Literature by Period

In the West we have what is called a teleological view of history. That means that the scope of human civilization and events, from its earliest time till now, is actually going someplace. Whether that place is Ragnarok, Armageddon, the New Jerusalem, or an alien apocalypse depends on which worldview you're espousing, but it's hard for people with European heritage to think in terms of the circularity of history, or that history is going nowhere, just on an on and on into the infinite future.

As Christians, we believe history is on its way to Christ. That may be a little simplistic, but ultimately God has ordered and guided history according to His will for it, and its completion is entirely in His hands....but only after the intended progression of events has been completed. If this is true, history can be seen, not merely as endless repetition, but as a line drawn between point A and some as yet indistinguishable (from a human perspective) point B.

The literature of any period, therefore, can only be understood by the particular historical stage and cultural context in which it was written. If history isn't stagnant, literature can't be either, and any writer is going to reflect (consciously or unconsciously) the attitudes prevalent around him. If you didn't know Cervantes was mocking the "courtly love" and chivalric ideals of Medieval Europe, Don Quixote wouldn't make near as much sense. A lot of Shakespeare's references are to cultural customs he witnessed. Charles Dickens includes so many scenes of social injustice because the England of his day was rife with oppression and mistreatment.

This intersection of history and literature isn't one-directional. To really understand history, it's essential to read the literature of the day. Sure, a history book published last year about the Roman Empire might yield plenty of good information, but reading Caesar's Gallic Wars will not only offer a firsthand perspective, it will also reveal a lot of contemporary attitudes most historians find it difficult to capture. A list of similar examples would require several books, and believe me, they exist.

We've chosen specific periods as categories both to reflect the generally accepted important literary and historical epochs, and based on how many books from each period we carry. If your favorite period isn't immediately recognizable on the list, you might just have to look a little deeper—for instance, we don't have a category for books written in China during the Boxer Rebellion, but that doesn't mean we don't have books that meet that criteria. Okay, we don't, but we have plenty of other titles representing the full scope of literary history from the ancients to the postmodern age.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.

 

