The Broadview Anthology of British Literature: Concise Volume A – Third Edition
The Medieval Period - The Renaissance and the Early Seventeenth Century - The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century
  • Publication Date: December 13, 2016
  • ISBN: 9781554813124 / 1554813123
  • 1888 pages; 7¾" x 9¼"

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The Broadview Anthology of British Literature: Concise Volume A – Third Edition

The Medieval Period - The Renaissance and the Early Seventeenth Century - The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century

  • Publication Date: December 13, 2016
  • ISBN: 9781554813124 / 1554813123
  • 1888 pages; 7¾" x 9¼"

In all six of its volumes The Broadview Anthology of British Literature presents British literature in a truly distinctive light. Fully grounded in sound literary and historical scholarship, the anthology takes a fresh approach to many canonical authors, and includes a wide selection of work by lesser-known writers. The anthology also provides wide-ranging coverage of the worldwide connections of British literature, and it pays attention throughout to issues of race, gender, class, and sexual orientation. It includes comprehensive introductions to each period, providing in each case an overview of the historical and cultural as well as the literary background. It features accessible and engaging headnotes for all authors, extensive explanatory annotations, and an unparalleled number of illustrations and contextual materials. Innovative, authoritative and comprehensive, The Broadview Anthology of British Literature has established itself as a leader in the field.

The full anthology comprises six bound volumes, together with an extensive website component; the latter has been edited, annotated, and designed according to the same high standards as the bound book component of the anthology, and is accessible by using the passcode obtained with the purchase of one or more of the bound volumes.

The two-volume Broadview Anthology of British Literature, Concise Edition provides an attractive alternative to the full six-volume anthology. Though much more compact, the concise edition nevertheless provides instructors with substantial choice, offering both a strong selection of canonical authors and a sampling of lesser-known works. With an unparalleled number of illustrations and contextual materials, accessible and engaging introductions, and full explanatory annotations, the concise edition of this acclaimed Broadview anthology provides focused yet wide-ranging coverage for British literature survey courses.

Among the works now included for the first time in the concise edition are Chaucer’s The Prioress’s Tale; the York Crucifixion play; more poems from Sidney’s Astrophil and Stella; an expanded section of writings by Elizabeth I, more poems by Lady Mary Wroth, and an expanded selection of work by Margaret Cavendish. The literatures of Ireland, Gaelic Scotland, and Wales are now much better represented, and a selection of work by Laboring Class Poets is now included. There are also new contextual materials—including a substantial section on “Transatlantic Currents.”

In the case of several authors and texts (among them The Four Branches of the Mabinogi, Julian of Norwich, Sir Thomas Malory, and Phillis Wheatley), the new edition will incorporate substantial improvements that have been made in the new editions of the period volumes published in recent years.

As before, the Concise edition includes a substantial website component, providing instructors with a great degree of flexibility. For the first time, a selection of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales will be available online in facing-column format (with versions in modern English included opposite the original text).


Praise for the Broadview Anthology of British Literature, Concise

“I am pleased to say that my students and I really enjoyed using The Broadview Anthology of British Literature, Concise Edition this past fall and spring semesters in my survey of British literature. … The final average of my spring survey class was one of the highest in my teaching career, and I am sure that the Broadview anthology was one of the many reasons for this excellent performance. My students were also excited about the Broadview editions of Frankenstein and Tess of the D’Urbervilles that we used.” — Richard Branyon, Eastern Connecticut University

Comments on The Broadview Anthology of British Literature:

“After twenty years of teaching British literature from the Norton anthologies, I’m ready to switch to the Broadview. The introductions to each period are key to teaching a survey course, and those in the Broadview seem to me to be both more accessible to students and more detailed in their portraits of each era than are those of the Norton. And Broadview’s selection of authors and texts includes everything I like to teach from the Norton, plus a good deal else that’s of real interest.” — Neil R. Davison, Oregon State University

“ … sets a new standard by which all other anthologies of British literature will now have to be measured.” — Graham Hammill, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York

“With the publication of the Broadview Anthology of British Literature, teachers and students in survey and upper-level undergraduate courses have a compelling alternative to the established anthologies by Norton and Longman. … This is a very real intellectual, as well as pedagogical, achievement.” — Nicholas Watson, Harvard University

“ … an excellent anthology. Good selections for my purposes (including some nice surprises), just the right level of annotation, affordable—and a hit with my students. I will definitely use it again.” — Ira Nadel, University of British Columbia

“… I have been using The Broadview Anthology of British Literature for three years now. I love it—and so do my students!” — Martha Stoddard-Holmes, University of California, San Marcos

“Norton’s intros are good; Broadview’s are better, with greater clarity and comprehension, as well as emphasis upon how the language and literature develop, both reacting or responding to and influencing or modifying the cultural, religious/philosophical, political, and socio-economic developments of Britain. The historian and the linguist in me thoroughly enjoyed the flow and word-craftsmanship. If you have not considered the anthology for your courses, I recommend that you do so.” — Robert J. Schmidt, Tarrant County College

For a PDF of the table of contents, click here.

NOTE: The online component of the anthology offers a substantial number of additional readings, edited to the same standards as the bound book. Online readings appear in the hyperlinked sections below; to download these readings, please follow the hyperlinks to the BABL online resources site and log in using your passcode.




