English Literature History

Timeline created by Julius Caesar Luysterburg M...
In History
  • 731

    The Venerable Bede

    The Venerable Bede
    Bede, also known as Saint Bede, the Venerable Bede, and Bede the Venerable, was an English Benedictine monk at the monastery of St. Peter and its companion monastery of St. Paul in the Kingdom of Northumbria of the Angles. Born: Jarrow, United Kingdom Died: May 26, 735 AD, Jarrow, United Kingdom Place of burial: Durham Cathedral, Durham, United Kingdom Feast: 25 May (Western Churches); 27 May (Orthodox Church and the General Roman Calendar from 1899–1969) Patronage: Jarrow
  • 800

    Beowulf

    Beowulf
    The first great work of Germanic literature, mingles the legends of Scandinavia with the experience in England of Angles and Saxons
    First printed edition: Thorkelin (1815)
    Manuscript(s): Cotton Vitellius A. xv (c. 975–1010 AD)
    Verse form: Alliterative verse
    State of existence: Manuscript suffered damage from fire in 1731
    Original languages: English, Old English
    Genres: Epic poetry, Writing
  • 950

    Eddas

    Eddas
    Taking shape in Iceland, derives from earlier sources in Norway, Britain and Burgundy
  • 1300

    Duns Scotus

    Duns Scotus
    He is one of the three most important philosopher-theologians of Western Europe in the High Middle Ages, together with Thomas Aquinas and William of Ockham.
    Born: 1266, Duns, United Kingdom
    Died: November 8, 1308, Cologne, Germany
    Influenced: William of Ockham, René Descartes, Martin Heidegger, Gilles Deleuze, Antonius Andreas
    Place of burial: Minoritenkirche, Cologne, Germany
    Influenced by: Saint Thomas Aquinas, Aristotle, Augustine of Hippo, Anselm of Canterbury, Boethius
  • 1340

    Ockham's Razor

    Ockham's Razor
    Occam’s razor, also spelled Ockham’s razor, also called law of economy or law of parsimony, principle stated by the Scholastic philosopher William of Ockham (1285–1347/49) that pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate, “plurality should not be posited without necessity.” The principle gives precedence to simplicity: of two competing theories, the simpler explanation of an entity is to be preferred. The principle is also expressed as “Entities are not to be multiplied beyond necessity.”
  • 1375

    King Arthur

    King Arthur
    The courtly poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight tells of a mysterious visitor to the round table of King Arthur
    Genre: Chivalric romance
    Original language: Middle English
    Characters: Gawain, Green Knight, King Arthur, Lady Bertilak, Sir Bertilak
    Adaptations: Sword of the Valiant (1984), The Green Knight (2020), Gawain and the Green Knight (1973)
  • 1385

    Troilus and Criseyde

    Troilus and Criseyde
    Chaucer completes Troilus and Criseyde, his long poem about a legendary love affair in ancient Troy
    Is an epic poem by Geoffrey Chaucer which re-tells in Middle English the tragic story of the lovers Troilus and Criseyde set against a backdrop of war during the Siege of Troy. It was composed using rime royale and probably completed during the mid-1380s.
  • 1524

    William Tyndale

    William Tyndale
    William Tyndale was an English scholar who became a leading figure in the Protestant Reformation in the years leading up to his execution. He is well known for his translation of the Bible into English, influenced by the works of Erasmus of Rotterdam and Martin Luther.
    Born: 1494, Kingdom of England Died: October 6, 1536, Duchy of Brabant Nationality: English Education: University of Oxford (1515), Hertford College (1506–1512), University of Cambridge
    Siblings: John Tyndale, Edward Tyndale
  • 1549

    The first version of the English prayer book

    The first version of the English prayer book
    Or Book of Common Prayer, is published with text by Thomas Cranmer
    The original book, published in 1549 in the reign of Edward VI, was a product of the English Reformation following the break with Rome. 
  • The Faerie Queene

    The Faerie Queene
    The Faerie Queene is an English epic poem by Edmund Spenser. Books I–III were first published in 1590, and then republished in 1596 together with books IV–VI. Wikipedia Originally published: 1590 Characters: Redcrosse, Archimago, Belphoebe, Orgoglio, King Arthur, Gloriana Genres: Epic poetry, Chivalric romance Original languages: English, Early Modern English
  • Shakespeare achieves his first masterpiece on stage with Richard III

    Shakespeare achieves his first masterpiece on stage with Richard III
    After tentative beginnings in the three parts of Henry VI, Shakespeare achieves his first masterpiece on stage with Richard III
  • 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
  • Paradise Lost is published

    Paradise Lost is published
    Paradise Lost is an epic poem in blank verse by the 17th-century English poet John Milton (1608–1674). The first version, published in 1667, consists of ten books with over ten thousand lines of verse.
  • Samuel Johnson, Dictionary of the English Language

