Quill scroll

The English Literature timeline

  • 731

    The Venerable Bede

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

    Beowulf

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

    Edda

    Edda
    It is a compilation between prosaic Edda and poetic Edda. Take place in Iceland, derives from earlier sources in Norway, Britain, and Burgundy.
  • 1300

    Duns Scotus

    Duns Scotus
    Provides humanist with the name Dunsman or Dunce. Some works like Quaestiones, Lectura, expositio, ordinatio, collationes, reportatio,theoremata.
  • 1301

    XIV Century

    XIV Century
    Between 1301 to 1400, It is a hard period, black plague, wars, and else events in all Europe.
  • 1340

    Ockham´s Razor

    Ockham´s Razor
    "Simpler solutions are more likely to be correct than complex one" attributed by William of Ockham
  • 1367

    Piers Plowman

    Piers Plowman
    Is the epic poem written by Will whose name may be Langland
  • 1375

    Sir Gawain and the Green Knigth

    Sir Gawain and the Green Knigth
    Is a metric romance written in a only manuscript, the dialect is from the Midlands from northwest middle english.
  • 1385

    Troilus and Criseyde

    Troilus and Criseyde
    the long poem about a legendary love affair in ancient Troy by Geoffrey Chaucer
  • 1387

    100 Canterbury Tales

    100 Canterbury Tales
    Chaucer begins and 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
    An English account of the French tales of King Arthur
  • 1510

    Christian Humanism

    Christian Humanism
    Erasmus and Thomas More take the northern Renaissance they were two humanist writers and two main leaders of the Protestant Reformation
  • 1524

    The Bible into English

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

    Book of Common Prayer

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

    The Book of Common Prayer and the New Testament

    The Book of Common Prayer and the New Testament
    Are published in Welsh, to be followed by the complete Bible 1588.
  • Tamburlaine the Great

    Tamburlaine the Great
    Was the first Marlowe´s play, introduces the swaggering blank verse of Elizabethan and Jacobean drama.
  • XVII Century

    XVII Century
    Was characterized by the Baroque cultural movement, the latter part of the Scientific Revolution, and according to some historians, The General Crisis.
  • Hamlet

    Hamlet
    Shakespeare´s central character expresses both the ideals of the Renaissance and the disilution of a less confident age.
  • The Masque of Blackness

    The Masque of Blackness
    Written by Ben Jonson, the first of his many masques for the court of James I.
  • Volpone

    Volpone
    The satirical voice of the English playwright Ben Jonson is heard to powerful effect in Volpone.
  • The Tempest

    The Tempest
    Shakespeare´s last completed play is performed.
  • A Description of New England

    A Description of New England
    written by John Smith as an account of his explaration of the region in 1614.
  • William Shakespeare

    William Shakespeare
    Dies at New Place, his home of Stratford-Upon-Avon, and is buried in Holy Trinity Church
  • First Folio

    First Folio
    John Heminge and Henry Condell publish thirty-six Shakespeare plays in the First Folio.
  • The Temple

    The Temple
    George Herbert's only volume of poems, The Temple, is published posthumously
  • Lycidas

    Lycidas
    John Milton's Lycidas is published in memory of a Cambridge friend, Edward King.
  • 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 this title.
  • The Compleat Angler

    The Compleat Angler
    Devoted fisherman Izaak Walton publishes this classic work.
  • Paradise Lost

    Paradise Lost
    It is published, earning its author John Milton just £10.
  • Part I of 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.
  • Oroonoko

    Oroonoko
    Aphra Behn's novel Oroonoko makes an early protest against the inhumanity of the African slave trade
  • Essay concerning Human Understanding

    Essay concerning Human Understanding
    Published by John Locke, arguing that all knowledge is based on experience.
  • The Augustan Age

    The Augustan Age
    The Augustan Age begins in English literature, claiming comparison with the equivalent flowering under Augustus Caesar.
  • Robinson Crusoe

    Robinson Crusoe
    1719 Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, with its detailed realism, can be seen as the first English novel.
  • Gulliver's Travels

    Gulliver's Travels
    Jonathan Swift sends his hero on a series of bitterly satirical travels in Gulliver's Travels.
  • Treatise of Human Nature

    Treatise of Human Nature
    Is published by David Hume, in which he applies to the human mind the principles of experimental science.
  • Clarissa

