This new edition of an established text provides a succinct and up-to-date historical overview of the story of English literature. Focusing on how writing both reflects and challenges the periods in which it is produced, John Peck and Martin Coyle combine close readings of key texts with recent critical thinking on the interaction of literary works and culture. Providing a lively introductory guide to English literature from Beowulf to the present day, the authors write in their characteristically lucid and accessible style.
A true masterpiece of clarity and compression, this is essential reading for undergraduate students coming across the vast areas of English literature for the first time and looking for a way of making critical sense of the texts being studied. In addition, the concise nature and narrative structure of this book makes it excellent reading for general readers.
John Peck is now retired and was formerly Reader in Victorian Literature at Cardiff University, UK. Martin Coyle is Professor of English Literature at Cardiff University, UK.
Preface.- Acknowledgements.- 1. Old English Literature.- 2. Middle English Literature.- 3. Sixteenth-Century Poetry and Prose.- 4. Shakespeare.- 5. Renaissance and Restoration Drama.- 6. Seventeenth-Century Poetry and Prose.- 7. The Eighteenth Century.- 8. The Novel: The First Hundred Years.- 9. The Romantic Period.- 10. Victorian Literature 1837-1857.- 11. Victorian Literature 1857-1876.- 12. Victorian Literature 1876-1901.- 13. The Twentieth Century: The Early Years.- 14. The Twentieth Century: Between the Wars.- 15. The Twentieth Century: The Second World War to the End of the Millennium.- 16. The Twenty-First Century.- Periods of English Literature and Language.- Chronology.- Further Reading.- Index.