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Kosovska Mitrovica

Historical development of the English language

The Introduction to the Study of the English Language

Mentors: Prof. dr Dragana Spasic Mr Branislava Dilparic

Student: Marija ivkovi

Kosovska Mitrovica, 2010.

1. Introduction .. 2 2. History of English Language . 3 3. Old English .. 3 3.1. Old English dialects 4 3.2. Grammar .. 5 3.2.1. Phonology .. 5 3.2.2. Morphology 5 3.2.3. Syntax . 6 3.3. Orthography . 6 3.4. Old English literature .. 7 4. Middle English . 9 4.1. Middle English Dialects ..... 9 4.2. Grammar .10 4.2.1. Phonology 10 4.2.2. Morphology .. 10 4.2.3. Syntax ...... 11 4.3. Chancery Standard .. 11 4.4. Middle English literature .. 11 5. Early Modern English .. 12 5.1. Grammar 12 5.1.1. Phonology 12 5.1.2. Morphology .. 13 5.1.3. Syntax .. 13 5.1.4. Vocabulary .. 13 5.2. Early Modern English literature .. 13 6. Late Modern English 14 6.1. Dialects .. 14 6.2. Grammar 14 6.2.1. Phonology 15 6.2.2. Morphology .. 15 6.2.3. Syntax 15 6.2.4. Alphabet 15 6.2.5. Vocabulary 15 6.3. Late Modern English literature ... 16 7. Reference .. 17


The English language is spoken by 750 million people in the world as either the official language of a nation, a second language, or in a mixture with other languages. British colonialisms spread English all over the World. It is spoken in South Africa, India, and Singapore. But, Creoles of English can be found in West Africa, China, and islands of Pacific and Caribbean. English is the official language in England, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and the United States. English is a member of the Indo-European family of languages. This broad family includes most of the European languages spoken today. The Indo-European family includes: 1. Latin and modern Romance languages 2. The Germanic languages 3. The Indo-Iranian languages including Hindi and Sanskrit 4. The Slavic languages 5. The Baltic languages of Latvian and Lithuanian 6. The Celtic languages 7. Greek The influence of the original Indo-European language, which parental language was Pro-Indo-European, can be seen today, even though there are no written records. For example word for father is vater in German, pater in Latin, pitar in Sanskrit. The most important languages of the Indo-European family are Romance and Germanic languages, because they had a great influence on English language. The early history of the Germanic languages is based on reconstruction of a Proto-Germanic language that evolved into German, English, Dutch, Afrikaans, Yiddish and the Scandinavian languages. Though there was one common group of Germanic languages, in the second century BC this common group split into three smaller groups: West Germanic, East Germanic and North Germanic group. English is classified as West Germanic language of the Indo-European family of languages, with German, Dutch, Flemish and Frisian.

History of the English Language

The history of the English language really started with arrival of three Germanic tribes who invaded Britain in 5th century. The Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes came from, how we call them today, Germany and Denmark. They came when the king Vortigern called them to defend his land from savages, but their intention was to enslave England. So, Jutes settled in Kent, Isle of Wight and Hampshire, Angles settled in Mercia, Northumbria and East Anglia, and third tribe of Germans, Saxons, settled in Essex, Wessex and Sussex. Before they come, in Britain was spoken Celtic language, which was on very low stage of development, because Celts communicated on very savage way. Invading tribes spoke similar language, which developed into Old English, which is also called AngloSaxon. It was spoken and written in parts what are now England and Scotland. Germans called Celts wealas, and Celts called invaders Saxons, and after some time started to call them Angli or Angles, and the land was known as Anglia. The language get name Englisc (sc was pronounced as sh).

Old English (500-1100 AD)

Old English is West Germanic language, related with Frisian. Old Norse, member of North Germanic branch of languages, had a heavy influence on it. Other languages also had influence on it, so during the seven hundred years, it was changing depend on which language was influencing on it. The most important part in shaping of Old English, had its Germanic heritage in vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structure, which put it in West Germanic branch of languages. Celtic language did not had any influence on Old English, because Celts communicated in very savage way, and language was destroyed or pushed back in areas of Wales, Cornwall, and Cumbria. Only a few words survived, such as crag, cumb (deep valley), bin (bin), carr (rock), brock (badger) etc. Latin language had a great influence on Old English, because there were at least three periods of Latin influence. The first happened before Saxons came from Europe. The second began when the Anglo-Saxons were converted to Christianity and Latinspeaking priests become widespread. And the third and largest influence happened at the end of Old English, after Norman Conquest. Old French was influenced by Latin language, and after some time started to influence to English language.

