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    British Literature I Anthology: From the Middle Ages to Neoclassicism and the Eighteenth Century

    (18 reviews)

    Bonnie J. Robinson

    Laura J. Getty

    Copyright Year:

    ISBN 13: 9781940771281

    Publisher: University of North Georgia Press

    Language: English

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    Reviewed by Molly Martin, Professor & Chair, University of Indianapolis on 2/9/24

    The book does a generally good job with coverage (the amount of Bede included is much more than expected, but perhaps at the expense of Malory, among others). It could move a little further beyond the most well-known, canonical texts. There is no... read more

    Reviewed by Stephen Hamrick, Professor, Bemidji State University on 5/16/23

    The textbook provides a good sense of comprehensiveness; although some things are missing ( Margery of Kempe, Lady Mary Wroth's poetry & prose), the text provides sufficient coverage. What is missing can be added with some effort. read more

    Reviewed by Shandi Wagner, Assistant Professor, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College on 9/30/22

    The anthology does a good job of covering the periods and including some women writers as well as a writer of color (Equiano). There were some texts whose absence I noted, such as those by Margery Kempe and Eliza Haywood, but no anthology can be... read more

    Reviewed by David Sweeten, Assistant Professor of Early British Literature, Eastern New Mexico University on 11/1/21

    This text provides a wide range of good texts, but there are some odd omissions. Including Julian of Norwich is great for facilitating discussion on female mystics, but what about Margery Kempe? We have some solid Middle English selections, but... read more

    Reviewed by Terry Lindvall, Professor, Virginia Wesleyan University on 3/29/21

    This digital anthology offers the potential delight of a full banquet of tasty readings. The range of British Literature: Middle Ages to the Eighteenth Century and Neoclassism encourages old curmudgeons with its full plate of nourishing dishes.... read more

    Reviewed by Toby Widdicombe, Professor, University of Alaska Anchorage on 11/2/20, updated 1/10/21

    No index. A glossary is much needed. I would have liked an anthology with more authors and fewer selections from each. Key terms without adequate definition right there is sort of like a vocab list w/o definitions. read more

    Reviewed by Christina Angel, Senior Lecturer, Metropolitan State University of Denver on 7/15/20

    This textbook is easily comparable to the Norton and other similar anthologies for a survey course. What is especially useful here are the headnotes and recommended reading lists, as well as the follow up questions at the ends of readings, which... read more

    Reviewed by Kim Gainer, Professor, Radford University on 7/8/20

    Since this is an anthology that covers earlier English literature, the students need help with vocabulary, but there are no aids accompanying the texts of readings. There is not even a glossary at the end (although that would be much less useful... read more

    Reviewed by Michael Torregrossa, Adjunct Faculty-English,, Bristol Community College on 6/30/20

    There is a good assortment of texts here from both male and female writers of the periods covered here. I liked that each selection had a short introduction by the editors, some illustration, and some questions to get the reader thinking deeper... read more

    Reviewed by Susan Dauer, Professor, Valencia College on 6/1/20, updated 6/9/20

    I am pleased to see such a wide variety of work, including not only excerpts but full texts. This book contains everything from riddles and poems to plays and a novel. The notes are readable, and the discussion questions are written for students... read more

    Reviewed by Sharon Grindle, Senior Instructor, Colorado State University on 12/25/19

    The Table of Contents and introductory materials are excellent, and cover much the same ground as the comparable Norton Anthology; an index would make this text more accessible for a survey class making choices on which pieces to emphasize. read more

    Reviewed by Rachael Hammond , Lecturer, Shenandoah University on 7/31/19

    Overall, the textbook delivers a solid and thoughtful compilation of works representing the time periods of this anthology topic. As some others have noted, Kempe could certainly be included. Some other topics and authors that could enrich the... read more

    Reviewed by Carolyn Whitson, Professor of English, Minnesota State Metropolitan State University on 6/26/19

    The book has some moments of deep comprehensiveness (Venerable Bede is presented exhaustively, with several chapters on details of political and theological minutiae that I have a hard time imagining being read in its entirety in a survey course),... read more

    Reviewed by Christina Francis, Associate Professor, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania on 3/13/19

    I was surprised to see a lack of any sonnets from Sidney, Spenser, or Shakespeare in the Tudor section of the anthology. In the 18th century section, I would have included Swift's "the Lady's Dressing Room," especially because Montagu's reply is... read more

    Reviewed by Christopher Fee, Professor, Gettysburg College on 3/11/19

    The range of texts offered in this compilation is relatively good, with some notable exceptions: Margery Kemp, for example, is traditionally taught in tandem with Julian of Norwich; although all anthologies must make difficult choices in this... read more

    Reviewed by Alexis Butzner, Instructor, Chemeketa Community College on 3/2/19

    The editors have done an admirable job of selecting key authors from each period, though some notables absences remain (for instance, significant female authors like Margery Kempe, Lady Mary Wroth, Katherine Phillips). The choice to include full... read more

