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English Books for IAS Exam

We have compiled for you a list of IAS books for English to help you in your prepration for the IAS and other services under the UPSC. so it helps to know the best reference books for the ias exam.

Paper I - Section A

  1. Shakespeare: King Lear and The Tempest
  2. Suggested Reading

    1. Shakespeare and Women by Phyllis Rackin
    2. Shakespeare Late Work by Raphael Lyne
    3. Shakespeare Romances by Harold Bloom
    4. Shakespeare’s Comedies by Bertrand Evans
    5. Shakespeare the Playwright: A Companion to the Complete Tragedies, Histories, Comedies and Romances by Victor L. Cahn

  3. John Donne : The following poems
    • Canonization
    • Death be not proud
    • The Good Morrow
    • On his Mistress going to bed
    • The Relic
  4. Suggested Reading

    1. John Donne by Frank Kermode
    2. The Poetry of John Donne: A Study In Explication by Doniphan Louthan
    3. John Donne: A Collection of Critical Essays by Helen Gardener
    4. Donne’s Imagery: A Study In Creative Sources by Milton Allan Rugoff Gender and Sacred Self In John Donne by Elizabeth M.A. Hodgson
    5. John Donne’s Articulations Of The Feminine by H.L Meakin
    6. Holy Ambition: Rhetoric, Courtship and Devotion in the Sermons of John Donne by Brent Nelson
    7. The Dogmatic and Mystic Theology of John Donne by Itrat Husain

  5. John Milton : Paradise Lost
    • John Milton : Paradise Lost,I Buy Now
    • John Milton : Paradise Lost, II Buy Now
    • John Milton : Paradise Lost, IV Buy Now
    • John Milton : Paradise Lost, IX Buy Now
  6. Suggested Reading

    1. John Milton’s Paradise Lost by Harold Bloom
    2. Beautiful Sublime: The Making Of Paradise Lost by Leslie E. Moore
    3. Milton’s Adam and Eve: Fallible Perfection by George Musacchio
    4. Imperfect Sense: The Predicament Of Milton’s Irony by Victoria Silver
    5. Arenas Of Conflict: Milton and the Unfettered Mind by Kristin Pruitt Mc Colgan, Charles W. Durgam
    6. Milton and Culture of Violence by Michael Lieb
    7. Milton and Isaiah: A Journey through the Drama of Salvation in Paradise Lost by Youngwon Park

  7. Alexander Pope : The Rape of the Lock

    Suggested Reading

    1. Alexander Pope’s The Rape Of The Lock by Harold Bloom
    2. Laureate of Peace: On The Genius Of Alexander Pope by G. Wilson Knight
    3. Sordid Images: The Poetry Of Masculine Desire by S.H. Clark
    4. Alexander Pope and His Eighteenth Century Women Readers by Claudia N. Thomas
    5. Alexander Pope: The Poetry Of Allusion by Reuben A. Brower
    6. Slavery and Augustan Literature: Swift, Pope, Gay

  8. William Wordsworth : The following poems
    • Ode on Intimations of Immortality. Buy Now
    • Tintern Abbey.
    • Three years she grew.
    • She dwelt among untrodden ways.
    • Michael.
    • Resolution and Independence.
    • The World is too much with us.
    • Milton, thou shouldst be living at this hour.
    • Upon Westminster Bridge.
  9. Suggested Reading

    1. William Wordsworth, A Poetic Life by John L. Mahoney
    2. Romantic Marks and Measures: Wordsworth’s Poetry in Fields of Print by Julia S. Carlson
    3. Wordsworth in his Major Lyrics: The Art And Psychology of Self- Representation by Leon Waldoff
    4. Wordsworth and the Motions of the Mind by G.K. Thomas
    5. The Romantic Dream: Wordsworth and the Poetic of the Unconscious by Douglas B. Wilson
    6. Wordsworth’s “The Mad Mother”: The Poetics and Politics of Identification
    7. Guilty Pleasures: William Wordsworth’s Poetry of Psychoanalysis by Richard D McGhee
    8. The Letters of William and Dorothy Wordsworth by William Wordsworth, Dorothy Wordsworth, Ernest D Selincourt, Chester L. Shaver

  10. Lord Alfred Tennyson : In Memoriam
  11. Suggested Reading

    1. Alfred Lord Tennyson: A Memoir by Hallam Tennyson
    2. A Tennyson Handbook by George O. Marshall Junior
    3. Finding the Modern Frames in Tennyson’s Final Classical Poems by A.A. Markeley
    4. Classical Echoes in Tennyson by Wilfred P. Mustard

  12. Henrik Ibsen : A Doll's House
  13. Suggested Reading

    1. Henrik Ibsen by Harold Bloom
    2. Ibsen: the Dramaturgy of Fear by Michael Sturman
    3. Archetype, Architecture and the Literature by Bettina L. Knapp
    4. The Apocalyptic Ibsen: When We Dead Awaken by Elinor Fuchs

