Brief History of English and American Literature

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Henry A. Beers 1886
  • Introduction, Preface
  • Part 1, Chapter I - From the Conquest to Chaucer, 1066-1400
  • Part 1, Chapter II - From Chaucer to Spenser, 1400-1599
  • Part 1, Chapter III - The Age of Shakspere, 1564-1616
  • Part 1, Chapter IV - The Age of Milton, 1608-1674
  • Part 1, Chapter V - From the Restoration to the Death of Pope, 1660-1744
  • Part 1, Chapter VI - From the Death of Pope to the French Revolution, 1744-1789
  • Part 1, Chapter VII - From the French Revolution to the Death of Scott, 1789-1832
  • Part 1, Chapter VIII - From the Death of Scott to the Present Time, 1832-1886
  • Part 1, Chapter IX - Theological and Religious Literature in Great Britain
  • Part 2, Preface & Chapter I - The Colonial Period, 1607-1765
  • Part 2, Chapter II - The Revolutionary Period, 1765-1815
  • Part 2, Chapter III - The Era of National Expansion, 1815-1837
  • Part 2, Chapter IV - The Concord Writers, 1837-1861
  • Part 2, Chapter V - The Cambridge Scholars, 1837-1861
  • Part 2, Chapter VI - Literature in the Cities, 1837-1861
  • Part 2, Chapter VII - Literature since 1861
  • Part 2, Chapter VIII - Theological and Religious Literature in America
Henry Augustin Beers, native of Buffalo, NY and professor of English at Yale, with the help of John Fletcher Hurst (1834-1903), Methodist bishop and first Chancellor of American University, has written a sweeping thousand 900 year history of English literature, up to the end of the 19th century. Although at times biased and sometimes misguided (as when he dismisses Mark Twain as a humorist noteworthy in his time but not for the ages), his research is sound and his criticism is interesting and quite often very balanced. In addition, the last chapter of each part is Hurst's synopsis of religious and theological literature in the language. This book is interesting for its point of view, but also useful as a jumping-off point for those interested in reading the classics. (Summary by Kalynda)

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