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 .

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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

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