  • Errata Slip – on the use of “Anglo-Saxon” (website)
    • History, Narrative, Culture
      Before the Norman Conquest

      • Celts in Medieval Britain and Ireland
        Roman Britain
        Early Anglo-Saxon Britain
        Celtic Culture
        Celtic Christianity
        Later Anglo-Saxon Britain
        Invasion and Unification
    • After the Norman Conquest
      • The Normans and Feudalism
        Henry II and an International Culture
        Wales, Scotland, Ireland: Norman Invasions and Their Aftermath
        The Thirteenth Century
        The English Monarchy
        Cultural Expression in the Fourteenth Century
        Fifteenth-Century Transitions
        Language and Prosody
  • BEDE
    • from Ecclesiastical History of the English People
      • A Description of the Island of Britain and Its Inhabitants
        The Coming of the English to Britain
        The Life and Conversion of Edwin, King of Northumbria; the Faith of
        the East Angles
        Abbess Hild of Whitby; the Miraculous Poet Cædmon
        Cædmon’s Hymn in Old and Modern English
    • The First Satire
      [A Bé Find, in rega lim] Fair Lady, will you go with me
      [Messe ocus Pangur Bán] Me and white Pangur
      [Is acher in gáith innocht] The wind is wild tonight
      [Techt do Róim] Going to Rome?
      The Lament of the Old Woman of Beare
    • The Wanderer
      The Seafarer
      The Wife’s Lament
      The Ruin
    • Riddle 1
      Riddle 2
      Riddle 3
      Riddle 7
      Riddle 14
      Riddle 26
      Riddle 43
      Riddle 44
      Riddle 45
      Riddle 47
      Riddle 85
      Riddle 86
      Riddle 95
    • IN CONTEXT: Background Material
      • Glossary of Proper Names
        The Geatish-Swedish Wars
    • from A History of the Kings of Britain
    • Bisclavret (The Werewolf)
    • Sumer is icumen in
      Foweles in the frith
      Betwene Mersh and Averil
      Stond well, moder, under Rode
      I lovede a child of this cuntree
      I have a gentil cock
      I sing of a maiden
      Adam lay ibounden
      Farewell this world, I take my leve forever
      Bring us in good ale
      Of all creatures women be best
      My lefe is faren in a lond
    • The Great Famine
      • from Anonymous (the “Monk of Malmesbury”), Life of Edward the Second
    • The Hundred Years’ War
      • from Jean Froissart, Chronicles
        from Prince Edward, Letter to the People of London
    • The Black Death
      • from Ralph of Shrewsbury, Letter, 17 August 1348
        from Henry Knighton, Chronicle
    • The Uprising of 1381
      • from Regulations, London (1350)
        from Statute of Laborers (1351)
        from Statute (1363)
        from Jean Froissart, Chronicles, Account of a Sermon by John Ball
        John Ball, Letter to the Common People of Essex, 1381
        from Henry Knighton, Chronicle (additional selections on
    • IN CONTEXT:Illustrations from the Original Manuscript
      IN CONTEXT:The Thorn and the Yogh
    • To Rosemounde
      from The Canterbury Tales

      • The General Prologue
        The Knight’s Tale (
        The Miller’s Prologue and Tale
        The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale
        The Pardoner’s Prologue and Tale
        The Prioress’s Prologue and Tale
        The Nun’s Priest’s Prologue and Tale
        Chaucer’s Retraction
        Complaint of Chaucer to His Purse
    • from The Book of Margery Kempe
      • The Proem
        The Preface
        from Book 1

        • Chapter 1
          Chapter 2
          Chapter 3
          from Chapter 4
          from Chapter 11
          Chapter 50
          Chapter 52
          Chapter 53
          Chapter 54
          Chapter 55
    • Celtic Christianity
      Church and Cathedral
      Religion for All: The Apostle’s Creed, the Pater Noster, and the Hail Mary

      • from Robert Manning of Brunne, Handlyng Synne
        from William of Pagula, Priest’s Eye
        from The Canons of the Fourth Lateran Council
    • Sin, Corruption, and Indulgence
      • from William Langland, Piers Plowman (B-text)
        • from Passus 1
          from Passus 5
          from Passus 7
      • from Thomas Wimbleton, Sermon
    • Lollardy
      • from Account of the Heresy Trial of Margery Baxter
    • The Persecution of the Jews
      • from Thomas of Monmouth, The Life and Miracles of St. William of Norwich
        from Roger Howden, Chronicle
        from The Ordinances of the Jews
        from The Charter of King John to the Jews
        from The Ordinances of Henry III
        Edward I’s Order
    • The York Crucifixion
    • The Second Shepherds’ Play
      IN CONTEXT: Biblical Source Material

      • from Douay-Rheims Bible, Luke 2.8–21


    • Humanism
      Scientific Inquiry
      The Reformation in England
      Wales, Scotland, Ireland
      Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I
      Elizabeth I and Gender
      Homoeroticism and Cross-Dressing
      Economy and Society in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries
      “The Round Earth’s Imagined Corners”
      The Stuarts and the Civil Wars
      Literary Genres
      Literature in Prose and the Development of Print Culture
      The Drama
      The English Language in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries
      (Also available as a stand-alone volume)

    • from Utopia: The Best State of a Commonwealth and the New Island of Utopia
      • from Book 1
        from Book 2

