The best sources to use to survey how critical reactions to an author's work have changed over time are the printed volumes in the various sets in the Gale literary criticism series. These large multi-volume sets reprint the most important critical assessments of an author's works, selected from articles in scholarly journals, magazines, book reviews, books, letters, diaries, and other writings. These documents appear in chronological order, presenting early views from the author's time down to contemporary analysis. Covering all genres of literature, these extensive collections of literary criticism are organized by broad time periods into the following sets:
To determine which volumes in these sets contain articles on your particular author or literary work, look in the Cumulative Author Index in the most recent volume in the set. Always be sure to look in the first volume in which your author was treated. The earliest critical writings, especially those contemporary with when your author was writing and first published, will appear in that volume. Later volumes will pick up where the last volume left off in publishing more recent criticism.
The most recent criticism published in these sets is available online in a database called Gale Literature Criticism. You can access the criticism on your author in these volumes as follows: