British Literature




Old English    450-1066

                Unknown - Beowulf (Denmark: Beowulf, a Geat, rescues King Hrothgar and the Danes from Grendel and

his mother at Heorot in Zealand with sword Hrunting; fire-breathing dragon later kills Beowulf)

                Caedmon - (poems)

                Cynewulf - Dream of the Road, Christ, Exeter Book

                Unknown - The Wanderer, The Seafarer

                Bede - Ecclesiastical History of the English People

                Alfred - translated Boethius's De Consolatione Philosophiae


                Unknown - Ulster Cycle (sagas about Deirdre [daughter of King Conchobar's storyteller Felim

destined to be beautiful and bring death; she is raised by Lavarcham in woods; falls in love with

Conchobar's nephew Naisi and flees to Alba with his brothers; they are persuaded to return and

Usnech's sons are killed and Deirdre commits suicide], Cu Chulainn [son of sun god Lugh, Cu

Chulainn kills hound but takes its place until owner gets new one; trained by woman warrior

Scathach; subdues Aoife and has son Conlaoch by her; Conlaoch returns later and kills many but

is killed by Cu; Cu fights army of Queen Maeve; seduced by sea god Mananaan's wife Fand;

Queen Medb of Cruachain creates imaginary host whom Cu fights to exhaustion and dies tied to

pillar; wife Emer dies with him], King Conchobar, Medb and Ailill, Fergus, Cu Roi, Finnabair, Noisi,

Emer, Bricriu Poison-tongue, Cathbad the Druid, Etain, Da Derga, Mac Datho, Conaire, and Conall

Cernach; includes tale Cattle-Raid of Cooley [Cu Chulainn deters army of Queen Maeve while Red

Branch warriors of Ulster awaken; duels and kills foster brother Ferdiad])

Middle English    1066-1485

                William the Conqueror - Domesday Book (census)

                William Langland - Piers Plowman (poet dreams in Malvern Hills about tower of Truth and

dungeon of Wrong; Holy Church explains visions; Conscience persuades many to leave Seven

Deadly Sins for St. Truth, and plowman Piers serves as guide for those who will help plow his

half acre; like Dante's Divine Comedy)

                Geoffrey Chaucer -

Troilus and Criseyde (Trojan prince Troilus pursues Cressida during Trojan War

truce; Pandarus helps them get together; her dad exchanges her for a Trojan prisoner;

Diomedes brings her to Greek camp and she is unfaithful, as Troilus's sister Cassandra

predicted; Troilus sees Diomedes with brooch he gave Criseyde and fights him in battle

but is killed by Achilles)

House of Fame (finds engraving of Dido and Aeneas in Venus's Temple, lady Fame

distributes fame and slander arbitrarily; unfinished),

The Legend of Good Women (Queen Alceste has Chaucer write about 20 women who

suffered or died because they were faithful in love, including Cleopatra, Thisbe, Dido,

Medea, Ariadne, and Philomela),

The Book of the Duchess (elegy on death of John of Gaunt's wife Blanche of Lancaster,

Halcyon and Ceyx story),

                                The Parliament of Fowls (Scipio Africanus appears to younger Scipio in dream; on

Valentine's Day 3 fowls fight over formel eagle),

Canterbury Tales (Tabard Inn in Southwark, pilgrimage to St. Thomas a Becket shrine in

Canterbury: tales told by

Prioress [schoolboy sings hymn about Mary in Jewish ghetto and has throat cut

but is saved by Mary, who commands him to sing until a grain is removed from

his tongue],

Monk [17 8-line tragedies including Bernabo of Milan, Ugolino, Pedro of Spain,

Pedro of Cyprus, Lucifer, Adam, Samson, Heracles, Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar,

Zonobia, Nero, Holofernes, Antiochus, Alexander, Caesar, and Croesus],

Friar [Summoner and Devil swear friendship],

Knight [Theseus defeats Creon at Thebes; Arcite dies after winning tournament

for the hand of Hippolyta's sister Emily and his cousin Palamon marries her],

Melibee [Melibee forgives 3 enemies who beat his wife Prudence and killed his

daughter Sophie],

Miller [carpenter John's wife Alison scorns Absolon but loves Nicholas, who

convinces John to suspend three tubs in the attic in preparation for a second

Flood; Absolon brands Nicholas's rump],

Man of Law [mom of Sultan of Syria puts Constance adrift; washed ashore in

Northumberland and marries King Alla],

Wife of Bath [used tricks to keep first 4 husbands in hand; married 5th for love,

but after a fight he let her run everything; foul witch tells Arthur's knight what

women most desire is sovereignty over husbands and makes him marry her; he

gives her choice of beauty or fidelity and gets both],

Physician [Virginia killed by judge father, whom Apius condemns to hanging

but people revolt and the judge commits suicide],

Pardoner [3 revelers want to slay Death, who killed their friend with plague; find

treasure under tree; stab and poison each other over the gold],

Nun's Priest [fox Don Russell seizes rooster Chauntecleer, as he had dreamed,

but had been mocked by wife Pertelote],

Parson [description of Confession, 7 Deadly Sins, and Penitence; Chaucer's Retractions],

                                                Reeve [miller Simkin steals grain from scholars John and Alan, who spend the

night at his house and sleep with his wife and daughter],

Manciple [archer Phebus's white crow tells him his wife had affair; he kills her

but then turns against the tattle-tale crow],

Merchant [knight January's sight restored but his wife May has affair with Damyan],

                                                Second Nun [Cecilia converts husband Valerian and his brother Tiburtius; Almachius

tries to make them sacrifice to Jupiter but they refuse and are executed],

                                                Shipman [monk John spends night with merchant's wife; John gets loan from merchant],

                                                Squire [knight brings gifts on birthday of Tartar king Cambuscan; Cambuscan's

daughter Canacee wears ring that lets her talk to a falcon],

Canon's Yeoman [describes futility of alchemy],

Clerk [Marquis Walter marries Griselda and tests her loyalty],

Roger the Cook [apprentice Perkin likes dice and women],

Franklin [Aurelius removes all rocks from British coast to win Arveragus's wife Dorigen])

                Geoffrey of Monmouth - Historia regum Britanniae (includes stories of Brute, great-grandson of

Aeneas, King Lear, Cymbeline, and Arthur)

                Unknown - The Tale of Gamelyn (Gamelyn robbed of inheritance by older brother but leads band

of outlaws in the forest and overthrows him)

                Thomas Malory - Le Morte d'Arthur (Arthurian Legend - Camelot: King Arthur [based on 6th

century Celtic king, becomes king by pulling sword Excaliber from stone, dies on island of Avalon],

Queen Guinevere [Arthur's wife], Lancelot [great knight, loved Guinevere], Percival [commits many

gaucheries when first at Arthur's court but trained as knight and granted sight of Holy Grail],

Tristan and Iseult [Cornish Tristan goes to Ireland to get princess Iseult for uncle King Mark but

they drink potion that makes them love each other forever], Sir Gawain [beheads Green Night and

allows retaliation, tempted to commit adultery with Lord Bertilak's wife], Igraine [Arthur's mom],

Uther Pendragon [Arthur's father], Merlin [magician, tutors Arthur], Mordred [treacherous nephew,

battles Arthur at Camlan], Sir Galahad [leads a quest for the Holy Grail], Sir Launfal [gets wealth

from fairy; accused of insults by Guinevere], Morgan le Fay [sorceress sister and enemy of Arthur],

Gareth, Kay [Arthur's often brash steward], Sir Ector [Arthur's foster father], Bedivere; empty Siege

Perilous chair at Round Table; printed by William Caxton)

                Pearl Poet - Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (green knight challenges Arthur's knights to behead

him and be beheaded in a year; Gawain accepts and beheads him; year later goes to Green Chapel;

Lord Bercilak gives Gawain hunting gains in return for kisses he gets from Bercilak's wife; he fails

to give him green sash; Green Knight strikes at Gawain's neck thrice but only nicks it once since

he avoided adultery; Green Knight was Bercilak; all planned by Morgan le Fay)

                Unknown - Everyman (Everyman receives summons from Death; friends Fellowship, Worldly

Goods, and Beauty leave him but Good Deeds remains faithful but weak; morality play)

                Unknown - The Mabinogion (Welsh tales, translated by Lady Charlotte Guest)

                Wakefield Master - Towneley Mysteries (or Wakefield Mysteries; includes The Second Shepherd's Play)

                Unknown - Robin Hood (Robin Hood, possibly earl of Huntington, born at Locksley

Nottinghamshire; formed group in Sherwood Forest including Little John, Friar Tuck, Will Scarlet,

Allan-a-Dale, Will Stutly, and Maid Marian to rob rich and give to poor; opposed by sheriff; bled

to death by prioress of Kirkley)

Renaissance    1485-1660

                Sir Thomas More - Utopia (Book I dialogue analyses ills in England; Book II describes Utopia,

run with humanist ideals)

                John Skelton - A Garland of Laurel, Philip Sparrow, Colin Clout

                Sir Philip Sidney - Astrophel and Stella (sonnets by Astrophel [Sidney] for Stella [Penelope

Devereux]), An Apologie for Poetrie

                Edmund Spenser - Faerie Queene (planned 12 books for each private moral virtues; Prince Arthur

sees vision of Faerie Queen Gloriana [Elizabeth I]; evil Catholics Duessa [Mary], Archimago, and

Grantorto [Philip II]; 6 books: Red Cross Knight [Holiness], Sir Guyon [Temperance], Britomart

[Chastity], Cambel and Triamond [Friendship], Artegal [Justice], Calidore [Courtesy]), The

Shepheardes Calender (shepherd Colin Clout loves Rosalind)

                John Donne - The Anniversaries (An Anatomy of the World, Of the Progresse of the Soule; in

memory of Robert Drury's daughter Elizabeth), Devotions upon Emergent Occasions

                Abraham Cowley - Poetical Blossoms, Davideis

                George Herbert - The Temple

                Richard Crenshaw

                John Milton -

Paradise Lost (Raphael tells Adam about Satan's revolt and expulsion; Satans as

serpent tempts Eve to eat forbidden fruit and Adam does also; Sin and Death enter world;

