–1829 volume is Peter Garside et al., British Fiction, 1800–1829: A Database of Production, Circulation, and Reception (, which allows users to browse the records by author, title, or publisher and to search by keyword, author and translator, title, gender, place of publication, publisher, publication date, and notes (with the option of restricting a search to titles with advertisements, reviews, contemporary library information, anecdotal information, publishing history, or subscription lists).

English Novel, 1770–1829 supersedes the two existing, but absolutely inadequate, bibliographies covering late-eighteenth-century fiction. Leonard Orr, A Catalogue Checklist of English Prose Fiction, 1750–1800 (Troy: Whitston, 1979; 204 pp.), compiled almost exclusively from other sources, is riddled with errors and omissions. (See the reviews by Edward W. Pitcher, Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography 5.1 [1981]: 56–60, and Jerry C. Beasley, Literary Research Newsletter 5.3 [1980]: 140–47.) Andrew Block, The English Novel, 1740–1850: A Catalogue Including Prose Romances, Short Stories, and Translations of Foreign Fiction, rev. ed. (London: Dawsons, 1961; 349 pp.), is, as Richard Altick points out, “one of the worst such compilations published in modern times—inaccurate, incomplete, wholly dependent on secondary sources and not even using them in any systematic way” (Librarianship and the Pursuit of Truth [New Brunswick: Graduate School of Lib. Science, Rutgers U, 1974] 11). For particulars, see the following reviews: Times Literary Supplement 25 Mar. 1939: 180; Robert A. Colby, Nineteenth-Century Fiction 16.4 (1962): 354–59.

Text Archives

Eighteenth-Century Fiction. Chadwyck-Healey Literature Collections. ProQuest, 1996–2013. 3 Sept. 2013. <>.

An archive of rekeyed texts of 96 English-language works of fiction published in the British Isles between 1700 and 1780. First editions were selected for inclusion, but some extensively revised works are present in two versions. Selection was done by an editorial board. Simple keyword, title, and author searches can be limited to parts (e.g., front matter, epigraphs) and by publication date, genre, date during an author’s lifetime, gender, nationality, and ethnicity. Searchers can also browse author and title lists of the contents of the database. Results appear in ascending alphabetical order and cannot be re-sorted. Citations (but not the full text) can be marked for e-mailing, downloading, or printing; each citation includes a durable URL to the full text. Some works are rekeyed from textually unsound editions; however, the bibliographic record for each work identifies the source of the text and any omissions (e.g., preliminary matter). Besides being a useful source for identifying an elusive quotation or allusion, Eighteenth-Century Fiction’s text archive makes feasible a variety of kinds of studies (stylistic, thematic, imagistic, and topical).

The contents of Eighteenth-Century Fiction can also be searched through LiOn (I527).

Continued by Nineteenth-Century Fiction (M2663).

See also

Mish, English Prose Fiction, 1600–1700 (M2095).

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism

Letellier, Robert Ignatius. The English Novel, 1660–1700: An Annotated Bibliography. Westport: Greenwood, 1997. 448 pp. Bibliogs. and Indexes in World Lit. 53. Z2014.F4 L46 [PN3491] 016.823′408.

———. The English Novel, 1700–1740: An Annotated Bibliography. Westport: Greenwood, 2002. 625 pp. Bibliogs. and Indexes in World Lit. 56. Z2014.F4 L47 [PR851] 016.823′508.

Annotated bibliographies of editions and studies of prose fiction in English (including translations) published between 1660 and 1740. The 3,138 entries (through 1995 in 1660–1700, through 1997 or 1999—depending on the section—in 1700–1740) are organized in sections for bibliographies (including far too many works only tangentially related to the subject), anthologies, general studies, and individual authors. Entries for authors include sections for primary works, editions, bibliographies, and criticism (for many authors in 1700–1740 this section includes numerous studies that have no bearing on prose fiction); coverage for some writers (such as Behn, Bunyan, and Defoe) supplements existing bibliographies, and coverage for foreign writers is appropriately limited to discussions of English translations. Each volume concludes with a chronological list of fiction and two indexes: scholars; subjects. With full and informative annotations (though some are commentary and others, summary) and only a few studies listed as unseen, English Novel, 1660–1700 and 1700–1740 offer the most current, thorough guide to scholarship on fiction of the period.

