About the BookA history of English literature is a chronological account of the books which have been written in the English language and their authors. Since literature as a whole grows and changes from generation to generation, in tracing this growth, history must show the place which each writer occupies in it, and also his relation with those who went before and those who came after him.
Every great writer brings some absolutely new thing into what he writes, and his work bears its own special hallmark. A writer of exceptionally powerful personality is certain to stamp his impress upon his age, and amongst those who follow him many will always be found who reveal his influence in their thought and style. In this way the ‘schools’ and ‘movements’ are formed which last for a while before being replaced by newer ones. Thus we speak of school of Pope, classic movement in verse and romantic movement in prose fiction which owed its principal impulse to Scott’s historical novels.
Each age has its own particular lines of interest and its own specific way of thinking and feeling about things. Hence, the literature it produces is governed by certain prevailing tastes. The purpose of a history of literature is to give a clear account of the whole transformation of literature from period to period and mark out the causes which have combined to create new tastes making a departure from earlier schools and movements.
An Outline History of English Literature focuses attention on general literature from the pre-Chaucerian period to the age of Tennyson. It will prove useful to the students and teachers of English literature and the researchers in this field.About the Author/sWilliam Henry Hudson was born in Buenos Aires to American parents of English descent who had moved to Argentina. He spent his youth studying the local flora and fauna and observing both natural and human dramas, publishing his ornithological work, stories and articles in both English and Argentine journals. He came to London in 1874 and wrote prolifically. He produced a series of ornithological studies including Argentine Ornithology and British Birds, and later achieved fame with his books on the English countryside, like Hampshire Days, Afoot in England and A Shepherd’s Life. His best known novel is Green Mansions and the best acknowledged non-fiction is Far Away and Long Ago. He is widely recognized as a masterly writer on the natural world.