Michael leads them out of Garden of Eden),

Paradise Regained (Jesus resists Satan's temptations; suggested by Quaker Thomas Ellwood),

Samson Agonistes (Samson betrayed by Delilah, blinded by Philistines, and destroys temple),

Il Penseroso,

Lycidas (commemorates death of schoolmate Edward King; title from shepherd in Bucolic),

Areopagitica (pamphlet against restriction of freedom of the press),

Comus (young lady left by two brothers in the woods captured by Comus, god of sensual pleasure)

                Thomas Kyd - The Spanish Tragedy (Spanish marshal Hieronimo's son Horatio, who loves Bel-

Imperia, is slain by her brother Lorenzo and the prince of Portugal; Hieronimo finds his body

hanging in the arbor; Hieronimo and Bel Imperia kill villains while performing a play and

Hieronimo kills self; 9 die on stage)

                University Wits   

Christopher Marlowe -

Tamburlaine (Scythian shepherd Tamburlaine becomes Persian king and marries

Soldan's daughter Zenocrate),

Dr. Faustus (Germany: scholar Faustus sells soul to devil),

Jew of Malta (Barabas looses fortune and wants revenge on invading Turks;

murders daughter and whole nunnery with poisoned porridge; dies in

bubbling cauldron)

                                Robert Greene - A Groatsworth of Wit

                                John Lyly

                                Thomas Nashe

                                Thomas Lodge

                                George Peele

                William Shakespeare (First Folio compiled by Heminges and Condell, including all but Pericles) -


All's Well That Ends Well (France: Helena cures French king and chooses to

marry Bertram, she tricks him to gain his ring and bear his child),

As You Like It (Rosalind disguises herself as boy Ganymede and meets

Orlando, who is reconciled to his brother Oliver by saving his life; Duke

Frederick becomes a monk and four couples are united at feast of Hymen;

clown Touchstone woos Audrey),

Comedy of Errors (Aemilia and Aegeon have twins, both named

Antipholus, and both with slaves Dromio; one goes to Syracuse and one to

Ephesus but eventually reunited after much confusion),

Cymbeline (Britain: King Cymbeline banishes Posthumous Leonatus who

married his daughter Imogen; in Rome Iachimo bets Imogen will be unfaithful

and steals her bracelet; servant Pisanio allows Imogen to escape dressed as a

boy; Iachimo's villany exposed),

Love's Labor's Lost (4 men vow to eschew women for 3 years but fall in love;

King Ferdinand of Navarre with French princess, Biron with Rosaline, Longaville

with Maria, and Dumain with Katherine; others include Don Armado, clown

Costard, and constable Dull),

Measure for Measure (Vienna: Duke Vincentio disguises self as Friar Lodowick

and appoints Antonio to enforce laws; Claudio sentenced to death for seducing

Juliet; his sister Isabella refuses to yield to Antonio to save Claudio; Lodowick

arranges to trick Antonio into thinking Mariana is Isabella),

Merchant of Venice (Antonio borrows money from Jewish Shylock to send

Bassanio from Venice to Belmont to marry Portia, promising a pound of flesh if

not repaid in three months; Portia and maid Nerissa rescue Antonio at his trial;

Shylock's daughter Jessica elopes with Bassanio's friend Lorenzo),

Merry Wives of Windsor (Sir John Falstaff tries to seduce Mrs. Ford and Mrs.

Page, who trick him; Mr. Ford disguises self as Mr. Brook; Slender and Dr. Caius

love Mrs. Page's daughter Anne but she elopes with Fenton)

Midsummer Night's Dream (Theseus duke of Athens marries Amazon Queen

Hippolyta; Egeus makes his daughter Hermia, who loves Lysander,

marry Demetrius, who is loved by Helena; found by Fairy King Oberon and

Queen Titania; Puck uses magic love-juice; weaver Bottom and his artisans

perform Pyramus and Thisbe play),

Much Ado about Nothing (friends get Benedick and Beatrice to marry; Don

John stages assignation between Borachio and Margaret to keep Claudio from

marrying Hero but fails),

Pericles Prince of Tyre (Pericles accuses King Antiochus of incest with

daughter; Pericles flees Tyre and is shipwrecked at Pentapolis and marries King

Simonides' daughter Thaisa; Thaisa has baby Marina but is presumed dead and

put to sea in a chest; Ephesian Cerimon revives Thaisa and she becomes

votaress in temple of Diana; Cleon raises Marina but wife Dionyza tries to kill

her, but is rescued by pirates and marries Lysimachus; Pericles finds Marina),

Taming of the Shrew (play performed for drunken tinker Christopher Sly;

Petruchio marries high-tempered Katharina, daughter of Baptista, and "tames

her", winning a bet on test of wife's obedience; Lucentio becomes tutor of

Katharina's sister Bianca and marries her),

                The Tempest (Prospero's brother Antonio and King Alonso of Naples, who had

usurped his dukedom of Milan 12 years earlier, wreck in tempest on enchanted

island where Prospero reigns; they search for Alonso's son Ferdinand, who

landed elsewhere and fell in love with Prospero's daughter Miranda; sprite

Ariel plays music; all reconciled),

Trolius and Cressida (Trojan prince Troilus pursues Cressida during Trojan War

truce; Pandarus helps them get together; her dad exchanges her for a Trojan

prisoner; Diomedes brings her to Greek camp; at feast in Achilles' tent Troilus

learns she is unfaithful; Hector kills Patroclus and Achilles kills Hector),

Twelfth Night or What You Will (Sebastian and sister Viola shipwreck off

Illyria; she disguises self as boy Cesario, becomes page of Orsino, and loves

him; Orsino loves Olivia, who mourns for her dead brother;  Olivia loves Viola

and marries look-alike Sebastian; Orsino marries Viola; Maria, Sir Toby Belch,

and Sir Andrew Aguecheek work against Olivia's steward Malvolio in low comedy),

Two Gentlemen of Verona (friends Valentine and Proteus both want duke of

Milan's daughter Silvia, who loves foolish Thurio; Proteus dumps Julia and

banishes Valentine; Silvia joins Valentine and they are pursued by Proteus,

whose page is Julia disguised; Valentine rescues Silvia from Proteus and they

marry; Proteus repents and marries Julia);


Hamlet (Denmark: when Hamlet's dad dies, uncle Claudius marries his mom

Gertrude and becomes king; dad's ghost accuses Claudius of murdering him;

Polonius [who gives advice to son: "to thine own self be true"] believes Hamlet

is mad because he rejects his daughter Ophelia; Claudius reacts violently to play

about the king's death; Hamlet mistakenly kills Polonius and is sent to England

with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern who have letters telling king to kill Hamlet;

Ophelia commits suicide; Hamlet and her brother Laertes both die in duel;

Norway King Fortinbras restores order),

Othello The Moor of Venice (Iago offended because Othello appointed Cassio

chief lieutenant; Iago hints Othello's wife Desdemona, daughter of Senator

Brabantio, had affair with Cassio; finds her handkerchief in Cassio's

possession; Othello strangles Desdemona; Iago's wife Emilia discovers plot;

Iago tortured; "loved not wisely but too well"),

King Lear (King Lear divides kingdom among two daughters Regan and Goneril

who pretended to love him; third daughter Cordelia becomes wife of French king

and is later hanged; Lear's servant earl of Kent is put in stocks; Edmund turns

Gloucester against his real son Edgar),

Macbeth (shortest Shakespeare play; tribute to James I; three witches tell

Macbeth he will be thane of Glamis, thane of Cawdor, and king, and that sons of

friend Banquo will later be kings; Lady Macbeth convinces him to murder King

Duncan; Macbeth murders Banquo but his son Fleance escapes; Lady Macbeth

sleepwalks and commits suicide; Macduff and Duncan's son Malcolm kill

Macbeth and Malcolm becomes king),

Julius Caesar (Cassius convinces Brutus that Julius Caesar is threat to Rome;

Brutus talks with wife Portia; Brutus and Cassius murder Caesar on Ides of March

although he had been warned by wife Calpurnia; Antony speaks at Caesar's

funeral and inflames citizens against murderers, Cassius and Brutus lose to

Antony, Lepidus, and  Octavius at Philippi and commit suicide),

Antony and Cleopatra (Rome and Egypt: Marc Antony, Roman triumvir,

leaves wife Octavia for Cleopatra, queen of Egypt; loses Battle of Actium to

Octavian; Antony and Cleopatra commit suicide),

Romeo and Juliet (Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet secretly married by

Friar Laurence; her cousin Tybalt kills his friend Mercutio and Romeo kills Tybalt

and is banished from Verona; Juliet takes sleeping potion rather than marry Paris;

Romeo drinks poison; Juliet stabs self),

                                                Timon of Athens (Timon abandoned by friends when he has financial problems

as Apemantus had warned; Timon leaves Athens and finds gold and General

Alcibiades in a cave; Timon finances Alcibiades' expedition against Athens

because he was banished for defending a condemned soldier; servant Flavius

rewarded; they reach compromise with Athens to only get revenge on enemies

but then Timon dies),

Titus Andronicus (Titus Andronicus beats Goths and returns to Rome with

Queen Tamora and 3 sons; 1 son sacrificed; Saturninus declared emperor and

claims Titus's daughter Lavinia; his brother Bassanius abducts Lavinia and he

marries Tamora; Tamora and Moorish lover Aaron kill Bassanius and rape

Lavinia, cutting off her hands and tongue; 2 of Titus's sons executed and

another banished, and leads Gothic army; Titus serves Tamora her sons in a

pie, kills Lavinia, and stabs Tamora; Saturninus kills Titus and is killed by Lucius),

