English literature - Wikipedia

 

modern period of english literature

The Edwardians. The most significant writing of the period, traditionalist or modern, was inspired by neither hope nor apprehension but by bleaker feelings that the new century would witness the collapse of a whole civilization. The new century had begun with Great Britain involved in the South African War (the Boer War; –). This period also produced some of the greatest early novels of the English language, including Richardson's Clarissa () and Henry Fielding's Tom Jones (). The Romantic Period of English literature began in the late 18th century and lasted until approximately Modernism. The Modernist Period in English Literature occupied the years from shortly after the beginning of the twentieth century through roughly In broad terms, the period was marked by sudden and unexpected breaks with traditional ways of viewing and interacting with the world. Experimentation and individualism became virtues.


The Main Characteristics of Modernist Literature | Pen and the Pad


The 20th century opened with great hope but also with some apprehensionfor the new century marked the final approach to a new millennium. For many, humankind was entering upon an unprecedented era.

To achieve such transformation, outmoded institutions and ideals had to be replaced by ones more suited to the growth and liberation of the human spirit. The death of Queen Victoria in and the accession of Edward VII seemed to confirm that a franker, less inhibited era had begun.

Many writers of the Edwardian period, drawing widely upon the realistic and naturalistic conventions of the 19th century upon Ibsen in drama and Balzac, Turgenev, Flaubert, Zola, Eliot, and Dickens in fiction and in tune with the anti-Aestheticism unleashed by the trial of the archetypal Aesthete, Oscar Wildesaw their task in the new century to be an unashamedly didactic one.

In a series of wittily iconoclastic plays, modern period of english literature, of which Man and Superman performedpublished and Major Barbara modern period of english literaturepublished are the most substantial, George Bernard Shaw turned the Edwardian theatre into an arena for debate upon the principal concerns of the day: the question of political organization, the morality of armaments and war, the function of class and of the professions, the validity of the family and of marriage, and the issue of female emancipation.

Nor was he alone in this, even if he was alone in the brilliance of his comedy. John Galsworthy made use of the theatre in Strife to explore the conflict between capital and labour, and in Justice he lent his support to reform of the penal system, while Harley Granville-Barkermodern period of english literature, whose revolutionary approach to stage direction did much to change theatrical production in the period, dissected in The Voysey Inheritance performedpublished and Waste performedpublished the hypocrisies and deceit of upper-class and professional life.

Many Edwardian novelists were similarly eager to explore the shortcomings of English social life. Wells—in Love and Mr. Polly modern period of english literature the frustrations of lower- and middle-class existence, even though he relieved his accounts with many comic touches. In Anna of the Five Townsmodern period of english literature, Arnold Bennett detailed modern period of english literature constrictions of provincial life among the self-made business classes in the area of England known as the Potteries; in The Man of Propertythe first volume of The Forsyte SagaGalsworthy described the destructive possessiveness of the professional bourgeoisie; and, in Where Angels Fear to Tread and The Longest JourneyE, modern period of english literature.

Forster portrayed with irony the insensitivity, self-repression, and philistinism of the English middle classes. These novelists, modern period of english literature, however, wrote more memorably when they allowed themselves a larger perspective.

Nevertheless, even as they perceived the difficulties of the present, most Edwardian novelists, like their counterparts in the theatre, held firmly to the belief not only that constructive change was possible but also that this change could in some measure be advanced by their writing. Other writers, including Thomas Hardy and Rudyard Kiplingwho had established their reputations during the previous century, and Hilaire BellocG. Chestertonand Edward Thomaswho established their reputations in the first decade of the new century, modern period of english literature, were less confident about the future and sought to revive the traditional forms—the balladthe narrative poem, the satirethe fantasythe topographical poem, and the essay—that in their view preserved traditional sentiments and perceptions.

The revival of traditional forms in the late 19th and early 20th century was not a unique event. There were many such revivals during the 20th century, and the traditional poetry of A. Housman whose book A Shropshire Ladoriginally published inenjoyed huge popular success during World War IWalter de la MareJohn MasefieldRobert Gravesand Edmund Blunden represents an important and often neglected strand of Modern period of english literature literature in the first half of the century.

The most significant writing of the period, traditionalist or modern, was inspired by neither hope nor apprehension but by bleaker feelings that the new century would witness the collapse of a whole civilization. The new century had begun with Great Britain involved in the South African War the Boer War; —and it seemed to some that the British Empire was as doomed to destruction, both from within and from without, as had been the Roman Empire. In his poems on the South African War, Hardy whose achievement as a poet in the 20th century rivaled his achievement as a novelist in the 19th questioned simply and sardonically the human cost of empire building and established a tone and style that many British poets were to use in the course of the century, while Kipling, who had done much to engender pride in empire, began modern period of english literature speak in his verse and short stories of the burden of empire and the tribulations it would bring.

No one captured the sense of an imperial civilization in decline more fully or subtly than the expatriate American novelist Henry James. In The Portrait of a Ladyhe had briefly anatomized the fatal loss of energy of the English ruling class and, in The Princess Casamassimahad described more directly the various instabilities that threatened its paternalistic rule.

He did so with regret: the patrician American admired in the English upper class its sense of moral obligation to the community, modern period of english literature. By the turn of the century, however, he had noted a disturbing change. In The Spoils of Poynton and What Maisie Knewmembers of the upper class no longer seem troubled by the means adopted to achieve their morally dubious ends.

Great Britain had become indistinguishable from the other nations of the Old World, in which an ugly rapacity had never been far from the surface. His fiction still presented characters within an identifiable social world, but he found his characters and their world increasingly elusive modern period of english literature enigmatic and his own grasp upon them, as he made clear in The Sacred Fountthe questionable consequence of artistic will.

Man was a solitary, romantic creature of will who at any cost imposed his meaning upon the world because he could not endure a world that did not reflect his central place within it. He did so as a philosophical novelist whose concern with the mocking limits of human knowledge affected not only the content of his fiction but also its very structure.

His writing itself is marked by gaps in the narrative, by narrators who do not fully grasp the significance of the events they are retelling, and by characters who are unable to make themselves understood. James and Conrad used many of the conventions of 19th-century realism but transformed them to express what are considered to be peculiarly 20th-century preoccupations and anxieties.

English literature. Article Media. Info Print Print. Table Of Contents. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. Load Previous Page. The 20th century From to The Edwardians The 20th century opened with great hope but also with some apprehensionmodern period of english literature, for the new century marked the final approach to a new millennium.

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Modernism - Literature Periods & Movements

 

modern period of english literature

 

Old English literature, or Anglo-Saxon literature, encompasses the surviving literature written in Old English in Anglo-Saxon England, in the period after the settlement of the Saxons and other Germanic tribes in England (Jutes and the Angles) c. , after the withdrawal of the Romans, and "ending soon after the Norman Conquest" in History of modern literature. The history of literature in the Modern period in Europe begins with the Age of Enlightenment and the conclusion of the Baroque period in the 18th century, succeeding the Renaissance and Early Modern periods. In the classical literary cultures outside of Europe, the Modern period begins later, in Ottoman. This period also produced some of the greatest early novels of the English language, including Richardson's Clarissa () and Henry Fielding's Tom Jones (). The Romantic Period of English literature began in the late 18th century and lasted until approximately