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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203 Items found Print
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1421: The Year China Discovered America
by Gavin Menzies
1st edition from William Morrow & Company
for Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$12.00 (1 in stock)
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
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Other Classic Novels
by Jules Verne
from Barnes & Noble
for 9th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$20.00 (1 in stock)
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)
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)
$20.40
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)
All Creatures Great and Small
by James Herriot
from St. Martin's Press
for 10th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$5.00 (1 in stock)
All Things Bright and Beautiful
by James Herriot
from St. Martin's Press
for 8th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$5.00 (3 in stock)
All Things Wise and Wonderful
by James Herriot
from St. Martin's Press
for 8th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$5.00 (2 in stock)
American Poetry
by David S. Shields
from Library of America
for 11th-Adult
in Poetry Anthologies (Location: P6A-POET)
$20.00 (1 in stock)
Annotated Huckleberry Finn
by Mark Twain
from W. W. Norton and Co.
for 9th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$25.00 (1 in stock)
Arabian Nights
by Sir Richard Burton, trans.
from Bracken Books
for 10th-Adult
in Medieval Literature (Location: LIT2-MED)
Arabian Nights
Scribner Illustrated Classics
by Kate Douglas Wiggin and Nora A. Smith, editors, with illustrations by Maxfield Parrish
from Charles Scribner's Sons
Eastern Fairy Tales for 9th-Adult
in Medieval Literature (Location: LIT2-MED)
Arabian Nights
International Collectors Library
from International Collectors Library
for 9th-Adult
in Medieval Literature (Location: LIT2-MED)
Arabian Nights
Scribner Illustrated Classics
by Kate Douglas Wiggin and Nora A. Smith, editors, with illustrations by Maxfield Parrish
from Charles Scribner's Sons
Eastern Fairy Tales for 9th-Adult
in Medieval Literature (Location: LIT2-MED)
$29.99
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
by Lew Wallace
from Harper & Row
for 9th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$7.50 (1 in stock)
Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary
by Anonymous (translation by J. R. R. Tolkien)
from Houghton Mifflin
for 9th-Adult
in Medieval Literature (Location: LIT2-MED)
$23.80
Best Short Stories of O. Henry
by O. Henry
from Modern Library
for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$19.51 $14.00 (1 in stock)
Black Arrow
Scribner Illustrated Classics
by Robert Louis Stevenson
from Atheneum
Historical Fiction for 7th-10th grade
in Adventure Stories (Location: FIC-ADV)
Bleak House
by Charles Dickens
from Everyman's Library
for 10th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$22.50
Body Artist
by Don DeLillo
1st edition from Charles Scribner's Sons
for Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
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)
Bounty Trilogy - Wyeth Edition
by Charles Nordhoff & James Norman Hall
from Little, Brown & Company
for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$15.00 (1 in stock)
Brothers Karamazov
by Fyodor Dostoevsky (translation by Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsky)
12th edition from Farrar, Straus and Giroux
for 11th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
Celebrated Jumping Frog and Other Stories
by Mark Twain
from Reader's Digest
for 9th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
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
Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens, illustrated by Arthur Rackham
from William Heinemann
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
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)
City of God
by St. Augustine (translation by Marcus Dods)
from Modern Library
for 10th-Adult
in Medieval Literature (Location: LIT2-MED)
$22.10
Classic Library: Jane Eyre & Wuthering Heights
from Smithmark Publishers
for 8th-Adult
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
Collected Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe
by Edgar Allan Poe
from Modern Library
for 9th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$21.25
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
Complete Works of Charles Dickens - Partial Set
by Charles Dickens
Centennial from Heron Books
for 9th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$125.00 (1 in stock)
Confessions
by St. Augustine
from Everyman's Library
for 10th-Adult
in Medieval Literature (Location: LIT2-MED)
$18.70
Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
by Mark Twain
from Reader's Digest
Social Satire/Comedy for 9th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$8.00 (2 in stock)
Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
by Mark Twain
from HarperCollins
for 8th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
by Mark Twain
from International Collectors Library
Social Satire/Comedy for 8th-10th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Constitution of the United States of America
by Founding Fathers
from Applewood Books
Primary Source Documents for 9th-Adult
in 18th Century Literature (Location: LIT5-18)
$8.46
Dandelion Wine
by Ray Bradbury
Reprint from Avon Books
for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$16.14
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)
Declaration of Independence with Short Biographies of its Signers
by Thomas Jefferson
from Applewood Books
Primary Source Documents for 9th-Adult
in 18th Century Literature (Location: LIT5-18)
$8.46
Distant Mirror
by Barbara W. Tuchman
from Ballantine Books
for 10th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$17.00
Doctor Zhivago
by Boris Pasternak
from Pantheon Books
for 11th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Dracula
Sterling Classics
by Bram Stoker & Scott McKowen
Unabridged from Sterling Publishing Co.
for 10th-Adult
in Sterling Classics (Location: FIC-STE)
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