Coriolanus (Caius Martius renamed Coriolanus after defeating Volscians at

Corioli; joins Aufidius and plans to attack Rome; persuaded by mom Volumnia

and wife Virgilia to spare city; murdered by Aufidius),

Winter's Tale (Queen Hermione invites King Polixenes of Bohemia to stay

longer but King Leontes orders Camillo to poison him, but Camillo flees with

Polixenes; Hermione sent to prison and daughter abandoned on shore; Leontes

repents; 16 years later Polixenes' son Florizel loves Leontes' lost daughter

Perdita, a shepherdess, and they flee to Sicilia and marry; Leontes and

Polixenes reconciled);

                historical dramas:

King John (King John, supported by Philip Faulconbridge, fights Arthur duke of

Brittany and the pope; John is poisoned and son Henry III becomes king),

Richard II (King Richard banishes Henry Bolingbroke and Thomas Mowbray; Henry's

dad John of Gaunt dies and Richard confiscates inheritance to finance Irish war;

Henry invades England and imprisons Richard, becoming King Henry IV; Sir

Pierce of Exton murders Richard and Henry does penance in Holy Land),

Richard III (Richard duke of Gloucester causes death of brother George duke of

Clarence and marries Lady Anne; imprisons Edward's sons in Tower and

seizes power with duke of Buckingham's help; defeated at Bosworth Field by

Lancaster under earl of Richmond ["a horse a horse my kingdom for a horse"],

earl of Richmond becomes King Henry VII and marries Elizabeth, ending 30 year

War of the Roses),

Henry IV Part I (Henry Percy [Hotspur] defeats Scottish barons and demands

ransom of Edmund Mortimer, captured by Owen Glendower; Henry IV refuses

to ransom the pretender to the throne, so Percy family joins the rebels; Prince

Hal [future Henry V] follows Sir John Falstaff and his revelers but defeats

rebels at Shrewsbury, killing Hotspur),

                                                Henry IV Part II (earl of Northumberland leads rebels who agree to disband but

treacherous John of Lancaster kills them; Hal becomes king and banishes Falstaff),

                                                Henry V (Henry V invades France, wins at Agincourt 1415, and marries Catherine of Valois;

Falstaff dies),

                                                Henry VI Part I (Henry VI's uncles John duke of Bedford and Humphrey duke

of Gloucester take control; French under Joan La Pucelle drive out English;

Richard Plantagenet quarrels with Beuforts of Lancaster; Henry marries

Margaret of Anjou rather than daughter of French earl of Armagnac),

                                                Henry VI Part II (Margaret of Anjou and duke of Suffolk convict duchess of

Gloucester of sorcery to force Humprhey's retirement; Riachard Plantagenet

encourages Jack Cade to rebel, then defeats Henry at St. Albans 1455),

                                                Henry VI Part III (Richard Plantagenet agrees to let Henry VI rule during his

lifetime; Margaret of Anjou puts Richard to death at Wakefield but his sons

Edward   IV and Richard III defeat her at Towton; Edward IV becomes king and

marries Lady Elizabeth Grey and defeats Margaret at Tewkesbury 1471, killing

Henry's son Edward prince of Wales; Richard III murders Henry in the Tower),

                                                Henry VIII (Edward Stafford wanted to warn Henry about Cardinal Wolsey but

is falsely accused of treason and executed; Thomas Cranmer annuls Henry's

marriage to Katharine of Aragon and Henry marries Anne Bullen),

Sonnets (154; 3 quatrains and couplet; 1-126 to noble friend, maybe Henry Wriothesley

earl of Southampton; 127-152 to "Dark Lady"; 153-154 Greek epigram), The Phoenix and

the Turtle, Venus and Adonis, The Rape of Lucrece

                Ben Jonson -

Volpone (childless Venetian nobleman Volpone [Fox], aided by servant Mosca [Fly],

pretends to be sick so that many will rush to him with rich gifts to ensure he is in line to

inherit forture; visitors include lawyer Voltore [Vulture], miser Corbaccio [Crow] who

disinherits son, and Corvino [Raven] who offers his wife)

The Alchemist (Subtle and Doll Common set up shop in Lovewit's house while he is

gone; they trick Face and Sir Epicure Mammon but not Surly),

Everyman in His Humour (London: Wellbred and Young Kno'well escape brother-in-law

and father; Captain Bobadil [braggart], Kitely [jealous], Stephen [stupid], Kno'well

[suspicious], Dame Kitely [jealous] humours)

Epicene or The Silent Woman (Morose tries to disinherit his nephew Sir Dauphine by

marrying silent Epicene, who turns out to be talkative boy in disguise),

                                The Poetaster (attacks Thomas Kekker and John Marston in War of Theaters)

                Beaumont and Fletcher - (Jonson's "disciples") -

Philaster or Love Lies A-Bleeding (king of Calabria and Sicily's daughter Arethusa loves

Philaster but engaged to Pharamond prince of Spain; Pharamon's evilness made known

and he accuses Arethusa of affair with page Bellario, actually a disguised girl; Arethusa

saves Philaster by marrying her),

The Maid's Tragedy (Amintor forced to marry friend Melantius's sister Evadne rather than Aspatia;

Melantius plots against king and Evandne kills the king, to whom she had been mistress),

A King and No King

John Fletcher: The Faithful Shepherdess (Clorin loved by Thenot), The Two Noble Kinsmen

(Theseus hosts tournament in which Arcite wins hand of Theseus's sister-in-law Emilia and

Palamon is to be beheaded but Arcite falls off horse and gives Palamon Emilia), The Wild

Goose Chase (Oriana tries to win Mirabel by making by jealousy and pity)

Francis Beaumont: The Knight of the Burning Pestle (grocer interrupts The London Merchant play

with his own play The Knight of the Burning Pestle starring apprentice Ralph like Don Quixote)

                Sons of Ben -

Thomas Carew

Robert Herrick - To Make Much of Time, To the Virgins, Delight in Disorder,

Hesperides, Corinna's Going A-Maying

Richard Lovelace - To Althea from Prison

John Suckling - Aglaura, Session of the Poets, Brennoralt

                Thomas Dekker - The Honest Whore Part I (Hippolito loves duke's daughter Infelice, who is sent

to convent; Bellafont loves Hippolito; Hippolito marries Infelice and Bellafont marries Matheo),

The Honest Whore Part II (Bellafont's father Orlando Frscobaldo disguises self as her husband

Matheo's servant; Bellafont falsely accused of prostitution), Old Fortunatus (goddess Fortune

gives beggar riches but it brings only trouble; Vice and Virtue)

                Thomas Middleton - A Trick to Catch the Old Onepoor (Theodorus Witgood tries to get money

from uncle by pretending to be engaged to Widow Medler, who marries Hoard)

                Dekker and Middleton - The Roaring Girl (Moll Cutpurse helps Sebastian Wengrave win

approval of Mary Fitzallard's father Sir Alexander to marry her)

                Robert Southwell - The Burning Babe

Restoration / Augustan / Neo-Classical    1660-1789

                Early 1600s

                                Francis Bacon - Advancement of Learning, New Atlantis (voyage to Bensalem Island,

which had Solomon's House, inspiration for Royal Society), Novum Organum

(presents "new instrument" of inductive method)

                                John Locke - Essay Concerning Human Understanding (views mind at birth as tabula

rasa with no innate ideas; led to growth of empiricism), Treatises on Government

                                Edward Gibbon - History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (from Trajan to

fall of Constantinople 1453)

                                David Hume - An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

                                Thomas Hobbes - Leviathan (supports strong government to combat egoism, root of all

social conflict)

                                Izaak Walton - The Compleat Angler or the Contemplative Man's Recreation (angler

Piscator and hunter Venator argue over best sport; friend Auceps silenced)

                Age of Dryden    late 1600s

John Dryden -

Absalom and Achitophel (attacks Puritan attempts to exclude Catholic

duke of York from English throne; Achitophel [earl of Shaftesbury], Absalom

[duke of Monmouth]; added to by Nahum Tate),

MacFlecknoe (depicts Thomas Shadwell as successor of Richard Flecknoe in bad verse),

Conqust of Grenada,

The Medal (criticizes earl of Shaftesbury, acquitted of treason),

The Hind and the Panther (James II is lion who protects hind [Church of Rome] from bear

[Independents], wolf [Presbyterians], hare [Quakers], ape [Freethinkers], boar

[Anabaptists], fox [Arians], and panther [Church of England]),

All for Love or The World Well Lost (Antony and Cleopatra),

Essay of Dramatic Poesie (4 Englishmen on barge on Thames want to see battle

with Dutch fleet; talk about drama),

Annus Mirabilis (describes 1666 London fire and Dutch War),

translated Vergil

                                Thomas Otway - Venice Preserved (Venetian Jaffeir marries senator Priuli's daughter

Belvidera and joins conspiracy with friend Pierre but tells senate about it when

co-conspirator Renault makes advances at Belvidera; conspirators sentenced to die)

                                George Villiers - The Rehearsal

                                William Congreave - (comedy of manners)

Love for Love (Angelica helps Valentine get back his inheritance, which he

gave to his sea-faring brother Ben so his father Sir Sampson Legend would

pay his debts),

Way of the World (witty Mirabell loves Millamant but pretends to like her aunt

Lady Wishfort; Mirabell and Millamant negotiate agreement to marry; others

include Wishfort's nephew Sir Wilfull Witwoud, servants Waitwell and

Foible, and Fainalls),

The Mourning Bride

                                Samuel Pepys - Secret Diary

                                Isaac Newton - Principia (The Motion of Bodies, The Motion of Bodies in Resisting

Media, The System of the World)

                                John Bunyan - Pilgrims Progress (Christian leaves City of Destruction through Wicket-

gate led by Evangelist; goes through Slough of Despond, Cross, Holy Sepulcher, Hill

Difficulty, House Beautiful, Valley of Humiliation, Valley of the Shadow of Death,

Vanity [with a fair that sells all empty things], plain of Ease, Hill of Lucre [free silver

mine], Doubting Castle, Delectable Mountains, Enchanted Ground, Beulah, River of

Death, and Celestial City; meets Mr. Worldly-Wiseman, Mr. Good-will, friend Apollyon,

Hopeful, Faithful, and Giant Despair; in Part II wife Christiana, kids, Mercy, and Mr.

