Relatively recent books containing a general
located in the general stacks of Alden Library

One that I frequently consult:

PQ119 .K39 2003x  A Short History of French Literature / Sarah Kay, Terence Cave, Malcolm Bowie; 2003.

And a number of others that you should probably find useful:

PQ41.D533  Dictionnaire des littératures de langue française / J.-P. de Beaumarchais, Daniel Couty, Alain Rey;  1984
PQ41.D65  Dictionary of modern French literature : from the age of reason through realism / Sandra W. Dolbow;  1986
PQ41.F67  Dictionnaire fondamental du français littéraire / Philippe Forest, Gérard Conio; 1993
PQ41.L45  Dictionnaire Bordas de littérature française / Henri Lemaître; 1994
PQ101.L44  La littérature française : histoire & perspectives / sous la direction de Robert Favre; 1990
PQ101.L58  Littérature francophone : anthologie / par un ensemble de professeurs francophones sous la direction de Jean-Louis Joubert; 1992
PQ101.N66  Littérature française : histoire et anthologie / Danièle Nony, Alain André; 1987
PQ103.C27  Cassell guide to literature in French / edited by Valerie Worth-Stylianou; 1996
PQ103.C67  A history of French literature : from Chanson de geste to cinema / David Coward; 2002
PQ103.F6  French literature: its history and its meaning; 1973
PQ116.H5  Histoire de la littérature française  / par Pierre Brunel [et al.]; 1972
PQ119.N48  A New history of French literature / edited by Denis Hollier;  1989

Other French Literature References:  Other (generally older) books containing a general overview of French literature in the general stacks and in the reference stacks of Alden Library can be found under the call numbers PQ41, PQ100-103, and PQ115-119.  There are too many to list, but you can simply browse the stacks there, you're bound to find something worthwhile.