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English Literature Timeline

  • Period: 1200 BCE to 455

    Classical Period

    Contains Homeric period, Classical Geek period, Classical Roman period, Patristic period. It is the first Period
  • Period: 1200 BCE to 800 BCE

    Homeric Period

    Develop of Greek legends based on warrior-princes, wandering sea-traders, and fierce pirates. These legends passed by orally. The Iliad and the Odyssey are examples of this period
  • Period: 800 BCE to 200 BCE

    Classical Greek Period

    Composed by Greek writers, playwrights, and philosophers. This period is related to Polis development and early democracy. Most parts of the world's art originated in Athens. Gorgias, Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, and Sophocles are examples of this period.
  • Period: 200 BCE to 455

    Classical Roman Period

    Roman Culture obtains power in their conquests. For example, Greek help to develop and improve Roma's power. Although, Roma pass by some stages like Republic, Dictatorships, Monarchial empires, and so on. Some writers include Ovid and Horace. Roman philosophers include Marcus Aurelius and Lucretius.
  • Period: 70 to 455

    Patristic Period

    Is the Christian period. In this timespan, Saint Jerome compiled the Bible. Examples or writers are Saint Augustine, Tertullian, Saint Cyprian, Saint Ambrose. Christianity spreads around Europe while Roman Empire die gradually.
  • Period: 428 to 1485

    The Medieval Period

    Includes The Old English Period, The middle English Period,
  • Period: 428 to 1066

    The Old English Period

    The Roman Empire falls down and barbarian tribes move into Europe. These migrations begin to draw the base of the English language. That is why this period is called The Old English Period.
  • Period: 1066 to 1450

    The Middle english Period

    It created some humanistic and theological works under producers like Abelard. Also, some French chivalric romances and French fables spread in popularity.
  • 1092

    The Hound of the Baskervilles

    Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles begins publication in serial form
  • Period: 1200 to 1485

    Late Medieval Period

    It was marked by the middle English writings of Geoffrey Chaucer, the Wakefield master, and William Langland
  • Period: 1485 to

    The Renaissance and Reformation

    This period took place in England but somewhat in Italy and northern and southern Europe as well. In this period is the earlier Tudor Period, Elizabeth period, Jacobean period, Caroline age, and Commonwealth period
  • Period: 1485 to 1558

    Early Tudor Period

    Some political and religious things took place in this period: Henry Tudor claimed the throne, Martin Luther made possible the appearance of Protestantism. Edmund Spenser is a sample poet.
  • 1524

    Tyndale and the Bible

    William Tyndale studies in the university at Wittenberg and plans to translate the Bible into English
  • Period: 1558 to

    Elizabethan Period

    This period was marked by the early works of Shakespeare, Marlowe, Kyd, and Sidney
  • Marlowe's first play

    Marlowe's first play, Tamburlaine the Great, introduces the swaggering blank verse of Elizabethan and Jacobean drama
  • Shakespeare's first masterpiece

    After tentative beginnings in the three parts of Henry VI, Shakespeare achieves his first masterpiece on stage with Richard III
  • Period: to

    Jacobean Period

    Shakespeare's later work includes Aemilia lanyer, Ben Jonson, and John Donne
  • Period: to

    Caroline age

    John Milton, George Herbert, Robert Herrick, the "Sons of Ben" and others wrote during the reign of Charles I and his Cavaliers.
  • Period: to

    Commonwealth Period

    Under Cromwell's Puritan dictatorship, John Milton continued to write, but we also find writers like Andrew Marvell and Sir Thomas Browne.
  • Period: to

    The Enlightenment (Neoclassical) Period

    It refers to the resurgence of the influence of classical literature and was marked by the reverence for logic and disdain of superstition. It included the Restoration period, the Augustan age, and the age of Johnson
  • Period: to

    The Restoration period

    In this period the dominance of French and Classical influences of poetry and drama increased. Some representative writers include John Dryden, John Locke, and Aphra Behn in England.
  • Period: to

    The Augustan Age

    This period is marked by the imitation of Virgil and Horace's literature in English letters. The principal English writers include Addison, Steele, Swift, and Alexander Pope
  • Period: to

    The Age of Johnson

    This period marks the transition toward the upcoming Romanticism though the period is still largely Neoclassical. Major writers include Dr. Samuel Johnson, Boswell, and Edward Gibbon who represent the Neoclassical tendencies, while writers like Robert Burns, Thomas Gray, Cowper, and Crabbe show movement away from the Neoclassical ideal.
  • Period: to

    English at the university

    English entered the university in the 1760s in Scotland under the name of "Rhetoric and Belles Letters". They were a series of lectures given by Adam Smith at Glasgow University
  • Period: to