Great-heart go to Celestial City), Life and Death of Mr. Badman

                Age of Pope    1700-1744

                                Alexander Pope -

Essay on Criticism ("little learning is a dangerous thing"; "to err is human, to

forgive divine"),

Essay on Man,

Rape of the Lock (epic treatment of real incident in which Lord Petre cut a lock

of Arabella Fermor's hair, leading to family feud; heroine Belinda),

The Dunciad  (attacks Pope's critics including Lewis Theobald; Colley Cibber

king of the Dunces, and goddess Dullness prevails),

Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot (dialogue between Pope and a physician, attacking

Addison and Hervey),

`                               translated Iliad

Jonathan Swift -

Tale of a Tub (ridicule of religious extremists; brothers Peter [Catholic], Jack

[Protestants], and Martin [Lutheran/Anglican]; Grub Street hacker writer

reveals in Digression of Madness he is an inmate of Bedlam),

Modest Proposal (satirically proposes raising Irish children for food),

Gulliver's Travels (ship physician Lemuel Gulliver visits Lilliput [tiny people],

Brobdingnag [giants], Laputa [scientists], and Houyhnhnmland [horses,

masters of Yahoo people]),

Battle of the Books (ridicules arguments of William Temple and Richard

Bentley about ancient vs. modern authors; battle in St. James Library),

 Journal to Stella (diary)

                                Joseph Addison and Richard Steele - Spectator (essays by Spectator Club members, including

Mr. Spectator, Sir Roger de Coverley, Will Honeycomb, Andrew Freeport, and

Capt. Sentry)

                                Richard Steele - The Tatler (pseudonym Isaac Bickerstaff)

                                Daniel Defoe -

Robinson Crusoe (Robinson Crusoe [based on real-life Alexander Selkirk] is

shipwrecked and lives 24 years on island near Orinoco River; saves native

man Friday from cannibals and becomes his friend; recaptures ship and

returns to England),

Moll Flanders (Moll Flanders born at Newgate, works as prostitute, marries five

times, sent to Virginia, died penitent),

A Journal of the Plague Year (account of plague by Londoner "HF", 1665)

                Age of Johnson    1744-1784

                                Samuel Johnson -

Dictionary of the English Language (refused belated patronage of Lord Chesterfield),

Rasselas (Rasselas, sister Nekayah, and mentor Imlac escape Oriental Happy

Valley to explore world; visit Cairo; return to Happy Valley),

Lives of the Poets (connects lives and work of 52 poets from Cowley to his


Rambler (semi-weekly essays)

                                James Boswell - Life of Samuel Johnson (notes of conversations with Dr. Johnson;

remembered with help of Edmund Malone)

                                Oliver Goldsmith -

Vicar of Wakefield (kindly Vicar Charles Primrose loses income and moves

family to humbler house; daughter Olivia abducted by Squire Thornhill; house

burns down and Primrose is imprisoned for debt; daughter Sophia is abducted;

son George is imprisoned avenging Sophia; Thornhill's uncle Sir William

Thornhill straightens everything out and marries Sophia),

Deserted Village (rural depopulation of late 1700s),

She Stoops to Conquer (Marlow loves Miss Hardcastle but is tricked into

believing her dad's castle is a village end; Miss Hardcastle poses as barmaid

an poor relative to seduce Marlow),

The Citizen of the World (Chinese philosopher Lien Chi Altangi reports on visit

to England; Lien's son rescues daughter of Man in Black from Persia),

The Good Natur'd Man (Honeywood imprisoned to see if friends leave him; he

loves Miss Richland, who secures his freedom),

Goody Two-shoes

                                Richard Sheridan -

School for Scandal (Joseph Surface makes overtures to Lady Teazle to get access to her

husband Sir Peter's ward Maria, who loves Joseph's brother Charles; Lady

Sneerwell has gossip club; Lady Teazle hides behind screen and Sir Peter hides in a

closet; Joseph's uncle Sir Oliver Surface returns from India disguised as Mr.

Premium but Charles won't sell him portrait of his uncle),

The Rivals (Capt. Jack Absolute, son of Anthony Absolute, woos Lydia Languish under

guise of Ensign Beverly; Lydia's aunt Mrs. Malaprop, who makes many funny

mispronunciations, wants her to marry Absolute; Absolute's friend Bob Acres

loves Lydia and challenges Beverly to duel; Lydia and Absolute marry)

                                Thomas Gray - Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard (ends with "The Epitaph")

                                William Blake - Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience (contrast each other; The

Lamb vs. The Tiger [Tiger Tiger Burning bright], The Divien Image vs. The Human

Abstract, etc.), Book of Thel, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (doctrine of Contraries),

Milton (John Milton returns from  Heaven to correct misinterpretations of his work)

                                Bishop Thomas Percy - Reliques of Ancient English Poetry (including Sir Patrick Spens

and Edward Edward)

                                Samuel Richardson - Clarissa (Clarissa Harlowe commanded to marry Mr.

Soames, whom she despises, and flees with Robert Lovelace, who drugs and rapes her;

longest novel in English), Pamela or Virtue Rewarded (first modern novel; son of

maidservant Pamela Andrew's employer, Mr. B, pursues her but she resists, marries,

and reforms him)

                                Henry Fielding -

Tom Jones (Squire Allworthy raises son Tom Jones of his servant Jenny Jones

and son Blifil of sister Bridget and Captain Blifil; Blifil tries to get Tom into

trouble; both love Squire Western's daughter Sophia; Tom has affair with

gameskeeper's daughter and is sent to London, having many adventures

along the way; Jenny appears and says Tom is actually Bridget's son; Tom

marries Sophia; others include schoolmaster Partridge and Lady Bellaston),

Joseph Andrews (Pamela's brother Joseph Andrews refuses employer Lady

Booby's advances and flees to his love Fanny Goodwill in London; Parson

Adams rescues them and they marry),

Amelia (Amelia is the wife of imprisoned Captain Booth; she refuses Captain

James but he has affair with Miss Matthews),

The Life of Jonathan Wild the Great (highwayman Jonathan Wild represents Walpole),

                                                Tom Thumb

                                Tobias Smollett -

Humphrey Clinker (workhouse lad Humphrey Clinker works for Brambles and loves

their maid Winifred Jenkins; becomes Methodist preacher; epistolary novel),

The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle (rascal Peregrine Pickle raised by aunt

Grizzle Pickle and one-eyed veteran uncle; marries Amanda)

The Adventures of Roderick Random (Scottish Roderick, who killed an officer

in a duel, and Hugh Strap go to sea; Roderick loves Narcissa but opposed by

Sir Timothy Thicket and Lord Quiverwit; Roderick flees to France and plans

to marry Miss Melinda Goosetrap; goes to sea with uncle Tom Bolwing and

finds lost dad Don Rodrigo in South America)

                                Laurence Sterne - Tristram Shandy (disorganized account of first years of life,

interspersed with long reflections and accounts of Yorck, father Walter Shandy, mom,

and Uncle Toby; includes one-sentence chapters, blank pages, and unfinished

sentences), A Sentimental Journey (trip through France and Italy; Yorick weeps over

donkey chewing thistle)

                                John Cleland - Fanny Hill The Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure (prostitute Fanny Hill;

novel banned for vulgarity)

                                Horace Walpole - The Castle of Otranto (Manfred, grandson of usurper who had

poisoned Alfonso, wants to marry Isabella after his son Conrad is crushed by a helmet,

but she is rescued by Theodore and Alfonso's ghost destroys the castle)

                                William Cowper - John Gilpin (London linen draper Gilpin goes to Edmonton), The

Task (6 books: The Sofa, The Time-piece, The Garden, The Winter Evening, The Winter

Morning Walk, The Winter Walk at Noon)

Romantic Age    1780-1837

                Wordsworth and Coleridge - Lyrical Ballads (launched Romanticism; includes Tintern Abbey and

Rime of the Ancient Mariner)

                Samuel Taylor Coleridge - Rime of the Ancient Mariner (seaman does penance for killing friendly

albatross in Antarctic), Kubla Khan (Mongol emperor Kubla Khan; written during opium dream),

Christabel (witch Lady Geraldine casts spell over Christabel and her father Sir Leoline, despite

bard Bracy's revelatory dream)

                William Wordsworth - Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey (ivory-covered ruin on river

Wye in Monmouthshire), Ode: Intimations of Immortality (Platonic "recollection"; celebrates child),

The Daffodils, The Recluse (including The Excursion), The Prelude (autobiographical), Simon Lee

(poet helps hunter Simon dig up tree root), Nuns Fret Not at Their Convent's Narrow Room

                Sir Walter Scott -

Lady of the Lake (James Fitz-James, Knight of Snowden, loves Ellen, daughter of outlaw

James of Douglas; local hero Roderick Dhu fights for Ellen, but she loves Malcolm),

Ivanhoe (1100s England: Wilfred knight of Ivanhoe rejects Rebecca the Jewess and loves

Rowena but dad Cedric wants her to marry Saxon Athelstane; Black Knight [Richard the

Lion-Hearted], Knight Templar Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert and Locksley [Robin Hood]

become involved; tournaments at Ashby-de-la-Zouche and Torquilstone),

The Antiquary (William Lovel loves daughter of Arthur Wardour),

The Bride of Lammermoor (Lord Ravenswood's son Edgar loves Lucy, daughter of

William Ashton who has tricked his dad; Lucy forced to marry Frank Hayston),

Guy Mannering (Guy Mannering predicts Harry Bertram will have crises at ages 5 and

21; sister Lucy cared for by Dominie Sampson; Harry befriends Mannering and marries

his daughter Julia),

                                The Lay of the Last Minstrel (families of Baron Henry of Cranstown and Lady Margaret

of Bransome Hall feud),

                                Peveril of the Peak (Cavalier Julian Peveril loves Roundhead Alice Bridgenorth; 1678