        • Chapter 1
          from Chapter 2: The Cities, and Especially Amaurote
          from Chapter 4: Crafts and Occupations
          from Chapter 5: Their Dealings With One Another
          from Chapter 6: Traveling
          from Chapter 7: Slavery
          from Chapter 8: Warfare
          from Chapter 9: The Religions in Utopia
    • Tyndale’s English Bible, King James Bible, Geneva Bible, Douay-Rheims Bible
      • Genesis: Chapter 1
        Matthew: Chapter 5
    • Sonnets
      • 10 (“The long love that in my thought doth harbour”)
        29 (“The pillar perished is whereto I leant”)
        31 (“Farewell, Love, and all thy laws forever”)
    • Epigrams
      • 38 (“Alas, madam, for stealing of a kiss”)
        48 (“Vulcan begat me; Minerva me taught”)
        60 (“Tagus, farewell, that westward with thy streams”)
    • Ballads
      • 80 (“They flee from me that sometime did me seek”)
        94 (“Blame not my lute, for he must sound”)
    • Songs
      • 109 (“My lute, awake! Perform the last”)
        123 (“Who list his wealth and ease retain”)
    • Epistolary Satires
      • 149 (“Mine own John Poyns, since ye delight to know”)
    • IN CONTEXT: Epistolary Advice
    • Love, that Doth Reign and Live within My Thought
      Set Me Whereas the Sun Doth Parch the Green
      Alas! So All Things Now Do Hold Their Peace
      So Cruel Prison How Could Betide
      Wyatt Resteth Here
      from Certain Books of Virgil’s Aeneis: Book 2
    • The Continental Background
      • Francesco Petrarch
        • from Rime Sparse
          • 134 (“Pace non trovo et non ò da far guerra”)
            134 (“I find no peace and all my war is done”)
            140 (“Amor, che nel penser mio vive et regna”)
            140 (“Love, that doth reign and live within my thought”)
            189 (“Passa la nave mia colma d’oblio”)
            189 (“My galley chargèd with forgetfulness”)
            190 (“Una candida cerva sopra l’erba”)
            190 (“Whoso list to hunt, I know where is a hind”)
      • Gaspara Stampa
        • 132 (“Quando io dimando nel mio pianto Amore”)
          132 (“When in my weeping I inquire of Love”)
      • Joachim Du Bellay
        • from L’Olive augmentée
          • 113 (“Si nostre vie est moins qu’une journée”)
            113 (“If this, our life, be less than but a day”)
        • from Les Regrets
          31 (“Heureux qui, comme Ulysse, a fait un beau voyage”)
          31 (“Blest he who like Ulysses voyaged fair and wide”)
      • Pierre de Ronsard
        • (“Je vouldroy bien richement jaunissant”)
          (“I would in rich and golden coloured rain”)
          (“Quand vous serez bien vielle, au soir à la chandelle”)
          (“When you are very old, by candle’s flame”)
      • Anne Lock
        • from A Meditation of a Penitent Sinner
          • (“Long have I heard, and yet I hear the sounds”)
            (“Look on me, Lord: though trembling I beknowe”)
      • Samuel Daniel
        • from Delia
          • 6 (“Fair is my love, and cruel as she’s fair”)
            28 (“Raising my hopes on hills of high desire”)
            33 (“When men shall find thy flower, thy glory pass”)
      • Michael Drayton
        • from Idea
          • 6 (“How many paltry, foolish, painted things”)
            61 (“Since there’s no help, come let us kiss and part”)
            63 (“Truce, gentle Love, a parley now I crave”)
      • William Shakespeare
        • from Romeo and Juliet (Act 1, Scene 5)
      • Sir John Davies
        • from Gulling Sonnets
          • 3 (“What eagle can behold her sun-bright eye”)
      • John Davies of Hereford
        • from The Scourge of Villany
          • (“If there were, oh! an Hellespont of cream”)
      • Richard Barnfield
        • from Cynthia
          • 14 (“Here, hold this glove (this milk-white cheverel glove)”)
            17 (“Cherry-lipped Adonis in his snowy shape”)
      • George Gascoigne
        • Gascoigne’s Lullaby
      • Anonymous
        • Ode (“Absence, hear thou my protestation”)
    • Ireland and Scotland
      • Gofraidh Fionn Ó Dálaigh
        • from “To Domhnall”
      • Isabel, Countess of Argyll
        • There’s a young man in pursuit of me / Atá fleasgach ar mo thí
          Woe to the one whose sickness is love / Is mairg dá ngalar an grádh
          Woe to the one whose sickness is love (alternative translation)
      • Anonymous
        • Lament for MacGregor of Glenstrae, who was beheaded in 1570
      • Tadhg Dall Ó hUiginn
        • from “The Battle of Drumleene”
          A Satire
      • Geoffrey Keating
        • O Woman Full of Wiles
          Bear with Thee, O Letter, My Blessing
          On the Miseries of Ireland
          from History of Ireland
      • Dáibhí Ó Bruadair
        • Gone Are All the Noble Poets
          After the Death of the Poets
      • Geoffrey O’Donoghue of the Glens
        • This caps all their tricks, this statute from overseas
      • Aodhagán Ó Rathaille
        • The Ruin that Befell the Great Families of Ireland
      • Lady Anne Lindsay
        • Auld Robin Gray
      • IN CONTEXT: English Invasions of Ireland (
        • from Edmund Spenser, A View of The Present State of Ireland
          from Oliver Cromwell, Letter to the English Parliament (17 September 1649)
          from Father Thomas Quinn, Letter to the Vatican (28 August, 1656)
    • Wales
    • from The Faerie Queene
    • Letter to Sir Walter Ralegh on The Faerie Queene
      IN CONTEXT: The Redcrosse Knight (Illustration)
      IN CONTEXT: Christian Armor