    Clarissa
    Samuel Richardson's Clarissa begins the correspondence that grows into the longest novel in the English language.
  • Elegy written in a Country Church Yard

    Elegy written in a Country Church Yard
    By the English poet Thomas Gray.
  • Dictionary of the English Language

    Dictionary of the English Language
    By Samuel Johnson.
  • Fingal

    Fingal
    Fingal, supposedly by the medieval poet Ossian, is a forgery in the spirit of the times by James MacPherson.
  • Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

    Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
    English historian Edward Gibbon, sitting among ruins in Rome, conceives the idea of Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
  • Castle of Otranto

    Castle of Otranto
    English author Horace Walpole provides an early taste of Gothic thrills in his novel.
  • Encyclopaedia Britannica

    Encyclopaedia Britannica
    Made by an Society of Gentlemen in Scotland.
  • She Stoops to Conquer

    She Stoops to Conquer
    written by Oliver Goldsmith and is produced in London's Covent Garden theatre.
  • Songs of Innocence

    Songs of Innocence
    By William Blake, in a volume of his poems with every page etched and illustrated by himself.
  • Reflections on the Revolution in France

    Reflections on the Revolution in France
    Written by Anglo-Irish politician Edmund Burke, is a blistering attack on recent events across the Channel.
  • A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

    A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
    English author Mary Wollstonecraft publishes hers passionately feminist work.
  • Thomas Paine

    Thomas Paine
    Thomas Paine moves hurriedly to France, to escape a charge of treason in England for opinions expressed in his Rights of Man
  • 'Tyger! Tyger! burning bright'

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

    Age of Reason
    Published by Thomas Paine, an attack on conventional Christianity
  • Lyrical Ballads

    Lyrical Ballads
    English poets Wordsworth and Coleridge jointly publish Lyrical Ballads, a milestone in the Romantic movement.
  • The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

    The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
    By Samuel Taylor Coleridge is a poem and published in Lyrical Ballad.
  • Walter Scott

    Walter Scott
    Walter Scott publishes The Lay of the Last Minstrel, the long romantic poem that first brings him fame
  • Sense and Sensibility

    Sense and Sensibility
    English author Jane Austen publishes her first work in print, Sense and Sensibility, at her own expense.
  • Childe Harold's Pilgrimage

    Childe Harold's Pilgrimage
    The first two cantos are published of Byron's largely autobiographical poem, bringing him immediate fame.
  • Pride and Prejudice

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

    Ozymandias
    Percy Bysshe Shelley publishes probably his best-known poem, the sonnet Ozymandias.
  • Jane Austen

    Jane Austen
    Two of Jane Austen's novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, are published in the year after her death
  • Frankenstein

    Frankenstein
    Mary Shelley publishes Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, a Gothic tale about giving life to an artificial man.
  • Ivanhoe

    Ivanhoe
    Walter Scott publishes Ivanhoe, a tale of love, tournaments and sieges at the time of the crusade
  • Ode to a Nightingale

    Ode to a Nightingale
    English poet John Keats publishes Ode to a Nightingale, inspired by the bird's song in his Hampstead garden.
  • Ode to the West Wind

    Ode to the West Wind
    By the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, written mainly in a wood near Florence
  • Thomas De Quincey

    Thomas De Quincey
    English author, publishes his autobiographical Confessions of an English Opium-Eater.
  • Table Talk

    Table Talk
    English author William Hazlitt publishes Table Talk, a two-volume collection that includes most of his best-known essays.
  • Domestic Manners of the Americans

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

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

    Oliver Twist
    Charles Dickens' first novel, begins monthly publication (in book form, 1838).
  • The Pied Piper of Hamelin

    The Pied Piper of Hamelin
    English poet Robert Browning publishes a vivid narrative poem about the terrible revenge.
  • Coningsby

    Coningsby
    Benjamin Disraeli develops the theme of Conservatism uniting 'two nations', the rich and the poor.
  • Friedrich Engels

    Friedrich Engels
    After running a textile factory in Manchester, publishes The Condition of the Working Class in England.
  • Book of Nonsense

    Book of Nonsense
    Edward Lear publishes his book, consisting of limericks illustrated with his own cartoons.
  • Vanity Fair

