LINE OF TIME ENGLISH LITERATURE  

  • Period: 1982 BCE to 2000 BCE

    YEAR 1982 - 2000

    1982

    Michael Frayn's farce Noises Off opens in London's West end 1992

    English poet Thom Gunn's The Man with Night Sweats deals openly with AIDS 2000

    The Amber Spyglass completes Philip Pullman's trilogy, His Dark Materials
  • Period: 1930 BCE to 1955 BCE

    YEAR 1930 - 1955

    1930

    English author W.H. Auden's first collection of poetry is published with the simple title Poems
    1933

    H.G. Wells publishes The Shape of Things to Come, a novel in which he accurately predicts a renewal of world war
    1939

    W.H. Auden and Christopher Isherwood emigrate together to the USA, later becoming US citizens
    c. 1955
    Kingsley Amis and other young writers in Britain become known as Angry Young Men
  • Period: 1926 BCE to 1926 BCE

    YEAR1926 - 1929

    1926

    Patrick Abercrombie publishes The Preservation of Rural England, calling for rural planning to prevent the encroachment of towns 1927

    Henry Williamson wins a wide readership with Tarka the Otter, a realistic story of the life and death of an otter in Devon 1928

    Caribbean-born author Jean Rhys publishes her first novel, Postures, based on her affair with the writer Ford Madox Ford 1929

    Richard Hughes publishes his first novel, A High Wind in Jamaica
  • Period: 1921 BCE to 1925 BCE

    YEAR 1921 - 1925

    1921

    Somerset Maugham's short story 'Rain 1922

    John Galsworthy publishes his novels about the Forsyte family as a joint collection under the title The Forsyte Saga 1923

    The gentleman detective Lord Peter Wimsey makes his first appearance in Dorothy Sayers 1924

    EM Forster's novel A Passage to India builds on cultural misconceptions between the British and Indian 1925

    English writer Ivy Compton-Burnett finds her characteristic voice in her second novel Pastors and Masters
  • Period: 1916 BCE to 1920 BCE

    YEAR 1916 - 1920

    1916

    Robert Graves publishes his first book of poems, Over the Brazier 1917

    Jeeves and Bertie Wooster make their first appearance in P.G. Wodehouse's The Man with Two Left Feet 1918

    Lytton Strachey fails to show conventional respect to four famous Victorians in his influential 1919

    In The Economic Consequences of the Peace Maynard Keynes publishes a strong 1920

    Sapper's patriotic hero makes his first appearance, taking on the villainous Carl Peterson in Bull-dog Drummond
  • Period: 1914 BCE to 1915 BCE

    YEAR 1914 - 1915

    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 1915

    Somerset Maugham publishes his semi-autobiographical novel Of Human Bondage The English writer Virginia Woolf publishes her first novel, The Voyage Out
  • Period: 1912 BCE to 1913 BCE

    YEAR 1912 - 1913

    1912

    Ludwig Wittgenstein moves to Cambridge to study philosophy under Bertrand Russell Walter De la Mare establishes his reputation with the title poem of his collection The Listeners 1913

    The first issue of the New Statesman is published by Beatrice and Sidney Webb Compton Mackenzie publishes the first volume of his autobiographical novel Sinister Street Alfred North Whitehead and Bertrand Russell complete a work of mathematical logic, Principia Mathematica
  • Period: 1911 BCE to 1911 BCE

    YEAR 1911

    1911

    D.H. Lawrence's career as a writer is launched with the publication of his first novel, The White Peacock Rupert Brooke publishes Poems, the only collection to appear before his early death in World War I G.K. Chesterton's clerical detective makes his first appearance in The Innocence of Father Brown In a German Pension is New Zealand author Katherine Mansfield's first collection of stories
  • Period: 1910 BCE to 1910 BCE

