The Oxford Illustrated History of English Literature

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The British Literary Heritage is virtually unrivaled in the Western world, and this large, lavishly illustrated volume explores the richness, diversity, and continuity of that tradition, from its first stirrings in Anglo-Saxon poetry to the present day.
At the heart of the chronicle is the towering figure of Shakespeare, who receives a full chapter to himself. Other figures treated in depth are Chaucer, Milton, Donne, Wordsworth, Dickens, Eliot, and Auden. An examination of such modern authors as Philip Larkin, Seamus Heaney, and Edward Bond brings the story up to date. The book is, throughout, far more than a mere outline of periods and schools of writing. Capturing the pleasure and exhilaration of literature, it moves beyond facts and events to present the broad sweep of ideas and the main concerns of British writers across some 1,200 years. The nine contributors are all acknowledged experts in the particular areas, and they bring to their sections not just deep knowledge but genuine zest and affection for their subjects.
The illustrations--32 in color and more than 200 in black and white--reflect the content and concerns of the chapters. They range from manuscript and book illustrations to works of art and architecture, portraits, social scenes, landscapes, and caricatures. Rather than simply decorating the text, they illuminate the ideas, preoccupations, and outlooks of the various periods treated. Also included in this handsome volume are suggestions for further reading, maps, and a table of important dates.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A beautiful book! I'll definitely recommend it to students."--Carolyn Woodward, Univ. of New Mexico

"An impressive volume. The illustrations alone would make it so. Paintings, woodcuts, photographs, engravings, cartoons, and manuscripts have been chosen by the contributors as especially revealing of the concerns of the different eras. Portraits bring the authors to life. Even the captions are pithy little essays, making the most casual examination of the book a rewarding experience. For the serious student, this reference is a must."--Kliatt

"A compact and very useful overview that I intend to have all my students own."--Robert Dupree, University of Dallas

"Dexterous but not cursory, learned without being pedantic or sluggish, the authorities who've put their heads together here highlight exemplary works that have impressed and moved readers and that have contributed significantly to the phenomenally brilliant body of English literature. This large book is helpful as a reference, but it also reads fluidly from cover to cover. Quite engagingly illustrated."--Booklist

"This is a book of discoveries."--The Christian Science Monitor

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198128168
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 6/18/1987
  • Series: Oxford Illustrated Histories Series
  • Pages: 544
  • Product dimensions: 7.75 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.45 (d)

Meet the Author

About the Editor:
Pat Rogers is Professor of English at Bristol University. He is the author of numerous books and a regular contributor to the Times Literary Supplement and The London Review of Books. He is a former president of the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies and the Johnson Society.

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Table of Contents

Introduction, Pat Rogers
1. Old and Middle English, J.A. Burrow
2. Tudor Literature, John Pitcher
3. William Shakespeare, Philip Edwards
4. The Seventeenth Century, Brian Vickers
5. Restoration and Eighteenth Century, Isobel Grundy
6. The Romantic Period, Claire Lamont
7. High Victorian Literature, Andrew Sanders
8. Late to Modernist, Bernard Bergonzi
9. Mid-Twentieth-Century Literature, Marin Dodsworth

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