Comprehensive and accessible, this textbook supports the study of English literature from the Middle Ages to the present, and is designed as a main resource for all English Literature students. The book is carefully structured for undergraduate use, with a rich range of illustrations and textboxes that enhance and summarise vital background material. The seven chronological chapters are written by a team of expert contributors who are also highly experienced teachers with a clear sense of the requirements of the undergraduate English curriculum. Each analyses a major historical period, surveying and documenting the cultural contexts that have shaped English literature, and focusing on key texts. In addition to the narrative survey, each chapter includes a detailed chronology, providing a quick-reference guide to the period; contextual readings of select literary texts; and annotated suggestions for further reading. This is an invaluable reference for students and teachers alike.