    YEAR 1910

    1910

    In his poem Cargoes John Masefield compares a 'dirty British coaster' with two romantic boats from the past John Buchan publishes Prester John, the first of his adventure stories H.G. Wells publishes The History of Mr Polly, a novel about an escape from drab everyday existence Rudyard Kipling publishes If, which rapidly becomes his most popular poem among the British E.M. Forster publishes Howard's End, his novel about the Schlegel sisters and the Wilcox family
  • Period: 1908 BCE to 1909 BCE

    YEAR 1908 - 1909

    1908

    Rat, Mole and Toad, in Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows, appeal to a wide readership The Welsh poet W.H. Davies has a success with The Autobiography of a Super-Tramp, his account of life on the road and in dosshouses 1909

    The heroine of H.G. Wells' novel Ann Veronica is a determined example of the New Woman
  • Period: 1907 BCE to 1907 BCE

    YEAR 1907

    1907

    J.M. Synge's Playboy of the Western World provokes violent reactions at its Dublin premiere Edmund Gosse publishes Father and Son, an account of his difficult relationship with his fundamentalist father, Philip Gosse James Joyce completes the 15 short stories eventually published in 1914 as Dubliners
  • Period: 1906 BCE to 1906 BCE

    YEAR 1906

    1906

    The first volume of the inexpensive Everyman's Library is issued by Joseph Dent, a London publisher E. Nesbit publishes The Railway Children, the most successful of her books featuring the Bastable family John Galsworthy publishes The Man of Property, the first of his novels chronicling the family of Soames Forsyte
  • Period: 1905 BCE to 1905 BCE

    YEAR 1905

    c. 1905
    The Bloomsbury Group gathers for informal evenings at the family home of Virginia and Vanessa Stephens (later Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell) Oscar Wilde's De Profundis, a letter of recrimination written in Reading Gaol to Lord Alfred Douglas, is published posthumously H.G. Wells publishes Kipps: the story of a simple soul, a comic novel about a bumbling draper's assistant
  • Period: 1905 BCE to 1905 BCE

    YEAR 1905

    Bernard Shaw has two new plays opening in London in the same year, Major Barbara and Man and Superman Sir Percy Blakeney rescues aristocrats from the guillotine in Baroness Orczy's The Scarlet Pimpernel
  • Period: 1904 BCE to 1904 BCE

    YEAR 1904

    1904

    Joseph Conrad publishes his novel Nostromo, about a revolution in South America and a fatal horde of silver Henry James publishes his last completed novel, The Golden Bowl J.M Barrie's play for children Peter Pan, or the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up has its premiere in London Under the pseudonym Saki, H.H. Munro publishes Reginald, his first volume of short stories
  • Period: 1903 BCE to 1903 BCE

    YEAR 1903

    1903

    Erskine Childers has a best-seller in The Riddle of the Sands, a thriller about a planned German invasion of Britain Henry James publishes The Ambassadors, the second of his three last novels written in rapid succession British philosopher G.E. Moore publishes Principia Ethica, an attempt to apply logic to ethics
  • Period: 1902 BCE to 1902 BCE

    YEAR 1902

    1902

    Rudyard Kipling publishes his Just So Stories for Little Children The play Cathleen ni Houlihan, by W.B. Yeats and Lady Gregory, fosters Irish nationalism The Tale of Peter Rabbit is published commercially, a year after being first printed by Beatrix Potter at her own expense John Masefield's poem 'Sea Fever' is published in Salt-Water Ballads Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles begins publication in serial form
  • Period: 1902 BCE to 1902 BCE

    YEAR 1902

    Henry James publishes the first of his three last novels, The Wings of the Dove Joseph Conrad publishes a collection of stories including Heart of Darkness, a sinister tale based partly on his own journey up the Congo
  • Period: 1899 BCE to 1901 BCE

    YEAR 1899 - 1901

    1899

    E. Nesbit publishes The Story of the Treasure Seekers, introducing the Bastable family who feature in several of her books for children 1900

    Joseph Conrad publishes his novel Lord Jim about a life of failure and redemption in the far East 1901

    Beatrix Potter publishes at her own expense The Tale of Peter Rabbit Rudyard Kipling's experiences of India are put to good use in his novel Kim
  • Period: 1898 BCE to 1898 BCE

