Dante Alighieri (1265-1321)
Italian poet of the Middle ages. Known as “Supreme Poet”. Wrote about his love for Beatrice Partinari
*La Vita Nuova
Geoffrey Chaucer (1342-1400)
Medieval English poet often called “Father of English Poetry”. Wrote poetry on his society-14th century England
John Skelton (1460-1529)
Educated at Oxford and studied at Cambridge. Tutored Prince Henry. Used sarcastic wit in his writing.
*Garlande of Laurell
*The Bowge of Court
Henry Howard Earl of Surrey (1517-1547)
English aristocrat and a founder of English Renaissance poetry. 1st English poet to publish blank verse. “Father of English Sonnet”
Arthur Golding (1536-1605)
English translator of more than 30 works from Latin to English. Married Usula and had 8 children. Remembered for translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Desired to pull Christian symbolism from text.
George Gascoigne (1539-1578)
English poet, soldier, artist, and unsuccessful courtier. Most important poet of early Elizabethan era. 1st poet to deify Queen Elizabeth I.
*A Discourse of the Adventure of Master FJ
*Hundredth Sundry Flowers
*Posies of Gascoigne
Edmund Spenser (1552-1599)
English poet. Premier craftsmen of modern English verse. One of the greatest poets in the English language.
*The Faerie Queen
*Complaints (collection of poems)
Richard Hooker (1554-1600)
Anglican priest and influential theologian. Emphasized reason, tolerance, and value of tradition.
*Learned Discourse of Justification
*Of the Lawes of Ecclesiastical Politie
Sir Philip Sidney (1554-1586)
Most accomplished Elizabethan court poet. Led a brilliant political career.
*Astrophil and Stella
*The Defense of Poesy
Sir Walter Raleigh (1554-1618)
English aristocrat, writer, poet, soldier, courtier, spy, and explorer. One of the most notable figures of Elizabethan era.
*Worldly Wisdom from The Historie of the World
Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626)
Wrote a series of very popular essays. Opposed digma and complained of falsehood resulting from uncritical acceptance of ancient authorities. His writing marks the early stage in the rise of science.
*The Advancement of Learning
William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
A Renaissance playwright. Probably greatest poet who ever lived. Not only wrote plays but acted in them as well. His works reflect ideals and prejudices of his day.
*The Corpus (a collection of all his works)
*As You Like It
*A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Thomas Nashe (1567-1601)
English Elizabethan pamphleteer, playwright, poet, and satirist. Had 2 main concerns: finding an adequate patron and participating in controversies.
*The Anatomy of Absurdity
*Summer’s Last Will and Testament
*Nashe’s Lenten Stuffe
John Donne (1572-1631)
Preeminent metaphysical poet. Challenged, refuted, and parodied conventional wisdom of love and morality. Poetry often expressed moral and spiritual angst.
*An Anatomy of the World
Ben Jonson (1573-1635)
First English poet to write poems called odes. First English poet also to publish own poetry. Wrote dramas for the stage and panegyrics for the royal court. Cavalier poets are sometimes called “the tribe of Ben”
*The Isle of Dogs
*On My First Sonne
Elizabeth Cary, Lady Falkland (1585-1639)
English poet, translator, and dramatist. Known at a young age for her learning and knowledge of languages. Married Sir Henry Cory at 17 and had 11 children. Was first English woman to be the subject of a literary biography, The Lady Falkland, which was written by her daughter.
*The tragedy of Mariam, the Fair Queen of Jewry
*The Mirror of the World
Robert Herrick (1591-1674)
17th century English poet. Wrote over 2,500 poems. Was well known for his style and references to the female body. Later poetry was more spiritual and philosophical.
*Noble Numbers (his 1st book of spiritual works)
*The Argument of his Book
*To the Virgins, To Make Much of Time
George Herbert (1593-1633)
Welsh-born English poet, orator, and Anglican priest. Excelled at languages and music at Cambridge. Wrote religious poems with precise language, metrical versatility, and imagery of conceits. Some of his poems became hymns
*A Priest to the Temple
Samuel Rutherford (1600-1661)
Scottish Presbyterian theologian and author. Scottish commissioner to the Westminster Assembly. Became professor of Divinity at St. Andrews.
