Standard end-of-highschool (Grades 11 and 12 where I'm at) English Literature textbook
utilized as core curriculum material in anglophone classrooms around the globe. Though this particular volume of course goes through changes of editions, the core - the canon
of English (regrettably, the English of primarily England and occasionally Ireland and Scotland only, ignoring American, Canadian, South African, Indian, Carribean, Australian, New Zealander and other Colonial contributions to the English-language canon)
Literature from Beowulf through to the 20th Century - has remained relatively untouched, and you would not be hard-pressed to find a member of your parents' generation (perhaps even your parents) who was taught from an earlier edition of the self-same text.
The book contains textual and illustrative historical background to provide proper contextual grounding for the literary works it presents as well as extensive footnoting and glossaries to ensure maximal comprehension in preparation for the quizzes, projects and discussion questions it accompanies every work with. They all make it shine as a teaching aid, but the volume is perhaps strongest as a reference work merely on account of the scope of the thing - 1500 years covered in almost a thousand pages.
Having covered it in class years ago the tests and study questions don't interest me so much anymore, but the collection still impresses me as a well-curated survey through the literatures of different eras of the English language, from Old English to Middle English to Shakespeare to modern diction, poetry prose and script.
The thought occurred that a similar collection of literature online in this forum would be a worthy endeavour, especially in that the footnotes and glossaries seem almost ideally suited to this hypertext environment, and that much of the material (primarily in the Renaissance, Restoration and Romantic ages) actually is already present here. So it is that I shall node below the contents listing of my own worn copy and shall be using it to direct my e-text node importation for some time to come until the historical literary works contained and represented in Adventures in English Literature are all similarly available here for the education and edification of the casual surfer.
In the event of the Table of Contents listing of Adventures in English Literature being protected under copyright, I shall gleefully add works under their appropriate authors and authors under their appropriate periods until the below metanode takes advantage not merely of the contents of the book from which it originated, but of the contents of the database it finds itself growing in, following the model suggested by the table of contents but exceeding it in every way, excerpts being replaced by references to full works.
As well, I should a) add some dates to periods, lifespans to authors and publication dates to works and b) chronologically integrate the works mentioned in the last two sections, whose arrangement doesn't make too much sense without the study questions and exercises. And perhaps eventually the below metanode should be moved to a node with a less-derivative name - say, under English Literature. But at this point in my sleep-deprived skully it is still quite inextricably linked to the textbook for obvious reasons.
* Update: I have finished entering and referencing all of the short poems listed in this Table of Contents; what remains only are the excerpts from the long and terrifically tedious to transcribe ones (mostly fiction), or in the case of my particular madness their entirety. I shall be leaving URLs to extant etexts of them in the event that someone feels as though they could assist me in my task; I will be removing the URLs as I take them on on a case by case basis.
So follow me, if you will, on your own Adventure in English Literature, as suggested by Adventures in English Literature:
The Middle Ages
The Restoration and Eighteenth Century
THE AGE OF POPE
The Romantic Age
The Victorian Age
The Twentieth Century
Reading and Writing About Literature
remaining to be entered (* denotes mostly far beyond actual contents of the book):
- Beowulf in Old English: from http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/asbeo.htm
- A History of the English Church and People: from http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/bede-book1.html
* Edmund Spenser's
- The Faerie Queene: from http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~rbear/fqintro.html
* John Bunyan's
- The Pilgrim's Progress: from http://www.ccel.org/b/bunyan/pilgrims_progress/title.html
- An Essay of Dramatic Poesy: from http://www.library.utoronto.ca/utel/rp/criticism/of_dr_il.html;
- A Song for St. Cecilia's Day: from http://www.library.utoronto.ca/utel/rp/poems/dryden7.html
* Daniel Defoe's
- A Journal of the Plague Year: from http://www.digital.library.upenn.edu/webbin/gutbook/lookup?num=376
* Johnathan Swift's
- Gulliver's Travel
Joseph Addison and Richard Steele's
- The Tatler: Dueling (Steele);
- The Spectator: Sir Roger and the Witches (Addison)
- Definitions from Johnson's Dictionary
* James Boswell's
- The Life of Samuel Johnson: from http://www.qc.edu/ENGLISH/Staff/richter/boswell.html
George Gordon, Lord Byron's
- Childe Harold's Pilgrimage: from http://www.library.utoronto.ca/utel/rp/poems/byron11.html;
- Don Juan from http://www.library.utoronto.ca/utel/rp/poems/byron15.html
* Charles Dickens'
- Hard Times: from http://www.ulib.org/webRoot/Books/_Gutenberg_Etext_Books/etext97/hardt10.txt
E. M. Forster's
- Notes on the English Character
- The Wild Goat's Kid
- Tears, Idle Tears
- Masculine Protest
- Across the Bridge
- The Train from Rhodesia
* George Bernard Shaw's
- Pygmalion: from http://www.bartleby.com/138/
- The Japanese Quince
* Charlotte Brontë's
- Jane Eyre: from http://sailor.gutenberg.org/etext98/janey10.txt
* George Eliot's
- Silas Marner: from http://www.pemberley.com/janeinfo/silsmarn.html
* Richard Brinsley Sheridan's
- The School for Scandal: from http://schwinger.harvard.edu/~terning/Books/scandal.txt
- Everyman (abridged): from http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~rbear/everyman.html