    YEAR 1898

    1898

    Henry James moves from London to Lamb House in Rye, Sussex, which remains his home for the rest of his life H.G. Wells publishes his science-fiction novel The War of the Worlds, in which Martians arrive in a rocket to invade earth Henry James publishes The Turn of the Screw in a collection of short stories
  • Period: 1896 BCE to 1897 BCE

    YEAR 1896 - 1897

    1896

    English poet A.E. Housman publishes his first collection, A Shropshire Lad 1897

    Somerset Maugham publishes his first novel, Liza of Lambeth, based on the London life he has observed as a medical student English author Bram Stoker publishes Dracula, his gothic tale of vampirism in Transylvania
  • Period: 1894 BCE to 1894 BCE

    YEAR 1894

    1894

    French-born artist and author George du Maurier publishes his novel Trilby Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book surrounds the child Mowgli with a collection of vivid animal guardians
  • Period: 1892 BCE to 1892 BCE

    YEAR 1892

    1892

    Oscar Wilde's comedy Lady Windermere's Fan is a great success with audiences in London's St. James Theatre W.B. Yeats founds the National Literary Society in Dublin, with Douglas Hyde as its first president W.B. Yeats publishes a short play The Countess Cathleen, his first contribution to Irish poetic drama Bernard Shaw's first play, Widowers' Houses, deals with the serious social problem of slum landlords
  • Period: 1892 BCE to 1892 BCE

    YEAR 1892

    Mr Pooter is the suburban anti-hero of the The Diary of a Nobody, by George and Weedon Grossmith
  • Period: 1891 BCE to 1891 BCE

    YEAR 1891

    1891

    A Gaelic pressure group, the Highland Association, is founded to preserve the indigenous poetry and music of Scotland Oscar Wilde publishes his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray in which the ever-youthful hero's portrait grows old and ugly Thomas Hardy publishes his novel Tess of the Durbervilles, with a dramatic finale at Stonehenge
  • Period: 1889 BCE to 1890 BCE

    YEAR 1889 - 1890

    1889

    23-year-old Irish author William Butler Yeats publishes his first volume of poems, The Wanderings of Oisin The Fabian Society publishes Essays in Socialisman influential volume of essays edited by Bernard Shaw 1890

    Scottish anthropologist James Frazer publishes The Golden Bough, a massive compilation of contemporary knowledge about ritual and religious custom 9-year-old Daisy Ashford imagines an adult romance and high society in The Young Visiters
  • Period: 1886 BCE to 1887 BCE

    YEAR 1886 - 1887

    1886

    Robert Louis Stevenson introduces a dual personality in his novel The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Thomas Hardy publishes his novel The Mayor of Casterbridge, which begins with the future mayor, Michael Henchard selling his wife and child at a fair Joseph Conrad becomes naturalized as a British subject and continues his career at sea in the far East 1887

    Sherlock Holmes features in Conan Doyle's first novel, A Study in Scarlet
  • Period: 1884 BCE to 1885 BCE

    YEAR 1884 - 1885

    1884

    Oxford University Press publishes the A volume of its New English Dictionary, which will take 37 years to reach Z 1885

    Explorer and orientalist Richard Burton begins publication of his multi-volume translation from the Arabic of The Arabian Nights
  • Period: 1878 BCE to 1883 BCE

    YEAR 1878 - 1883

    1878

    21-year-old Joseph Conrad, a Polish subject, goes to sea with the British merchant navy 1879

    Henry James's story Daisy Miller, about an American girl abroad, brings him a new readership 1881

    The Aesthetic Movement and 'art for art's sake', attitudes personified above all by Whistler and Wilde, are widely mocked and satirized in Britain 1883

    Robert Louis Stevenson's adventure story, Treasure Island, features Long John Silver and Ben Gunn
  • Period: 1876 BCE to 1876 BCE

