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.

 

Did you find this review helpful?
145 Items found Print
Active Filters: 7th grade (Ages 12-13)
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
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$5.10
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
by Mark Twain
from Bantam Books
Realistic Fiction for 7th-10th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$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
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
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)
$14.44
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)
$14.44
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)
$14.44
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
Annotated Hobbit
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
Around the World in Eighty Days
by Jules Verne, George M. Towle (Translator)
from Bantam Books
for 7th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$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
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$7.61
Beowulf
by Anonymous (translation by Douglas Wilson)
from Canon Press
for 7th-Adult
in Medieval Literature (Location: LIT2-MED)
$11.90
Best-Loved Folktales of the World
by Joanna Cole
from Anchor Books
for 7th-12th grade
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$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
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$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)
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)
Call of the Wild
Dover Thrift Editions
by Jack London
from Dover Publications
Action/Adventure for 7th-10th grade
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$2.55
Captain Blood
Penguin Classics
by Rafael Sabatini
from Penguin Classics
Historical Romance for 7th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$13.60
Captains Courageous
Signet Classics
by Rudyard Kipling
from Signet Classics
Nautical Fiction for 7th-10th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$3.36
Charles Dickens's Life of Our Lord
by Charles Dickens
from Simon and Schuster
for 7th-Adult
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 Stories
by Charles Dickens
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for 5th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
Classic Fairy Tales
by Peter Opie & Iona Opie
from Oxford University
for 6th-10th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$12.00 (1 in stock)
Club of Queer Trades
by G. K. Chesterton
from Wordsworth Classics
for 7th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$5.00 (1 in stock)
Codes of Hammurabi and Moses
by W. W. Davies
from Book Jungle
Primary Source Document for 7th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: MLIT-ANC)
$14.95 $10.00 (1 in stock)
Complete Fairy Tales
Penguin Classics
by George MacDonald
from Penguin Classics
Fairy Tales, Fables, and Folklore for 7th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$14.45
Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm
by Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm
3rd edition from Bantam Books
Fairy Tales, Fables, and Folklore for 7th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$19.55
Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
by Emily Dickinson
from Little, Brown & Company
for 7th-Adult
in Poetry (Location: POETRY)
$18.69
Complete Tales of Uncle Remus
by Joel Chandler Harris
from Houghton Mifflin
Animal Fantasy for 7th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
Complete Tales of Uncle Remus
by Joel Chandler Harris
from Dial Press
Animal Fantasy for 7th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$40.00
Daughter of Time
by Josephine Tey
1st edition from Touchstone
for 7th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$12.75
David Balfour
Scribner Illustrated Classics
by Robert Louis Stevenson
from Charles Scribner's Sons
Action/Adventure for 7th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
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)
ECL #11: Call of the Wild
Educator Classic Library #11
by Jack London
Complete and Unabridged Edition from Classic Press
Action/Adventure for 7th-10th grade
in Educator's Classic Library (Location: FIC-ECL)
$3.00 (1 in stock)
Ender's Game
by Orson Scott Card
from Tor Classic
Science Fiction for 7th-Adult
in Science Fiction (Location: FIC-SCI)
$6.79 $4.50 (1 in stock)
Every Living Thing
by James Herriot
from St. Martin's Press
for 7th-Adult
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$13.59
Falcons of France
by Charles Nordhoff & James Norman Hall
from Husband Press
for 7th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
Farewell Summer
by Ray Bradbury
1st edition from William Morrow & Company
for 7th-12th grade
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$6.79
123