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The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Volume 1: The Middle Ages through the Restoration & the Eighteenth Century

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Firmly grounded by the hallmark strengths of all Norton Anthologies - thorough and helpful introductory matter, judicious annotation, complete texts wherever possible - The Norton Anthology of English Literature has been revitalized in this Eighth Edition through the collaboration between six new editors and six seasoned ones. Under the direction of Stephen Greenblatt, Gen Firmly grounded by the hallmark strengths of all Norton Anthologies - thorough and helpful introductory matter, judicious annotation, complete texts wherever possible - The Norton Anthology of English Literature has been revitalized in this Eighth Edition through the collaboration between six new editors and six seasoned ones. Under the direction of Stephen Greenblatt, General Editor, the editors have reconsidered all aspects of the anthology to make it an even better teaching tool.


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Firmly grounded by the hallmark strengths of all Norton Anthologies - thorough and helpful introductory matter, judicious annotation, complete texts wherever possible - The Norton Anthology of English Literature has been revitalized in this Eighth Edition through the collaboration between six new editors and six seasoned ones. Under the direction of Stephen Greenblatt, Gen Firmly grounded by the hallmark strengths of all Norton Anthologies - thorough and helpful introductory matter, judicious annotation, complete texts wherever possible - The Norton Anthology of English Literature has been revitalized in this Eighth Edition through the collaboration between six new editors and six seasoned ones. Under the direction of Stephen Greenblatt, General Editor, the editors have reconsidered all aspects of the anthology to make it an even better teaching tool.

30 review for The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Volume 1: The Middle Ages through the Restoration & the Eighteenth Century

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sioned Raybould

    This anthology is literally my life at the moment, being an English literature student. Don't go anywhere without it. This anthology is literally my life at the moment, being an English literature student. Don't go anywhere without it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tracy

    Have set a goal to read every selection in this tome! I might be a glutton for punishment, but I want to finish in one year or less. On page 135. Have found good stuff in here that I wasn't required to read before. Love the biting tribute to William the Conqueror after his death. Also, enjoyed some of the ancient poetry. Have underlined quite a few lines, words, phrases, etc. Only a million pages to go. Up to page 255...starting up Chaucer has been a little bit rough. Oh Lord, I haven't even start Have set a goal to read every selection in this tome! I might be a glutton for punishment, but I want to finish in one year or less. On page 135. Have found good stuff in here that I wasn't required to read before. Love the biting tribute to William the Conqueror after his death. Also, enjoyed some of the ancient poetry. Have underlined quite a few lines, words, phrases, etc. Only a million pages to go. Up to page 255...starting up Chaucer has been a little bit rough. Oh Lord, I haven't even started work yet this fall. This is not good...maybe I'll have to read on my prep hour??? Damn that middle-English. At page 290...having to teach 9th grade English and attempting to read this is kicking my butt. Not so much the teaching, but the hours of grading horrible writing, but onto Piers Plowman (sp?)right now. Again that middle-English! Am questioning myself and my insane goal right now. Even freaking Milton will be a nice break from middle-English. I'm afraid to even look and see what unknown treasure/horror is coming my way in volume B. sigh Piers Plowman...Better than expected. Have completely lost track of what page I am on at this point in time. Briefly looked ahead to volume B, and I discovered that will probably be slow slogging as well. The only thing that will save me is previous reading of both King Lear and 12th Night. Sonnet knowledge doesn't hurt either. Although, I am a leary of reading entire Faerie Queen. Had to read parts for another class, but the whole thing. Back to Piers, reading plays is a lot harder for me than I was expecting. Still far more enjoyable than anticipated. So guess that is good. Trucking along...looking forward to jury duty next week. Will help me advance to at least page 400! Got called into jury...couldn't read a single page, had to listen to attorneys in suits talking. Am currently on page 5?? something...trucking through it now. I realized that I have only something like six months and over 2,000 pages! I am not watching any TV until this thing gets done. Why am I obsessing? A normal person could just put this down and walk away, but then I would wonder could I do this? Okay!!! Finally finished. I seriously have been reading this every spare moment I could. Like sitting at red lights kind of spare moments. I've been lugging the damn thing everywhere! Totally worth it though. Reread some great stuff and found some cool new texts. If you do this, word of advice...get through the old English and early middle English as quickly as possible. It speeds up once past Green Knight. Wouldn't say I highly recommend undertaking this project, but I wouldn't try to talk someone out of it either.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Loo

