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History of English Literature is a comprehensive, eight-volume survey of English literature from the Middle Ages to the early twenty-first century. This reference work provides insightful and often revisionary readings of core texts in the English literary canon. Richly informative analyses are framed by the biographical, historical and intellectual context for each author.
Volume 3 begins with Jacobean poetry and prose, explores Milton’s great biblical epic and moves on to the licentious court poetry of the Restoration period. The early and mid-eighteenth century came then to be dominated by the Neo-Classical and the Augustan style. A few decades later, the novel debuted with Defoe and underwent a rapid development with a range of proposals of astonishing difference and divergence, such as those of Swift, Fielding and Sterne. At the end of the century the Romantic poets gave rise to the densest period of great figures and great works in English literature since the Elizabethan age.