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University of York Library
Subject Guides

English & Related Literature

18th C Literature

Welcome to your online guide to finding resources for English and Related Literature.
Book of hours Chandos portrait of Shakespeare Jonathan Swift Oscar Wilde Toni Morrison Kincaid Richard II and Henry IV
Medieval  Renaissance Eighteenth Century Nineteenth Century Twentieth Century - Current Global and Postcolonial
Yorkshire Connections to Literature
You are on the Eighteenth Century page. Follow the links above to see the literature collections grouped by Period and Place.

Primary Sources - Online Resources

Primary Sources - Microfilms

  • Athenian Gazette or, Casuistical Mercury: resolving all the most nice and curious questions proposed by the ingenious. Vols. I-XX. 1690-1697.
  • Colonial discourses: series one: women, travel and empire, 1660-1914.
  • Includes all materials printed in the British Empire, or printed in English elsewhere in the world, from 1701 to 1800. The collection is arranged under eight subject headings. The Library Catalogue includes all the items in the Collection and gives the reel number you need. NB. The whole collection is now available online as well (see ECCO)
  • Eighteenth century journals from the Hope Collection at the Bodleian Library, Oxford. A guide and overview are available.
  • English cartoons and satirical prints, 1320-1832, in the British Museum.
  • Illuminates the opinions and propaganda of their day with their myths, fantasies and slogans. Included is the work of Hollar, Hogarth, Gillray, Rowlandson and Cruikshank, as well as many minor and unknown artists. To be used in conjunction with the Catalogue of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum
  • French Revolution Research Collection 
    • Section 1: Newspapers
      The early Revolution saw an explosion in periodical and ephemeral newspapers. The 100,000 original pages reproduced here represent the full range of papers active during the 1790s.
    • Section 11: War and the colonies
      Covers the structure of the Revolutionary army and navy and the collapse of French colonies overseas.
    • Section 12: Culture
      Revolutionary expression in music, theatre, poetry, fiction, calendar dates, festivals, monuments, costume, fashion, images, symbols, and allegories; plus resistance to change and the survival of traditional forms
  • This is an attempt to reconstruct the lives of individuals from surviving documents. It also provides detailed background on the village, the project, and documents. The material includes church records, state records and estate records.
  • Sex and sexuality, 1640-1940: literary, medical and sociological perspectives
    Sex and Sexuality seeks to make available a broad range of rare printed texts describing changing attitudes towards sex and the body. It offers:
    • Medical works on the body, sex, and venereal diseases
    • Writings on sexual habits, such as Bienville's Nymphomania (1775) and accounts of James Graham's 'celestial bed' through which electrical currents were passed in order to give couples 'superior ecstasy'
    • Works on masturbation from Onania (1729) to Tissot's A Treatise on the Crime of Onan (1766).
  • Women's autobiographies from Cambridge University Library
    • Pt. 1.Rare printed autobiographies covering thirty-two women's lives, 1713-1859
    • Pt. 2.Rare printed autobiographies covering nineteen women's lives, 1780-1889
      Recollections of a family history can reveal differing regional cultures. Childhood memories frequently recall the inequalities between brothers and sisters, particularly in relation to education; the different types of work undertaken by women, and the wages they received; the numbers of women involved in voluntary work for which no official records were held; private thoughts relating to marriage, spinsterhood and romance. These autobiographies also reveal women's aspirations in life: socially what was expected of them, and privately what they felt they should aspire to.


Jonathan SwiftImage of Robinson Crusoe

Secondary Sources - Databases & Indexes

Secondary Sources - Journals

  • Applies contemporary theory and methodology to all aspects of culture 1660-1800, including literature, history, fine arts, science, history of ideas, and popular culture.
  • Devoted to the critical and historical investigation of imaginative prose of the period 1660-1832.
  • Selects papers of the highest quality and broadest intellectual interest in the field, particularly promising directions of research in the field.
  • In a single volume, readers might find an argument for attributing a previously unknown work to Shakespeare or de-attributing a famous work from Milton, a study of the connections between class and genre in the Restoration Theater, an interdisciplinary exploration of the art of the miniature and Fielding' s novels, or a theoretical exposition of the "material sublime" in Romantic poetry written by women.


Primary Sources - Special Collections

  • Cooper Abbs Collection
    Interesting items include first editions of the later volumes of Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy, signed by the author; of Thomas Percy's Reliques of ancient English poetry (1765); and of Sir Walter Scott's Tales of a grandfather (1830). There is also a sixteenth-century edition of Thucydides, once part of the Royal Library, sold by the British Museum as a duplicate in 1787.


  • Dyson collection
    The Dyson Collection's principal authors are Dryden, Pope, and the Romantic poets.Its treasures include the first subscription edition of James Thomson's The Seasons (1730) with illustrations by the architect William Kent; the first and second editions of William Wordsworth's Lyrical ballads (1798 and 1800); and the first edition of John Keats' Endymion (1818).