32 Facts About English literature


Literature written in the English language includes many countries such as the United Kingdom and its crown dependencies, the Republic of Ireland, the United States, and the countries of the former British Empire.

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The English language has developed over the course of more than 1,400 years.

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The earliest forms of English literature, a set of Anglo-Frisian dialects brought to Great Britain by Anglo-Saxon invaders in the fifth century, are called Old English literature.

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Beowulf is the most famous work in Old English literature, and has achieved national epic status in England, despite being set in Scandinavia.

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English literature's plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

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English literature language spread throughout the world with the development of the British Empire between the late 16th and early 18th centuries.

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English literature does note that some authors, such as John Niles, have argued the work was invented in the 10th century.

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Beowulf is the most famous work in Old English literature, and has achieved national epic status in England, despite being set in Scandinavia.

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The poem is one of the earliest attested examples of Old English literature and is, with the runic Ruthwell Cross and Franks Casket inscriptions, one of three candidates for the earliest attested example of Old English literature poetry.

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Classical antiquity was not forgotten in Anglo-Saxon England, and several Old English literature poems are adaptations of late classical philosophical texts.

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Political power was no longer in English hands, so that the West Saxon literary language had no more influence than any other dialect and Middle English literature was written in many dialects that corresponded to the region, history, culture, and background of individual writers.

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Wycliffe's Bible is the name now given to a group of Bible translations into Middle English literature that were made under the direction of, or at the instigation of, John Wycliffe.

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Middle English literature lasted until the 1470s, when the Chancery Standard, a London-based form of English literature, became widespread and the printing press started to standardise the language.

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English literature Renaissance was a cultural and artistic movement in England dating from the late 15th to the 17th century.

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English literature was responsible for many innovations in English poetry, and alongside Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey introduced the sonnet from Italy into England in the early 16th century.

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The translation had a profound influence on English literature and inspired John Keats's famous sonnet "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer".

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John Milton, one of the greatest English literature poets, wrote at this time of religious flux and political upheaval.

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English literature's celebrated Areopagitica, written in condemnation of pre-publication censorship, is among history's most influential and impassioned defenses of free speech and freedom of the press.

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English literature established the heroic couplet as a standard form of English poetry.

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English literature went on to become the most significant London playwright of the late 18th century with a play like The School for Scandal.

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English literature's poetry has undergone a major re-evaluation and he is often now considered to be among the most important 19th-century poets.

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Romantic Gothic English literature made an early appearance with Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle, There are picturesque "local color" elements in Washington Irving's essays and especially his travel books.

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English literature later turned to ethics, expounding his ideas on educational reform and political economy, which were to have great influence on practices in England and throughout the world.

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English literature wrote realistic fiction about the lower middle class in novels like Kipps.

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English literature's characters speak like real people and sound distinctively American, using local dialects, newly invented words, and regional accents.

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English literature's works include The Portrait of a Lady, The Bostonians, The Princess Casamassima.

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English literature's works include the macabre mystery novel Uncle Silas, and his Gothic novella Carmilla tells the story of a young woman's susceptibility to the attentions of a female vampire.

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English literature was described by T S Eliot, as "the greatest master of metrics as well as melancholia", and as having "the finest ear of any English poet since Milton".

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English literature founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848 with William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais.

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Towards the end of the 19th century, English literature poets began to take an interest in French Symbolism and Victorian poetry entered a decadent fin-de-siecle phase.

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English literature's work was unconventional for its day, and little of it was published during her lifetime.

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From Nigeria a number of writers have achieved an international reputation for works in English literature, including novelist Chinua Achebe, as well as playwright Wole Soyinka.

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