Home > Uncategorized > Where does that text fit in the history of English Literature?

Where does that text fit in the history of English Literature?


1900        Construction of Stonehenge begins around this time

12-1300   Invasion of England by Celtic-speaking peoples

55-54       Julius Caesar’s expeditions reach England


5-40        Reign of Cunobelinus (Cymbeline)

43           Roman conquest of England

122          Romans begin construction of Hadrian’s Wall to defend Britain against invasions from the north

313          Christianity introduced in England

350          Invasion of Angles, Saxons, and Jutes begins

429          Withdrawal of Roman legions from England is complete by this date or earlier

5??           Arthur defeated and killed in Civil War

597          St. Augustine re-establishes the Roman Church in England

663          Roman Christianity is endorsed by the Synod of Whitby (instead of Celtic Christianity)

731          Bede, An Ecclesiastical History of the English People [“Caedmon’s Hymn”]

757          Offa, King of Mercia, begins his reign

802          Egbert, King of Wessex

856-75     Viking raids at their peak

871-99     King Alfred the Great of Wessex (defeater of the Danes)

900-950   An English state is established

978           Ethelred the Unready reigns; Danish invasions resume

____         The Dream of the Rood
                 The Battle of Maldon
                 The Wanderer

1016         Canut of Denmark rules England, Denmark, and Norway

1042         King Edward the Confessor (Wessex line)

1066         William the Conqueror (NORMANDY) defeats Harold II in The Battle of Hastings

1086         The Doomsday Book

1087         William II (third son of William) King

1100         William II shot in ambush. Henry I (youngest son of William) King

1135         Stephen (BLOIS–grandson of William I by daughter) competes with Empress Matilda for throne (“The Anarchy”)

1154         Henry II (PLANTAGENT— grandson of Henry I by daughter)

1170         Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury,  murdered in the cathedral
                 Oxford University founded at about this time

1169         Conquest of Ireland is begun

1189         Richard I, Coeur de Lion (son of Henry II) King

1190         Richard goes on Crusade, to return in 1194

1199         John Lackland (son of Henry II, brother of Richard) King



1210     Cambridge University founded at about this time

1215     Magna Carta

1216     Henry III (son of John) King (builder of Westminster Abbey)

1272     Edward I, Longshanks, Prince of Wales King (son of Henry III)

1284     Conquest of Wales

1290     Jews Expelled from England

1307     Edward II (son of Edward I) King; deposed and murdered in 1327 by Queen Isabella and Mortimer

1327     Edward III of Windsor (son of Edward II, grandson of John) King

1337     100 Years War Begins (Edward III’s claim to crown of France)

1346     Battle of Crecy, England defeats France’s feudal armies

1348    The Black Death Strikes England

1362    William Langland, The Vision of Piers Plowman
            English officially replaces French as the language of the court

1375     Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

1377     Richard II (grandson of Edward III) King

1381    Peasant’s Revolt

1386     Chaucer, Canterbury Tales

1393     Julian of Norwich, Book of Showings, contains her visions from God

____    The Second Shepherds’ Play

1399     Henry IV (LANCASTER–grandson of Edward III) King

1400     Welsh revolt under Owen Glendower

1403     Henry Percy (Shakespeare’s Hotspur) defeated at Shrewsbury

1413     Henry V, Prince Hal (son of Henry IV) King

1415     Battle of Agincourt; five years later, Henry recognised as heir to French crown

1422     Henry VI (Son of Henry V)

1431    Joan of Arc is burned

1432     Margery Kempe, The Book of Margery Kempe

1453     Hundred Years War ends with conquest of of Guienne by the French

1455     The War of The Roses Begins–Lancaster vs. York

1461     Edward IV (YORK–Great-great-grandson Edward III) King, temporarily deposes Henry VI

1469     Sir Thomas Malory (Morte D’arthur)

1471     Henry VI murdered

1483     Edward V (son of Edward IV) King and murdered
             Richard III, Crookback King

1485     Richard III dies in battle at Bosworth–The War of the Roses ends
             Henry VII King (TUDOR— married Elizabeth, daughter of Edward IV)

____     Everyman



1509     Henry VIII (son of Henry VII) King

1516     Sir Thomas Moore’s Utopia
            (also wrote History of King Richard III; he was killed for his Catholic faith)

1517     Reformation Begins

1533     Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterburry, validates Henry’s marriage to Anne Boleyn

1534-5  Papal authority abolished in England; Moore executed; Act of Supremacy

____   John Skelton, “Colin Clout”

1534     Henry VIII acknowledged “supreme Head on Earth” by Anglican Church

1537    Howard, Earl of Surrey (“My Friend,  the Things That Do Attain”) imprisoned

1538   Great English Bible

1541    Wyatt (“Whoso List to Hunt”) imprisoned

1547     Edward VI  King

1553     Mary I, “Bloody Mary” Queen (daughter of Henry VIII)
             Attempts to restore Catholicism, repeals anti-papal legislation

