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14. Favourite writers

8. 3. 2008

Basic survey of English and American literature


An English literature started between 750-950 AD, when a legend about Beowulf, a hero, who killed the terrible monster called Grendel, fought against dragon and was nearly unbeatable, was spoken. It was one of the eldest masterpieces of this time, but the author is unknown. Next chapter of British literature is dated in 15th century, when Geoffrey Chaucer wrote his Canterbury Tales. In 1516 philosopher Thomas Moore wrote his Utopia, as a description of an ideal state. The times of Queen Elizabeth I. are considered as the Golden Age, as well in the way of literature an culture itself. It is the time when the best known English playwright, William Shakespeare, wrote his plays, performed in the Globe Theatre. The best known are: Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Hamlet, Othello, The Merchant of Venice and many more. He is also known for his Sonets. In the same time created Christopher Marlow, John Donne and Francis Bacon, too. We can also name a poet John Milton and his amazing Paradise Lost. The next writer is the Irish man Jonathan Swift who is known for his satire Gulliver´s travels. At this period appear also the journalist, poet and historical Daniel Defoe with his famous novel Robinson Crusoe. In the 19th century we can describe romanticism and later critical realism . The romanticism is represented namely by two poets George Gordon Byron with his Childe Harrod´s Pilgrimage and Percy Byshe Shelley with Prometheus Unbound. Among critical realists belong Charles Dickens with Pickwick´s papers, Oliver Twist or David Copperfield than Bronte sisters (especially Charlotte Bronte - Jane Eyre), Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility), Walter Scott (Ivanhoe), Mary Shelley (Frankenstein) and William Makepeace Thackeray and his Vanity Fair. The next chapter should be playwright, poet and novelist Oscar Wilde (An Ideal Husbend, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Happy Prince and Other Tales). A.C.Doyle created the character of a detective Sherlock Holmes, we can also name Agatha Christie. H.G.Welles is considered as a "Father of science-fiction", it's important to mention his War of the Worlds. Another important names: James Joyce, John Galsworthy, G.B.Shaw, Virginia Woolf, J.R.R. Tolkien, Samuel Beckett, George Orwell, Terry Prattchett and now J.K.Rowling.


 The first literature in America is close-knit with the discovery of America itself. In 1630 capitain John Smith wrote his autobiography. Following works discuss about the situation of Independence and politics, fot example Benjamin Franklin. The most famous novelists were J.F. Cooper (The Last of the Mohicans), Herman Melville (Moby Dick), E.A.Poe (Raven, The Pit and the Pendulum), Mark Twain (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn), Jack London (White Fang, The Call of the Wild), John Steinbeck (Of Mice and Men, East of Eden), Ernest Hemingway (The Old Man and the Sea, From Whom the Bells Tolls, Farewell to Arms), William Styron (Sophie's Choice), Jack Kerouac (On the Road), Truman Capote (In Cold Blood), John Irving (Cider House Rules, The World According to Garp), Stephen King (Carrie, Misery) Joseph Heller (Catch 22), Robert Fulghum and many more.

My favourite writer and his work, especially my favourite book