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English Literature - Introduction
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Part V - Medieval Britain

Introduction


If there can be such an entity as a brief history of England, I hope I am not being too presumptuous in attempting to provide one for the general reader. To compress thousands of years of history into a readable and I hope, entertaining few chapters is a daunting task indeed, but here at Britannia we hope to do just that. We can discover the ancient landscapes, historical monuments, Roman remains, medieval towns, Georgian squares and modern architectural wonders together in a blend of history and travel. In so doing, we can determine just what made the tiny country of England so powerful a force in world history, out of proportion to its size and population.

Naturally, our study will be concerned with the lives of the men and women who contributed to the history of their great nation, for good or for ill. We will look, at the growth of England's political institutions, its Kings, Queens and chief ministers, and its technical and scientific marvels that put Britain ahead of its contemporaries in so many areas and gave the world the industrial and agricultural revolutions that changed peoples' lives forever. We will also discuss the important battles that determined the fate of the English nation.

We will look at the great men of literature who wrote in a language that is now being understood and copied in almost every area of the world. And we mustn't forget those who fought against the establishment in so many different areas, those men (and women) whose revolutionary ideas helped change the face of government, brought down kings and parliaments, and introduced modern democracy. Then there were those who were responsible for advances in medicine, psychology, sanitation, road-building, military reform, shipbuilding -- the list seems endless. Perhaps we should begin our account right at the beginning, long before recorded history began.

 
Part II. The Roman Period
 
Part III. The Arturian Legend
 
Part IV. The Anglo-Saxon Period
 
Part V. The Medieval Britain
 
Part VI. From Reformation to Restoration
 
Part VII. The Age of Empire
 
Part VIII. England in the 20th Century

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