The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms

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The Concise Oxford Dictionary of

Literary Terms




The Concise Oxford Dictionary of

Literary Terms

Chris Baldick is Professor of English at Goldsmiths' College, University of London. He edited The Oxford Book of Gothic Tales (1992), and is the author of In Frankenstein's Shadow (1987), Criticism and Literary Theory 1890 to the Present (1996), and other works of literary history. He has edited, with Rob Morrison, Tales of Terror from Blackwood's Magazine, and The Vampyre and Other Tales of the Macabre, and has written an introduction to Charles Maturin's Melmoth the Wanderer (all available in the Oxford World's Classics series).


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The most authoritative and up-to-date reference books for both students and the general reader.

Abbreviations ABC of Music Accounting Archaeology* Architecture Art and Artists Art Terms* Astronomy Better Wordpower Bible Biology Buddhism* Business Card Games

Chemistry Christian Church Classical Literature Classical Mythology* Colour Medical Computing Dance* Dates Earth Sciences Ecology Economics Engineering*

English Etymology English Folklore* English Grammar English Language English Literature English Place-Names Euphemisms Film*

Finance and Banking First Names Food and Nutrition Foreign Words and Phrases

Fowler's Modern English Usage

Geography Handbook of the World Humorous Quotations Idioms Irish Literature Jewish Religion Kings and Queens of

Britain* King's English Law Linguistics Literary Quotations

Literary Terms Local and Family History London Place Names* Mathematics Medical Medicines Modern Design* Modern Quotations Modern Slang Music Nursing Opera Paperback Encyclopedia Philosophy

Physics Plant-Lore Plant Sciences Political Biography Political Quotations Politics Popes Proverbs Psychology* Quotations Sailing Terms Saints

Science Scientists Shakespeare Ships and the Sea Sociology Statistics* Superstitions Synonyms and Antonyms

Theatre Twentieth-Century Art Twentieth-Century Poetry Twentieth-Century World

History Weather Facts Who's Who in Opera Who's Who in the Classical

World Who's Who in the

Twentieth Century World History World Mythology World Religions Writers' Dictionary Zoology


The Concise Oxford Dictionary of

Literary Terms






Great Clarendon Street, Oxford ox2 6DP Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide in Oxford New York Athens Auckland Bangkok Bogota Buenos Aires Cape Town Chennai Dar es Salaam Delhi Florence Hong Kong Istanbul Karachi Kolkata Kuala Lumpur Madrid Melbourne Mexico City Mumbai Nairobi Paris Sao Paulo Singapore Taipei Tokyo Toronto Warsaw with associated companies in Berlin Ibadan

Oxford is a registered trade mark of Oxford University Press in the UK and in certain other countries

Published in the United States by Oxford University Press Inc., New York

(C) Chris Baldick 2001

The moral rights of the author have been asserted Database right Oxford University Press (maker)

First published 1990 First issued as an Oxford University Press paperback 1991 Reissued in new covers 1996 Second edition published 2001

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of Oxford University Press, or as expressly permitted by law, or under terms agreed with the appropriate reprographics rights organization. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside the scope of the above should be sent to the Rights Department, Oxford University Press, at the address above

You must not circulate this book in any other binding or cover and you must impose the same condition on any acquirer

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data Data available

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Data available

ISBN 0-19-280118-X


Typeset in Swift and Frutiger by Kolam Information Services Pvt. Ltd, Pondicherry, India Printed in Great Britain by Cox & Wyman Ltd., Reading, England


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