For 1660–1740, Letellier’s two volumes supersede Jerry C. Beasley, English Fiction, 1660–1800: A Guide to Information Sources (Detroit: Gale, 1978; 313 pp.; Amer. Lit., English Lit., and World Lits. in English: An Information Guide Ser. 14), a highly selective annotated bibliography restricted largely to English-language scholarship published through the mid-1970s, and H. George Hahn and Carl Behm III, The Eighteenth-Century British Novel and Its Background: An Annotated Bibliography and Guide to Topics (Metuchen: Scarecrow, 1985; 392 pp.), which combines inadequate annotations with an unsuccessful attempt to index scholarship through 1984 by topic.


Spector, Robert Donald. The English Gothic: A Bibliographic Guide to Writers from Horace Walpole to Mary Shelley. Westport: Greenwood, 1984. 269 pp. Z2014.H67 S66 [PR830.T3] 016.823′0872′09.

An evaluative survey of the most important English-language publications on the genre and major authors. After a lengthy introduction that treats the definition and development of the genre, an initial chapter examines bibliographies; genre, influence, and critical reception studies; and scholarship on several minor writers. The remaining four chapters range beyond Gothic fiction in evaluating biographies, editions, and scholarship on pairs of related authors: Walpole and Reeve, Charlotte Smith and Radcliffe, Lewis and Beckford, Maturin and Mary Shelley. The index of subjects and authors is seriously marred by inconsistencies and numerous omissions. Although highly selective and inadequately indexed, English Gothic is valuable for its extensive evaluations of studies and surveys of critical trends.

Less selective but provisionally complete through only 1971 is Dan J. McNutt, The Eighteenth-Century Gothic Novel: An Annotated Bibliography of Criticism and Selected Texts (New York: Garland, 1975; 330 pp.). There are numerous omissions in the background sections; foreign language studies are relegated (unannotated) to an appendix; and the indexing is inadequate. Nevertheless, the clearly annotated entries include studies omitted by Spector.

See also

Frank, Guide to the Gothic (L875).

Drama and Theater

Many works in sections L: Genres/Drama and Theater and M: English Literature/General/Genres/Drama and Theater are useful to research in Restoration and eighteenth-century drama and theater.

Histories and Surveys

Hume, Robert D. The Development of English Drama in the Late Seventeenth Century. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1976. 525 pp. PR691.H8 822′.4′09.

A study of the development of the drama from 1660 to 1710 in two parts: an examination of the dramatic types in theory and practice; and a decade-by-decade analysis of theatrical fashions, particularly as they are influenced by political and social change. Two indexes: names and subjects; plays. A provocative, scholarly work on a neglected period of the drama, but Hume’s categorization of types of plays and individual readings have elicited some controversy. Reviews: Anne Barton, TLS: Times Literary Supplement 10 Sept. 1976: 1110–11; Maximillian E. Novak, Eighteenth-Century Studies 10.4 (1977): 512–16; Eric Rothstein, Modern Language Quarterly 38.2 (1977): 191–94.


Nicoll, Allardyce. Restoration Drama, 1660–1700. 4th ed. Early Eighteenth Century Drama. 3rd ed. Late Eighteenth Century Drama, 1750–1800. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1952. Vols. 1–3 of A History of English Drama, 1660–1900 (M1525). PR625.N52 822.09.

