A History of English Literature (MacMillan Foundations #6) (Paperback)

A History of English Literature (MacMillan Foundations #6) Cover Image


This comprehensive text traces the development of one of the world's richest literatures from the Old English period through to the present day, discussing a wide range of key authors without losing its clarity or verve. Building on the book's established reputation and success, the third edition has been revised and updated throughout. It now provides a full final chapter on the contemporary scene, with more on genres and the impact of globalization.

This accessible book remains the essential companion for students of English literature and literary history, or for anyone wishing to follow the unfolding of writing in England from its beginnings. It is ideal for those who know a few landmark texts, but little of the literary landscape that surrounds them; those who want to know what English literature consists of; and those who simply want to read its fascinating story.

New to this Edition:
- Fully revised throughout
- A full final chapter on contemporary writing, with closer attention paid to the growing diversity of literatures in English in the British Isles

About the Author

MICHAEL ALEXANDER is Emeritus Professor of English Literature, University of St Andrews, UK. He is a poet and translator and has international experience of teaching English literature, both medieval and modern.MICHAEL ALEXANDER is Emeritus Professor of English Literature, University of St Andrews, UK. He is a poet and translator and has international experience of teaching English literature, both medieval and modern.

Praise For…

'A reliable and readable guide for all undergraduate students of literature. The new final chapter manoeuvres its way skilfully through the treacherous waters of contemporary writing, retaining that distinctive individual voice which makes the whole book so worthwhile.' - David Newell, Glasgow University, UK


'If I had my way, every student of English would be supplied with a copy of this book.' - Gary Day, The Times Higher Education Supplement
'...an ideal starting point for any English student who is serious about the subject. It manages to provide a comprehensive overview of English literary history in an accessible, practical format. Moreover it is genuinely entertaining - Alexander's style is pithy, pungent and personal...The reader is constantly reminded that this is a history, not the history, of English literature, and the writer's own strong opinions encourage the reader to discover his or her own views and preferences... I strongly recommend it to all students of English literature, and to their teachers.' - Professor Sarah Annes Brown, Anglia Ruskin University, UK

'To write a linear history of a great literature is a difficult task, verging on the impossible these days. Professor Alexander has brought off a remarkable feat. His history is comprehensive, clear, judicious and sometimes punchy. This is an account of English writing which can be of great use to the student, the fact-hound, the teacher or the general reader. Above all, it is a triumph of reason and judgement, never cranky, nor exclusive. I shall recommend it widely.' - Professor Chris Wallace-Crabbe, University of Melbourne, Australia

'The book is a miracle of compression...To maintain the same qualities of wit, crispness and sharp but essentially generous judgement...in a 384 page book, which is something very much more than a 'survey' of the whole field of English Literature is an extraordinary achievement.' - Dr John Rathmell, Cambridge University, UK

'...eminently fit to excite the critical consciousness of the student.' - Professor Philip Smallwood, Essays in Criticism

'...a fantastic mine of information in which writers are seen within their chronological and literary context. Although, inevitably, there is no room for detailed analysis within such a wide-ranging book, the content provides an effective starting point for readers whatever their literary intentions.' - Sara Thorne, author of Mastering Poetry
'A succinct, comprehensive and readable chronological account...[Alexander] threads the history and literature together with authority and occasional wit.' - Jim Sweetman, The Professional Journal of the National Association for the Teaching of English

Product Details
ISBN: 9780230368316
ISBN-10: 023036831X
Publisher: Red Globe Press
Publication Date: January 30th, 2013
Pages: 464
Language: English
Series: MacMillan Foundations