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The present book is focused on English-language literature rather than the literature of England, so that it includes writers from Scotland, Wales, the Crown dependencies, and the whole of Ireland. The English language has developed over the course of more than 1,400 years. The earliest forms of English, a set of Anglo-Frisian dialects brought to Great Britain by Anglo-Saxon settlers in the fifth century, are called Old English. Beowulf is the most famous work in Old English, and has achieved national epic status in England, despite being set in Scandinavia. The book covers the history of English literature from the Middle-Ages to Modernism and onward. Though some have seen modernism ending by around 1939, with regard to English literature, when modernism petered out and postmodernism began has been contested almost as hotly as when the transition from Victorianism to modernism occurred.