Emphasizing the history of the stage and dramatic forms, each volume includes chapters on the theater, tragedy, comedy, and (except vol. 1) miscellaneous dramatic forms. Appendixes treat playhouses and government documents related to the stage. Each volume concludes with an author list of plays, operas, and other dramatic forms written during the period, with information on performances, printed editions, and manuscripts (although the last are sketchily treated). Revisions that could not be incorporated readily into the text are printed as supplementary sections. Indexed by persons and subjects; the lists of plays (excluding most Italian operas and “the repertoire of the French and Italian comedians”) are indexed and supplemented in vol. 6 (entry M1545). (Further additions are printed in Raymond A. Biswanger, Jr., “Additions to Allardyce Nicoll’s ‘Hand-List of Plays, 1700–1750,’” Restoration and 18th Century Theatre Research 15.1 [1976]: 46–60; 15.2: 60.) Although in need of updating (most notably by reference to London Stage, 1660–1800 [M2370]), the volumes contain a wealth of information not available elsewhere and the most complete bibliographies of dramatic works for the period.

See also

Revels History of Drama in English (M1530).


Harbage, Annals of English Drama, 975–1700 (M1535).

Guides to Primary Works

The London Stage, 1660–1800: A Calendar of Plays, Entertainments, and Afterpieces Together with Casts, Box-Receipts, and Contemporary Comment: Compiled from the Playbills, Newspapers, and Theatrical Diaries of the Period. 5 pts. and index in 12 vols. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1960–79. PN1582.G72 L65 792′.09421.

  • Part 1: 1660–1700. Ed. William Van Lennep. 1965. 532 pp. (A revision by Judith Milhous and Robert D. Hume is in progress.)

  • Part 2: 1700–1729. 2 vols. Ed. Emmett L. Avery. 1960. (A revision by Milhous and Hume is in progress; a draft of the 1700–11 calendar is available at

  • Part 3: 1729–1747. 2 vols. Ed. Arthur H. Scouten. 1961.

  • Part 4: 1747–1776. 3 vols. Ed. George Winchester Stone, Jr. 1962.

  • Part 5: 1776–1800. 3 vols. Ed. Charles Beecher Hogan. 1968.

  • Index to The London Stage , 1660–1800. Comp. Ben Ross Schneider, Jr. 1979. 939 pp.

A calendar of spoken and in some instances sung dramatic entertainments, organized by theatrical season and then by date of performance. A typical entry identifies date, theater, title, afterpiece, cast (a full list for the initial performance, with changes noted for subsequent ones), prologues, epilogues, dancing, singing, music, or other entertainment; a concluding section notes “benefits, requests for particular plays, box office receipts, the presence of royalty and other persons named in the bills, and references to or quotations from contemporary documents which throw light upon the evening’s whole entertainment.” Entries vary in fullness, depending on the available information.

Each season is prefaced by a brief summary, and each part begins with an extensive general introduction that typically examines the playhouses and their organization, finances, management, advertising, costumes, scenery, repertory, players, music, production details, audience, and contemporary criticism. (These important introductions have been separately published as The London Stage, 5 vols. [Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP; London: Feffer, 1968].)

Entries—but not the introductions—are indexed by titles, names, places, theaters, and some subjects in Schneider’s Index, which cumulates and expands the index in each volume; however, the index volume must be used very cautiously, since there are innumerable errors and misidentifications. (For important strictures on the use of the Index, see Langhans’s review.)

Users must remember that (1) completeness and accuracy vary markedly from part to part; (2) editorial policy changes somewhat from part to part; (3) performance records are very incomplete in the early years; (4) before 1705, dates are frequently those of publication rather than performance; (5) an advertised play or entertainment was not necessarily performed or acted by the announced cast; (6) many additions and corrections have been made (see, for example, William J. Burling and Hume, “Theatrical Companies at the Little Haymarket, 1720–1737,” Essays in Theatre 4.2 [1986]: 98–118; Burling, Checklist of New Plays [M2377]; Burling, “New London Cast Listings, 1696–1737, with Other Additions and Corrections to The London Stage,” Theatre Notebook 51.1 [1997]: 42–54; Rob Jordan, ““An Addendum to The London Stage, 1660–1700 ”,” Theatre Notebook 47.2 [1993]: 62–75; and the following by Milhous and Hume in Harvard Library Bulletin: “Dating Play Premières from Publication Data,” 22.4 [1974]: 374–405; “Lost English Plays, 1660–1700,” 25.1 [1977]: 5–33; and “Attribution Problems in English Drama, 1660–1700,” 31.1 [1983]: 5–39). The revisions of pts. 1 and 2 will be based on a fresh examination of the primary sources, add several fringe performances, include texts or summaries of a substantial number of ancillary documents, distinguish among performers with the same name, and index fully all actors and actresses by role.

