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A History of English Literature has received exceptional reviews. Tracing the development of one of the world's richest literatures from the Old English period through to the present day, the narrative discusses a wide range of key authors but never loses its clarity or verve. Building on the book's established reputation and success, the third edition has been revised and updated throughout. It now provides a full final chapter on the contemporary scene, with more on genres and the impact of globalization. Features of this best-selling book include: * a helpful overview of each chapter * boxed biographies of authors, and tables of publications and historical events * on-page definitions of important terms and concepts * suggestions for further reading at the end of each chapter to aid study * portraits of authors, illustrations, maps and an index. A History of English Literature remains the essential companion for anyone wishing to follow the unfolding of writing in England from its beginnings. It is ideal for those who know a few landmark texts, but little of the literary landscape that surrounds them; those who want to know what English literature consists of; and those who simply want to read its fascinating story.