Paper I - Section B

  1. Jonathan Swift : Gulliver’s Travels
  2. Suggested Reading

    1. Jonathan Swift: Gulliver’s Travels edited by Paul Turner
    2. The Mind And Art Of Jonathan Swift by Ricardo Quintana
    3. Utopian Imagination and Eighteenth Century Fiction by Christene Rees
    4. Slavery and Augustan Literature: Swift, Pope, Gay by John Richardson
    5. More Real Than Reality: The Fantastic In Irish Literature And the Arts by Donald E. Morse, Csilla Bertha

  3. Jane Austen : Pride and Prejudice
  4. Suggested Reading

    1. Twentieth Century Interpretations of Pride and Prejudice by Elliot Rubinstein
    2. Interpretations: Jane Austen’s Pride And Prejudice by Harold Bloom

  5. Henry Fielding : Tom Jones
  6. Suggested Reading

    1. Interpretations: Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones by Harold Bloom
    2. Trials and the Shaping of Identity in Tom Jones by John E Loftis
    3. Rebellion Redux: Figuring Whig History in ‘Tom Jones’
    4. The Embodiment of Characters: The Representations of Physical Experience on Stage and In Print by Jones Deritter
    5. A Henry Fielding Companion by Martin C. Battestin

  7. Charles Dickens : Hard Times
  8. Suggested Reading

    1. Charles Dickens Hard Times by Harold Bloom
    2. Student Companion To Charles Dickens by Ruth Glancy
    3. Dickens and Imagination by Robert Higbie
    4. The Language of Gender and Class: Transformation in the Victorian Novel by Patrica Ingham
    5. Dickens Literary Architecture: Patterns of Ideas and Imagery in Hard Times by John R Harrison
    6. Dickens pathology in ‘Hard Times’ by Eric P. Levy
    7. Dickens and the Daughter of the House by Hilary M. Schor
    8. Dickens and Thackeray: Punishment and Forgiveness by John R. Reed

  9. George Eliot : The Mill on the Floss
  10. Suggested Reading

    1. George Eliot’s The Mill on the Floss by Harold Bloom
    2. Maggie Tulliver’s Sad Sacrifice: Confusing but not confused by June Skye Szirotny Female Sexuality and Triangular Desire in Vanity Fair and The Mill On The Floss by Phyllis Susan Dee
    3. The Divided Heroine: A Recurrent Pattern in Six English Novels by H.M. Daleski
    4. Imperialism at Home: Race and Victorian Women Fiction by Susan Meyer
    5. Romantic Imprisonment: Women and other Glorified Outcasts by Nina Auerbach
    6. Women in Literature: Reading through the lens of Gender by Jerilyn Fisher, Ellen S. Silber
    7. The Stone and the Scorpion: The Female Subject Of Desire in Novels Of Charlotte Bronte, George Eliot And Thomas Hardy by Judith Mitchell

  11. Thomas Hardy : Tess of the d'Urbervilles
  12. Suggested Reading

    1. I’d My Life Unbe: Thomas Hardy’s Self Destructive Characters by Frank R. Giordano
    2. Language, Violence and Irrevocability: Speech Acts in Tess of D’ Urbevilles by Santoshi Nishimura
    3. The Decline Of The Goddess: Nature, Culture And Women In Thomas Hardy’s Fiction by Shirley A. Stave
    4. Dreaming Holmberry- Lipped Tess: Aboriginal Reverie and Spectatorial Desire in Tess of D’ Urbevilles by Adam Gussow
    5. Literary Darwinism: Evolution, Human Nature and Literature by Joseph Carroll

  13. Mark Twain : The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
    • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Buy Now

    Suggested Reading

    1. Understanding Adventures of Hucleberry Finn: A Student Casebook To Issues, Sources and Historical Documents by Claudia Durst Johnson
    2. Writing Huck Finn: Mark Twain’s Creative Process by Victor A. Doyno
    3. Bends in the River: For Mark Twain Writing The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn, His Masterpiece, Seemed Easy…But Only At First by Gregg Camfield
    4. Black, White and Huckleberry Finn: Re-imagining the American Dream by Harry Mensh, Elaine Mensh
    5. The Jim Dilemma: Reading Race In Huckleberry Finn by Jocelyn Chadwick- Joshua
    6. “There’s More Honor” Reinterpreting Tom And the Evasion in Huckleberry Finn by Kevin Michael Scott
    7. “I Alwuz Liked Dead People, En Done All I Could for ’Em”: Reconsidering Huckleberry Finn’s African And American Identity By Jennifer Hildebrand