    YEAR 1876

    1876

    William Gladstone's pamphlet Bulgarian Horrors, protesting at massacre by the Turks, sells 200,000 copies within a month Henry James moves to London, which remains his home for the next 22 years English poet Gerard Manley Hopkins develops a new verse form that he calls 'sprung rhythm' Lewis Carroll publishes The Hunting of the Snark, a poem about a voyage in search of an elusive mythical creature
  • Period: 1875 BCE to 1875 BCE

    YEAR 1875

    1875

    After spending much time in Europe in recent years, Henry James moves there permanently and settles first in Paris Henry James's early novel Roderick Hudson is serialized in the Atlantic Monthly and is published in book form in 1876
  • Period: 1869 BCE to 1874 BCE

    YEAR 1869 - 1874

    1869

    English author Matthew Arnold publishes Culture and Anarchy, an influential collection of essays about contemporary society 1871

    George Eliot publishes Middlemarch, in which Dorothea makes a disastrous marriage to the pedantic Edward Casaubon 1872

    Lewis Carroll publishes Through the Looking Glass, a second story of Alice's adventures 1874

    English author Thomas Hardy has his first success with his novel Far from the Madding Crowd
  • Period: 1863 BCE to 1867 BCE

    YEAR 1863 - 1867

    1863

    English author Charles Kingsley publishes an improving fantasy for young children, The Water-Babies 1865

    Lewis Carroll publishes Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, a development of the story he had told Alice Liddell three years earlier 1866

    Algernon Swinburne scandalizes Victorian Britain with his first collection, Poems and Ballads 1867

    The first volume of Das Kapital is completed by Marx in London and is published in Hamburg
  • Period: 1860 BCE to 1862 BCE

    YEAR 1860 - 1862

    1860

    Charles Dickens begins serial publication of his novel "Great Expectations" (in book form 1861) George Eliot publishes The Mill on the Floss, her novel about the childhood of Maggie and Tom Tulliver 1861

    Mrs Henry Wood publishes her first novel, East Lynne, which becomes the basis of the most popular of all Victorian melodramas 1862

    Oxford mathematician Lewis Carroll tells 10-year-old Alice Liddell, on a boat trip, a story about her own adventures in Wonderland
  • Period: 1859 BCE to 1859 BCE

    YEAR 1859

    1859

    Charles Darwin puts forward the theory of evolution in On the Origin of Species, the result of 20 years' research In On Liberty John Stuart Mill makes the classic liberal case for the priority of the freedom of the individual Samuel Smiles provides an inspiring ideal of Victorian enterprise in Self-Help, a manual for ambitious young men Tennyson publishes the first part of Idylls of the King, a series of linked poems about Britain's mythical king Arthur
  • Period: 1859 BCE to 1859 BCE

    YEAR 1859

    Charles Dickens publishes his French Revolution novel, A Tale of Two Cities Edward FitzGerald publishes The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, romantic translations of the work of the Persian poet
  • Period: 1859 BCE to 1859 BCE

    FEBRUARY 1859

    1859 february

    English author George Eliot wins fame with her first full-length novel, Adam Bede
  • Period: 1854 BCE to 1857 BCE

    YEAR 1854 - 1857

    1854

    Within six weeks of the Charge of the Light Brigade in the Crimea, Tennyson publishes a poem finding heroism in the disaster 1855

    Tennyson publishes a long narrative poem, Maud, a section of which ('Come into the garden, Maud') becomes famous as a song English author Anthony Trollope publishes The Warden, the first in his series of six Barsetshire novels 1857

    In Tom Brown's Schooldays Thomas Hughes depicts the often brutal aspects of an English public school
  • Period: 1849 BCE to 1852 BCE

    YEAR 1849 - 1852

    1849

    Charles Dickens begins the publication in monthly numbers of David Copperfield, his own favourite among his novels 1850

    Alfred Tennyson's elegy for a friend, In Memoriam, captures perfectly the Victorian mood of heightened sensibility 1852

    London physician Peter Mark Roget publishes his dictionary of synonyms, the Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases
  • Period: 1847 BCE to 1848 BCE

