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English and Cultural Studies: Literary Characters

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Literary Characters

Locating information on literary characters can be difficult since no one subject heading will cover all situations. To find a certain author’s characters, your search should include the name of the author and the term “characters.” Beowulf

Try searching by the character’s name if he or she is well known. Characters such as Hamlet, Beowulf, Huckleberry Finn, Emma Bovary, and Hester Prynne are prominent enough to have entire books written about them.

General Sources

Character of Truth: Historical Figures in Contemporary Fiction  PN3335 J27 1990
Characters in Children’s Literature PN1009 A1 J78 1997 REF
Characters in Young Adult Literature PN10009 A1 G47 REF

Crowell’s Handbook for Readers and Writers: A Dictionary of
Famous Characters and Plots in Legend, Fiction, Drama, Opera, and Poetry

Cyclopedia of Literary Characters (5 volumes) PN44 M3 1998 REF
Dictionary of American Characters PS374 C43 D5 2002 REF
Dictionary of British Literary Characters: 18th and 19th C. Novels PR830 C47 D5 1993 REF
Dictionary of British Literary Characters: 20th Century Novels PR830 C47 D5 1994 REF
Dictionary of Real People and Places in Fiction PN56.4 R56 1993 REF
Index of Characters in Early Modern English Drama:  Printed Plays 1500-1660 PR1265.3 B4 1998 REF
Larousse Dictionary of Literary Characters  PR19 L37 1994 REF
Major Characters in American Fiction PS374 C43 M35 REF


Native American Literature: An Encyclopedia of Works, Characters, Authors, and Themes PS153 I52 W47 1999 REF
The Originals: an A-Z of Fiction’s Real-Life Characters PN56.4 A4 1985 REF
Who’s Who in Children’s Books: A Treasury of the Familiar Characters of Childhood PN1009 A1 F575 REF


Specific Authors

Characters of Joyce PR6019 09 Z9576 1983
Characters of Shakespeare’s Plays PR2989.H3 1962

The Dickens Encyclopedia

PR4595 H3 1995 REF

Rhetoric of Literary Characters:
    Some Women of Henry James

PS2127 W6 S63
Thomas Wolfe’s Characters: Portraits from Life PS3545 0337 Z94
Who’s Who in Dickens PR4589 P65 1995 REF
Who’s Who in Jane Austen and the Brontës PR4037 L4 1974 REF
Who’s Who in Faulkner PS3511 A86 Z784 REF
Who’s Who in Shakespeare PR2989 Q4 1973B REF

A Character Index of Robert Penn Warren’s
   Long Works of Fiction

PS3545 A748 Z812 REF