Popish Plot),

Quentin Durward (Louis XI Scottish Guardsman Durward saves king's life in boar hunt

and wins Isabell countess of Croye),

                                Marmion A Tale of Flodden Field (Lord marmion rejects Constance and loves Lady

Clare; he dies at Flodden Field),

                                The Talisman (Sir Kenneth helps Richard I fight Saladin),

                                Waverley Novels (32 novels published anonymously)

                George Gordon Lord Byron -

Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (Childe Harold goes on pilgrimage across Europe

disillusioned with life of pursuing pleasure),

Don Juan (Don Juan sent from Spain by mom Donna Inez; shipwrecks in Greece but

nursed by Haidee; sold as slave to Gulbeyas of Constantinople but loves Dudu;

attracts Empress Catherine in Russia; sent to England),

The Corsair (pirate chief Conrad imprisoned by Sultan Seyd but released by Gulnare but

finds his love Medora dead; returns to Greece and is shot),

The Destruction of Sennacherib (plague in Assyrian army),

The Prisoner of Chillon (two brothers of Francois de Bonnivard die in dungeon),

Manfred (Count Manfred sells self to Prince of Darkness and lives alone in Alps)

                Robert Southey - The Battle of Blenheim, biographies of Nelson, Wesley, and Cowper

                Ann Radcliffe - The Mysteries of Udolpho

                Matthew Gregory Lewis - The Monk (devil sends Matilda to seduce vulnerable monk Ambrosio

in Madrid)

                Percy Bysshe Shelley - Prometheus Unbound (son Demogorgon drives Jupiter from throne;

Hercules rescues Prometheus, who is reunited with wife Asia), Ode to the West Wind, To a

Skylark, Adonais (to Keats), The Cloud, Ozymandias (vanity of tyrants), The Sensitive Plant

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley - Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus  (Germany: student

Frankenstein creates nameless monster by galvanism which is shunned by all and turns to evil;

destroys Frankenstein at the North Pole)

John Keats - Eve of St. Agnes (Madeline glimpses future husband Porphyro on Eve of St. Agnes),

Ode on a Grecian Urn, Ode to a Nightingale, Endymion (shepherd on Mount Latmus loved by

moon goddess Selene), Hyperion (Titan sun god Hyperion overthrown by Apollo),

La Belle Dame snas merci, Isabella or The Pot of Basil (Isabella plants head of beloved

Lorenzo in pot of basil after her brothers killed him), On First Looking into Chapman's Homer

                Charles Lamb - Specimens of English Dramatic Poets, Essays of Elia (including A Dissertation on

Roast Pig), Dream Children A Reverie (written at death of brother James)

                Thomas De Quincy - Confessions of an English Opium-Eater

                Edmund Burke - On American Taxation, On Conciliation with the Colonies, Reflections on the

French Revolution

                Robert Burns - The Cotter's Saturday Night (Jenny), The Holy Fair (sisters Fun, Usupersitition,

and Hypocrisy visit Holy Fair at Mauchline), Tam o'Shanter (witches pursue Tam but

cannot cross river Doon; Cutty Sark cuts off horse's tail)

Victorian Era    1837-1901

                Thomas Babbington Macaulay - History of England, Critical and Historical Essays

                John Henry Newman - Apology for His Life (Catholic)

                Benjamin Disraeli - Sybil or the Two Nations, Tancred or the New Crusade

                Thomas Carlyle - Sartor Resartus (Tailor Retailored; Prof. Diogenes Teufelsdrockh at

Weissnichtwo loves Rose Goddess Blumine but is discarded and wanders for 10 years), On Heroes

Hero-Worship and the Heroic in History

                John Ruskin and Walter Pater - (combated social problems)

                Alfred Lord Tennyson -

Locksley Hall (last look at home of his youth; loves cousin Amy),

In Memoriam (elegy for friend Arthur Hallam),

Idylls of the King (King Arthur; The Coming of Arthur, Gareth and Lynette, Geraint and

Enid, Merlin and Vivien, Lancelot and Elaine, The Holy Grail, Pelleas and Etarre, The Last

Tournament, Guinievere, The Passing of Arthur),

The Lotus-Eaters,

The Lady of Shalott (Camelot: Lady of Shalott cannot engage real world directly),

The Charge of the Light Brigade (Crimean War, Battle of Balaklava October 25 1854:

600 die following orders they know to be bad),

Crossing the Bar (putting out to sea compared to death)

                Robert Browning -

Dramatic Romances and Lyrics,

Men and Women,

My Last Duchess (duke of Ferrara murdered wife for not appreciating honor of marrying him),

Pippa Passes (Pippa works in Asolo Italy silk mills; "God's in His Heaven - All's right

with the world"),

Prospice (written after wife's death),

Sordello (1200s south Europe poet debates action and song),

The Ring and the Book (Guido Franceschini of Florence marries Pompilia Comparini

whose parents learn he is not really rich; Pompilia fees to Rome and accused of affair with

priest Caponsacchi and banished to nunnery, where she has child; Guido murders

Pompilia and parents and is executed)

                Elizabeth Browning - Sonnets from the Portuguese (expression of love for husband Robert

Browning), The Cry of the Children (decries child labor), Lady Geraldine's Courtship (lady marries

peasant-pope; praised Robert Browning)

                Matthew Arnold - Essays in Criticism, Dover Beach, Culture and Anarchy, The Scholar-Gipsy

                Charles Swinburne - Atalanta in Calydon, Songs Before Sunrise

                Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Morris - (Pre-Raphaelites)

                Jane Austen -

Pride and Prejudice (Mrs. Bennet tries to find matches for 5 daughters; Lydia Bennet

elopes with officer Wickham; arrogant Mr. Darcy, who had interfered with courtship of

friend Bingley and Jane Bennet, proposes to Elizabeth Bennet; she refuses but later her

prejudice and his pride dissolve and they marry; also includes Mr. Collins and Lady

Catherine de Bourgh),

Emma (Emma Woodhouse interferes in love life of Harriet Smith, encouraging her to

take Mr. Elton rather than Robert Martin; also interferes with Jane Fairfax and Frank

Churchill; eventually she marries George Knightley),

Sense and Sensibility (Elinor Dashwood bears desertion by Edward Ferrars, who was

secretly engaged to Lucy Steele and disinherited by mom, with dignity; Lucy turns to

Edward's brother Robert when he gets inheritance and Edward proposes to Elinor;

sister Marianne gets very upset about desertion by John Willoughby but finally

marries Col. Brandon),

Persuasion (Anne Elliott breaks engagement with Captain Wentworth but then they

renew the engagement)

Northanger Abbey (Mrs. Allen and Catherine Morland visit Bath; Catherine loves

clergyman Henry Tilney but fears his home after reading Radcliffe's Mysteries of

Udolpho; they marry),

Mansfield Park (Fanny Price raised with Uncle Thomas Bertram's 4 kids; Fanny loves

cousin Edmund who loves Mary Crawford; Mary's brother Henry loves Maria Bertgram

then Fanny Price then Maria again; Edmund finally marries Fanny)

                Charles Dickens -

Bleak House (Chancery, London: narrator Esther Summerson, illegitimate daughter of

Lady Dedlock and Captain Hawdon; lawyer Mr. Tulkinghorn suspects past and is killed,

as is Lady Dedlock; Krook spontaneously combusts; Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce case drags

on for years in courts),

Oliver Twist (Oliver born in workhouse and asked for more gruel; apprenticed by Mr.

Bumble to undertaker Mr. Sowerberry; gang under Fagin including Jack Dawkins the

Artful Dodger, Nancy, Bill Sikes, and Charley Bates tries to make Oliver a thief;

half-brother Monks tries to corrupt him to get all of father's property; adopted by Mr.

Brownlow and cared for by Mrs. Maylie and foster child Rose [his aunt]),

David Copperfield (London: David Copperfield sent to Mr. Creakle's school by cruel

stepfather Mr. Murdstone; idolizes classmate Steerforth; works in warehouse and lives

with Mr. Micawber; runs away to great-aunt Betsey Trotwood; later lives with lawyer

Mr. Wickfield; marries Dora Spenlow but she dies; unctuous Uriah Heep foiled; David

marries Wickfield's daughter Agnes; other characters include reliable Traddles,

"ever willin'" Barkis, and eccentric Peggotty family),

Great Expectations (Philip Pirrip [Pip] raised by blacksmith Joe Gargery; meets convict

Magwitch; visits Miss Havisham, who had been left at the altar years before, and her

niece Estella; goes to London due to patron Magwitch, who is Estella's father; Estella's

husband Bentley Drummle dies),

Our Mutual Friend (Mr. Boffins and Wilfer's friend John Harmon left a fortune if he will

marry Bella Wilfer; disguises self as John Rokesmith and falls in love with Bella and

drops assumed name and gets fortune),

Barnaby Rudge (Barnaby participates in anti-Catholic Gordon Riots of 1780 and

sentenced to death but reprieved by Gabriel Varden; carries raven Grip with him; father

murdered employer Mr. Haredale),

A Christmas Carol (miser Ebinezer Scrooge, partner of deceased Marley, converted by

visions of past, present, and future Christmases; sees the Cratchits, including Tiny Tim

and Bob, Scrooge's secretary),

A Tale of Two Cities (Dr. Alexander Manette, unjustly imprisoned in Bastille, is released

and waits for rescuers in attic of Defarge's wine shop, and then returns to London with

daughter Lucie; St. Evremonde's nephew Charles Darnay is accused of treason but

defense counsel Stryver points out resemblance to Sydney Carton; Darnay marries Lucie

and later returns to Paris to save a servant but is arrested during French Revolution;