      • from Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians, 6.11–17 (Geneva Bible)
        from Desiderius Erasmus, Enchiridion militis Christiani [Handbook of the Christian Soldier]
    • IN CONTEXT: Spirituality and The Faerie Queene
      • Heading to the Song of Solomon (Geneva Bible)
    • from Amoretti
      • 1 (“Happy ye leaves when as those lilly hands”)
        3 (“The soverayne beauty which I doo admyre”)
        6 (“Be nought dismayd that her unmovèd mind”)
        15 (“Ye tradefull Merchants, that with weary toyle”)
        22 (“This holy season fit to fast and pray”)
        26 (“Sweet is the Rose, but growes upon a brere”)
        34 (“Lyke as a ship that through the Ocean wyde”)
        37 (“What guyle is this, that those her golden tresses”)
        54 (“Of this worlds Theatre in which we stay”)
        64 (“Comming to kisse her lyps, (such grace I found)”)
        67 (“Lyke as a hunstman after weary chace”)
        68 (“Most glorious Lord of lyfe that on this day”)
        69 (“The famous warriors of the anticke world”)
        70 (“Fresh spring the herald of loves mighty king”)
        74 (“Most happy letters fram’d by skilfull trade”)
        75 (“One day I wrote her name upon the strand”)
        80 (“After so long a race as I have run”)
        82 (“Joy of my life, full oft for loving you”)
        89 (“Lyke as the Culver on the barèd bough”)
    • Epithalamion (
    • from Astrophil and Stella
      • 1 (“Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show”)
        2 (“Not at first sight, nor with a dribbèd shot”)
        7 (“When Nature made her chief work, Stella’s eyes”)
        18 (“With what sharp checks I in myself am shent”)
        20 (“Fly, fly, my friends, I have my death wound; fly!”)
        21 (“Your words, my friend, (right healthful caustics) blame”)
        22 (“In highest way of heav’n the Sun did ride”)
        23 (“The curious wits seeing dull pensiveness”)
        24 (“Rich fools there be, whose base and filthy heart”)
        25 (“The wisest scholar of the wight most wise”)
        26 (“Though dusty wits dare scorn astrology”)
        27 (“Because I oft in dark abstracted guise”)
        31 (“With how sad steps, Oh Moon, thou climb’st the skies”)
        34 (“Come, let me write. ‘And to what end?’ To ease”)
        39 (“Come, Sleep! O Sleep, the certain knot of peace”)
        41 (“Having this day my horse, my hand, my lance”)
        45 (“Stella oft sees the very face of woe”)
        47 (“What, have I thus betrayed my liberty?”)
        48 (“Soul’s joy, bend not those morning stars from me”)
        49 (“I on my horse, and Love on me doth try”)
        50 (“Stella, the fullness of my thoughts of thee”)
        51 (“Pardon mine ears, both I and they do pray”)
        52 (“A strife is grown between Virtue and Love”)
        53 (“In marital sports I have my cunning tried”)
        54 (“Because I breathe not love to every one”)
        55 (“Muses, I oft invoked your holy aid”)
        61 (“Oft with true sighs, oft with uncallèd tears”)
        69 (“O joy too high for my low style to show!”)
        71 (“Who will in fairest book of Nature know”)
        94 (“Grief find the words, for thou hast made my brain”)
        95 (“Yet Sighs, dear Sighs, indeed true friends you are”)
        96 (“Thought, with good cause thou lik’st so well the Night”)
        97 (“Dian, that fain would cheer her friend the Night”)
        98 (“Ah bed, the field where joy’s peace some do see”)
        99 (“When far-spent night persuades each mortal eye”)
        100 (“Oh tears, no tears, but rain from Beauty’s skies”)
        101 (“Stella is sick, and in that sickbed lies”)
        102 (“Where be those roses gone, which sweetened so our eyes?”)
        103 (“Oh happy Thames, that didst my Stella bear”)
        104 (“Envious wits, what hath been mine offence”)
        105 (“Unhappy sight, and hath she vanished by”)
        106 (“Oh absent presence, Stella is not here”)
        107 (“Stella, since thou so right a princess art”)
        108 (“When Sorrow (using mine own fire’s might)”)
    • from The Defence of Poesy
      IN CONTEXT: The Abuse of Poesy

      • from Plato, The Republic, from Book 2
        from Stephen Gosson, The School of Abuse
    • from The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia (
        from Book 1
    • IN CONTEXT: An Emblem Honoring Sir Philip Sidney (
      • from Geffrey Whitney, A Choice of Emblems
    • Music
      • from Izaak Walton, The Compleat Angler
    • Painting
      • from Nicholas Hilliard, A Treatise Concerning the Art of Limning
        from A Letter to F.P. Verney from the Countess of Sussex
        Oliver Cromwell, Instructions to His Painter, as Reported by George Vertue, Notebooks
    • Games and Pastimes
      • Selected Illustrations
    • Food and Drink
      • from An Anonymous Venetian Official Traveling in England, A Relation, or Rather a True Account, of the Island of England
        from Fynes Moryson, Itinerary
        Selected Illustrations
        from Sarah Longe, Mrs. Sarah Longe Her Receipt Book
        from William Harrison, Chronologie
    • Children and Education
      • Selected Illustrations
    • The Supernatural and the Miraculous
      • from Reginald Scot, The Discovery of Witchcraft
        from George Gifford, A Discourse of the Subtle Practices of Devils by Witches and Sorcerers
        from Joseph Hall, Characters of Virtues and Vices
        from Sir John Harington, “Account of an Audience with King James I,” as recorded in Nugae Antiquae
        Anonymous Broadsheet, “The Form and Shape of a Monstrous Child”
    • Crime
      • Selected Illustation
        from “A True Report of the late Horrible Murder Committed by William Sherwood”
    • Print and Manuscript Culture
      • Selected Illustrations
    • Emblems
      • from Geffrey Whitney, A Choice of Emblems
    • A Vision Upon This Conceit of the Fairy Queen
      Sir Walter Ralegh to His Son
      The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd
      The Lie
      Nature That Washed Her Hands in Milk
      The Author’s Epitaph, Made by Himself
      from The Discovery of the Large, Rich, and Beautiful Empire of Guiana…

