Timeline: English literature

  • Period: 450 to 1066

    OLD ENGLISH

    This period encompasses all literature old, and anglo-saxon England, writed to 7en century to the decades after the Norman Conquest in 1066.
    This period was consist in a literature based in poetry, songs and cronics that talked about heros, kings, battle and epics events.
    The Himno de Cædmon, is the oldest recorded Old English poem, composed was Cædmon, a cow-herder that was sing in honour to God "The Creator" with words that he never heard before. It was composed in 658 and 680.
  • 731

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

     The Venerable Bede, in his monastery at Jarrow, completes his history of the English church and people
    Go to Bede (673–735) in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • 800

    Beowulf, the first great work of Germanic literature

    Beowulf, the first great work of Germanic literature
    mingles the legends of Scandinavia with the experience in England of Angles and Saxons.
    Go to Beowulf in A Dictionary of English Folklore (1 ed.)
  • 950

    The material of the Eddas

    The material of the Eddas
    taking shape in Iceland, derives from earlier sources in Norway, Britain and Burgundy
    Go to Edda in The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms (3 ed.)
  • Period: 1066 to 1500

    MIDDLE ENGLISH

    Is was characterized so be a period transient between Old English and Modern English; in the start of period, we encounter consisted in a language chiefly old germanic, but after this event transient, the structure in its sounds, spellings, grammar and vocabulary, underwered changes derivates of languages French before the Norman Conquest in 1066.
  • 1300

    Duns Scotus

    Duns Scotus
    known as the Subtle Doctor in medieval times, later provides humanists with the name Dunsman or dunce Go to Duns Scotus, Bl Johannes (c.1265–1308) in The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (2 rev ed.)
  • 1340

    William of Ockham

    William of Ockham
    advocates paring down arguments to their essentials, an approach later known as Ockham's Razor Go to Ockham's razor n. in A Dictionary of Psychology (3 ed.)
  • 1367

    Poem of Piers Plowman

    Poem of Piers Plowman
    A narrator who calls himself Will, and whose name may be Langland, begins the epic poem of Piers Plowman Go to Piers Plowman in A Dictionary of British History (1 rev ed.)
  • 1375

    The courtly poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

    The courtly poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
    tells of a mysterious visitor to the round table of King Arthur Go to Gawain and the Green Knight, Sir in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • 1375

    Chaucer completes Troilus and Criseyde

    Chaucer completes Troilus and Criseyde
    his long poem about a legendary love affair in ancient Troy Go to Troilus and Criseyde in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • 1387

    100 Canterbury Tales

    100 Canterbury Tales
    Chaucer begins an ambitious scheme for 100 Canterbury Tales, of which he completes only 24 by the time of his death Go to Canterbury Tales in A Dictionary of British History (1 rev ed.)
  • 1469

    Thomas Malory

    Thomas Malory
    In gaol somewhere in England, compiles Morte d'Arthur – an English account of the French tales of King Arthur Go to Malory, Sir Thomas (d. 1471) in A Dictionary of British History (1 rev ed.)
  • Period: 1500 to

    English Renaissance

    It was characterized by proposing literary texts written in lyric poetry, prose, chivalry novel, picaresque novel and theater (drama and tragedy). The topics covered ranged from mythological conflicts, antiheroes to sensuality.
    Authors like E. Spenser, C. Marlowe, R. Walter and W. Shakespear stand out for their magnificent books, for example The King James Bible, which became the standard Bible for The Church of England.
  • 1510

    Erasmus and Thomas More

    Erasmus and Thomas More
    take the northern Renaissance in the direction of Christian humanism Go to humanism in The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy (2 rev ed.)
  • 1524

    William Tyndale

     William Tyndale
    studies in the university at Wittenberg and plans to translate the Bible into English Go to Tyndale, William (c.1494–1536) in A Dictionary of British History (1 rev ed.)
  • 1549

    Book of Common Prayer

    Book of Common Prayer
    The first version of the English prayer book, or Book of Common Prayer, is published with text by Thomas Cranmer Go to Book of Common Prayer noun in Oxford Dictionary of English (3 ed.)
  • 1564

    Marlowe and Shakespeare are born

    Marlowe and Shakespeare are born
    Are born in the same year, with Marlowe the older by two months Go to Marlowe, Christopher in Oxford Dictionary of English (3 ed.)
  • 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 in 1588 Go to Book of Common Prayer noun in Oxford Dictionary of English (3 ed.)
  • 1582

    William Shakespeare marries Anne Hathaway

    William Shakespeare marries Anne Hathaway
    The 18-year-old William Shakespeare marries Anne Hathaway in Stratford-upon-Avon Go to Shakespeare, William (1564–1616) in World Encyclopedia (1 ed.)
  • Marlowe's first play

