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english literature- timeline

  • 731

    El Venerable Bede

    El Venerable Bede
    Anglo-Saxon theologian, historian, and chronologist. St. Bede is best known for his Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum (“Ecclesiastical History of the English People”), a source vital to the history of the conversion to Christianity of the Anglo-Saxon tribes.
    WRITTEN BY: The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica
    LAST UPDATED: Jan 7, 2020 See Article History
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  • 800


    It is one of the most important works of Old English literature.
  • 950


    The material of the Eddas, taking shape in Iceland, derives from earlier sources in Norway, Britain and Burgundy
  • 1300

    Duns Scotus

    Duns Scotus
    Scotus has had considerable influence on both Catholic and secular thought. The doctrines for which he is best known are the "univocity of being", that existence is the most abstract concept we have, applicable to everything that exists; the formal distinction, a way of distinguishing between different aspects of the same thing; and the idea of haecceity, the property supposed to be in each individual thing that makes it an individual.
  • 1340

    William of Ockham

    William of Ockham
    He is considered to be one of the major figures of medieval thought and was at the centre of the major intellectual and political controversies of the 14th century. He is commonly known for Occam's razor, the methodological principle that bears his name, and also produced significant works on logic, physics, and theology.
  • 1367

    William Langland

    William Langland
    presumed author of one of the greatest examples of Middle English alliterative poetry, generally known as Piers Plowman, an allegorical work with a complex variety of religious themes.
  • 1387


    was an English poet and author. Widely seen as the greatest English poet of the Middle Ages, he is best known for The Canterbury Tales. Chaucer has been styled the "Father of English literature". He was the first writer buried in Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey.
  • 1469

    Thomas Malory

    Thomas Malory
    was an English writer, the author or compiler of Le Morte d'Arthur, the classic English-language chronicle of the Arthurian legend, published by William Caxton in 1485
  • 1524

    William Tyndale

    William Tyndale
    He was a priest who made the first translation of the Bible into English, from the Hebrew and Greek texts. That translation was the first to use Jehovah as God's name, preferred by English Protestant reformers; It was the first bible printed in English and the first of the new English Bibles of the Protestant Reformation. It was considered a direct challenge to the hegemony of both the Catholic Church and the laws of England that maintained the position of the Church.
  • Marlowe

    He was a playwright, poet and English translator of the Elizabethan Period. He popularized the white verse by incorporating it into his theater. He is considered the great predecessor of Shakespeare; in fact, there is a debate about his authorship in several Bardo works.
  • William Shakespeare

    William Shakespeare
    He was a playwright, poet and English actor. Sometimes known as the Bardo de Avon. Shakespeare is considered the most important writer in the English language and one of the most famous of universal literature.
  • John Smith

    John Smith
    publishes A Description of New England, an account of his exploration of the region in 1614
  • John Locke

    John Locke
    He was an English philosopher and physician, considered one of the most influential thinkers of English empiricism and known as the Father of Classical Liberalism, also publishes his Essay on Human Understanding, arguing that all knowledge is based on experience
  • Henry Fielding

    Henry Fielding
    He was an English novelist and playwright, known for his satirical and humorous writings. He is considered the creator of the English novelistic tradition along with his contemporary Samuel Richardson.
  • Thomas Chatterton

    Thomas Chatterton
    He was an English pre-Romanticist poet, who commits suicide in an attic in London at age 17
  • Thomas Paine

    was an English-born American political activist, philosopher, political theorist, and revolutionary. He authored the two most influential pamphlets at the start of the American Revolution and inspired the patriots in 1776 to declare independence from Great Britain. His ideas reflected Enlightenment-era ideals of transnational human rights.
  • William Cobbett

    William Cobbett
    He was a journalist, naturalist and British politician. who published a History of the Reformation in England and Ireland (1826), a Grammar of the English language, The English Gardener (1819) and The American Gardener (1821); The Woodlands, 1825, a treatise on arboriculture; Cobbett Corn Treaty (1828) and "Rural Walks", 1830),
  • Peter Mark Roget

