the chronological overview of English literature

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In History
  • 450

    Old English (Anglo-Saxon) Period (450–1066)

    Old English (Anglo-Saxon) Period (450–1066)
    Much of the first half of this period—prior to the seventh century, at least—had oral literature. A lot of the prose during this time was a translation of something else or otherwise legal, medical, or religious in nature; however, some works, such as Beowulf and those by period poets Caedmon and Cynewulf, are important.
  • 1066

    Middle English Period (1066–1500)

    Middle English Period (1066–1500)
    from about 1350 onward, secular literature began to rise. This period is home to the likes of Chaucer, Thomas Malory, and Robert Henryson. Notable works include "Piers Plowman" and "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight."
  • 1500

    The Renaissance (1500–1660)

    The Renaissance (1500–1660)
    This period is often subdivided into four parts: Elizabethan Age (1558–1603) the Jacobean Age (1603–1625) the Caroline Age (1625–1649) the Commonwealth Period (1649–1660).
  • The Neoclassical Period (1600–1785)

    The Neoclassical Period (1600–1785)
    The Restoration (1660–1700) William Congreve and John Dryden,Samuel Butler. Other notable writers of the age include Aphra Behn, John Bunyan, and John Locke.
    The Augustan Age (1700–1745)Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift,Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and Daniel Defoe.
    The Age of Sensibility (1745–1785)Edmund Burke, Edward Gibbon, Hester Lynch Thrale, James Boswell,Samuel Johnson Henry Fielding, Samuel Richardson, Tobias Smollett, Laurence Sterne William Cowper; Thomas Percy.
  • The Romantic Period (1785–1832)

    The Romantic Period (1785–1832)
    This era includes the works of such juggernauts as Wordsworth, Coleridge, William Blake, Lord Byron, John Keats, Charles Lamb, Mary Wollstonecraft, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Thomas De Quincey, Jane Austen, and Mary Shelley. T
  • The Victorian Period (1832–1901)

    The Victorian Period (1832–1901)
    Poets of this time include Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Christina Rossetti, Alfred Lord Tennyson, and Matthew Arnold, among others. Thomas Carlyle, John Ruskin, and Walter Pater.

    prose fiction truly found its place under the auspices of Charles Dickens, Charlotte and Emily Bronte, Elizabeth Gaskell, George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans), Anthony Trollope, Thomas Hardy, William Makepeace Thackeray, and Samuel Butler.
  • The Edwardian Period (1901–1914)

    the era includes incredible classic novelists such as Joseph Conrad, Ford Madox Ford, Rudyard Kipling, H.G. Wells, and Henry James. notable poets such as Alfred Noyes and William Butler Yeats; and dramatists such as James Barrie, George Bernard Shaw, and John Galsworthy.
  • The Georgian Period (1910–1936)

    the Georgian poets, such as Ralph Hodgson, John Masefield, W.H. Davies, and Rupert Brooke.
  • The Modern Period (1914–?)

    Some of the most notable writers of this period include the novelists James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence, Joseph Conrad, Dorothy Richardson, Graham Greene, E.M. Forster, and Doris Lessing; the poets W.B. Yeats, T.S. Eliot, W.H. Auden, Seamus Heaney, Wilfred Owens, Dylan Thomas, and Robert Graves; and the dramatists Tom Stoppard, George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett, Frank McGuinness, Harold Pinter, and Caryl Churchill.
  • The Postmodern Period (1945–?)

    Some notable writers of the period include Samuel Beckett, Joseph Heller, Anthony Burgess, John Fowles, Penelope M. Lively, and Iain Banks.