    Reviewed by Terry Riley, Professor of English, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania on 1/26/19

    The selection is comprehensive: predictable but extensive, at about twice the length of the corresponding volume in the Norton Anthology series. There is no index nor any glossaries. read more

    Reviewed by Jennifer Black, Lecturer, Boise State University on 1/4/19

    This anthology contains a good collection of major texts from British literature from the Middle Ages to the 18th Century. Most of the most commonly-taught texts are included, along with helpful introductory essays for each section and... read more

    Table of Contents

    Part 1: The Middle Ages

    • 1.1 Learning Outcomes
    • 1.2 Introduction
    • 1.3 Recommended Reading
    • 1.4 The Dream of the Rood
    • 1.5 Beowulf
    • 1.6 Judith
    • 1.7 The Wanderer
    • 1.8 The Wife's Lament
    • 1.9 The Venerable Bede
    • 1.10 Anglo-Saxon Riddles
    • 1.11 Marie de France
    • 1.12 Middle English Lyrics
    • 1.13 Geoffrey Chaucer
    • 1.14 Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
    • 1.15 Julian of Norwich
    • 1.16 The Second Shepherds' Play
    • 1.17 Sir Thomas Malory
    • 1.18 Everyman
    • 1.19 Key Terms

    Part Two: The Tudor Age (1485-1603)

    • 2.1 Learning Outcomes
    • 2.2 Introduction
    • 2.3 Recommended Reading
    • 2.4 Thomas More
    • 2.5 Thomas Wyatt
    • 2.6 Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey
    • 2.7 Queen Elizabeth
    • 2.8 Edmund Spenser
    • 2.9 Sir Walter Raleigh
    • 2.10 Sir Philip Sidney
    • 2.11 Mary (Sidney) Herbert, Countess of Pembroke
    • 2.12 Christopher Marlowe
    • 2.13 William Shakespeare
    • 2.14 Key Terms

    Part 3: The Seventeenth Century: The Age of Revolution (1603-1688)

    • 3.1 Learning Outcomes
    • 3.2 Introduction
    • 3.3 Recommended Reading
    • 3.4 John Donne
    • 3.5 Aemilia Lanyer
    • 3.6 Ben Jonson
    • 3.7 Robert Herrick
    • 3.8 Andrew Marvell
    • 3.9 Margaret Cavendish, the Duchess of Newcastle
    • 3.10 John Milton
    • 3.11 John Dryden
    • 3.12 Samuel Pepys
    • 3.13 Key Terms

    Part 4: Neoclassicism and the Eighteenth Century (1603-1688)

    • 4.1 Learning Outcomes
    • 4.2 Introduction
    • 4.3 Recommended Reading
    • 4.4 Aphra Behn
    • 4.5 William Congreve
    • 4.6 Daniel Defoe
    • 4.7 Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea
    • 4.8 Jonathan Swift
    • 4.9 Alexander Pope
    • 4.10 Henry Fielding
    • 4.11 Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
    • 4.12 Samuel Johnson
    • 4.13 James Boswell
    • 4.14 Olaudah Equiano
    • 4.15 Key Terms

    Ancillary Material

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    About the Book

    The University of North Georgia Press and Affordable Learning Georgia bring you British Literature I: From the Middle Ages to Neoclassicism and the Eighteenth Century. Featuring over 50 authors and full texts of their works, this anthology follows the shift of monarchic to parliamentarian rule in Britain, and the heroic epic to the more egalitarian novel as genre.


    • Original introductions to The Middle Ages; The Sixteenth Century: The Tudor Age; The Seventeenth Century: The Age of Revolution; and Neoclassicism and the Eighteenth Century
    • Over 100 historical images
    • Instructional Design, including Reading and Review Questions and Key Terms
    • Forthcoming ancillary with open-enabled pedagogy, allowing readers to contribute to the project

    This textbook is an Open Access Resource. It can be reused, remixed, and reedited freely without seeking permission.

    About the Contributors


    Bonnie J. (B.J.) Robinson, Ph.D., is the Director of the University of North Georgia Press and a professor of English at the University of North Georgia. She has published scholarly works on late Victorian literature and Creative Writing pedagogy and served on the editorial boards of Turn-of-the-Century Women, The Walter Pater Newsletter, and The William Morris Newsletter. Dr. Robinson has won several publishing grants, including a National Endowment for the Humanities digital start-up grant on digital publishing in the Humanities.

    Laura J. Getty, Ph.D., is a professor of English at the University of North Georgia. She received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at The Pennsylvania State University, and her areas of specialization are medieval literature, world literature, and mythology. Dr. Getty was the editor-in-chief of Compact Anthology of World Literature and a contributing editor for World Literature I: Beginnings to 1650, both with the UNG Press.

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