Harris Academies
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English Literature

A’ Level English Literature Reading list


Literature, Criticism, and Style: A Practical Guide to Advanced Level English Literature by Steven Croft

Beginning Theory by Peter Barry

A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams


  • The Glass Menagerie
  • Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
  • The Rose Tattoo
  • Sweet Bird of Youth
  • Suddenly Last Summer
  • The Night of the Iguana
  • Summer and Smoke
  • Orpheus Descending


  • The Theatre of Tennessee Williams (Critical Companions)
  • Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire by Harold Bloom
  • Critical Companion to Tennessee Williams: A Literary Reference to his Life and Work by Alycia Smith-Howard
  • Communists, Cowboys and Queers: Politics of Masculinity in the Work of Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams by David Savran
  • The Great American Playwrights by Jerry Roberts


Shakespearean Tragedy: Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth by A.C. Bradley

Shakespeare: Othello (Casebooks Series) by John Wain (Editor), or at least the essay Diabolic Intellect and the Noble Hero -A Note on Othello  by F.R. Leavis

Shakespeare's Division of Experience by Marilyn French

Victorian Poetry and Coursework texts:

Victorian Literature by Dr Beth Palmer

Gothic Literature by Sue Chaplin

The Victorians by Jeremy Paxman

Frankenstein and The Handmaid’s Tale

Teaching the Monster to Read: Mary Shelley, Education and Frankenstein by Anne McWhir (essay)

Female Gothic by Ellen Moers (essay)

Monsters in the Garden: Mary Shelley and the Bourgeois Family by Kate Ellis (essay)

Sisters of The Revolution : A Feminist Speculative Fiction Anthology by Ann VanderMeer

Supporting Literature:

Some Victorian fiction such as Thomas Hardy would be a good idea as it will boost awareness of Victorian context  - start with Far From the Madding Crowd or The Mayor of Casterbridge. Any Dickens (perhaps Bleak House or Hard Times) or Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell would be an excellent choice as well. All of these are freely available online.