    Marlowe's first play
    Tamburlaine the Great, introduces the swaggering blank verse of Elizabethan and Jacobean drama Go to Marlowe, Christopher in Oxford Dictionary of English (3 ed.)
  • The Faerie Queene

    The Faerie Queene
    English poet Edmund Spenser celebrates the Protestant Elizabeth I as The Faerie Queene Go to Spenser, Edmund in Oxford Dictionary of English (3 ed.)
  • Shakespeare achieves his first masterpiece

    Shakespeare achieves his first masterpiece
    After tentative beginnings in the three parts of Henry VI, Shakespeare achieves his first masterpiece on stage with Richard III Go to Shakespeare, William (1564–1616) in World Encyclopedia (1 ed.)
  • Renaissance and the disillusion

    Renaissance and the disillusion
    Shakespeare's central character in Hamlet expresses both the ideals of the Renaissance and the disillusion of a less confident age Go to Hamlet [Shakes.] in The Oxford Dictionary of Reference and Allusion (3 ed.)
  • Authorized version of the Bible

    James I commissions the Authorized version of the Bible, which is completed by forty-seven scholars in seven years Go to Durgāpur (West Bengal/India) in The Concise Dictionary of World Place-Names (2 ed.)
  • List of the King's Men

    List of the King's Men
    William Shakespeare's name appears among the actors in a list of the King's Men Go to Shakespeare, William (1564–1616) in World Encyclopedia (1 ed.)
  • The Masque of Blackness

    Ben Jonson writes The Masque of Blackness, the first of his many masques for the court of James I Go to masque in The Oxford Dictionary of Dance (2 ed.)
  • The satirical

    The satirical
    The satirical voice of the English playwright Ben Jonson is heard to powerful effect in Volpone Go to Volpone [Lit.] in The Oxford Dictionary of Reference and Allusion (3 ed.)
  • Shakespeare's sonnets

    Shakespeare's sonnets
    Shakespeare's sonnets, written ten years previously, are published Go to Shakespeare, William (1564–1616) in World Encyclopedia (1 ed.)
  • The Tempest

    The Tempest
    Shakespeare's last completed play, The Tempest, is performed Go to Shakespeare, William (1564–1616) in World Encyclopedia (1 ed.)
  • A Description of New England

    John Smith publishes A Description of New England, an account of his exploration of the region in 1614
  • William Shakespeare dies at New Place

    William Shakespeare dies at New Place
    William Shakespeare dies at New Place, his home in Stratford-upon-Avon, and is buried in Holy Trinity Church Go to Shakespeare, William (1564–1616) in World Encyclopedia (1 ed.)
  • John Donne

    John Donne
    John Donne, England's leading Metaphysical poet, becomes dean of St Paul's Go to Donne, John (c.1572–1631) in The Oxford Dictionary of the Renaissance (1 ed.)
  • Thirty-six Shakespeare plays in the First Folio

    John Heminge and Henry Condell publish thirty-six Shakespeare plays in the First Folio Go to Folio, the First in A Dictionary of Shakespeare (1 ed.)
  • The Temple

    The Temple
    George Herbert's only volume of poems, The Temple, is published posthumously Go to Herbert, George (1593–1633) in A Dictionary of British History (1 rev ed.)
  • John Milton's Lycidas

    John Milton's Lycidas
    John Milton's Lycidas is published in memory of a Cambridge friend, Edward King Go to Milton, John (1608–74) in World Encyclopedia (1 ed.)
  • 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 the title The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America Go to Bradstreet, Anne (c.1612–1672) in The Oxford Companion to English Literature (7 ed.)
  • The Compleat Angler

    The Compleat Angler
    Devoted fisherman Izaak Walton publishes the classic work on the subject, The Compleat Angler Go to Walton, Izaak (1593–1683) in The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (2 rev ed.)
  • Period: to

    Puritan

    This period was developed in the reign of Elizabeth I, where writers such as Cotton Mather or Thomas Shepard stood out, noted for their speeches in the form of religious or political essay pamphlets.
  • Samuel Pepys

    Samuel Pepys
    On the first day of the new year Samuel Pepys gets up late, eats the remains of the turkey and begins his diary Go to Pepys, Samuel (1633–1703) in A Dictionary of World History (2 ed.)
  • Period: to

    Restoration Age

    This period brought changes to society and the way in which people conceived their environment, the decorum and morality known in the Puritan period were thrown into the wind, the above can be seen in the works of the time, odes that focused on celebrate or reject the restored court of Carlos II.
  • Paradise Lost

    Paradise Lost
    Paradise Lost is published, earning its author John Milton just £10 Go to Paradise Lost in A Dictionary of British History (1 rev ed.)
  • Samuel Pepys ends his diary

