The History of British Literature

The History of British Literature
William Shakespeare
One of the best known English playwrights was William Shakespeare .He draw
ideas for his tragedies and comedies from the history of England and ancient
Rome . Many experts consider Shakespeare the greatest writer and the
greatest playwright in English language . William Shakespeare wrote 37 plays
which may be divided into comedies (Such as «A Midsummer Night’s Dream»),
tragedies («Hamlet»,«Othello»,«King Lear»,«Macbeth») and historical plays
(«Richard II»,«Henry V»,«Julius Caesar»,«Antony and Creopatra»).
Robert Burns
Robert Burns represents the generation of Romantic writers . In his poems he
described with love and understanding the simple life he knew . Among his
well-known poems are «Halloween»,«The Jolly Beggars»,«To a Mouse» .
Lord George Gordon Byron
Lord George Gordon Byron . His freespirited life style combined with his rare
poetic gift makes him one of the most
famous figures of the Romantic Era . His
famous works such as «Stanzas to
Augusta»,«The Prisoner of Chillon»,«Childe
Harold’s Pilgrimage»,«Manfreb» draw read
into the passion humors and conviction of a
poet whose life and work truly embodied the
Roman spirit .
Walter Scott
Sir Walter Scott wrote the first examples of historical novels.
Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens, one of the greatest and most popular English novelist (18121870).
«The Pickwick Papers» was Dickens’s greatest novel . He published them in April
1836 . « Oliver Twist» was published two years later . Thes novel was a great
success among the reading public . Charles Dickens wrote a lot of novels .
His masterpieces are : «Oliver Twist» (1837-38), «Niholas Nickleby» (1838-39),
«David Copperfield» (1849-50), «Little Dorrit» (1837-38), «Great Expectations»
(1860-61) .
Charles Dickens traveled a lot . He visited America in 1842 . He wrote «American
Notes» after visitig this country . He couldn’t finish his last novel «Edwin
Drood» .
Charlotte Bronte
The works of Charlotte Bronte, together with Charles Dickens, William Thackery
and Elisabeth Gaskell are considered to belong to the fine school of English
realism of the first half of the 19-th century .
In her works she wrote about the society she hved in and criticized it . He first
novel «The Professor» was published only after Charlotte’s death .
The best novel «Jane Eyre», published in 1847, is partly biographical . In 1849 the
novel «Shirley» was published . The last novel «Vilette» came out in 1853 .
Oskar Wilde
Wilde was one of the most famous personalities of the day .
The most popular his works are «The Happy Prince and other Tales», «The
Picture of Dorian Gray», and his comedies «Lady Windermere’s Fan», « An
Ideal Husband», «The Importance of Being Earnest» .
Wilde also wrote poems, essays, reviews, letlers . He attracted the attention of his
audience by the brilliance of his conversation, his knowledge, and the force
of his personality .
Lewis Carrol
Lewis Carrol was the pen-name of Charles L . Dodgson the man who wrote a
famous book for children «Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland» .
Charles L . Dodgson was born in England in 1832 .
He got his early education at a public school . The he became a student of
Oxford. Charles studied mathematics and later taught this subject in the same
college . The book came out in 1865 and all the people who read it liked it very
much .
Jerome k . Jerome
It the history of English literature Jerome K . Jerome occupies a modest place . He
cannot be compared with Dickens, or Bernard Shaw, but he is well known as a
writer-humorist not only in his country but in other countries too .
His first literary success was a one-act comedy which was performed in the
Globe theatre in London in 1886 .
«The Idle Thoughts and an Idle Fellow» and «Three Men in a Boat» made the
author famous . The books were translated into several European languages .
Agatha Christie
Agatha Chrisie is known all over the world as the Queen of Crime . She wrote 78
crime novels, 19 plays and 6 romantic novels under the name of Mary
Westmacott . Her books have been translated into 103 foreign languages . She
is the third best-selling author in the world (after Shakespeare and Bible) .
Many of her novels and short have been filmed .
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Arthur Conan Doyle was born in the capital of Scotland, Edinburgh .
He began his medical practice in a small English town Southsea, where he spent
eight years . Here in 1887, he published his first detective story «A Study in
Scarlet» . Its main characters were Sherlock Holmes and Dr . Watson, and
they became the most popylar characters of a great many of Conan Doyle’s
stories .
He also travelled a lot . He visited Europe, the USA, and Egypt . Besides
detective stories, Conan Doyle also wrote historical novels, a war book and a
book about Congo . His two science fiction stories «The Lost World»(1912) and
«The Poisoned Belt»(1913) were guite sucussful .
George Bernard Shaw
George Bernard Shaw wrote four novels which were published in magazines but
they were not successful . From 1885 to 1898 he wrote a lot as a critic of art,
music, literature and drama, and was very popular with readers .
In the nineties Shaw began to write for the thoatre . He was the creator of modern
satire . Shaw wrote over twenty plays .
In 1925 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature and in 1934 the medal of
the Irish Academy of Letters .
Pygmalion is one of Shaw’s most popular and successful plays .
Archibald Joseph Cronin
The greatest success of his first novel, «Hatter’s Castle», published in the same
year, allowed Cronin to live by his literary work .
Archibald Cronin wrote many other good novels . After World War II he went to
the United States, where he continued to write . It his further work he dealt
less with social problems . His later novels «The Keys of the Kingdom»(1941),
«The Green Years»(1944), «Shannon’s Way»(1948) about the childhood and
yauth of a Scotsman, Robert Shawnon, «A Song of Sixpence» (1965) are not as
critical as his works of the 30s .
Rediyard Kipling
He was an English novelist, a short-story writer and a poet .He was born in
Bombay, India, in 1865 where his father warked at that time .
At twenty-one he published his first book of poems . A year later he wrote a book
of short stories about India . Between 1887 and 1899 he visited many countries
and lived for same years in America where he married an American girl .
He is best known for his works for cildren, especially «The Jungle Book» . He was
awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1907 .
Ермолина Лидия