In History
  • Period:

    Old English

    Invasion of Celtic England by Germanic tribes till the conquest of England in 1066 by William Conqueror. This period was characterized by epic, heroic stories of violence and feudal loyalty, often written in alliterative verse. 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.
  • 731

    English church

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


    An Old English epic poem. It is the first great work of Germanic literature, mingles the legends of Scandinavia with the experience in England of Angles and Saxons.
  • Period:

    Middle English Period

    Norman Conquest of 1066, when the standard literary language, derived from the dialect of the London area, became recognizable as "modern English." Much of the Middle English writings were religious in nature; however, from about 1350 onward, secular literature began to rise.
  • 1300

    Duns Scotus

    Duns Scotus, known as the Subtle Doctor in medieval times, later provides humanists with the name Dunsman or dunce.
  • 1387

    Geoffrey Chaucer - Canterbury Tales

    Geoffrey Chaucer - Canterbury Tales
    Chaucer begins an ambitious scheme for 100 Canterbury Tales, of which he completes only 24 by the time of his death
  • Period:

    The Renaissance

    Recently, critics and literary historians have begun to call this the “Early Modern” period, but here we retain the historically familiar term Renaissance. This is subdivided into four parts, including the Elizabethan age was the golden age of English drama, the Jacobean Age includes the works of John Donne and Shakespeare, the Caroline Age considers to John Milton and Robert Burton, and the Commonwealth period denotes the end of the English Civil war and restoration of the monarchy.
  • 1510

    The northern Renaissance

    Erasmus and Thomas More take the northern Renaissance in the direction of Christian humanism.
  • Period:

    The Elizabethan Age

    The Elizabethan Age of English Literature coincides with the reign of Elizabeth I. During this time medieval tradition blended with Renaissance optimism. Lyric poetry, prose and drama were major styles of literature that were made in the Elizabethan Age.
  • 1564

    William Shakespeare

    William Shakespeare
    English poet, playwright, and actor, widely regarded as both the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet, and the "Bard of Avon" - Romeo and Juliet.
  • Period: to

    Neoclassical Period

    It was influenced by contemporary French Literature, which was in the midst of its greatest age. This literature is known for use of philosophy, reason, skepticism, wit, and refinement. This period marks that first great age of English Literary criticism. It is subdivided into ages, including The Restoration, The Augustan Age, and The Age of Sensibility.
  • Period: to

    The Jacobean Age

    The Jacobean Age of English Literature coincides with reign of James I, During this time the literature became sophisticated, sombre and conscious of social abuse and rivarlry. Rich prose and drama were written in this time as well as The King James version of the Bibile.
  • Thomas Middleton

    Thomas Middleton
    English Jacobean playwright and poet. Middleton stands with John Fletcher and Ben Jonson among the most successful and prolific of the playwrights who wrote their best plays during the Jacobean period - The Changeling
  • Cavelier Poets

    Cavelier Poets
    The cavalier Poets were a 17th-century school of English poets, drawing from the classes that supported King Charles I during the English Civil War. Charles, a connoisseur of fine arts, supported the poets who created the art he craved.
  • Period: to

    Commenwealth Period

    This Period of English Literature includes the literature produced during the time of the Puritan Leader Oliver Cornwell. This time period created a collection of political writings and prose. In September of 1642, the Puritans closed theaters on moral and religious grounds. For the next eighteen years, the theaters remained closed, correlating to the lack of dram produced in this time period.
  • Thomas Hobbes

    Thomas Hobbes
    He was an English philosopher who is considered one of the founders of modern political philosophy - Livytan.
  • John Milton

    John Milton
    English poet, polemicist, a man of letters, and civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under its Council of State and later under Oliver Cromwell - Paradise Lost & Paradise Regained.
  • Daniel Defoe

    Daniel Defoe
    He was an English trader, writer, journalist, pamphleteer, and spy. - Robinson Crusoe (the first novel in the English language)
  • Samuel Johnson

    Samuel Johnson
    Poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer - History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia.
  • Period: to

    Romantic Period

    Romantic Literature is characterized by its personal nature, its strong use od feeling, its abundant use of symbolism, and the exploration of nature and the supernatural. The Romantics were considered innovative based on their belief that literature could be spontaneous, imaginative, personal, and free. Gothic Literature was created, their characteristics include dark and gloomy settings and characters and situations that are fantastic, grotesque, wild, savage, mysterious, and melodramatic.
  • Jane Austen

