English literature

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The term English literature means literature written in the English language. Beowulf is one of the first books in English. Geoffrey Chaucer, Shakespeare, John Milton, William Wordsworth, Jane Austen, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, D.H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf and Ted Hughes are all important English writers.

Not all English literature was written by writers that came from 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.

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