Despite its flaws, London Stage is an indispensable source for research on theater and stage history, repertory, acting careers, theater personnel, trends in drama, reception history—in short, on nearly every aspect of the drama and stage of the period. Important advice on the use of the work is offered by Hume, “Theatre History, 1660–1800: Aims, Materials, Methodology” (M2385a). Researchers must also consult Highfill, Burnim, and Langhans, Biographical Dictionary (M2400), whose entries make numerous corrections and additions to London Stage. Until the revisions of pts. 1 and 2 are published, scholars should also see Milhous and Hume, Register of English Theatrical Documents (M2380). Reviews: (pt. 1) Arthur Sherbo, JEGP: Journal of English and Germanic Philology 65.1 (1966): 194–96; (pt. 2) Sherbo, 60.2 (1961): 299–305; (pt. 3) Sherbo, 61.4 (1962): 926–31; (pt. 4) Sherbo, 63.2 (1964): 365–69; (pt. 5) Hume, Philological Quarterly 50.3 (1971): 389–90; (index) Edward A. Langhans, Eighteenth-Century Studies 14.1 (1980): 72–78 (including a list of entries in the Biographical Dictionary [M2400] corrected by the Index).


Bowers, Fredson. A Bibliography of the English Printed Drama, 1660–1700. Temporarily suspended.

A descriptive bibliography of all editions, impressions, issues, and states of plays published between 1660 and 1700 that are excluded from Greg, Bibliography of the English Printed Drama (M2135). Titles are arranged according to date of publication. Each entry provides a full bibliographical description based on personal examination of multiple copies, with extensive notes on printing, dating, advertisements, and identification of printers. Indexes include printers, publishers, dedicatees, writers of prologues and epilogues, first lines of epilogues and prologues, and first lines of songs. Since Bowers’s death, David L. Vander Meulen (Dept. of English, U of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4121) has custody of the project until a suitable successor can be found.


Burling, William J. A Checklist of New Plays and Entertainments on the London Stage, 1700–1737. Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson UP; London: Assoc. UP, 1993. 235 pp. PN2596.L6 B84 792′.09421′09033.

A chronological checklist—keyed to London Stage (M2370)—of plays, pantomimes, operas, ballad-operas, farces, afterpieces, and other entertainments first performed in London between 1700 and 1737. A typical entry includes “date of premiere, venue, title, author(s) or attribution, type of play (genre), printer or publisher, date of publication, and notes . . . on attribution, performance history, or secondary studies.” The introduction offers a refreshingly clear explanation of scope and parts of an entry. Concludes with two appendixes: entertainments at minor London venues (such as taverns, fairs, and minor playhouses); plays not produced. Indexed by authors, titles, and subtitles. Combining a thorough synthesis of standard sources and recent scholarship with a fresh examination of primary sources—especially London newspapers—Checklist of New Plays complements (and frequently corrects) London Stage and offers an invaluable conspectus that makes feasible the systematic study of trends in and the milieu of London theatrical activity 1700–37.


Milhous, Judith, and Robert D. Hume, comps. and eds. A Register of English Theatrical Documents, 1660–1737. 2 vols. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1991. Z6611.T28 M55 [PN2599] 016.792′0942′09032.

