"The History of British literature is one of extraordinary breadth and complexity, extending from Aneirin and the poet of Widsith to Caedmon and the author of Beowulf; from Geoffrey of Monmouth to Geoffrey Chaucer; from the Golden Age of Scottish poetry to the King James Bible; from Spenser to Shakespeare; Donne and Milton to Dryden; Dr. Johnson to Jane Austen, Keats, Wordsworth, Coleridge, the Shelleys, Lord Byron, Sir Walter Scott, and William Blake; from William Morris to Thackeray, Dickens, the Brontes, the Rossettis, Kipling, and Hardy; from Virginia Woolf and the modernists to the postmodern era." "This book is a comprehensive guide and companion to literature that is by definition British in scope and origin, including surveys of the literatures written in English from the colonial to the postcolonial experience in Africa, Australia, Canada, the Caribbean, India, Ireland, and New Zealand.
Specific authors from these literatures are treated in substantive topical articles on their respective literatures, unless the author is identified by nationality as British (such as Ben Okri, born in Nigeria; Caryl Philips, born in St. Kitts). Also included are Irish writers such as Bernard Shaw, James Joyce, and W.B. Yeats, whose work belongs to the tradition." "A special feature of The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Literature is the topical article.
There are 70 such essays here, including African Literature in English, Art and Literature, Australian Literature, The Bloomsbury Group, Canadian Literature in English, Caribbean Literature in English, Colonial Literature, Detective Fiction (Before and Since 1945), Drama Since 1956, Elizabethan Literature, Feminism, The Gothic Novel, Indian Literature in English, Irish Literature, Middle English, Modernism, New Zealand Literature in English, Old English, Philosophy and Literature, Religion and Literature, Restoration Drama, Satire, Science Fiction, The Sermon, South African Literature in English, Victorian Women's Poetry, and more.
Other special features include Monarchs of Great Britain, an Historical-Literary Timeline, Poets Laureate, and Literary Awards and Prizes." "Contributors from the UK and US are all experts in their fields: Elaine Aston on Caryl Churchill, Clive Barker on Charles Morgan, Peter Barnes on Ben Jonson, Jacques Berthoud on Joseph Conrad, Nora Crook on Percy Bysshe Shelley, Peter Finch on Poetry Since 1945, Norman Kelvin on William Morris, C.W.R.D. Moseley on William Shakespeare, Ian Ousby on Detective Fiction, Susanna Roxman on Margaret Drabble, John Sutherland on Anthony Trollope, Claire Tomalin on Samuel Pepys, Simon Trussler on Harold Pinter, Clive Wilmer on John Ruskin, Justin Wintle on Edward Gibbon, and many others."--Jacket.