Paper II - Section A

  1. William Butler Yeats : The following poems
    • Easter 1916
    • The Second Coming
    • A Prayer for my daughter.
    • Sailing to Byzantium.
    • The Tower.
    • Among School Children.
    • Leda and the Swan.
    • Meru
    • Lapis Lazuli
  2. Suggested Reading

    1. Tragic Victory: The Doctrine Of Subjective Salvation in the Poetry of W.B. Yeats
    2. Running to Paradise: Yeats’ Poets Art by M.L. Rosenthal
    3. Yeats and the Logic Of Formalism by Vereen M. Bell
    4. What Rough Beast? Yeats, Nietzsche and Historic Rhetoric in “The Second Coming” by John R. Harrison
    5. Modernism and Eugenics: Woolf, Eliot, Yeats and the Cultural Of Degeneration by Donald J. Childs
    6. Yeats: The Nineteenth Century Matrix by Dwight Eddins

  3. T.S. Eliot : The following poems
    • The Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock
    • Journey of the Magi.
    • Burnt Norton.
  4. Suggested Reading

    1. T.S. Eliot: The Critical Heritage by Michael Grant
    2. Eliot the Enigma: An Observation of the Development of T.S. Eliot’s Thought and Poetry by Gray, Patrick Terrell
    3. Three Writers in Exile: Pound, Eliot and Joyce by Doris L. Eder
    4. The Impulse Towards Beauty in “Prufrock”, The Waste Land, and Four Quartets: T.S. Eliot’s Aesthetic Response To the Spiritual Collapse Of His Era by Joshua T. Boyd
    5. The Poetry Of T.S Eliot by D.E.S Maxwell

  5. W.H. Auden : The following poems
    • Partition
    • Musee des Beaux Arts
    • In Memory of W.B. Yeats
    • Lay your sleeping head, my love
    • The Unknown Citizen
    • Consider
    • Mundus Et Infans
    • The Shield of Achilles
    • September 1, 1939
    • Petition.
  6. Suggested Reading

    1. W.H. Auden: The Critical Heritage by John Haffenden
    2. W.H. Auden by Harold Bloom
    3. The Poetry of W.H. Auden: The Disenchanted Island by Monroe K. Spears
    4. Auden’s Games of Knowledge: Poetry and the Meanings of Homosexuality by Richard R. Bozorth
    5. The Romantic Survival: A study in Poetic Evolution by John Bayley
    6. In Defence Of Ignorance by Karl Shapiro

  7. John Osborne : Look Back in Anger

    Suggested Reading

    1. Radical Stages: Alternative History in Modern British Drama by D. Keith Peacock
    2. Theatrical Convention and Audience Response in Early Modern Drama by Jeremy Lopez
    3. The Devil And The Sacred in English Drama, 1350-1642 by John D. Cox
    4. A History Of Late Nineteenth Century Drama, 1850-1900 by Allardyce Nicoll
    5. The Angry Theatre: New British Drama by John Russell Taylor
    6. A Materialist Critique of English Romantic Drama by Daniel P. Watkins

  8. Samuel Beckett : Waiting for Godot

    Suggested Reading

    1. Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot by Harold Bloom
    2. Zone of Evaporation: Samuel Beckett’s Disjunctions by Paul Stewart
    3. Samuel Beckett’s Waiting For Godot: a Reference Guide by William Hutchings
    4. Samuel Beckett and the End Of Modernity by Richard Begam
    5. No Thing is Left To Tell: Zen/Chaos Theory in the Dramatic Art of Samuel Beckett by John Leeland Kundert-Gibbs

  9. Philip Larkin : The following poems
    • Next
    • Please
    • Deceptions
    • Afternoons
    • Days
    • Mr. Bleaney
  10. Suggested Reading

    1. New Poets Of England And America By Louis Simpson, Robert Pack, Donald Hall
    2. Sordid Images: The Poetry Of Masculine Desire by S.H. Clark
    3. Society and Literature by Allan Sinfield
    4. Rule and Energy: Trends in British Poetry since the Second World War
    5. The Oxford Companion To Twentieth Century Poetry In English by Ian Hamilton

  11. A.K. Ramanujan : The following poems
    • Looking for a Causim on a Swing
    • A River
    • Of Mothers, among other Things
    • Love Poem for a Wife 1
    • Small-Scale Reflections on a Great House
    • Obituary
  12. Suggested Reading

    1. A Source in Sorcery: The Black Hen and the Posthumous Poet by K. Narayana Chandran

Paper II - Section B

  1. Joseph Conrad : Lord Jim

    Suggested Reading

    1. Joseph Conrad’s Lord Jim by Harold Bloom
    2. Marlow By Harold Bloom
    3. The Moral Sense In Joseph Conrad’s George A Pinchas
    4. ‘They Always Leave Us’: Lord Jim, ‘Colonialist Discourse, and Conrad’s Magic Naturalism By Ruppel Richard
    5. Joseph Conrad and the Fictions Of Skepticism by Mark A. Wollaeger
    6. Darkness at Heart: Fathers and Sons in Conrad by Catherine Rising
    7. The Birth Of Liberal Guilt in the English Novel: Charles Dickens To H.G. Wells by Daniel Born
    8. The Dark and Light Gods: Essays On The Self In Modern Literature by Donald Gutierrez
    9. Joseph Conrad’s ‘Sudden Holes’ in Time: The Epistemology Of Temporality by John G. Peters

