When used in tandem with a study of English history, this reader will encourage the student to observe the influences of history upon literature and to recognize the importance of having a basic knowledge of history in understanding the content of many classic works. It is also hoped that the literature presented in this chronological survey will serve as a sort of window in which to view the people and cultures of England’s past. The text is divided into six sections from the Briton to Victorian period—from the landing of Julius Caesar on the English isle to the time in which the English Empire reached its height. These divisions were made roughly to match the changes in the style, types, and tastes of literature, changes in the English language, and changes in control of state. The selections in this reader are accompanied by a companion study guide that exercises the student’s knowledge or skills in vocabulary, reading comprehension, and poetics.
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