Periods: Renaissance

Here you will find Old English major authors. Other pages cover a general overview and prosody and style.

Reference Works:

Web Sites:

Library Reference Guide

Luminarium, 17th Century
CUNY Brookly guide



Early English Books On-Line (UMass only)
Literature Online (UMass only)

Free editions at Luminarium

Renaissance Major Authors

Someone once said that Sir Francis Bacon could read all the books printed in his lifetime. Perhaps that says more about printers than about Bacon. Nevertheless, there is a lifetime of reading in the English Renaissance. Our selection of texts will necessarily be limited.

The Department of English at UMass has long focused on particular authors. These have not been arbitrary decisions, but responses to wider contexts--namely, the demands of English education at the secondary school level, graduate school offerings, and the topical disposition of literary journals and university departments. As these wider contexts change, so does our list of authors. Nevertheless, you will find that some authors are perennial favorites. John Milton, Edmund Spenser, Andrew Marvell, and Queen Elizabeth are just some examples. Other authors may be unfamiliar to you.

We will try to keep our list of authors up-to-date. You can find all the authors you will read described in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, now on-line. The DNB also has information on literary groups and themes. Every book printed in the Renaissance is available in its (digitized) original edition to UMass students for free: check out the EEBO, also listed in the links on the left. More information of authors and works can be had from your professor or from a research librarian at DuBois library.