*Lex, Rex (political book)
*A Free Disputation against Pretended Liberty of Conscience
*Christ Dying and drawing Sinners to Himself
John Milton (1608-1674)
A poet preeminent in the use of blank verse. Depicted angels like the ancient Roman warrior in his best work “Paradise Lost”. Wrote what’s thought to be the greatest epic poem. Paradise Lost tells the biblical story of temptation and the fall. He attempts “to justify the ways of God to men”.
Richard Crawshaw (1613-1649)
English poet who was one of the first figures of Metaphysical Poetry. After getting a degree, he published religious poetry and taught at cambridge.
*Epigrammatum Sacrarum Liber
*Steps to the Temple
*Hymn to Saint Teresa
Richard Baxter (1615-1691)
English puritan church leader, poet, hymn-writer, theologian, and controversialist. Called “The Chief of English Protestant Schoolmen”. Was a prominent political leader and wrote about 168 works.
*Saints Everlasting Rest
*Breviate of the Life of Mrs. Margaret Baxter
Henry Vaughan (1621-1695)
Welsh author, physician, and metaphysical poet. Got literary inspiration from native environment and chose to live in the country with his family.
*Olar Iscanus (The Swan of Usk)
*Silex Scintillans (about his conversion)
*Mount of Olives
Dorothy Osborne (1627-1695)
British writer of letters and wife of Sir William Temple, 1st Baronet. She is remembered for her letters to Temple which were witty, progressive, and socially illuminating.
John Bunyon (1628-1688)
English Christian writer and preacher. Well known for book “The Pilgrim’s Progress”. Wrote and autobiography about his abandoned life as a youth. Was arrested and imprisoned later in life for preaching without a license.
*Grace Abounding (autobiography)
*The Pilgrim’s Progress
*GRace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners
*The Holy War
John Dryden (1631-1700)
Influential English poet, literary critic, translator, and play-write. The Restoration of England during this time was often called Age of Dryden. Dryden is called “Restoration Poet”. He established the heroic couplet as standard for of English poetry. Works were factual and thoughts were precise
*Marriage a la Mode
*All For Love
Daniel Defoe (1660-1731)
English trader, writer, journalist, pamphleteer, and spy. Most famous for book Robinson Crusoe. One of the earliest proponents of the novel. Wrote over 500 books, pamphlets, and journals on various topics. Was pioneer of economic journalism as well.
*The Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe
Matthew Prior (1664-1721)
English poet and diplomat. Poems show variety and have great executive skill. He masted octo-syllabic couplet.
*The Progress of the Mind
Jonathan Swift (1667-1746)
One of the most accomplished 18th cnetury satirists. Skilled at ridiculing vice and folly. Works take dim viwe of humanity and human pretensions.
*Tale of the Tub (makes history of the Church seem like absurdity and petty family squabbles)
John Gay (1685-1732)
English poet, dramatist, and member of Scriblerus Club. Best remembered for The Beggar’s Opera, ballad opera. Wrote about English rustic life.
*The Shepherd’s Week
*The Baggar’s Opera
*Acis and Galatea
Alexander Pope (1688-1744)
18th century English poet. Best known for satirical verse and translation of Homer. Famous for use of the heroic couplet.
*The New Dunciad
*Translation of the Iliad
James Thomson (1700-1748)
Scottish poet and playwright. Was a tutor in London and worked at Watt’s Academy. Known for him collection of poems called The Seasons
*The Seasons (4 parts: Winter, Summer, Spring, Autumn)
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)
Poet and lexicographer (person who compiles dictionaries). Known today as consummate prose stylist, a poet, a critic, and author of a famous dictionary. Johnson suggests we can all learn from anyone’s life story. Has a highly celebrated literary biography by James Boswell.
*The Idler (essays)
Thomas Gray (1716-1771)
Poet of sensibility and important precursor of Romantic Movement in England. Letter and ode writter, english poet, classical scholar, and professor at Cambridge.
*Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard (known for)
*Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College
*The Progress of Poesy
Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774)
Anglo-Irish novelist, playwright, and poet. Best known for the novel The Vicar of Wakefield. Wrote The History of Little Goody Two-Shoes (where the phrase comes from)
*The Vicar of Wakefield
*The Good-Natur’d Man
*She Stoops to Conquer
William Cowper (1713-1800)
English poet and hymnodist. One of the most popular poets of his time. Wrote everyday life scenes of English countryside. Called “the best modern poet”
*Light Shining out of Darkness
James Boswell (1740-1795)
Lawyer, diarist, and author from Edinburgh, Scotland. Best known for biographer of Samuel Johnson
*Life of Samuel Johnson
*No Abolition of Slavery
*The Journal of a Tour of the Hebrides
William Blake (1757-1827)
English poet, painter, and printmaker. Wrote prophetic poetry and lived almost entire life in London. Highly regarded for expressiveness and creativity.