Anglo-Saxons used Latin expressions for activities like: militia, assembly, movement and service, and words like camp, cheese, cook, inch, pillow, street, butter, wine, wall, fork, etc. The language was altered by transition from runic alphabet to Latin alphabet, and that made great changes in the Old English. For example English words were spelt as they were pronounced. Another effect of spelling words phonetically was that the spelling was extremely variable. The spelling varied from author to author, and even from work to work by the author. For example, the word and could be spelt either and or ond. During the Viking invasions in 9th and 10th century, a great number of Scandinavian words were introduced to old English. The Vikings spoke Old Norse, which was related to English, because they both were derived from Proto-Germanic language. There is one theory that tells us intermixing the speakers of different dialects, and mixing Old English and Old Norse helped accelerate the decline of case endings in Old English. Confirmation of this is the fact that simplification of the case endings occurred earliest in the areas farthest away from Viking influence. Truth of this theory may be found in basic vocabulary items like sky, leg, the verb form are, etc.

Old English Dialects

Old English is not single monolithic entity, it has language variation. Old English had a variation along regional lines as well as variation across different times. For example language in Wessex during the time of Ethelwold, which is named Late West Saxon, is different from the language spoken in Wessex during the time of Alfred the Great, which is named Early West Saxon. The four main dialects forms of Old English were Mercian, Northumbrian, Kentish, and West Saxon. In 878, Alfred the Great marked a decline in the importance of regional dialects. Survived documents from the Anglo-Saxon period are all written in the dialects of Wessex. Alfred needed to standardize the language of government to reduce the difficulty administering. He was passionate about the spread of dialect and brought many scripts to his region from Mercia in order that previously unwritten texts be recorded. The scorch was affected by this too. Especially when Alfred initiated a program to translate religious materials into English, and the monks and priests engaged in the program worked in his dialects. And Alfred translated books out of Latin and into English, too. Modern-day Received Pronunciation is not direct descendant of the Late West Saxon dialects, but Mercian dialects.

Phonology Old English sounds are similar to the sounds that are in use in Modern English. There were seven short and seven long vowels. There were also two front rounded that are no longer used in English.

Labial Dental Alveolar

Post alveolar Palatal




( )


p b

t d

(d )


f (v)


s (z)


(x) ( )



Morphology Old English language was rich with morphological diversity. The words were spelled as it is pronounced. And it was inflected with five grammatical cases, nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, instrumental. It also assigned gender to all nouns. It could be masculine, feminine or neuter. For example the sun was feminine, and the moon masculine. Numbers could be singular or plural.

The infinitive of verbs ended in an. In the present tense, verbs had markers for numberand person. The weak past tense added de, but the strong Past Tense usually involved a vowel change. Adjectives also could be weak or strong. If there is a determiner in front of it the weak ending was added to the adjective, and if there was no article, the strong endings were used. The comparative was formed by adding ra to the adjective, while the superlative had many endings: -ost, -ist, -est, and m. The ost and m endings were combined to form the word most. Adverbs were formed by adding -e to the adjective, or lic which still remains in modern English as like. Syntax The syntax in Old English was much more flexible because of the declination of the nouns. The case endings told the function of the word in sentence, so the word order was not important, but it is suspected that the word order was like in modern English: subject-verb-object, but it vary in following cases: when an object is pronoun, it often precedes the verb, then when a sentence begins with an adverb, the subject often follows the verb, and the verb often comes at the end of a subordinate clause. It is believed that the word order in Old English was changing when ask question and the order was: verb-subject-object.

Runic alphabet is used for writing Old English. The runic alphabets are a set of related alphabets using letters known as runes to write various Germanic languages prior to the adoption of the Latin alphabet and for specialized purposes thereafter. The earliest runic inscriptions date from around 150 AD, and the alphabet was generally replaced by the Latin alphabet along with Christianization by around 700 AD. There are three runic alphabets: Elder Futhark, Old English Futhorc and Younger Futhark. These are the runes of Elder Furthark: (w) ( h), (n), (I), (j), (), (f), (p), (u), (z), ( ), (a), (t), ( r ), (b), (k), (e), (g), (m),


(l), ( ), (o), (d). Runic alphabet was replaced by latin alphabet.

Old English Literature

Old English literature encompasses literature written in Old English (also called AngloSaxon), during the 600-year Anglo-Saxon period of England, from the mid-5th century to the Norman Conquest of 1066. These works include genres such as epic poetry, Bible translations, legal works, chronicles, riddles, and others. Among the most important works of this period is the poem Beowulf, which has achieved national epic status in Britain. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle otherwise proves significant to study of the era, preserving a chronology of early English history. King Alfred the Great wanted to restore English culture, so he opened schools and he sustained education. The most famous manuscripts from old English were: Caedmon manuscript, Exeter Book, Vercelli Book, and Nowell Codex, mixture poetry and prose, which contains Beowulf. Old English poetry has two types: heroic Germanic pre-Christian and Christian. It survived in manuscripts. Two poetic figures found in Old English poetry are the kenning, an often formulaic phrase that describes one thing in terms of another and litotes, a dramatic understatement employed by the author for ironic effect. The most famous are: Caedmon, Bede, Alfred, and Cynewulf. Most important, is Beowulf, which appears in the damaged Nowell Codex. The poem tells the story of the legendary Geatish hero Beowulf. The story is set in Scandinavia, in Sweden and Denmark. The story is biographical. There are a lot of heroic poems like: The Fight at Finnsburh, Waldere, Widsith, Deor, The Battle of Brunanburh, The Battle of Maldon, etc. Elegiac poetry is related to the heroic tales. Its a number of short poems from the Exeter Book which have come to be described as "elegies" or "wisdom poetry". Famous one are: The Ruin, which tells of the decay of a once glorious city of Roman Britain, The Wanderer, in which an older man talks about an attack that happened in his youth, where his close friends and kin were all killed, The Seafarer is the story of a somber exile from home on the sea, from which the only hope of redemption is the joy of heaven. There are also Wulf and Eadwacer, The Wife's Lament, and The Husband's Message and Lays of Boethius whish was wrote by King Alfred the Great. Christian poetry purport life of saints like: Andreas is the story of Saint Andrew and his journey to rescue Saint Matthew from the Mermedonians, Elene is the story of Saint Helena and her discovery of the True Cross, Guthlac is actually two poems about English Saint Guthlac, and Juliana is the story of the virgin Juliana of Nicomedia. The Junius manuscript contains four paraphrases of Old Testament texts: Genesis, Exodus, Daniel and the fourth is Christ and Satan, which is contain in second part of the manuscript.

Christian poems are consisted if religious poems. The most famous is Christ, which is consisted of sections: Christ I, Christ II, Christ III. The most famous writer Old English prose is Alfred the Great. He translated many books from Latin to Old English: The Pastoral Care, The Consolation of Philosophy, The History of the World, The City of God, Ecclesiastical History of the English People, etc. Second famous writer was lfric of Eynsham. He wrote: Wulfstan II, Sermo Lupi ad Anglos, Canons of Edgar There are translations of Gospels: The most popular was the Gospel of Nicodemus, the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew, Vindicta salvatoris, Vision of Saint Paul and the Apocalypse of Thomas, Hexameron and Interrogationes Sigewulfi. The oldest collection of church sermons is the Blickling homilies in the Vercelli Book and dates from the 10th century.

Middle English (1066-1500 AD)

Middle English began with Norman invasion of 1066 AD. When king Edward the Confessor died without heirs, and William, duke of Normandy, believed that he is would be the next king, but Harold become crowned king. So William invaded England, and after Harolds death, he become king, after the battle of Hastings. Because William spoke only French, the upper class in England started to speak French while lower classes spoke English. But by 1250, after king John had lost Normandy, began to lose his prestige. King Edward I spoke only English, and because of that upper class tried to learn English, but they still used French in some occasions. The Hundred Years War (1337-1453) intensified hatred of all things French. In 1362 AD, the Statute of Pleading declared English as the official language spoken in courts. English become main language in schools. And period between 1350 and 1400 AD is known as the Period of Great Writers, but they were apologizing for writing in English.

Middle English Dialects

Middle English dialects corresponded to those in Old English. There were Kentish, West Saxon become Southern, Northumbrian become Northern, and Mercian was divided into East Midland and West Midland. Kentish was spoken over the whole southeastern part of England, including London and Essex. Its area was steadily diminished by the encroachment of the East Midland dialect, especially after London became an East Midland-speaking city. The Southern dialect was spoken in the area west of Sussex and south and southwest of the Thames. It is a conservative dialect, which shows little influence from other languages. The Northern dialect evolved quickly. By the 13th century the inflectional systems of nouns and verbs were already sharply reduced. It become when Scandinavian settlers tried to learn Old English. They didnt know neither English neither Norse, so their bad English became the local prestige norm, survived, and eventually began to spread. The East-Midland and West-Midland dialect were intermediate between the Northern and Southern/Kentish extremes. West-Midland was spoken from Lancashire to Cheshire and then down the Severn valley. This dialect has left modern descendants in the working- class country dialects of the area. The East-Midland dialect shows the same kinds of rapid development as its Northern dialect. It became the basis of standard Modern English. For that reason, East-Midland is by far the most important dialect of Middle English for the subsequent development of the language.

