Background and Development of English Literature

Introduction of the Anglo-Saxon period


English literature is one of the richest literature and the literature of the great nation. As literature is the reflection of society, the changes in English society have left their influence on English literature. The knowledge of English social and Political History is essential in order to properly discuss the various phases of English literature. When we study the history of English literature from the earliest to modern times, we find that it has passed through certain definite phases each having marked characteristics. These phases are called ages or periods.

We have the age of Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Dryden, Pope, Johnson Wordsworth, and Tennyson Hardy.. We have to keep these ages in our mind while studying the history of English literature.

The Anglo-Saxon period

The history of English literature started with an Anglo-Saxon period. The Angles and Saxons were the forefathers of the English race. English was the language of these tribes before they occupied Britain.
They lived along the coasts of Sweden and Denmark. These tribes were fearless and adventurous. They used to sing about their heroes and Gods. These songs were about their ancestral heroes, religion, and wars. 
Many English works have lost but some fragments are left. 

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