    The Romantic Period

    Romantic poets wrote about nature, imagination, and individuality in England. Some Romantics include Coleridge, Blake, Keats, and Shelley in Britain and Johann von Goethe in Germany. Jane Austen also wrote at this time, though she is typically not categorized with the male Romantic poets. In America, this period is mirrored in the Transcendental Period from about 1830-1850. Transcendentalists include Emerson and Thoreau.
  • Period: to

    Gothic Writings

    They overlapped with the Romantic and Victorian periods. Writers of Gothic novels (the precursor to horror novels) include Radcliffe, "Monk" Lewis, and Victorians like Bram Stoker in Britain. In America, Gothic writers include Poe and Hawthorne.
  • Period: to

    The Victorian Period and the 19th Century

    Writings from the period of Queen Victoria's reign include sentimental novels. British writers include Elizabeth Browning, Matthew Arnold, Robert Browning, Charles Dickens, and the Brontë sisters. The end of the Victorian Period is marked by the intellectual movements of Aestheticism and "the Decadence" in the writings of Walter Pater and Oscar Wilde. In America, Naturalist writers like Stephen Crane flourished, as did early free verse poets like Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson.
  • King´s College London

    Created one year after University College London, it was not until 1835 they had a Professor of English Literature and History too.
  • Glasgow University

    They started teaching English literature with a specific professor in that matter.
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

    Lewis Carroll publishes Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, a development of the story he had told Alice Liddell three years earlier
  • Trinity College Dublin

    They started teaching English literature with a specific professor in that matter.
  • Cambridge´s Medieval and Modern Language Board

    Cambridge University established an examination board in Medieval and Modern Language including English as one of its topics
  • New English Dictionary

    Oxford University Press publishes the A volume of its New English Dictionary, which will take 37 years to reach Z
  • Oxford Professorship

    At last Oxford University established a Professorship in English Language and Literature
  • The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

    Robert Louis Stevenson introduces a dual personality in his novel The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
  • A Study in Scarlet

    Sherlock Holmes features in Conan Doyle's first novel, A Study in Scarlet
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray

    Oscar Wilde publishes his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray in which the ever-youthful hero's portrait grows old and ugly
  • The Importance of Being Earnest

    Oscar Wilde's most brilliant comedy, The Importance of Being Earnest is performed in London's St. James Theatre
  • Dracula

    English author Bram Stoker publishes Dracula, his gothic tale of vampirism in Transylvania
  • Oscar Wilde's De Profundis

    Oscar Wilde's De Profundis, a letter of recrimination written in Reading Gaol to Lord Alfred Douglas, is published posthumously
  • Cambridge professorship

    Cambridge University created a separate Professorship in English Literature
  • Period: to

    The Modern Period

    In Britain, modernist writers include W. B. Yeats, Dylan Thomas, Virginia Woolf, and Wilfred Owen. In America, the modernist period includes Robert Frost and Flannery O'Connor as well as the famous writers of The Lost Generation such as Hemingway, Stein, Fitzgerald, and Faulkner. The Harlem Renaissance marks the rise of black writers such as Baldwin and Ellison. Realism is the dominant fashion, but the disillusionment with the World Wars lead to new experimentation
  • The Mysterious Affair at Styles

    The Belgian detective Hercule Poirot features in Agatha Christie's first book, The Mysterious Affair at Styles
  • Period: to

    Political Changes

    The last property qualifications for the vote were finally abolished for men in 1918 and for women in 1928. It meant changes in society but that was considered by some university teachers as a threat against they called "Culture".
  • University College London

    It began teaching in this year with the first Professor of English Language and literature in England
  • Murder at the Vicarage

    Agatha Christie's Miss Marple makes her first appearance, in Murder at the Vicarage
  • The Screwtape Letters

    British author C.S. Lewis publishes a moral parable, The Screwtape Letters, about the problems confronting a trainee devil
  • Period: to

    The new criticism

    Developed by universities in the United States. American teachers, based on Scotland universities models, created it
  • Period: to

    The Postmodern Period

    T. S. Eliot, Morrison, Beckett, Stoppard, Fowles, Calvino, Pynchon, and other modern writers, poets, and playwrights experimented with metafiction and fragmented poetry. Multiculturalism led to an increasing canonization of non-Caucasian writers such as Langston Hughes, Sandra Cisneros, and Zora Neal Hurston.
  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

    C.S. Lewis gives the first glimpse of Narnia in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
  • Lord of the flies

    William Golding gives a chilling account of schoolboy savagery in his first novel, Lord of the Flies
  • The Lord of the Ring (part 3)

    British philologist J.R.R. Tolkien publishes the third and final volume of his epic fantasy The Lord of the Rings
  • James and the Giant Peach

    British author Roald Dahl publishes a novel for children, James and the Giant Peach
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

    Roald Dahl publishes a fantasy treat for a starving child, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • Buildings of England

    German-born British art historian Nikolaus Pevsner completes his monumental 46-volume Buildings of England
  • Illiad new version

    War Music is the first instalment of Christopher Logue's version of the Iliad