    YEAR 1847 - 1848

    1847

    English author William Makepeace Thackeray begins publication of his novel Vanity Fair in monthly parts (book form 1848)
    Charlotte becomes the first of the Brontë sisters to have a novel published — Jane Eyre
    Emily Brontë's novel Wuthering Heights follows just two months after her sister Charlotte's Jane Eyre 1848

    Branwell, Emily and Anne Brontë die within a period of eight months
  • Period: 1845 BCE to 1846 BCE

    YEAR 1845 - 1846

    1845

    Friedrich Engels, after running a textile factory in Manchester, publishes The Condition of the Working Class in England 1846

    Edward Lear publishes his Book of Nonsense, consisting of limericks illustrated with his own cartoons After marrying secretly, the English poets Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett go abroad to live in Florence The three Brontë sisters jointly publish a volume of their poems and sell just two copies
  • Period: 1842 BCE to 1844 BCE

    YEAR 1842 - 1844

    1842

    English poet Robert Browning publishes a vivid narrative poem about the terrible revenge of The Pied Piper of Hamelin English author Thomas Babington Macaulay publishes a collection of stirring ballads, Lays of Ancient Rome 1843

    Ebenezer Scrooge mends his ways just in time in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol 1844

    In his novel Coningsby Benjamin Disraeli develops the theme of Conservatism uniting 'two nations', the rich and the poor
  • Period: 1824 BCE to 1837 BCE

    YEAR 1824 - 1837

    1824

    12-year-old Charles Dickens works in London in Warren's boot-blacking factory 1832

    English author Frances Trollope ruffles transatlantic feathers with her Domestic Manners of the Americans, based on a 3-year stay 1836

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

    Charles Dickens' first novel, Oliver Twist, begins monthly publication (in book form, 1838)
  • Period: 1821 BCE to 1821 BCE

    YEAR 1821

    1821

    English author Thomas De Quincey publishes his autobiographical Confessions of an English Opium-Eater English poet John Keats dies in Rome at the age of twenty-five English radical William Cobbett begins his journeys round England, published in 1830 as Rural Rides English author William Hazlitt publishes Table Talk, a two-volume collection that includes most of his best-known essays
  • Period: 1820 BCE to 1820 BCE

    YEAR 1820

    1820

    English poet John Keats publishes Ode to a Nightingale, inspired by the bird's song in his Hampstead garden English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley publishes Ode to the West Wind, written mainly in a wood near Florence
  • Period: 1819 BCE to 1819 BCE

    YEAR 1819

    1819

    William Cobbett brings back to England the bones of Thomas Paine, who died in the USA in 1809 Byron begins publication in parts of his longest poem, Don Juan an epic satirical comment on contemporary life Walter Scott publishes Ivanhoe, a tale of love, tournaments and sieges at the time of the crusades
  • Period: 1818 BCE to 1818 BCE

    YEAR 1818

    1818

    Percy Bysshe Shelley publishes probably his best-known poem, the sonnet Ozymandias Two of Jane Austen's novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, are published in the year after her death Mary Shelley publishes Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, a Gothic tale about giving life to an artificial man
  • Period: 1813 BCE to 1818 BCE

    YEAR 1813 - 1818

    1813

    Pride and Prejudice, based on a youthful work of 1797 called First Impressions, is the second of Jane Austen's novels to be published 1818

    Percy Bysshe Shelley publishes probably his best-known poem, the sonnet Ozymandias Two of Jane Austen's novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, are published in the year after her death Mary Shelley publishes Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, a Gothic tale about giving life to an artificial man
  • Period: 1810 BCE to 1812 BCE

    YEAR 1810 - 1812

    1810

    Walter Scott's poem Lady of the Lake brings tourists in unprecedented numbers to Scotland's Loch Katrine 1811

    Percy Bysshe Shelley is expelled from Oxford university for circulating a pamphlet with the title The Necessity of Atheism English author Jane Austen publishes her first work in print, Sense and Sensibility, at her own expense 1812

    The first two cantos are published of Byron's largely autobiographical poem Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, bringing him immediate fame
  • Period: 1798 BCE to 1805 BCE

