History of English Literature

  • Period: 460 to 1149

    Old English

    Old English or Anglo-Saxon, it is the earliest historical form of the English language, spoken in England and southern and eastern Scotland in the early Middle Ages. It was brought to Great Britain by Anglo-Saxon settlers probably in the mid-5th century, and the first Old English literary works date from the mid-7th century. After the Norman conquest of 1066, English was replaced, for a time, as the language of the upper classes by Anglo-Norman, a relative of French.
  • 731

    The Venerable Bede

    The Venerable Bede
    The Venerable Bede, in his monastery at Jarrow, completes his history of the English church and people
  • 800


    Beowulf, the first great work of Germanic literature, mingles the legends of Scandinavia with the experience in England of Angles and Saxons
  • 950

    The material of the Eddas

    The material of the Eddas
    The material of the Eddas, taking shape in Iceland, derives from earlier sources in Norway, Britain and Burgundy. They are fragmentary parts of an ancient skaldic tradition of oral narration (currently lost) that was compiled and written by scholars who preserved a part of these stories.
  • Period: 1150 to 1500

    Middle English

    it is a period when the English language, spoken after the Norman Conquest (1066) until the late 15th century, underwent distinct variations and developments following the Old English period. Scholarly opinion varies but the Oxford English Dictionary specifies the period of 1150 to 1500.This stage of the development of the English language roughly followed the High to the Late Middle Ages. It was from Late Old English, and saw grat changes to its grammar, pronunciation, and orthography.
  • 1300

    Duns Scotus.

    Duns Scotus.
    Duns Scotus, known as the Subtle Doctor in medieval times, later provides humanists with the name Dunsman or dunce
  • 1340

    Ockham's Razor

    Ockham's Razor
    William of Ockham advocates paring down arguments to their essentials, an approach later known as Ockham's Razor
  • 1367

    Piers Plowman

    Piers Plowman
    A narrator who calls himself Will, and whose name may be Langland, begins the epic poem of Piers Plowman
  • 1385

    Troilus and Criseyde

    Troilus and Criseyde
    Chaucer completes Troilus and Criseyde, his long poem about a legendary love affair in ancient Troy. it is an epic poem by Geoffrey Chaucer which re-tells in Middle English the tragic story of the lovers Troilus and Criseyde set against a backdrop of war during the Siege of Troy. It was composed using rime royale and probably completed during the mid 1380s.
  • 1387

    100 Canterbury Tales

     100 Canterbury Tales
    Chaucer begins an ambitious scheme for 100 Canterbury Tales, of which he completes only 24 by the time of his death
  • 1469

    Morte d'Arthur

    Morte d'Arthur
    Thomas Malory, in gaol somewhere in England, compiles Morte d'Arthur – an English account of the French tales of King Arthur
  • Period: 1500 to

    English Renaissance

    The English Renaissance was a cultural and artistic movement in England dating from the late 15th century to the early 17th century. It is associated with the pan-European Renaissance that is usually regarded as beginning in Italy in the late 14th century. As in most of the rest of northern Europe, England saw little of these developments until more than a century later.
  • 1510

    Christian humanism

    Christian humanism
    Erasmus and Thomas More take the northern Renaissance in the direction of Christian humanism
  • 1524

    William Tyndale

    William Tyndale
    William Tyndale studies in the university at Wittenberg and plans to translate the Bible into English
  • 1549

    English prayer book

    English prayer book
    The first version of the English prayer book, or Book of Common Prayer, is published with text by Thomas Cranmer
  • 1567

    Complete Bible

    Complete Bible
    The Book of Common Prayer and the New Testament are published in Welsh, to be followed by the complete Bible in 1588
  • Elizabethan and Jacobean drama

    Elizabethan and Jacobean drama
    Marlowe's first play, Tamburlaine the Great, introduces the swaggering blank verse of Elizabethan and Jacobean drama
  • Protestant Elizabeth I

    Protestant Elizabeth I
    English poet Edmund Spenser celebrates the Protestant Elizabeth I as The Faerie Queene. The Faerie Queene is an English epic poem by Edmund Spenser. Books I to III were first published in 1590, and then republished in 1596 together with books IV to VI. The Faerie Queene is notable for its form: it is one of the longest poems in the English language as well as the origin of the verse form known as the Spenserian stanza
  • Shakespeare achieves his first masterpiece

