English Student Subscription

What Connell Guides do is bring immediacy and clarity: brevity with depth. They unlock the complex and offer students an entry route. 
Colin Hall, Head of Holland Park School 

The Connell Guides website is unique. It offers an unrivalled selection of literary criticism and ideas.

Nowhere else will you find the views of so many leading critics on great novels, plays and poetry.

And now we’ve made it possible to have access to all this…

So if you are a student, or have a son or daughter studying English, or are simply a literature lover, then why not sign up?

Our site features more than 50 e-books, a dozen literary briefings, 20-odd videos of academics, actors and authors talking about books, and dozens of short articles and blogs.

Anyone studying literature, or seeking to understand great books, will benefit enormously from having access to our material.

And we are constantly adding to it – new books, new briefings, new blogs. As from September we will be featuring a regular critical analysis slot featuring a poem or text of the week.

That is why we are now making it possible to subscribe to Connell Guides.

For just £25 per year we will offer you:

·     access to our entire digital archive and all the new material we add to it during the year
·     the chance to buy any of our guides in printed form at half price
·     an email alert service which will tell you when we post new material and when we publish new guides
·     a free guide of your choice when you become a subscriber. Just choose any title from our extensive list.

As a subscriber you will be able to read what the best literary critics past and present think about important texts. Critical insights and quotes which would take you hundreds of hours to find and assemble yourself are here, on our website, in a concise, accessible form.

Our writers have been chosen because they are experts in their field. They include well-known critics like Graham Bradshaw, author of Shakespeare’s Scepticism, John Carey, lead book reviewer of The Sunday Times, and Janet Todd, author of The Cambridge Guide to Jane Austen.

So sign up today and take advantage of this unrivalled collection of literary criticism and thought.

“I have to hand it to you, these guides are extremely impressive in every respect. Exceptionally well-written, genuinely illuminating without sacrificing complexity to clarity, and beautifully produced.”
Professor Kiernan Ryan

“I feel that I ought to disapprove of these short condensed guides: can’t students just read all the critics for themselves? But actually this wasn’t just a list of what people had said about Tess of the d’Urbervilles: it was a highly thought-through synthesis. So I actually think that, quite apart from providing informed background to the books in question, these guides are perfect examples about what it means to create a coherent narrative from different opinions. If we tell our students that what literature does is make people interpret, then getting them to see at one go how different people have done this and what sort of a picture this gives overall seems to me an exceptionally useful exercise. I’m very impressed.”
Professor Jean Boase-Beier, University of East Anglia

“If you know anyone who is revising for English AS or A level or a university English degree, the perfect present is waiting for him or her: a Connell Guide or two, on the set texts being studied. Pocket-sized and elegantly produced, these highly readable guides are a delight to devour even if you’re not revising. These guides relate literature closely to real life in a way that will resonate with teenagers. They are concisely and vigorously written, often by university professors who really know their stuff. Not a word is wasted. But they’re approachable, too. Almost every sentence is quotable for use in an essay: one can all but see the double-ticks in the margin.”
Ysenda Maxton Grahame, writing in Country Life

We are offering the same benefits to all our subscribers, and at the same price.

But to sign up please choose from one of the three following options below. The type of subscription you choose will help us in identifying the material which will interest you most, and alerting you to it.


A student subscription to Connell Guides

The easiest, most enjoyable way, to learn what great critics think about important texts


“Another great Connell Guide. I wish this was available when I was writing my thesis – there are a few gems in here I could have used. These guides are more than a synopsis. They are more than a summary of themes and ideas in the novel. This guide in particular goes deep into the commentary of the novel and presents criticism beyond that in an introduction. Well worth the read.”
A review of the Connell Guide to Tess of the d’Urbervilles on Amazon

If you would like to take out a student subscription please fill in the form below.

For just £25 a year we’ll give you access to all our online material

  • our brilliant guides to great novels, plays and poetry
  • our short guides to modern texts
  • our briefings on literary theory
  • our video interviews with actors, academics and authors
  • and all new digital content we feature during the year, including our text/poem of the week

In case you miss anything, our special email alert service will tell you when we post new material and when we publish new guides

We will also give you, as a founder subscriber, a 50% discount on all the printed guides you order from us. 

PLUS: we will send you one of our published guides as soon as you become a subscriber. Just choose any one title from the list (below)

“I have just finished the Connell Guides for A Midsummer Night's Dream. Seems appropriate since it feels like summer here in Southern California. I wish I had had something like this for my undergraduate and graduate work. Would have been sooooo helpful. This guide was concise, illuminating, explanatory, and yet accessible. I have read this play countless times but this guide written by Tom Bishop still gave me a fresh perspective. Invaluable. These guides are utterly fantastic - small, easy to read, well worth it.”
A review on Amazon



1. Ten printed Connell Guides

Choose any 10 printed guides from our list of current or forthcoming titles, including our new short guides.

2. Six new eBook guides 

As well as access to our entire library of eBooks, you will also receive 6 new eBooks throughout the year. 

3. Text of the week 

One of the best ways to learn close reading of a text, whether prose or poetry, is to learn from the way others do it. Once a week we will feature a poem or short passage of prose accompanied by 500-1,000 words of critical analysis. The slot will feature work by students from subscribing schools, with contributions from teachers, academics and the writers of our guides.

4. Six Briefings a year 

Our briefings on critical theory and other literary issues have proved very popular. Six new briefings will make up part of our annual subscriptions.

5. Access to our entire digital archive 

This includes:

  • all our Short Guides in eBook format (click here to see our full list of short guides)
  • our library of six literary briefings (which will feature si new ones over the course of the year, as explained above)
  • our library of videos of academics, writers and actors talking about great novels, plays and poems 


For a virtual tour of our online library, please email subscriptions@connellguides.com or click here to schedule a time for someone in the Connell Guides team to call you back. 


All subscribers receive a 15% discount on all book orders and will be invited to special Connell Guides workshops, exclusive to our subscribing schools. 

Click here for full list of titles.

"I sent an email to all pupils about the guides and they flew off the shelves!"
Lucy Atherton, Librarian at Wellington College

Click here to read how a Connell Guides subscription can entice your students into the library

“For years I’ve struggled to find a way to help students understand set texts and what critics say about them. I genuinely think Connell Guides solve the problem.”
James Wilton, Head of English, Repton School