This is an updated edition of a classic and much-admired history of English Literature. In it, Peter Conrad offers not an encyclopaedic survey but a personal, chronological interpretation of the 'history' through an emphasis on the continuity of major literary forms and on the ways in which major figures transform the tradition, which in turn is accommodated, reacted against or reinterpreted by later generations. He attempts to characterise the literature as a whole, to suggest something of its Englishness. Above all, he emphasizes that English literature represents the self-image of English people whose testament and inheritance it is.
Peter Conrad is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Fellow of All Souls. He has taught English Literature at Christ Church, Oxford, since 1973. he has lectured widely in America, and contributed articles and reviews to magazines and journals on both sides of the Atlantic. His books include The Victorian Treasure-House, Shandyism and Imagining America.