3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 6 July 2011
Again needed this for English Honours as it was the prescribed text. Amazon supplied it far cheaper than the SA prices and in double quick time. I recommend it not just for the study context, but also for pure interest as it puts literature in historical context which is fascinating.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I've enjoyed much of this book, which is a collection of essays based on each literary "period" going back to before Chaucer and on, chronologically, to the present. The essays vary somewhat: Valerie Allen shines a clear light into the Dark Ages, for example, whereas I find that Lee Morrissey is less enlightening on the Enlightenment than I would have liked. Each chapter covers first the history (generally exceptionally well, often superbly), then the literature, and ends with "readings" of key texts using extracts.
Linking literature with context is always a fascinating thing to do as texts, naturally, arise from a reaction of a writer to aspects of his or her context. I'm not sure this is fully appreciated by all the writers here, some of whom seem to "bolt on" context rather than derive it, evidentially and satisfyingly, from the text itself.
Altogether well worth buying if you are studying for A level English Literature, an English degree or are generally fascinated by literature.