History and Development

A Reader

Prepared and Compiled



[What's New] [Old English] [Middle English] [Renaissance] [Early 17th cent.]
[Late 17th cent.] [Early 18th cent.] [Late 18th cent.] [19th cent.] [20th cent.]

This is a listing of links to electronic texts, for use in Towson University's graduate course in History and Development of Prose Style. All but one of the readings are short excerpts that I have transcribed myself. I make absolutely no claim for their accuracy. It is a work in progress, intended as an ad hoc teaching resource, and prepared in the absence of an adequate published anthology. It is currently supplemented in my course by the Oxford Book of Essays and by library resources. As a result, many obvious selections are not included here, and in general there are fewer selections from later periods that are more adequately covered elsewhere. If you have suggestions or recommendations, please e-mail me at jtinkler@towson.edu.


Note: Class readings for each period are assembled together in packets, and are also listed separately. Separately listed readings that are not (yet) in the packet are marked by an asterisk.

  1. Old English [preformat ASCI]

  2. Middle English

  3. Renaissance: 16th Century

  4. 17th Century--early:

  5. 17th Century--late

  6. 18th Century--early

  7. 18th century--late

  8. 19th century

  9. 20th century