  2. James Joyce : Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
    • Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Buy Now

    Suggested Reading

    1. Critical Essays on British Literature by Zack Bowen
    2. James Joyce: A Collection Of Critical Essays by Mary T. Reynolds
    3. Critical Appreciation Of James Joyce’s A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young man by Anneta Joseph
    4. Creating stephen, the artist : Reinterpreting Joyce’s Portrait through Analysis of the Narrator by Ralph Martin Fleischer
    5. Crisis of identity in a portrait of the artist as a young man by Ali Gunes

  3. D.H. Lawrence : Sons and lovers
    • Sons and lovers

    Suggested Reading

    1. Interpretations: D.H Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers By Harold Bloom
    2. The Vital Art Of D.H Lawrence By Jack Stewart
    3. The Aching Hearth: Family Violence in Life and Literature by Sara Munson Deats, Lagretta Tallent Lenker
    4. Writing Against The Family: Gender In Lawrence And Joyce By Cynthia Lewiecki- Wilson
    5. The Death Ego And Vital Self: Romances of Desire in Literature and Psychoanalysis by Gavriel Reisner
    6. The Novels Of D.H. Lawrence: A Search for Integration by John E. Stoll

  4. E.M. Forster : A Passage To India
    • A Passage To India

    Suggested Reading

    1. E.M. Forster’s A Passage To India by Harold Bloom
    2. E.M. Forster: The Critical Heritage by Phillip Gardner
    3. The Writings of E.M. Forster by Rose Macaulay
    4. The Birth Of Liberal Guilt In English Novels: Charles Dickens to H.G. Wells by Daniel Born
    5. Failures that Connect; or Colonial Friendships in E.M. Forster’s A Passage To India

  5. Virginia Woolf : Mrs Dalloway
    • Mrs Dalloway

    Suggested Reading

    1. Interpretations: Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway by Harold Bloom
    2. Clarissa Dalloway By Harold Bloom
    3. Mrs. Dalloway: Portrait of the Artist as a Middle-Aged Woman by Jacob Littleton
    4. Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway “A Well Of Tears” by George A Panichas
    5. Narrative Scepticism: Moral Agony And Representations Of Consciousness in Fiction by Linda S Raphael
    6. “Success in Circuit Lies’’ Editing the War in Mrs. Dalloway by Jane Lilienfield
    7. The Empathic Reader: A Study Of The Narcissist Character and The Drama Of The Self By J. Brooks Bouson
    8. Walking the Web in the Lost London of Mrs. Dalloway by Andelys Wood
    9. Virginia Woolf: Feminism, Creativity and the Unconscious by John R Maze

  6. Raja Rao : Kanthapura
    • Kanthapura

    Suggested Reading

    1. Raja Rao’s Kanthapura as The Microcosm Of The Indian Ethos And Culture Embodied In a Tale of Freedom From Foreign Rule by Dr. Gopal Sinha
    2. Indian Writing In English By K. R. Srinivasa Iyengar
    3. Indian Writing In English: Perspectives by Joya Chakravarty

  7. V.S Naipaul : A House for Mr. Biswas
    • A House for Mr. Biswas

    Suggested Reading

    1. Crisis of Identity in the novels of VS Naipaul by Rosy Sinha
    2. Critical perspectives On V.S. Naipaul By Robert H Hamner
    3. V.S. Naipaul Critical Essays by Mohit K Ray
    4. Locating Naipaul: ‘Not English, Not Indian, Not Trinidadian’ by Harsh Trivedi
    5. After Empire: Scott, Naipaul, Rushdie By Michael Gorra
    6. V.S Naipaul: A Diasporic Vision By Kavita Nandan
    7. The Storyworld Accord: Econarratology and Postcolonial Narratives by Erin James

For the Theories:

English Literature by William J. Long

English Literature for Competitive Exams by S.C. Mundra

A Competitive History Of English Literature by R.D. Trivedi

British Poetry And Drama by A.N. Dwivedi

Literary Theory: An Introductory Reader by Saugata Bhaduri and Simi Malhotra

A Glossary Of Literary Terms by M.H. Abrams

Now the question rises, is this content enough? Of course not, in order to prepare for an exam like UPSC you have to study as much as you can. So WIDEN the horizons of your mind, take your CREATIVITY to the next step, be ready to encapsulate as much as you can and last but not the least GOOD LUCK! Go Ahead!



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