A chronological calendar of manuscript and printed documents related to the management and regulation of the theater, principally in London, from 1660 through 1737. Entries are organized by theatrical season, then by date (but users must study the introductory discussion of how certain kinds of documents, such as lawsuits, are dated). Each entry provides date, location, title (descriptive in the case of manuscripts), description of content (with a full transcription in many instances; some documents will be printed in full or excerpted in the revision of pts. 1 and 2 of London Stage [M2370]), and notes (amplifying location information, giving bibliographical details for printed works, and referring to other copies, published transcriptions, or scholarship). Four appendixes list undatable bills from Drury Lane (1714–16), documents spanning more than one season, documents misdated by earlier authorities, and Chancery suits by Public Record Office number. Indexed by persons, subjects, and play titles. An outgrowth of the editors’ revision of London Stage, 1660–1800, pts. 1–2, the work is an invaluable compilation that carefully describes and locates a mass of widely scattered documents, corrects numerous published accounts, and adds much that is new. By ordering what is known, the Register should stimulate the identification and publication of additional material.

See also

Nicoll, History of English Drama, vols. 1–3 (M2360).

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism
Surveys of Research

Hume, Robert D. ““English Drama and Theatre, 1660–1800: New Directions in Research”.” Theatre Survey 23.1 (1982): 71–100. PN2000.T716.

A summary of the state of scholarship, with evaluations of reference works, bibliographies, critical studies, and histories; comments on research methodologies; and valuable suggestions for further research (many of which have not been taken up).

Additional suggestions for research and important advice on the use of London Stage (M2370) and Highfill, Burnim, and Langhans, Biographical Dictionary (M2400), can be found in Hume, “Theatre History, 1660–1800: Aims, Materials, Methodology,” Players, Playwrights, Playhouses: Investigating Performance, 1660–1800, ed. Michael Cordner and Peter Holland (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2007; Redefining British Theatre Hist.) 9–44.

Serial Bibliographies

““Restoration and 18th Century Theatre Research Bibliography, [1961–75]”.” Restoration and 18th Century Theatre Research 1–15 (1962–76). PN2592.R46 792.

A descriptively annotated subject bibliography that resurfaced briefly as the unannotated “Selective Bibliography, [1986–90]” (2nd ser. 4.2–6.2 [1989–91]), but with no explanation of the criteria governing selection. The bibliographies for 1961–67 are incorporated into Stratman, Spencer, and Devine, Restoration and Eighteenth Century Theatre Research (M2395), and are cumulated in Carl J. Stratman, C. S. V., ed., and Edmund A. Napieralski and Jean E. Westbrook, comps., Restoration and 18th Century Theatre Research Bibliography, 1961–1968 (Troy: Whitston, 1969; 241 pp.). Although subject headings are not as refined as they might be and coverage is not comprehensive, this work is a useful complement to ECCB: The Eighteenth Century Current Bibliography (M2245) and the serial bibliographies and indexes in section G.

Other Bibliographies

Link, Frederick M. English Drama, 1660–1800: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale, 1976. 374 pp. Amer. Lit., English Lit., and World Lits. in English: An Information Guide Ser. 9. Z2014.D7 L55 [PR701] 016.822.

A selective survey of “every substantial book and article” through 1973 (along with a few from 1974). The emphasis is on English-language studies, and researchers must read the prefatory list of topics excluded before consulting the guide. Unlike other volumes in the series, this one consists of a series of surveys of research in two divisions. The first examines general works in sections for reference works, collections, playhouses and audience, biography, dramatic theory, history of drama, general criticism, and antecedents and influences. The second treats a variety of playwrights, major and minor. The commentary tends toward brief description, with occasional incisive evaluations and perceptive suggestions for research. The format—more effective for the treatment of individual authors than for general topics—does not accommodate scanning. Two indexes: persons; play titles. Accuracy, judicious selectivity and evaluation, clear organization, and broad coverage make English Drama, 1660–1800 a useful starting point, especially for minor writers, but it must be supplemented by Stratman, Spencer, and Devine, Restoration and Eighteenth Century Theatre Research (M2395); ECCB: The Eighteenth Century Current Bibliography (M2245); and Year’s Work in English Studies (G330). Review: David Mann, Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography 1.3 (1977): 246–50.


Stratman, Carl J., C. S. V., David G. Spencer, and Mary Elizabeth Devine, eds. Restoration and Eighteenth Century Theatre Research: A Bibliographical Guide, 1900–1968. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP; London: Feffer, 1971. 811 pp. Z2014.D7 S854 016.822′5′09.