    Samuel Johnson, Dictionary of the English Language
    Samuel Johnson publishes his magisterial Dictionary of the English Language
    Published on 15 April 1755 and written by Samuel Johnson, A Dictionary of the English Language, sometimes published as Johnson's Dictionary, is among the most influential dictionaries in the history of the English language.  Originally published: April 15, 1755 Subject: Dictionary Original language: English Genre: Dictionary
  • Encyclopaedia Britannica

    Encyclopaedia Britannica
    A Society of Gentlemen in Scotland begins publication of the immensely successful Encyclopaedia Britannica.
    The Encyclopædia Britannica is a general knowledge English-language online encyclopaedia. It was written by about 100 full-time editors and more than 4,000 contributors. Originally published: 1768 Publisher: Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Page count: 32,640 (15th edition, 2010) Author: As of 2008, 4,411 named contributors Subject: General Original languages: English, Latin
  • Encouraged by Benjamin Franklin

    Encouraged by Benjamin Franklin
    Encouraged by Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine emigrates to America and settles in Philadelphia
  • Thomas Paine publishes the first part of The Rights of Man

    Thomas Paine publishes the first part of The Rights of Man
    Thomas Paine publishes the first part of The Rights of Man, his reply to Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France
  • Mary Shelley publishes Frankenstein

    Mary Shelley publishes Frankenstein
    Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley was an English novelist who wrote the Gothic novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. She also edited and promoted the works of her husband, the Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley. Born: August 30, 1797, Somers Town, London, United Kingdom Died: February 1, 1851, Chester Square, London, United Kingdom Spouse: Percy Bysshe Shelley (m. 1816–1822) Children: Percy Florence Shelley, Clara Everina Shelley, William Shelley, Clara Shelley
  • The Pied Piper of Hamelin

    The Pied Piper of Hamelin
    English poet Robert Browning publishes a vivid narrative poem about the terrible revenge of The Pied Piper of Hamelin
  • Charles Darwin puts forward the theory of evolution

    Charles Darwin puts forward the theory of evolution
    Charles Darwin puts forward the theory of evolution in On the Origin of Species, the result of 20 years' research
  • Sherlock Holmes features in Conan Doyle's first novel

    Sherlock Holmes features in Conan Doyle's first novel
    Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle KStJ DL (22 May 1859 – 7 July 1930) was a British writer and medical doctor. He created the character Sherlock Holmes in 1887 when he published A Study in Scarlet, the first of four novels and fifty six short stories about Holmes and Dr. Watson. The Sherlock Holmes stories are generally considered milestones in the field of crime fiction.
  • Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book

    Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book
    Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book surrounds the child Mowgli with a collection of vivid animal guardians
  • English author Bram Stoker publishes Dracula

    English author Bram Stoker publishes Dracula
    English author Bram Stoker publishes Dracula, his gothic tale of vampirism in Transylvania
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit

    The Tale of Peter Rabbit
    The Tale of Peter Rabbit is a children's book written and illustrated by Beatrix Potter that follows mischievous and disobedient young Peter Rabbit as he gets into, and is chased around, the garden of Mr. McGregor. The tale was written for five-year-old Noel Moore, son of Potter's former governess Annie Carter Moore, in 1893. in 1902 The book was a success, and multiple reprints were issued in the years immediately following its debut.
  • J.M Barrie's play for children Peter Pan

    J.M Barrie's play for children Peter Pan
    J.M Barrie's play for children Peter Pan, or the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up has its premiere in London
  • James Bond, agent 007

    James Bond, agent 007
    James Bond, agent 007, has a licence to kill in Ian Fleming's first novel, Casino Royale.
    The James Bond series focuses on a fictional British Secret Service agent created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming, who featured him in twelve novels and two short-story collections. 
  • James and the Giant Peach

    James and the Giant Peach
    James and the Giant Peach is a popular children's novel written in 1961 by British author Roald Dahl. The original first edition published by Alfred Knopf featured illustrations by Nancy Ekholm Burkert. There have been reillustrated versions of it over the years, done by Michael Simeon for the first British edition, Emma Chichester Clark, Lane Smith and Quentin Blake. It was adapted into a film of the same name in 1996, and a musical in 2010.
  • 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.
    Joanne Rowling CH, OBE, HonFRSE, FRCPE, FRSL (/ˈroʊlɪŋ/ ROH-ling;[1] born 31 July 1965), better known by her pen name J. K. Rowling, is a British writer and philanthropist. She is best known for writing the Harry Potter fantasy series, which has won multiple awards and sold more than 500 million copies,[2][3] becoming the best-selling book series in history.
  • The Amber Spyglass completes Philip Pullman's trilogy

    The Amber Spyglass completes Philip Pullman's trilogy
    The Amber Spyglass is the third novel in the His Dark Materials trilogy, written by English author Philip Pullman. Published in 2000, it won the 2001 Whitbread Book of the Year award, the first children's novel to do so.[1] It was named Children's Book of the Year at the 2001 British Book Awards, and was the first children's book to be longlisted for the Man Booker Prize.