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Literature in Time - Selected Reading List

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Old/Middle English | 16th | 17th | 18th | 19th | 20th

Period: Old & Middle English Literature (to 1485)

-- Bede, or Baeda (673?-735)

  • Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum (597-731)

-- Anon

  • Beowulf (c 750)

-- Anon (Caedmon?)

  • The Dream of the Rood (8th-9th Century A.D )

-- Anon

  • The Battle of Maldon (991 A.D ?)

-- Geoffrey of Monmouth

  • Prophetia Merlini (1135)
  • Historia Regum Britanniæ (1136)

-- Geoffrey Chaucer (c 1340-1400)

  • The Canterbury Tales (c 1387)

-- Anon (Gawain Poet)

  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (c 1350-1400)

Anon (Pearl Poet)

  • Pearl (1400)

-- William Langland (c 1330-c 1386)

  • Piers Plowman (c 1362-c 1370)

-- Anon

  • Everyman (c 1485)

-- Julian of Norwich (1342-c1416)

  • A Revelation of Love

-- Margery Kempe (c 1373-1438)

  • The Book of Margery Kempe (1436)

-- Sir Thomas Malory (c 1405-1471)

  • Morte D'Arthur (c 1470)
Period: Renaissance, 16th Century

-- Sir Thomas More (1478-1535)

  • Utopia (1518)

-- John Skelton (ca.1460-1529)

  • Upon a Dead Man's Head (1557)
  • Mannerly Margery (1557)

-- Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503-1542)

  • They Flee From Me (1557)
  • Mine Own John Poins (1557)

-- Howard Henry, Earl of Surre (1517?-1547)

  • My Friend, the Things that Do Attai (1547)
  • Love, That Doth Reign and Live Within My Thought (1557)

-- Thomas Kyd (1558-1594)

  • The Spanish Tragedy (1589)

-- Sir Philip Sidney (1554-1586)

  • Astrophil and Stella (1591)
  • The Defense of Poesie (1595)

-- John Lyly (1554-1606)

  • Endymion (1591)

-- Sir Edward Dyer (1543-1607)

  • My Mind to Me a Kingdom Is (1588)

-- Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593)

  • The Passionate Shepherd to His Love (1599)
  • The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus (1604, 1616)

-- Thomas Nashe (1567-1601)

  • Summer's Last Will and Testament (1600)

-- Thomas Campion (1567-1620)

  • A Booke of Ayres (1601)

-- Richard Hooker (1554-1600)

  • Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity (1593)

-- Edmund Spenser (1552-1599)

  • The Fairie Queene (1580)
  • Epithalamion (1597)

-- William Shakespeare

  • Sonnets
  • Hamlet
  • King Lear
  • Othello
  • Macbeth
  • Richard II
  • Richard III
  • Henry the Fourth, Part One
  • Love's Labour's Lost
  • Much Ado About Nothing
  • The Tempest
Period: 17th Century

-- John Donne (1572-1631)

  • The Good-Morrow
  • The Canonization
  • A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning (1633)
  • The Sun Rising
  • Air and Angels
  • The Relic
  • Elegy XIX (On his Mistress' Going to Bed)
  • Good Friday, 1613, Riding Westward
  • Hymn to God My God, in My Sickness
  • Sermon XV ("The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death")

-- Ben Jonson (1572-1637)

  • Every Man in His Humour (1598)
  • Every Man Out of His Humour (1599)
  • Sejanus (1603)
  • Volpone (1606)
  • Bartholomew Fair (1614)

-- Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

  • Essays (1597-1625)
  • The Proficience and Advancement of Learning (1605)
  • Novum Organum (1620)
  • The New Atlantis (1627)

-- Sir Thomas Overbury (1581-1613)

  • A Wife (1614)

-- John Earle (1601?-1665)

  • Microcosmography (1628)

-- Robert Herrick (1591-1674)

  • Prayer to Ben Jonson (1648)
  • His Grange, or Private Wealth
  • Upon Julia's Clothes (1648)
  • The Country Life
  • Hesperides (1648)

-- Richard Lovelace (1618-1657)

  • To Althea, from Prison (1649)
  • To Lucasta, Going to the Wars (1649)

-- Thomas Carew (1594-1640)

  • Elegy on the Death of Donne

-- George Herbert (1593-1633)

  • The Temple (1633)

-- Edmund Waller (1606-1687)

  • Go, Lovely Rose (1645)
  • On a Girdle (1645)

-- Sir John Suckling (1609-1642)

