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Chronology of English literature

  • Period: 449 to 1059

    Anglo-Saxon (449)

    Caracterizad by an oral tradition of epic poems, songs and poetry. Ancient or Anglo-Saxon English literature was well established by pre-Christian Germanic settlers. One of the best-known works of this period of time is Beowulf, an epic poem about the Geatish warrior of the same name.
  • 731

    731 Bede

    731 Bede
    Venerable Bede, in his monastery in Jarrow, completes his history of the church and the English people.
  • 800

    800 Beowulf

    800 Beowulf
    Beowulf, the first great work of Germanic literature, mixes the legends of Scandinavia with the experience in England of the Anglos and Saxons
  • 950

    950 Eddas

    950 Eddas
    The Eddas material, which takes shape in Iceland, is derived from previous sources in Norway, Great Britain and Burgundy.
  • Period: 1066 to 1484

    Medieval (1066)

    The language was a dialect of French descent with Germanic influencies, usually called Anglo-Norman.
  • 1300

    1300 Duns Scotus

    1300 Duns Scotus
    known as Doctor Sutle in medieval times, later gives humanists the name Dunsman or dunce.
  • 1340

    1340 William Ockham

    1340 William Ockham
    advocates reducing arguments to the essentials, an approach later known as Ockham's Razor.
  • 1367

    1367 William Langland

    1367 William Langland
    A narrator who calls himself Will, and whose name may be Langland, begins Piers Plowman's epic poem.
  • 1387

    1387 Chaucer

    1387 Chaucer
    begins an ambitious plan for 100 Canterbury Tales, of which he only turns 24 by the time of his death.
  • Period: 1485 to

    Renaissance (1485)

    The English Renaissance saw the emergence of the mercantile class in Great Britain. Mathematics, science, technology, education and exploration became more accessible to the masses.
  • 1524

    1524 William Tyndale

    1524 William Tyndale
    studies at the University of Wittenberg and plans to translate the Bible into English
  • 1587 Marlowe

    1587 Marlowe
    first play, Tamburlaine the Great, presents the shocking blank verse of the Elizabethan and Jacobean drama.
  • 1601 Shakespeare

    1601 Shakespeare
    Is central character in Hamlet expresses both the ideals of the Renaissance and the disappointment of a less confident era.
  • 1616 jhon Smith

    1616 jhon Smith
    John Smith publishes A Description of New England, a review of his exploration of the region in 1614
  • 1637 jhon Milton

    1637 jhon Milton
    Lycidas by John Milton is published in memory of a friend of Cambridge, Edward King
  • Period: to

    Neoclassical (1660)

    Neoclassical writers tried to imitate the style of the Romans and Greeks, "Neo", which means "new" and "classical", which refers to classic works. This era was the starting point of the modern middle class and the tradition of afternoon tea.
  • 1690 john Locke

    1690 john Locke
    publishes his essay on human understanding, arguing that all knowledge is based on experience.
  • 1749 Henry Fielding

    1749 Henry Fielding
    presents a character of lasting appeal in the scruffy but good-hearted Tom Jones
  • 1770 Thomas Chatterton

    1770 Thomas Chatterton
    who was later hailed as an important poet, commits suicide in an attic in London.
  • 1795 Tomas Paine

    1795 Tomas Paine
    publishes his complete Age of Reason, an attack on conventional Christianity.
  • Period: to

    Romantic (1798)

    Romanticism went from reason, logic and science to a belief in the senses. Feelings, imagination and experiences were valued above all else.
  • 1810 Percy Bysshe Shelley

    1810 Percy Bysshe Shelley
    He was an English writer, essayist and romantic poet. Among his most famous works are: Ozymandias, Ode to the West Wind, A Lark and The Mask of Anarchy.
  • 1817 john Keats

    1817 john Keats
    He wrote long narrative poems. He is recognized for his brief poetry with the use of the sonnet or odes. In them he talks about the human being, time and art, giving free laughing to his feelings. "Endymion" one of his poems is a tribute to Greek culture.
  • 1819 Walter Scott

    1819 Walter Scott
    One of the greatest exponents in this field. It dealt with themes set in the Middle Ages.
    The characters and heroes he talks about in his novels are not idealized.
  • 1824 Lord Byron

    1824 Lord Byron
    He liked exotic and constant provocation. His extensive works were a clear example of his state of mind and his vision of the world.
    "The pilgrimages of the young Harold.
    The privateer" or the "The Prisoner of Chillon"
    "Don Juan." One of his masterpieces.
  • Period: to

    Victorian (1832)

    Beginning with the coronation of Queen Victoria and culminating in the year of her death, the Victorian era saw a battle between the romantic / Gothic and neoclassical / Enlightenment ideas.
  • 1847 Emily Bronte

    1847 Emily Bronte
    A writer and romantic woman. For a long time she was writing under a masculine pseudonym, Ellis Bell, to avoid the strong difficulties that 19th-century women had in working or writing, as is the case.
  • 1852 Peter Mark Roget

    1852 Peter Mark Roget
    London physician Peter Mark Roget publishes his dictionary of synonyms, the Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases.
  • 1859 George Elio

    1859 George Elio
    English author George Eliot gains fame with his first full-length novel, Adam Bede
  • 1870 Charles Dickens

    1870 Charles Dickens
    He is the creator of one of the best-known characters in the world. Dickens' style is poetic with a strong comic tone. His satires constantly attack the British aristocracy
  • 1894 George Maurier

    1894 George Maurier
    French artist and author George du Maurier publishes his novel Trilby
  • Period: to

    Modernism (1900-Current)

    The British modernist authors had a sense of betrayal after being devastated by two world wars in Europe. They lost faith in their institutions of government, in what they once believed and now saw them lead to bloody conflicts.
  • 1902 Rudyard Kipling

    1902 Rudyard Kipling
    Rudyard Kipling publishes Just So Stories for Little Children
  • 1914 James Joyce

    1914 James Joyce
    James Joyce's novel, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, begins a serial publication in a London newspaper, The Egoist.
  • 1927 Henry Williamson

    1927 Henry Williamson
    wins a large number of readers with Tarka the Otter, a realistic story of the life and death of an otter in Devon
  • 1936 john Maynard Keynes

    1936 john Maynard Keynes
    defines his economy in the General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money.
  • 1955 Kingsley Amis

    1955 Kingsley Amis
    Kingsley Amis and other young writers in Great Britain are known as Angry Young Men.
  • 1961 Roald Dahl

    1961 Roald Dahl
    British author Roald Dahl publishes a novel for children, James and the Giant Peach
  • 1978 Iris Murdoch

    1978 Iris Murdoch
    Iris Murdoch publishes The Sea, the Sea, and wins the Booker Prize 1978
  • 1984 Julián Barnes

    1984 Julián Barnes
    English author Julian Barnes publishes a multifaceted literary novel, Flaubert's Parrot.
  • 1994 Louis Bernieres

    1994 Louis Bernieres
    Louis de Bernières publishes Captain Corelli's Mandolin, a love story set in Cephalonia occupied by the Italians
  • 1998 Michael Frany

    1998 Michael Frany
    Michael Frayn's play in Copenhagen dramatizes Werner Heisenberg's visit to Niels Bohr in Denmark during the war