The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Volume 2: The Romantic Period Through the Twentieth Century Paperback – Jan 4 2006
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The typeface is small, the pages are translucently thin, and the book is very heavy. These are all drawbacks to this text, but I believe it's worth it for the tremendous amount and variety of material it contains.
If you plan to keep this book for a long time (and not just use it for one semester), I highly recommend getting the hardcover edition. Considering how heavy and fat the book is, the paperback is very flimsy. Also, if this is a required text for one class and you're pretty sure you'll never need it again afterward, don't buy it. Much of the material in this book is public domain and can be found online for free.
The thing I have realized after a lifetime of reading is that these are the passages that stick after you have read everything else. But to make them stick, you really have to have read everything else. Otherwise, it's overwhelming. Still, in a single volume, Norton is peerless.
The only problem is that, without the context of the larger work, the passages sometimes don't make sense. Still, this is it. The required reading, in condensed form.