    This was a perfectly serviceable book, with many, many good texts in it, including all of Paradise Lost, the Canterbury Tales, and other fascinating works. My only gripe is this: they didn't get the best translations. With the medieval texts, especially, they would keep them with the older wording, where every word has to have a footnote in order to be understood. I'm not talking about Shakespeare, I'm talking about "By housbondrie, of swich as God hir sente, / She foond hirself and eek hire dog This was a perfectly serviceable book, with many, many good texts in it, including all of Paradise Lost, the Canterbury Tales, and other fascinating works. My only gripe is this: they didn't get the best translations. With the medieval texts, especially, they would keep them with the older wording, where every word has to have a footnote in order to be understood. I'm not talking about Shakespeare, I'm talking about "By housbondrie, of swich as God hir sente, / She foond hirself and eek hire doghtren two." This is really hard to get through, and I ended up looking up a more modern translation of some pieces on the internet (which were very enjoyable, by the way).

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kaethe Douglas

    The text for my first semester of senior English. Mr. Edwards, I know it's been more than twenty years, but you were a brilliant teacher. Wherever you are now, whatever you are doing, I truly hope that life has repaid you generously for the fine work you did with us. I breezed through college English courses in large part because you taught me everything I needed to know. All the rest was just picking good reading lists. Thank you, again. You are part of my brilliant English teacher triumvirate, The text for my first semester of senior English. Mr. Edwards, I know it's been more than twenty years, but you were a brilliant teacher. Wherever you are now, whatever you are doing, I truly hope that life has repaid you generously for the fine work you did with us. I breezed through college English courses in large part because you taught me everything I needed to know. All the rest was just picking good reading lists. Thank you, again. You are part of my brilliant English teacher triumvirate, along with Mr. Rosenberg (6th) and Mr. Schuszler (7th). And how sad is it that all three of you guys stopped teaching?

  5. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    You gotta be either in English Literature studies or have some sort of reason to try to get through this mammoth of a collection of early English lit. Extremely dry and don’t bother unless you have it on your shelf and feel like you need some sort of gruelling read to get through. I have become more ‘well read’ than before and that’s gotta count as something.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Guillermo

    s u i c i d e but then again, that's to be expected from brit lit. s u i c i d e but then again, that's to be expected from brit lit.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Alan

    This was the dead-weight anchor of my sophomore teaching experience, though a fine anthology, not that innovative in selections--say, of the play from Shakespeare or the Book from Paradise Lost or the liveliest of Seventeenth Century lyric poems. Take this last stanza from "Love's Offense," "Love is the fart / Of every heart./ It pains a man when 'tis kept close / And others offends when let lose." I'll let the reader try to find it in NA; it may be there now, but surely wasn't during the 30+ yea This was the dead-weight anchor of my sophomore teaching experience, though a fine anthology, not that innovative in selections--say, of the play from Shakespeare or the Book from Paradise Lost or the liveliest of Seventeenth Century lyric poems. Take this last stanza from "Love's Offense," "Love is the fart / Of every heart./ It pains a man when 'tis kept close / And others offends when let lose." I'll let the reader try to find it in NA; it may be there now, but surely wasn't during the 30+ years I taught English Lit. (My grad professor Tom Clayton edited the first modern--Oxford--edition to include that stanza. My community college library, when I ordered Clayton's Oxford edition, kept buying cheaper editions that did not have this verse. I persisted--and you may see why I wanted such an accessible, possibly offensive, verse. To make the Cavaliers look more men of the people. As for the play of Shakespeare's, when I started it was 1Henry4, a great play, but very male-dominated. My community college was two-thirds women students, so I preferred Measure for Measure or Much Ado, or even Othello. All these choices are of course determined by other anthologies as well, notably freshman comp and lit which came to include Othello (hence redundant in sophomore lit). One of my better students, once she graduated and attended a state college in Boston, returned to tell me she had had Oedipus required five times in her four years. Freshman English, sophomore psychology, junior history and psychology, and senior something-or-other. In other words, there IS no curriculum. Each course reconstitutes its own. For three years I avoided this NA, using six paperbacks instead, with library supplements: Spenser's, Sidney's and Shakespeare's sonnets, Sh's MFM or Much Ado, a collection of Donne, Jonson and their successors, Milton's prose, a Restoration comedy like The Country Wife, Pope or Sam Johnson or Defoe. I would intersperse readings from English law and history I had found in my many postdocs at Princeton, Brown, Harvard, the Folger, etc. Also, Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, especially his description of Charles II's Portuguese wife. Gracious, French-raised Charles of course introduced his new wife to his mistress within a week of her landing in England with her household of black widow attendants. Should be in the NA for its prose and its insight into comparative cultures. (Since my students were predominately Portuguese, Brazilian and Azorean, they were attentive.)

