English literature has a long and rich history. It is also a very diverse genre of literary work and spans across the entire world. During the medieval period, English literature was often influenced by Latin and Anglo-Norman writings. This was a significant part of its development.
The Anglo-Saxon Period
The Anglo-Saxon Period is a major influence on the history of English literature. It began after the fall of the Roman Empire and lasted until the Norman Conquest. This period included the arrival of Saxons, Jutes and Frisians in Britain. They came to the British Isles to escape floods caused by melting polar ice in northern Europe. They also brought with them their own culture and language. Their oral literary tradition was mainly composed of songs and poems, combining Pagan values with Christian beliefs.
The Middle Ages
In England, the Middle Ages were a time of tremendous social change. During this time, people began to question the authority of the Roman Church and the teachings that it enforced upon them. The Middle Ages also saw the birth of a new society, one that was free of feudal rule. This allowed for more democracy and the development of a central government. English literature became more popular during this time, primarily because the printing press was invented and people began to read more. This made it easier for people to find new and interesting literature.
The Renaissance Period
The Renaissance Period was a time in history when Europe shifted from the Middle Ages to modernity. It was a time of new learning and discoveries. It was also a time when the English language became more widely used, thanks to the invention of the printing press. This allowed literature in the English language to become more popular and respected throughout Europe. The Renaissance Period was also a time when a new emphasis on humanism began to take hold. This new focus placed more emphasis on the individual and questioned religion’s influence on society.
The Romantic Period
The Romantic Period was a time when English literature began to take on a new form. It emphasized emotion and individual experience. It was a reaction to the rationalism of the Enlightenment period. It sought to appeal to emotions beyond the realm of reason and explored themes of melancholy and isolation. It also rediscovered the importance of nature and solitude. It also embraced new genres that had been discarded since the Renaissance and Medieval periods.
The Neoclassical Period
The Neoclassical Period was a time when English literature began to take shape. Writers in this period often modeled their work on classical texts, following various esthetic values that originated in Ancient Greece and Rome. They also tended to focus on order, reason, etiquette and wit. This gave rise to certain styles of literature that were more popular than others.
The 18th Century
The 18th Century was a significant time in the history of English literature. It was the period in which many changes occurred, which allowed more people to read novels. The novel became a popular form of entertainment for the middle class. This was because it portrayed the average man and woman in their everyday lives. It was also the time that science and human reason became more prevalent. This allowed more thought-leaders to come out and give their opinions on things that were going on in the world. These people were able to challenge the status quo and change it to their liking.
The 19th Century
The 19th Century is an important part of the history of English literature. It is an era of great change and innovation, a time when writers experimented with genre and literary mode. A new subgenre of literature emerged in this era, called Social Realism. It focused on describing the lives of the lower class and their struggles to gain upliftment.
The 20th Century
The 20th Century was a period of great change and experimentation in English literature. During this time, science and technology were reshaping society in many ways, and writers began to explore how they could be used to achieve positive change. The twentieth century saw a new generation of writers explore, question and rewrite traditional ideas about gender roles and sexuality. It also saw the emergence of some of the greatest authors of all time.
Generally speaking, the history of English literature starts with the Anglo-Saxon period and continues to this day. It comprises of a wide range of genres including chronicles, sermons, hagiography, poetry, translations, riddles, legal writings and more. The Golden Age of English Literature brought a gallery of writers to produce literary masterpieces. These writers reflected the intellectual and religious revolutions of their times.