HISTORY OF ENGLISH LITERATURE

  • Period: 450 to 1066

    Old English

    Old English literature, or Anglo-Saxon literature, encompasses the surviving literature written in Old English in Anglo-Saxon England, in the period after the settlement of the Saxons and other Germanic tribes in England (Jutes and the Angles) c. 450, after the withdrawal of the Romans, and "ending soon after the Norman Conquest" in 1066. Taken from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_English_literature
  • 658

    Cædmon's "Hymn"

    Cædmon's "Hymn"
    One of two candidates for the earliest surviving copy of Cædmon's Hymn is found in "The Moore Bede" (ca. 737) which is held by the Cambridge University Library (Kk. 5. 16, often referred to as M). The other candidate is St. Petersburg, National Library of Russia, lat. Q. v. I. 18 (P)
  • 700

    Beowulf

    Beowulf
    Although originally untitled, it was later named after the Scandinavian hero Beowulf, whose exploits and character provide its connecting theme. There is no evidence of a historical Beowulf, but some characters, sites, and events in the poem can be historically verified. The poem did not appear in print until 1815. It is preserved in a single manuscript that dates to circa 1000 and is known as the Beowulf manuscript (Cotton MS Vitellius A XV).
  • Period: 1066 to 1500

    Middle English literature

    The term Middle English literature refers to the literature written in the form of the English language known as Middle English, from the 12th century until the 1470s. During this time the Chancery Standard, a form of London-based English became widespread and the printing press regularized the language. There are three main categories of Middle English Literature: Religious, Courtly love, and Arthurian.
    Taken from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle_English_literature
  • 1370

    Piers Plowman

    Piers Plowman
    The poem, a mix of theological allegory and social satire, concerns the narrator/dreamer's quest for the true Christian life in the context of medieval Catholicism. This journey takes place within a series of dream-visions; the dreamer seeks, among other things, the allegorical characters Dowel ("Do-Well"), Dobet ("Do-Better"), and Dobest ("Do-Best"). The poem is divided into passus ('steps'), the divisions between which vary by version.
  • 1387

    The Canterbury Tales

    The Canterbury Tales
    is a collection of 24 stories that runs to over 17,000 lines written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer between 1387 and 1400.
  • 1395

    Revelations of Divine Love

    Revelations of Divine Love
    The Revelations of Divine Love (which also bears the title A Revelation of Love — in Sixteen Shewings above the first chapter) is a 14th-century book of Christian mystical devotions written by Julian of Norwich. It includes her sixteen mystical visions and contemplations on universal love and hope in a time of plague, religious schism, uprisings and war. Published in 1395, it is the first published book in the English language to be written by a woman.
  • 1485

    Le Morte d'Arthur

    Le Morte d'Arthur
    Le Morte d'Arthur (originally spelled Le Morte Darthur, Middle French for "The Death of Arthur") is a reworking of existing tales by Sir Thomas Malory about the legendary King Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot, Merlin, and the Knights of the Round Table. Malory interpreted existing French and English stories about these figures and adds original material (e.g., the Gareth story). Malory's actual title for the work was
  • Period: 1500 to

    English Renaissance

    The English Renaissance was a cultural and artistic movement in England dating from the late 15th to the 17th century. It is associated with the pan-European Renaissance that is usually regarded as beginning in Italy in the late 14th century. Like most of northern Europe, England saw little of these developments until more than a century later.
    Taken from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Renaissance
  • Period: 1558 to

    Elizabethan period

    Elizabeth I Armada Portrait British School
    Elizabethan literature refers to bodies of work produced during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558–1603), and is one of the most splendid ages of English literature
  • 1578

    Euphues

    Euphues
    a didactic romance written by John Lyly, was entered in the Stationers' Register 2 December 1578 and published that same year. It was followed by Euphues and his England, registered on 24 July 1579, but not published until Spring of 1580.
  • The Faerie Queene

