An Introduction to the History of English Literature


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An Introduction to the History of English Literature

  1. 1. History of English Literature An Introduction By Xavier Pradheep Singh. M. S. HEL Series - 1 6 th July 2010
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>In this class we will discuss </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Literature </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>History of English Literature </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Periods in the History of English Literature </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Division of Periods </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>History is a nation’s biography </li></ul><ul><li>Its literature is its autobiography </li></ul>
  4. 4. Literature <ul><li>Expression of life in terms of truth and beauty </li></ul><ul><li>Written record of man’s spirit, his thoughts, emotions and aspirations </li></ul>
  5. 5. Qualities of Literature <ul><li>Artistic quality </li></ul><ul><li>Suggestive quality </li></ul><ul><li>Permanent quality </li></ul>
  6. 6. Tests of Literature <ul><li>Universality </li></ul><ul><li>Style </li></ul>
  7. 7. Objectives of Literature <ul><li>To teach </li></ul><ul><li>To delight </li></ul>
  8. 8. Aims in learning Literature <ul><li>to know men </li></ul><ul><ul><li>their soul </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>their actions </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Importance of Literature <ul><li>Every civilization is founded upon ideals </li></ul><ul><li>Every human action springs from an ideal </li></ul><ul><li>Literature preserves such ideals </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore Literature preserves civilizations and human actions </li></ul>
  10. 10. History of English Literature <ul><li>Not a chronological account of the books written in English language </li></ul>
  11. 11. History of English Literature <ul><li>Record of the relationship between a writer and those who precede or succeed him/her </li></ul><ul><li>Record of the relationship between age and age. It records the rise, the growth and the decline of schools and movements </li></ul><ul><li>Record of the influence of individual writers upon an age and the vice versa </li></ul>
  12. 12. History of English Literature <ul><li>A record both of individual writers and their special contributions to literature and of the personal and impersonal forces which shaped their works </li></ul>
  13. 13. Aims of HEL <ul><li>To give a clear account of the whole transformation of literature from period to period </li></ul><ul><li>To make out the causes which have produced such transformation </li></ul><ul><li>To explain the successive changes in its matter, form and spirit </li></ul>
  14. 14. Periods <ul><li>A period is a certain length of time during which a particular kind of taste prevails </li></ul><ul><li>A taste last for a time only </li></ul><ul><li>The taste of an age differs from that of others </li></ul>
  15. 15. Periods <ul><li>The literature written in an age is marked by various common features like its subject matter, thought, tone and style </li></ul><ul><li>Each age has its own particular lines of interest and its own particular way of thinking and feeling about things </li></ul>
  16. 16. Factors deciding a period <ul><li>Anything that brings fresh interests and ideas into the life of an age </li></ul><ul><li>Anything that modifies the thoughts and feelings of a period </li></ul><ul><li>Any change in the attitude towards men and things </li></ul>
  17. 17. Labels of Periods <ul><li>The periods in the history of English literature are usually labeled with epithets derived from history </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the Elizabethan period </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the Victorian period </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>Pre-Chaucerian period </li></ul><ul><li>500 – 1340 AD </li></ul><ul><li>Anglo-Saxon Period </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>The Age of Chaucer </li></ul><ul><li>1340 – 1400 AD </li></ul><ul><li>Middle Plantagenet Period </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>From Chaucer to Tottel’s Miscellany </li></ul><ul><li>1400 – 1557 AD </li></ul><ul><li>Later Plantagenet Period </li></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>The Age of Shakespeare </li></ul><ul><li>1557 – 1625 AD </li></ul><ul><li>The Elizabethan Age </li></ul>
  22. 22. <ul><li>The Age of Milton </li></ul><ul><li>1625 – 1660 AD </li></ul><ul><li>The Caroline Age </li></ul>
  23. 23. <ul><li>The Age of Dryden </li></ul><ul><li>1660 – 1700 AD </li></ul><ul><li>The Age of Restoration </li></ul>
  24. 24. <ul><li>The Age of Pope </li></ul><ul><li>1700 – 1745 AD </li></ul><ul><li>The of Queen Anne </li></ul>
  25. 25. <ul><li>The Age of Johnson </li></ul><ul><li>1745 – 1798 AD </li></ul><ul><li>Middle Georgian Age </li></ul>
  26. 26. <ul><li>The Age of Wordsworth </li></ul><ul><li>1798 – 1832 AD </li></ul><ul><li>The Age of Revolution </li></ul>
  27. 27. <ul><li>The Age of Tennyson </li></ul><ul><li>1832 – 1887 AD </li></ul><ul><li>The Victorian Age </li></ul>
  28. 28. <ul><li>The Age of Hardy </li></ul><ul><li>1887 – 1928 AD </li></ul>
  29. 29. <ul><li>The Present Age </li></ul><ul><li>1930 – till date </li></ul>
  30. 30. Sum up <ul><li>What is literature? </li></ul><ul><li>What is a history of English literature? </li></ul><ul><li>What is a period? </li></ul>
  31. 31. Thank You