  • A Doubt of Martyrdom
  • The Constant Lover

-- Sir John Denham (1615-1669)

  • Coopers Hill (1642)

-- Andrew Marvell (1621-1678)

  • To His Coy Mistress
  • Upon Appleton House
  • The Garden (1681)
  • The Mower Against Gardens
  • Lancelot Andrewes
  • Whitehall Sermon ("A cold coming they had of it")

-- Jeremy Taylor (1613-1667)

  • The Rule and Exercises of Holy Dying (1651)

-- Robert Burton

  • The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621)

-- Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682)

  • The Compleat Angler (1653)
  • Hydriotaphia (1658)

-- Izaak Walton (1593-1683)

  • Life of John Donne (1640)

-- John Milton (1608-1674)

  • Paradise Lost (1667)
  • Lycidas
  • Samson Agonistes
  • L'Allegro
  • Il Penseroso
  • Sonnet XV (Piedmont Massacre)
  • Sonnet XVI (On His Blindness)
  • Areopagetica
  • Of Education

-- Abraham Cowley (1618-1667)

  • Poetical Blossoms (1633)
  • Love's Riddle (1638)

-- Samuel Butler 1612-1680

  • Hudibras

-- John Bunyan (1628-1688)

  • The Pilgrim's Progress (1678)

-- John Rochester (1648-1680)

  • A Satire Against Mankind
  • The Imperfect Enjoyment
  • To the Postboy
  • Artimisia to Chloe

-- George Etherege (ca. 1635-1691)

  • The Man of Mode (1676)

-- William Wycherley (1641-1715)

  • The Country Wife (1675)

-- George Farquhar (1677-1707)

  • The Beaux' Strategm (1707)

-- William Congreve (1670-1729)

  • The Way of the World (1700)

-- John Dryden (1631-1700)

  • Annus Mirabilis (1667)
  • To the Pious Memory of the Accomplished Young Lady Mrs. Anne Killigrew (1686)
  • Religio Laici (1682)
  • Absalom and Achitophel (1682)
  • To My Kinsman, John Driden
  • Essay of Dramatic Poetry (1668)
  • All for Love (1677)
Period: 18th Century

-- Daniel Defoe (1660-1731)

  • Robinson Crusoe (1719)
  • Moll Flanders (1722)

-- Alexander Pope (1688-1744)

  • Eloisa to Abelard (1717)
  • The Rape of the Lock (1714)
  • Epistle to Burlington (1731)
  • Epistle to a Lady (1743)
  • Epistle to Arbuthnot (1735)
  • Essay on Criticism (1711)

-- Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)

  • A Modest Proposal (1729)
  • Gulliver's Travels (1726)
  • A Description of a City Shower (1710)
  • Verses on the Death of Dr Swift (1739)

-- John Gay (1685-1732)

  • Trivia
  • The Beggar's Opera (1728)

Samuel Richardson (1689-1761)

  • Pamela (1740)

-- Henry Fielding (1707-1754)

  • Tom Jones (1749)

-- Laurence Sterne (1713-1768)

  • Tristram Shandy

-- Tobias George Smollett (1721-1771)

  • Humphry Clinker (1771)

-- Earl of Chesterfield (1694-1773)

  • Letters to His Son (1749)

-- David Hume (1711-1776)

  • Essay on Miracles (1748)

-- Thomas Gray (1716-1771)

  • Eton College Ode
  • Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard

-- Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774)

  • The Citizen of the World
  • She Stoops to Conquer (1773) Related Books
  • The Vicar of Wakefield (1766)
  • The Deserted Village (1770)

-- Richard Sheridan (1751-1816)

  • The School for Scandal (1777)

-- William Cowper (1731-1800)

  • The Task: Book Four
  • The Cast-Away

-- Edward Gibbon (1737-1794)

  • Autobiography
  • Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

-- Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

  • Letter to a Noble Lord

-- James Boswell (1740-1795)

  • Tour to the Hebrides (1785)

-- Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

  • The Vanity of Human Wishes
  • Rasselas
  • The Rambler
  • The Idler
  • On the Death of Dr Levet

-- Fanny Burney (1752-1840)

  • Evelina (1778)

Robert Burns (1759-1796)

  • To a Mouse
  • Epistle to Lapraik
  • Address to the Unco Guid
  • Holy Willie's Prayer
Period: 19th Century

-- William Blake (1757-1827)

  • The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790)
  • London (1791)
  • The Sick Rose (1794)
  • The Tyger (1794)
  • Mock On Mock Voltaire Rousseau (1800)