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1984
Signet Classics
by George Orwell
from Signet Classics
for 10th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$9.99
1984
by George Orwell
from Harcourt
for 10th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$17.00
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Sterling Classics
by Jules Verne, translated by Lewis Page Mercier and illustrated by Scott McKowen
from Sterling Publishing Co.
for 5th-10th grade
in Sterling Classics (Location: FIC-STE)
$14.95
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Bantam Classics
by Jules Verne, translated by Anthony Bonner
from Bantam Books
Science Fiction for 10th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$5.99
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
by Jules Verne, Translated by Lewis page Mercier, edited by Allen Grove
from Chartwell Books
for 7th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$7.50 (1 in stock)
2001: A Space Odyssey
by Arthur C. Clarke
from ROC Science Fiction
for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$8.99
21
Aubrey/Maturin #21
by Patrick O'Brian
from W. W. Norton and Co.
Nautical Fiction for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
4:50 from Paddington
A Miss Marple Mystery #7
by Agatha Christie
2022 Reissue from William Morrow & Company
for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
84, Charing Cross Road
from Penguin Random House
for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$15.00
A Christmas Carol Audio Drama - 2 CD set
from Focus on the Family
for 1st-Adult
in Audio Books & Dramas (Location: CD-AUDIO)
$7.00 (2 in stock)
A.B.C. Murders
A Hercule Poirot Mystery #13
by Agatha Christie
from William Morrow & Company
for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
Abolition of Man
by C. S. Lewis
from HarperCollins
Philosophy/Religion for 10th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$16.99
Abraham Lincoln: Great Speeches
Dover Thrift Editions
by Abraham Lincoln & John Grafton, editor
from Dover Publications
Political Philosophy for 10th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$2.00
Abraham Lincoln: Selected Speeches and Writings
by Abraham Lincoln, introduction by Gore Vidal
from Library of America
for 9th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$18.95
Accordion Crimes
by E. Annie Proulx
from Charles Scribner's Sons
for 10th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$4.50 (1 in stock)
Account of Mary Rowlandson and Other Indian Captivity Narratives
by Mary Rowlandson
from Dover Publications
for 9th-Adult
in 17th Century Literature (Location: LIT4-17)
$5.95
Adam Bede
Everyman's Library
by George Eliot
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
Realistic Fiction for 9th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$24.00
Adventure of the Christmas Pudding
A Hercule Poirot Mystery #33
by Agatha Christie
from William Morrow & Company
for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
Adventures and Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
by Arthur Conan Conan Doyle
from Penguin Classics
for 7th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$14.00
Adventures of Don Quixote
by Miguel De Cervantes, illustrated by W. Heath Robinson
from State Street Press
for 10th-Adult
in 17th Century Literature (Location: LIT4-17)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
by Mark Twain
from Dover Publications
Realistic Fiction for 7th-10th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$6.00
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
by Mark Twain
from Easton Press
for 10th-Adult
in Leather Bound Collectible Books (Location: VIN-LEA)
$29.00 (2 in stock)
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
by Mark Twain
New Ed from University of California Press
for 10th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$15.95
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Reader's Digest World's Best Reading
by Mark Twain
from Reader's Digest
Realistic Fiction for 7th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
by Mark Twain
3rd edition from W. W. Norton and Co.
for 10th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$9.00 (2 in stock)
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
by Mark Twain
from Bantam Books
Realistic Fiction for 7th-10th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
by Mark Twain
from Penguin Classics
for 9th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$8.00
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
by Mark Twain
from Nelson Doubleday, Inc.
for 9th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$4.00 (1 in stock)
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
by Mark Twain, edited by Mary R. Reichardt
from Ignatius Press
for 9th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$6.00 (2 in stock)
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Oxford World's Classics
by Mark Twain, edited with an introduction and notes by Emory Elliott
2008 Reissue from Oxford University
for 9th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$3.50 (2 in stock)
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Mark Twain Library
by Mark Twain, illustrated by E.W. Kemble and John Harley, edited by Victor Fischer, Lin Salamo with Harriet Elinor Smith and Walter Blair
from University of California Press
Realistic Fiction for 7th-10th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$13.00 (1 in stock)
Adventures of Robin Hood
Reader's Digest World's Best Reading
by Paul Creswick, illustrated by N. C. Wyeth
from Reader's Digest
for 6th-12th grade
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$9.00 (3 in stock)
Adventures of Sally
by P.G. Wodehouse
from Overlook Press
for 8th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Reader's Digest World's Best Reading
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, illustrated by Richard Lebenson
from Reader's Digest
for 7th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Books of Wonder
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, illustrated by Barry Moser
from HarperCollins
for 7th-12th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, illustrated by Sidney Paget
100th Anniversary from SeaWolf Press
in Seawolf Illustrated Classics (Location: FIC-SW)
$10.95
Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Whole Story Series
by Mark Twain, illustrated by Claude Lapointe
from Viking Press
Realistic Fiction for 6th-10th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Dover Thrift Editions
by Mark Twain
from Dover Publications
for 6th-10th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$5.00
Adventures of Tom Sawyer
by Mark Twain
Limited Edition from Franklin Library
Realistic Fiction for 8th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Reader's Digest World's Best Reading
by Mark Twain, illustrated by Paul Geiger
from Reader's Digest
for 7th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Puffin Classics
by Mark Twain
from Penguin Classics
Realistic Fiction for 6th-10th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$9.00
Aeneid
by Virgil, translated by Robert Fitzgerald
from Vintage Classics
Ancient Literature/Epic Poetry for 10th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
$16.00
Aeneid
Everyman's Library
by Virgil (translation by Robert Fitzgerald)
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
Ancient Literature/Epic Poetry for 10th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
$9.00 (1 in stock)
Aeneid
by Virgil, translated by Robert Fagles
from Penguin Putnam
for 9th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
$19.00
Aeneid
Penguin Classics
by Virgil, translated by David West
Reissue from Penguin Classics
for 9th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
$16.00
Aeneid
by Virgil, translated by Frederick Ahl
from Oxford University
for 9th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
Aeneid
by Virgil, translated by L. R. Lind
from Indiana University Press
for 10th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
Aeneid
by Virgil, translated by Stanley F. Lombardo
from Hackett Publishing Company
for 10th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
Aeneid
by Virgil, translated by Shadi Bartsch
from Modern Library
for 10th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
$18.00
Aeneid
Penguin Classics
by Virgil, translated by Sarah Ruden
Reissue from Yale University Press
for 9th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
$18.00
Aeneid Of Virgil
