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?
35 Items found Print
Active Filters: Library Binding
Barnaby Rudge
Everyman's Library
by Charles Dickens
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
for 10th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$21.25
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
David Copperfield
Everyman's Library
by Charles Dickens
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
for 10th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$23.38
Dombey & Son
Everyman's Library
by Charles Dickens
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
for 10th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$23.38
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Everyman's Library
by Robert Louis Stevenson
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
for 9th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$16.15
Dracula
Everyman's Library
by Bram Stoker
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
for 10th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$19.55
Emma
Everyman's Library
by Jane Austen
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
Romantic Realistic Fiction for 8th-12th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
Fellowship of the Ring
Lord of the Rings #1: Deluxe Hardcover
by J. R. R. Tolkien
from Houghton Mifflin
Fantasy for 8th-12th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$29.75 $16.00 (1 in stock)
Flannery O'Connor: Collected Works
by Flannery O'Connor
from Library of America
for 11th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$34.00
Great Expectations
Everyman's Library
by Charles Dickens
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
for 10th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$21.25
Hobbit
by J. R. R. Tolkien
from Houghton Mifflin
Fantasy for 5th-9th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$29.75
Iliad
Everyman's Library
by Homer (translation by Robert Fitzgerald)
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
Ancient Literature/Epic Poetry for 9th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: MLIT-ANC)
$19.55
Jane Austen Hardcover Collection
Everyman's Library
by Jane Austen
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
for 8th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$123.20
Jane Eyre
Everyman's Library
by Charlotte Bronte
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
Realistic Romantic Fiction for 9th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$21.25
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
Lord of the Rings - Hardbound Boxed Set
by J. R. R. Tolkien
from Houghton Mifflin
Fantasy for 8th-12th grade
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$55.25
Mansfield Park
Everyman's Library
by Jane Austen
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
Romantic Realistic Fiction for 8th-12th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$22.10
Martin Chuzzlewit
Everyman's Library
by Charles Dickens
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
for 10th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$17.00
Nicholas Nickleby
Everyman's Library
by Charles Dickens
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
for 10th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$22.95
Northanger Abbey
Everyman's Library
by Jane Austen
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
Romantic Realistic Fiction for 8th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$17.00
Odyssey
Everyman's Library
by Homer (translation by Robert Fitzgerald)
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
Ancient Literature/Epic Poetry for 9th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: MLIT-ANC)
$20.40
Of Plymouth Plantation
by William Bradford
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
Historical Non-Fiction for 9th-Adult
in 17th Century Literature (Location: LIT4-17)
$25.50
Oliver Twist
Everyman's Library
by Charles Dickens
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
Historical Fiction for 10th-12th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
Persuasion
Everyman's Library
by Jane Austen
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
Romantic Realistic Fiction for 8th-12th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$17.85
Pilgrim's Progress
by John Bunyan
from John L. Dagg Publishing
for 10th-adult
in 17th Century Literature (Location: LIT4-17)
$34.00
Pride and Prejudice
Everyman's Library
by Jane Austen
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
Romantic Realistic Fiction for 8th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$22.00
Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine
by Mark Twain & Philip Stead
First Edition from Doubleday Book For Young Readers
for 4th-Adult
in Adventure Stories (Location: FIC-ADV)
$15.00 (1 in stock)
Return of the King
Lord of the Rings #3: Deluxe Hardcover
by J. R. R. Tolkien
from Houghton Mifflin
Fantasy for 8th-12th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$29.75
Robinson Crusoe
Everyman's Library Children's Classics
by Daniel Defoe
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
Historical Fiction for 6th-12th grade
in Adventure Stories (Location: FIC-ADV)
$13.56
Sanditon & Other Stories
Everyman's Library
by Jane Austen
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
Romantic Realistic Fiction for 9th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$22.00
Sense and Sensibility
Everyman's Library
by Jane Austen
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
Romantic Realistic Fiction for 9th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
Sense and Sensibility
by Jane Austen
from Palazzo Editions Limited
Romantic Realistic Fiction for 9th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Sterling Classics
by Robert Louis Stevenson & Scott McKowen
from Sterling Publishing Co.
for 7th-10th grade
in Sterling Classics (Location: FIC-STE)
$9.95
Tale of Two Cities
Everyman's Library
by Charles Dickens
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
Victorian Novel for 9th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$19.55
Two Towers
Lord of the Rings #2: Deluxe Hardcover
by J. R. R. Tolkien
from Houghton Mifflin
Fantasy for 8th-12th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$29.75