    Vanity Fair
    English author William Makepeace Thackeray begins publication of his novel Vanity Fair in monthly parts
  • Jane Eyre

    Jane Eyre
    Charlotte becomes the first of the Brontë sisters to have a novel published.
  • David Copperfield

    David Copperfield
    Charles Dickens begins the publication in monthly numbers of David Copperfield, his own favourite among his novels
  • Peter Mark Roget

    Peter Mark Roget
    London physician Peter Mark Roget publishes his dictionary of synonyms, the Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases.
  • Maud

     Maud
    Tennyson publishes a long narrative poem, Maud, a section of which ('Come into the garden, Maud') becomes famous as a song
  • The Warden

    The Warden
    English author Anthony Trollope publishes The Warden, the first in his series of six Barsetshire novels
  • 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
  • Charles Darwin

    Charles Darwin
    Charles Darwin puts forward the theory of evolution in On the Origin of Species, the result of 20 years' research
  • A Tale of Two Cities

    A Tale of Two Cities
    Charles Dickens publishes his French Revolution novel.
  • The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám

    The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám
    Edward FitzGerald publishes The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, romantic translations of the work of the Persian poe
  • George Eliot

    George Eliot
    English author George Eliot wins fame with her first full-length novel, Adam Bede
  • The Mill on the Floss

    The Mill on the Floss
    By George Eliot, her novel about the childhood of Maggie and Tom Tulliver
  • East Lynne

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

    Alice Liddell
    Oxford mathematician Lewis Carroll tells 10-year-old Alice Liddell, on a boat trip, a story about her own adventures in Wonderland
  • The Water-Babies

    The Water-Babies
    English author Charles Kingsley publishes an improving fantasy for young children.
  • 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
  • Great Expectations

    Great Expectations
    Charles Dickens begins serial publication of his novel "Great Expectations" (in book form 1861)
  • Culture and Anarchy

    Culture and Anarchy
    English author Matthew Arnold publishes Culture and Anarchy, an influential collection of essays about contemporary society
  • Through the Looking Glass

    Through the Looking Glass
    Lewis Carroll publishes Through the Looking Glass, a second story of Alice's adventures
  • Far from the Madding Crowd

    Far from the Madding Crowd
    English author Thomas Hardy has his first success with this novel.
  • Bulgarian Horrors

    Bulgarian Horrors
    William Gladstone's pamphlet Bulgarian Horrors, protesting at massacre by the Turks, sells 200,000 copies within a month
  • The Hunting of the Snark

    The Hunting of the Snark
    Lewis Carroll publishes a poem about a voyage in search of an elusive mythical creature
  • Treasure Island

    Treasure Island
    Robert Louis Stevenson's adventure story, Treasure Island, features Long John Silver and Ben Gunn.
  • 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
  • The Arabian Nights

    The Arabian Nights
    Explorer and orientalist Richard Burton begins publication of his multi-volume translation from the Arabic of The Arabian Nights
  • The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

    The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
    Robert Louis Stevenson introduces a dual personality in his novel.
  • The Mayor of Casterbridge

    The Mayor of Casterbridge
    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
  • Study in Scarlet

    Study in Scarlet
    Sherlock Holmes features in Conan Doyle's first novel, A Study in Scarlet
  • The Wanderings of Oisin

    The Wanderings of Oisin
    23-year-old Irish author William Butler Yeats publishes his first volume of poems.
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray

    The Picture of Dorian Gray
    Oscar Wilde publishes his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray in which the ever-youthful hero's portrait grows old and ugly
  • Tess of the Durbervilles

    Tess of the Durbervilles
    Thomas Hardy publishes his novel Tess of the Durbervilles, with a dramatic finale at Stonehenge
  • The Countess Cathleen

    The Countess Cathleen
    W.B. Yeats publishes a short play The Countess Cathleen, his first contribution to Irish poetic drama
  • The Diary of a Nobody

    The Diary of a Nobody
    Mr Pooter is the suburban anti-hero, by George and Weedon Grossmith
  • The Jungle Book

    The Jungle Book
    Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book surrounds the child Mowgli with a collection of vivid animal guardians
  • The Importance of Being Earnest

    The Importance of Being Earnest
    Oscar Wilde's most brilliant comedy, is performed in London's St. James Theatre
  • The Time Machine

