Restoration and eighteenth-century literature

This guide has been designed as a starting point for research involving the Restoration and Eighteenth century time period.

If you need help, please contact Ivana Niseteo, Liaison Librarian for English, French, French Programs (FASS), Humanities, Linguistics, and World Languages & Literatures at 778.782.6838 or or Ask a librarian.

Reference sources

The Routledge companion to Britain in the eighteenth century, 1688-1820 [print]

The Longman companion to Britain in the eighteenth century, 1688-1820 [print]

The eighteenth century: the intellectual and cultural context of English literature, 1700-1789 [print]

Oxford Reference Online
Online versions of 100 general reference works plus material in language, science and medicine, humanities and social sciences, business, and professional areas.

Encyclopedia Britannica 
An all-purpose online encyclopedia, including an online atlas, dictionary, and select journal articles.

For additional reference sources, take a look at SFU Library’s online reference shelf.

Encyclopedias and companions

Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment

A concise companion to the Restoration and eighteenth century [print]

The Alexander Pope encyclopedia [print]

The Cambridge companion to Wordsworth [print or online]

Encyclopedia of literary romanticism

Literary Encyclopedia
Provides authoritative profiles of authors, works and literary and historical topics.


Search for more by including the words encyclopedia OR dictionary OR handbook OR companion OR manual in your KEYWORD search (e.g. Wordsworth AND companion)

Dictionaries and literary terms

Meaning in the history of English: words and texts in content

A companion to the history of the English language [print or online]

English dialect words of the eighteenth century as shown in the “Universal etymological  dictionary” of Nathaniel Bailey [print]

Oxford English Dictionary
Covers words from across the English speaking world. It also gives etymological analysis, variant spellings, and pronunciation using IPA.

Dictionary of Old English: A to G   
Contains some 1319 headwords, as well as revised versions of the seven previously published versions

The Oxford dictionary of literary terms

Concise Oxford dictionary of literary terms [print  and online]

The Penguin dictionary of literary terms and literary theory [print]

The Bedford glossary of critical and literary terms [print]

A glossary of contemporary literary theory [print]


Historical dictionary of London [print]

State Papers Online
When you log in choose "Research Tools" and then click on the Chronologies link.

The Hutchinson chronology of world history

BBC History Timelines
Interactive timelines for topics in archeology, British history and the World Wars.

The Oxford chronology of English literature [print]

Handbook of British chronology [print]

Many of the companion handbooks also include a Chronology section; check the catalogue record of each companion to confirm the inclusion of a chronology/timeline section.

Biographical information

Nonconformist women writers, 1720-1840 [print]

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
An illustrated collection of 50,000 biographies of the men and women who impacted aspects of Britain's past, from the fourth century BC to the year 2000.

Dictionary of Literary Biography Complete Online
Biographical and critical essays on the world's most influential literary figures from all eras and genres.

Orlando: Women's Writing in the British Isles
Biographical and writing career entries on over a thousand writers, whose writing was an important, sometimes a shaping, element in a particular writing climate.

You can also try searching the Library Catalogue for SUBJECT Authors - Biography. For individual biographies and discussions of a single person's theories, search for the person's name as a SUBJECT (e.g., Pope, Alexander).


Oxford dictionary of quotations

Roget's thesaurus of the Bible [print]

Oxford treasury of sayings and quotations [print]

Literary criticism

MLA International Bibliography
Contains scholarly articles on English literature, linguistics, language and folklore.

Literature Online
Contains works of English and American poetry, drama and prose, full-text literature journals, and other key criticism and reference resources.

Oxford Bibliographies Online
Online index to bibliographies in Renaissance and Reformation with a bibliographical essay on sources.

Literature Criticism Online
Full text access to six major Gale literary criticism series, covering literature from 1400 to the present.

Project MUSE Search
Full text access to the back files of Humanities and Social Science Journals; Good English Literature content.

Full text access to the back files of Humanities and Social Science Journals; Good English Literature content. Note the most recent 2-5 years are excluded.

Pope, the critical heritage [print]

You can search for literary criticism about a particular author or work by using the library's catalogue's advanced search. Search "criticism and interpretation" as a SUBJECT on the first line, and search the title of the work or the author's last name as ANY FIELD on the second line (e.g. SUBJECT: "criticism and interpretation" AND ANY FIELD: Wordsworth).