An annotated bibliography of editions and studies (including dissertations and master’s theses) through 1967 on all aspects of drama and theater in the British Isles. The approximately 6,000 entries are listed chronologically under 780 alphabetically arranged subject headings, with those for playwrights having separate lists of editions and studies. By the editors’ count, 81.6% of the entries are descriptively annotated. The work is indexed by persons and subject headings, but because of the insufficiently refined headings and lack of cross-references, it is difficult to locate studies of specific topics. The numerous errors and omissions make this an untrustworthy source, yet it offers the most extensive single list of scholarship on the topic. Reviews: Hilbert H. Campbell, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 67.2 (1973): 200–03; D. F. McKenzie, Notes and Queries ns 21.6 (1974): 237–39; Geoffrey Marshall, Seventeenth-Century News 31.1 (1973): 18–19.

This work incorporates the “Restoration and 18th Century Theatre Research Bibliography for [1961–67]” (M2387); for post-1967 publications, see “Restoration and 18th Century Theatre Research Bibliography” (M2387); “Some Current Publications,” Restoration (M2250); ECCB: The Eighteenth Century Current Bibliography (M2245); “Recent Studies in the Restoration and Eighteenth Century” (M2240); and the serial bibliographies and indexes in section G. For a selective bibliography, see Link, English Drama, 1660–1800 (M2390).

See also

“Restoration and 18th Century Theatre Research Bibliography” (M2387).

Biographical Dictionaries

Highfill, Philip H., Jr., Kalman A. Burnim, and Edward A. Langhans. A Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Actresses, Musicians, Dancers, Managers, and Other Stage Personnel in London, 1660–1800. 16 vols. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1973–93. PN2597.H5 790.2′092′2.

A biographical dictionary of about 8,500 persons (and some animals) associated with professional dramatic entertainments. Entries include “actors and actresses, dancers, singers, instrumental musicians, scene painters, machinists, management officials, prompters, acrobats, contortionists, pyrotechnists, magicians, dwarfs, freaks, animal trainers, strong men, public orators, mimics, dressers, callers, concessionaires, and also members of certain trades operating on salary and within the physical confines of the theatres—such employees as tailors, carpenters, and barbers.” Excludes dramatists except those who were also actors, managers, or otherwise connected with the theater. The informative, well-written entries, which vary from a single line to more than a hundred pages and include at least one portrait if any exists, are based on extensive research in primary sources. Although many biographies are the most authoritative available, entries lack full documentation—the only major flaw and one that will not be rectified by a bibliography volume. There are omissions and errors (but the majority of corrections and additions have come to light only because of the publication of the biographies); nevertheless, the Biographical Dictionary is undeniably a major achievement that, along with London Stage (M2370), has stimulated much research. Important advice on the use of the dictionary is offered by Hume, “Theatre History, 1660–1800: Aims, Materials, Methodology” (M2385a). For an entertaining account of the research undergirding the Biographical Dictionary, see Highfill, “A Peep behind the Curtain: Mass Theatrical Biography,” In Search of Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Theatrical Biography, by George Winchester Stone, Jr., and Highfill (Los Angeles: William Andrews Clark Memorial Lib., 1976) 33–66. Reviews: (vols. 1–2) Robert D. Hume, Eighteenth-Century Studies 8.4 (1975): 510–17; (vols. 3–4) Judith Milhous, Eighteenth Century: A Current Bibliography ns 2 (1976): 162–65.


Some works in sections L: Genres/Poetry and M: English Literature/General/Genres/Poetry are useful for research in Restoration and eighteenth-century English poetry.

Histories and Surveys

Rothstein, Eric. Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Poetry, 1660–1780. Boston: Routledge, 1981. 242 pp. Vol. 3 of The Routledge History of English Poetry. R. A. Foakes, gen. ed. PR502.R58 [PR561] 821′.009.