    YEAR 1798 - 1805

    1798

    English poets Wordsworth and Coleridge jointly publish Lyrical Ballads, a milestone in the Romantic movement Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner' is published in Lyrical Ballads 1804

    William Blake includes his poem 'Jerusalem' in the Preface to his book Milton 1805

    Walter Scott publishes The Lay of the Last Minstrel, the long romantic poem that first brings him fame
  • Period: 1794 BCE to 1797 BCE

    YEAR 1794 - 1797

    1794

    William Blake's volume Songs of Innocence and Experience includes his poem 'Tyger! Tyger! burning bright' 1795

    Thomas Paine publishes his completed Age of Reason, an attack on conventional Christianity 1797

    Samuel Taylor Coleridge says that while writing Kubla Khan he is interrupted by 'a person on business from Porlock'
  • Period: 1791 BCE to 1792 BCE

    YEAR 1791 - 1792

    1791

    Scottish poet Robert Burns publishes Tam o' Shanter, in which a drunken farmer has an alarming encounter with witches
    Thomas Paine publishes the first part of The Rights of Man, his reply to Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France 1792

    English author Mary Wollstonecraft publishes a passionately feminist work, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
    Thomas Paine moves hurriedly to France, to escape a charge of treason in England for opinions expressed in his Rights of Man
  • Period: 1789 BCE to 1790 BCE

    YEAR 1789 - 1790

    1789

    William Blake publishes Songs of Innocence, a volume of his poems with every page etched and illustrated by himself In his Principles Jeremy Bentham defines 'utility' as that which enhances pleasure and reduces pain 1790

    Anglo-Irish politician Edmund Burke publishes Reflections on the Revolution in France, a blistering attack on recent events across the Channel
  • Period: 1776 BCE to 1777 BCE

    YEAR 1776 - 1777

    1776

    English historian Edward Gibbon publishes the first volume of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Scottish economist Adam Smith analyzes the nature and causes of the Wealth of Nations 1777

    Richard Brinsley Sheridan's second play, The School for Scandal, is an immediate success in London's Drury Lane theatre
  • Period: 1770 BCE to 1774 BCE

    YEAR 1770 - 1774

    1770

    17-year-old Thomas Chatterton, later hailed as a significant poet, commits suicide in a London garret 1773

    Oliver Goldsmith's play She Stoops to Conquer is produced in London's Covent Garden theatre. Samuel Johnson and James Boswell undertake a journey together to the western islands of Scotland 1774

    Encouraged by Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine emigrates to America and settles in Philadelphia
  • Period: 1768 BCE to 1768 BCE

    YEAR 1768

    A Society of Gentlemen in Scotland begins publication of the immensely successful Encyclopaedia Britannica
  • Period: 1764 BCE to 1764 BCE

    YEAR 1764

    English historian Edward Gibbon, sitting among ruins in Rome, conceives the idea of Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire English author Horace Walpole provides an early taste of Gothic thrills in his novel Castle of Otranto
  • Period: 1763 BCE to 1763 BCE

    YEAR 1763

    James Boswell meets Samuel Johnson for the first time, in the London bookshop of Thomas Davies
  • Period: 1762 BCE to 1762 BCE

    YEAR 1762

    Fingal, supposedly by the medieval poet Ossian, is a forgery in the spirit of the times by James MacPherson
  • Period: 1759 BCE to 1759 BCE

    YEAR 1759

    Laurence Sterne publishes the first two volumes of Tristram Shandy, beginning with the scene at the hero's conception
  • Period: 1758 BCE to 1758 BCE

    YEAR 1758

    James Woodforde, an English country parson with a love of food and wine, begins a detailed diary of everyday life
  • Period: 1755 BCE to 1755 BCE

    YEAR 1755

    Samuel Johnson publishes his magisterial Dictionary of the English Language
  • Period: 1751 BCE to 1751 BCE

    YEAR 1751

    English poet Thomas Gray publishes his Elegy written in a Country Church Yard
  • Period: 1749 BCE to 1749 BCE