1554    Lady Jane Grey executed

1558     Mary I dies childless. Elizabeth I (daughter Henry VIII) Queen

1559    Act of Supremacy restores Anglican Church

1560    Anglo-Scottish Alliance in Treaty of Edninburgh

1561     Mary Queen of Scotts (Catholic) begins rule in Scotland
             Sir Thomas Hoby, translation of The Courtier

1563    The Thirty-Nine Articles of the Anglican Church

1564    Shakespeare is born

1567     Mary Queen of Scots imprisoned in England (driven from throne by Calvinists)

1578     John Lyly, Euphues: The Anatomy of Wit

1587     Elizabeth beheads Mary Queen of Scots for Catholic plots

1588     Defeat of the Spanish Armada

1590     Edmund Spencer, The Faerie Queen

1591     Sir Philip Sidney, “Astrophil and Stella”

1592     Christopher Marlowe, Dr. Faustus and Hero and Leander
             Thomas Nashe, Pierce Penniless, His Supplication to the Devil

1593   Richard Hooker defends existing practices in Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity

1598   Revolt in Ireland

1601   Essex executed for rebellion
           Thomas Campion (“My Sweetest Lesbia.” “Rose-Cheeked Laura,” “Fain Would I Wed”)
           Shakespeare begins Hamlet about this time



1603     Elizabeth dies. James I (STUART), James VI of  Scotland King

1605     The Gunpowder Plot
             Francis Bacon writes The Advancement of Learning (In 1620 Novum Organum)

1606     Ben Jonson’s play Volpone published

1611     King James Bible Published

1615    John Donne (“The Ecstasy”, “The Canonization”, etc.) becomes Anglican priest

1616     Shakespeare dies

1618     30 Years War begins in Europe

1620     Pilgrims depart for New England

1600’s   John Webster publishes his play The Duchess of Malf

1625     Charles I (son of James I) King

1629     Charles I dissolves parliament

1633     George Herbert, The Temple (“Jordan”, “The Pulley”, “Love”, etc.)

1638     Scottish revolt over imposition of Laudian liturgy

1640     Charles I, in need of tax money for war, convenes “The Long Parliament”
             Izaak Walton, The Life of Donne
             Thomas Carew, “A Rapture”

1641    Irish revolt

1642    English Civil War               
            Theaters closed
            Sir John Denham, “Cooper’s Hill”

1645     Edmund Waller, “Go, Lovely Rose!”

1646     Richard Crashaw, “Steps to the Temple”, “The Flaming Heart”
             Sir John Suckling, “Loving and Beloved”

1648     30 Years War Ends
             Robert Herrick, Hesperides (“The Vine”) and Noble Numbers (sacred)

1649     Charles I beheaded. Council of State rules (Commonwealth/Protectorate)
             Richard Lovelace “To Althea, from Prison” and “To Lucasta, Going to the Wars”

1650     Henry Vaughn, “Silex Scintillans”

1651     Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan

1653     Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector

____     First appearance of women on stage
___       First performance of an English opera

1656     Abraham Cowley, “Ode: Of Wit”

1658     Richard Cromwell, “Tumble-down Dick” (son of Oliver), Lord Protector

____     Andrew Marvell, “To His Coy Mistress”
             Samuel Pepys (diary later published in 1825)



1660        The Restoration (Charles II)

1662         Royal Society of London incorporated to promote arts and sciences

1663         Samuel Butler, “Hudibras”
                 John Milton, Paradise Lost

1665         The Plague breaks out

1666         The Great Fire of London

1673         Test Act requires office holders to accept rites of the Anglican Church

1675         John Bunyan writes Pilgrim’s Progress during second imprisonment
                 Christopher Wren is chosen to design St. Paul’s

1676         Sir George Etherege, The Man of Mode

1677         John Dryden, All For Love

1678         Titus Oates exposes the details of a fictious Popish Plot to kill the King

1680         Exclusion Bill Crisis

1681         John Dryden, “Absalom and Achitophel”

1682         Thomas Otway, Venice Preserv’d

1685         James II King

1687         Isaac Newton, Principles of Mathematics

1688         The Glorious Revolution

1689        Bill of Rights passed

1690        John Locke, Essay Concerning Human Understanding

1696        Sir John Vanbrugh, The Relapse

1700        William Congreve, The Way of the World

1701        Act of Settlement stipulates that Anne, Protestant daughter of James II, is to succeed William

1702        Anne (second daughter of James II) Queen

1704         The Duke of Marlborough’s victory at Blenheim against the French

1707         George Farquhar, The Beaux’ Stragem
                 Act of Union (Scotland + England = “Great Britain”)

1709-11    Addison (paper Tattler)