     Shakespeare achieves his first masterpiece
    After tentative beginnings in the three parts of Henry VI, Shakespeare achieves his first masterpiece on stage with Richard III Few dates in the history of Shakespeare on stage are as significant at 19 October 1741. Then the young David Garrick (billed as “A gentlemen who never appeared on any stage”) performed the part of Richard III at Goodman’s Fields in London. The importance of this appearance was immediately recognised.
  • Hamlet

    Shakespeare's central character in Hamlet expresses both the ideals of the Renaissance and the disillusion of a less confident age. The word renaissance literally means "rebirth." In the context of the English Renaissance, this rebirth refers to a renewal of learning, especially in terms of new beliefs and ways of doing things differently from the Middle Ages.
  • The Authorized version of the Bible,

    The Authorized version of the Bible,
    James I commissions the Authorized version of the Bible, which is completed by forty-seven scholars in seven years. William Shakespeare's name appears among the actors in a list of the King's Men
  • Shakespeare's sonnets

    Shakespeare's sonnets
    Written ten years previously, are published. The sonnets are often breath-taking, sometimes disturbing and sometimes puzzling and elusive in their meanings. As sonnets, their main concern is ‘love’, but they also reflect upon time, change, aging, lust, absence, infidelity and the problematic gap between ideal and reality when it comes to the person you love. Even after 400 years, ‘what are Shakespeare’s sonnets about?’ and ‘how are we to read them?’ are still central and unresolved questions.
  • The Tempes

    The Tempes
    Shakespeare's last completed play, The Tempest, is performed. It is set on a remote island, where the sorcerer Prospero, rightful Duke of Milan, plots to restore his daughter Miranda to her rightful place using illusion and skillful manipulation. He conjures up a storm, the eponymous tempest, to cause his usurping brother Antonio and the complicit King Alonso of Naples to believe they are shipwrecked and marooned on the island
  • William Shakespeare dies

    William Shakespeare dies
    William Shakespeare dies at New Place. William Shakespeare died on 23 April 1616, his 52nd birthday. In truth, the exact date of Shakespeare’s death is not known, but assumed from a record of his burial two days later, 25 April 1616, at Holy Trinity Church. Stratford Upon Avon, where his grave remains.
  • John Smith publishes a description of New England

    John Smith publishes a description of New England
    John Smith publishes a description of New England, an account of his exploration of the region in 1614. Unlike the reasons that the Pilgrims and the Puritans had for migrating to the New World, The Virginia Company, and other sponsored companies that traveled over, mainly came to the New World in order to make a life for themselves and start over in an economically fresh region. Smith's work described the situations and circumstances that were to be found in the New World.
  • Thirty-six Shakespeare plays

    Thirty-six Shakespeare plays
    John Heminge and Henry Condell publish thirty-six Shakespeare plays in the First Folio When Shakespeare was writing, plays were not really considered Literature and hence were not published with the care that, for example, he felt his narrative poems were worth. But in 1616, the year of his death, Ben Jonson published his complete Works--and included his plays (which he called "poems"). In their dedication, "To the great variety of readers,"
  • The Temple

    The Temple
    George Herbert's only volume of poems, The Temple, is published posthumously. Nestled somewhere within the Age of Shakespeare and the Age of Milton is George Herbert. There is no Age of Herbert: he did not consciously fashion an expansive literary career for himself, and his characteristic gestures, insofar as these can be gleaned from his poems and other writings.
  • The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America

    The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America
    The poems of Massachusetts author Anne Bradstreet are published in London under the title The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America. It was Bradstreet's only work published in her lifetime. Published purportedly without Bradstreet's knowledge, Bradstreet wrote to her publisher acknowledging that she knew of the publication. She was forced to pretend she was unaware of the publication until afterwards, or she would have risked harsh criticism.
  • Period: to


    The Puritans were English Reformed Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries who sought to "purify" the Church of England from its "Catholic" practices, maintaining that the Church of England was only partially reformed. Puritanism played a significant role in English history, especially during The Protectorate.
  • Period: to

