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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282 Items found Print
Active Filters: 8th grade (Ages 13-14)
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Sterling Classics
by Jules Verne
from Sterling Publishing Co.
for 5th-10th grade
in Sterling Classics (Location: FIC-STE)
$14.95
Adventures and Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
by Arthur Conan Conan Doyle
from Penguin Classics
for 7th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$11.90
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
by Mark Twain
from Dover Publications
Realistic Fiction for 7th-10th grade
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$5.10
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
by Mark Twain
from Bantam Books
Realistic Fiction for 7th-10th grade
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$5.06
Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Dover Thrift Editions
by Mark Twain
from Dover Publications
for 6th-10th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$4.25
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)
Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Puffin Classics
by Mark Twain
from Penguin Classics
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$7.65
Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass
Illustrated Junior Library Series 2
by Lewis Carroll
from Grosset & Dunlap
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in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass
Illustrated Junior Library Series 1
by Lewis Carroll
from Grosset & Dunlap
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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Penguin Classics
by Lewis Carroll
from Penguin Classics
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$9.35
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
by Lewis Carroll
from Dover Publications
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All Creatures Great and Small
James Herriot Series Book 1
by James Herriot
from St. Martin's Press
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All Things Bright and Beautiful
by James Herriot
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All Things Bright and Beautiful
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by James Herriot
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All Things Wise and Wonderful
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All Things Wise and Wonderful
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Animal Farm
by George Orwell
from Plume Books
Utopian/Dystopian Literature for 6th-12th grade
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$11.90
Annotated Hobbit
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
Around the World in 80 Days
by Jules Verne
Reprint from Oxford University
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$8.46
Around the World in Eighty Days
by Jules Verne, George M. Towle (Translator)
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$5.06
Around the World in Eighty Days
Sterling Classics
by Jules Verne & Scott McKowen
Unabridged from Sterling Publishing Co.
Adventure for 6th-10th grade
in Sterling Classics (Location: FIC-STE)
$9.95
Ben-Hur
Signet Classics
by Lew Wallace
from Signet Classics
Historical Fiction for 7th-10th grade
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$7.61
Beowulf
by Anonymous (translation by Frederick Rebsamen)
from HarperCollins
Medieval Poetic Epic for 8th-Adult
in Medieval Literature (Location: LIT2-MED)
$8.49
Beowulf
by Anonymous (translation by Seamus Heaney)
from W. W. Norton and Co.
Medieval Poetic Epic for 8th-Adult
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$13.56
Beowulf
Dover Thrift Editions
by Anonymous (translation by R. K. Gordon)
from Dover Publications
Medieval Epic for 8th-Adult
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$2.13
Beowulf
by Anonymous (translation by Douglas Wilson)
from Canon Press
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$11.90
Beowulf the Warrior - MP Curriculum Package
by David M. Wright, Ian Serraillier
from Memoria Press
for 8th-9th grade
in Memoria Press Literature & Poetry (Location: E3C-LIT)
$30.48
Beowulf the Warrior - Student Guide
by David M. Wright
from Memoria Press
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$11.95
Beowulf the Warrior - Teacher Guide
by David M. Wright
2nd edition from Memoria Press
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$11.01
Best-Loved Folktales of the World
by Joanna Cole
from Anchor Books
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$14.00 (1 in stock)
Bilbo's Last Song
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
Black Arrow
by Robert Louis Stevenson
from Signet Classics
Historical Fiction for 7th-10th grade
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$5.91
Black Arrow
Scribner Illustrated Classics
by Robert Louis Stevenson
from Atheneum
Historical Fiction for 7th-10th grade
in Adventure Stories (Location: FIC-ADV)
Black Like Me
by John Howard Griffin & Robert Bonazzi
35th anniversary from Signet Classics
for 8th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$8.49
Book of Lost Tales 2
by J. R. R. Tolkien & Christopher Tolkien
from Houghton Mifflin
Mythology, Faërie for 8th-12th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$15.00 (1 in stock)
Book of Lost Tales 2
by J. R. R. Tolkien & Christopher Tolkien
from Houghton Mifflin
Mythology, Faërie for 8th-12th grade
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$15.00 (1 in stock)
Book of the Dun Cow
by Walter Wangerin Jr.
from HarperCollins
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$14.44
Boy on the Wooden Box
by Leon Leyson
Reprint from Atheneum
for 4th-8th grade
Christopher Award
in Holocaust (Location: G5E-HIS)
$8.49
Bulfinch's Greek and Roman Mythology
by Thomas Bulfinch
from Dover Publications
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$5.10
C. S. Lewis Ultimate Collection
by C. S. Lewis
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Call of the Wild
Dover Thrift Editions
by Jack London
from Dover Publications
Action/Adventure for 7th-10th grade
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$2.55
Canterbury Tales
Penguin Classics
by Geoffrey Chaucer (edited by Nevill Coghill)
from Penguin Classics
Medieval Poetry for 8th-12th grade
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$9.35 $6.00 (1 in stock)
Captain Blood
Penguin Classics
by Rafael Sabatini
from Penguin Classics
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$13.60
Captains Courageous
Signet Classics
by Rudyard Kipling
from Signet Classics
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$3.36
Caribbean Mystery
by Agatha Christie
from William Morrow & Company
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$11.89
Charles Dickens's Life of Our Lord
by Charles Dickens
from Simon and Schuster
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in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$13.60
Children of Hurin
by J. R. R. Tolkien
from Houghton Mifflin
Fantasy for 7th-12th grade
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$23.80
Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens, illustrated by Greg Hildebrandt
Unabridged from Simon and Schuster
Fantasy for 6th-10th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Books
by Charles Dickens
from Everyman's Library
for 8th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$15.30
Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Stories
by Charles Dickens
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for 5th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
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