    Samuel Pepys ends his diary
    Samuel Pepys ends his diary, after only writing it for nine years Go to Pepys, Samuel (1633–1703) in A Dictionary of World History (2 ed.)
  • The Pilgrim's Progress

    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 Go to Pilgrim's Progress in The Oxford Companion to British History (1 rev ed.)
  • Aphra Behn's novel Oroonoko

    Aphra Behn's novel Oroonoko
    Aphra Behn's novel Oroonoko makes an early protest against the inhumanity of the African slave trade Go to Behn, Mrs Afra (1640–89) in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • John Locke publishes his Essay

    John Locke publishes his Essay
    John Locke publishes his Essay concerning Human Understanding, arguing that all knowledge is based on experience Go to Locke, John (1632–1704) in A Dictionary of British History (1 rev ed.)
  • Period: to

    18th Century

    This period is recognized for encompassing a large number of genres such as satirical and realistic, sentimental and pre-romantic, psychological, etc. Some writers of the time were Jonathan Swift, with his work Gulliver’s Travel, Daniel Defoe and his work Robinson Crusoe and the best poet Alexander Pope, with his burlesque poems in The Rape of the Lock.
    The viewer and The Tatle are discarded as sources of journalism created at the time.
  • The Augustan Age

    The Augustan Age
    The Augustan Age begins in English literature, claiming comparison with the equivalent flowering under Augustus Caesar Go to Augustan age in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • New style of journalism

    The Tatler launches a new style of journalism in Britain's coffee houses, followed two years later by the Spectator Go to Tatler in The Oxford Companion to English Literature (7 ed.)
  • Principles of Human Knowledge

    Principles of Human Knowledge
    25-year-old George Berkeley attacks Locke in his Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge Go to Berkeley, George (1685–1753) in The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (2 rev ed.)
  • Rape of the Lock

    Rape of the Lock
    Alexander Pope's Rape of the Lock introduces a delicate vein of mock-heroic in English poetry Go to Pope, Alexander (1688–1744) in A Dictionary of British History (1 rev ed.)
  • Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe

    Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe
    Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, with its detailed realism, can be seen as the first English novel Go to Robinson Crusoe in The Oxford Companion to English Literature (7 ed.)
  • Gulliver's Travels

    Jonathan Swift sends his hero on a series of bitterly satirical travels in Gulliver's Travels Go to Swift, Jonathan (1667–1745) in The Oxford Companion to British History (1 rev ed.)
  • Treatise of Human Nature

    Treatise of Human Nature
    David Hume publishes his Treatise of Human Nature, in which he applies to the human mind the principles of experimental science Go to Hume, David (1711–76) in The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (2 rev ed.)
  • Samuel Richardson's

    Samuel Richardson's
    Samuel Richardson's Clarissa begins the correspondence that grows into the longest novel in the English language Go to Clarissa: or The History of a Young Lady in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • Tom Jones

    Tom Jones
    Henry Fielding introduces a character of lasting appeal in the lusty but good-hearted Tom Jones Go to Tom Jones, The History of in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • Elegy

    Elegy
    English poet Thomas Gray publishes his Elegy written in a Country Church Yard Go to Gray, Thomas (1716–71) in A Dictionary of British History (1 rev ed.)
  • Dictionary of the English Language

    Dictionary of the English Language
    Samuel Johnson publishes his magisterial Dictionary of the English Language Go to Johnson, Samuel (1709–84) in The Oxford Companion to the Book (1 ed.)
  • Diary of everyday life

    Diary of everyday life
    James Woodforde, an English country parson with a love of food and wine, begins a detailed diary of everyday life Go to Woodforde, Revd James (1740–1803) in The Oxford Companion to English Literature (7 ed.)
  • Tristram Shandy

     Tristram Shandy
    Laurence Sterne publishes the first two volumes of Tristram Shandy, beginning with the scene at the hero's conception Go to Sterne, Laurence (1713–68) in A Dictionary of British History (1 rev ed.)
  • Fingal

    Fingal
    Fingal, supposedly by the medieval poet Ossian, is a forgery in the spirit of the times by James MacPherson Go to Macpherson, James (1736–96) in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • James Boswell & Samuel Johnson

    James Boswell &  Samuel Johnson
    James Boswell meets Samuel Johnson for the first time, in the London bookshop of Thomas Davies Go to Boswell, James (1740–95) in World Encyclopedia (1 ed.)
  • 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 Go to Gibbon, Edward (1737–94) in A Dictionary of British History (1 rev ed.)
  • Castle of Otranto

    Castle of Otranto
    English author Horace Walpole provides an early taste of Gothic thrills in his novel Castle of Otranto Go to Walpole, Horace, 4th earl of Orford (1717–97) in A Dictionary of British History (1 rev ed.)
  • Encyclopaedia Britannica