    Restoration literature

    Restoration literature is the English literature written during the historical period commonly referred to as the English Restoration (1660–1689), which corresponds to the last years of the direct Stuart reign in England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. In general, the term is used to denote roughly homogeneous styles of literature that center on a celebration of or reaction to the restored court of Charles II.
  • The Pilgrim's Progress

    The Pilgrim's Progress
    Part I of The Pilgrim's Progress, written during John Bunyan's two spells in Bedford Gaol, is published and is immediately popular It is regarded as one of the most significant works of religious English literature, it has been translated into more than 200 languages, and has never been out of print.[5][6] It has also been cited as the first novel written in English. Bunyan began his work while in the Bedfordshire county prison for violations of the Conventicle Act of 1664.
  • Period: to

    European literature in the 18th century

    It refers to literature (poetry, drama, satire, and novels) produced in Europe during this period. The 18th century saw the development of the modern novel as literary genre, in fact many candidates for the first novel in English date from this period, of which Daniel Defoe's 1719 Robinson Crusoe is probably the best known. Subgenres of the novel during the 18th century were the epistolary novel, the sentimental novel, histories, the gothic novel and the libertine novel.
  • New style of journalism

    New style of journalism
    The Tatler launches a new style of journalism in Britain's coffee houses, followed two years later by the Spectator
  • Robinson Crusoe de Daniel Defoe

    Robinson Crusoe de Daniel Defoe
    Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, with its detailed realism, can be seen as the first English novel. The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, Of York, Mariner: Who lived Eight and Twenty Years, all alone in an un-inhabited Island on the Coast of America, near the Mouth of the Great River of Oroonoque; Having been cast on Shore by Shipwreck, wherein all the Men perished but himself. With An Account how he was at last as strangely deliver'd by Pyrates.
  • Treatise of Human Nature

    Treatise of Human Nature
    David Hume publishes his Treatise of Human Nature, in which he applies to the human mind the principles of experimental science
  • the correspondence

    the correspondence
    Samuel Richardson's Clarissa begins the correspondence that grows into the longest novel in the English language. It is the tragic heroine of Clarissa, is a beautiful and virtuous young lady whose family has become wealthy only recently and now desires to become part of the aristocracy. Their original plan was to concentrate the wealth and lands of the Harlowes into the possession of Clarissa's brother James Harlowe, whose wealth and political power will lead to his being granted a title.
  • Dictionary of the English Language.

    Dictionary of the English Language.
    Samuel Johnson publishes his magisterial Dictionary of the English Language. Samuel Johnson's 'Dictionary of the English Language' is one of the most famous dictionaries in history. First published in 1755, the dictionary took just over eight years to compile, required six helpers, and listed 40,000 words. Each word was defined in detail, the definitions illustrated with quotations covering every branch of learning.
  • Tristram Shandy

    Tristram Shandy
    Laurence Sterne publishes the first two volumes of Tristram Shandy, beginning with the scene at the hero's conception.
  • Encyclopaedia Britannica

    Encyclopaedia Britannica
    A Society of Gentlemen in Scotland begins publication of the immensely successful Encyclopaedia Britannica. It is written by about 100 full-time editors and more than 4,000 contributors, who have included 110 Nobel Prize winners and five American presidents. The 2010 version of the 15th edition, which spans 32 volumes and 32,640 pages, was the last printed edition; digital content and distribution has continued since then
  • The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

     The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
    English historian Edward Gibbon publishes the first volume of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. The six volumes cover the history, from 98 to 1590, of the Roman Empire, the history of early Christianity and then of the Roman State Church, and the history of Europe, and discusses the decline of the Roman Empire in the East and West. Because of its heavy use of primary sources, unusual at the time, its methodology became a model for later historians.
  • The School for Scandal

    The School for Scandal
    Richard Brinsley Sheridan's second play, The School for Scandal, is an immediate success in London's Drury Lane theatre
  • Age of Reason