  8. 4 out of 5

    Elisa

    As this is one of my textbooks for school, I only did the assigned readings for the class. I really enjoyed all of the readings I did and I have plans to read this volume from start to finish at some point. I'm just going to do a quick blurb and rating for each text I read for now so I can shelve this guy. Beowulf translated by Seamus Heaney 5/5 This was a poem I had wanted to read for a while and I was ecstatic for an excuse to finally do so. This Middle Ages epic poem did not disappoint in any wa As this is one of my textbooks for school, I only did the assigned readings for the class. I really enjoyed all of the readings I did and I have plans to read this volume from start to finish at some point. I'm just going to do a quick blurb and rating for each text I read for now so I can shelve this guy. Beowulf translated by Seamus Heaney 5/5 This was a poem I had wanted to read for a while and I was ecstatic for an excuse to finally do so. This Middle Ages epic poem did not disappoint in any way. The characters are charismatic and the tensions elicited between barbarism and civilization, good and evil, and pride and humility were fascinating components. I could dissect this text to death (and did in class), but I’ll refrain here. All in all it was fantastic, and I can see why J.R.R. Tolkien studied it like he did and wrote his own epic stories loosely based on it. The General Prologue, The Miller’s Prologue and Tale, The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale, by Geoffrey Chaucer (from The Canterbury Tales) 4/5 This is yet another great poem I had meant to read long before this since I hear about it everywhere. Actually reading it was a feat, so I’m glad I had a reason to do so or I’m not sure I could have persevered. The stories themselves were great, the characters have depth and are relatable, and their stories had wonderful comedic and/or dramatic effect while still managing to convey a major societal critique. The only issue I had was with Chaucer’s language, it is HORRIBLY difficult to read. The only way I managed to get the hang of it was by reading aloud and doing so in a Swedish-Medieval English hybrid accent. I sounded like an idiot but it worked. Chaucer’s best characters are his women, and I can’t wait to read this entire work and meet the entire cast. Morte Darthur, by Thomas Malory 5/5 If I am a sucker for anything, I am a sucker for Arthurian tales. They’re what I live for. This anthology only has four chapters from this major work in it, but they’re very good chapters. I believe they’re the last chapters of Book 21 and some from Book 20 (at least that’s what corresponds with the entire work of Morte Darthur that I have). The chapter names are _The Conspiracy Against Lancelot and Guinevere_, _War Breaks Out Between Arthur and Lancelot_, _The Death of Arthur_, and _The Deaths of Lancelot and Guinevere_. All deliver what they’re names promise. The main critique at work in these bits is that pride and selfishness are major destructive forces, which are really fun to pick apart (if you’re a dork like me). All in all, there is a reason this story is timeless, it’s absolutely fabulous. The Faerie Queene, by Edmund Spencer 4/5 I was only required to read Canto 1 of Book 1 for class, and I’m afraid I stopped there, although I wish I hadn’t. I think it’s unfair to say anything positive or negative about this work considering how very little of it I read. So all I’ll say is that I really enjoy Spencer himself and his personal controversies with his age, and his use of language is exquisite. The part of the tale that I read was interesting and evocative, containing a depth I’m really looking forward to exploring later. From what I’ve gathered so far, the knight is going to have many more temptations to come. The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus, by Christopher Marlowe 4/5 I’m picky about my plays, but this one didn’t disappoint. It was a superb read, aside from the overuse of Latin (that I absolutely butchered!), that was very interesting. I was very much entertained by it, especially by Faustus and his complete ineptitude concerning God, Mephastophilis, and Satan. This is the original “sell your soul to the devil” tale, and it’s probably one of the best I’ve ever read (not surprising). I highly recommend it. Sonnets, by William Shakespeare. 