English literature began in Old English with the epic poem Beowulf, which dates from sometime between the 8th to the 11th centuries. It is not written in language people can understand today, but there are several good translations into modern English. It is the most famous work in Old English, despite being set in Scandinavia. The next important landmark is the works of the poet Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1343–1400), especially The Canterbury Tales. That is in Middle English 1066 to the middle/late 1400s.
Not all English literature was written by writers born in England. Joseph Conrad was Polish, Robert Burns was Scottish, James Joyce was Irish, Dylan Thomas was Welsh, Edgar Allan Poe was American, Salman Rushdie is Indian, V. S. Naipaul is Trinidadian, and Vladimir Nabokov was Russian. In other words, English literature includes all the varieties and dialects of English spoken around the world.
Other websites[change | change source]
- A Website of the Romantic Movement in English Literature
- Luminarium: Anthology of Middle English Literature (1350-1485)
- Luminarium: 16th Century Renaissance English Literature (1485-1603)
- Luminarium: Seventeenth Century English Literature (1603-1660)
- Norton Anthology of English Literature
- A Bibliography of Literary Theory, Criticism and Philology Ed. José Ángel García Landa, (University of Zaragoza, Spain)
- Groves of Academe A literary theory and criticism discussion board