The chronological overview of English literature

  • 1890 BCE

    The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

    The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
    The Picture of Dorian Gray or The Picture of Dorian Gray is a novel written by the Irish author Oscar Wilde, who had a prolific work as a playwright and short story writer
  • 450

    450 – 1066 Old English (Anglo-Saxon)

    450 – 1066 Old English (Anglo-Saxon)
    Old English was the language spoken in England from approximately AD 500 to 1100. It is one of the Germanic languages derived from a prehistoric Common Germanic originally spoken in southern Scandinavia and the northernmost parts of Germany. Old English is also known as Anglo-Saxon, which is derived from the names of two Germanic tribes that invaded England during the 5th century. The most famous work in ancient English literature is the epic poem "Beowulf".
  • Period: 500 to 1500

    Middle Ages or Medieval

    High Middle Ages, ecclesiastical copyists, many of them could not read or write, they only dedicated themselves to copying texts.
  • Period: 600 to 700

    Anonymous Author: Beowulf

    Anonymous Author: Beowulf
    It is an older Anglo-Saxon epic poem, which was written in Old English in alliterative verse. between the ages VI - VIII
  • Period: 680 to 700

    (Anglo-Saxon) Caedmon 680

    Caedmon Hymn:
    The first written texts were poems located in the century VII
  • 700

    The stories of King Arthur

    The stories of King Arthur
    the stories of King Arthur
    The legend of King Arthur was first popularized in a 12th century chronicle called "History of the Kings of Britain", written by a Welsh monk. It was probably based on Popular Tales. It was written between the VII - XVI Centuaries
  • 1066

    The Decline of Anglo-Saxons

    The Decline of Anglo-Saxons
    The Anglo-Saxon period flourished until the Norman Conquest of 1066. After the defeat of Harold, the last of Saxon kings, by William who was the Conqueror of Normandy.
  • 1066

    The Norman Conquest of England (XI)

    The Norman Conquest of England (XI)
    The Norman Conquest of England
    It was the invasion and occupation of England in the XI century by an army made up of Normans, Bretons, Flemings and French led by Duke William II of Normandy
  • 1136

    Godofredo de Monmouth English

    writes the history of Regum Britanniae (1130 -and 1136), a book that chronologically describes the lives of the British kings
  • 1400

    Geoffrey Chaucer

    Geoffrey Chaucer
    Geoffrey was an English writer, philosopher, diplomat and poet, best known for being the author of the Canterbury Tales. He is considered the most important English poet of the Middle Ages and the first to be buried in the Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey.
  • 1500

    Renaissance (XV - XVI)

    Printing is introduced, literary works focus on humanism. It was a period of transition between the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Modern Age
  • 1558

    Elizabethan era (1558-1603)

    Elizabethan era (1558-1603)
    It is the era of English history marked by the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, and until the death of James I in 1625. She writes the poem "The faerie Queene" celebrating the Tudor dynasty and Elizabeth I
  • Period: 1558 to

    Francis Bacon (1558 - 1625)

    Pioneer of English prose
  • Period: 1559 to

    George Chapman (1559 -1634)

    Translate to English The Iliad and Homer's Odyssey
  • 1567

    Jacobin epoch (1567–1625)

    Jacobin epoch (1567–1625)
    The Jacobin era is the period of English and Scottish history that coincides with the reign of James VI of Scotland
  • Period: to

    William Shakespeare (1585–1613)

    was an English playwright, poet and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English. some of his famous works were Hamlet, Othello, Antony, and Cleopatria.
  • Holy Bible (1611)

    Holy Bible (1611)
    King James Bible - The beloved and poetic English translation of 1611. One of the most widely read and influential books in the history of English literature.
  • Period: to


    During the Cromwell regime, censorship and radical moralism reigned, causing a break in literary culture.
    Main works
    - Paradise Lost (John Milton)
    - The medal (John Drayden)
    - Essay on Human Understanding (John Locke)
  • Period: to

    The Neoclassical Period (1660 – 1785)

    Artistic and literary movement that emerged in the mid-18th century and spanned up to the 19th century. Essays and texts that convey moralizing ideas abound.
    Neoclassical literature offered a critique of customs, reflecting on the role of women and the importance of education
  • 18th century and Romanticism

    It was augusta
    The first novels were given in English, the first works were born, renowned authors such as Daniel Defoe and Jonathan Swift.
    At the end of this century, the romanticism movement begins, which is linked to the Gothic novel. the important authors of this movement: Sir Walter Scott, Horace Walpole and Ann Radcliffe.
  • Victorian period

    Victorian period
    The novel dominated English literature during the Victorian era, these novels were long and wordy, with intricate language, with its representation close to real social life, which the central role was assumed by women.
  • Period: to

    Oliver twist by charles dickens

    It was written between 1837 and 1839 and presents a picture of English society from the Victorian era.
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

    Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
    Jane Eyre is a novel written by Charlotte Brontë, published in 1847 by Smith, Elder & Company, which at the time of its appearance achieved great popularity, elevating the author as one of the best romantic novelists, and is today considered a classic of English-language literature.
  • Period: to

    Modernist literature

    Modernist literature or literary modernism, also called Anglo-Saxon modernism, avant-garde literature is generally known, mainly in the English language, which had its heyday more or less between the years 1900 and 1940.
  • Postmodern literature (XXI)

    Two examples from postmodern English literature are: John Fowles and Julian Barnes. Some important writers of the early 21st century include: Martin Amis, Ian McEwan, Will Self, Andrew Motion, and Salman Rushdie.