Phonology Pronunciation has changed: h was lost from words like: hleapan- to leap, w was lost between consonants and back vowels, final n is lost in possessive pronouns, voiced fricatives become phonemic with their voiceless counterparts, front rounded vowels merged with their unrounded counterparts, and vowel length became predictable an open syllable with no consonant following in contained a long vowel, while a closed syllable with at least one consonant following it contained a short vowel. Writing system changed dramatically in Middle English: and were replaced by th and y, c before i or e become ch, sc become sh, an internal h was added after g, hw become wh, cw become qu, the new symbols v and u were added, k was used more often (cyning become king), g before I or e was pronounced , and c before I and e became s in some cases, silent h, which is not pronounced, is added to some words (honor, heir, honest). Morphology In Middle English nouns lost the case suffixes at the end, and retain only two separate noun-ending patterns. Plural also changed, the strong s become main ending, while weak n became rare, and it was used in some dialects (oxen, children, eyen, shoon, kine instead cows, etc). Verb infinitives dropped the an ending, and used to to signify the infinitival form. The first person singular of verbs in present tense ends in e, the second person in (e)st, and third in (e)th. In the past tense weak verbs are formed by adding an ed(e), -d(e), or t(e) ending. These also form past participles together with past participle prefixes i-, y-, and bi-. More strong verbs become weak, but those who stayed form their past tense by changing their vowel. Adjectives still had their weak ending e. the comparative become er and superlative become est. Vowels tended to be short in comparative form and long in the adjective form. Middle English pronouns derived from old English pronouns. But there were some changes. The first and second pronouns survived to the Middle English unchanged. In third person masculine accusative became hi, and feminine became she. The third person plural pronouns replaced the old pronouns with th- (they, them, their).


Syntax Syntax was stricter and more prepositions were used. New tenses were used, such as perfect tenses, and passive voice was used more often. The verbs shall and will were used for the future tense for the first time. Before that will meant want, and shall mean obligated to.

Chancery Standard
Chancery standard was written form of English used by government and for other official purposes. It contributed to the development of English language written today. It was created because the government needed a clear form of English, to use it in the documents. Chancery standard was developed during the Henry V, because he wanted to use English not Latin or Anglo-Norman. It became standardize in 1430. It was based on the London and East Midland dialect, but and other dialects were used because word form was more appropriate. In the beginning people who used Chancery Standard were familiar with French and Latin, so strict grammars of those languages influenced on English grammar, which had influence on todays grammar.

Middle English Literature

Middle English literature refers to the literature written in the form of the English language known as Middle English, from the 12th century until the 1470s. There are three main categories of Middle English Literature: Religious, Courtly love, and Arthurian, though much of Chaucer's work stands outside these. Among the many religious works are those in the Katherine Group and the writings of Julian of Norwich and Richard Rolle. Middle English literature is written in many dialects depending on the situation of the writers, because language and literature mingled with that of the natives: the Norman French dialect of the upper classes became Anglo-Norman, and Anglo-Saxon underwent a gradual transition into Middle English. In the early period there was religious prose like Ancrene Riwle, the story about three noblemen who abandoned the world to live anchoresses. In 14th century number of translated writings from Latin and French increased. Guild records, proclamations, proverbs, dialogues, allegories and letters were translated. The Anglo-Saxon poetry died out in 11th century, but reappeared back in 13th century.


The earliest work that survived from Middle English was Lagamons Brut, but there are also Piers Plowman and sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Middle English poetry was influenced by French literature. The oldest example dates back from 13th century, and its name is The Owl and the Nightingale. Later works include romances, secular lyrics, bestiaries, ballads, biblical poetry, Christian legends, prayers and elegies. Much Middle English literature has unknown author, but the most famous authors were: John Gower, William Langland, John Wycliff and Goeffrey Chaucer. Chaucers achievements are of great importance for English language. His best known work is The Canterbury Tales from which we can find out what was the grammar in the Middle English. His the most famous poetry book is The Book of the Duchess, but there are also translation of Roman de la Rose, allegorical Parliament of Fowls, the lovevision The House of Fame, and the unfinished legendary The Legend of Good Women.

