English literature

Introduction

English literature, literature written in English since c.1450 by the inhabitants of the British Isles; it was during the 15th cent. that the English language acquired much of its modern form. For the literature of previous linguistic periods, see the articles on Anglo-Saxon literature and Middle English literature (see also Anglo-Norman literature).

For literature written by English speakers elsewhere, see American literature; Australian literature; Canadian literature, English; New Zealand literature; and South African literature.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: English Literature, 20th cent. to the Present