     The Time Machine
    H.G. Wells publishes a story about a Time Traveller whose first stop on his journey is the year 802701
  • A Shropshire Lad

    A Shropshire Lad
    English poet A.E. Housman publishes his first collection
  • Liza of Lambeth

    Liza of Lambeth
    Somerset Maugham publishes his first novel, based on the London life he has observed as a medical student.
  • Dracula

    Dracula
    English author Bram Stoker publishes his gothic tale of vampirism in Transylvania.
  • The War of the Worlds

    The War of the Worlds
    H.G. Wells publishes his science-fiction novel, in which Martians arrive in a rocket to invade earth
  • The Turn of the Screw

    The Turn of the Screw
    By Henry James in a collection of short stories.
  • The Story of the Treasure Seekers

    The Story of the Treasure Seekers
    By E. Nesbit, introducing the Bastable family who feature in several of her books for children.
  • Lord Jim

    Lord Jim
    Joseph Conrad publishes his novel Lord Jim about a life of failure and redemption in the far East.
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit

    The Tale of Peter Rabbit
    By Beatrix Potter
  • Just So Stories for Little Children

    Just So Stories for Little Children
    Written by Rudyard Kipling.
  • Sea Fever

    Sea Fever
    John Masefield's poem published in Salt-Water Ballads
  • The Wings of the Dove.

    The Wings of the Dove.
    Henry James publishes the first of his three last novels.
  • Heart of Darkness

    Heart of Darkness
    Joseph Conrad publishes a collection of stories including Heart of Darkness, a sinister tale based partly on his own journey up the Congo.
  • The Riddle of the Sands

     The Riddle of the Sands
    Erskine Childers has a best-seller in The Riddle of the Sands, a thriller about a planned German invasion of Britain
  • Nostromo

    Nostromo
    Joseph Conrad publishes his novel, about a revolution in South America and a fatal horde of silver.
  • The Golden Bowl

    The Golden Bowl
    Henry James publishes his last completed novel.
  • Peter Pan

    Peter Pan
    J.M Barrie's play for children Peter Pan, or the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up has its premiere in London
  • the story of a simple soul

    the story of a simple soul
    H.G. Wells publishes Kipps. A comic novel about a bumbling draper's assistant.
  • Bernard Shaw

    Bernard Shaw
    has two new plays opening in London in the same year, Major Barbara and Man and Superman
  • The Railway Children

    The Railway Children
    E. Nesbit publishes The Railway Children, the most successful of her books featuring the Bastable family.
  • The Man of Property

    The Man of Property
    John Galsworthy publishes the first of his novels chronicling the family of Soames Forsyte.
  • Father and Son

    Father and Son
    Edmund Gosse publishes Father and Son, an account of his difficult relationship with his fundamentalist father, Philip Gosse
  • The Wind in the Willows

    The Wind in the Willows
    Rat, Mole and Toad, in Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows, appeal to a wide readership
  • Ann Veronica

    Ann Veronica
    The heroine of H.G. Wells' novel Ann Veronica is a determined example of the New Woman
  • Prester John

    Prester John
    John Buchan publishe, the first of his adventure stories
  • The History of Mr Polly

    The History of Mr Polly
    H.G. Wells publishes a novel about an escape from drab everyday existence.
  • The White Peacock

    The White Peacock
    D.H. Lawrence's career as a writer is launched with the publication of his first novel.
  • Sons and Lovers

    Sons and Lovers
    D.H. Lawrence publishes a semi-autobiographical novel about the Morel family.
  • Dubliners

    Dubliners
    After years of delay James Joyce's Dubliners, a collection of short stories, is published
  • The Voyage Out

    The Voyage Out
    The English writer Virginia Woolf publishes her first novel.
  • The Rainbow

    The Rainbow
    D.H. Lawrence's novel about the Brangwen family, is seized by the police as an obscene work.
  • Over the Brazier

    Over the Brazier
    Robert Graves publishes his first book of poems.
  • The Man with Two Left Feet

    The Man with Two Left Feet
    Jeeves and Bertie Wooster make their first appearance in P.G. Wodehouse's The Man with Two Left Feet.
  • The Return of the Soldier

    The Return of the Soldier
    Rebecca West publishes her first novel.
  • The Mysterious Affair at Styles

    The Mysterious Affair at Styles
    The Belgian detective Hercule Poirot features in Agatha Christie's first book.
  • Whose Body?