by Virgil, translated by Allan Mandelbaum
from Bantam Books
for 10th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
$5.95
Aeschylus I: The Oresteia (old)
The Complete Greek Tragedies
by Aeschylus (translation by Richmond Lattimore)
from University of Chicago
Ancient Greek Tragedy for 10th-Adult
in Clearance: Literature (Location: ZCLE-LIT)
$3.00 (1 in stock)
Aeschylus II: The Oresteia
The Complete Greek Tragedies
by Aeschylus (translation by Richmond Lattimore)
3rd edition from University of Chicago
Ancient Greek Tragedy for 10th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
Aeschylus' Oresteia
Penguin Classics
by Aeschylus (translation by Robert Fagles)
from Penguin Classics
Ancient Greek Tragedy for 10th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
$15.00 $9.00 (1 in stock)
Aeschylus' Oresteia
by Aeschylus, translated by Peter Meineck
from Hackett Publishing Company
Ancient Greek Tragedy for 10th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
$13.50
Aeschylus' Oresteian Trilogy
Penguin Classics
by Aeschylus, translated by Phillip Vellacott
from Penguin Classics
Ancient Greek Tragedy for 10th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
$13.00 $7.00 (1 in stock)
Aesop's Fables
by Aesop
from Signet Classics
Fairy Tales & Fables for 10th grade-adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
$5.95
Aesop's Fables
by Aesop, Isaac Bashevis Singer
from International Collectors Library
for 6th-10th grade
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
Aesop's Fables
by Aesop, illustrated by Arthur Rackham
from Macmillan
Fairy Tales, Fables, and Legends for 1st-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
African Queen
by C. S. Forester
from International Collectors Library
for 9th-Adult
in Clearance: Literature (Location: ZCLE-LIT)
After the Funeral
A Hercule Poirot Mystery #29
by Agatha Christie
2011 Reissue from William Morrow & Company
for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
Again Calls the Owl
by Margaret Craven
from G.P. Putnam's Sons
for 10th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$4.00 (1 in stock)
Age of Innocence
by Edith Wharton
from Charles Scribner's Sons
for 10th-Adult
1921 Pulitzer Prize winner
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
Agnes Grey
Penguin Classics
by Anne Bronte
from Penguin Classics
Realistic Romantic Fiction for 10th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$12.00
Agnes Grey
by Anne Bronte, Illustrated by Edmund Dulac
from SeaWolf Press
Realistic Romantic Fiction for 10th-Adult
in Seawolf Illustrated Classics (Location: FIC-SW)
$7.95
Agony and the Ecstasy
Signet Classics
by Irving Stone
from Doubleday & Company
Biography for 10th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
Aku-Aku
by Thor Heyerdahl
from International Collectors Library
for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
Aku-Aku
by Thor Heyerdahl
from Rand McNally
for 9th-Adult
in Vintage Fiction & Literature (Location: VIN-FIC)
$7.00 (1 in stock)
Alas, Babylon
by Pat Frank
from HarperCollins
Apocalyptic novel for 10th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$15.99
Alchemist
by Paulo Coelho
from HarperCollins
for 10th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$16.99
Alchemist
by Paulo Coelho
from HarperCollins
for 10th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$6.50 (1 in stock)
Alexander of Macedon
International Collectors Library
by Harold Lamb
from International Collectors Library
for 4th-8th grade
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
Alfred the Great
by Asser
from Penguin Classics
Biography for 9th-Adult
in Medieval Literature (Location: LIT2-MED)
$18.00
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
from Sweetwater Press
for 9th-Adult
in Poetry (Location: POET-GEN)
Alice Adams
by Booth Tarkington
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 9th-Adult
1922 Pulitzer Prize winner
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
Alice in Wonderland
by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by John Tenniel
from Blushing Rose Publishing
for 5th-8th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass
Illustrated Junior Library Series 2
by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by John Tenniel
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 5th-8th grade
in Illustrated Junior Library (Location: VIN-IJL)
Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass
Illustrated Junior Library Series 1
by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by John Tenniel
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 5th-8th grade
in Illustrated Junior Library (Location: VIN-IJL)
Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass
Illustrated Junior Library Series 1
by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by Roberta Paflin
from Whitman Publishing Company
for 5th-8th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Penguin Classics
by Lewis Carroll
from Penguin Classics
Fantasy for 5th-8th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$11.00
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Dover Thrift Editions
by Lewis Carroll
from Dover Publications
Fantasy for 5th-8th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$4.00
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
by Lewis Carroll, Illustrated by John Tenniel
from SeaWolf Press
Fantasy for 2nd-7th grade
in Seawolf Illustrated Classics (Location: FIC-SW)
$6.89
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by John Tenniel
from Macmillan
Fantasy for 7th-Adult
in Vintage Fiction & Literature (Location: VIN-FIC)
$18.00 (1 in stock)
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass
by Lewis Carroll
from Modern Library
for 10th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$11.00
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass
by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by John Tenniel
from Nelson Doubleday, Inc.
for 10th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass
by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by John Tenniel
from St. Martin's Press
for 10th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass
Rainbow Classics
by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by John Tenniel
from World Publishing Company
for 4th-10th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass
by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by John Tenniel
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
for 10th-Adult
$10.00 (1 in stock)
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass
by Lewis Carroll
from Bantam Books
for 8th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$3.00 (2 in stock)
All Creatures Great and Small
James Herriot Series Book 1
by James Herriot
from St. Martin's Press
Realistic Fiction for 7th-Adult
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$16.99
All In the Family
International Collectors Library
by Edwin O'Connor
from International Collectors Library
for Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
All My Road Before Me
by C. S. Lewis
Reprint from HarperOne
for 11th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$19.99
All Quiet on the Western Front
by Erich Maria Remarque
from Ballantine Books
War/Realistic Fiction for 10th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$7.99
All the Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr
from Charles Scribner's Sons
for Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
All the President's Men
by Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein
2nd edition from Simon and Schuster
for 10th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
All the World's A Stage
by William Shakespeare
from Fulcrum Group
for 4th-Adult
in Shakespeare Materials (Location: LIR-SHA)
$14.00 (1 in stock)
All Things Bright and Beautiful
James Herriot Series Book 2
by James Herriot
from St. Martin's Press
Realistic Fiction for 7th-12th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$16.99
All Things Wise and Wonderful
James Herriot Series Book 3
by James Herriot
from St. Martin's Press
Realistic Fiction for 7th-Adult
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$17.99
All's Well That Ends Well
Folger Shakespeare Library
by William Shakespeare
from Washington Square Press
for 10th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$4.49
All's Well that Ends Well
by William Shakespeare
from Dover Publications
for 10th grade-adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$3.50
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