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Understanding Literary History

Each of the links below will walk you through a brief overview of a particular literary period.  Use these guides to supplement your class notes and develop a strong sense of how the American and British literary traditions have evolved.

American Literary History

Colonial Beginnings

Literature in Early America

The American Renaissance

American Literature after the Civil War

From the Turn of the Century to World War II

From World War II to Today

British Literary History

Medieval English Literature

The Early Modern Period

The Long Eighteenth Century

The Romantic Period

The Victorian Period

British Modernism

British Literature after WWII