How to the Reading of the History of English Literature?

"All of Stratford, in fact, suggests powdered history—add hot water and stir and you have a delicious, nourishing Shakespeare."
Margaret Halsey (1910 - 1997)

The history of English literature is invested with great importance, indicating as it does a landmark or development and expansion in the study of English literature as a whole. Indeed, from the ancient tribal worlds of Anglo Saxon to the present century space-age English literature has found a vivid and panoramic reflection in the history of the ages. Even a closer observation of the wide range and astonishing variety of the history of the ages is a formidably stupendous task, not to speak of scrutiny and analysis.
Scope in reading the history of English literature is extremely wide.  But the students have to expand and they shouldn’t confine their reading to the University Syllabi and further limited by the specific format which is again conditioned by growing demand of the students for such substantial aid, guidance and critical appreciation, as this blog has to offer in plethora abundance. Various significant aspects of some of the representative works of a host of eminent celebrities in the domain of literature have to be covered with precision. The history of English literature have to be elaborately dealt with and particular care has to be taken to make the approach rather appreciative than critical and the contents have to be presented with profuse illustrations, strewn throughout the entire study. The students can easily earmark the historical works by linguistic simplicity and lucidity of expression. They can classify the historical matters in a methodical manner, keeping in view the fundamental objective of bringing the study into productive insight.  Suppose you are reading the following text. Note how to incorporate your historical timeline into these literary piece: Oscar Wilds’s The Importance of Being Earnest, V. Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, D. H Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers, E. M. Forster’s A Passage to India, Lytton Strachey’s Queen Victoria, Galsworth’s The Man of Property, G. B. Shaw’s Man and Superman, T. S. Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral and so on and so forth.
  • Title: Man and Superman
  • Subtitle: A Comedy and a Philosophy
  • Publication: 1905
  • Time Line survey: 1. Storyline 2. Literary flow 3. Comparative social history.
  • Story:   Don Juan legend into a play, and play-within-a-play.
  • Tricks: the life force, or the creative force of intelligence, the theory of evolution offered by scientist Charles Darwin
It is admittedly true that students wield an important but apparently invisible key—a key to the success of a growth of literature. It is gratifying to note the reception accorded to the preceding results of the students. If the present students too can epically prove it to be of similar utility to the audience of English literature, he must put forth   successful reading of the history of English literature, because in the penultimate analysis, this is the criterion by which the recondite quality and the intrinsic merit of a legacy of quality reading of this sort is evaluated.

Ardhendu De


  1. i am NET qualified but want to improve my basics. as i am a Science post graduate and have not studied the subject till my Post graduation. Plz help me by telling the right method of study of Eng Lit and by providing the Basic Notes. on

  2. Hi Vishnu, You need to begin with the study of history of English Literature. ...I mean, living with the scroll of history. It would build up interest in you. Best wishes.


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