    Encyclopaedia Britannica
    A Society of Gentlemen in Scotland begins publication of the immensely successful Encyclopaedia Britannica Go to Encyclopaedia Britannica in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • Thomas Chatterton

     Thomas Chatterton
    17-year-old Thomas Chatterton, later hailed as a significant poet, commits suicide in a London garret Go to Chatterton, Thomas (1752–70) in World Encyclopedia (1 ed.)
  • London's Covent Garden theatre

    London's Covent Garden theatre
    Oliver Goldsmith's play She Stoops to Conquer is produced in London's Covent Garden theatre Go to Goldsmith, Oliver (1728–74) in A Dictionary of British History (1 rev ed.)
  • Thomas Paine

    Thomas Paine
    Encouraged by Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine emigrates to America and settles in Philadelphia Go to Paine, Thomas (1737–1809) in The Oxford Companion to British History (1 rev ed.)
  • Period: to

    Romanticism

    This period gives literary history works in which the cult of intellectual and emotional sensitivity is mixed with personal imagination and the need to expose a genuine poetry based on feelings, beauty and aesthetics.
    We must emphasize that there were several relevant literary currents in the period of romanticism, such as literary criticism, non-fictional prose, and personal essay.
  • Edmund Burke

     Edmund Burke
    Anglo-Irish politician Edmund Burke publishes Reflections on the Revolution in France, a blistering attack on recent events across the Channel Go to Burke, Edmund (1729–97) in World Encyclopedia (1 ed.)
  • Songs of Innocence and Experience

    Songs of Innocence and Experience
    William Blake's volume Songs of Innocence and Experience includes his poem Tyger! Tyger! burning bright.
  • Samuel Taylor

    Samuel Taylor
    Samuel Taylor Coleridge says that while writing Kubla Khan he is interrupted by 'a person on business from Porlock' Go to ‘Kubla Khan: a Vision in a Dream’ in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • Lyrical Ballads

     Lyrical Ballads
    English poets Wordsworth and Coleridge jointly publish Lyrical Ballads, a milestone in the Romantic movement Go to Lyrical Ballads, with a Few Other Poems in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

    Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner' is published in Lyrical Ballads Go to Ancient Mariner, The Rime of the in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • William Blake and Jerusalem

    William Blake and Jerusalem
    William Blake includes his poem 'Jerusalem' in the Preface to his book Milton Go to Milton in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • Lay of the Last Minstrel

    Lay of the Last Minstrel
    Walter Scott publishes The Lay of the Last Minstrel, the long romantic poem that first brings him fame Go to Lay of the Last Minstrel, The in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • Lady of the Lake

    Walter Scott's poem Lady of the Lake brings tourists in unprecedented numbers to Scotland's Loch Katrine Go to Lady of the Lake, The in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • Childe Harold's Pilgrimage

    Childe Harold's Pilgrimage
    The first two cantos are published of Byron's largely autobiographical poem Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, bringing him immediate fame Go to Byron, George Gordon, 6th Baron Byron (1788–1824) in A Dictionary of British History (1 rev ed.)
  • Ozymandias

    Ozymandias
    Percy Bysshe Shelley publishes probably his best-known poem, the sonnet Ozymandias Go to Shelley, Percy Bysshe (1792–1822) in World Encyclopedia (1 ed.)
  • Northanger Abbey and Persuasion

    Northanger Abbey and Persuasion
    Two of Jane Austen's novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, are published in the year after her death Go to Austen, Jane (1775–1817) in A Dictionary of British History (1 rev ed.)
  • Frankenstein

    Frankenstein
    Mary Shelley publishes Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, a Gothic tale about giving life to an artificial man Go to Shelley, Mary in Oxford Dictionary of English (3 ed.)
  • Don Juan

    Don Juan
    Byron begins publication in parts of his longest poem, Don Juan an epic satirical comment on contemporary life Go to Don Juan in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • Ivanhoe

    Ivanhoe
    Walter Scott publishes Ivanhoe, a tale of love, tournaments and sieges at the time of the crusades Go to Ivanhoe in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • Ode to a Nightingale

    English poet John Keats publishes Ode to a Nightingale, inspired by the bird's song in his Hampstead garden Go to Keats, John (1795–1821) in World Encyclopedia (1 ed.)
  • John Keats dies

    John Keats dies
    English poet John Keats dies in Rome at the age of twenty-five Go to Keats, John (1795–1821) in World Encyclopedia (1 ed.)
  • 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 Go to Trollope, Frances (1780–1863) in The Concise Oxford Companion to American Literature (1 ed.)
  • Pickwick Papers

    Pickwick Papers
    24-year-old Charles Dickens begins monthly publication of his first work of fiction, Pickwick Papers (published in book form in 1837) Go to Pickwick Papers in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • Oliver Twist

