English Literature Eras

Timeline created by xroblesp
In History
  • Period: 439 to 1066

    Old English (Anglo-Saxon)

    • Oral literature.
    • Much of the works were a translation of something else.
    • Topics → of legal, medical or religious nature.
    • Works & Authors → Beowulf (anonymus poem), poems by Caedmon and Cynewulf.
  • Period: 1066 to 1500

    Middle English

    • Huge transition in the language, culture and lifestyle of England.
    • Topics → religious in nature, secular literature.
    • Authors → Chaucer, Thomas Malory, Robert Henryson.
    • Works → Piers Plowman, Sir Gawain, Green Knight, The Canterbury Tales
  • Period: 1500 to

    The Renaissance

    • Intellectual and religious revolution.
    • Cultural development.
    Subdivided in four parts:
    ♦ The Elizabethan Age (1558–1603)
    • Golden age of English drama
    • Topics → Christian humanism, medieval tradition + renaissance optimism
    • Authors → Christopher Marlowe, Francis Bacon, Edmund Spenser, Sir Walter Raleigh, and William Shakespeare.
    • Works → Hamlet and other poems and plays by Shakespeare, The Tragical History of DR. Faustus, The Faerie Queene.
  • Period: 1500 to

    The Renaissance (Cont 2)

    ♦ The Commonwealth Period (1649–1660).
    • Period between the end of the English Civil War and the restoration of the Stuart monarchy.
    • Authors → John Milton, Thomas Hobbes, Thomas Fuller, Abraham Cowley and Andrew Marvell
    • Works → Political writings, To His Coy Mistress.
  • Period: 1500 to

    The Renaissance (Cont)

    ♦ The Jacobean Age (1603–1625)
    • Named after James I.
    • sophisticated and sombre
    • Topics → social abuse and rivalry
    • Authors → John Donne, Shakespeare, Thomas Middleton, John Webster, Elizabeth Cary, Ben Jonson.
    • Works → King James' translation of the Bible, Holy Sonnets.
    ♦ The Caroline Age (1625–1649)
    • Reign of Charles I.
    • Topics → political writings, joy, platonic love
    • Authors → John Milton, Robert Burton, and George Herbert
    • Works → Leviathan
  • Period: to

    The Neoclassical Period

    Subdivided into three ages
    ♦ The Restoration (1660–1700)
    • Responses to the puritanical age, especially in theater.
    • Restoration comedies.
    • Satires
    • Authors → William Congreve, John Dryden, John Bunyan, John Milton and John Locke.
    • Works → Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained
    ♦ The Augustan Age (1700–1745)
    • Refinement, clarity, elegance, and balance of judgment
    • Authors → Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift, Daniel Defoe.
    • Works → Robinson Crusoe, Gulliver's Travels
  • Period: to

    The Neoclassical Period (Cont.)

    ♦ The Age of Sensibility (1745–1785)
    • Neoclassicism
    • A critical and literary mode,
    • The Enlightenment.
    • Medieval ballads and folk literature
    • Authors → Edmund Burke, Edward Gibbon, Hester Lynch Thrale, James Boswell, Samuel Johnson, Henry Fielding, Samuel Richardson, Tobias Smollett, Laurence Sterne, William Cowper and Thomas Percy.
    • Works → Dictionary of the English Language, Clarissa, Tom Jones
  • Period: to

    The Romantic Period

    • Topics → Life, love and nature
    • Authors → William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lord Byron, John Keats, Mary Wollstonecraft, Thomas De Quincey, Jane Austen, Mary Shelley and Oliver Wendell Holmes
    • Works → Lyrical Ballads, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Pride and Prejudice, The Last Leaf, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
    ♦ the Gothic era (1786-1800)
    • Dark and gloomy settings
    • Authors → Matthew Lewis, Anne Radcliffe, and William Beckford
  • Period: to

    The Victorian Period

    • Queen Victoria's reign.
    • Topics → Issues and topics of the day (social, religious, intellectual, and economic)
    • Authors → Robert and Elizabeth Browning, Lord Alfred Tennyson, Robert Louis Stevenson, Charles Dickens, Charlotte and Emily Bronte, Thomas Hardy, William Makepeace Thackeray, Samuel Butler, H.G. Wells, Frank Baum.
    • Works → Idylls of the King, A Christmas Carol, The Time Machine, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
  • Period: to

    The Edwardian Period

    • King Edward VII
    • Topics → Social conditions, social injustice
    • Authors → Joseph Conrad, Ford Madox Ford, Rudyard Kipling, H.G. Wells, Henry James, Alfred Noyes, William Butler Yeats, James Barrie, George Bernard Shaw, John Galsworthy, Beatrix Potter and Lucy Maud Montgomery.
    • Works → The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Anne of Green Gables, The History of Mr Polly.
  • Period: to

    The Georgian Period

    • George V's reign.
    • Topics → rural or pastoral in nature with a traditional focus.
    • Authors → Ralph Hodgson, John Masefield, W.H. Davies, Rupert Brooke, Edward Marsh, Virginia Wolf and Frank Harris.
    • Works → 1914 and Other Poems, Mrs Dalloway, My Life and Loves
  • Period: to

    The Modern Period

    • After the start of WWI.
    • Experimentation with subject matter, style and form.
    • Narrative, verse and drama.
    • Topics → New criticism, death and disillusionment.
    • Authors → James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence, Joseph Conrad, Dorothy Richardson, W.B. Yeats, T.S. Eliot, Seamus Heaney, Tom Stoppard, George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett, Margaret Mitchell, Ernest Hemingway and William Butler Yeats.
    • Works → Gone with the Wind, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Animal Farm.
  • Period: to

    The Post Modern Period

    • Ending of WWII.
    • Response to modernism
    • Topics → Poststructuralist literary theory and criticism
    • Authors → Samuel Beckett, Joseph Heller, Anthony Burgess, John Fowles, Penelope M. Lively, Iain Banks, C.S. Lewis, Maya Angelou, J.K. Rowling.
    • Works → The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.
  • Period: to

    The Contemporary Period

    • More open
    • Still developing
    • Authors → Suzanne Collins, Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling),
    • Works → The Hunger Games, Cormoran Strike.