Early Modern English (1500-1650)

Early Modern English is the stage of English language used from about the end of Middle English period to 1650. The first edition of King James Bible and works of William Shakespeare belong to the late phase of Early Modern English. Readers of English are generally able to understand Early Modern English, occasionally with difficulties arising from grammar changes, changing in the meanings of some words, and spelling differences The change from Middle English to Early Modern English was not just matter of vocabulary or pronunciation, it was the beginning of new era in the history of English. The era of linguistic change in language with large variations in dialect was replaced by new era of a more standardized language with a richer lexicon and an established literature. For example, Shakespeares plays are familiar to people and after 400 years.

Phonology The Great Vowel Shift changed pronunciation of all the vowels. Diphthongs /aj/ and /aw/ were added to the vowels of English. Some consonants were no longer pronounced. The lost consonants were: voiceless velar fricative lost in the night pronounced as f in laugh, /b / in final mb cluster (dumb, comb), /l/ between a or o consonant (half, walk, talk), /r/ sometimes before s, initial clusters beginning with k and g (knee, knight) and /g/ in ing endings.


Orthography was similar to that of today, but there were some differences in spelling: the letter s had two distinct forms, s as today, and long s that was written like this - , u and v were not considered as two different letters, they were considered as different forms of the same letter, v was used at the beginning of the word, and u was used elsewhere. Letters i and j were not considered two different letters, but different forms of the same letter, and silent e was often added to the words, and in that case the last consonant was doubled. Morphology Adjectives lost all endings except those for comparative and superlative forms. It was first used as neuter pronoun, also who was used as relative pronoun. The distinction between formal and informal you were decreasing so today there is no difference between them. More strong verbs became weak. Verb conjugations in the thou form end in -(e)st. In Early Modern English, third person singular conjugation end in (e)th instead of s. There was more limited use of the progressive and auxiliary verbs. The Perfect tenses have not been standardized to use the auxiliary verb to have. Some took as the auxiliary verb to be. Syntax The sentences tend to be loose and linear with repeated and or then coordination,and limited amount of subordination, mostly introduced by which or what. Vocabulary The Early Modern English was very similar to the English that we spoke today, there were some false friends within the language itself, which made difficult to understand some word and phrases.

Early Modern English Literature

During the Early Modern English books started to be printed, the first two books that were printed are: The Recuyell of the Histories Troy and the Knight of the Tower. During the 16th century there was a flood of new publications in English. This period around 1650 was later called Renaissanse. All historians agree that the two most important influences on the development of the language during renaissance are works of William Shakespeare and King James Bible.


The King James Bible, known as Authorized Version of the Bible, had a great influence on English language. It provides to see how language has been developed during the time. On the other hand Shakespeare wrote over 35 plays in several genres, including tragedy, comedy, and history. His most famous plays are: Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth, Antony and Cleopatra, and The Tempest, Midsummer Night Dream, etc. There were other drama writers like Ben Jonson, and Christopher Marlowe. Major poets of the 17th century included John Donne and other metaphysical poets, and John Milton with religious epic Paradise Lost. Another seminal work of Milton was Areopagitica. This period was known for first dictionary Universal Etymological English Dictionary, published 1721 by Nathaniel Bailey, but it wasnt incomplete. But Samuel Johnson published his Dictionary of the English Language, which he wrote for seven years.

Late Modern English (1650-present)

The 17th century was the time of political and social development in England. The increase in trade around the world meant that the English port towns would have gained in influence over the old country towns. Art and literature were encouraged. Important episode in development of the English language started around 1607, when the British settled in America, and American dialect of English was developed.

Modern English has a great number of dialects spoken in different countries around the world. This includes American English, Australian English, British English, Canadian English, Caribbean English, Indo-Pakistan English, new Zealand English, Philippine English, Singaporean English and South African English.

