History of English Literature

  • Period: 500 to 1066

    Medieval Period

    Due to the use of Germanic languages ​​in British territory, which occurred for the migration of their peoples, from the north to England, an Anglo-Saxon dialect was originated, with influences from French and Latin and with this, begins English literature; This period is strongly influenced by the Catholic Church, so most of his writings were religious or scientific.
  • 731

    The Venerable Bede

    The Venerable Bede
    Also known as Saint Bede, he wrote the famous work Ecclesiastical Histories of the English People.
  • Period: 731 to

    History of English Literature

    In this timeline you will find a brief historical review on English literature from the year 731 to the year 2000 or the modern era and its main exponents
  • 800

    Beowulf

    Beowulf
    Anonymous poem written in Old English; in which legends of Scandinavia are narrated.
  • 950

    The Eddas

    The Eddas
    Stories from Scandinavian mythology
  • Period: 1200 to 1400

    Post-Conquest Period

    This time takes place between the end of the medieval period and the Renaissance, in which literature is influenced by the events of the monarchies, knights, courts and their peoples.
  • 1300

    Donus Scotus

    Donus Scotus
    Scottish theologian known as the subtle doctor, produces the work "Ordinatio", based on his personal notes on the work of Pedro Lombardo "Sententiae".
  • 1340

    William Ockham

    William Ockham
    Was a Franciscan friar known for his famous methodological principle on the equality of conditions called "The Ockham's razor".
  • 1367

    William Langland

    William Langland
    Langland was the author of the famous medieval epic poem "Piers Plowman"; and Chaucer, known for "the Canterbury tales", was considered the best poet of the Middle Ages.
  • 1375

    Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

    Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
    Important work of medieval literature, on Celtic mythology and written in Middle English.
  • 1385

    Geoffrey Chaucer

    Geoffrey Chaucer
    He was considered the best poet of the Middle Ages; known for works like his long poem "Troilus and Criseyde" and "the Canterbury tales", it was expected to be a collection of 100 stories, but he only managed to finish 24 before his death.
  • Period: 1450 to 1570

    The Renaissance

    With the arrival of the printing press in England, a literature more typical of the English territory was created, in which they began to write about romances and religious behaviors of the time; in this period, poetry, theater and prose were the pillars of Renaissance literature.
  • 1469

    Thomas Malory

    Thomas Malory
    Writes the work "Morte d´Arthur", based on French stories about King Arthur.
  • 1510

    Erasmus and Thomas More

    Erasmus and Thomas More
    They took the Nordic Renaissance to head it towards Christian humanism.
  • 1524

    William Tyndale

    William Tyndale
    He translated the bible into English language.
  • 1549

    Thomas Cranmer

    Thomas Cranmer
    The first version of Thomas Cranmer's "English Prayer Book" is published.
  • 1567

    New Testament

    New Testament
    The new testament and common prayer book is published
  • Period: 1579 to

    Elizabethan Era

    Considered Elizabethan, it was under the reign of Elizabeth I, strongly influenced by the Italian Renaissance, his main characteristic was drama and comedy; also considered the Shakespearean era, since this was its main exponent.
  • Tamburlaine the Great

    Tamburlaine the Great
    Marlowe's first work of drama.
  • William Shakespeare

    William Shakespeare
    Makes his first masterpiece "Hamlet" in which Shakespeare's is the main character
  • Ben Jonson

    Ben Jonson
    Writes "The Masque of the Blackness", one of the masquerade works that he wrote for James I.
  • Shakespeare

    Shakespeare
    Shakespeare's sonnets are published.
  • John Smith

    John Smith
    He publishes his work entitled "A Description of New England", in which he describes in detail the exploration of this region, for the English colonization.
  • Firs Folio

    Firs Folio
    John Heminge and Henry Condell publish 36 works written by Shakespeare, belonging to his first folio.
  • Period: to

    Jacobian Era

    This period of literature occurred after Shakespeare's death, in which became popular, The comedy towards the middle class, tragedy and eroticism, Ben Jonson being its main exponent.
  • George Herbert

    George Herbert
    "The Temple", the only work by George Herbert, is published after his death.
  • Anne Bradstreet

    Anne Bradstreet
    The poems of Massachussetts, are published in London as "The tenth muse lately sprung up in America".
  • Period: to

