The history of english literature pdf


Literary history What's included? Tradition or canon? Priorities What is literature? Language change Other literatures in English Is drama literature? Qualities. But the Danish invasions made great inroads upon the pro- gress of literature during later Saxon times, though it was far too vital a thin^ now to be suppressed. This book aims to provide a general manual of English Literature for students in colleges and universities and others beyond the high−school age. The first.

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The History Of English Literature Pdf

The short Oxford history of English literature/Andrew Sanders. Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. English literature - History and criticism. I . Title. English literature—History and criticism I. Title PR83 Library of Congress . While the carpenter sleeps in his tub, 6 A Short History of English Literature. Albert's History of English Literature has won for itself a secure place as a study of It is a truism to say that in literary history, as in all else, nothing stands still;.

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They are ridiculed by Austen in Northanger Abbey but include one undisputed masterpiece, Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley Romanticism The rise of Romanticism A movement in philosophy but especially in literature, romanticism is the revolt of the senses or passions against the intellect and of the individual against the consensus.

The publication, in , by the poets William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge of a volume entitled Lyrical Ballads is a significant event in English literary history, though the poems were poorly received and few books sold.

A Brief History of English Literature Notes

The elegant latinisms of Gray are dropped in favour of a kind of English closer to that spoken by real people supposedly. Actually, the attempts to render the speech of ordinary people are not www. Robert Burns writes lyric verse in the dialect of lowland Scots a variety of English. Later Romanticism The work of the later romantics John Keats and his friend Percy Bysshe Shelley ; husband of Mary Shelley is marked by an attempt to make language beautiful, and by an interest in remote history and exotic places.

George Gordon, Lord Byron uses romantic themes, sometimes comically, to explain contemporary events. Romanticism begins as a revolt against established views, but eventually becomes the established outlook. Wordsworth becomes a kind of national monument, while the Victorians make what was at first revolutionary seem familiar, domestic and sentimental.


Both are prolific and varied, and their work defies easy classification. Tennyson makes extensive use of classical myth and Arthurian legend, and has been praised for the beautiful and musical qualities of his writing. Browning's chief interest is in people; he uses blank verse in writing dramatic monologues in which the speaker achieves a kind of selfportraiture: his subjects are both historical individuals Fra Lippo Lippi, Andrea del Sarto and representative types or caricatures Mr.

Sludge the Medium. Gerard Manley Hopkins is notable for his use of what he calls "sprung rhythm"; as in Old English verse syllables are not counted, but there is a pattern of stresses.

Hopkins' work was not well-known until very long after his death. The Victorian novel The rise of the popular novel In the 19th century, adult literacy increases markedly: attempts to provide education by the state, and self-help schemes are partly the cause and partly the result of the popularity of the novel.

Publication in instalments means that works are affordable for people of modest means. The change in the reading public is reflected in a change in the subjects of novels: the high bourgeois world of Austen gives way to an interest in characters of humble origins.

The great novelists write works which in some ways transcend their own period, but which in detail very much explore the preoccupations of their time. Dickens and the Bronts Certainly the greatest English novelist of the 19th century, and possibly of all time, is Charles Dickens The complexity of his best work, the variety of tone, the use of irony and caricature create surface problems for the modern reader, who may not readily persist in reading.

Charlotte is notable for several good novels, among which her masterpiece is Jane Eyre, in which we see the heroine, after much adversity, achieve happiness on her own terms. Emily Bront's Wthering Heights is a strange work, which enjoys almost cult status. Its concerns are more romantic, less contemporary than those of Jane Eyre - but its themes of obsessive love and self-destructive passion have proved popular with the 20th century reader.

The beginnings of American literature The early 19th century sees the emergence of American literature, with the stories of Edgar Allan Poe , the novels of Nathaniel Hawthorne , Herman Melville , and Mark Twain Samuel Langhorne Clemens; , and the poetry of Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson Later Victorian novelists After the middle of the century, the novel, as a form, becomes firmlyestablished: sensational or melodramatic "popular" writing is represented by Mrs.

Modern literature Early 20th century poets W. William Butler Yeats is one of two figures who dominate modern poetry, the other being T. Thomas Stearns Eliot Yeats uses conventional lyric forms, but explores the connection between modern themes and classical and romantic ideas.

Eliot uses elements of conventional forms, within an unconventionally structured whole in his greatest works. Where Yeats is prolific as a poet, Eliot's reputation largely rests on two long and complex works: The Waste Land and Four Quartets The work of these two has overshadowed the work of the best late Victorian, Edwardian and Georgian poets, some of whom came to prominence during the First World War.

The most celebrated modern American poet, is Robert Frost , who befriended Edward Thomas before the war of Early modern writers The late Victorian and early modern periods are spanned by two novelists of foreign birth: the American Henry James and the Pole Joseph Conrad Josef Korzeniowski; James relates character to issues www.

