Literary Fashions

 

Welcome. This website provides texts and background information for an introduction to British literature with a focus on literary style. 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.

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.

A survey of English literature requires some knowledge of why readers in the past valued the poems they did. Each audience lived in a particular place at a particular time. This simple fact means that understanding the value of a poet's work means reconstructing the set of aesthetic values held by both the poet and the poet's readers.

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