      • Part 1, Preface
        from Part 5
    • Letter to His Wife
    • from Essays
      • Of Truth
        Of Marriage and Single Life
        Of Studies (1597)
        Of Studies (1625)
        Of Love
    • Sonnets
      • 1 (“From fairest creatures we desire increase”)
        2 (“When forty winters shall besiege thy brow”)
        12 (“When I do count the clock that tells the time”)
        15 (“When I consider everything that grows”)
        16 (“But wherefore do not you a mightier way”)
        18 (“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”)
        19 (“Devouring time, blunt thou the lion’s paws”)
        20 (“A woman’s face with nature’s own hand painted”)
        23 (“As an unperfect actor on the stage”)
        29 (“When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes”)
        30 (“When to the sessions of sweet silent thought”)
        33 (“Full many a glorious morning have I seen”)
        35 (“No more be grieved at that which thou hast done”)
        36 (“Let me confess that we two must be twain”)
        55 (“Not marble, nor the gilded monuments”)
        60 (“Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore”)
        64 (“When I have seen by time’s fell hand defaced”)
        65 (“Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea”)
        71 (“No longer mourn for me when I am dead”)
        73 (“That time of year thou mayst in me behold”)
        74 (“But be contented when that fell arrest”)
        80 (“O how I faint when I of you do write”)
        87 (“Farewell—thou art too dear for my possessing”)
        93 (“So shall I live supposing thou art true”)
        94 (“They that have power to hurt and will do none”)
        97 (“How like a winter hath my absence been”)
        98 (“From you have I been absent in the spring”)
        105 (“Let not my love be called idolatry”)
        106 (“When in the chronicle of wasted time”)
        109 (“O never say that I was false of heart”)
        110 (“Alas, ’tis true, I have gone here and there”)
        116 (“Let me not to the marriage of true minds”)
        117 (“Accuse me thus: that I have scanted all”)
        127 (“In the old age black was not counted fair”)
        128 (“How oft when thou, my music, music play’st”)
        129 (“Th’expense of spirit in a waste of shame”)
        130 (“My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun”)
        135 (“Whoever hath her wish, thou hast thy Will”)
        136 (“If thy soul check thee that I come so near”)
        138 (“When my love swears that she is made of truth”)
        143 (“Lo, as a careful housewife runs to catch”)
        144 (“Two loves I have, of comfort and despair”)
        146 (“Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth”)
        147 (“My love is as a fever, longing still”)
        153 (“Cupid laid by his brand, and fell asleep”)
        154 (“The little love-god lying once asleep”)
    • Twelfth Night (
      IN CONTEXT: Performance and Sources
      IN CONTEXT: Gender and Sexuality
      IN CONTEXT: Theater and Society
      IN CONTEXT: Music and the Passions
      IN CONTEXT: Dueling
      A Midsummers Night’s Dream (
      The Merchant of Venice (
      IN CONTEXT: Sources and Context
      IN CONTEXT: Jews and Christians
      IN CONTEXT: Revenge
      IN CONTEXT: Commercial Life: Of Venice, Merchants, Usurers, and Debtors
      IN CONTEXT: Friendship and Love between Men
      IN CONTEXT: Women, Family, and Obedience
      King Lear (
      IN CONTEXT: Facsimile Pages
      IN CONTEXT: King Lear: Sources and Analogues
      IN CONTEXT: King Lear: Seventeenth-Century Reception History
    • To the Reader
      To My Book
      On Something that Walks Somewhere
      To William Camden
      On My First Daughter
      To John Donne
      On My First Son
      On Lucy, Countess of Bedford
      Inviting a Friend to Supper
      To Penshurst
      Song: To Celia
      To the Memory of My Beloved, The Author, Mr. William Shakespeare, And What He Hath Left Us
      Ode to Himself
      My Picture Left in Scotland
      To the Immortal Memory and Friendship of That Noble Pair, Sir Lucius Cary and Sir H. Morison
      Karolin’s Song
      Hymn to Cynthia
      Clerimont’s Song
    • from Songs and Sonnets
      • The Good-Morrow
        Song (“Go, and catch a falling star”)
        Woman’s Constancy
        The Sun Rising
        The Canonization
        Song (“Sweetest love, I do not go”)
        Air and Angels
        Break of Day
        The Anniversary
        Twicknam Garden
        A Valediction: of Weeping
        The Flea
        A Nocturnal upon St. Lucy’s Day, Being the Shortest Day
        The Bait
        The Apparition
        A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning
        The Ecstasy
        The Relic
    • from Elegies
      • 1. Jealousy
        8. The Comparison
        19. To His Mistress Going to Bed
    • from Satires
      • 3 (“Kind pity chokes my spleen; brave scorn forbids”)
    • from Verse Letters
      • To Sir Henry Wotton
        An Anatomy of the World: The First Anniversary
    • from Holy Sonnets
      • 2 (“As due by many titles I resign”)
        5 (“I am a little world made cunningly”)
        6 (“This is my play’s last scene, here heavens appoint”)
        7 (“At the round earth’s imagined corners, blow”)
        9 (“If poisonous minerals, and if that tree”)
        10 (“Death be not proud, though some have called thee”)
        13 (“What if this present were the world’s last night?”)
        14 (“Batter my heart, three personed God; for you”)
        18 (“Show me, dear Christ, Thy spouse, so bright and clear”)
        19 (“Oh, to vex me, contraries meet in one”)
    • Good Friday, 1613. Riding Westward
      A Hymn to God the Father
      Hymn to God, My God, in My Sickness
      from Devotions

      • Meditation 17
    • from Pamphilia to Amphilanthus
      • 1 (“When night’s black mantle could most darkness prove”)
        6 (“My pain, still smothered in my grieved breast”)
        7 (“Love leave to urge, thou know’st thou hast the hand”)
        13 (“Dear, famish not what you your self gave food”)
        14 (“Am I thus conquered? have I lost the powers”)
        15 (“Truly poor Night thou welcome art to me”)
        22 (“Like to the Indians, scorched with the sun”)
        23 (“When every one to pleasing pastime hies”)
        35 (“False hope which feeds but to destroy, and spill”)
    • from A Crown of Sonnets Dedicated to Love
      • 77 (“In this strange labyrinth how shall I turn?”)
        78 (“Is to leave all, and take the thread of love”)
        79 (“His flames are joys, his bands true lovers’ might”)
        80 (“And be in his brave court a glorious light”)
        81 (“And burn, yet burning you will love the smart”)
        82 (“He may prophet, and our tutor prove”)
        83 (“How blest be they, then, who his favours prove”)
        84 (“He that shuns love, doth love himself the less”)
        85 (“But where they may return with honour’s grace”)
        86 (“Be from the court of Love, and Reason torn”)
        87 (“Unprofitably pleasing, and unsound”)
        88 (“Be giv’n to him who triumphs in his right”)
        89 (“Free from all fogs, but shining fair, and clear”)
        90 (“Except my heart, which you bestowed before”)
    • Railing Rhymes Returned upon the Author by Mistress Mary Wroth
      IN CONTEXT: The Occasion of “Railing Rhymes”

