British Literature and Historical Events

Medieval Period (400AD - 1400 AD)

Collapse of Roman Empire

410 - 455

Anglo Saxon England

455 AD - 1066 AD

Germanic tribes - Angles, Saxons, and Jutes - invade Britain. They are assimilated through intermarriage, but bring their language and culture become part of the British heritage.

Beowulf -Old English Epic Poem

600 AD - 700 AD

Unknown Author; unknown date. Epic hero Beowulf kills the monster Grendal and Grendal's mother. In his old age Beowulf kills a dragon, but dies from his injuries. Before his death, he passes his crown to his follower Wiglaf.

Norman Invasion

Jan. 1066 - Dec. 1066

William the Conqueror became King of England. As with the Anglo-Saxon invasion, the language and culture are affected by the invading Normans.

Black Death

1348 - Dec. 1349

Killed between 1/3 and 1/2 of population

Canterbury Tales - Geoffry Chaucer

1380 - 1400

First English literary work written in vernacular.
Fictional tale of pilgrims traveling to Cathedral of Canterbury to visit Shrine of Thomas Becket. Chaucer describes each pilgrim in General Prologue, but allows each one to speak through his/her tale

English Renaissance

Seventeenth Century

Restoration and Age of Reason

Romantic Period

Victorian Period

20th Century