A classic reference work for more than sixty years, Masterplots analyzes the most important works in all genres -- long fiction, short fiction, poetry, drama, and nonfiction -- throughout history and around the world, helping to define and critique the literary canon. Salem's most popular title, Masterplots, is being revised for the first time since 1996. Masterplots, Fourth Edition is an expanded and updated version of 1996's Masterplots, Third Edition which was itself a culmination of the Masterplots sets published at intervals since 1949. Masterplots, Fourth Edition, in twelve volumes, retains the original purpose of the Masterplots concept: providing fundamental reference data, plot synopses where applicable, and critical evaluations of a comprehensive selection of English-language and world literature that has been translated into English. The essays are in alphabetical order by title, and each includes an annotated bibliography to aid readers in further study. Masterplots, Fourth Edition features 2,220 essays in 12 volumes: 438 essays are newly written, 98 feature thoroughly revised or replaced plot synopses or critical evaluations; and 1,684 have been previously published but reedited for this new edition. No titles from the previous edition were dropped. The 1,684 titles from the 1996 set were carefully reviewed for currency, accuracy, biased language, and quality of critical analysis before inclusion in the new edition. In adding new titles, the editors considered classroom curricula at both high school and college levels, as well as the broader context of literary culture both within and beyond North America. Editors added classics that had been previously overlooked and contemporary classics that represent a range of cultural identities and diverse modern experiences. - Publisher.