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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

A History of English Literature

Edition 3rd Edition
ISBN 9780230368316
Publication Date March 2013
Formats Paperback Ebook 
Publisher Palgrave
Series Palgrave Foundations Series

A History of English Literature has received exceptional reviews. Tracing the development of one of the world's richest literatures from the Old English period through to the present day, the narrative discusses a wide range of key authors but never loses its clarity or verve.
 
Building on the book's established reputation and success, the third edition has been revised and updated throughout. It now provides a full final chapter on the contemporary scene, with more on genres and the impact of globalization.

Features of this best-selling book include:
• a helpful overview of each chapter
• boxed biographies of authors, and tables of publications and historical events
• on-page definitions of important terms and concepts
• suggestions for further reading at the end of each chapter to aid study
• portraits of authors, illustrations, maps and an index.

A History of English Literature remains the essential companion for anyone wishing to follow the unfolding of writing in England from its beginnings. It is ideal for those who know a few landmark texts, but little of the literary landscape that surrounds them; those who want to know what English literature consists of; and those who simply want to read its fascinating story.

MICHAEL ALEXANDER is Emeritus Professor of English Literature, University of St Andrews, UK. He is a poet and translator and has international experience of teaching English literature, both medieval and modern.

List of Illustrations
List of Timelines
Acknowledgements
Preface
Preface to Second Edition
Preface to Third Edition
Abbreviations
Introduction
PART I: MEDIEVAL
Old English Literature: to 1100
Middle English Literature 1066-1500
PART II: TUDOR AND STUART
Tudor Literature: 1500-1603
Shakespeare and the Drama
Stuart Literature: to 1700
PART III: AUGUSTAN AND ROMANTIC
Augustan Literature: to 1790
The Romantics: 1790-1837
PART IV: VICTORIAN LITERATURE TO 1880
The Age and its Sages
Poetry
Fiction
Late Victorian Literature: 1880-1900
PART V: THE TWENTIETH CENTURY AND BEYOND
Ends and Beginnings: 1901-19
From Post-War to Post-War: 1920-55
New Beginnings: 1955-80
Contemporaries
Further Reading
Index.

Reviews

Reviews of previous editions: 'If I had my way, every student of English would be supplied with a copy of this book.' - Gary Day, The Times Higher Education Supplement
'To write a linear history of a great literature is a difficult task, verging on the impossible these days. Professor Alexander has brought off a remarkable feat. His history is comprehensive, clear, judicious and sometimes punchy. This is an account of English writing which can be of great use to the student, the fact-hound, the teacher or the general reader. Above all, it is a triumph of reason and judgement, never cranky, nor exclusive. I shall recommend it widely.' - Professor Chris Wallace-Crabbe, University of Melbourne, Australia
'The book is a miracle of compression...To maintain the same qualities of wit, crispness and sharp but essentially generous judgement...in a 384 page book, which is something very much more than a 'survey' of the whole field of English Literature is an extraordinary achievement.' - Dr John Rathmell, Cambridge University, UK
'...eminently fit to excite the critical consciousness of the student.' - Professor Philip Smallwood, Essays in Criticism
'...a fantastic mine of information in which writers are seen within their chronological and literary context. Although, inevitably, there is no room for detailed analysis within such a wide-ranging book, the content provides an effective starting point for readers whatever their literary intentions.' - Sara Thorne, author of Mastering Poetry
'...an ideal starting point for any English student who is serious about the subject. It manages to provide a comprehensive overview of English literary history in an accessible, practical format. Moreover it is genuinely entertaining - Alexander's style is pithy, pungent and personal...The reader is constantly reminded that this is a history, not the history, of English literature, and the writer's own strong opinions encourage the reader to discover his or her own views and preferences... I strongly recommend it to all students of English literature, and to their teachers.' - Professor Sarah Annes Brown, Anglia Ruskin University, UK.
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