    YEAR 1749

    Henry Fielding introduces a character of lasting appeal in the lusty but good-hearted Tom Jones
  • Period: 1747 BCE to 1747 BCE

    YEAR 1747

    Samuel Richardson's Clarissa begins the correspondence that grows into the longest novel in the English language
  • Period: 1739 BCE to 1739 BCE

    YEAR 1739

    David Hume publishes his Treatise of Human Nature, in which he applies to the human mind the principles of experimental science.
  • Period: 1726 BCE to 1726 BCE

    YEAR 1726

    Jonathan Swift sends his hero on a series of bitterly satirical travels in Gulliver's Travels
  • Period: 1719 BCE to 1719 BCE

    YEAR 1719

    Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, with its detailed realism, can be seen as the first English novel.
  • Period: 1712 BCE to 1712 BCE

    YEAR 1712

    Alexander Pope's Rape of the Lock introduces a delicate vein of mock-heroic in English poetry.
  • Period: 1710 BCE to 1710 BCE

    YEAR 1710

    25-year-old George Berkeley attacks Locke in his Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge.
  • Period: 1709 BCE to 1709 BCE

    YEAR 1709

    The Tatler launches a new style of journalism in Britain's coffee houses, followed two years later by the Spectator
  • Period: 1702 BCE to 1702 BCE

    YEAR 1702

    The Augustan Age begins in English literature, claiming comparison with the equivalent flowering under Augustus Caesar
  • Period: 1690 BCE to 1690 BCE

    YEAR 1690

    John Locke publishes his Essay concerning Human Understanding, arguing that all knowledge is based on experience.
  • Period: 1688 BCE to 1688 BCE

    YEAR 1688

    Aphra Behn's novel Oroonoko makes an early protest against the inhumanity of the African slave trade.
  • Period: 1669 BCE to 1669 BCE

    YEAR 1669

    Samuel Pepys ends his diary, after only writing it for nine years
  • Period: 1667 BCE to 1667 BCE

    YEAR 1667

    Paradise Lost is published, earning its author John Milton just £10
  • Period: 1660 BCE to 1660 BCE

    YEAR 1660

    On the first day of the new year Samuel Pepys gets up late, eats the remains of the turkey and begins his diary
  • Period: 1653 BCE to 1653 BCE

    YEAR 1653

    Devoted fisherman Izaak Walton publishes the classic work on the subject, The Compleat Angler.
  • Period: 1650 BCE to 1650 BCE

    YEAR 1650

    The poems of Massachusetts author Anne Bradstreet are published in London under the title The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America
  • Period: 1637 BCE to 1637 BCE

    YEAR 1637

    John Milton's Lycidas is published in memory of a Cambridge friend, Edward King
  • Period: 1633 BCE to 1633 BCE

    YEAR 1633

    George Herbert's only volume of poems, The Temple, is published posthumously
  • Period: 1621 BCE to 1621 BCE

    YEAR 1621

    John Donne, England's leading Metaphysical poet, becomes dean of St Paul's
  • Period: 1616 BCE to 1616 BCE

    YEAR 1616

    John Smith publishes A Description of New England, an account of his exploration of the region in 1614 William Shakespeare dies at New Place, his home in Stratford-upon-Avon, and is buried in Holy Trinity Church
  • Period: 1611 BCE to 1611 BCE

    YEAR c. 1611

    Shakespeare's last completed play, The Tempest, is performed
  • Period: 1609 BCE to 1609 BCE

    YEAR 1609

    Shakespeare's sonnets, written ten years previously, are published
  • Period: 1606 BCE to 1606 BCE

    YEAR 1606

    The satirical voice of the English playwright Ben Jonson is heard to powerful effect in Volpone
  • Period: 1605 BCE to 1605 BCE

    YEAR 1605

    Ben Jonson writes The Masque of Blackness, the first of his many masques for the court of James I.
  • Period: 1604 BCE to 1604 BCE

    YEAR 1604

    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
  • Period: 1601 BCE to 1601 BCE