      • Edward Denny, Baron of Waltham, To Pamphilia from the father-in-law of Seralius
    • from Leviathan; Or the Matter, Form, & Power of a Commonwealth, Ecclesiastical and Civil
      • The Introduction
        Chapter 13: Of the Natural Condition of Mankind as Concerning their Felicity and Misery
    • The Argument of His Book
      Delight in Disorder
      His Farewell to Sack
      Corinna’s Going A-Maying
      To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time
      The Hock-Cart, or Harvest Home
      Upon Julia’s Clothes
    • The Altar
      Easter Wings
      Affliction (1)
      Prayer (1)
      The Temper (1)
      Jordan (1)
      The Windows
      The Pearl
      Jordan (2)
      The Bunch of Grapes
      The Collar
      The Pulley
      The Flower
      Love (3)
    • The Coronet
      A Dialogue between the Soul and Body
      The Nymph Complaining for the Death of Her Fawn
      To His Coy Mistress
      The Picture of Little T.C. in a Prospect of Flowers
      The Mower against Gardens
      Damon the Mower
      The Garden
      An Horatian Ode upon Cromwell’s Return from Ireland
    • A Married State
      Upon the Double Murder of King Charles
      On the Third of September, 1651
      To My Excellent Lucasia, on Our Friendship
      Friendship’s Mystery, To My Dearest Lucasia
      On the Death of My First and Dearest Child, Hector Philips
      Friendship in Emblem, or the Seal, To My Dearest Lucasia
    • L’Allegro
      Il Penseroso

      • 7 (“How soon hath Time the subtle thief of youth”)
        16: To the Lord General Cromwell
        18: On the Late Massacre in Piedmont
        19 (“When I consider how my light is spent”)
        23 (“Methought I saw my late espoused saint”)
    • from Areopagitica: A Speech of Mr. John Milton for the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing, to the Parliament of England
    • from Paradise Lost
      • The Verse
        Argument to Book 1
        Book 1
        Argument to Book 2
        Book 2
        Argument to Book 3
        from Book 3
        Argument to Book 4
        Book 4
        Argument to Book 5
        from Book 5
        Argument to Book 6
        Argument to Book 7
        from Book 7
        Argument to Book 8
        from Book 8
        Argument to Book 9
        Book 9
        Argument to Book 10
        Book 10
        Argument to Book 11
        Argument to Book 12
        from Book 12
    • IN CONTEXT: Illustrating Paradise Lost
      Samson Agonistes ( (Also available as a stand-alone volume)
      IN CONTEXT: The Biblical Version of the Samson Story (


    • Religion, Government, and Party Politics
      Empiricism, Skepticism, and Religious Dissent
      Industry, Commerce, and the Middle Class
      Ethical Dilemmas in a Changing Nation
      Print Culture
      The Novel
      The Development of the English Language
    • The Poetess’s Hasty Resolution
      An Excuse for so Much Writ Upon My Verses
      A World Made by Atoms
      The Four Principal Figured Atoms Make the Four Elements, as Square, Round, Long, and Sharp
      What Atoms Make a Palsy, or Apoplexy
      All Things Are Governed by Atoms
      The Motion of the Blood
      Of Many Worlds in this World
      A World in an Earring
      A Dialogue betwixt the Body and the Mind
      A Dialogue between an Oak, and a Man Cutting Him Down
      A Dialogue betwixt Peace, and War
      Earth’s Complaint
      The Hunting of the Hare
      Nature’s Cook
      A Woman Drest by Age
      Of the Theme of Love
      from The Description of a New World, Called the Blazing World
      from Sociable Letters

      • 55
    • Absalom and Achitophel: A Poem
      Mac Flecknoe
      To the Memory of Mr. Oldham
      A Song for St. Cecilia’s Day
      from An Essay of Dramatic Poesy
    • from The Diary
      IN CONTEXT: Other Accounts of the Great Fire

      • from The London Gazette (3–10 September 1666)
    • The Disappointment
      Oroonoko: or, The Royal Slave. A True History
    • The Country Wife
    • A Satire on Charles II
      A Satire against Reason and Mankind
      Love and Life: A Song
      The Disabled Debauchee
      A Letter from Artemisia in the Town to Chloe in the Country
      The Imperfect Enjoyment
      Impromptu on Charles II
      IN CONTEXT: The Lessons of Rochester’s Life
    • A True Relation of the Apparition of One Mrs. Veal
      from Robinson Crusoe

      • from Chapter 3
        Chapter 4
        Chapter 5
        Chapter 6
    • IN CONTEXT: Illustrating Robinson Crusoe
      from A Journal of the Plague Year
    • from The Spleen: A Pindaric Poem
      The Introduction
      A Letter to Daphnis, April 2, 1685
      To Mr. F., Now Earl of W.
      The Unequal Fetters
      By neer resemblance that Bird betray’d
      A Nocturnal Reverie
    • The Progress of Beauty
      A Description of a City Shower
      Stella’s Birthday, written in the year 1718
      Stella’s Birthday (1727)
      The Lady’s Dressing Room
      Verses on the Death of Dr. Swift
      from Gulliver’s Travels

    • A Modest Proposal
      IN CONTEXT: Sermons and Tracts: Backgrounds to A Modest Proposal

      • from Jonathan Swift, “Causes of the Wretched Condition of Ireland”
        from Jonathan Swift, A Short View of the State of Ireland
    • from An Essay on Criticism (complete text on
      The Rape of the Lock: An Heroi-Comical Poem in Five Cantos
      Elegy to the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady
      Eloisa To Abelard
      from An Essay on Man