*Visions of the Daughters of Albion
*Songs of Innocence and Experience
*The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
Robert Burns (1759-1796)
Scottish poet and lyricist. Widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland. Was a pioneer of the Romantic movement. Collected folk songs from across Scotland and revised/adapted them.
*A Red,Red Rose
*Auld Lang Syne
*Scots Wha Hea (unofficial anthem)
*To a Louse
William Lisle Bowles (1762-1850)
English poet and critic. Wrote a quarto volume favored by Coleridge and Wordsworth. Poems distinguished by purity of imagination, graceful diction, and tenderness of feeling.
*The Spirit of Discovery
William Wordsworth (1770-1850)
A key innovator of the Romantic movement. Wrote poems about ‘humble and rustic life”. His poems deal with his experiences in nature and focussed on nature.
*Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tinturn Abbey
Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832)
Scottish historical novelist, playwright, and poet. Popular during his time. His works remain classics of English and Scottish literature.
*The Lady of the Lake
*The Heart of Midlothian
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)
English poet, literary critic, and philosopher. Friends with Wordsworth. A founder of the Romantic Movement and member of the Lake Poets. Suffered from anxiety and depression and poor health.
*The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Robert Southey (1774-1843)
English poet of Romantic School and was a Lake Poet. Prolific letter writer, literary scholar, essay writer, historian, and biographer. Biographies include John Bunyan, Cowper, Cromwell, and Horatio Nelson.
*Joan of Arc: An Epic Poem
*The Fall of Robespierre
Charles Lamb (1775-1834)
English Essayist best known for Essays of Elia. Once referred to as “the most lovable figure in English literature”. Suffered from mental illness.
*Tales from Shakespeare
*The Adventures of Ulysses
*Essays of Elia
Walter Savage Landor (1775-1864)
English writer and poet. Best known for prose Imaginary Conversations and her poem Rose Aylmer (about his sister). He wrote sensitive and beautiful poetry. wrote over 300 works.
*Pericles and Aspasia
Jane Austin (1775-1817)
English novelist who was probably the greatest novelist of the period. Created heroines known for their good sense and self-restraint. Wrote novels about the English Countryside. Was proposed to but never married.
*Sense and Sensibility
*Pride and Prejudice
Leigh Hunt (1784-1859)
English critic, essayist, poet, and writer. Wrote an autobiography. Edited The Reflector and The Indicator, important magazines started by his brother. Was the inspiration for Harold Skimpole in Bleak House.
*The Feast of the Poets (a satyr)
*Stories from the Italian Poets
Thomas Love Peacock (1785-1866)
English novelist, poet, and official of the East India Company. Wrote satirical novels with the same setting: people at a table discussing philosophical opinions.
*The Philosophy of Melancholy
Thomas De Quincey (1785-1859)
English essayist best known for Confessions of an English Opium-Eater. Was a sickly child and dealt with depression. Later became the editor of The Westmorland Gazette. Was in debt most of adult life. Late was addicted to Opium.
*Confessions of an English Opium-Eater
*De Quincey’s Writings
*On the Knocking at the Gate in Macbeth
Baron George Gordon Byron (1788-1824)
Satirist whose work was primarily concerned with social attitudes. Created the Byonic Hero who’s characterized as dark, turbulent, and willful. (ex. Heathcliff, Great Gatsby). Byron is often identified with the heroes of his work.
Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)
Major English Romantic poet. Regarded as one of the finest lyric poets. Key member of the Visionary Poets.
*A Defense of Poetry (essay)
*Ode to the West Wind
*To a Skylark
George Darley (1795-1846)
Irish poet, novelist, and critic. Born in Dublin and educated at Trinity College. Wrote for the London Magazine under pseudonym John Lacy.
*Erros of Ecstasie
*Lilian of the Vale
*Sylvia, or the May Queen
John Keats (1795-1821)
English Romantic poet known for his odes. Wrote some of the most famous lyric poems ever written in English. Often used apostrophe. Reputation grew after death.
