This book guides through some six centuries of English literature, beginning with Chaucer's time, and goes on to analyse the background, interconnections and major achievements of individual writers in each period. It is useful to the student of English literature and to the general reader.
1. The fourteenth century 2. Fifteenth-century poetry and prose 3. The early sixteenth century 4. Elizabethan drama 5. Jacobean drama 6. Elizabethan poetry 7. Metaphysical and Cavalier poetry 8. Elizabethan and seventeenth-century prose 9. Milton to Dryden 10. Restoration drama 11. Origins of the novel 12. The age of Swift and Pope 13. The age of Johnson 14. The eighteenth-century novel 15. The close of the eighteenth century 16. Wordsworth and the Romantics 17. Scott and contemporary novelists 18. Victorian poetry 19. The Victorian novel 20. Twentieth-century drama 21. Twentieth-century poetry 22. The twentieth-century novel