British Literature Timeline: Old English through Early Modern Periods (abt. 1800)

  Note that from 1590 on, date intervals stretch to accommodate more material, especially during Shakespeare's career.
  Also see my timeline focused on the History of the Language. The British Library has a great English Language and Literature Timeline with well-presented images and links to items and information in the BL's collection.
   This is a teaching tool, not an authoritative reference: to find a proper source, use items noted under the entries and the Works Cited list below.

Kings & Queens Battles & Wars Historical Events Prose & Verse Drama Shakespeare People Religious Texts Non-fiction

    Works Cited:
• Baugh, Albert, and Thomas Cable. A History of the English Language. 5th ed. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2002.
• Beadle, Richard, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Medieval English Theater. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1994.
• Bennett, J.A.W. and G.V. Smithers, eds. Early Middle English Verse and Prose. 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon, 1974.
• Cable, Richard, et al. "British History Timeline." British History In-Depth. The BBC, n.d. Web. Dec. 2009.
• The Cambridge History of the Bible, 3 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1976. [CHB]
• Campbell, James, ed. The Anglo-Saxons. New York: Penguin, 1991.
• Crystal, David. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language. 2nd ed. New York: Cambridge UP, 2003.
• Greenblatt, Stephen, gen. ed. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. 2 vols. 8th ed. New York: Norton, 2003.

• Lerer, Seth. Inventing English. New York: Columbia, 2007.
• Loewenstein, D, and Janel Mueller, eds. The Cambridge History of Early Modern Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2002.
• McCrum, R., W. Cran, and Robert MacNeil. The Story of English. New York: Viking, 1986. [A companion to the PBS series.]
• Mitchell, Bruce. An Invitation to Old English and Anglo-Saxon England. Oxford: Blackwell, 2004.
• Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2004-2010. [DNB]
• Richetti, John, ed. The Cambridge History of English Literature, 1660-1780. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2005.
• Wallace, David, ed. The Cambridge History of Medieval English Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1999.
• All images are taken from the public domain.