History of English Literature

Timeline created by 1075267079
In History
  • 410


    English literature begins during the 600 year Anglo-Saxon period of Britain, from the mid-5th century to the Norman Conquest of 1066. These works include genres such as epic poetry, hagiography, sermons, Bible translations, legal works, chronicles, riddles, and others. In all there are about 400 surviving manuscripts from the period, a significant corpus of both popular interest and specialist research.
    1- Caedmon, (first Old English Christian poet),
    2- Cynewulf.
  • 700

    -Beowulf- Between 700 and 750

    -Beowulf- Between 700 and 750
    The oldest surviving Germanic epic and the longest Old English poem.
    Note: Old English poetry has survived almost entirely in four manuscripts: the Exeter Book, the Junius Manuscript, the Vercelli Book, and the Beowulf manuscript.
  • 871

    Anglo-Saxon Chronicle

    Historical record begun about the time of King Alfred’s reign (871–899) and continuing for more than three centuries.
  • 1066


    The event that began the transition from Old English to Middle English was the Norman Conquest of 1066, when William the Conqueror (Duke of Normandy and, later, William I of England) invaded the island of Britain from his home base in northern France, and settled in his new acquisition along with his nobles and court.
  • 1066

    Some exponents and characteristics Middle English literature

    Some exponents and characteristics Middle English literature
    There are three main categories of Middle English literature, religious, courtly love, and Arthurian, though much of Geoffrey Chaucer's work stands outside these. Among the many religious works are those in the Katherine Group and the writings of Julian of Norwich and Richard Rolle.
  • 1550


    Takes place in the late 15th, 16th, and early 17th century in Britain, but somewhat earlier in Italy and southern Europe, somewhat later in northern Europe.Dante, Petrarch, and Machiavelli are notable examples of Italian Renaissance writers.In northern Europe the scholarly writings of Erasmus, the plays of Shakespeare, the poems of Edmund Spenser, and the writings of Sir Philip Sidney may be considered Renaissance in character.
  • 17th-Century British Literature

    17th-Century British Literature
    William Shakespeare's plays and poems figure prominently in any English literature course.
    Authors of this period include John Donne, famous for his "Holy Sonnets," including the line, "Death, be not proud," and John Milton, the blind poet who wrote the allegorical epic "Paradise Lost."
  • Neoclassical Period - Enlightenment

    Neoclassical Period - Enlightenment
    Increased influence of Classical literature upon these centuries. Is also called the "Enlightenment" due to the increased reverence for logic and disdain for superstition.This time period is broken down into three parts: the Restoration period, the Augustan period, and the Age of Johnson.
    Benjamin Franklin, Denis Denirot, Voltaire, Jean-Jaque Rousseau.
    Alexander Pope
  • Some exponents and characteristics Neoclassical Period

    Some exponents and characteristics Neoclassical Period
    Neoclassicism was born in Rome largely thanks to the writings of Johann Joachim Winckelmann, at the time of the rediscovery of Pompeii and Herculaneum, but its popularity spread all over Europe as a generation of European art students finished their Grand Tour and returned from Italy to their home countries with newly rediscovered Greco-Roman ideals.

    *New role of individual thought and personal feeling.
    *The Romantics found the source of poetry in the particular, unique experience. The poet was seen as an individual distinguished from his fellows by the intensity of his perceptions, taking as his basic subject matter the workings of his own mind. Poetry was regarded as conveying its own truth; sincerity was the criterion by which it was to be judged. Seen perhaps at its finest in the poems of Robert Burns
  • BRITISH ROMANTIC PERIOD - Last years of the 18th century and the first decades of the 19th-

    There was no self-styled “Romantic movement” at the time, and the great writers of the period did not call themselves Romantics. Not until August Wilhelm von Schlegel’s Vienna lectures of 1808–09 was a clear distinction established between the “organic,” “plastic” qualities of Romantic art and the “mechanical” character of Classicism.
  • John Stuart Mill

    John Stuart Mill
    Wordsworth called poetry “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feeling,” and in 1833 Stuart defined poetry as “feeling itself, employing thought only as the medium of its utterance.”
  • Victorian and Modernist British Literature

    Victorian and Modernist British Literature
    The mid-1800s to the beginning of the twentieth century, includes the love poems of Elizabeth and Robert Brownng, Lord Alfred Tennyson's sweeping saga of Camelot entitled "Idylls of the King," and the Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson's adventure stories and novels, including his famous "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde."

    Increased attention was given to the idea that it was necessary to push aside previous norms entirely, instead of merely revising past knowledge in light of contemporary techniques. The theories of Sigmund Freud (1856–1939), and Ernst Mach (1838–1916) influenced early Modernist literature.
  • Some exponents and characteristics Modern Period

    Some exponents and characteristics Modern Period
    Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman are thought to be the mother and father of the movement because they had the most direct influence on early Modernists.Many Modernists wrote in free verse and they included many countries and cultures in their poems. Some wrote using numerous points-of-view or even used a “stream-of-consciousness” style.
    The pillars of modernism
    David Herbert Lawrence, Thomas Stearns Eliot, George Bernard Shaw, William Butler Yeats and John Galaworthy

    Literature that is characterized by the use of metafiction, unreliable narration, self-reflexivity, intertextuality, and which often thematizes both historical and political issues. Emerged through the writings of authors such as Kurt Vonnegut, Thomas Pynchon, and John Barth. Precursors to postmodern literature include Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote (1605-1615), Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy (1760-1767), and Jack Kerouac's On the Road (1957).