    Age of Reason
    Thomas Paine publishes his completed Age of Reason, an attack on conventional Christianity. It was a best-seller in the United States, where it caused a short-lived deistic revival. British audiences, fearing increased political radicalism as a result of the French Revolution, received it with more hostility. The Age of Reason presents common deistic arguments; for example, it highlights what Paine saw as corruption of the Christian Church and criticizes its efforts to acquire political power.
  • Lyrical Ballads

     Lyrical Ballads
    English poets Wordsworth and Coleridge jointly publish Lyrical Ballads, a milestone in the Romantic movement. The work included Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and Wordsworth’s “Tintern Abbey,” as well as many controversial common-language poems by Wordsworth, such as “The Idiot Boy.”
  • Period: to

    Romantic literature in English

    Romanticism was an artistic, literary, and intellectual movement that originated in Europe toward the end of the 18th century. Various dates are given for the Romantic period but here the publishing of William Wordsworth's Lyrical Ballads in 1798 is taken as the beginning, and the crowning of Queen Victoria in 1837 as its end.[1] Romanticism arrived later in other parts of the English-speaking world, such as America. The Romantic period was one of major social change in England.
  • The Lay of the Last Minstre

     The Lay of the Last Minstre
    Walter Scott publishes The Lay of the Last Minstrel, the long romantic poem that first brings him fame. Scott had spent considerable time in compiling a collection of traditional ballads. He began The Lay of the Last Minstrel in 1802 and intended it as part of The Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border. Scott was kicked by a horse, while on maneuvers with his cavalry regiment. He worked on the first Canto while recuperating.
  • The Necessity of Atheism

    The Necessity of Atheism
    Percy Bysshe Shelley is expelled from Oxford university for circulating a pamphlet with the title The Necessity of Atheism. An enigmatically signed copy of the short tract was sent to all the heads of Oxford colleges at the University. At that time the content was so shocking to the authorities that he was rusticated for contumacy in his refusing to deny authorship, together with his friend and fellow student, Thomas Jefferson Hogg, who may have been co-author.
  • Pickwick Papers

    Pickwick Papers
    24-year-old Charles Dickens begins monthly publication of his first work of fiction, Pickwick Papers (published in book form in 1837)
  • Period: to

    Victorian literature

    Victorian literature is literature, mainly written in English, during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837–1901). While in the preceding Romantic period, poetry had been the dominant genre, it was the novel that was most important in the Victorian period. Charles Dickens (1812–1870) dominated the first part of Victoria's reign: his first novel, The Pickwick Papers, was published in 1836, and his last Our Mutual Friend between 1864–5.
  • The Pied Piper of Hamelin

    The Pied Piper of Hamelin
    English poet Robert Browning publishes a vivid narrative poem about the terrible revenge of The Pied Piper of Hamelin. The legend dates back to the Middle Ages, the earliest references describing a piper, dressed in multicolored ("pied") clothing, who was a rat-catcher hired by the town to lure rats awaywith his magic pipe. When the citizens refuse to pay for this service, he retaliates by using his instrument's magical power on their children, leading them away as he had the rats.
  • David Copperfield

    David Copperfield
    Charles Dickens begins the publication in monthly numbers of David Copperfield, his own favourite among his novels
  • Dictionary of synonyms

    Dictionary of synonyms
    London physician Peter Mark Roget publishes his dictionary of synonyms, the Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases
  • Tom Brown's Schooldays

    Tom Brown's Schooldays
    In Tom Brown's Schooldays Thomas Hughes depicts the often brutal aspects of an English public school. The story is set in the 1830s at Rugby School, a public school for boys. Hughes attended Rugby School from 1834 to 1842. The novel was originally published as being "by an Old Boy of Rugby", and much of it is based on the author's experiences. Tom Brown is largely based on the author's brother George Hughes.
  • the theory of evolution in On the Origin of Species

    the theory of evolution in On the Origin of Species
    Charles Darwin puts forward the theory of evolution in On the Origin of Species, the result of 20 years' research. The theory of evolution by natural selection, first formulated in Darwin's book "On the Origin of Species" in 1859, is the process by which organisms change over time as a result of changes in heritable physical or behavioral traits. Changes that allow an organism to better adapt to its environment will help it survive and have more offspring.
  • East Lynne