      • The Design
        Epistle 1
        Epistle 2
    • An Epistle from Mr. Pope to Dr. Arbuthnot
    • Saturday; The Small Pox
      The Reasons that Induced Dr. S. to Write a Poem Called The Lady’s Dressing Room
      The Lover: A Ballad
      Epistle from Mrs. Y[onge] to Her Husband
      Selected Letters (

      • To Wortley, 28 March 1710
        To Philippa Mundy, 25 September 1711
        To Philippa Mundy, c. 2 November 1711
        To Wortley, c. 26 July 1712
        From Wortley, 13 August 1712
        To Wortley, 15 August 1712
        To Lady Mar, 17 November 1716
        To Lady——, 1 April 1717
        To Lady Mar, 1 April 1717
        To [Sarah Chiswell], 1 April 1717
        To Alexander Pope, September 1718
        To Sir James Steuart, 14 November 1758
    • Fantomina: or, Love in a Maze
      IN CONTEXT: The Eighteenth-Century Sexual Imagination

      • from A Present for a Servant-Maid
        from Venus in the Cloister; or, The Nun in Her Smock
    • from Nahum Tate, The History of King Lear
      • from Act 5
    • from Colley Cibber, An Apology for the Life of Mr. Colley Cibber
      from Jeremy Collier, A Short View of the Immorality and Profaneness of the English Stage

      • Introduction
        from Chapter 1: The Immodesty of the Stage
        from Chapter 4: The Stage-Poets Make Their Principal Persons Vicious and Reward Them at the End of the Play
    • from Joseph Addison, The Spectator No. 18 (21 March 1711)
      from The Licensing Act of 1737
      from The Statute of Anne
      from James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson
      Joseph Addison, The Tatler No. 224 (14 September 1710)
      from Samuel Johnson, The Idler No. 30 (11 November 1758)
      from Clara Reeve, The Progress of Romance
      from James Lackington, Memoirs of the Forty-Five First Years of the Life of James Lackington, Bookseller
      from Thomas Erskine, Speech as Prosecution in the Seditious-Libel Trial of Thomas Williams for Publishing Age of Reason, by Thomas Paine
    • Winter
      Rule, Britannia
    • The Vanity of Human Wishes
      On the Death of Dr. Robert Levett
      from The Rambler

      • No. 4 [On Fiction] (31 March 1750)
        No. 60 [On Biography] (13 October 1750)
        No. 155 [On Becoming Acquainted with Our Real Characters] (10 September 1751)
    • from The Idler
      • No. 31 [On Idleness] (18 November 1758)
        No. 49 [Will Marvel] (24 March 1759)
        No. 81 [On Native Americans]
    • from A Dictionary of the English Language
      • from The Preface
        Selected Entries
    • from The Preface to The Works of William Shakespeare
      from Lives of the English Poets

      • from John Milton
        from Alexander Pope
    • Letters
      • To Mrs. Thrale, 10 July 1780
      • To Mrs. Thrale, 19 June 1783
      • To Mrs. Thrale, 2 July 1784
      • To Mrs. Thrale, 8 July 1784
    • from Jubilate Agno
      • [My Cat Jeoffry]
    • from John Newton, A Slave Trader’s Journal
    • from Quobna Ottobah Cugoano, Thoughts and Sentiments on the Evil and Wicked Traffic of the Slavery and Commerce of the Human Species
    • from Alexander Falconbridge, Account of the Slave Trade on the Coast of Africa
    • William Cowper, “Sweet Meat Has Sour Sauce, or, The Slave-Trader in the Dumps”
    • from William Wilberforce, “Speech to the House of Commons,” 13 May 1789
    • Proponents of Slavery
      • from Reverend Robert Boncher Nicholls, Observations, Occasioned by the Attempts Made in England to Effect the Abolition of the Slave Trade
      • from Anonymous, Thoughts on the Slavery of Negroes, as It Affects the British Colonies in the West Indies: Humbly Submitted to the Consideration of Both Houses of Parliament
      • from Gordon Turnbull, An Apology of Negro Slavery; or, the West India Planters Vindicated from the Charge of Inhumanity
    • John Bicknell and Thomas Day, “The Dying Negro, A Poem”
    • from Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Men
    • Anna Laetitia Barbauld, “Epistle to William Wilberforce, Esq., on the Rejection of the Bill for Abolishing the Slave Trade”
    • William Blake, Images of Slavery
    • from Samuel Taylor Coleridge, On the Slave Trade
    • from William Earle, Obi; or, the History of Three-Fingered Jack
    • Mary Robinson, Poems on Slavery
      • “The African”
      • “The Negro Girl”
    • from Dorothy Wordsworth, The Grasmere Journal
    • from Thomas Clarkson, The History of the Rise, Progress and Accomplishment of the Abolition of the African Slave Trade
    • from Matthew Gregory Lewis, Journal of a West India Proprietor
    • from Elizabeth Heyrick, Immediate, Not Gradual Abolition
    • The Haitian Revolution
      • from Baron de Wimpffen, A Voyage to Saint Domingo, in the Years 1788, 1789, and 1790
        • from Letter 12, May 1789
        • from Letter 23, March 1790
      • from “Insurrection at St. Domingo: No. 1: Remarks on the Resolutions of the West-India Merchants and Planters, at the London Tavern, Nov. 3, and 8, 1791,” Star and Evening Advertiser (18 November 1791)
      • William Wordsworth, “To Toussaint L’Ouverture”
      • from Jean-Jacques Dessalines, “Liberty or Death. Proclamation. Jean-Jacques Dessalines, Governor General, to the People of Hayti”
    • Stephen Duck
      • The Thresher’s Labour
    • Mary Collier
      • The Woman’s Labour: To Mr. Stephen Duck
    • Mary Leapor
      • An Epistle to a Lady
        To a Gentleman with a Manuscript Play
        Crumble Hall
    • Elizabeth Hand
      • On the Supposition of an Advertisement Appearing in a Morning Paper, of the Publication of a Volume of Poems, by a Servant Maid
    • Robert Bloomfield
      • The Farmer’s Boy