    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
  • Period: to

    Jacobean period

    In the early 17th century Shakespeare wrote the so-called "problem plays", as well as a number of his best known tragedies, including Macbeth and King Lear. In his final period, Shakespeare turned to romance or tragicomedy and completed three more major plays, including The Tempest. Less bleak than the tragedies, these four plays are graver in tone than the comedies of the 1590s, but they end with reconciliation and the forgiveness of potentially tragic errors
  • Don Quixote

    Don Quixote
    Don Quixote is the most influential work of literature from the Spanish Golden Age and the entire Spanish literary canon. As a founding work of modern Western literature and the earliest canonical novel, it regularly appears high on lists of the greatest works of fiction ever published, such as the Bokklubben World Library collection that cites Don Quixote as the authors' choice for the "best literary work ever written".
  • Macbeth

    Macbeth
    Macbeth (/məkˈbɛθ/; full title The Tragedy of Macbeth) is a tragedy by William Shakespeare; it is thought to have been first performed in 1606. It dramatises the damaging physical and psychological effects of political ambition on those who seek power for its own sake. Of all the plays that Shakespeare wrote during the reign of James I, Macbeth most clearly reflects the playwright's relationship with his sovereign.
  • Period: to

    Late Renaissance

  • L'Allegro

    L'Allegro
    L'Allegro is a pastoral poem by John Milton published in his 1645 Poems. L'Allegro (which means "the happy man" in Italian) is invariably paired with the contrasting pastoral poem, Il Penseroso ("the melancholy man"), which depicts a similar day spent in contemplation and thought.
  • Period: to

    Puritan age

  • 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.
    Taken from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restoration_literature
  • The Pilgrim's Progress

    The Pilgrim's Progress
    The Pilgrim's Progress from This World, to That Which Is to Come is a 1678 Christian allegory written by John Bunyan. It is regarded as one of the most significant works of religious English literature,has been translated into more than 200 languages, and has never been out of print. It has also been cited as the first novel written in English.
  • Period: to

    18th century

    The 18th century saw the development of the modern novel as literary genre. Subgenres of the novel during the 18th century were the epistolary novel, the sentimental novel, histories, the gothic novel and the libertine novel. 18th Century Europe started in the Age of Enlightenment and gradually moved towards Romanticism. In the visual arts, it was the period of Neoclassicism.
    Taken from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/18th_century_in_literature
  • Period: to

    Augustan literature

    It was a literary epoch that featured the rapid development of the novel, an explosion in satire, the mutation of drama from political satire into melodrama and an evolution toward poetry of personal exploration. In philosophy, it was an age increasingly dominated by empiricism, while in the writings of political economy, it marked the evolution of mercantilism as a formal philosophy, the development of capitalism and the triumph of trade.
  • Gulliver's Travels

    Gulliver's Travels
    Gulliver's Travels, or Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. In Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of Several Ships, is a prose satire by Irish writer and clergyman Jonathan Swift, that is both a satire on human nature and the "travellers' tales" literary sub-genre. It is Swift's best known full-length work, and a classic of English literature. He himself claimed that he wrote Gulliver's Travels "to vex the world rather than divert it".
  • Period: to

    Age of Sensibility

    This period is known as the Age of Sensibility, but it is also sometimes described as the "Age of Johnson".
  • A Dictionary of the English Language

    A Dictionary of the English Language
    Published on 4 April 1755 and written by Samuel Johnson, A Dictionary of the English Language, sometimes published as Johnson's Dictionary, is among the most influential dictionaries in the history of the English language.
  • The Prelude

    The Prelude or, Growth of a Poet's Mind; An Autobiographical Poem is an autobiographical poem in blank verse by the English poet William Wordsworth. Intended as the introduction to the more philosophical poem The Recluse, which Wordsworth never finished, The Prelude is an extremely personal work and reveals many details of Wordsworth's life.
  • Period: to

    Romanticism

    Romanticism (also known as the Romantic era) was an artistic, literary, musical and intellectual movement that originated in Europe toward the end of the 18th century, and in most areas was at its peak in the approximate period from 1800 to 1850. Romanticism was characterised by its emphasis on emotion and individualism as well as glorification of all the past and nature, preferring the medieval rather than the classical.
    Taken from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanticism
  • Pride and Prejudice