    Jane Austen
    She is an English novelist known primarily for her six major novels, which interpret, critique, and comment upon the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century - Pride and Prejudice.
  • Mary Shelley

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

    Victorian Period

    This period is named for the reign of Queen Victoria, who ascended to the throne in 1837, and it lasts until her death in 1901. It was a time of great social, religious, intellectual, and economic issues, heralded by the passage of the Reform Bill and Industrial Revolution, which expanded voting rights. Consider growing class tensions, the early feminist movement, pressures towards political and social reform, and the impact of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution on philosophy and religion.
  • Charles Dickens

    Charles Dickens
    Charles Dickens' first novel, Oliver Twist, begins monthly publication.
  • Charlotte Brontë

    Charlotte Brontë
    English novelist and poet, the eldest of the three Brontë sisters who survived into adulthood and whose novels have become classics of English literature.
  • Alfred Lord Tennyson

    Alfred Lord Tennyson
    He was Poet Laureate of Great Britain and Ireland during much of Queen Victoria's reign and remains one of the most popular British poets. - Ulysses. Alfred Tennyson's elegy for a friend, In Memoriam, captures perfectly the Victorian mood of heightened sensibility.
  • Oscar Wilde

    Oscar Wilde
    Irish poet and playwright. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London's most popular playwrights in the early 1890s. Oscar Wilde's comedy Lady Windermere's Fan is a great success with audiences in London's St. James Theatre.
  • H.G Wells

    H.G Wells
    English writer. He was prolific in many genres, writing dozens of novels, short stories, and works of social commentary, satire, biography, and autobiography. He is often known as the "father of science fiction". H.G. Wells publishes The Time Machine, a story about a Time Traveller whose first stop on his journey is the year.
  • Period: to

    The Edwardian Period

    This period is named for King Edward VII and covers the period between Victoria’s death and the outbreak of World War I. During this time the British Empire was at its height and lived the lives of materialistic luxury. However, despite this, the fourth of the population lived in the squalor. The writings from the Edwardian Period reflect deeply on these social conditions. For example, some authors attacked the selfishness of the upper-class
  • Rudyard Kipling

    Rudyard Kipling
    English journalist, short-story writer, poet, and novelist - The Jungle Book. Rudyard Kipling publishes If, which rapidly becomes his most popular poem among the British
  • Period: to

    The Georgian Period

    It refers to the period of British Literature that is named after the reign of George V. Many writers in the Edwardian period continued to write in the Georgian period. This period produced a lot of poetry by the Georgian Poets, their poetry tended to focus on the rural subject matter and its traditional shape and form.
  • Period: to

    The Modern Period

    The modern period traditionally applies to works written after the start of World War I. Common features include bold experimentation with subject matter, style, and form, encompassing narrative, verse, and drama. New Criticism also appeared at this time, which reinvigorated literary criticism in general. It is difficult to say whether modernism has ended, though we know that postmodernism has developed after and from it; for now, the genre remains ongoing.
  • Virginia Woolf

    Virginia Woolf
    The English writer Virginia Woolf publishes her first novel, The Voyage Out. She is considered one of the most important modernist 20th-century authors and a pioneer in the use of stream of consciousness as a narrative device - A Room of One's Own.
  • Anthology of Georgian Poets

    Anthology of Georgian Poets
    Written by Lascelles Abercrombie, Gordon Bottomley, Rupert Brooke, Gilbert K. Chesterton, William H Davies, Walter De La Mare, John Drinkwater, James Elroy Flecker, Wilfrid Wilson Gibson, D.H Lawrence, John Masefield, Harold Monro, T. Sturge Moore, Ronald Ross, Edmund Beale Sargant, James Stephens and Robert Calverley Trevelyan
  • Period: to

    The Postmodern Period

    The postmodern period begins about the time that World War II ended. Many believe it is a direct response to modernism. Some say the period ended about 1990, but it is likely too soon to declare this period closed. Poststructuralist literary theory and criticism developed during this time. While the British literary scene at the turn of the new Millenium is crowded and varied, the authors still fall into the categories of modernism and postmodernism.
  • Martin Heidegger

    Martin Heidegger
    German philosopher and a seminal thinker in the Continental tradition and philosophical hermeneutics, and is "widely acknowledged to be one of the most original and important philosophers of the 20th century. - Being and Time
  • Harry Potter

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

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