A short history of English Literature

The epic poem Beowulf is the first landmark of old English Literature. In the Middle English Period, Geoffrey Chaucer was a great poet. He wrote Canterbury Tales and The Legend of Good Women and was the father of English poetry. In the Renaissance period, there were many drama and poetry writers. John Milton was the great poet in the 17th century. He wrote the epic poem Paradise Lost. Neo classical period was associated with satire. At the ending time of the Neo classical period, Novels and Romantic poems were written.

Novel became the leading literary genre in Victorian period of English Literature.In the 20th century, Irish writers were important. Some of the greates American writers are Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain, Emerson, Henry James, William Faulkner etc.

Periods of English Literature

SN. Range Name
1. 450 - 1066 The Old English Period or The Anglo-Saxon Period
2. 1066 - 1500 The Middle English Period
a. Anglo - Norman Period (1066 - 1340)
b. The Age of Chaucer (1340 - 1400)
c. Barren Age (1400 - 1485)
3. 1500 - 1660 The Renaissance Period
a. Elizabethan Age (1558 - 1603)
b. Jacobean Age (1603 - 1625)
c. Caroline Age (1625 - 1649)
d. Commonwealth period (1649 - 1660)
4. 1660 - 1798 The Neoclassical Period
a. The Restoration Period (1660 - 1700)
b. The Augustan Age or The Age of Pope (1700 - 1745)
c. The Age of Sensibility or The Age of Jonson (1745 - 1798)
5. 1798 - 1832 The Romantic Period
6. 1832 - 1901 The Victorian Period
a. The Pre-Raphaelites (1848 - 1860)
b. Aestheticism and Decadence (1880 - 1901)
7. 1901 - 1939 The Modern Period (till the world war II)
a. The Edwardian Period (1901 - 1910)
b. The Georgian Period (1910 - 1939)
8. 1939 - current The Postmodern Period