There are still elements of Early Modern English in some dialects. For example thee and thou can still be heard in some parts in Black Country and Yorkshire. Words: book, cook, look, etc. are pronounced with long u. Use of progressive tenses were become more frequent


Phonology Post-vocalic r was lost, so it was only pronounced before a vowel and not after. Long vowels inconsistently shortened in closed syllables. Most varieties of northern English, Welsh English and Scottish English retain [a] in cat, trap etc. /l/ in /lk/, /lm/, /lf/ were lost. Raising, lengthening and diphthongization happened in some varieties of American English. Lock-loch merger: the replacement of /x/ with /k/ among some younger Scottish English speakers from Glasgow, and dropping losing /j/ in initial consonant clusters. Syntax Syntax stayed almost the same. Only T-V distinction (thou, ye) were disused. Auxiliary verbs become mandatory in interrogative sentences. Alphabet Changes in alphabet and spelling were heavily influenced by the advent of printing and continental printing practices. The letter , which was already being replaced with th, finally fell into disuse. And the letters i and j, previously written as single letter,began to be distinguished. The same happened to letters u and v. Modern English came to use purely Latin alphabet of 26 letters. Vocabulary The principal distinction between Early and Late Modern English is vocabulary. It has many new words, and they are result of Industrial Revolution and rise of the technological society, and there were borrowing from other languages. Industrial and scientific revolution created words like: oxygen, protein, nuclear, vaccine, horsepower, airplane, typewriter, and later: microchip, hard-drive, byte. Borrowings came from different languages, from Hindi, Finnish, Japanese etc. Some of these words are: pundit, shampoo, pajamas, sauna, tycoon, etc. 20th century saw two world wars, so many military terms entered the language: blockbuster, nose dive, camouflage, radar, roadblock, spearhead, landing strip, and other military terms.


Late Modern English Literature

Late Modern English literature saw many great writers, from 17th until now. During this period many directions were born: Restoration literature, Augustan literature, Romanticism, Victorian literature, Modernism, and Post-modern literature. The largest and most important poetic form of the restoration era was satire. But the writers of satires were unknown, because there were great dangers in being associated with a satire. Prose in the Restoration period is dominated by Christian religious writing, but the Restoration also saw the beginnings of two genres that would dominate later periods: fiction and journalism. The Restoration was also the time when John Locke wrote many of his philosophical works. During this period novel started to develop. The most famous writer of this period was is Aphra Behn. Her famous novel was Oroonoko. The most famous plays of the early Restoration period are the unsentimental or "hard" comedies of John Vanbrugh (The Relapse, and The Provoked Wife), William Wycherley (Congreve's Love for Love, and The Way of the World), and George Etherege. The term Augustan literature derives from authors of the 1720s and 1730's. The most outstanding poet of the age is Alexander Pope, but Pope's excellence is partially in his constant battle with other poets. But Pope's Rape of the Lock and the Dunciad is still the greatest mock-heroic poems ever written. In prose, the earlier part of the period was overshadowed by the development of the English essay. The most famous essay writers are: Joseph Addison and Richard Steele. There is also Daniel Defoe turned from journalism and writing criminal lives for the press to writing fictional criminal lives with Roxana and Moll Flanders. He also wrote Robinson Crusoe (1719). Jonathan Swift wrote: A Tale of a Tub, Gulliver's Travels, etc. During the end of the 18th century Ann Radcliffe became the pioneer of the Gothic Novel, after she wrote The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne in 1789, and later The Mysteries of Udolpho. Jean Jacques Rousseau, William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor, brought a new emotionalism and introspection, the "Preface to the Lyrical Ballads". This literary direction was called Romanticism. Romantic poets were: Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Shelley and John Keats. Byrons the most famous book were: Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, The Giaour and The Corsair, etc. One of Percy Shelley's most prominent works is the Ode to the West Wind.


The most popular novelist of the era was Sir Walter Scott, his most remembered work is Ivanhoe. There was Jane Austen, who wrote novels about the life of the landed gentry, seen from a woman's point of view. Her most popular novel is Pride and Prejudice. The Bronte sisters were English writers of the 1840s and 1850s. Charlotte's Jane Eyre, Emily's Wuthering Heights and Anne's Agnes Grey caused a sensation when they were first published. Leading poets were: Alfred Tennyson, Robert Browning, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Matthew Arnold, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and Christina Rossetti. Modernism has started in 1900s and it lasts until now. The most famous modernist writers are: Virginia Woolf, E. M. Forster, Evelyn Waugh, P.G. Wodehouse and D. H. Lawrence. T. S. Eliot, Marianne Moore, Elizabeth Bishop, W. H. Auden, Vladimir Nabokov, William Carlos Williams, Ralph Ellison, Dylan Thomas, R.S. Thomas Henry Miller, William S. Burroughs, Joseph Heller, Kurt Vonnegut, Hunter S. Thompson, Truman Capote, Thomas Pynchon, Taylor Gray and Graham Greene.


1. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language, Cambridge, University Press, David Crystal 2. Internet data, www.wikipedia.com