5/5 I’m a Shakespeare fan, but I don’t want to discuss every sonnet I was required to read. I could, and I’d enjoy it, but I think that would be overkill. I’ll just list and rate the ones I read. However I will say that all are worth a read, especially since not one conforms to “normal” sonnet convention of the day. There is a reason he is called The Immortal Bard, and he proves it. 3 -4/5 12 -4/5 15 -4/5 18 -5/5 (this is a VERY famous one) 19 -4/5 20 -4.5/5 23 -4/5 29 -4.5/5 30 -4/5 33 -4.5/5 (this one is a fairly dark and lamenting one) 55 -5/5 60 -4.5/5 62 -4.5/5 65 -4/5 71 -5/5 73 -4/5 80 -4/5 85 -4/5 87 -4/5 93 -4/5 94 -4/5 97 -4/5 105 -4.5/5 106 -5/5 116 -4.5/5 129 -4/5 130 -5/5 (this one too is amongst his most famous and one of my very favourites) 135 -4/5 138 -4.5/5 144 -4.5/5 146 -4/5 (I really loved this one, but to this day I have absolutely no idea what it means) 147 -4.5/5 152 -4.5/5 Holy Sonnets, by John Donne 4/5 I’m going to do the same I did for Shakespeare’s sonnets. As well as say that these are samples from his early career all the way to his later life. All of them are very good; the language and imagery express vivid emotion. I’m glad to see Donne get’s the honour due him now. The age he was in has no idea the gem it overlooked. 1 -5/5 5 -4.5/5 7 -4/5 9 -5/5 10 -5/5 13 -4.5/5 14 -5/5 18 -4/5 19 -4.5/5 “Eve’s Apology in Defense of Women”, by Aemilia Lanyer (from Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum 4/5 Overall this was a really wonderful poem. The first three stanzas were my favourite parts and parts that I felt held the most meaning. This is a very feminist poem considering its content and the year in which it was published (1611). It mainly calls on the power of intentions and choice, and good and evil. It also crosses gender boundaries, which is always a fun thing to look for in old texts. When women are the embodiments of reason in an old text and men the passionate fools, you know some man in power at the time, along with the critics, really aren’t going to like it. “When I Consider How My Light is Spent”, by John Milton 4/5 Milton is positively one of my favourite writers of all time, and I haven’t come across something he’s written and not loved it. This poem is both mesmerizing and moving. It concerns Milton’s struggle with the loss of his eyesight and God’s divine plan for him. His pain, loss, hurt, and eventual acceptance are strikingly articulated in a way only Milton seems to be able to do it. His contribution to the English language has always struck me and I believe he is truly timeless. Paradise Lost, by John Milton 5/5 I was only required to read Books 1 and 2 of this famous and epic text, but I can say with 100% certainty that I will be reading the remaining 10, not only because I have three editions of it but also because it’s one of the most amazing things I’ve ever set my eyes on. Satan (no longer permitted to be called Lucifer), is the ultimate protagonist. He’s charming, charismatic, forlorn, brave, strong, and so utterly tread-upon by the all-knowing Father that you can’t help but adore him. He is so stoic, and his way with words it nothing less than powerful and moving. I would have followed him! You can’t help but root for Milton’s Father of Lies. Milton’s use of language in the two books alone is seriously why he is a revered legend, his imagery, his wit, his invocation of epic conventions just leave you shaking your head at the awe-inspiring way his poem moves you. Needless to say, I couldn’t