    East Lynne
    Mrs Henry Wood publishes her first novel, East Lynne, which becomes the basis of the most popular of all Victorian melodramas. The much-quoted line "Gone! And never called me mother!" (variant: "Dead! Dead! And never called me mother!") does not appear in the book; both variants come from later stage adaptations. The book was originally serialised in The New Monthly Magazine between January 1860 and September 1861, being issued as a three-volume novel on 19 September 1861
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

    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. It tells of a girl named Alice falling through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures. The tale plays with logic, giving the story lasting popularity with adults as well as with children.[2] It is considered to be one of the best examples of the literary nonsense genre
  • Far from the Madding Crowd

    Far from the Madding Crowd
    English author Thomas Hardy has his first success with his novel Far from the Madding Crowd. The novel is the first to be set in Hardy's fictional region of Wessex in rural south west England. It describes the farmer Bathsheba Everdene, her life and relationships – especially with her lonely neighbour William Boldwood, the faithful shepherd Gabriel Oak, and the thriftless soldier Sergeant Troy.
  • New English Dictionary

    New English Dictionary
    Oxford University Press publishes the A volume of its New English Dictionary, which will take 37 years to reach Z
  • Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet

    Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet
    Sherlock Holmes features in Conan Doyle's first novel, A Study in Scarlet
  • The Highland Association

    The Highland Association
    A Gaelic pressure group, the Highland Association, is founded to preserve the indigenous poetry and music of Scotland
  • The Jungle Book

    The Jungle Book
    Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book surrounds the child Mowgli with a collection of vivid animal guardians
  • Period: to

    History of modern literature

    The history of literature in the Modern period in Europe begins with the Age of Enlightenment and the conclusion of the Baroque period in the 18th century, succeeding the Renaissance and Early Modern periods.
    In the classical literary cultures outside of Europe, the Modern period begins later, in Ottoman Turkey with the Tanzimat reforms, in Qajar Persia under Nasser al-Din Shah, in India with the end of the Mughal era and the establishment of the British Raj, in Japan with the Meiji restoration
  • Rupert Brooke publishes Poems

    Rupert Brooke publishes Poems
    publishesRupert Brooke Poems, the only collection to appear before his early death in World War I
  • 1914

    James Joyce's novel Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man begins serial publication in a London journal, The Egoist After years of delay James Joyce's Dubliners, a collection of short stories, is published American-born poet Thomas Stearns Eliot crosses the Atlantic to England, making it his home for the rest of his life Robert Tressell's Ragged Trousered Philanthropists is published posthumously in an abbreviated version
  • Rupert Brooke's 1914

    Rupert Brooke's 1914
    Rupert Brooke's 1914 and Other Poems is published a few months after his death in Greece
  • Eminent Victorians

    Eminent Victorians
    Lytton Strachey fails to show conventional respect to four famous Victorians in his influential volume of short biographies entitled Eminent Victorians
  • Reparations demanded from Germany

    Reparations demanded from Germany
    In The Economic Consequences of the Peace Maynard Keynes publishes a strong attack on the reparations demanded from Germany
  • Seven Pillars of Wisdom

    Seven Pillars of Wisdom
    T.E. Lawrence publishes privately his autobiographical Seven Pillars of Wisdom, describing his part in the Arab uprising
  • Journey's End

     Journey's End
    Set in a World War I trench, the play Journey's End reflects the wartime experiences of its British author, R.C. Sherriff
  • The Waves

    The Waves
    Virginia Woolf publishes the most fluid of her novels, The Waves, in which she tells the story through six interior monologues- It is considered her most experimental work, and consists of soliloquies spoken by the book's six characters: Bernard, Susan, Rhoda, Neville, Jinny, and Louis. Also important is Percival, the seventh character, though readers never hear him speak in his own voice. The soliloquies that span the characters' lives are broken up by nine brief third-person.
  • The Shape of Things to Come

    The Shape of Things to Come
    H.G. Wells publishes The Shape of Things to Come, a novel in which he accurately predicts a renewal of world war A long economic slump causes a major war that leaves Europe devastated and threatened by plague. The nations with the strongest air-forces set up a benevolent dictatorship that paves the way for world peace by abolishing national divisions, enforcing the English language, promoting scientific learning and outlawing religion.
  • Fleet Street novel, Scoop

