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Most valuable Literary Studies books

Curious what the most valuable and expensive literary studies books are? Below is a small sample of some of the most expensive books that have sold on Biblio.com:


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Literary Studies

From To Kill a Mockingbird to The Catcher In the Rye, from American Literary Scholarship to Scott Fitzgerald, we can help you find the literary studies books you are looking for. As the world's largest independent marketplace for new, used and rare books, you always get the best in service and value when you buy from Biblio.com, and all of your purchases are backed by our return guarantee.



Top Sellers in Literary Studies

    To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

    To Kill a Mockingbird is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Harper Lee published in 1960. It was instantly successful and has become a classic of modern American literature. The plot and characters are loosely based on the author's observations of her family and neighbors, as well as on an event that occurred near her hometown in 1936, when she was 10 years old. The novel is renowned for its warmth and humor, despite dealing with serious issues of rape and racial inequality.


    Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

    Margaret Mitchell only published one complete novel, but it was quite the book - Gone With the Wind earned her the Pulitzer Prize in 1937 and National Book Award for 1936. The epic romance tale set in and around Atlanta, Georgia during the American Civil War has remained a bestseller, even before the equally popular film starring Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh was made in 1939.


    Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

    Pride and Prejudice is a novel by Jane Austen. First published on 28 January 1813, it was her second published novel. Its manuscript was initially written between 1796 and 1797 in Steventon, Hampshire, where Austen lived in the rectory. Originally called First Impressions, it was never published under that title, and in following revisions it was retitled Pride and Prejudice.


    The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway

    This novella, only 140 pages, was first printed in it's entirety in Life Magazine Sept 1st 1952, inspiring a buying frenzy selling over 5 million copies of the magazine in just 2 days. The story about an aging Cuban fisherman wrangling a large marlin in the gulf stream was written in 1951 in Cuba and published in 1952. In 1953 it won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and led to Hemingway's nomination for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. Man's struggle against nature is the resounding theme throughout the book as Hemingway portrays Santiago's travails as an experienced fisherman facing a dry-spell of 85 days before finally wrangling a prized marlin. Hemingway also highlights the indomitable spirit of man while illustrating his ideal of manliness and character in the strong and determined fisherman facing danger and discomfort without complaint and with resolution, both in the days it takes Santiago to kill the marlin, and as he fights off the sharks that end up destroying his prized catch before he reaches the coast. Some say that Hemingway's tale is a reflection of his own determination to prove his writing career was not over, and the portrayal of the sharks may echo the critics who had been claiming for the ten years that his writing career, after the successful release of For Whom the Bell Tolls in 1940, was over. The book is dedicated "To Charlie Scribner And To Max Perkins," friends of Hemingway's that had passed away before the book came out. Max Perkins, who also edited F. Scott Fitzgerald and Thomas Wolfe, died in 1947 and Scribner, who was president of the publisher Charles Scribner's Sons, died in 1952. The last work published by Hemingway during his lifetime, signed first editions can sell upwards of $15,000 - $17,000.


    The Grapes Of Wrath by John Steinbeck

    John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath stands as a pivotal piece of American literature. The story follows the Joad family (and thousands of others) as they are driven from the Oklahoma farm where they are sharecroppers during the Great Depression. The drought, economic hardship, and changes in financial and agricultural industries send them searching for dignity and honest work in the bountiful state of California. The novel earned Steinbeck the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1940, and inspired the classic film of the same name the same year. The film starred Henry Fonda as Tom Joad, and Steinbeck's words and ideas shine through that medium. In 1962, Steinbeck was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature for the body of his work, and The Grapes of Wrath stands as his most recognized and esteemed book. -


    Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

    Jane Eyre is a famous and influential novel by English writer Charlotte Brontë. It was published in London, England in 1847 by Smith, Elder & Co. with the title Jane Eyre. An Autobiography under the pen name "Currer Bell". (Harper & Brothers of New York came out with the American edition in 1848.)


    Ulysses by James Joyce

    Ulysses is a modernist novel by James Joyce. It was first serialized in The Little Review from March 1918 to December 1920 and later published by Shakespeare and Company in 1922. Originally, Joyce conceived of Ulysses as a short story to be included in Dubliners, but decided instead to publish it as a long novel, situated as a sort of sequel to A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, picking up Stephen Dedalus’s life over a year later. Ulysses takes place on a single day, June 16, 1904, in Dublin. Within the massive text of 265,000 words (not so “short” anymore, eh?), divided in 18 episodes, Joyce radically shifts narrative style with each new episode, completely abandoning the previously accepted notions of plot, setting, and characters. The presentation of a fragmented reality through interior perception in Ulysses, often through stream-of-consciousness, is one of many reasons it is a paramount of Modernist literature.  Ulysses presents a series of parellels with Homer’s epic poem Odyssey (Ulysses is the Latinized name of Odysseus.) Not only can correspondences be drawn between the main characters of each text — Stephen Dedalus to Telemachus, Leopold Bloom to Odysseus, and Molly Bloom to Penelope, but each of the 18 episodes of Ulysses reflects an adventure from the Odyssey.  In 1998, the American publishing firm Modern Library ranked Ulysses first on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.