Reading Poetry


Monarchs and Prime Ministers

Glossary of Terms

British Money (

Texts and Contexts: Chronological Chart (

Bibliography (

Permissions Acknowledgments

Index of First Lines

Index of Authors and Titles

Our Editorial Team:

Joseph Black, University of Massachusetts
Leonard Conolly, Trent University
Kate Flint, University of Southern California
Isobel Grundy, University of Alberta
Wendy Lee, New York University
Don LePan, Broadview Press
Roy Liuzza, University of Tennessee
Jerome J. McGann, University of Virginia
Anne Lake Prescott, Barnard College
Barry V. Qualls, Rutgers University
Jason Rudy, University of Maryland
Claire Waters, University of California, Davis

The Broadview Anthology of British Literature companion sites include content for both instructors and students.

The Online Resources Site for both students and instructors features close to 200 interactive review questions; over 500 online readings across all volumes of the anthology, with 42 additional readings specific to this volume; details on British currency; chronological charts; bibliographies; an audio library with 37 samples ranging from Old English to the early 20th Century; and more. An access code to the website is included with all new copies. If you purchased a used copy or are missing your passcode for this site, please click here to purchase a code online.

Please note that the website component of the anthology is currently being revised to remove the term “Anglo-Saxon” from our editorial apparatus—a change made in response to recent scholarly work that has drawn attention to the term’s historical and current usage by white supremacists. While the bound book revision for the Medieval volume is complete, the website revision is ongoing and should be completed by fall 2023.

A separate instructor site features background material, over 200 discussion questions, and “Approaches to Teaching” for key works and authors in the anthology; it also offers a list of anthology contents by theme and region. An access code to the website is included with all examination copies.

Sample introductions and readings from The Broadview Anthology of British Literature Concise Volume A 3e (opens as PDFs):
Elizabeth I
Margaret Cavendish


Add any standalone edition to a package containing one or more of our anthology volumes for free! A second edition may be added for only $10. To view a complete list of available editions, take a look through our full editions chronology.

Multiple volumes of The Broadview Anthology of British Literature can also be packaged together:

  • Package of any TWO of Volumes 1-6: $90.95
  • Package of any THREE of Volumes 1-6: $101.95
  • Package of Concise Volumes A and B: $110.95

To obtain a package ISBN, or to inquire about other discounted package options, please contact your Broadview representative or Further discounts may be available for large courses.


Broadview is happy to create a custom text including only your selected readings, from this and/or any of our other anthologies and editions (with the exception of copyright-protected readings that are controlled by rights holders other than Broadview Press). We offer an easy and intuitive Custom Text Builder, and you can also contact our Custom Text Administrator.

Features of The Broadview Anthology of British Literature

  • • Unrivalled flexibility
  • • Superb, comprehensive introductions
  • • Extraordinarily wide range of authors included
  • • Close attention paid to issues of race, gender, class, and sexual orientation
  • • Substantial coverage of the worldwide connections of British literature
  • • More extensive—and more helpful—annotations than in competing anthologies
  • • Extensively illustrated throughout
  • • Fuller range of contextual materials than any competing anthology
  • • Substantial online resources
    • • An instructor’s guide that features background material, discussion questions, and “Approaches to Teaching” for key works and authors in the anthology
    • • A companion website for students that includes a wide range of additional selections (as well as an audio library, review questions, chronological charts, and more)
  • • Can be packaged with any of Broadview’s standalone editions; one edition can be included for free with the anthology, a second can be added for $10
  • • Can be customized for courses requiring fewer or differently-arranged readings

Features of Concise Volume A

  • • Contextual materials for key individual works and authors throughout
  • • Medieval Period:
    • • Roy Liuzza’s translations of Old English works
    • • Complete texts of Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (in facing-column translation), The York Crucifixion, The Second Shepherds’ Play, and Everyman
    • • “Contexts” sections on “The Crises of the Fourteenth Century” and “Religious and Spiritual Life”
    • • Online texts include Sir Orfeo, and selections by John Gower and Hrosvitha of Ganersheim
  • • Renaissance and Early Seventeenth Century:
    • • Extensive section on the Elizabethan Sonnet and Lyric
    • • Stand-alone section of Irish, Gaelic Scottish, and Welsh literature
    • • Complete text of Dr. Faustus
    • • “Contexts” section on “Culture: A Portfolio”
    • • Online texts include Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, The Merchant of Venice, and King Lear; as well as Samson Agonistes and selections by Sir Thomas More
  • • Restoration and Eighteenth Century:
    • • Complete texts of Oroonoko, The Country Wife, and Fantomina
    • • Parts 1, 2 and 4 of Gulliver’s Travels (with Part 3 online)
    • • “Contexts” sections on “Print Culture, Stage Culture,” “Early Eighteenth-Century Periodicals,” “Transatlantic Currents”
    • • Online texts include An Essay on Criticism (selections from which are in the print volume) and a “Contexts” section on “The Abolition of Slavery”

Features New to the Third Edition

  • • Among the works now included are Chaucer’s The Prioress’s Tale; Everyman; the York Crucifixion play; more poems from Sidney’s Astrophil and Stella; an expanded section of writings by Elizabeth I; more poems by Lady Mary Wroth; a selection of work by Margaret Cavendish; and poetry by Phillis Wheatley
  • • Literatures of Ireland, Gaelic Scotland, and Wales are generously represented
  • • Selection of work by Laboring-Class Poets now included online
  • • New “Contexts” sections on “Early Eighteenth-Century Periodicals” and “Transatlantic Currents”
  • • In the case of several authors and texts (among them The Four Branches of the Mabinogi, Julian of Norwich, Sir Thomas Malory, and Phillis Wheatley), the new edition incorporates improvements from new editions of recently-published period volumes

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