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Important Events - Literary History

Important Events - Literary History

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From "Beowulf" to "The Satanic Verses", this'll help you chronologically place important events in English-language literary history.

Items (108)

  • "Epic of Gilgamesh"

    1900 BCE (ancient)

  • "Beowulf"

    700 CE (middle ages)

  • Battle of Hastings (Norman Conquest)

    1066 (middle ages)

  • Signing of Magna Carta

    1215 (middle ages)

  • Dante's "Divina Commedia"

    1307 — 1321 (middle ages)

  • Chaucer, "Prologue" to Canterbury Tales

    1387 (middle ages)

  • Columbus lands in America

    1492 (middle ages)

  • Martin Luther posts his theses in Wittenberg, leading to Protestant Reformation

    1517 (Renaissance)

  • Machiavelli, "The Prince"

    1532 (Renaissance)

  • English Bible (the "Great Bible") published

    1539 (Renaissance)

  • Reign of Queen Elizabeth I

    1558 — 1603 (Renaissance)

  • Life of William Shakespeare

    1564 — 1616 (Renaissance)

  • Shakespeare's "Hamlet"

    1601 (Renaissance)

  • Cervantes, "Don Quixote, Part I"

    1605 (Renaissance)

  • Settlement at Jamestown, Virginia

    1607 (Renaissance)

  • King James translation of the Bible

    1611 (Renaissance)

  • Pilgrims land at Plymouth

    1620 (Renaissance)

  • "Bay Psalm Book": first book printed in America

    1640 (Renaissance)

  • Execution of Charles I

    1649 (Renaissance)

  • Commonwealth PeriodEngland ruled by Parliament

    1649 1660 (Renaissance)

  • Charles II restored to the throne ('The Restoration')

    1660 (Neoclassical)

  • John Milton, "Paradise Lost"

    1667 (Neoclassical)

  • Sir Isaac Newton, "Principia Mathematica"

    1687 (Neoclassical)

  • Salem witchcraft executions

    1692 (Neoclassical)

  • Daniel Defoe, "Robinson Crusoe"

    1719 (Neoclassical)

  • Jonathan Swift, "Gulliver's Travels"

    1726 (Neoclassical)

  • Samuel Richardson, "Pamela"

    1740 (Neoclassical)

  • The Great Awakening (religious revival)

    17405 (Neoclassical)

  • Henry Fielding, "Tom Jones"

    1749 (Neoclassical)

  • Gray, "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard"

    1751 (Neoclassical)

  • Ben Johnson, "Dictionary"

    1755 (Neoclassical)

  • Lawrence Stern, "Tristram Shandy"

    176 -/67 (Neoclassical)

  • Revolutionary and Early National Period

    1765 - 1830 (Neoclassical)

  • Oliver Goldsmith, "The Deserted Village"

    1770 (Neoclassical)

  • Ben Franklin, "Autobiography"

    1771 (Neoclassical)

  • Revolutionary War

    17751783 (Neoclassical)

  • Declaration of Independence

    1776 (Neoclassical)

  • Noah Webster, Grammatical Institute of the English Language

    178385 (Neoclassical)

  • French Revolution begins

    1789 (Neoclassical)

  • William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "Lyrical Ballads"

    1798 (Romantic)

  • Jane Austen, "Sense and Sensibility"

    1811 (Romantic)

  • Mary Shelley, "Frankenstein"

    1817 (Romantic)

  • Lord Byron, "Don Juan I and II"

    1819 (Romantic)

  • The Missouri Compromise

    1820 (Romantic)

  • Sir Walter Scott, "Ivanhoe"

    1820 (Romantic)

  • Edgar Allan Poe, "Poems"

    1830 (Romantic)

  • Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Nature" & Charles Dickens, "Pickwick Papers"

    1836 (Victorian)

  • Nathaniel Hawthorne, "TwiceTold Tales"

    1837 (Victorian)

  • Robert Browning, "Dramatic Lyrics"; Lord Tennyson, "Poems"

    1842 (Victorian)

  • Edgar Allan Poe, "The Raven"

    1845 (Victorian)

  • Emily Bronte, "Wuthering Heights"; Charlotte Bronte, "Jane Eyre"

    1847 (Victorian)

  • Thackeray, "Vanity Fair"

    18478 (Victorian)

  • Charles Dickens, "David Copperfield"

    1849 (Victorian)

  • Elizabeth Barrett Browning, "Sonnets from the Portuguese" & Nathaniel Hawthorne, "Scarlet Letter"