    The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald

    Written in 1925, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is widely considered to be one of the author’s greatest works. Set in New York City and Long Island during the Roaring Twenties, the focus of the story is (of course) its title character, Jay Gatsby, and his unswerving desire to be reunited with Daisy Buchanan, the love he lost five years earlier. However, Nick Carraway, who happens to be both Gatsby’s neighbor and Daisy’s cousin, narrates Gatsby's journey from poverty to wealth, into the arms of his beloved, and eventually to death. The Great Gatsby is undoubtedly one of the greatest American literary documents of the 1920s, the decade for which Fitzgerald himself coined the term “Jazz Age.” However, in writing the book, Fitzgerald was in fact holding up a mirror to the society of which he was a part. In true Modernist fashion, The Great Gatsby addresses the social issues of the period — namely materialism and displaced spirituality — that ultimately led the decline of the era. The novel’s initial sales situation was less than impressive; fewer than 25,000 copies were sold by Fitzgerald’s death in 1940. But The Great Gatsby gained great popularity during WWII as the critical mainstream began to embrace the author’s work. The Armed Services Editions circulated 150,000 copies to troops alone. Today, The Great Gatsby has sold over 25 million copies worldwide, sells an additional 500,000 copies annually, and is Scribner's most popular title. Ranked #2 on the Modern Library’s list of the 100 Best Novels of the 20th Century, the novel is also listed on their Top 100 Novels as well as The Observer’s All-Time 100 Best Novels and Time Magazine’s 100 Best Modern Novels. The Great Gatsby has resulted in a number of adaptations, including Baz Luhrmann’s 2013 major motion picture starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, and Joel Edgerton. 


    Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

    Wuthering Heights is Emily Brontë's only novel. It was first published in 1847 under the pseudonym Ellis Bell, and a posthumous second edition was edited by her sister Charlotte. The name of the novel comes from the Yorkshire manor on the moors on which the story centers (as an adjective, Wuthering is a Yorkshire word referring to turbulent weather).


    The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

    Commonly named among the Great American novels, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, written by Mark Twain, is generally regarded as the sequel to his earlier novel, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; however, in Huckleberry Finn, Twain focused increasingly on the institution of slavery and the South. Narrated by Huckleberry “Huck” Finn in Southern antebellum vernacular, the novel gives vivid descriptions of people and daily life along the Mississippi River while following the adventure of Huck and a runaway slave, Jim, rafting their way to freedom.


    A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway

    Set during World War 1, Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms is the story of Lieutenant Frederic Henry, an American serving as an ambulance driver in the Italian army, and his love affair with an English nurse named Catherine Barkley. The novel is semi-autobiographical, based on Hemingway's own experiences serving in the Italian campaigns during the war. While some assume the title of the work to be taken from a poem by 16th century English dramatist George Peele, others believe it to be a simple pun of the word “arms.” A Farewell to Arms was first serialized in the May-October issues Scribner's Magazine 1929. It was published in book form in September of that year. As the work became available to the public just over ten years after the November 1918 armistice, Hemingway assumed his audience would recognize many of the references. In fact, certain basic information isn't alluded to in the book at all, as it was common knowledge around the time of publication. The result of this immediacy? Arguably one of the best novels written about World War I… ever. A Farewell to Arms was Hemingway's first bestseller, affording him financial independence and cementing his stature as a modern American writer. More specifically, the novel and its content helped to established the author as a key member of the “Lost Generation,” a subset of Modernist artists namely defined by their post-war disillusionment. A Farewell to Arms is ranked 74th on Modern Library’s “100 Best” English-language novels of the 20th century. 


    A Tale Of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

    A Tale of Two Cities is a novel by Charles Dickens, set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution. With 200 million copies sold, it is the most printed original English book, the most printed and among the most famous works of fiction.


    Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

    Catch-22 is Joseph Heller’s first novel and his most acclaimed work. Set during World War II, the novel uses a distinctive non-chronological third-person omniscient narration, mainly focusing on the life of Captain John Yossarian, a U.S. Army Air Forces B-25 bombardier. Occasionally, the narrator also shows us how other characters, such as the chaplain or Hungry Joe, experience the world around them. As the novel’s events are described from the different points of view through separate out-of-sequence storylines, the timeline of Catch-22 develops along with the plot. The novel's title refers to a plot device that is repeatedly invoked in the story. Catch-22 starts as a set of paradoxical requirements whereby airmen mentally unfit to fly did not have to, but could not actually be excused. By the end of the novel, the phrase is invoked as the explanation for many unreasonable restrictions. “Catch-22” has since entered the English language and can be understood as an unsolvable logic puzzle, a difficult situation from which there is no escape. Upon publication, the book was not a best seller in the United States. It was merely a cult favorite until the publication of the paperback edition in 1962, which set record sales — most likely benefitting from a national debate about the pointlessness of the Vietnam War. Catch-22 has since been ranked as one of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century by the Modern Library, one of the 20th century's top 100 novels by the Radcliffe Publishing Course, and one of the 100 greatest novels of all time by The Observer. 


    The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan

    The Pilgrim's Progress from This World to That Which Is to Come is a Christian allegory written by John Bunyan and published in February, 1678. It is regarded as one of the most significant works of English literature, has been translated into more than 200 languages, and has never been out of print.


    Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

    Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) by George Orwell has become the definitive dystopian novel of the twentieth century. Originally published in on June 8, 1949 by Secker and Warburg in the United Kingdom, the book follows the main character, Winston Smith, through his disillusionment with totalitarianism and a doomed struggle of resistance. George Orwell is a pen-name, Orwell's real name was Eric Blair.


    Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

    Great Expectations is a novel by Charles Dickens first serialised in All the Year Round from 1 December 1860 to August 1861. It is regarded as one of his greatest and most sophisticated novels, and is one of his most enduringly popular novels; having been adapted for stage and screen over 250 times.


    Animal Farm by George Orwell

    Animal Farm is a dystopian novella by George Orwell. Published in England on 17 August 1945, the book reflects events leading up to and during the Stalin era before World War II. Orwell, a democratic socialist and a member of the Independent Labour Party for many years, was a critic of Joseph Stalin and was suspicious of Moscow-directed Stalinism after his experiences with the NKVD during the Spanish Civil War.


    War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

    War and Peace, a Russian novel by Leo Tolstoy, is considered one of the world's greatest works of fiction. It is regarded, along with Anna Karenina (1873–7), as his finest literary achievement. Epic in scale, War and Peace delineates in graphic detail events leading up to Napoleon's invasion of Russia, and the impact of the Napoleonic era on Tsarist society, as seen through the eyes of five Russian aristocratic families.  First titled '1805' the first installment was published in the January 1865 edition of  Russkiy Vestnik.  It ran in serial form for 2 years before Tolstoy reworked much of the manuscript before publishing it in 1869 as War and Peace.


    The Wind In the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

    The Wind in the Willows is a classic of children's literature by Kenneth Grahame, first published in 1908. Alternately slow moving and fast paced, it focuses on four anthropomorphised animal characters in a pastoral version of England. The novel is notable for its mixture of mysticism, adventure, morality, and camaraderie. The Wind in the Willows was in its thirty-first printing when then-famous playwright, A. A. Milne, who loved it, adapted a part of it for stage as Toad of Toad Hall in 1929.


    Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

    "Including selections from The Rebecca notebook and Other memories"--Cover. "...new edition of the beloved classic..."--P. [4] of cover.


    How To Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C Foster



    A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

    The full title of Charles Dickens' most famous work is technically A Christmas Carol in Prose, Being a Ghost-Story of Christmas. This novella was published on December 19, 1843, and the first edition run of 6000 copies were sold out by Christmas Eve of that year. The publication of the first edition was fraught with complications, and even though the book was received to positive reviews, profits of the book fell far below Dickens' expectations, and the financial strain caused rifts between Dickens and the original publisher, Chapman & Hall.


    Leaves Of Grass by Walt Whitman

    Leaves of Grass (1855) is a poetry collection by the American poet Walt Whitman. Among the poems in the collection are "Song of Myself," "I Sing the Body Electric," "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking," and in later editions, Whitman's elegy to the assassinated President Abraham Lincoln, "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd. " Whitman spent his entire life writing Leaves of Grass, revising it in several editions until his death. The first edition published in 1855 contained 12 poems on 95 pages. The final edition published contained almost 400 poems. 


    The Catcher In the Rye by J D Salinger

    Published in 1951, The Catcher in the Rye has become a common part of high school and college curricula throughout the English-speaking world and has been translated into all major languages. Since its publication with a $3.00 sticker, it has reportedly sold more than 65 million copies. The novel's antihero, Holden Caulfield, has become a cultural icon for teenage rebellion. Due to its liberal use of profanity and portrayal of sexuality and teenage angst, it has frequently been met with censorship challenges in the United States making it one of the most challenged books of the 20th century.


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