Sydney takes Charles's place on the guillotine because he loves Lucie),

                                Dombey and Sons (Mr. Dombey wants son Paul to continue his business but he dies;

ignored daughter Florence but later reconciled),

Martin Chezzlewit (Martin Chezzlewit turned away by grandfather and goes to US with

friend Mark Tapley; loses everything as architect for fraudulent Eden Land Corp; returns

home and marries Mary Graham; Jonas Chuzzlewit poisons dad, murders Montague Tigg,

and marries Mercy Pecksniff),

Little Dorrit (William Dorrit raises kids Edward, Fanny, and Amy in debtor's prison;

comes into fortune and all become despicable except Amy, who marries poor Arthur

Clennam in Marshalsea prison; Arthur struggles with Circumlocution Office),

The Pickwick Papers (pseudonym Boz; illustrated by Seymour; letters about club

founded by Samuel Pickwick; "Pickwickian sense" means insults that aren't really meant;

others include servant Sam Weller, landlady Mrs. Bardell, lawyers Dodson, Fogg, and

Serjeant Buzfuz, and actor Alfred Jingle),

Nicholas Nickleby (to support mom and sister Nicholas Nickleby works as usher for

cruel Wackford Squeers, in Mr. Crummles theater, and Cheeryble counting house; sister

Kate worked for milliner Mantalini; Uncle Ralph encourages Mulberry Hawk to seduce

Kate; Gride loves Madeline Bray; Ralph learns mistreated Smike is his son and commits

suicide; others include Ralph's clerk Newman Noggs),

The Mystery of Edwin Drood (orphans Edwin Drood and Rosa Bud betrothed by fathers

but break off engagement; Edwin murdered and Neville Landless is arrested but released;

Edwin's Uncle Jasper pursues Rosa; Mr. Datchery investigates; unfinished),

Hard Times (Thomas Gradgrind, a retired merchant, raises Louisa and Tom in grim

practicality; Louisa marries Tom's employer Josiah Bounderby; Tom robs bank and frames

Stephen Blackpool),

                                The Old Curiosity Shop (Daniel Quilp takes over curiosity shop of Nell Trent's

grandfather after he loses money gambling; Little Nell and grandfather work for Mrs.

Jarley's Wax Works and Thomas Codlin's puppet show; given house by schoolmaster

Mr. Marton and Little Nell tends graves; friend Kit Nubbles and grandfather's brother

search but find them dead; Kit marries Barbara)

                William Makepeace Thackeray -

Vanity Fair a Novel without a Hero (Becky Sharp tries to win friend Amelia Sedley's

rich brother Joseph but fails; marries Sir Pitt Crawley's son Rawdon, who is disinherited,

but she lives well on small income with Lord Steyne's help until Rawdon finds out and

leaves Becky and son to become governor of Coventry Island; Becky is ostracized;

Amelia marries George Osborne but he dies at Waterloo and his dad Mr. Osborne cares

for their son Georgy; Amelia marries William Dobbin),

The Newcomes (Col. Thomas Newcome's artist son Clive marries Rosey Mackenzie and

then cousin Ethel Newcome),

The History of Henry Esmond Esquire (Henry Esmond raised by Francis Esmond, heir of

Castlewood estate; James Edward the Pretender loves Francis's daughter Beatrix; Henry

marries Rachel and goes to America),

                                The Virginians (sequel to Henry Esmond; Henry's grandsons George and Harry

Warrington grow up under aunt Baroness Bernstein in America; George fights for British

and Harry for friend Washington in Revolution),

The Memoirs of Barry Lyndon Esq. Written by Himself (Redmond Barry wins Countess

Lyndon and spends her money, ending up in Fleet Prison),

                                The History of Pendennis (Arthur Pendennis [Pen] spoiled by mom and relative Laura

Bell; writes novel; edits Pall Mall Gazette; marries Laura),

                                The Rose and the Ring (Fairy Blackstick controls magic rose and ring that make owner lovely)

Anthony Trollope - Barchester Towers (Mrs. Proudie defeats chaplain Mr. Slope; Mr. Slope and

others want to marry Eleanor Bold for her money but she slaps him; church warden Mr. Harding,

archdeacon Grantley, Bertie Stanhope)

                Anne Bronte - Agnes Gray (ill-treated governess Agnes Gray marries curate Mr. Weston), The

Tenant of Wildfell Hall

                Emily Bronte - Wuthering Heights (Ellis Bell pseudonym; Mr. Earnshaw raises waif Heathcliff at

Wuthering Heights; his daughter Catherine likes him while his son Hindley hates him; Heathcliff

leaves for 3 years when Catherine says marrying him would degrade her; Catherine marries Edgar

Linton; years later Hindley invites polished Heathcliff back and he elopes with Edgar's sister;

Catherine dies in childbirth; widower Heathcliff makes Catherine's daughter marry his sickly son

Linton; Heathcliff dies and Cathy devotes herself to cousin Hareton, Hindley's son)

                Charlotte Bronte - Jane Eyre (governess Jane Eyre eventually marries employer Edward

Rochester, who is married to an insane woman), Shirley (Yorkshire wool mill owner

Robert Gerand Moore deals with worker strife; heroine Shirley Keeldar based on Emily Bronte)

                Samuel Butler -

The Way of All Flesh (clergyman Theobald Pontifex's son Ernest lives in slums, goes to

jail for advances to a woman, marries vulgar Ellen but released because she was already

married, and devotes life to literature),

Erewhon (satirizes English attitudes in Utopia; anagram of Nowhere; narrator escapes

back to England but then returns to Erewhon as missionary),

Hudibras (county justice Hudibras and squire Ralpho set out to reform abuse and

suppress amusements; directed against Puritans; like Don Quixote)

                George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans Cross) -

Silas Marner or the Weaver of Raveloe (weaver Silas Marner, long ago accused of theft committed

by friend; robbed of his gold; finds abandoned yellow-haired baby Eppie whom he comes

to love; Squire Cass's son Dunstan disappers; Dunstan's brother Godfrey marries Nancy

Lammeter; Godfrey is actually Eppie's dad but she stays with Silas),

Adam Bede (1700s England: Adam Bede loves Hety Sorrel but she loves Arthur Donnithorne),

Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life (Dorothea Brooke marries Rev. Mr. Casaubon,

a scholar, who disillusions her and dies; she marries his cousin Will Ladislaw, forfeiting

Casaubon's estate; Dr. Lydgate marries selfish Rosamond Vincy and loses his earlier

medical ideals),

Felix Holt the Radical (watchmaker Felix Holt loves Esther; Felix is pardoned for murder that prevented

rioting; Esther chooses Felix over radical Parliament candidate Harold Transome),

                                The Mill on the Floss (Tom Tulliver, raised at Dorlcote Mill, keeps sister Maggie from marrying Philip

Wakem but she goes off with Stephen Guest, fiancé of her cousin Lucy Deane),

                                Romola (Florentine Romola marries Tito Melema and finds peace with help of Savonarola)

                George Meredith -

The Egoist (arrogant Sir Willoughby Patterne invites fiancée Clara Middleton to his Hall

but she instead marries his cousin Vernon Whitford),

The Ordeal of Richard Feverel (Sir Austin Feverel tries to raise son Richard according to

own education system; Richard marries Lucy Desborough; nurse Bessie Berry and

uncle Austin Wentworth reconcile Austin and Lucy; Richard wounded in duel with

libertine who loves Lucy),

Modern Love

                Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgson) - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Alice, Mad Hatter, Ugly

Duchess, Mock Turtle, Queen of Hearts, Cheshire Cat, Hatter, March Hare, Dormouse;

illustrated by Sir John Tenniel), Through the Looking Glass (Alice goes into mirror; world is

reversed; becomes white pawn in chess game with land divided by brooks and hedges; meets

Humpty Dumpty, Lion, Unicor, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, and White Knight)

                Thomas Hardy -

The Return of the Native (Clym Yeobright opens school on Egdon Heath and marries

Eustacia Vye, who loves Damon Wildeve, who married her cousin Thomasin; Clym's

eyes fail and he becomes a furze cutter; Mrs. Yeobright comes to son's house but

ignored by Eustacia and dies of fatigue and adder bite; Clym blames Eustacia who drowns

with Wildeve; Thomasin marries Diggory Venn; Clym becomes preacher),

Tess of the D'Urbervilles (Tess Durbeyfield takes service with Mrs. D'Urberville, and

has child with her son Alec; Tess becomes dairymaid and marries Angel Clare, but he

leaves her because of her past; she returns to Tess but stabs him when Angel returns

and is hanged),

The Mayor of Casterbridge (drunk Michael Henchard sells wife Susan and daughter to

sailor Newson; Michael reforms and becomes mayor; Susan and Neson's daughter

Elizabeth-Jane returns; Donald Farfrae ruins Michael's fortunes, becomes mayor, and

marries Elizabeth-Jane),

Jude the Obscure (stonemason Jude Fawley marries Arabella who deserts him and their

son; cousin Sue Bridehead marries teacher Phillotson but flees to Jude; Jude and Sue

don't marry but have kids, who are killed by Arabella's son Father Time),

Far from the Madding Crowd (Bathsheba Everdne marries adventurer Sergeant Troy,

then engaged to William Boldwood who kills Troy, then marries Gabriel Oak),

                                A Pair of Blue Eyes (former boyfriends of Elfride Swancourt Stephen Smith and Henry

Knight meet on train but on arrival find her dead)

                Robert Louis Stevenson -

Treasure Island (Jim Hawkins finds treasure map from sailor at mom's inn and goes on

schooner Hispaniola with Dr. Livesey and Squire Trelaney to find it; Jim thwarts mutiny

of Long John Silver; marooned sailor Ben Gunn helps them get treasure; blind villain Pew)

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Dr. Jekyll  creates drug that transforms him into evil

alter ego Mr. Hyde and eventually commits murder; kills self; narrated by Mr. Utterson),

Kidnapped (Ebenezer puts nephew David Balfour on ship to Carolinas; David becomes

friends with Jacobite Alan Breck; ship wrecks and they come ashore in Scotland),

                                Weir of Hermiston (Archie Weir banished by judge father and loves Christina; novel unfinished),