1711         Alexander Pope’s “An Essay on Criticism” (later wrote “An Essay on Man”)

1711-2      Steele’s paper Spectator

1713         Treaty of Utrecht ends the war with Louis XIV

1714         George I (HANOVER–son of granddaughter of James I) King
                Alexander Pope, “Rape of the Lock”

1715         First Jacobite Rebellion:
                “The Old Pretender” (son of James II) attempts to restore Stuart rule

1719         Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe is published – the first novel in english

1726         Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels

1727         George II

1728         John Gay, The Beggar’s Opera

1729         John Wesley founds Methodist Society

1730         James Thomson, “The Seasons”

1731         Henry Fielding, Tom Thumb

1739         War of Jenkin’s Ear (with Spain) begins (to 1741)

1746         Second Jacobite rebellion crushed at Culloden
                 (Bonnie Prince Charles–grandson of James II–tried to regain the throne)
                 William Collins (“Ode on the Poetical Character”)

1740 – Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded is an epistolary novel by Samuel Richardson, first published in 1740. It tells the story of a maid named Pamela whose master, Mr. B, makes unwanted advances towards her. She rejects him continually, and her virtue is eventually rewarded when he shows his sincerity by proposing an equitable marriage to her. In the second part of the novel, Pamela attempts to accommodate herself to upper-class society and to build a successful relationship with him. The story was widely mocked at the time for its perceived licentiousness

1741 – An Apology for the Life of Mrs. Shamela Andrews, or Shamela, as it is more commonly known, is a satirical novel written by Henry Fielding and first published under the name of Mr. Conny Keyber. (Fielding never owned to writing the work but it is widely considered to be his.) It is a direct attack on the then-popular novel Pamela by Fielding’s contemporary and rival, Samuel Richardson and is composed, like Pamela, in epistolary form.

1751         Thomas Gray, “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard”
                 Henry Fielding, Amelia

1755         Samuel Johnson finishes his Dictionary (James Boswell later writes his biography)

1756         The Seven Years’ War (French and Indian Wars) begins

1759         Wolfe captures Quebec

1760         George III (grandson of George II) King

1761         William Pitt resigns as Prime Minister when his colleagues refuse to fight Spain

1763         Treaty of Paris ends the Seven Years War

The First Gothic Novel…

1764 – Horace Walpole’s Gothic novel, The Castle of Otranto 

1768         Cook’s voyage to Australia

1770         Oliver Goldsmith, “The Deserted Village”

1771         Richard Cumberland, The West Indian

1773         Oliver Goldsmith, She Stoops to Conquer

1775         War for American Independence Begins
                 Jane Austen is born

1776         Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations
                 Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (first volume)

1777         Richard Brinsley Sheridan, The School for Scandal

1783         William Pitt (younger) prime minister

1785         William Cowper, “The Task”

1790 –  A Sicilian Romance – Ann Radcliffe

1791 – The Romance of the Forest – Ann Radcliffe

1794         William Godwin’s “Things as They Are or The Adventures of Caleb Williams” – the first thriller – and a real page turner

794 –  The Mysteries of Udolpho – Ann Radcliffe

1796 – The Italian – Ann Radcliffe


1786     Robert Burns: Poems, Chiefly in the Scotish Dialect

1789     *The French Revolution begins*

1790     Songs of Innocence and Experience by William Blake

1792     Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

1793     Bastille stormed. Louis XVI executed. Reign of Terror under Robespierre.
             England wars with France; the Napoleonic Wars begin

1798     Wordsworth and Coleridge publish Lyrical Ballads

1801     Great Britain and Ireland Unite as the “United Kingdom

1804     Napoleon crowned emperor

1805     Battle of Trafalgar

1811     The Regency
             Prince of Wales acts as regent for George III, who has been declared incurably insane

1812     War with the United States

1813     Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

1815     Napoleon defeated at Waterloo

1817     William Hazlitt, critic, On Gusto
             Jane Austen dies

1818     Lord Byron begins “Don Juan”
             Mary (Wollstonecraft) Shelly, Frankenstein

1819     John Keats “Ode to a Nightingale”
             Sir Walter Scott, Ivanhoe
             Peterloo Massacre

1820     George IV (son of George III) King
             Thomas Love Peackock, critic The Four Ages of Poetry
             Percy Shelley “To a Skylark” and “Adonais”