    Restoration

    In this period, literature was affected by the censorship and moralism of the time, due this, the satire arised, to express indignation but anonymously; journalism and fiction also emerged in this period.
  • Samuel Pepys

    Samuel Pepys
    He finishes his diary, which he began to write in 1660, in which he details important events of the restoration period and of his own life.
  • John Locke

    John Locke
    Publishes his essay "Concerning Human Understanding", in which he makes a contribution on empiricism in the acquisition of knowledge.
  • The Augustan Age

    The Augustan Age
    The Augustan age of English literature begins, in which the novel and political satire developed
  • Period: to

    Augustan Era

    This period is dominated by empiricism, strongly influenced by the novel, political satire, formal poetry and melodrama, mockery and criticism were very notable among the same authors of this time.
  • Robinson Crusoe

    Robinson Crusoe
    Daniel Defoe's work is seen as the first English novel.
  • David Hume

    David Hume
    Publishes his book "Treatise of Human Nature", where an experimental study is made on human understanding and perception.
  • Samuel Johnson

    Samuel Johnson
    Publishes one of his best works "Dictionary of the English Language".
  • Society of Gentlemen

    Society of Gentlemen
    Publication of the "Encyclopedia Britannica" begins in Scotland.
  • Edward Gibbon

    Edward Gibbon
    Publishes the work "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire", written after visiting the ruins of Rome.
  • Period: to

    Modernism

    Due to the two world wars, this time was marked by religious, moral and social disagreement, which brought with it a breakdown of the traditions and more realistic and critical writings towards human rights, governments and tyrannies.
  • Period: to

    Romanticism

    It was a political and cultural movement, characterized by great sentimentality, imagination and poetic introspection; subjective expressions about the artist's freedom were used.
  • Thomas Paine

    Thomas Paine
    Considered one of the founding fathers, he publishes the first part of his work "Rights of Man", as a reflection on the events of the French Revolution.
  • Pride and Prejudice

    Pride and Prejudice
    Jane Austin's most famous novel, is published as a romantic comedy.
  • Don Juan

    Don Juan
    The publication of this important satirical work written by Lord Byron begins and it is very criticized for immoral content, for his time.
  • Period: to

    Victorian Era

    This era is characterized by capitalism and by having a more realistic vision of society; in addition to a high religious skepticism, exploring a more mysterious and infinite world.
  • Charles Dickens

    Charles Dickens
    He publishes the three volumes of his first and novel "Oliver Twist" and which had successive reissues until 1867.
  • Charles Darwin

    Charles Darwin
    He publishes his work "The Origin of Species", in which the famous theory of evolution is stated and which was the result of many years of research.
  • Gerard Manley Hopkins

    Gerard Manley Hopkins
    He introduces a new style of verse, called "Sprung rhythm", as a stylistic device of English literature.
  • Oscar Wilde

    Oscar Wilde
    He publishes his only novel "The Picture of Dorian Gray", which is a feigned action is narrated, with the sole interest of causing pleasure in the readers
  • TS Eliot

    TS Eliot
    One of the most important poems of the 20th century, "The Waste Land" is published, a clear example of modernist poetry.
  • RC Sherriff

    RC Sherriff
    He wrote his work "Journey's End", based on his experience as an officer in the First World War; this is one of the authors called war poets.
  • Christopher Isherwood

    Christopher Isherwood
    He wrote several novels, including "Goodbye to Berlin", in which he recounted his experiences in the city and his escape from Berlin due to their differences and persecution of the Nazi regime, just before the Second World War.
  • George Orwell

    George Orwell
    He writes his novel "1984", where he reveals experiences against totalitarianism and imperialism and their surveillance techniques
  • Ted Hughes

    Ted Hughes
    The first volume of his novel "The Hawk in the Rain", a work of children's poetry, is published.
  • John Fawles

    John Fawles
    He publishes his novel "The French Lieutenant's Woman", a historical fiction novel, based on Victorian literature
  • Christopher Logue

    Christopher Logue
    Setting of different jazz works, such as the adapted poem "War Music".
  • Louis de Bernieres

    Louis de Bernieres
    He publishes his work "Captain Corelli's Mandolin", a novel set in the Second World War