    Whose Body?
    The gentleman detective Lord Peter Wimsey makes his first appearance in Dorothy Sayers' Whose Body?
  • A Passage to India

    A Passage to India
    E.M. Forster's novel builds on cultural misconceptions between the British and Indian communities.
  • Pastors and Masters

    Pastors and Masters
    English writer Ivy Compton-Burnett finds her characteristic voice in her second novel.
  • Seven Pillars of Wisdom

    Seven Pillars of Wisdom
    T.E. Lawrence publishes privately his autobiographical, describing his part in the Arab uprising.
  • A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle

    A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle
    Hugh MacDiarmid writes his long poem A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle in a revived version of the Lallans dialect of the Scottish borders
  • Winnie-the-Pooh

    Winnie-the-Pooh
    Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore and the others make their first appearance in A.A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh
  • Tarka the Otter

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

    The Hotel
    Anglo-Irish author Elizabeth Bowen publishes her first novel.
  • A High Wind in Jamaica

    A High Wind in Jamaica
    Richard Hughes publishes his first novel.
  • The Good Companions

    The Good Companions
    English author J.B. Priestley has an immediate success with his first novel.
  • Swallows and Amazons

    Swallows and Amazons
    Is the first of Arthur Ransome's adventure stories for children
  • in Murder at the Vicarage

     in Murder at the Vicarage
    Agatha Christie's Miss Marple makes her first appearance.
  • 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.
  • Brave New World

    Brave New World
    British author Aldous Huxley gives a bleak view of a science-based future in his novel.
  • A Glastonbury Romance

     A Glastonbury Romance
    John Cowper Powys's novel A Glastonbury Romance is published first in New York.
  • The Shape of Things to Come

    The Shape of Things to Come
    H.G. Wells publishes a novel in which he accurately predicts a renewal of world war.
  • Murder in the Cathedral

    Murder in the Cathedral
    T.S. Eliot's play Murder in the Cathedral has its first performance in Canterbury cathedral
  • Brighton Rock

    Brighton Rock
    British author Graham Greene publishes Brighton Rock, a novel following 17-year-old Pinkie in the criminal underworld of the seaside town
  • Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats

    Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats
    T.S. Eliot gives cats a poetic character in Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats
  • Famous Five in Five on a Treasure Island

    Famous Five in Five on a Treasure Island
    English children's author Enid Blyton introduces the Famous Five in Five on a Treasure Island
  • Under the Volcano

     Under the Volcano
    English author and alcoholic Malcolm Lowry publishes an autobiographical novel.
  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

    The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
    C.S. Lewis gives the first glimpse of Narnia in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
  • The Day of the Triffids

    The Day of the Triffids
    British author John Wyndham creates a dark fantasy in his novel The Day of the Triffids
  • Lord of the Flies

    Lord of the Flies
    William Golding gives a chilling account of schoolboy savagery in his first novel.
  • The Lord of the Rings

     The Lord of the Rings
    British philologist J.R.R. Tolkien publishes the third and final volume of his epic fantasy The Lord of the Rings
  • The Hawk in the Rain

    The Hawk in the Rain
    Is English author Ted Hughes' first volume of poems
  • The Birthday Party

    The Birthday Party
    Harold Pinter's first play in London's West End, The Birthday Party, closes in less than a week
  • A Clockwork Orange

    A Clockwork Orange
    Anthony Burgess publishes a novel depicting a disturbing and violent near-future.
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
    Roald Dahl publishes a fantasy treat for a starving child.
  • The Magic Toyshop

    The Magic Toyshop
    English author Angela Carter wins recognition with her quirky second novel.
  • The Cement Garden

    The Cement Garden
    British author Ian McEwan publishes his first novel.
  • A Start in Life

    A Start in Life
    English author Anita Brookner publishes her first novel.
  • Flaubert's Parrot

    Flaubert's Parrot
    English author Julian Barnes publishes a multi-faceted literary novel.
  • Trainspotting

    Trainspotting
    Scottish author Irvine Welsh publishes his first novel.
  • Harry Potter

    Harry Potter
    A schoolboy wizard performs his first tricks in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
  • His Dark Materials

    His Dark Materials
    The Amber Spyglass completes Philip Pullman's trilogy, His Dark Materials