A critical history that emphasizes the continuity of the period in chapters on poetry (1660–1720), style, uses of the past, and poetry (1720–80). A chronology features commentary on principal poems and collections by minor poets and summaries of important historical events, especially political ones. Indexed by authors and anonymous works. Although sometimes lapsing into dense lists of authors and poems, the volume is overall an intelligent, well-organized, authoritative treatment of both major and minor writers. Reviews: John M. Aden, Eighteenth Century: A Current Bibliography ns 7 (for 1981): 371–72; James Engell, Modern Philology 79.4 (1982): 438–41.

Guides to Primary Works

Foxon, D. F. English Verse, 1701–1750: A Catalogue of Separately Printed Poems with Notes on Contemporary Collected Editions. 2 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1975. Z2014.P7 F69 [PR551] 016.821.

A short-title catalog of separately published verse, translations, and collections by a single author, in any language, written and printed between 1701 and 1750 in the British Isles. Since Foxon is not a catalog of all poems written and printed during the period, it excludes miscellanies (see Case, Bibliography of English Poetical Miscellanies [M2180]), periodical verse, popular broadside ballads, slip songs, chapbooks, engraved sheets with music or cartoons, oratorios, and libretti (but see vol. 1, pp. xii–xiii, for some exceptions). Entries are listed alphabetically by author, translator, or title of anonymous work; under each author, collected editions are listed chronologically, with separately published poems following in alphabetical order. An entry for a single work includes short title, imprint, collation, bibliographical notes (which distinguish editions, issues, impressions, or states; describe watermark; and cite standard bibliographies), first line, notes on authorship and subject matter, and locations (up to five libraries in the British Isles and five in the United States). Collected editions receive abbreviated descriptions. Six indexes: first lines; first editions (listed chronologically); imprints; bibliographical notes; epithets describing authors of anonymous books; subjects (including forms and genres). Inevitably there are omissions, but the accuracy and detail of the descriptions (based almost exclusively on personal examination of multiple copies) make this an indispensable source for textual study, publishing history, and the identification and location of editions. Thorough coverage, detailed indexes (which open new approaches to the poetry), and numerous attributions render this a landmark catalog that lays the groundwork for definitive studies. For some additions and corrections, see Bryan Coleborne, “Some Notes on D. F. Foxon’s English Verse, 1701–1750,” Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand Bulletin 7.2 (1983): 45–48, as well as the following reviews: L. J. Harris, Library 5th ser. 31.2 (1976): 158–64; James Woolley, Modern Philology 75.1 (1977): 59–73.


Jackson, J. R. de J. Jackson Bibliography of Romantic Poetry. University of Toronto Libraries. U of Toronto Libs., n.d. 11 Dec. 2012. <>.

A database that expands Jackson’s Annals of English Verse, 1770–1835: A Preliminary Survey of the Volumes Published (New York: Garland, 1985; 709 pp.; Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 535) and Romantic Poetry by Women: A Bibliography, 1770–1835 (Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1993; 484 pp.) and that will eventually extend coverage through 1797. Coverage extends to English-language volumes of poems and verse drama (of at least nine pages) and of prose and verse (with at least nine pages of the latter) and English-language translations originally published between 1770 and 1835 throughout the world. Jackson excludes hymnbooks (except for some that print original hymns), books of songs not intended to be read, periodicals and annuals, reprints and new editions of works originally published before 1770, broadsides, and most chapbooks. Entries—which record author, title, editor or translator, publication information, edition if other than the first, format (i.e., size of page), number of volumes, pagination for single-volume works, price, source(s) of the citation, libraries, shelf mark, and notes—can be searched by keyword (including edition, format, and price), author, title, date, publisher, place, and library. Results can be sorted by date, author, or title (all ascending). Records must be printed individually by using a Web browser’s print function.

Compiled from personal examination of many copies as well as standard reference works and offering a clear account of scope and editorial procedure, Jackson Bibliography is the best resource for identifying a volume of verse originally published within its chronological scope, for situating a volume in its literary context, and for differentiating editions (especially of minor works); however, because Jackson Bibliography cannot be searched by gender, Romantic Poetry by Women remains useful for identifying poetry by females and locating frequently elusive volumes. For the period 1770–1800, researchers should also consult ESTC (M1377).

