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 English Literature

Biographical Dictionaries

Finding Full-Length Biographies

A good way to find full-length biographies of individual literary figures is to conduct a subject search for the author.

Use the Browse Books & More function in Tripod or search by subject in WorldCat (for items not held by the Tri-College libraries). 

For example, you might search for "James, Henry" (personal subject headings are arranged in inverted order) and then select "James, Henry, 1843-1916" for the author of The Turn of the Screw, The Ambassadors, and other texts.  You'll notice other entries with different subheadings (e.g., "James, Henry, 1843-1916--Criticism and Interpretation" or "James, Henry, 1843-1916--Influence).  These subject headings link to works with a focus on the particular subheading, but biographical works are listed under the heading consisting of just the author's name and (often) dates.

Another way to find biographies is through the book series of some publishers.  For example, London's Reaktion Books publishes a Critical Lives series that includes many authors, as well as composers, theorists, and other cultural figures.  See the list below for some common biographical series.

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