    1850 (Victorian)

  • Herman Melville, "Moby Dick"

    1851 (Victorian)

  • Harriet Beecher Stowe, "Uncle Tom's Cabin"

    1852 (Victorian)

  • Henry David Thoreau, "Walden"

    1854 (Victorian)

  • Walt Whitman, "Leaves of Grass"

    1855 (Victorian)

  • Charles Darwin, "Origin of the Species"

    1859 (Victorian)

  • George Eliot, "Mill on the Floss"

    1860 (Victorian)

  • American Civil War

    18605 (Victorian)

  • Karl Marx, "Das Kapital"

    1867 (Realistic)

  • Louisa May Alcott, "Little Women"

    1868 (Realistic)

  • George Eliot, "Middlemarch"

    1872 (Realistic)

  • Thomas Hardy, "Far from the Madding Crowd"

    1874 (Realistic)

  • Mark Twain, "Tom Sawyer"

    1876 (Realistic)

  • Henry James, "Daisy Miller"; Henrik Ibsen, "A Doll's House"

    1879 (Realistic)

  • Robert Louis Stevenson, "Treasure Island"

    1883 (Realistic)

  • Mark Twain, "Huckleberry Finn"

    1884 (Realistic)

  • Thomas Hardy, "Tess of the D'Urbervilles"

    1891 (Realistic)

  • George Bernard Shaw, "Mrs. Warren's Profession"

    1893 (Realistic)

  • Oscar Wilde, "The Importance of Being Earnest"; Stephen Crane, "The Red Badge of Courage"

    1895 (Realistic)

  • Theodore Dreiser, "Sister Carrie"

    1900 (Naturalistic)

  • Joseph Conrad, "Heart of Darkness"; Jack London, "The Call of the Wild"

    1903 (Modern)

  • Edith Wharton, "The House of Mirth"

    1905 (Modern)

  • John Millington Synge, "Playboy of the Western World"

    1907 (Modern)

  • D.H. Lawrence, "Sons and Lovers"; Willa Cather, "O Pioneers!"

    1913 (Modern)

  • First World War

    1914 1918 (Modern)

  • "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"

    1917 (Modern / WWI)

  • Aldous Huxley, "Chrome Yellow"

    1921 (Modern)

  • James Joyce, "Ulysses"; T. S. Eliot, "The Waste Land"

    1922 (Modern)

  • E.M. Forster, "A Passage to India"

    1924 (Modern)

  • Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway"

    1925 (Modern)

  • T.E. Lawrence, "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom"; Earnest Hemingway, "The Sun Also Rises"

    1926 (Modern)

  • William Faulkner, "The Sound and the Fury"

    1929 (Modern)

  • W.B. Yeats, "Collected Poems"

    1933 (Modern)

  • John Steinbeck, "Of Mice and Men; The Red Pony"

    1937 (Modern)

  • The Second World War

    1939 1945 (Modern)

  • James Joyce, "Finnegan's Wake"

    1939 (Modern / WWII)

  • Richard Wright, "Native Son"

    1940 (Modern / WWII)

  • George Orwell, "Animal Farm"

    1946 (Modern)

  • Arthur Miller, "Death of a Salesman"

    1949 (Modern)

  • J.D. Salinger, "The Catcher in the Rye"

    1951 (Modern)

  • Samuel Beckett, "Waiting for Godot"

    1952 (Modern)

  • Vladmir Nabokov, "Lolita"

    1955 (Modern)

  • Jack Kerouac, "On the Road"

    1957 (Modern)

  • Chinua Achebe, "Things Fall Apart"

    1958 (Modern)

  • Iris Murdock, "A Severed Head"

    1961 (Modern)

  • Theodore Roethke, "The Far Field"

    1964 (Modern)

  • Sylvia Plath, "Ariel"

    1966 (Postmodern)

  • Maya Angelou, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings"

    1969 (Postmodern)

  • Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow"

    1973 (Postmodern)

  • Salman Rushdie, "Midnight's Children"

    1981 (Postmodern)

  • Alice Walker, "The Color Purple"

    1983 (Postmodern)

  • Raymond Carver, "Cathedral"

    1985 (Postmodern)

  • Toni Morrison, "Beloved"

    1987 (Postmodern)

  • Salman Rushdie, "The Satanic Verses"

    1988 (Postmodern)

  • Amy Tan, "The Joy Luck Club"; Thoman Pynchon, "Vineland"

    1989 (Postmodern)