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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65 Items found Print
Active Filters: 6th grade (Ages 11-12)
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 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
Realistic Fiction for 6th-10th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$7.65
Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass
Illustrated Junior Library Series 2
by Lewis Carroll
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 5th-8th grade
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
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)
$9.35
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
by Lewis Carroll
from Dover Publications
Fantasy for 5th-8th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$2.55
Animal Farm
by George Orwell
from Plume Books
Utopian/Dystopian Literature for 6th-12th grade
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$11.90
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
Boy on the Wooden Box
by Leon Leyson
Reprint from Atheneum
for 4th-8th grade
Christopher Award
in Holocaust (Location: G5E-HIS)
$8.49
C. S. Lewis Ultimate Collection
by C. S. Lewis
for 3rd-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
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 Stories
by Charles Dickens
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for 5th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
Circle of Quiet
by Madeleine L'Engle
from HarperOne
for 4th-6th grade
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$5.50 (1 in stock)
Classic Fairy Tales
by Peter Opie & Iona Opie
from Oxford University
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in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$12.00 (1 in stock)
ECL #05: Jungle Book
Educators Classic Library #5
Complete and Unabridged Edition from Classic Press
in Educator's Classic Library (Location: FIC-ECL)
$3.00 (1 in stock)
ECL #06 The Virginian
Educator Classic Library #6
by Owen Wister
Complete and Unabridged Edition from Classic Press
in Adventure Stories (Location: FIC-ADV)
$3.00 (2 in stock)
Fates of the Princes of Dyfed
by Kenneth Morris
from Newcastle Publishing Co
for 5th-8th grade
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Favorite Sherlock Holmes Detective Stories
by Arthur Conan Doyle
Unabridged from Dover Publications
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$1.50 (1 in stock)
Five Great Short Stories
Dover Thrift Editions
by Jack London
from Dover Publications
for 6th-9th Grade
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$2.13
Gift of the Magi
Dover Thrift Editions
by O. Henry
from Dover Publications
for 4th-10th grade
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$2.55
Hawk and the Dove
Hawk and the Dove Series #1
by Penelope Wilcock
3rd Revised edition from Lion Publishing
for 6th-9th grade
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$11.89
Hobbit
by J. R. R. Tolkien
2nd edition from Ballantine Books
Fantasy for 5th-9th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$7.64
Hobbit
by J. R. R. Tolkien
from Houghton Mifflin
Fantasy for 5th-9th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$29.75
Hobbit
by J. R. R. Tolkien
from Houghton Mifflin
Fantasy for 5th-9th grade
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$16.14
Hobbit
by J. R. R. Tolkien
from Houghton Mifflin
Fantasy for 5th-9th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$9.34
Hobbit
by J. R. R. Tolkien
from Houghton Mifflin
Fantasy for 5th-9th grade
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$12.74
Hobbit & Lord of the Rings - Mass-Market Boxed Set
by J. R. R. Tolkien
Mti from Ballantine Books
Fantasy for 4th-12th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$30.57
Hobbit & Lord of the Rings - Softbound Boxed Set
by J. R. R. Tolkien
from Houghton Mifflin
Fantasy for 4th-12th grade
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$49.50
Illustrated Sherlock Holmes
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
from Canterbury Classics
for 5th-8th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$20.00 (1 in stock)
Journey and Ordeal of Cabeza de Vaca
Dover editions
by Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca
from Dover Publications
for 5th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$9.31
Journey to the Center of the Earth
Sterling Classics
by Jules Verne & Scott McKowen
from Sterling Publishing Co.
Science Fiction for 6th-10th grade
in Sterling Classics (Location: FIC-STE)
$8.46
Journey to the Centre of the Earth
Sterling Classics
by Jules Verne
from Sterling Publishing Co.
Science Fiction for 6th-10th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
Jungle Books
Signet Classics
by Rudyard Kipling
from Signet Classics
Animal Stories for 4th-8th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$5.06
Just So Stories
by Rudyard Kipling
from Crescent Books
for 1st-6th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$7.00 (1 in stock)
Kidnapped
Everyman's Library Children's Classics
by Robert Louis Stevenson
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
Action/Adventure for 4th-8th grade
in Adventure Stories (Location: FIC-ADV)
$13.56
Kingdom Far and Clear
Calla Edition
by Mark Helprin
from Dover Publications
for 6th-Adult
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$34.00
Legend of Sleepy Hollow
by Washington Irving
from Philomel Books
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$5.00 (1 in stock)
Letters to Children
by C. S. Lewis
from Charles Scribner's Sons
Autobiographical Letters for 3rd-9th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$13.60
Life of Our Lord
by Charles Dickens
for 5th-9th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$9.00 (1 in stock)
Little Prince
by Antoine De Saint-Exupery
from Harvest House
Fantasy for 3rd-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$10.19
Little Prince
by Antoine De Saint-Exupery
from Scholastic Inc.
Fantasy for 3rd-8th grade
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$3.50 (1 in stock)
Little Prince
by Antoine De Saint-Exupery
from Harvest House
Fantasy for 3rd-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$6.00 (2 in stock)
Long Fall
Hawk and the Dove Series #3
by Penelope Wilcock
3rd Revised edition from Lion Publishing
for 6th-9th grade
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$11.89
Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
Illustrated Junior Library Series 2
by Howard Pyle
from Grosset & Dunlap
Fairy Tales, Fables, and Legends for 5th-8th grade
in Adventure Stories (Location: FIC-ADV)
Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
Illustrated Junior Library Series 3
by Howard Pyle
from Grosset & Dunlap
Fairy Tales, Fables, and Legends for 5th-8th grade
in Adventure Stories (Location: FIC-ADV)
Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
Illustrated Junior Library Series 1
by Howard Pyle
from Grosset & Dunlap
Fairy Tales, Fables, and Legends for 5th-8th grade
in Adventure Stories (Location: FIC-ADV)
Monster Calls
by Patrick Ness
Reprint from Candlewick Press
for 5th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$10.20
One Crazy Summer
by Rita Williams-Garcia
Reprint from Amistad Press
for 4th-7th grade
2011 Newbery Honor Book, National Book Award, Coretta Scott King Award, Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction
in Historical Fiction (Location: FIC-HIF)
$5.94
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