    Fleet Street novel, Scoop
    British author Evelyn Waugh publishes a classic Fleet Street novel, Scoop, introducing Lord Copper, proprietor of The Beast
  • The Third Policeman

    The Third Policeman
    Flann O'Brien's The Third Policeman is rejected by numerous publishers before becoming, decades later, his best-known novel. The Third Policeman is set in rural Ireland and is narrated by a dedicated amateur scholar of de Selby, a scientist and philosopher. The narrator, whose name we never learn, is orphaned at a young age. At boarding school, he discovers the work of de Selby and becomes a fanatically dedicated student of it.
  • Period: to

    Postmodern literature

    Postmodern literature is literature characterized by reliance on narrative techniques such as fragmentation, paradox, and the unreliable narrator; and is often (though not exclusively) defined as a style or a trend which emerged in the post–World War II era. Postmodern works are seen as a response against dogmatic following of Enlightenment thinking and Modernist approaches to literature. Postmodern literature, like postmodernism as a whole, tends to resist definition as a "movement".
  • Five in Five on a Treasure Island

    Five in Five on a Treasure Island
    English children's author Enid Blyton introduces the Famous Five in Five on a Treasure Island. It has been suggested that the book was influenced by L. T. Meade's 1892 book Four on an Island, which also recounts a story of four related children including a tomboy along with a dog living on an island with a shipwreck
  • T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets

    T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets
    The separate poems forming T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets are brought together for the first time as a single volume, published in New York. After a few years, Eliot composed the other three poems, East Coker, The Dry Salvages, and Little Gidding, which were written during World War II and the air-raids on Great Britain. They were first published as a series by Faber and Faber in Great Britain between 1940 and 1942 towards the end of Eliot's poetic career
  • 1945

    English author Nancy Mitford has her first success with the novel The Pursuit of Love Evelyn Waugh publishes Brideshead Revisited, a novel about a rich Catholic family in England between the wars In George Orwell's fable Animal Farm a ruthless pig, Napoleon, controls the farmyard using the techniques of Stalin
  • Narnia in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

    Narnia in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
    C.S. Lewis gives the first glimpse of Narnia in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe It is the first published and best known of seven novels in The Chronicles of Narnia (1950–1956). Among all the author's books it is also the most widely held in libraries. Although it was written as well as published first in the series, it is volume two in recent editions, which are sequenced by the stories' chronology
  • Men at Arms

    Men at Arms
    Evelyn Waugh publishes Men at Arms, the first novel in the Sword of Honour trilogy based on his wartime experiences
  • The Second World War

    The Second World War
    Politician and author Winston Churchill completes his six-volume history The Second World War
  • Chicken Soup with Barley

    Chicken Soup with Barley
    Chicken Soup with Barley begins a trilogy by English playwright Arnold Wesker
  • James and the Giant Peach

    James and the Giant Peach
    British author Roald Dahl publishes a novel for children, James and the Giant Peach. The plot centres on a young English orphan boy who enters a gigantic, magical peach, and has a wild and surreal cross-world adventure with seven magically-altered garden bugs he meets. They set off on a journey to escape from James' two mean and cruel aunts. Roald Dahl was originally going to write about a giant cherry.
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
    Roald Dahl publishes a fantasy treat for a starving child, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory This story featueres the adventures on the new products. At that time (around the 1920s), Cadbury and Rowntree's were England's two largest chocolate makers and they each often try to steal trade secrets by sending spies, posing as employees, into the other's factory. Because of this, both companies became highly protective of their chocolate-making processes.
  • Raj Quartet

    Raj Quartet
    English novelist Paul Scott publishes The Jewel in the Crown, the first volume in his 'Raj Quartet'
  • The Magic Toyshop

    The Magic Toyshop
    English author Angela Carter wins recognition with her quirky second novel, The Magic Toyshop
  • English biographer Michael Holroyd

    English biographer Michael Holroyd
    English biographer Michael Holroyd completes his two-volume life of Lytton Strachey
  • Owners

