History of English Literature

Timeline created by caro2615
In History
  • Period:
    450
    to
    1066

    Old English

    English Literature was understood as developing continuously through time just as the language had done. But, in another sense, this was a very unhistorical way of reading poems and plays. Beowulf, the first great work of Germanic literature, mingles the legends of Scandinavia with the experience in England of Angles and Saxons
  • Period:
    1066
    to
    1500

    Middle English Period

    The event that began the transition from Old English to Middle English was the Norman Conquest of 1066 when William the Conqueror (Duke of Normandy and, later, William I of England) invaded the island of Britain from his home base in northern France and settled in his new acquisition along with his nobles and court. Middle English still had phonetic similarities to Old English, yet is more recognisable to us as a pre-cursor to the English was speak now.
  • Period:
    1066
    to
    1500

    Middle English Period

    Among the chief characteristic differences between Old and Middle English were the substitution of natural gender in Middle English for grammatical gender and the loss of the old system of declensions in the noun and adjective and, largely, in the pronoun. (1385) Chaucer completes Troilus and Criseyde, his long poem about a legendary love affair in ancient Troy. (1469)Thomas Malory, in gaol somewhere in England, compiles Morte d'Arthur – an English account of the French tales of King Arthur
  • Period:
    1500
    to

    The Renaissance

    This period is often subdivided into four parts, including the Elizabethan Age (1558–1603), the Jacobean Age (1603–1625), the Caroline Age (1625–1649), and the Commonwealth Period (1649–1660). The Elizabethan Age was the golden age of English drama
    The Jacobean Age is named for the reign of James
    The Caroline Age covers the reign of Charles I (“Carolus”).
    The Commonwealth Period was so named for the period between the end of the English Civil War and the restoration of the Stuart monarchy.
  • Period:
    1500
    to

    The Renaissance

    (1510) Erasmus and Thomas More take the northern Renaissance in the direction of Christian humanism. (1582) The 18-year-old William Shakespeare marries Anne Hathaway in Stratford-upon-Avon. (1592)After tentative beginnings in the three parts of Henry VI, Shakespeare achieves his first masterpiece on stage with Richard III
  • Period: to

    The Neoclassical Period

    This period is also subdivided into ages
    The Restoration (1660–1700) Theater, Comedies of manner and satire were popular.
    The Augustan Age (1700–1745) Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, a poet, was prolific at this time and noted for challenging stereotypically female roles. Daniel Defoe was also popular.
    The Age of Sensibility (1745–1785) Ideas such as neoclassicism, a critical and literary mode and the Enlightenment, a particular worldview shared by many intellectuals were championed during this age
  • Period: to

    The Neoclassical Period

    Emphasis on reason and logic (1601) Shakespeare's central character in Hamlet expresses both the ideals of the Renaissance and the disillusion of a less confident age. (1609) Shakespeare's sonnets, written ten years previously, are published
  • Period: to

    The Romantic Period

    (1789) William Blake publishes "Songs of Innocence", a volume of his poems with every page etched and illustrated by himself. (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
  • Period: to

    The Romantic Period

    The time period ends with the passage of the Reform Bill (which signaled the Victorian Era) and with the death of Sir Walter Scott. Human knowledge consists of impressions and ideas formed in individual's minds.
    Introduce Gothic elements and terror/ horror stories and novels Poets: William Blake, Lord Byron, John Keats.
  • Period: to

    The Victorian Period

    It was a time of great social, religious, intellectual, and economic issues, heralded by the passage of the Reform Bill, which expanded voting rights. The novel becomes popular for the first time Bildungsroman, political novels, detective novels (Sherlock Holmes), serialized novels (Charles Dickens)
  • Period: to

    The Victorian Period

    (1836) 24-year-old Charles Dickens begins monthly publication of his first work of fiction, Pickwick Papers (published in book form in 1837) (1897) English author Bram Stoker publishes Dracula, his gothic tale of vampirism in Transylvania
  • Period: to

    The Modern Period

    The modern period traditionally applies to works written after the start of World War I.
    Genres: encompassing narrative, verse, and drama
    New Criticism also appeared at this time, led by the likes of Woolf, Eliot, William Empson, and others, which reinvigorated literary criticism in general.
  • Period: to

    The Modern Period

    (1929) Richard Hughes publishes his first novel, "A High Wind in Jamaica" (1945) English author Nancy Mitford has her first success with the novel The Pursuit of Love