*Ode to a Nightingale
*Ode on a Grecian Urn
Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)
Scottish philosopher, satirical writer, essayist, historian, and teacher during the Victorian era. Wrote articles for Edinburgh Encyclopedia.
*Signs of the Times
*The French Revolution
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1797-1851)
English novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and travel writer. Best know for novel Frankenstein. Promoted works of her husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley.
*The Last Man
John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890)
Important figure in the religious history of England. Priest in the Church of England and leader in the Oxford Movement.
*Apologia Pro Vita Sua (autobiography)
*Grammer of Assent
*The Dream of Gerantius
Thomas Lovell Beddoes (1803-1849)
English poet, dramatist, and physician. Work shows preoccupation with death. Studied medicine in attempt to find physical proof of a spirit surviving after the death of a body. Became disturbed and committed suicide with poison.
*The Bride’s Tragedy
*Death’s Jest Book
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)
Prominent poet of the Victorian era. Poetry was popular in the U.S. and England. First poet was written at age 6. Had a lifelong illness which started at 15 and was never diagnosed.
*On the Cruelty of Forcement to Man (wrote at 6)
*The Runaway Slave at Pilgrim’s Point
*A Curse for a Nation
*The Cry of the Children
John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)
British philosopher, political economist, and civil servant. Contributer to social theory, political theory, and political economy. “Most influential English-speaking philosopher of the 19th century.” Learned Greek at age 3 and read Aesop’s Fables by age 8.
*A System of Logic
*Essays on Some Unsettled Questions of Political Economy
Baron Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892)
Poet Laureate of Great Britain and Ireland. One of the most popular British poets. Created the phrase “Tis better to have loved and lost/Than never to have loved at all.” Polished and revised his manuscripts extensively.
*Break, Break Break
*Idylls of the King
William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863)
English novelist of the 19th century. Famous for satirical works.
Charles Dickens (1812-1870)
One of the most popular and prolific novelists of the early Victorian period. Explored urban social problems such as poverty, crime, and corruption in his works. Main characters were often improbably virtuous people who had to overcome challenges.
Edward Lear (1812-1888)
English artist, illustrator, author and poet. Most known for literary nonsense in poetry and prose. Began art early on in life and was a serious painter.
*A Book of Nonsense
*The Owl and the Pussycat
Robert Browning (1812-1889)
Was the leading writer of dramatic monologues and is sometimes said to have invented the form. Best known for work “My Last Duchess”. Based many of poems on historical accounts of actual people and events.
*My Last Duchess
Anthony Trollope (1815-1882)
One of the most successful and respected English novelists of Victorian era. Wrote perceptive novels on political, social, and gender issues. Created the fictional county of “Baretshire”.
*Chronicles of Baretshire
Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855)
English poet and novelist who’s know for her gothic novels. Wrote under the pen name Currer Bell.
Emily Bronte (1818-1848)
English novelist and poet. Best known for novel Wuthering Heights. Wrote under the pen name Ellis Bell. Stayed at home most of her life due to bad health.
Arthur Hugh Clough (1819-1861)
English poet, educationalist, and assistant to Florence Nightingale. Educated at Oxford.
*Amours de Voyage
*Say Not the Struggle Naught Availeth
*Through a Glass Darkly
George Eliot/Mary Anne (1819-1880)
Used George Eliot as pen name and became better known by that name. English novelist, journalist, and translator. A leading writer of Victorian era. Wrote novels set in England and known for their realism.
*The Mill on the Floss
John Ruskin (1819-1900)
Leading English art critic of Victorian era. Aritst and prominent social thinker. Wrote on a range of subjects like geology, architecture, botany, political economy, etc. Established Ruskin School of Drawing.
*The King of the Golden River
Anne Brante (1820-1849)
British novelist and poet. Sister of Charlotte and Emily Bronte. Novels have become classics of English literature. Wrote a volume of poetry with her sisters titled Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Bell.
*The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Matthew Arnold (1822-1888)
British poet and cultural critic. Worked as inspector of schools. Characterized as sage writer who instructs readers on contemporary social issues.