    Oliver Twist
    Charles Dickens' first novel, Oliver Twist, begins monthly publication (in book form, 1838) Go to Dickens, Charles John Huffam (1812–70) in World Encyclopedia (1 ed.)
  • Period: to

    Victorian

    This era began with the coronation of Queen Victoria and ended with her death, preceded by romanticism, this period gave great importance to the novel, with the considered the best novelist of the Victorian era, Charles Dickens, who with his imagination I believe fictional characters who was related stories of contemporary life and entertained the lower middle class.
    It is noteworthy that this era was marked by criticism and satire of hypocrisy, double standards and greed.
  • Christmas Carol

    Christmas Carol
    Ebenezer Scrooge mends his ways just in time in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol Go to Scrooge, Ebenezer in The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (2 ed.)
  • Vanity Fair i

    Vanity Fair i
    English author William Makepeace Thackeray begins publication of his novel Vanity Fair in monthly parts (book form 1848) Go to Thackeray, William Makepeace (1811–63) in World Encyclopedia (1 ed.)
  • David Copperfield

    David Copperfield
    Charles Dickens begins the publication in monthly numbers of David Copperfield, his own favourite among his novels Go to Dickens, Charles John Huffam (1812–70) in A Dictionary of British History (1 rev ed.)
  • Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases

    Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases
    London physician Peter Mark Roget publishes his dictionary of synonyms, the Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases Go to Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • The Warden

    Within six weeks of the Charge of the Light Brigade in the Crimea, Tennyson publishes a poem finding heroism in the disaster Go to Charge of the Light Brigade (1854) in World Encyclopedia (1 ed.)
  • On the Origin of Species

    On the Origin of Species
    Charles Darwin puts forward the theory of evolution in On the Origin of Species, the result of 20 years' research Go to Darwin, Charles (1809–82) in A Dictionary of British History (1 rev ed.)
  • Self-Help

    Self-Help
    Samuel Smiles provides an inspiring ideal of Victorian enterprise in Self-Help, a manual for ambitious young men Go to Smiles, Samuel (1812–1904) in A Dictionary of British History (1 rev ed.)
  • Idylls of the Kin

    Idylls of the Kin
    Tennyson publishes the first part of Idylls of the King, a series of linked poems about Britain's mythical king Arthur Go to Tennyson, Alfred, 1st Baron Tennyson (1809–92) in A Dictionary of British History (1 rev ed.)
  • French Revolution novel, A Tale of Two Cities

    French Revolution novel, A Tale of Two Cities
    Charles Dickens publishes his French Revolution novel, A Tale of Two Cities Go to Dickens, Charles John Huffam (1812–70) in A Dictionary of British History (1 rev ed.)
  • 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 poet Go to Fitzgerald, Edward (1809–83) in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • Adam Bede

    Adam Bede
    English author George Eliot wins fame with her first full-length novel, Adam Bede Go to Eliot, George in Oxford Dictionary of English (3 ed.)
  • Great Expectations

    Charles Dickens begins serial publication of his novel "Great Expectations" (in book form 1861) Go to Dickens, Charles John Huffam (1812–70) in A Dictionary of British History (1 rev ed.)
  • The Water-Babies

    The Water-Babies
    English author Charles Kingsley publishes an improving fantasy for young children, The Water-Babies Go to Water‐Babies, The: A Fairy Tale for a Land‐Baby in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • 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 Go to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • Das Kapital

     Das Kapital
    The first volume of Das Kapital is completed by Marx in London and is published in Hamburg Go to Kapital, Das in The Oxford Companion to the Book (1 ed.)
  • Culture and Anarchy

    Culture and Anarchy
    English author Matthew Arnold publishes Culture and Anarchy, an influential collection of essays about contemporary society Go to Culture and Anarchy in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • Through the Looking Glass

     Through the Looking Glass
    Lewis Carroll publishes Through the Looking Glass, a second story of Alice's adventures Go to Carroll, Lewis in A Dictionary of British History (1 rev ed.)
  • Far from the Madding Crowd

     Far from the Madding Crowd
    English author Thomas Hardy has his first success with his novel Far from the Madding Crowd Go to Far from the Madding Crowd in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • Daisy Miller

    Daisy Miller
    Henry James's story Daisy Miller, about an American girl abroad, brings him a new readership Go to Daisy Miller: A Study in The Concise Oxford Companion to American Literature (1 ed.) See this event in other timelines:
  • The Aesthetic Movement and 'art for art's sake

    The Aesthetic Movement and 'art for art's sake
    The Aesthetic Movement and 'art for art's sake', attitudes personified above all by Whistler and Wilde, are widely mocked and satirized in Britain Go to Aesthetic movement in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • 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 Go to Oxford English Dictionary, The in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • 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 Go to Mayor of Casterbridge, The, a Story of Character in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • A Study in Scarlet