A Child's Garden of Verses (including My Shadow and The Lamplighter)

                Rudyard Kipling -

The Jungle Book (Mowgli raised by wolves in Indian jungle),

The White Man's Burden,

Kim (Kimball O'Hara raised in Lahore and roams India with Tibet lama; joins English Secret Service),

Captains Courageous (spoiled Harvey Cheyne shipwrecked but rescued by fishing

trawler; must work for his keep, and learns self-reliance of a mariner),


Recessional (60th anniversary of Queen Victoria's accession),

Barrack-Room Ballads (celebrates British soldiers),

The Man Who Was (man kept prisoner by Russians long after Crimean War),

The Man Who Would Be King (white trader Daniel Dravot and Peachey Carnehan take

control of Kafristan but Daniel is killed and Peachey is tortured),

                                Plain Tales from the Hills (short stories about Anglo-Indian life, including soldiers

Otheris, Learoyd, and Mulvaney),

                                Soldiers Three (more stories like Plain Tales from the Hills)

                Joseph Conrad -

Heart of Darkness (1890 Belgian Congo, Congo River: narrator Marlowe searches jungle

for powerful trader Kurtz; tells of exploitation of natives),

Lord Jim (Jim abandons sinking Indian ship Patna, but the 800 Muslims are rescued; he

lives in African trading post Patusan but his white friends betray him and murder Chief

Doramin's son Dain Waris, and he is executed),

The Secret Sharer,

The Outcast of the Islands (Williems given native Aissa in return for throttling Almayer's trade),

Nostromo: A Tale of the Seaboard (Charles Gould, owner of a silver mine in Costaguana

South America, neglects wife Dona Emilia; during revolution, Gould puts "incorruptible"

foreman Nostromo in charge of some silver; Nostromo buries it and is killed; others include

Dr. Monygham and Paris reporter Martin Decourd),

Almayer's Folly,

The Nigger of the Narcissus (black sailor James Wait dies of TB; Donkin tries to stir mutiny),

                                The Secret Agent (Verloc persuades brother-in-law Stevie to blow up Greenwich

Observatory, which he does and dies; Verloc killed by wife Winnie),

                                Victory (wanderer Axel Heyst goes to South Seas with Lena; hotel manager Schomberg

loves Lena and sends men to invade Heyst's sanctuary;  Lena is killed),

                                The Secret Sharer (captain takes on board a murderer who is his double),

                                The Shadow Line (captain grows mature by taking ship through difficult calm),

                                Typhoon (Captain MacWhirr brings Chinese passengers safely through tempest),

                                Under Western Eyes (Razumov betrays Haldin, who assassinated an official, becomes

spy in Geneva, loves Haldin's sister Nathalie, confesses to revolutionaries, is beaten,

and is returned to Russia)

                Arnold Bennett - Clayhanger (Edwin Clayhanger's father opposes his love for Hilda Lessways,

whose husband is bigamous), The Old Wives' Tale (Five Towns: Constance Baines marries

apprentice Samuel Povey and sister Sophia keeps a pension)

                Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell - Cranford, Mary Barton (Manchester weavers), North and South,

Wives and Daughters

                Charles Kingsley - Westward Ho, The Water Babies

                John Galsworthy - The Forsyte Saga (Irene, wife of wealthy Soames Forsyte, loves architect

Philip Bosinney, but both are punished by Soames; Irene divorces and marries Young Jolyon;

Soames' daughter Fleur loves Irene's son Jon; includes The Man of Property, In Chancery, To

Let), A Modern Comedy, End of the Chapter

                HG Wells -

The War of the Worlds (Martians invade England but are killed by bacteria; 1938 radio

broadcast in US caused panic),

The Time Machine (inventor visits stages in degeneration of life; ape-like Morlocks eat

aristocratic Eloi; eventually only crabs remain),

The Invisible Man,

Kipps (Arthur Kipps comes into a fortune but only becomes happy when it is embezzled),

The History of Mr. Polly (Mr. Polly burns down his house),

The New Machiavelli,

Tono-Bungay (George Ponderevo apprenticed to druggist uncle Edward who makes

fortune from quack medicine Tono-Bungay; George becomes airplane designer)

                AE Housman - A Shropshire Lad (including To an Athlete Dying Young, When I Was One-and-Twenty)

                George Bernard Shaw -

Man and Superman (Ann Whitefield pursues John Tanner, who talks with superman Don Juan

and the Devil in Hell; others include chauffeur Henry Straker and bandit Mendoza),

Adrocles and the Lion,

Candida (Candida Morell stays with weak Christian Socialist clergyman husband rather

than go with Eugene Marchbanks)

Heartbreak House (WWI England: Ellie Dunn searches for husband among guests at sea

captain's home; guests represent a modern evil; Boss Mangan [capitalist] killed by bomb;

Ellie marries Capt. Shotover),

Saint Joan (Joan of Arc surprised to become saint but offer to return is refused),

Mrs. Warren's Profession (Mrs. Warren admits to daughter Vivie she is a madam),

The Devil's Disciple (American Revolution: Dick Dudgeon allows himself to be

executed in place of Parson Anderson),

Back to Methuselah (5-parts from Garden of Eden to 1920 England to AD 31920),

Pygmalion (phonetics Prof. Henry Higgins teaches Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle to

speak like a lady; she loves him),

Cesar and Cleopatra (giddy teenager Cleopatra loses charm under Caesar's tutelage),

Arms and the Man (Bulgaria: mercenary Bluntschli takes Raina from Major Sergius; title

from Aeneid; made into The Chocolate Soldier opera by Oskar Straus),

Major Barbara (Salvation Army major Barbara refuses "tainted" money from armament

company owner Undershaft [her dad] and a whisky dealer but comes to recognize poverty

not sin causes crime),

John Bull's Other Island (Irish Larry Doyle and English Tom Broadbent; Tom gains

Larry's property and girlfriend because he is ambitious and Larry is reticent)

                Gerard Manley Hopkins - (sprung rhythm) The Windhover, Carrian Comfort, The Wreck of the

                                Deutschland (5 nuns fleeing Germany for US drown off Welsh coast)                                     

                Anna Sewell - Black Beauty (kind woman rescues a horse mistreated horse with broken leg)

                Bram Stoker - (Irish) Dracula (diary tells of Count Dracula, who feeds on blood of young women, who then

become vampires; Dutch scientist Van Helsing kills the vampire; set in London and Transylvania)

Oscar Wilde - (Irish)

The Importance of Being Earnest (Jack Worthing loves Gwendolen Fairfax but her mom Lady

Bracknell objects until she learns he is actually Ernest John Moncrieff, brother of

Algernon Moncrieff; Jack had created imaginary younger brother Ernest for Cecily

Cardew under tutelage of Miss Prism, who marries Algernon),

The Picture of Dorian Gray (Basil Hallward paints portrait of Dorian Gray, which deteriorates

instead of Dorian as he joins Lord Henry Wotton and sins; Dorian kills Hallward,

stabs picture and dies),


Lady Winderemere's Fan (Lady Windermere plans to leave husband for Lord Darlington

because he loves Mrs. Erlynne, who turns out to be her mother, who rescues her


Twentieth Centry 1901-1999

                Aldous Huxley -

Point Counter Point (Philip Quarles [Huxley] writes novel; Mark Rampion [Lawrence]

and wife Mary [Frieda]; Spandrell [Baudelaire] assassinates Everard Webley [Fascist Sir

Oswald Mosley]; Denis Burlap [Murry] and Beatrice Gilray [Mansfeld]),

Brave New World (632 After Ford: John is a savage from NM who believes in moral choice and

commits suicide in new world of collectivism and passivity; title from the Tempest),

After Many a Summer Dies the Swan (Jo Stoyte CA oil magnate visits 200-year old earl),

Antic Hay (teacher Theodore Gumbril Jr quits to sell pants),

Crome Yellow (Mrs. Wimbush and other eccentrics at a country house party),

Heaven and Hell (effects of drug mescalin)

                Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - A Study in Scarlett, The Hound of the Baskervilles (English moors:

Sherlock Holmes and assistant Dr. Watson investigate death of Sir Charles Baskerville,

involving an apparition and a family curse)

                Dame Agatha Christie - The Mysterious Affair at Styles, Death on the Nile, Murder on the Orient

Express, And Then There Were None (detective Hercule Peroit)

George Orwell - 1984 (two rebel against Big Brother [Stalin]), Animal Farm (parody of Russian

Revolution; Jones' farm controlled by pig Napoleon)

                Baroness Orczy (born in Hungary) - The Scarlet Pimpernel (Sir Percy Blakeney is actually Scarlet

Pimpernel, rescuer of aristocrats)

John Millington Synge - Playboy of the Western World (Christy Mahon treated as hero when he

thinks he killed his father, but he did not die and opinion is reversed; others include Pegeen)

                EM Forster -

A Room with a View (Mr. Emerson offers Lucy Honeychurch, who is visiting Italy, his

hotel room since it has a view; Lucy is engaged to Cecil Vyse but overcomes prejudice

and marries George Emerson),

Howards End (rich Wilcoxes, cultured Schlegels, and lower class Leonard Bast live in

Howards End),

A Passage to India (Adela Quested, visiting India with mom Mrs. Moore to see fiancé City

Magistrate Ronny Heaslop, accuses Dr. Aziz of assaulting her in Marabar Caves; liberal

principal Mr. Fielding breaks friendship with Aziz; Adela retracts and Ronny breaks


                                Where Angels Fear to Tread (widow Lilia Herriton goes to Italy and marries Gino Carelli and

dies in childbirth; Gino refuses to let Herritons raise infant in England; Harriet Herriton

abducts and accidentally kills baby),

Aspects of the Novel

                CS Forester - The African Queen (missionary's sister and timid Cockney engineer try to blow up a

German gunboat), Horatio Hornblower stories (British navy during Napoleonic Wars)