have loved this text more. The Rape of the Lock, by Alexander Pope 3/5 As I’m a fan of seriousness, morbidity, and plot, I don’t think I appreciated Pope’s work as much as I should have. I found it very amusing at points, as I was supposed to, and I think this epic in miniature, aka heroi-comical, is full of some intensely evocative imagery and wonderful metaphors, but it wasn’t my favourite. I believe Pope proves himself to be a great of his day –a true wit– despite his lack of formal education and I really enjoyed this tale of the theft of a lock of hair and the hysterics it causes, but I felt it was too long and drawn out. It kind of kept going after the point was made so that it was almost like work to finish it. I think people who like drôle poetry would enjoy this, the social critique behind it is fabulously put, but for me, it was a little too much. Oroonoko, or The Royal Slave, by Aphra Behn 4/5 This work is considered to be the first novel, and it set the conventions for that type of work. It is part travel narrative, biography, and abolitionist text (although I really doubt that aspect was part of the author’s intention). It tells the tale of Oroonoko, a Royal African prince and the hero of our story. The narrative recounts his life, his upbringing, the beautiful woman he falls for and then looses in a terrible series of events, and his own harsh demise. It is a wonderful story filled with vibrant characters and locales, bringing to light the lives of African slaves shipped away from their homes. Behn makes quite a few statements in this work, her feminism and royalist bent are very obvious. It was a fast and easy read, both powerful and moving. I recommend it to everyone. Gulliver’s Travels, by Jonathan Swift 5/5 I was really disappointed when I discovered that the editors of this anthology cut out a few chapters from this story. Only one from Part II, but most from Part III, so I am making it my mission to get my hands on a full copy of GT and read it all. What I read I really, really enjoyed. The very obvious critiques on English culture and belief, the worlds, the characters, ideals, and every other component made for a fascinating and engaging read. I think anyone, young and old, would love this novel. It’s brilliant, yet simple. Straightforward yet complex. All in all, it’s splendid. Houyhnhnmland is my favourite place, but Lilliput and Brobdingnag were very entertaining as well. It also amuses me that Swift originally published GT under the name of the Lemuel Gulliver (his main character) in order to give it greater credibility as a travel narrative. The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia, by Samuel Johnson 4/5 The 48 chapters of this work are in the form of the moral fable. The message behind each “tale” in each chapter concerns the pursuit of happiness and the choices we all face. They were all interesting and contained a fair measure of depth. Every clichéd moral life lesson known to man is in this work since Johnson said them first. The writing of this piece made up for the lack of plot and character development. I like fables, so this really kept my attention. Overall it was well done and had quite a bit to say. from The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African, Written by Himself, by Olaudah Equiano 5/5 This anthology only contains two chapters of this work, The Middle Passage and A Free Man, but I intend to get a full copy. For me, this was an eye-opening piece, so I can hardly imagine the reception it received when it was published in the 18th century. I’ve read very few abolitionist texts but after reading this I understand why they’re so powerful. Equiano’s writing is interesting, clear, and concise, and his point of view is truly powerful. I look forward to reading more of his story. And those are all the texts I was required to read for fall of 2010.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Novalynda Black

