Welcome. This website provides texts and background information for an introduction to British literature. You will find general guides to historical periods, guides to authors, guides to genres, and guides to particular poems. There are also a number of helpful handouts, images, film recommendations, and lists of links.

As you will discover, every poem and every author can be approached differently. Please be careful not to substitute the information or opinions in these pages for what you have learned in class. Your professor is the best guide; please confer with him or her. (Click here for UMass professors' pages.)

Much of the literature you will read for your survey of British literature is out of copyright. I have put up links to Google Books and to Early English Books On-Line so that you can read the works in their earliest editions. Please ensure that the editions correspond to those assigned for your class. UMass students can browse Literature Online, which provides thousands of editions of poetry and prose for no charge.

A survey of English literature is essential to becoming a well-informed, well-rounded English major. (You are welcome to reject everything, but you should know what you are rejecting.)

I encourage you to explore. Please let me know if you have any suggestions for the web site.