-- William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

  • Preface to Lyrical Ballads
  • Tintern Abbey (1888)
  • Resolution and Independence
  • Yew Trees
  • Elegiac Stanzas (Peele Castle)
  • Sonnet: Westminister Bridge
  • Sonnet: The World is Too Much with Us
  • The Prelude
  • Ode: Intimations of Immortality

-- Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)

  • This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison (1800)
  • Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798)
  • Kubla Kahn (1798)
  • Frost at Midnight (1798)
  • Dejection: An Ode
  • Biographia Literaria

-- Lord Byron (1788-1824)

  • Childe Harold's Pilgrimage
  • Don Juan

-- Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)

  • Hymn to Intellectual Beauty
  • England in 1819
  • Ode to the West Wind
  • Adonais
  • A Defense of Poetry

-- John Keats (1795-1821)

  • On First Looking Into Chapman's Homer
  • The Elgin Marbles
  • The Eve of St Agnes
  • Bright Star
  • Ode on a Grecian Urn
  • To Autumn

-- Charles Lamb (1775-1834)

  • Christ's Hospital Five-and-Thirty Years Ago
  • Old China

-- William Hazlitt (1778-1830)

  • My First Acquaintance with Poets

-- Thomas de Quincey (1785-1859)

  • Confessions of an English Opium Eater: Preliminary Confessions

-- Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832)

  • The Heart of Midlothian (1818)

-- Jane Austen (1775-1817)

-- Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)

  • Past and Present

-- John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

  • Apologia Pro Sua Vita (1865)

-- John Ruskin (1819-1900)

  • The Stones of Venice: v.2, ch 6 (The Nature of Gothic)
  • The Storm-Cloud of the Nineteenth Century

-- John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)

  • On Liberty (1869)
  • Autobiography

-- Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

  • Ulysses
  • In Memoriam
  • Maud
  • The Charge of the Light Brigade
  • Idylls of the King

-- Robert Browning (1812-1889) -- (collected works)

-- Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

  • Our Mutual Friend
  • Little Dorrit
  • Bleak House

-- George Eliot -- Mary Ann Evans (1819-1880)

  • Adam Bede
  • Middlemarch

-- William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863)

  • Vanity Fair

-- Anthony Trollope (1815-1882)

  • The Way We Live Now

-- Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)

  • Jude the Obscure
  • Channel Firing
  • New Year's Eve

-- Matthew Arnold (1822-1888)

  • Dover Beach
  • The Buried Life
  • Stanzas on the Grande Chartreuse
  • Culture and Anarchy

-- Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882)

  • The Blessed Damozel (1850)
  • The House of Life (1870)

-- Christina Rossetti (1830-1894) -- (collected works)

  • Goblin Market

-- Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909)

  • In the Orchard
  • Hymn to Proserpine
  • Dolores

-- Walter Pater (1839-1894)

  • The Renaissance: Winckelmann and Conclusion (1873)

-- Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

  • The Importance of Being Earnest
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray

-- George Gissing (1857-1903)

  • New Grub Street (1891)

-- Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

  • The Windhover
  • Duns Scotus' Oxford
  • Spring and Fall
Period: 20th Century

-- William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

  • The Rose of the World
  • The Fascination of What's Difficult
  • The Wild Swans at Coole
  • Easter 1916
  • The Second Coming
  • Sailing toByzantium
  • Leda and the Swan
  • Among School Children
  • Crazy Jane Talks to the Bishop
  • Lapis Lazuli
  • The Circus Animals' Desertion

-- Joseph Conrad (1857-1924)

  • Lord Jim (1900)
  • Heart of Darkness (1902)
  • Nostromo (1904)

-- George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

  • Major Barbara
  • Saint Joan

-- James Joyce (1882-1941)

  • Dubliners
  • Ulysses

-- D.H. Lawrence (1885-1930)

  • Women in Love

-- T.S Eliot (1888-1965)

  • The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
  • The Waste Land
  • Journey of the Magi
  • Four Quartets: Little Gidding
  • Tradition and the Individual Talent

-- Samuel Beckett (1906-1989)

  • Endgame
  • Waiting for Godot

-- Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)

  • To the Lighthouse
  • A Room of One's Own
  • Mrs. Dalloway

-- E.M Forster (1879-1970)

  • Howards End
  • Passage to India

-- Ford Maddox Ford (1873-1939)

  • The Good Soldier (1914)

-- Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966)

  • Decline and Fall

-- W.H. Auden (1907-1973)

  • Letter to Lord Byron
  • Musee des Beaux Arts
  • In Praise of Limestone
  • In Memory of W.B Yeats


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