    It was long, but has given me some new authors to read. (I also had to read parts of this book for my studies into English Language and Culture at the University of Amsterdam).

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ana Mardoll

    The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. 1 / 0-393-95469-2 If you are looking at purchasing this book, you've either been required to purchase it for a college course, or you are considering investing in an English literature anthology for your own library and you want to know if this anthology is worth your money. If you are required to buy this book for a course, my review won't matter to you much one way or another, so this is slated towards the latter group. This is an excellent resour The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. 1 / 0-393-95469-2 If you are looking at purchasing this book, you've either been required to purchase it for a college course, or you are considering investing in an English literature anthology for your own library and you want to know if this anthology is worth your money. If you are required to buy this book for a course, my review won't matter to you much one way or another, so this is slated towards the latter group. This is an excellent resource for English literature selections and excerpts. A good deal of the selections are poetry or lyrical selections; most of the prose selections are small excerpts meant only to give you the "feel" of the author's writing style. Nor does this book waste space duplicating works readily available elsewhere - the Shakespeare section is entirely lyrical, under the assumption that a Shakespeare dilettante can easily find access to the plays elsewhere. Invest in a copy if you have any interest in early English literature (particularly poetry) and you won't be sorry. The authors and contents represented include: OLD ENGLISH SELECTIONS - Battle of Maldon - Bede and Caedmon's Hymn - Beowulf - Chaucer, Geoffrey - Dream of the Rood - Everyman - Kempe, Margery - Malory, Sir Thomas - Piers Plowman - Second Shephers' Play - Sir Gawain and the Green Knight - Wanderer - York Play of the Crucifixion SIXTEENTH CENTURY AUTHORS - Ascham, Roger - Campion, Thomas - Daniel, Samuel - Davies, Sir John - Drayton, Michael - Foxe, John - Gascoigne, George - Golding, Arthur - Herbert, Mary - Hoby, Sir Thomas - Hooker, Richard - Howard, Henry - Lane, Ralph - Lanyer, Aemilia - Lyly, John - Marlowe, Christopher - More, Sir Thomas - Nashe, Thomas - Ralegh, Sir Walter - Shakespeare, William - Sidney, Sir Philip - Skelton, John - Southwell, Robert - Spenser, Edmund - Wroth, Lady Mary - Wyatt, Sir Thomas SEVENTEENTH CENTURY AUTHORS - Bacon, Fracis - Brown, Sir Thomas - Burton, Robert - Carew, Thomas - Cowley, Abraham - Crashaw, Richard - Denham, Sir John - Donne, John - Halkett, Lady Anne - Herbert, George - Herrick, Robert - Hobbes, Thomas - Hyde, Edward - Jonson, Ben - King, Henry - Lilburne, John - Locke, John - Lovelace, Richard - Marvell, Andrew - Milton, John - Newton, Sir Isaac - Osborne, Dorothy - Suckling, Sir John - Traherne, Thomas - Vaughan, Henry - Waller, Edmund - Walton, Izaak - Webster, John EIGHTEENTH CENTURY AUTHORS - Addison, Joseph - Astell, Mary - Boswell, James - Bunyan, John - Butler, Samuel - Collins, William - Congreve, William - Cowper, William - Crabbe, George - Defoe, Daniel - Dryden, John - Finch, Anne - Gay, John - Goldsmith, Oliver - Gray, Thomas - Johnson, Samuel - Montagu, Lady Mary Wortley - Pepys, Samuel - Pope, Alexander - Prior, Matthew - Smart, Christopher - Steele, Sir Richard - Swift, Jonathan - Thomson, James - Wilmot, John ~ Ana Mardoll

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    I was dreading studying for the GRE Lit exam, especially having to read Paradise Lost and other poetry. But I finally get it. The Rape of the Lock is phenomenally funny, Paradise Lost (at least the parts concentrating on Satan) is an interesting read, and I've finally gotten over my hatred of poetry. I loved the witty comeback of The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd and the beauty of some of Donne's poems. He took the concept of religious devotion and made it almost sexual and he wrote quite racy ( I was dreading studying for the GRE Lit exam, especially having to read Paradise Lost and other poetry. But I finally get it. The Rape of the Lock is phenomenally funny, Paradise Lost (at least the parts concentrating on Satan) is an interesting read, and I've finally gotten over my hatred of poetry. I loved the witty comeback of The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd and the beauty of some of Donne's poems. He took the concept of religious devotion and made it almost sexual and he wrote quite racy (for his time) love poems like the Flea. I still don't think I'll like the Romantics (in fact they are likely the reason I never liked poetry in the first place--esp. Wordsworth), but that's a review for the next Norton...

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sam - Spines in a Line

    This was a great collection of works. Each period has a clear introduction with plenty of information to get you in the mindset of that time. As well, there was an introduction to each author, which I found incredibly helpful for not only understanding their style of writing but also to gain information on other works they've done that weren't included. I think the collection in this book clearly portrayed the different periods and I wouldn't have changed anything. The one thing I did find diffic This was a great collection of works. Each period has a clear introduction with plenty of information to get you in the mindset of that time. As well, there was an introduction to each author, which I found incredibly helpful for not only understanding their style of writing but also to gain information on other works they've done that weren't included. I think the collection in this book clearly portrayed the different periods and I wouldn't have changed anything. The one thing I did find difficult was the accompanying website. The online version was not up-to-date and didn't contain any of the introductions, only the works. I'd prefer the entire collection including intros to be available online so I don't always have to carry a heavy book back and forth.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Michael P.

