British Literature

  • 449

    Anglo Saxon invasion

  • 449

    449-1485 The Old English Period begins

  • 597

    St. Augustine founds Christian monastery at Canterbury Kent.

  • May 3, 653

    Celtic church begins to spread Christianity among people in the Severn Valley.

  • May 3, 731

    Bede completes A History of the English Church and People.

  • May 3, 750

    Surviving version of Beowulf composed.

  • May 3, 793

    Vikings attack Lindisfarne

  • May 3, 871

    Alfred the Great becomes King of Wessex.

  • May 3, 975

    Saxon monks copy Old English poems into The Exeter Book.

  • May 3, 991

    English defeated by Danes at Battle of Maldon.

  • May 3, 1040

    Macbeth kill Duncan l.

  • May 3, 1042

    Edward the Confessor becomes king of Saxons.

  • May 3, 1066

    Normans defeat Saxons at Hastings: William the Conqueror becomes king of England.

  • May 3, 1073

    Canterbury becomes England's religious center.

  • May 3, 1130

    Oxford becomes a center for learning.

  • May 3, 1170

    Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, murdered.

  • May 3, 1215

    King John forced to sign Magna Carta.

  • May 3, 1233

    First coal mined at Newcastle.

  • May 3, 1258

    First commoners allowed in Parliament.

  • May 3, 1272

    Edward l becomes king.

  • May 3, 1277

    England conquers Wale.

  • May 3, 1295

    Edward l assembles Model Parliament.

  • May 3, 1337

    Beginning of the Hundred Years' War with France.

  • May 3, 1375

    Surviving version of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight written.

  • May 3, 1381

    Peasants' Revolt.

  • May 3, 1386

    Chaucer begins writing The Canterbury Tales.

    Chaucer begins writing The Canterbury Tales.
  • May 3, 1470

    Thomas Malory writes Morte d'Arthur.

  • May 3, 1485

    Henry Vll Becomes first Tudor king

  • May 3, 1485

    The English renaissance Period Begins

  • May 3, 1485

    1485-1625 The English Renaissance Period begins

  • May 3, 1485

    Henry Vll becomes the first Tudor King.

  • May 3, 1500

    The play Everyman was first performed

  • May 3, 1516

    Thomas More publishes Utopia

  • May 3, 1534

    Henry Vlll issues Act of Supermacy

  • May 3, 1535

    Thomas More executed

    Thomas More executed
  • May 3, 1547

    Henry Vlll dies

  • May 3, 1558

    Elizabeth l becomes queen.

  • May 3, 1560

    Thomas Tallis publishes English cathedral music.

    Thomas Tallis publishes English cathedral music.
  • May 3, 1563

    More than 20,000 Londoners die in plague.

  • May 3, 1564

    William Shakespeare born.

  • May 3, 1580

    Francis Drake returns from circumnavigating the globe.

  • May 3, 1582

    Sir Phillip Sidney write Astrophel and Stella.

  • English navy defeats Spanish Armada.

  • Edmund Spenser publishes The Faerie Queene, Part 1.

  • Shakespeare writes Romeo and Juliet.

  • Globe theater opens.

  • East India Company founded.

  • Elizabeth l dies: James l becomes king.

  • The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser is published in its entirety.

  • King James Bible published.

  • Francis Bacon publishes Novum Organum.

  • First patent laws passed.

  • James l dies.

  • The Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries begin.

  • Sir Francis Bacon publishes The New Atlantis.

  • William Henry explains blood circulation.

    William Henry explains blood circulation.
  • John Donne's Songs and Sonnets published.

  • Public mail service established.

  • Johm Milton publishes Lycidas.

    Johm Milton publishes Lycidas.
  • Charles l summons Long Parliament.

  • English Civil War begins.

  • John Suckling publishes Fragmenta Aurea.

  • George Fox founds Society of Friends (Quakers).

  • Richard Lovelace publishes Lucasta.

  • Full-bottomed wigs come into fashion.

  • Oliver Cromwell becomes Lord Protector.

  • James ll becomes king.

  • Sir Isaac Newton publishes his Principia.

  • Glorious Revolution.

  • Bill of Rights become law.

  • Alexander Pope publishes The Rape of the Lock.

  • George l becomes king.

  • Daniel Defoe publishes Robinson Crusoe.

  • Jonathan Swift publishes Gulliver's Travels.

  • William Hogarth paints The Rake's Progress.

  • Henry Fielding publishes Tom Jones.

  • Thomas Gay publishes "Elegy in a Country Churchyard."

  • Britian enters Seven Years' War.

  • James Boswell publishes The Life of Samuel Johnson.

  • England goes to war with France.

  • The Romantic period begins.

  • William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge publish Lyrical Ballads.

  • Union Jack becomes official flag.

  • Battle of Trafalgar.

  • Thomas Moore writes Irish Melodies.

    Thomas Moore writes Irish Melodies.
  • Bryon publishes Childe Harold's Pilgrimage.

  • Jane Austen publishes Pride and Prejudice.

    Jane Austen publishes Pride and Prejudice.
  • Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley publishes Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus.

  • Peterloo Massacre in Manchester.

  • Horse-drawn buses begin operating in London.

  • Robert Peel establishes Metropolitan Police in London.

  • Liverpool-Manchester railway opens.

  • The Victorian period Begins

  • First Reform Act extends voting rights.

  • Slaverly abolishes in British empire.

  • Victoria becomes queen.

  • William Wordsworth becomes poet laureate.

  • Women begin attending University of London.

  • Elizabeth Barrett Browning publishes Sonnets from the Portuguese.

  • Britian enters Crimean War.

  • London Fire Department established.

  • Robert Browning publishes The Ring and the Book.

  • Debtors' prisons abolished.

  • First Sherlock Holmes tale published.

  • Thomas Hardy publishes tess of the d'Urbervilles.

  • A. E. Housman publishes A Shropshire Lad.

  • The modern and Postmodern Period begins.

  • Queen Victoria dies.

  • Edward Vll becomes king.

  • Joseph Conrad publishes Heart of Darkness.

  • Britian enters World War l.

  • Irish Free State formed.

  • James Joyce publishes Ulysses.

  • Britian enters World War ll.

  • Winston Churchill becomes prime minister.

  • George Orwell publishes Animal Farm.

  • Elizabeth ll becomes queen.

  • Doris Lessing publishes The Golden Notebook.

  • Miniskirt becomes fashionable.

  • Britian imposes direct rule on Northern Ireland.

  • North Sea oil production begins.

  • V. S. Naipaul publishes A Bend in the River.

  • Nadline Gordimer wins Nobel Prize for Literature.

  • Tony Blair elected Prime Minister.

    Tony Blair elected Prime Minister.
  • Celebration of New Year's Eve in Millennium Dome.

  • Rock Star Sting is made Commander of the British Empire for services to the music industry.