The term English literature can mean:
Genres of English literature parallel several of the genres of literature in general,and include:
English literature emerged as a recognisable entity only in the medieval period, when the English language itself becamedistinct from the Norman and Anglo-Saxon dialects which preceded it. See also the article Old English poetry . The first great identifiable individual inEnglish literature, the poet Geoffrey Chaucer , wrote the Canterbury Tales , a popular work of the period whichreaders still enjoy today.
Following the introduction of a printing press into the England by William Caxton in 1476 , the Elizabethan era saw a great flourishing of literature, especially in the field of drama . William Shakespeare stands out inthis period as a poet and playwright asyet unsurpassed.
The following two centuries continued a huge outpouring of literary production, including novels, poetry, and drama, all ofwhich forms remain strong in the present-day English literary culture.
Some suggested literary periods:
Early modern (renaissance)
Age of Sensibility
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