    This is one of the greatest anthologies of English literature ever produced. Under review here is the section on the early seventeenth-century, 1603-1660, Donne to Milton, edited by Katharine Eiseman Maus. Maus writes a superb introduction that, printed in a paperback trim size with a normal font size and normal spaces between the lines, would have made a very informative short book. The readings are excellent; all are worthwhile and generally representative of the era. The selections from essays This is one of the greatest anthologies of English literature ever produced. Under review here is the section on the early seventeenth-century, 1603-1660, Donne to Milton, edited by Katharine Eiseman Maus. Maus writes a superb introduction that, printed in a paperback trim size with a normal font size and normal spaces between the lines, would have made a very informative short book. The readings are excellent; all are worthwhile and generally representative of the era. The selections from essays on philosophy, ethics, and learning are revealing of the mind of the era. Nobody needs a Norton Anthology who has everything written by the authors represented. If you do not, then you need the Norton Anthology. Get it, but don't drop it on your toe.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Raniya

    I’ve been eyeing this book for a while and was quite afraid that someone else will buy it as it was the last copy in my city, acting on my fear, I’ve hidden the book in a corner where no one else would find it and had decided to wait until I’ve had the money for it. Come my birthday week I've decided to treat myself and get the book; which to my good luck, it remained in the same spot I've left it! Going home pleased with my purchase, I've started reading it while enjoying the rich content it co I’ve been eyeing this book for a while and was quite afraid that someone else will buy it as it was the last copy in my city, acting on my fear, I’ve hidden the book in a corner where no one else would find it and had decided to wait until I’ve had the money for it. Come my birthday week I've decided to treat myself and get the book; which to my good luck, it remained in the same spot I've left it! Going home pleased with my purchase, I've started reading it while enjoying the rich content it contained. I've always had an appreciation for literature and living where I am you could not find many books that highlight key writings of the genre; so you could understand my cheerfulness when I've finally found a book like this anthology.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

    This was an assigned text for my British Literature class. A lot of difficult reading, but very fascinating. Some of my favorite readings were Beaowulf, Paradise Lost, and Gulliver't Travels. It was interesting to see the evolution of literature from the Middle Ages through the eighteenth century. This was an assigned text for my British Literature class. A lot of difficult reading, but very fascinating. Some of my favorite readings were Beaowulf, Paradise Lost, and Gulliver't Travels. It was interesting to see the evolution of literature from the Middle Ages through the eighteenth century.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jason Kinn

    That's right. I, Jason Kinn, give the best examples of English literature between Beowulf and 1750, as picked by the foremost scholars in the U.S. and Britain, three fucking stars. That's democracy for you. That's right. I, Jason Kinn, give the best examples of English literature between Beowulf and 1750, as picked by the foremost scholars in the U.S. and Britain, three fucking stars. That's democracy for you.

  17. 5 out of 5

    S. Sloan

    I read this book in my English Literature class. I fell in love with English Literature.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn Marie

    I have always appreciated the Norton introductions to the pieces they include in their anthologies, and I find them useful whether I'm a student or not. I have always appreciated the Norton introductions to the pieces they include in their anthologies, and I find them useful whether I'm a student or not.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Maddy