    Pride and Prejudice
    Pride and Prejudice is an 1813 romantic novel by Jane Austen. It charts the emotional development of protagonist Elizabeth Bennet, who learns the error of making hasty judgments and comes to appreciate the difference between the superficial and the essential. The comedy of the writing lies in the depiction of manners, education, marriage, and money during the British Regency period.
  • Frankenstein

    Frankenstein
    Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus is a novel written by English author Mary Shelley (1797–1851) that tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a young scientist who creates a hideous, sapient creature in an unorthodox scientific experiment. Shelley started writing the story when she was 18, and the first edition of the novel was published anonymously in London on 1 January 1818, when she was 20. Her name first appeared on the second edition, published in France in 1823.
  • Period: to

    Victorian literature

    Victorian literature is literature, mainly written in English, during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837–1901) (the Victorian era). It was preceded by Romanticism and followed by the Edwardian era (1901–1910).While in the preceding Romantic period, poetry had been the dominant genre, it was the novel that was most important in the Victorian period.
    Taken from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victorian_literature
  • Leaves of Grass

    Leaves of Grass
    Leaves of Grass is a poetry collection by the American poet Walt Whitman (1819–1892). Although the first edition was published in 1855, Whitman spent most of his professional life writing and re-writing Leaves of Grass, revising it multiple times until his death. This resulted in vastly different editions over four decades—the first, a small book of twelve poems and the last, a compilation of over 400.
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

    Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
    Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (commonly shortened to Alice in Wonderland) is an 1865 novel written by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll.[1] 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.
  • The Importance of Being Earnest

    A Trivial Comedy for Serious People is a play by Oscar Wilde. First performed on 14 February 1895 at the St James's Theatre in London, it is a farcical comedy in which the protagonists maintain fictitious personæ to escape burdensome social obligations. Working within the social conventions of late Victorian London, the play's major themes are the triviality with which it treats institutions as serious as marriage, and the resulting satire of Victorian ways.
  • Dracula

    Dracula
    Dracula is an 1897 Gothic horror novel by Irish author Bram Stoker. It introduced the character of Count Dracula, and established many conventions of subsequent vampire fantasy. The novel tells the story of Dracula's attempt to move from Transylvania to England so that he may find new blood and spread the undead curse, and of the battle between Dracula and a small group of men and a woman led by Professor Abraham Van Helsing.
  • Period: to

    20th century

    English literary modernism developed in the early twentieth-century out of a general sense of disillusionment with Victorian era attitudes of certainty, conservatism, and belief in the idea of objective truth.
  • The Lord of the Rings

     The Lord of the Rings
    The Lord of the Rings is an epic high fantasy novel written by English author and scholar J. R. R. Tolkien. The story began as a sequel to Tolkien's 1937 fantasy novel The Hobbit, but eventually developed into a much larger work. Written in stages between 1937 and 1949, The Lord of the Rings is one of the best-selling novels ever written, with over 150 million copies sold
  • Nineteen Eighty-Four

    Nineteen Eighty-Four
    Nineteen Eighty-Four, often published as 1984, is a dystopian novel by English author George Orwell published in June 1949. The novel is set in the year 1984 when most of the world population have become victims of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance and propaganda.
  • Lord of the Flies

    Lord of the Flies
    Lord of the Flies is a 1954 novel by Nobel Prize–winning British author William Golding. The book focuses on a group of British boys stranded on an uninhabited island and their disastrous attempt to govern themselves.
  • Harry Potter

    Harry Potter
    A series of fantasy novels written by British author J. K. Rowling. The novels chronicle the lives of a young wizard, Harry Potter, and his friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The main story arc concerns Harry's struggle against Lord Voldemort, a dark wizard who intends to become immortal, overthrow the wizard governing body known as the Ministry of Magic, and subjugate all wizards and Muggles.