Unprecedented in range and scope, this volume serves as a record of and reference for the development of fantasy literature. Working to be inclusive, rather than exclusive, opening a dialogue wherever possible, Sandner presents the full range of debates concerning the fantastic and its relationship to the sublime, the Gothic, children's literature, romance and comedy, and the purposes of imaginative literature. Introductions to each essay, presented in full or excerpted for the most relevant commentary, situate the reader in the history of fantasy literature and the criticism it has inspired. New and important here are the claims for the early development of fantasy literature from the 18th century sublime. Previous histories of the genre regard Romanticism as a limit, but this reader draws from 18th, 19th, 20th, and even 21st century texts, revealing the unimagined scope of the field and developing a "map" of its early history for the first time. This important new volume presents, ultimately, the development of critical debates about the fantastic and its relationship to literature generally.