English Literature: A Very Short Introduction, Paperback

English Literature: A Very Short Introduction Paperback

Part of the Very Short Introductions series



Sweeping across two millennia and every literary genre, acclaimed scholar and biographer Jonathan Bate provides a dazzling introduction to English Literature.

The focus is wide, shifting from the birth of the novel and the brilliance of English comedy to the deep Englishness of landscape poetry and the ethnic diversity of Britain's Nobel literature laureates.

It goes on to provide a more in-depth analysis, with close readings from an extraordinary scene in King Lear to a war poem by Carol Ann Duffy, and a series of striking examples of how literary texts change as they are transmitted from writer to reader.

The narrative embraces not only the major literary movements such as Romanticism and Modernism, together with the most influential authors including Chaucer, Donne, Johnson, Wordsworth, Austen, Dickens and Woolf, but also little-known stories such as the identity of the first English woman poet to be honoured with a collected edition of her works.

Written with the flair and passion for which Jonathan Bate has become renowned, this book is the perfect Very Short Introduction for all readers and students of the incomparable literary heritage of these islands. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area.

These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly.

Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 192 pages, 15 black and white halftones
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Literary studies: general
  • ISBN: 9780199569267



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