This book is divided into five parts and covers: representation; subjectivity; form, structure and system; history and society; morality, class and ideology.
Each part contains several thematic sections in which extracts from different writers and periods are juxtaposed.
The study of literary theory has tended to concentrate on very recent developments.
This volume, however, establishes both a sense of the continuities from Plato to the present day as well as the discontinuities.
These are presented through comparisons and contrasts across the entire field of critical history.