    A Study in Scarlet
    Sherlock Holmes features in Conan Doyle's first novel, A Study in Scarlet Go to Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan (1859–1930) in A Dictionary of British History (1 rev ed.)
  • 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 Go to Wilde, Oscar (1854–1900) in A Dictionary of British History (1 rev ed.)
  • Tess of the Durbervilles

    Tess of the Durbervilles
    Thomas Hardy publishes his novel Tess of the Durbervilles, with a dramatic finale at Stonehenge Go to Tess of the D'Urbervilles; A Pure Woman in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • Lady Windermere's Fan

    Lady Windermere's Fan
    Oscar Wilde's comedy Lady Windermere's Fan is a great success with audiences in London's St. James Theatre Go to Lady Windermere's Fan in The Oxford Dictionary of Plays (1 ed.)
  • Trilby

    Trilby
    French-born artist and author George du Maurier publishes his novel Trilby Go to Trilby in The Oxford Companion to English Literature (7 ed.)
  • The Importance of Being Earnest

    The Importance of Being Earnest
    Oscar Wilde's most brilliant comedy, The Importance of Being Earnest is performed in London's St. James Theatre Go to Importance of Being Earnest, The: A Trivial Comedy for Serious People in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • Oscar Wilde is sent to Reading Gaol

    Oscar Wilde is sent to Reading Gaol
    Oscar Wilde is sent to Reading Gaol to serve a two-year sentence with hard labour after being convicted of homosexuality. Go to Wilde, Oscar (1854–1900) in A Dictionary of British History (1 rev ed.)
  • The War of the Worlds

    The War of the Worlds
    H.G. Wells publishes his science-fiction novel The War of the Worlds, in which Martians arrive in a rocket to invade earth Go to War of the Worlds, The in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • The Story of the Treasure Seekers

    The Story of the Treasure Seekers
    E. Nesbit publishes The Story of the Treasure Seekers, introducing the Bastable family who feature in several of her books for children Go to Nesbit, E. (1858–1924) in The Oxford Companion to English Literature (7 ed.)
  • Lord Jim

    Lord Jim
    Joseph Conrad publishes his novel Lord Jim about a life of failure and redemption in the far East Go to Lord Jim in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit

    The Tale of Peter Rabbit
    Beatrix Potter publishes at her own expense The Tale of Peter Rabbit Go to Tale of Peter Rabbit, The (1902) in The Oxford Companion to Edwardian Fiction (1 ed.)
  • Period: to

    Modern Literature

    It has its origins in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and is characterized by the break between the traditional form of writing in poetry and prose. This literary movement was driven by the intrinsic desire to change old customs and expose new feelings and sensibilities of the time.
    Much of modern literature is influenced by technological advances and social changes of the 20th century.
  • The Hound of the Baskervilles

    The Hound of the Baskervilles
    Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles begins publication in serial form Go to Hound of the Baskervilles, The: Another Adventure of Sherlock Holmes (1902) in The Oxford Companion to Edwardian Fiction (1 ed.)
  • 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 Go to ‘Heart of Darkness’ in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • 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 Go to Childers, Erskine (1870–1922) in The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Literature in English (1 ed.)
  • Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up

    Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up
    J.M Barrie's play for children Peter Pan, or the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up has its premiere in London Go to Peter Pan in The Oxford Dictionary of Plays (1 ed.)
  • Major Barbara and Man and Superman

    Major Barbara and Man and Superman
    Bernard Shaw has two new plays opening in London in the same year, Major Barbara and Man and Superman Go to Shaw, George Bernard (1856–1950) in World Encyclopedia (1 ed.)
  • John Masefield

    John Masefield
    In his poem Cargoes John Masefield compares a 'dirty British coaster' with two romantic boats from the past Go to Masefield, John (1878–1967) in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • Rupert Brooke publishes Poems,

    Rupert Brooke publishes Poems,
    Rupert Brooke publishes Poems, the only collection to appear before his early death in World War I Go to Brooke, Rupert Chawner (1887–1915) in Who's Who in the Twentieth Century (1 ed.)
  • Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

    Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
    James Joyce's novel Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man begins serial publication in a London journal, The Egoist Go to Joyce, James (1882–1941) in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • Eminent Victorians

    Eminent Victorians
    Lytton Strachey fails to show conventional respect to four famous Victorians in his influential volume of short biographies entitled Eminent Victorians Go to Strachey, (Giles) Lytton (1880–1932) in Who's Who in the Twentieth Century (1 ed.)
  • Rain

    Rain
    Somerset Maugham's short story 'Rain' (in his collection The Trembling of a Leaf) introduces the lively American prostitute Sadie Thompson Go to Maugham, W. Somerset (1874–1965) in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • Dorothy Sayers' Whose Body?