See also

Case, Bibliography of English Poetical Miscellanies (M2180).

Crum, First-Line Index of English Poetry, 1500–1800 (M1590).

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism

Mell, Donald C., Jr. English Poetry, 1660–1800: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale, 1982. 501 pp. Amer. Lit., English Lit., and World Lits. in English: An Information Guide Ser. 40. Z2014.P7 M44 [PR551] 016.821.

A selective bibliography of English-language scholarship (primarily from the 1930s through 1979) organized in two divisions: general studies and individual authors. The first lists works in three classified sections: reference materials; background studies of English literature, 1660–1800; and general studies of poetry, 1660–1800 (with subsections for themes, genres, poetic forms and structures, and language and versification). The second is devoted to 31 poets, each with separate lists of major editions; correspondence; bibliographies, textual studies, and concordances; collections of studies; biographical works; and critical studies. Annotations to the 2,264 entries are occasionally evaluative (but not always reliably so). Indexed by persons and titles of works listed. The established canon is emphasized, and subject indexing is lacking; nonetheless, the judicious selection of studies and clear annotations make his work, as Mell says, “imperfect yet useful.” Review: David L. Vander Meulen, Literary Research Newsletter 9.1 (1984): 29–31.

A useful complement, especially for its evaluations and coverage of studies through 1987, is David Nokes and Janet Barron, An Annotated Critical Bibliography of Augustan Poetry (Hemel Hempstead: Harvester; New York: St. Martin’s, 1989; 158 pp.; Annotated Critical Bibliogs.). Users should note that Nokes and Barron offers a highly selective guide to the most important or representative English-language scholarship; is marred by an organizational scheme that unnecessarily separates books, articles, and parts of books in the generally brief chronological lists under each author; omits Swift since he was to have been the subject of a separate volume in the series; and renders superfluous the needlessly complex entry number system by citing page numbers in the indexes of scholars and literary authors.

See also

Donow, Sonnet in England and America (L1250).

Kuntz and Martinez, Poetry Explication (L1255).

Martinez, Martinez, and Anderson, Guide to British Poetry Explication, vol. 3 (L1255a).


Some works in sections L: Genres/Prose and M: English Literature/General/Genres/Prose are useful for research in Restoration and eighteenth-century prose.

Biography and Autobiography
Histories and Surveys

Stauffer, Donald A. The Art of Biography in Eighteenth Century England. Princeton: Princeton UP; London: Oxford UP, 1941. 572 pp. Bibliographical Supplement (M2435). 1941. CT34.G7 S67 808.06.

A critical history of eighteenth-century English biography that emphasizes its place in the literature of the period. Chapters are devoted to biography and the drama, biography and the novel, biography and the Romantic spirit, lives of eccentrics and antiquaries, inner life, major biographers, and trends of biography. Indexed by persons and a few titles. Although now dated, this work remains the fullest history of biography during the century. Reviews: James R. Sutherland, Review of English Studies 18.71 (1942): 350–54; René Wellek, Modern Philology 39.4 (1942): 432–36.

Art of Biography continues Stauffer, English Biography before 1700 (M1605). For the Bibliographical Supplement, see entry M2435.

Guides to Primary Works

Stauffer, Donald A. The Art of Biography in Eighteenth Century England: Bibliographical Supplement. Princeton: Princeton UP; London: Oxford UP, 1941. 293 pp. CT34.G7 S67 808.06.

A bibliography of biographies written or translated in England from 1700 through 1800 and of important scholarship on the genre. The bulk of the work consists of an author list of biographies, with cross-references to subjects. Each entry cites editions through 1800, along with an occasional modern one. Works not discussed in the text of Art of Biography in Eighteenth Century England (M2430) are accompanied by a brief description of content or evaluative comment. The second part is a selective list of important studies. Concludes with a chronology of the most important biographies from 1700 through 1800. Although incomplete and including some works more properly classified as fiction, the Supplement remains the most complete list of biographies of the period.