Periods of English literature




Periods of English literature


The following texts are the property of their respective authors and we thank them for giving us the opportunity to share for free to students, teachers and users of the Web their texts will used only for illustrative educational and scientific purposes only.



The information of medicine and health contained in the site are of a general nature and purpose which is purely informative and for this reason may not replace in any case, the council of a doctor or a qualified entity legally to the profession.



Periods of English literature


Periods of English literature


Old English: sixth through eleventh centuries


c. 410                          Withdrawal of Roman legions

449                             Jutes arrive in Kent under Hengest

477                             First Saxon invasion (Sussex)

495                             Second Saxon invasion (Wessex)

537                             Death of King Arthur (resistance of Britons at an end)

547                             Norwegian (Viking) colony in Northumbria

565                             St. Columba: Irish mission

597                             St. Augustine at Canterbury (Roman mission)

664                             Synod of Whitby

eighth century             Mercia (Midlands) predominant among seven kingdoms (Northumbria, East Anglia, Essex, Kent, Sussex, Wessex)

802                             Egbert of Wessex rules over Essex, Kent, Sussex

866                              Danish "Great Army" (Vikings) lands in East Anglia and occupies Northumbria and Mercia as well

871                             Alfred the Great King of Wessex (d. 899)

878                             boundary to Danelaw between London and Chester

tenth century              English forces re-occupy Danelaw

c. 990                          another Danish invasion in the south (Sweyn)

1016                           Canute, son of Sweyn, king of England

1042                           Death of Canute´s son; Edward the Confessor

1066                            Death of Edward the Confessor; Harold (queen´s brother) defeats the Norwegian invaders at Battle of Stamford Bridge (near York), but is defeated himself in the Battle of Hastings by William the Conqueror (Normandy)

1086                           Domesday Book

1095                           Crusades



Middle English: twelfth century to fifteenth century


1154                           Henry II (married to Eleanor of Aquitaine)

1210                           English colonisation of Ireland

1215                           Magna Carta (King John)

1265                           Simon de Montfort´s rebellion

1282                           Subjection of Wales (King Edward I.)

1314                            Battle of Bannockburn: Scotland re-asserts its independence

1339-1453                  100 Years´ War

1377                            Richard II (sons of Edward III, John of Gaunt of Lancaster and Edmund of York/uncles of Richard II (son of Black Prince) regents)

1380                           Wyclif´s bible

1381                           Peasants´ Revolt under Wat Tyler

1399                           Richard II deposed by Henry "Bolingbroke" (son of John Gaunt)

1400                           Death of Chaucer

1415                           Battle of Agincourt, "Hal" (Henry V)

1423-1424                  King James I of Scotland imprisoned by the English, Kingis Quair

c. 1440                                   Invention of printing in Europe

1453-1485                  War of the Roses (Lancaster/red rose vs. York/white rose)

1456                           Gutenberg Bible, first printed book

1476                           William Caxton establishes the first printing press in England

1485                           Sir Thomas Malory´s Le Morte d`Arthur

Battle of Bosworth Fields: Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond


Renaissance/Early Modern Period: c. 1500-1616/1649/1660

Elizabethan/Jacobean Literature


?1477-1535                Sir Thomas More (Utopia1516)

1549                           First Book of Common Prayer

1557                           Tottle´s Miscellany (Songs and Sonnets)

1558-1603                  Queen Elizabeth I

1564-1616                  William Shakespeare

1581                           Sir Philip Sidney, Old Arcadia

1603-1625                  King James I (Stuarts)

1611                           King James Bible ("Authorized Version")

1625-42                      King Charles I (executed 1649)


Restoration: 1660- 1700/1707


1608-1674                  John Milton

1628-1688                  John Bunyan

1660-1685                  Charles II

1667                           John Milton, Paradise Lost

1678                           John Bunyan, Pilgrim´s Progress

1685-1688                  brother James II (Catholic)

1700                           death of John Dryden

1707                           death of John Farquhar


The Eighteenth Century


1712                           Rape of the Lock (Alexander Pope)

1719                           Robinson Crusoe (Daniel Crusoe)

1726                           Gulliver´s Travels (Jonathan Swift)

1740                           Pamela (Samuel Richardson)

1742                           Joseph Andrews (Henry Fielding)

1748                           Clarissa (Samuel Richardson)

1749                           Tom Jones (Henry Fielding)


Romanticism: 1798-1830


1789-1804                  French Revolution

1798                           Lyrical Ballads (Wordsworth and Coleridge)

1799/1805/1850         The Prelude

1817                           Biographia Literaria

1812-1818                  Childe Harold´s Pilgrimage (George Gordon Byron)

1815                           Vienna Congress: end of the Napoleonic era

1795-1821                  John Keats

1792-1822                  Percy Bysshe Shelley

1834                           death of Coleridge

1850                           death of William Wordsworth


The Victorian Period: 1830-1900


1809-1892                  Alfred Lord Tennyson

1811-1863                  William Makepeace Thackeray (Vanity Fair 1847; The Newcomes 1853-55)

1812-1870                  Charles Dickens (Oliver Twist 1837; Dombey and Son 1848; David Copperfield 1849-50; Bleak House 1852-53; Hard Times 1854; Little Dorrit 1855-57; Great Expectations 1860-61)

1815-82                      Anthony Trollope (Barchester Towers 1857; TheDuke´s Children 1880)

1832                           First Reform Bill

1837-1901                  Queen Victoria

1840-1928                  Thomas Hardy (Tess of the D´Urbervilles 1891; Jude the Obscure 1895, last novel)

1843-1916                  Henry James (Daisy Miller 1879; Portrait of a Lady 1881; What Maisier Knew 1897; The Golden Bowl 1904)

1859                           John Stuart Mill, Liberty; Chales Darwin, Origin of Species



Modernist Literature


1856-1950                  George Bernard Shaw (Widower´s Houses 1893)

1857-1924                  Joseph Conrad (Lord Jim 1900)

1864-1941                  James Joyce (Dubliners 1916; Ulysses 1922; Finnegans Wake 1939)

1865-1939                  W.B. Yeats

1882-1941                  Virginia Woolf (Jacob´s Room 1922; Mrs Dalloway 1925; To the Lighthouse 1927; The Waves 1931; Between the Acts 1941)

1885-1972                  Ezra Pound (Cantos 1970)

1888-1965                  T.S. Eliot (Prufrock 1917; The Waste Land 1922; Four Quartets 1935-42; Murder in the Cathedral 1935)



Post-War British Literature


1906-1989                  Samuel Beckett (1953: Watt; 1951: Molloy; 1955: Waiting for Godot)

1952                            Dylan Thomas, Collected Poems 1934-1952

1956                            Look Back in Anger (John Osborne)

1957                            The Room (Pinter)



Source :

Web site link:

Google key word : Periods of English literature file type : doc

Author : not indicated on the source document of the above text

If you are the author of the text above and you not agree to share your knowledge for teaching, research, scholarship (for fair use as indicated in the United States copyrigh low) please send us an e-mail and we will remove your text quickly.


Periods of English literature


If you want to quickly find the pages about a particular topic as Periods of English literature use the following search engine:



Periods of English literature


Please visit our home page Terms of service and privacy page




Periods of English literature