Primary sources

Artemis Primary Sources
Cross search multiple primary source databases from Gale Cengage.

Early English Books Online (EEBO)
A library of over 100,000 individual titles from 1473-1700. Online digital images are available for every page.

Electronic Enlightenment
Electronic Enlightenment offers access to the web of correspondence between the greatest writers, scientists, philosophers, politicians and political thinkers of the 18th century and their families and friends, bankers and booksellers, patrons and publishers.

17TH - 18TH Century Burney Collection Newspapers
The newspapers, pamphlets, and books gathered by the Reverend Charles Burney (1757-1817) totals almost 1 million pages and contains approximately 1,270 titles. 

Eighteenth Century Journals I & II
Rare printed journals, periodicals and newspapers published between 1693 and 1799 illuminating all aspects of eighteenth-century social, political and literary life.

Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO)
A comprehensive digital edition of The Eighteenth Century, the world’s largest library of the English-language titles and editions published between 1701 and 1800 in the United Kingdom.

For additional primary sources, take a look at SFU Library’s Primary Sources guide.

Images & film

SFU Library has a comprehensive guide for finding images within SFU subscribed databases and online, including how to properly cite images in APA, MLA, and Chicago formats.

A repository of over one million digital images and related data.

Oxford Art Online
Reference resources on all aspects of visual arts. Sources include Grove Art Online, Oxford Companion to Western Art, Encyclopedia of Aesthetics & Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms.

Films on Demand (Canada): Humanities and Social Sciences
Streaming video of the Humanities and Social Sciences Collection of Films on Demand. Licensed for non-theatrical public performance on campus at Simon Fraser University.

For sound recordings and performances available on video/DVD at the library, search the SFU Catalogue for the title of the work, and limit to the appropriate material type using the drop down menu to the right of the search box.

Related topics


1700: scenes from London life [print]

The beau monde: fashionable society in Georgian London [print]

Down and out in eighteenth-century London [print]

London in the eighteenth century: a great and monstrous thing [print]

The London mob: violence and disorder in eighteenth-century England

Bibliography of British & Irish History
An authoritative guide to what has been written from the Roman period to the present day.

Historical Abstracts
Indexes journal articles, book reviews, dissertations on the history of the world outside of Canada & the United States.

British History Online 
Contains some of the core printed primary and secondary sources for the medieval and modern history of the British Isles.


Christianity and revolutionary Europe, 1750-1830 [print]

A companion to the Catholic Enlightenment in Europe [print]

The religious Enlightenment: Protestants, Jews, and Catholics from London to Vienna [print]

Religion and politics in enlightenment Europe [print]

The Bible in English
A collection of 20 different versions of the English Bible from the tenth to the twentieth century, including 12 full Bibles, 5 New Testament texts, 2 versions of the Gospels only, and William Tyndale's translations of the Pentateuch, Jonah and the New Testament.

ATLA Religion Database
Indexes journal articles on all aspects of religion and theology, including church and religious history.


Playing to the crowd: London popular theatre, 1780-1830

Getting into the act: women playwrights in London, 1776-1829 [print or online]

Illegitimate theatre in London, 1770-1840 [print]

Female playwrights and eighteenth century comedy: negotiation marriage on the London stage [print]

The English stage : a history of drama and performance [print]

Database of Early English Playbooks (DEEP)
Contains early modern plays and playwrights with additional information such as genre, dates of first publication and production.

Records of Early English Drama (REED): Patrons and Performances
Designed to include a wide range of data about professional performers on tour in the provinces – their patrons, the performance venues they used and the routes they took across the kingdom.

Further sources

Project Gutenberg
Provides access to over 33,000 downloadable e-books.

Oxford Text Archive
Develops, collects, catalogues and preserves electronic literary and linguistic resources for use in research, teaching and learning.

Perseus Digital Library Project - Renaissance Materials
Digital versions of primary and secondary sources in early modern English literature [Tufts University].

Representative Poetry Online
Includes 3,162 English poems by 500 poets from Caedmon, in the Old English period, to the work of living poets today. It is based on Representative Poetry, established by Professor W. J. Alexander of University College, University of Toronto.

Centre for Early Modern Studies (University of Oxford)

Eighteenth century resources (Rutgers University)

Voice of the Shuttle: Literature – Restoration and 18th Century