    This is absolutely necessary if you're planning on majoring in English or English Literature Studies. This book covers the earliest known writing in English from the early middle ages to the Restoration in the eighteenth century. The material is organized by era and author, going in chronological order for the most part. The background pieces are extremely helpful and there are glosses and notes to help readers understand the content (especially the more difficult texts from earlier and more obs This is absolutely necessary if you're planning on majoring in English or English Literature Studies. This book covers the earliest known writing in English from the early middle ages to the Restoration in the eighteenth century. The material is organized by era and author, going in chronological order for the most part. The background pieces are extremely helpful and there are glosses and notes to help readers understand the content (especially the more difficult texts from earlier and more obscure authors). I found the biographical and political information extremely helpful as well for helping to place where everything was on a timeline. There are features for fan favorites like Beowulf, Chaucer, Shakespeare and Milton but there are also many, many other authors featured in here who have contributed to literature during these early periods (Bede, Marie de France, Sir Thomas More, Sir Walter Raleigh, Christopher Marlowe, Ben Johnson, Aphra Behn and Eliza Haywood to name a few). There are even some political writings such as the letters of the Tudor Queens Mary and Elizabeth I. This is an academic text and very much reads like a history book (a big complaint from the other kids in my class). I read this for my Early British Literature class. There is a second volume which covers British literature from the 19th century until the current era (I'm pretty sure, but I haven't read that). My rating is 4.5 stars, you'll definitely learn a lot about Early Brit Lit from this text, it's just a lot of reading and some of the texts are much more difficult to deal with than others, as with most collections, you feel varying emotions from piece to piece. **Also, if you're getting this edition for a class, I highly suggest buying the split volume edition, which has three smaller books instead of the one bigger book, like I did so you don't have to lug the big book around at once (It has 2,000 plus pages and is the size of a dictionary). I'm thankful I did. The content is exactly the same between the one big and the split 3 volumes, so you should have no issues there.**

  20. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Menzies

    My review is that this book is one of the best works of literature ever written. The analysis of poetic technique to classic poems and rhyme structure is fascinating. There are parts that drag on forever as it is not a “quick entertainment book” that is good for a laugh. It is a college level textbook telling the history of literature in a very dangerous and volatile part of human history. Yet I wish this book would replace Romeo and Juliet as part of every high school English class in modern da My review is that this book is one of the best works of literature ever written. The analysis of poetic technique to classic poems and rhyme structure is fascinating. There are parts that drag on forever as it is not a “quick entertainment book” that is good for a laugh. It is a college level textbook telling the history of literature in a very dangerous and volatile part of human history. Yet I wish this book would replace Romeo and Juliet as part of every high school English class in modern day. What early writer had to go through on their way to modern day enlightenment should not be hidden away in high level elective classrooms of higher education. Readers of all backgrounds should check it out. I give it five stars out of five stars.

  21. 4 out of 5

    James

    This just showed up on my feed of “recommended literature.” Yeah, required reading for my English degree. Thank you, Victorian literature, for being the root of gossip magazines and the movie Clueless and every spoiled brat artless female English major I met. You were the worst period in literature. “If I write a thing on paper, it immediately becomes exquisite and well-learned. How I play the harp!” YouTube, Twitter, TikTok. Literature as pretension. Bad, bad, bad times. Give me Celine, beer and This just showed up on my feed of “recommended literature.” Yeah, required reading for my English degree. Thank you, Victorian literature, for being the root of gossip magazines and the movie Clueless and every spoiled brat artless female English major I met. You were the worst period in literature. “If I write a thing on paper, it immediately becomes exquisite and well-learned. How I play the harp!” YouTube, Twitter, TikTok. Literature as pretension. Bad, bad, bad times. Give me Celine, beer and [redacted]. Goodbye, Victorian literature, forever and ever. You just aren’t fun.

  22. 5 out of 5

    MT Ghomian

    One of the good books in history of English literature. I really liked it. Learned a lot. I liked the time table at the end of each period. One problem in my opinion though. The fragments of famous literary works could be in another volume. I mean most want to know just about history. All in all worth the reading.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Anton Romanenko

    Not only does this book contain a collection of classical texts, but also it has a perfect bibliography for those who might be interested in further reading. The book is a good thing to have on your shelf, especially if your life is marked by the omen of scholarship...

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ronald Smith

    This was one Henry Grady High School’s greatest gifts to me as a teenager in mid-town Atlanta during civil/human rights conflicts. It is noble in a transcendent way to understand how people seek justice in our culture.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin

    used off and on through out my five-years of schooling at Seattle University, as English Literature major

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sana

    A good collection piece to read occasionally without Order. Pretty hefty!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Christian

    It was a great textbook for my Early British Literature class.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kimberlie

    Loved this textbook from my college British Lit class!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mohammad

    useful for both common people and expert in literature.

  30. 4 out of 5

    MK

    Was my textbook for one of my English classes in university, I don't remember which one. I used it years later to get a version of Volpone so I could direct it. Was my textbook for one of my English classes in university, I don't remember which one. I used it years later to get a version of Volpone so I could direct it.

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