                DH Lawrence -

Sons and Lovers (Paul Morel, son of coal miner and educated Puritan, becomes artist and has

affairs with Miriam and Clara Dawes),

Women in Love (sculptor Gudrun Brangwen loves mining industrialist Gerald Crich; her

sister Ursula marries school inspector Rupert Birkin; Gerald refuses Birkin's friendship

and kills self on Tyrol mountains),

Plumed Serpent (Kate Leslie attends Mexican bullfight; Don Ramon and General

Cipriano try to resurrect Aztec religion),

Lady Chatterley's Lover (Constance Chatterley leaves husband Clifford, made impotent

by a war wound, for her gameskeeper Mellors; banned as obscene),

Kangaroo (Australia: Richard Lovat Somers tries to control wife Frieda Lawrence;

political leader Benjamin Cooley nicknamed Kangaroo),

The Man Who Died (The Escaped Cock, Christ resurrects and mates with priestess of Isis),

                                The Rainbow (Ursula Brangwen loves Polish exile Anton Skrebensky and attracted to

feminist teacher Winifred Inger who marries her uncle),

                                The Rocking-Horse Winner (small boy rides self to death on toy rocking horse which

prophesies horse race winners),

                                Things (two American idealists devote lives to art, beauty, Buddhism, and culture but

only collect "things"),

                                The Woman Who Rode Away (lonely American woman sacrificed by Mexican Indian tribe)

                James Joyce -

Ulysses (describes June 16, 1904 in the lives of Jewish advertisement canvasser Leopold

Bloom, his wife Molly, and Stephen Dedalus; parallels Odysseus, Penelope, and

Telemachus; Leopold and Stephen experience exile)

Finnegans Wake (presents dreams of the Earwicker family, including Protestant tavern-

keeper Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker, wife Anna, and kids Isobel, Kevin, and Jerry;

divine, heroic, human, and confusion ages),

Dubliners (short stories of middle-class Catholics who have epiphanies, including Clay [Maria

goes to family party], The Dead [Irish college teacher Gabriel Conroy and wife Gretta at

Christmas dance], and The Sisters [boy confronted with death and learns priest is insane]),

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Stephen Dedalus grows up and leaves Dublin for

Paris to become writer),

Chamber Music (poems)

                Virginia Woolf -

Mrs. Dalloway (Clarissa Dalloway prepares to host a party; former love Peter Walsh shows up),

To the Lighthouse (Mr. and Mrs. Ramsay host house party; guest Lily Briscoe is an artist;

they plan to take a boat to the lighthouse the next day but son James is disappointed

when weather prevents this; years later, after Mrs. Ramsay's death, Mr. Ramsay takes

James to lighthouse in boat),

Between the Acts (Miss La Trobe directs pageant of English history),

Jacob's Room (Jacob Flanders studies at Cambridge, travels in Greece, dies in WWI) ,

Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown (attacks Bennett, Galsworthy, and Wells),

The Waves (6 kids raised together by sea; reunions with friend Percival in restaurant and

at Hampton Court; storyteller Bernard, perfectionist Neville, vain Australian Louis,

domestic Susan, flirtatious Jinnie, timid Rhoda),

Orlando (Orlando starts as nobleman and becomes woman poet 300 years later),

A Room of One's Own (feminist essay)

                James Hilton - Goodbye Mr. Chips (WWI English schoolmaster Mr. Chipping), Lost Horizon (diplomat

Conway visits Shangri-La utopia in Himalayas; woman he takes from there ages rapidly)

                W Somerset Maugham -

Of Human Bondage (orphan Philip Carey becomes country doctor and gives up love for

waitress Mildred Rogers but is rescued and marries Sally Altheney),

The Moon and Sixpence (stockbroker Charles Strickland leaves everything to become

painter in Tahiti; based on Paul Gauguin),

Cakes and Ale (Ashenden and Kear [based on Walpole] examine Victorian writer

Driffield, husband of barmaid Rosie),

The Razor's Edge (worldly young man converts to Hinduism),

Miss Thompson (South Sea missionary Alfred Davidson temporarily converts Sadie Thompson)

                Russell and Whitehead - Principia Mathematica

                Bertrand Russell - Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy, The Analysis of Mind, An Inquiry

into Meaning and Truth, Has Man a Future?, Unarmed Victory

                Alfred Whitehead - Science and the Modern Man       

Ford Maddox Ford - The Good Soldier (John Dowell discovers wife Florence is having affair with

"good soldier" Captain Ashburnham, married to Leonora), Parade's End (4 novels: Some Do Not,

No More Parades, A Man Could Stand Up, The Last Post; Christopher Tietjens changed by WWI

trench warfare; has mental breakdown and leaves wife for Valentine Wannop)

                Dame Ivy Compton-Burnett - Brothers and Sisters, Men and Wives, Two Worlds and Their Ways

                Angry Young Men

Kingsley Amis - Lucky Jim,

John Wain

John Braine - Room at the Top

                Dylan Thomas (Welsh) - Eighteen Poems, Do not go gentle into that good night, Fern Hill, Altarwise by

owl-light, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog, Under Milk Wood, Adventures in the Skin Trade

                William Golding - Lord of the Flies (British schoolboys crash on uninhabited island; try to form

organized society but revert to savagery), The Inheritors, The Spire, The Paper Men, Pincher

Martin (shipwrecked man struggles to live on barren rock),

William Butler Yeats -

The Tower,

The Winding Stair,

The Second Coming (22 lines from Michael Robartes and the Dancer collection),

The Countess Cathleen (Cathleen sells soul to devil for souls of starving Irish;

accompanied by nurse Oona and poet Aleel),

The Herne's Egg (two Irish kings steal eggs of the sacred Great Herne and rape its priestess),

Purgatory (old man and son see his mom's ghost; man kills son),

A Vision

                Winston Churchill - A History of the English Speaking Peoples

                Malcolm Lowry (expatriate to Mexico) - Under the Volcano (British consul to Mexico Geoffrey

Firmin's wife Yvonne returns to him on Day of the Dead 1938; others include his idealist

half-brother Hugh and her movie director ex-lover Laruelle)

                TS Eliot - (American-British)

The Waste Land (5 sections explore psychic stages of a soul in despair; waste land

contrasted with regeneration sources from the past; Medieval waste land ruler

Fisher King cured by purifying knight),

The Hollow Men (mixture of nursery rhyme and liturgy; emptiness of 1900s),

Four Quartets (4 places: Burnt Norton, East Coker, Dry Salvages, Little Gidding),

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (shy Prufrock becomes introspective at a drawing

room party),

Murder in the Cathedral (Thomas Becket martyred at Canterbury on Dec. 29, 1170 by

four knights of Henry II),

The Cocktail Party (host Edward Chamberlayne marries Lavinia but has affair with Celia;

psychiatrist Henry Harcourt-Reilly),

                                Portrait of a Lady (woman and man trapped by dying social order but can't communicate),

The Family Reunion (Harry Lord Monchensey murders wife and goes to his mom Amy's

birthday party; wise aunt Agatha knows he is seeing the Eumenides, avenging furies),

                                Tradition and the Individual Talent (poet must know past to write significant poetry)

WH Auden - The Ascent of F6 (with Christopher Isherwood; Michael Ransom climbs mountain in British

Sudoland that kills all by own demons), The Double Man, City Without Walls, The Age of Anxiety

(three men and a woman meet in a NY bar during a war and go on a quest through a wasteland)

                J.R.R. Tolkien - Lord of the Rings (including The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The

Return of the King, sequels to The Hobbit; Third Age of Middle Earth: Lord of Darkness Sauron

lost a magical ring which gives absolute power but corrupts its users; Bilbo Baggins recovered

the ring and his nephew Frodo becomes heir; hobbits form a Fellowship to burn the ring at

Mount Doom; Frodo and servant Sam Gamgee try to complete mission; Third Age gives way to

Dominion of Man; sorcerer Gandolph)

                C. Day Lewis - The Magnetic Mountain, World Above All, Poetic Image

                Arthur Koestler - Darkness at Noon (Nicholas Rubashov is imprisoned by Gletkin and agrees to

his execution to further revolutionary ideal)

                Doris Lessing - The Children of Violence (5 novels about Martha Quest, raised in Rhodesia)

                CS Lewis - The Screwtape Letters (devil Screwtape advises nephew Wormwood how to deal with

humans), Problem of Pain, Mere Christianity, The Chronicles of Narnia (The Lion the

Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair,

The Horse and His Boy, The Magician's Nephew, The Last Battle; lion Aslan and 4 children

who enter Narnia through a wardrobe save the country from a witch)

                James M. Barrie - Peter Pan (Peter Pan, searching for lost shadow with lost children, saves

Wendy, Michael, and John Darling, from pirates under Capt. Hook; Indian princess Tiger Lily

and fairy Tinker Bell protect kids) , What Every Woman Knows, The Admiral Crichton, Little

Minister, Little Brutus        

                Harold Pinter -

The Birthday Party (Stanley Webber intimidated by Goldberg and McCann),

The Caretaker (Mick entrusts house to brain-damaged brother Aston who likes Davies),

The Collection (gay man has affair),

The Dumbwaiter (two assassins fill meal orders on a dumbwaiter while waiting for

victim; one kills the other)

                Graham Greene - The Power and the Glory ("whiskey priest" courageously continues ministry in

1920s Mexico)

                Sean O'Casey - (Irish, drama) Juno and the Paycock (Juno Boyle fights war, poverty, and

drunkenness; funny but weak husband Paycock)

                Samuel Beckett - (Irish, drama)

Waiting for Godot (tramps Vladimir and Estragon wait for Godot to come but he never

does; Pozzo mistreats his servant Lucky),

How It Is,

Krapp's Last Tape (Krapp ridicules tapes of his youthful monologues),

Three Novels (Malone Dies, Molloy [cripples searches for his mom; official Moran

searches for the cripple], The Unnamable[narrator lives legless and armless in

large jar outside a restaurant])