    Dorothy Sayers' Whose Body?
    The gentleman detective Lord Peter Wimsey makes his first appearance in Dorothy Sayers' Whose Body? Go to Sayers, Dorothy L(eigh) (1893–1957) in Who's Who in the Twentieth Century (1 ed.)
  • The Preservation of Rural England

     The Preservation of Rural England
    Patrick Abercrombie publishes The Preservation of Rural England, calling for rural planning to prevent the encroachment of towns Go to Abercrombie, Sir (Leslie) Patrick (1879–1957) in A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (2 ed.)
  • To The Lighthouse

    To The Lighthouse
    Virginia Woolf uses a Hebridean holiday as the setting for her narrative in To The Lighthouse Go to To the Lighthouse in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • A High Wind in Jamaica

    A High Wind in Jamaica
    Richard Hughes publishes his first novel, A High Wind in Jamaica Go to Hughes, Richard (1900–76) in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • Swallows and Amazons

    Swallows and Amazons
    Swallows and Amazons is the first of Arthur Ransome's adventure stories for children Go to Ransome, Arthur (1884–1967) in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • 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 Go to Waves, The in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • The Shape of Things to Come

    The Shape of Things to Come
    H.G. Wells publishes The Shape of Things to Come, a novel in which he accurately predicts a renewal of world war Go to Wells, H. G. (1866–1946) in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money

    The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money
    John Maynard Keynes defines his economics in The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money Go to Keynes, John Maynard (1883–1946) in A Dictionary of British History (1 rev ed.)
  • Goodbye to Berlin

    Goodbye to Berlin
    British author Christopher Isherwood publishes his novel Goodbye to Berlin, based on his own experiences in the city Go to Goodbye to Berlin in The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Literature in English (1 ed.)
  • Flann O'Brien's The Third Policeman

    Flann O'Brien's The Third Policeman
    Flann O'Brien's The Third Policeman is rejected by numerous publishers before becoming, decades later, his best-known novel Go to Third Policeman, The in The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Literature in English (1 ed.)
  • Period: to

    Post Modern

    This period was born as a reaction to the Modernism era following the Second World War for the violation of human rights, the vision of the human being is thought and expressed from different points of view, including the role of women in the leadership contexts of society.
    The texts acquired intertextual characteristics, metafiction, dark humor and historiography metafiction, giving way to literary works such as Narnia in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and The World War.
  • Five on a Treasure Island

    Five on a Treasure Island
    English children's author Enid Blyton introduces the Famous Five in Five on a Treasure Island Go to Blyton, Enid Mary (1897–1968) in A Dictionary of British History (1 rev ed.)
  • Under the Volcano

    Under the Volcano
    English author and alcoholic Malcolm Lowry publishes an autobiographical novel, Under the Volcano Go to Under the Volcano in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • The Lady's Not For Burning

    The Lady's Not For Burning
    Christopher Fry's verse drama The Lady's Not For Burning engages in high-spirited poetic word play Go to Lady's Not for Burning, The in The Oxford Dictionary of Plays (1 ed.)
  • Narnia in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

    Narnia in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
    C.S. Lewis gives the first glimpse of Narnia in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Go to Narnia in The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (2 ed.)
  • Men at Arms

    Men at Arms
    British art historian Nikolaus Pevsner undertakes a massive task, a county-by-county description of The Buildings of England Go to Pevsner, Sir Nikolaus (30 Jan. 1902) in The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (4 ed.)
  • Casino Royale

     Casino Royale
    James Bond, agent 007, has a licence to kill in Ian Fleming's first novel, Casino Royale Go to Fleming, Ian Lancaster (1908–1964) in Who's Who in the Twentieth Century (1 ed.)
  • The Second World War

    The Second World War
    Politician and author Winston Churchill completes his six-volume history The Second World War Go to Churchill, Sir Winston (1874–1965) in The Oxford Companion to English Literature (7 ed.)
  • 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 Go to Lord of the Rings, The in The Oxford Companion to English Literature (7 ed.)
  • The Hostage

     The Hostage
    Irish dramatist Brendan Behan's play The Hostage is produced in Dublin Go to Behan, Brendan (1923–1964) in Who's Who in the Twentieth Century (1 ed.)
  • Autobiographical poem Summoned by Bells

    Autobiographical poem Summoned by Bells
    English poet John Betjeman publishes his long autobiographical poem Summoned by Bells Go to Summoned by Bells in The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Literature in English (1 ed.)
  • Lawrence's novel Lady Chatterley's Lover

    Lawrence's novel Lady Chatterley's Lover
    Penguin Books are prosecuted for obscenity for publishing D.H. Lawrence's novel Lady Chatterley's Lover, and are acquitted Go to Lady Chatterley's Lover in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • Giant Peach

