Stephen Greenblatt (General Editor)Alfred David (Editor)Barbara K. Lewalski (Editor)Lawrence Lipking (Editor), Et Al.

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The Norton Anthology of English Literature, The Major Authors


Trusted Editorial Apparatus

Norton Anthologies set the standard for editorial help that is right for undergraduate readers. The Major Authors Edition demonstrates why this is so. Through the collaboration of new and seasoned editors, all apparatus has been freshly considered—period introductions and headnotes judiciously recast, thousands of annotations and glosses fine-tuned, timelines and bibliographies carefully updated, and appendixes and maps reconceived and rewritten—all with the goal of making these aids to reading and understanding as helpful as possible.

Writers in Depth/Complete Works

The Eighth Edition carries on the editors’ commitment to represent major figures in sufficient depth for students to gain a full appreciation of the writers and their work. Newly included are complete texts of the York Crucifixion play, Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, Haywood’s Fantomina, Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Kipling’s The Man Who Would Be King, and Friel’s Translations. These important additions join Heaney’s award-winning translation of Beowulf, Behn’s Oroonoko, Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, and many others.

Color Plates

Forty-eight pages of beautiful color plates featuring more than seventy works of art provide students with visual counterpoints to the literary works and further expand students’ appreciation of the cultural milieu surrounding the literature. Captions draw attention to important details and cross-references related to literary works in the anthology. In addition to the color plates, black-and-white engravings and illustrations by Hogarth, Blake, and Rossetti provide examples of the hybrid art of the “visual narrative.”

Global Literature in English

Building on the boundary-breaking Seventh Edition, the Eighth Edition reflects the editors’ continued commitment to give full voice to global literature in English. Joining such writers as Heaney, Gordimer, Coetzee, and Rushdie are four new globally diverse writers: Irish playwright Brian Friel, West Indies-born novelist Jean Rhys, and celebrated Canadian authors Alice Munro and Anne Carson.

Reading Chaucer

Designed as a way into the original language of Chaucer’s writings, this pamphlet offers students a modern English translation of all Chaucer selections in the Anthology. The translation, by Larry D. Benson (Professor, Harvard University, emeritus), is interlineated with the Middle English text; a brief introduction to reading Chaucer in the original, by Alfred David and James Simpson, is also included. The pamphlet may be packaged without charge with The Norton Anthology of English Literature upon instructor’s request.