    Peter Mark Roget
    was a British physician, natural theologian and lexicographer. He is best known for publishing, in 1852, the Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases, a classified collection of related words.
  • Anthony Trollope

    Anthony Trollope
    was an English novelist of the Victorian era. Among his best-known works is a series of novels collectively known as the Chronicles of Barsetshire, which revolves around the imaginary county of Barsetshire. He also wrote novels on political, social, and gender issues, and other topical matters
  • George Eliot

    George Eliot
    Mary Ann Evans, known by her pen name George Eliot, was an English novelist, poet, journalist, translator and one of the leading writers of the Victorian era. She wrote seven novels, Adam Bede (1859), The Mill on the Floss (1860), Silas Marner (1861), Romola (1862–63), Felix Holt, the Radical (1866), Middlemarch (1871–72) and Daniel Deronda (1876), most of which are set in provincial England and known for their realism and psychological insight.
  • Charles Dickens

    Charles Dickens
    was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded by many as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era.
  • Rudyard Kipling

    Rudyard Kipling
    was an English journalist, short-story writer, poet, and novelist. He was born in India, which inspired much of his work. Kipling's works of fiction include The Jungle Book (1894), Kim (1901), and many short stories, including "The Man Who Would Be King" (1888).His poems include "Mandalay" (1890), "Gunga Din" (1890), "The Gods of the Copybook Headings" (1919), "The White Man's Burden" (1899), and "If—" (1910). He is seen as an innovator in the art of the short story.
  • James Joyce

    James Joyce
    was an Irish novelist, short story writer, poet, teacher, and literary critic. He contributed to the modernist avant-garde and is regarded as one of the most influential and important authors of the 20th century.
  • Henry Williamson

    Henry Williamson
    was an English author who wrote novels concerned with wildlife, English social history and Ruralism. He was awarded the Hawthornden Prize for literature in 1928 for his book Tarka the Otter.
  • Kingsley Amis

    Kingsley Amis
    was an English novelist, poet, critic and teacher. He wrote more than 20 novels, six volumes of poetry, a memoir, short stories, radio and television scripts, and works of social and literary criticism. He is best known for satiric comedies such as One Fat Englishman (1963), Ending Up (1974), Jake's Thing (1978) and The Old Devils (1986).
  • Roald Dahl

    Roald Dahl
    He was a novelist, storyteller, poet and Welsh writer of Norwegian descent. Among his most popular works are Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, The Great Giant Giant, Agu Trot, The Witches and Tales of the Unexpected.
  • Iris Murdoch

    Iris Murdoch
    was a British novelist and philosopher. Murdoch is best known for her novels about good and evil, sexual relationships, morality, and the power of the unconscious. Her first published novel, Under the Net, was selected in 1998 as one of Modern Library's 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.
  • Julian Patrick Barnes

    Julian Patrick Barnes
    He is a British novelist, winner of the 2011 Booker Prize for The Meaning of an End.
  • Louis de Bernières

    Louis de Bernières
    1994 historical war novel Captain Corelli's Mandolin. In 1993 de Bernières was selected as one of the "20 Best of Young British Novelists", part of a promotion in Granta magazine.Captain Corelli's Mandolin was published in the following year, winning the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book. It was also shortlisted for the 1994 Sunday Express Book of the Year. It has been translated into over 11 languages and is an international best-seller.
  • Joanne Rowling

    Joanne Rowling
    She is a British writer, film producer and screenwriter, known for being the author of the Harry Potter book series, which has exceeded five hundred million copies sold.
  • Michael Frayn

    Michael Frayn
    is an English playwright and novelist. He is best known as the author of the farce Noises Off, and the dramas Copenhagen and Democracy. His novels, such as Towards the End of the Morning, Headlong and Spies, have also been critical and commercial successes, making him one of the handful of writers in the English language to succeed in both drama and prose fiction. He has also written philosophical works, such as The Human Touch: Our Part in the Creation of the Universe (2006).