1821     Thomas De Quincey Confessions of an English Opium Eater

1823     Charles Lamb, Christ Hospital Five and Thirty Years Ago

1829     Catholic Emancipation Act

1830     William IV (3rd son of George III) King
             Thomas Moore Life of Byron



1832     First Reform Bill

1834     Poor Law Reform Act

1837     Victoria (daughter of 4th son of George III) Queen
             Thomas Carlyle publishes The French Revolution

1841     Peel Prime Minister

1845     Great Potato Famine

1846     Corn Laws repealed (i.e the tariff on grains)

1847     Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre
             Anne Bronte, Agnes Gray
             William Thackery, Vanity Fair

1848     Emily Bronte Wuthering Heights
             Macaulay, History of England

1850     Tennyson publishes “In Memoriam” and succeeds Wordsworth as poet  laureate

1851     Matthew Arnold, “Dover Beach”
             Charles Dickens, Bleak House

1854    Crimean War

1855     Robert Browning, “Men and Women”

1856     John Ruskin ,”On the Pathetic Fallacy”

1857     Elizabeth Barret Browning, “Aurora Leigh”
             Anthony Trollope, Barchester Towers
             Indian Mutiny

1858     William Morris “The Defense of Guenevere”

1859     Charles Darwin, Origin of Species
             Edward Fitzgerald “The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam”
            George Eliot, Adam Bede

1861    John Stuart Mill, Representative Government

1865     Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

1866     Algernon Swinburne, “The Triumph of Time” (“Poems and Ballads”)

1867     Second Reform Act

1868     Walter Pater, Aesthetic Poetry
             Gladstone Prime Minister

1870-1  Franco Prussian War

1871     George Eliot, Middlemarch
             Religious tests at Universities Abolished

1872     Christina Rossetti, “Goblin Market”

____     Thomas Henry Huxley gives his “Science and Culture” lectures
             Dante Gabriel Rosetti, “The House of Life”

1874    Disraeli Prime Minsiter
            Thomas Harding, Far From the Madding Crowd

1875     William Ernest Henley, “In Hospital–Waiting”
             Gilbert and Sullivan, Trial by Jury
             Britain acquires Suez Canal

1877     Gerard Manley Hopkins, “God’s Grandeur”
Victoria declared Empress of India

1879     George Meredith, The Egoist

1884     Third Reform Act

1886     Salsibury Prime Minister

1888     Kipling, Plain Tales from the Hills

1891     Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D’Urbevilles



1894     Rudyard Kipling, Jungle Books

1895     Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest

1899     Boer War

1900     Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim

1901     Edward VII (son of Victoria–SAXE-COBURG AND GOTHA)

1902     William Butler Yeats “Adam’s Curse”
             Balfour Prime Minister

1903     Henry James, The Ambassadors

1905     H.G. Wells, Kipps

1908     E.M. Forster, A Room With A View

1910     George V (2nd son of Ed VII–WINDSOR)

1913     D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers
             Vachel Lindsay, General William Booth Enters Into Heaven

1914     World War I
             Ezra Pound organizes the Imagists

1916     Lloyd George Prime Minister

1918     Gerard Manley Hopkins’s poetry published after death
             Siegfried Sassoon “Glory of Women”; Wilfred Owen “Dulce Et Decorum Est”
            Women (age 30 or over) get right to vote; universal male suffrage

1920    Partition established in Government of Ireland Act

1922     T.S. Eliot, The Wasteland
             James Joyce, Ulyssess

1923     George Bernard Shaw, Saint Joan

1924     First Labour Government

1925     Virignia Wolf, Mrs. Dalloway             

1930     Evelyn Waugh publishes Vile Bodies

1932     Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

1933     A.E. Housman, The Name and Nature of Poetry

1934     Robert Graves, I, Claudius              

1936     Edward VIII (son of Geroge V) King then abdicates
             George VI (2nd son of George V) King
             Spanish Civil War Begins
             Keynes, General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money

1937     W.H. Auden, “Spain, 1937”
             Louis Macneice, “Carrickfergus”
            Chamberlain Prime Minister

1938     Graham Greene, Brighton Rock
             C.S. Lewis, Out of The Silent Planet

1939     World War II

1940     Churchill Prime Minister

1945      George Orwell, Animal Farm
              Henry Reed, “Naming of Parts”

1947      Independence granted to India and Pakistan

1952     Elizabeth II (daughter of George VI)
             Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot

1954     William Golding, The Lord of the Flies

1955     Philip Larkin, “Church Going”

1956     Suez Crisis

1957     Stevie Smith, “Not Waving But Drowning”
            Ghana obtains independence

1960     Ted Hughes, “Relic”

1979     Thatcher Prime Minsiter

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. priscillagee
    May 30, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    I am loving the time line. Did you gather the dates from myriads of other sources? It is quite a feat.

  2. Ash
    June 16, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    Really enjoyed the blog.

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