    Giant Peach
    British author Roald Dahl publishes a novel for children, James and the Giant Peach Go to Dahl, Roald (1916–1990) in Who's Who in the Twentieth Century (1 ed.)
  • War Requiem

    War Requiem
    Benjamin Britten's War Requiem, setting poems by Wilfred Owen, is first performed in the rebuilt Coventry Cathedral Go to War Requiem in The Oxford Companion to Music (1 rev ed.)
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

    Roald Dahl publishes a fantasy treat for a starving child, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Go to Dahl, Roald (1916–1990) in Who's Who in the Twentieth Century (1 ed.)
  • The Magic Toyshop

     The Magic Toyshop
    English author Angela Carter wins recognition with her quirky second novel, The Magic Toyshop Go to Carter, Angela (1940–92) in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • The French Lieutenant's Woman

    The French Lieutenant's Woman
    English novelist John Fowles publishes The French Lieutenant's Woman, set in Lyme Regis in the 1860s Go to Fowles, John (1926–2005) in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • Small is Beautiful

     Small is Beautiful
    British economist Ernst Friedrich Schumacher publishes an influential economic tract, Small is Beautiful Go to Schumacher, Ernst Friedrich (1911–1977) in Who's Who in the Twentieth Century (1 ed.)
  • 46-volume Buildings of England

    46-volume Buildings of England
    German-born British art historian Nikolaus Pevsner completes his monumental 46-volume Buildings of England Go to Pevsner, Sir Nikolaus (30 Jan. 1902) in The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (4 ed.)
  • The Sea

    The Sea
    Iris Murdoch publishes The Sea, the Sea, and wins the 1978 Booker Prize Go to Murdoch, Dame Iris (1919–99) in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • Amadeus

    Amadeus
    Peter Shaffer's play about Mozart, Amadeus, has its premiere in London Go to Shaffer, Peter Levin (1926– ) in Who's Who in the Twentieth Century (1 ed.)
  • The Economic Consequences of Mrs Thatcher

    The Economic Consequences of Mrs Thatcher
    Michael Frayn's farce Noises Off opens in London's West end Go to Frayn, Michael (1933) in The Concise Oxford Companion to the Theatre (2 ed.)
  • The Dread Affair

    The Dread Affair
    British Rasta poet Benjamin Zephaniah publishes his second collection as The Dread Affair Go to Zephaniah, Benjamin (1958– ) in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • Satanic Verses

    Satanic Verses
    Ayatollah Khomeini declares a fatwa against Salman Rushdie for his Satanic Verses Go to Rushdie Affair in The Oxford Dictionary of Islam (1 ed.)
  • Racing Demon

    Racing Demon
    Racing Demon launches a trilogy on the British establishment by English playwright David Hare Go to Hare, Sir David (1947– ) in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • The Madness of George III

    The Madness of George III
    Alan Bennett's play The Madness of George III is performed at the National Theatre in London Go to Bennett, Alan (1934– ) in Who's Who in the Twentieth Century (1 ed.)
  • The Man with Night Sweats

    The Man with Night Sweats
    English poet Thom Gunn's The Man with Night Sweats deals openly with AIDS Go to Gunn, Thom (1929–2004) in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • Birdsong

     Birdsong
    English novelist Sebastian Faulks publishes Birdsong, set partly in the trenches of World War I Go to Faulks, Sebastian (1953– ) in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • A Suitable Boy

    A Suitable Boy
    Vikram Seth publishes his novel A Suitable Boy, a family saga in post-independence India Go to Seth, Vikram (1952– ) in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • Trainspotting

    Trainspotting
    Scottish author Irvine Welsh publishes his first novel, Trainspotting Go to Welsh, Irvine (1958– ) in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • Captain Corelli's Mandolin

    Captain Corelli's Mandolin
    Louis de Bernières publishes Captain Corelli's Mandolin, a love story set in Italian-occupied Cephalonia Go to De Bernières, Louis (1954– ) in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • Ted Hughes's Birthday Letters

    Ted Hughes's Birthday Letters
    The poems forming Ted Hughes's Birthday Letters describe his relationship with Sylvia Plath Go to Hughes, Ted (1930–1998) in Who's Who in the Twentieth Century (1 ed.)
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

    Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
    A schoolboy wizard performs his first tricks in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Go to Rowling, J. K. (1965–) in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • Copenhagen

    Copenhagen
    Michael Frayn's play Copenhagen dramatizes the visit of Werner Heisenberg to Niels Bohr in wartime Denmark Go to Frayn, Michael (1933– ) in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)
  • The Amber Spyglass

    The Amber Spyglass
    The Amber Spyglass completes Philip Pullman's trilogy, His Dark Materials Go to Pullman, Philip (1946– ) in The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (3 ed.)