*Culture and Anarchy
*On Translating Homer
William Wilkie Collins (1824-1889)
English novelist, playwright, and short story writer. Popular during Victorian era. Wrote 30 novels, over 60 short stories, 14 plays, and over 100 essays. Was a lifelong friend of Charles Dickens.
*The Woman in White
Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882)
English poet, illustrator, painter, and translator. Founded the Pre-raphaelite Brotherhood. Major precursor of the Aesthetic Movement. Was inspiration to the 2nd generation of artists and writers. Poetry was influenced by John Keats.
*The House of Life
*The Girlhood of Mary Virgin
George Meredith (1828-1909)
English novelist and poet of the Victorian era. Often inspired by nature. Writing is characterized by imagery and indirect references.
*Essays on Comedy
*Diana of the Crossways
*The Ordeal of Richard Feverel
Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830-1894)
English poet who wrote romantic, devotional, and children’s poems. Was educated at home by her mother. Wrote hymns, sonnets, and ballads. Drew narratives from the Bible.
*In the Bleak Midwinter
Lewis Carroll (1832-1898)
Real name was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (was better known by pen name). Writer, mathematician, and photographer. Noted for use of word play, logic, and fantasy. Wrote in genre of literary nonsense.
*Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
*Through the Looking-Glass
*The Hunt of the Snark
William Morris (1834-1896)
English textile designer, artist, and writer. Associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Helped establish the modern fantasy genre. Influence many authors like Tolkein.
*The Defense of Guenevere and other Poems
*The Earthly Paradise
*The Well at the World’s End
*A Dream of John Ball
Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909)
English poet, playwright, novelist, and critic. Invented roundel form. Wrote several novels and was nominated multiple times for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Was known for mastery of vocabulary, rhyme, and metre.
*Songs before Sunrise
*Tristram of Lyonesse
Walter Horatio Pater (1839-1894)
English essayist, critic of art and literature, and writer of fiction. Admired for his prose style. Examined the “sensations and ideas” of young Roman integrity within some of his work.
*Marius the Epicurean
*Sebastian van Storck
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)
English author known for stories of failure and suffering. Influenced by Romanticism. Wrote poetry all through out his life. Recognized as a major poet.
*Far From the Madding Crowd
*Tess of the d’Urbervilles
*Jude the Obscure
*The Mayor of Casterbridge
Henry James (1843-1916)
American-born writer and key figure of the 19th century literary realism. Traveled back and fourth from America to England for first 20 years of his life. Settled in England. Known for series and novels about the encounter of Americans with Europe and Europeans.
*The Portrait of a Lady
Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)
English poet and Jesuit priest. Posthumous fame made him a leading Victorian poet. Explorations in prosody and use of imagery made him a daring innovator.
*The Wreck of the Deutschland
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)
Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, and travel writer. Literary celebrity during his lifetime. Admired by many other writers like Hemingway, Kipling, and Chesterton.
*Strage Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)
Irish poet and writer. A leader of the aesthetic movement. Works are known for decadent attitudes and witty sense of humor. Remembered for his epigrams and plays. Went to jail later and life and died young.
*The Importance of Being Earnest
*The Ballad of Reading Gaol
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)
English short-story writer, poet, and novelist. Remembered for poems of British soldiers in India. A major “innovator in the art of the short story”. His children’s books endure as classics.
*The Jungle Book
*Just So Stories
*The Man Who Would Be King
William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)
Irish poet and a foremost figure of the 20th century. Served as an Irish senator for 2 terms. Received the Nobel Prize in Literature. Was a symbolist poet.
*The Winding Stair and Other Poems
James Joyce (1882-1941)
Irish novelist and poet. Perfected stream-of-consciousness. Spent most of adult life abroad.
*A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)
English writer and a foremost modernist of the 20th century. Influential figure of the Bloomsbury Group of Intellectuals. Wrote for the Times Literary Supplement. Experimented with stream-of-consciousness and the emotional motives of characters.
*To the Lighthouse
*A Room of One’s Own
Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923)
Modernist writer of short fiction. Friends with Virginia Woolf and D.H. Lawrence. Her stories focus on moments of disruption. Died young from tuberculosis.
*The Garden Party
*The Daughters of the Late Colonel
Robert Graves (1895-1985)
English poet, scholar specializing in Classical Greece and Rome, ande a novelist. Wrote over 140 works. Earned a living through writing historical novels.
*The White Goddess
*Good-Bye to All That
*The Golden Ass