    English dramatist Caryl Churchill's first play, Owners, is produced in London. Owners is a 1972 play by British playwright Caryl Churchill. It was first performed at the Royal Court Theatre's Theatre Upstairs. The play is a satire of property rights about real estate and of the people who own real estate and those who live in rented accommodation.
  • Small is Beautiful

    Small is Beautiful
    British economist Ernst Friedrich Schumacher publishes an influential economic tract, Small is Beautiful. The phrase "Small Is Beautiful" came from a phrase by his teacher Leopold Kohr. It is often used to champion small, appropriate technologies that are believed to empower people more, in contrast with phrases such as "bigger is better".
  • 46-volume Buildings of England

    46-volume Buildings of England
    German-born British art historian Nikolaus Pevsner completes his monumental 46-volume Buildings of England
  • English author Ruth Prawer Jhabwala wins the Booker Prize

    English author Ruth Prawer Jhabwala wins the Booker Prize
    English author Ruth Prawer Jhabwala wins the Booker Prize with her novel Heat and Dust. Ruth Prawer Jhabvala was a writer and screenwriter who won two Oscars, for her adaptations of EM Forster's novels A Room with a View and Howards End, and the Booker Prize for her novel Heat and Dust. She remains the only person to have won an Oscar and the Booker.
  • The Pleasure Steamers

    The Pleasure Steamers
    English author Andrew Motion publishes his first collection of poems, The Pleasure Steamers.
  • Peter Shaffer's play about Mozart

    Peter Shaffer's play about Mozart
    Peter Shaffer's play about Mozart, Amadeus, has its premiere in London. Amadeus is a play by Peter Shaffer, which gives a highly fictionalized account of the lives of the composers Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri. First performed in 1979, Amadeus was inspired by a short 1830 play by Alexander Pushkin called Mozart and Salieri
  • War Music

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

    Flaubert's Parrot
    English author Julian Barnes publishes a multi-faceted literary novel, Flaubert's Parrot. Julian Barnes's Flaubert's Parrot is an appropriate novel with which to begin a column on literary criticism, for literary criticism is one of its subjects. This is true in a quite traditional way. "The critic" - pedantic, arid, wrong-headed - is one of its imagined characters.
  • Birdsong

    English novelist Sebastian Faulks publishes Birdsong, set partly in the trenches of World War I. It is Faulks' fourth novel. The plot follows two main characters living at different times: the first is Stephen Wraysford, a British soldier on the front line in Amiens during the First World War, and the second is his granddaughter, Elizabeth Benson, whose 1970s plotline follows her attempts to recover an understanding of Stephen's experience of the war.
  • Captain Corelli's Mandolin

    Captain Corelli's Mandolin
    Louis de Bernières publishes Captain Corelli's Mandolin, a love story set in Italian-occupied Cephalonia. The main characters are Antonio Corelli, an Italian army captain, and Pelagia, the daughter of the local physician, Dr Iannis. An important event in the novel is the massacre of Italian troops by the Germans in September 1943—the Italian Acqui Division had refused to surrender and had fought the Germans for nine days before running out of ammunition.
  • Copenhagen

    Michael Frayn's play Copenhagen dramatizes the visit of Werner Heisenberg to Niels Bohr in wartime Denmark It opened on Broadway at the Royale Theatre on 11 April 2000 and ran for 326 performances. Directed by Michael Blakemore, it starred Philip Bosco (Niels Bohr), Michael Cumpsty (Werner Heisenberg), and Blair Brown (Margrethe Bohr). It won the Tony Award for Best Play, Best Featured Actress in a Play, Blair Brown, and Best Direction of a Play (Michael Blakemore).
  • His Dark Materials.

    His Dark Materials.
    The Amber Spyglass completa la trilogía de Philip Pullman,His Dark Materials. His Dark Materials has been marketed to young adults, though Pullman wrote with no target audience in mind.The fantasy elements include witches and armoured polar bears;the trilogy also alludes to concepts from physics,philosophy and theology.It functions in part as a retelling and inversion of John Milton's epic Paradise Lost,with Pullman commending humanity for what Milton saw as its most tragic failing.