Other notable writers of the early part of the century include George Bernard Shaw , H.

Wells , and E. Forster Shaw was an essay-writer, language scholar and critic, but is bestremembered as a playwright. In its literature, England arguably has attained its most influential cultural expression.

For more than a millennium, each stage in the… English literature has sometimes been stigmatized as insular. Yet in the Middle Ages the Old English literature of the subjugated Saxons was leavened by the Latin and Anglo-Norman writings , eminently foreign in origin, in which the churchmen and the Norman conquerors expressed themselves.

From this combination emerged a flexible and subtle linguistic instrument exploited by Geoffrey Chaucer and brought to supreme application by William Shakespeare. During the Renaissance the renewed interest in Classical learning and values had an important effect on English literature, as on all the arts; and ideas of Augustan literary propriety in the 18th century and reverence in the 19th century for a less specific, though still selectively viewed, Classical antiquity continued to shape the literature.

All three of these impulses derived from a foreign source, namely the Mediterranean basin. The Decadents of the late 19th century and the Modernists of the early 20th looked to continental European individuals and movements for inspiration.

Nor was attraction toward European intellectualism dead in the late 20th century, for by the mids the approach known as structuralism, a phenomenon predominantly French and German in origin, infused the very study of English literature itself in a host of published critical studies and university departments. Moreover, for a century and a half, after Chaucer passed away the English literature became stagnant in England.

The standard of literature became low. So, people have to adopt Renaissance which was doing really great in Italy. Talking about the famous writers, the first person to come on the list is William Shakespeare.

Besides him, there are few other writers who gained popularity due to their writings like, Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson etc. Shakespeare coined a lot of words by his own. According to scholars, he is responsible for coining around words. His works are said to be universal for which it got more prevalent. He made the English vocabulary damn rich. According to some scholars, Marlowe and Shakespeare were rivals in this field. People also suspected Marlowe to be a secret agent of Queen Elizabeth.

A History of English Literature

He died when he was The third popular dramatist or playwright was Ben Jonson. He is well known for his satirical plays. Some of the famous works of him are Volpone, The Alchemist etc. Elizabethan Era — This era was the period of new ideas and new thinking. Various other works like fine arts endured support and assistance from the Queen. The age saw a great flourishment in literature. The poetries and dramas were prospered more, in particular. Three most important and remarkable writers of that period are William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, and Ben Jonson.

Sir Wyatt brought Sonnet from Italy which was later popularized in England. Later, they gave a different style to the sonnets. It was being changed by Shakespeare.

He divided the Sonnet into 3 quatrains summed by a couplet. Shakespeare, in his career, wrote sonnets. He dedicated of them to a young man and the others to a woman. Even though this age produced a lot of prose works, essentially it was an age of poetry.

Moreover, the theatre became central to the Elizabethan era. During that era, drama shifted from religious to secular. They came in this period. Some of the characteristics or features of play are: Plays were presented quickly. The actors use their voice, bodies expressively to convey feeling and meaning. Plays were generally performed at the time of the afternoon. It is because there were no light facilities available.

Special effects were a part of the show. Women were not allowed to perform as there was the existence of gender inequality. The males only played as females.

The Wealthy people bought the best seats.

Sometimes they even sat on the stage itself. Even the illiterates could understand the play.

A History of Old English Literature | Wiley Online Books

The theatre is also seen as a good mode of business in that period. The two primary contribution of this age in English literature is the Revenge play and Metaphysical poetry. Revenge play signifies the plays where the victim is retaliated or avenged. These type of plays often results in the death of both the murderer and the avenger. Some of the best writers of plays of this kind are Thomas Kyd, Shakespeare etc.

Secondly, there was the wide popularity of metaphysical poetry. This type of poetry is witty and ingenious. They are also highly philosophical. Similie, metaphors, imagery and other literary elements are used in writing these poems.

One of the greatest lyricists of that era was John Donne. He was famous for his unconventional and metaphysical style of poetry. He wrote short sonnets and love poems.

Caroline Era — This era coincided with the age of Charles I During that time, a civil war was fought between the supporters of the king Cavaliers and the supporters of the parliament Roundheads. Furthermore, the greatest literary figures of that time were Puritans. One remarkable figure was John Milton. Milton became most famous for the poem, Paradise Lost. It was a poem with religious beliefs. The Puritans closed the Theatre which was given much importance in the Elizabethan era.

There was a Civil war during that period. One group of people supported the King Cavaliers and the other supported the Parliament Roundheads.

The ones supporting parliament won. So, as a result, Charles I was removed and Oliver Cromwell came into power. Renaissance is one of the biggest parts of the history of English literature. Click here to download the entire Renaissance PDF.

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