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The Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Major Authors

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  558 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Beginning with Seamus Heaney's brilliant new translation of Beowulf, and continuing through ten centuries of remarkable literature to the contemporary works of Derek Walcott, J. M. Coetzee, Nadine Gordimer, and Salman Rushdie, the new Major Authors edition is a library between two covers -- an indispensable addition to the family bookshelf.
Paperback, 7th, 2870 pages
Published December 28th 2000 by W.W. Norton & Co Inc. (first published 1962)
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Apr 20, 2014 Todd rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chaucer: Canterbury Tales

How disappointing; I guess I should have paid more attention to the table of contents. It had the Prologue, Retraction, and 4 1/2 of the 22 tales. The book didn't indicate that it was only a selection, leaving me wondering if anything was redacted from the four tales as it stands. It was claimed that spelling was changed to make Chaucer's Middle English more readable; I went with this work over a "translation" to modern English I have on the shelf because Chaucer is a po
Brian O'neal
Mar 21, 2015 Brian O'neal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Had to read it in high school. Times I have re-read it since: 4. Not all of it, mind you, but a pretty large chunk of it. Let's face are not going to get this many authors and works + erudite historical context and literary analysis for less than a tenth of the price anywhere else. As an added bonus, almost any random page is sufficient to remind you that most of our most popular authors are wealthy storytellers who couldn't hope to climb the peaks of literary greatness if a helicopter ...more
This is one of those big, clunky things you find in your parent's castaway bookshelf when you're 15 and, if you're impetuous enough, you start to get deeper and deeper into until you're up over your head in some of the most powerful works ever known to man.

This is one of the treetrunk books of my life- (most) of the branches come out from this root.

The footnotes and explanatory stuff pretty much made everything come alive for me, whetting my appetite for going out and getting my hands on the Ro
Jun 27, 2007 Sachin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Fine selection with great introductions to the periods and the major authors!
Amanda Brass
Nov 28, 2007 Amanda Brass rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any lit lovers
suberb selection of short stories, essays, and poetry.
Alison Whiteman
Feb 25, 2015 Alison Whiteman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I still love to re-read sections of this book.
Jul 28, 2011 Phillip rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Norton editors are to be both commended and lamented. In these kinds of anthologies--English, American, World, etc.--they provide a really handy resource for examining vast amounts of literature. However, they also construct stories, genres, and sets of ideologies that may or may not have ever occurred to the authors at the times. For instance, Blake might not have considered his poetry to have any kinship at all with Keats, Coleridge, Byron, etc. (or vice versa), yet these are all "Romantic ...more
Aug 29, 2015 Jaclyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you love reading and history, this is a perfect way to combine the two. This huge anthology was used in my two Analysis of English Literature courses, and it goes from Beowulf to the works of Rushdie. There's a wide range of genre works, and to be honest this changed my view on the varying types of written media. Not only do you see the evolution of writing, but you get exposed to some of the great masterpieces of English literature in existence. A very good read, even if only to open your ey ...more
Tayler K
Beowulf 9/4-9/7
The Dream of the Rood 9/8
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight 9/10-9/15
Writings of Elizabeth I 9/16-9/17
Shakespearean sonnets 9/16-9/24
Dr. Faustus 9/22-9/24
John Donne, Herrick, Lovelace 9/27-10/1
Phillips, Marvell 9/29-10/3
Paradise Lost 10/3-10/6
Dryden, Wilmot, Behn 10/11-10/13
Swift, Pope 10/13-10/15
Fantomina 11/10-11/12
Blake, Burns 11/12-11/15
Wordsworth 11/15-11/17
Coleridge, Byron 11/17-11/19
Percy Shelley 11/19-11/22
Keats 11/24-11/29
Tennyson, Browning, Arnold, & Rossetti 11/29-12/1
May 27, 2011 Sarah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I've hardly read the whole anthology, only bits and pieces here and there, assigned by teachers. While it's undoubtedly packed with classic works as well as biographies and background stories, it's very difficult to read; the print is extremely small and the pages so thin that you can see the text on the other side of the sheet. Not a recommended read for tired eyes...
Feb 02, 2010 Anne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, own-this
A more constrained (and therefore more limited) collection than the full two volume Norton Anthology of English Literature, this was the second volume Denison asked me to purchase -- rather than selecting Volume 2 of the full anthology, so my bookshelf is forever bereft a copy of "Norton Anthology of English Literature, Fifth Edition, Volume 2". How sad.
Nov 19, 2010 Hannah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did not read the whole thing, of course, but in my spare time I like to read other things that we did not get to in class. I plan on reading the whole thing by the end of next year, but I doubt that that will happen!
This is, by far, the biggest tome I've slogged through from cover to cover. It was great to discover new authors and new works I otherwise might not have had the chance to read. But most of all, now I can say with absolute truthfulness that I have read this in its entirety.
Desiree Rico
Nov 01, 2015 Desiree Rico rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
had to read this for school and although it includes many staples I've read before it introduced me to Chaucer and others I hadn't been introduced to yet.
Sep 29, 2013 Nima rated it it was amazing
What can one say about this book ?!!!!!!
Sep 15, 2008 Loulua rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite textbooks.
Shouvik Hore
Where is Shelley's Alastor and Epipsychidion?
Otherwise, a commendable Volume.
Seventh Edition/Volume I
Fallon Burns
Sep 06, 2016 Fallon Burns rated it it was amazing
This book consistently has been the most useful reference for British and commonwealth literature. Deeply colonial literature obviously. Great for an English major to have access to
Reza Muhamad
for chapter 1,first i want to discuss about literature so...of course this book will help me to do my task.
Tissue paper pages. Heavy as a barbell. Tiny TINY text that you have to squint at. Dry intros to each author. And I thought British lit couldn't get any more boring...
Randy Hulshizer
I still wonder who makes the decisions about who the "major authors" are.
Ginger rated it it was amazing
Jan 20, 2012
Krista rated it liked it
Aug 29, 2016
Suzette rated it really liked it
Feb 28, 2013
Kathy Lonquist
Kathy Lonquist rated it liked it
Sep 12, 2009
Adriee rated it liked it
Dec 31, 2011
Julia Sharp
Julia Sharp rated it it was amazing
Dec 10, 2012
Dandie rated it it was amazing
Oct 19, 2012
Ben rated it liked it
Jan 31, 2010
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Meyer Howard Abrams is an American literary critic, known for works on Romanticism, in particular his book The Mirror and the Lamp. In a powerful contrast, Abrams shows that until the Romantics, literature was usually understood as a mirror, reflecting the real world, in some kind of mimesis; but for the Romantics, writing was more like a lamp: the light of the writer's inner soul spilled out to i ...more
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