    YEAR 1601

    Shakespeare's central character in Hamlet expresses both the ideals of the Renaissance and the disillusion of a less confident age
  • Period: 1592 BCE to 1592 BCE

    YEAR 1592

    After tentative beginnings in the three parts of Henry VI, Shakespeare achieves his first masterpiece on stage with Richard III.
  • Period: 1590 BCE to 1590 BCE

    YEAR 1590

    English poet Edmund Spenser celebrates the Protestant Elizabeth I as The Faerie Queene
  • Period: 1582 BCE to 1582 BCE

    YEAR 1582

    The 18-year-old William Shakespeare marries Anne Hathaway in Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Period: 1469 BCE to 1469 BCE

    YEAR 1469

    Thomas Malory, in gaol somewhere in England, compiles Morte d'Arthur – an English account of the French tales of King Arthur
  • Period: 1387 BCE to 1387 BCE

    YEAR c. 1387

    Chaucer begins an ambitious scheme for 100 Canterbury Tales, of which he completes only 24 by the time of his death
  • Period: 1387 BCE to 1387 BCE

    YEAR c. 1387

    Chaucer begins an ambitious scheme for 100 Canterbury Tales, of which he completes only 24 by the time of his death
  • Period: 1385 BCE to 1385 BCE

    YEAR 1385

    Chaucer completes Troilus and Criseyde, his long poem about a legendary love affair in ancient Troy
  • Period: 950 BCE to 950 BCE

    YEAR c. 950

    The material of the Eddas, taking shape in Iceland, derives from earlier sources in Norway, Britain and Burgundy
  • Period: 800 BCE to 800 BCE

    YEAR c. 800

    Beowulf, the first great work of Germanic literature, mingles the legends of Scandinavia with the experience in England of Angles and Saxons
  • Period: 731 BCE to 731 BCE

    YEAR 731

    The Venerable Bede, in his monastery at Jarrow, completes his history of the English church and people
  • Period: 1300 to 1300

    YEAR c. 1300

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

    YEAR c. 1340

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

    YEAR c. 1367

    A narrator who calls himself Will, and whose name may be Langland, begins the epic poem of Piers Plowman One of four new yeomen of the chamber in Edward III's household is Geoffrey Chaucer
  • Period: 1375 to 1375

    YEAR c. 1375

    The courtly poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight tells of a mysterious visitor to the round table of King Arthur
  • Period: 1510 to 1510

    YEAR 1510

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

    YEAR 1524

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

    YEAR 1549

    The first version of the English prayer book, or Book of Common Prayer, is published with text by Thomas Cranmer
  • Period: 1564 to 1564

    YEAR 1564

    Marlowe and Shakespeare are born in the same year, with Marlowe the older by two months
  • Period: 1567 to 1567

    YEAR 1567

    The Book of Common Prayer and the New Testament are published in Welsh, to be followed by the complete Bible in 1588
  • Period: to

    YEAR 1587

    Marlowe's first play, Tamburlaine the Great, introduces the swaggering blank verse of Elizabethan and Jacobean drama
  • Period: to 1623 BCE

    YEAR 1623

    John Heminge and Henry Condell publish thirty-six Shakespeare plays in the First Folio
  • Period: to

    YEAR 1678

    Part I of The Pilgrim's Progress, written during John Bunyan's two spells in Bedford Gaol, is published and is immediately popular
  • Period: to 1895 BCE

    YEAR 1895

    1895

    Oscar Wilde's most brilliant comedy, The Importance of Being Earnest is performed in London's St. James Theatre Oscar Wilde loses a libel case that he has brought against the marquess of Queensberry for describing him as a sodomite Oscar Wilde is sent to Reading Gaol to serve a two-year sentence with hard labour after being convicted of homosexuality H.G. Wells publishes The Time Machine, a story about a Time Traveller whose first stop on his journey is the year 802701
  • LINE OF TIME ENGLISH LITERATURE  

    LINE OF TIME ENGLISH LITERATURE  
    This timeline is for the purpose of learning more about English literature and the most representative authors of each era