© 2004

The Palgrave Guide to English Literature and its Contexts, 1500–2000

  • Authors
  • Comprehensive and readable guide to the historical and cultural context of English Literature from the English Reformation to the present
    Features timelines covering literature and historical, political, social and cultural events for every year from 500999
    Provides a guide to key terms and concepts for each period

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiv
  2. Peter Widdowson
    Pages 1-36
  3. Peter Widdowson
    Pages 37-55
  4. Peter Widdowson
    Pages 56-83
  5. Peter Widdowson
    Pages 84-106
  6. Peter Widdowson
    Pages 107-151
  7. Peter Widdowson
    Pages 152-192
  8. Peter Widdowson
    Pages 194-211
  9. Peter Widdowson
    Pages 212-239
  10. Peter Widdowson
    Pages 240-280
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 281-292

About this book


This comprehensive guide to the historical and cultural context of English literature covers the core periods of literature, and history, from the English Renaissance to the present. Peter Widdowson introduces and outlines key terms, concepts and developments and provides a series of timelines showing political, social, cultural and literary events for each year. Together, this indispensable reference work offers a concise history of Britain for literature students at all levels and provides readers with the context for any literary work from 1500 to 2000.

The Palgrave Guide to English Literature and its Contexts, 1500-2000
- covers a wide range of canonical British authors and works but also provides contextualising examples of works from other countries
- each chapter focuses on a key period in English Literature and History, gives a brief overview of that period, and defines the main terms and ideas of the age
- contains easy-to-follow timelines which may be viewed either horizontally or vertically, allowing readers to track a chronological history, or single out the developments and events of a specific year


exceptionalliterature Commonwealth concept English English literature event Great Britain history history of literature literature present reform Renaissance Romanticism Victorian era World War II British and Irish Literature

About the authors

PETER WIDDOWSON was one time Professor of English at the University of Gloucestershire. He was a well-known critic whose publications for students include A Readers' Guide to Contemporary Literary Theory (with Peter Brooker, Longman, 1997), Literature (Routledge, 1999) and Graham Swift (Northcote House, 2004).

Bibliographic information