Key Literary Events

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1516
Sir Thomas More (1477 - 1535) was the first person to write of a 'utopia', a word used to describe a perfect imaginary world.
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1526
First Bible written in English- The book was banned and its author Tyndale was eventually executed.
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1582
Mulcaster's Elementarie is published- whilst not containing definitions, it is a precursor to what would become dictionaries and one of the first formal attempts to organise the English language.
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1590 & 1596
Edmund Spenser publishes The Faerie Queene, an allegory of how to attain Christian virtue, an imaginative reworking of aspects of British history, folklore and mythology, and a poem in praise of Elizabeth I. It is told in six books.
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1609
Shakespeare's 154 Sonnets printed
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1667
Paradise Lost is published. One of the most striking aspects of the poem is its portrayal of Satan, a charismatic rebel who is so intriguing that the poet William Blake commented that Milton was 'of the Devil's party without knowing it'.
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1700
Congreve's restoration comedy 'The Way of the World' is published. It is an accurate portrayal of the gentrified classes at a time when capitalism was on the rise, and marriage was less about love than material gain.
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1719
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, often regarded as the first english novel, is published. its themes of self-reliance and hard work have been seen as an embodiment of the Protestant work ethic, and Crusoe can be viewed as the archetypal colonist.
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1755
Johnson's Dictionary
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1764
The Castle of Otranto, by Horace Walpole, is generally viewed as the first Gothic novel.The poet Thomas Gray commented in a letter to Walpole that it made ‘some of us cry a little, and all in general afraid to go to bed o’nights.’
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1775
Captain James Cook (1728-1779) had a mission to boldly go where no white man had gone before - pioneering voyages to explore and survey Newfoundland, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific. His journal(s) were first published in 1775.
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1789
Olaudah Equiano was an African slave who after buying his freedom became a prominent anti-slavery campaigner. His autobiography formed an important part of the campaign to abolish slavery, selling several thousand copies; many to the political elite.
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1791
Thomas Paine's Rights of Man
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1807
Wordsworth 'Daffodils'.The work of the Romantic poet William Wordsworth was revolutionary in its day. Wordsworth believed that poetry should explore the purity and beauty of nature, and the deep human emotion inspired by the natural landscape.
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1816
Jane Austen 'Persuasion'. Austen's novels are powerful social commentaries, which reflect so many of the restrictions placed on women at the time.
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1817
P B Shelley, 'Ozymandias'. Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) is often thought of as a rebel and revolutionary. It is appropriate, then, that ‘Ozymandias’ – one of his most famous poems – is a warning about the arrogance of great leaders.
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1819
John Keats' 'Ode to a Nightingale'
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c.1819 - 1824
Lord Byron, Don Juan
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1848
The Communist Manifesto
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1850
E B Browning 'How do I The poem is a conventional Petrarchan sonnet which follows in a tradition of sonnet-writing that reaches back to the poetry of the Renaissance, showing affection for one’s beloved whilst also displaying one’s own poetic skill.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

First Bible written in English- The book was banned and its author Tyndale was eventually executed.

Back

1526

Card 3

Front

Mulcaster's Elementarie is published- whilst not containing definitions, it is a precursor to what would become dictionaries and one of the first formal attempts to organise the English language.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

Edmund Spenser publishes The Faerie Queene, an allegory of how to attain Christian virtue, an imaginative reworking of aspects of British history, folklore and mythology, and a poem in praise of Elizabeth I. It is told in six books.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

Shakespeare's 154 Sonnets printed

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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