ENGL 115 Introduction to Novels

Find Historical Info

Finding Historical info using American Decades

Understanding the history of the era in which an author lived or in which a piece of literature was written will often give you better insight into that literature's meaning, symbolism, and themes. 

You may read these reference books in print inside the library or you can access them in Gale Ebooks (or Gale Virtual Reference Library). Use the links below to access the series directly in the database.

  • As shown in the image below, you can limit by a specific time frame in history, as well as by larger topic areas, such as Media, medicine & health, fashion, sports, government & politic, and more.

(click on image to enlarge)

search results for "american decades" series showing how to pick a date range and limit by subject

Follow the links to the print books, or online

Gale Literature for Background Contexts

Authors and Works in context:

The literary criticism database Gale Literature is another good source of background information on authors and literary texts. 

To start your research look for Biographies, Interviews, and Topic & Work Overviews.

Gale Literature: Topic and Work overviews, interviews, biographies

Other History Databases

Author Biographies