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English Language and Literature

Resources for undergraduate English Language and Literature courses
A brief chronology of English
55 BC Roman invasion of Britain by Julius Caesar. Local inhabitants speak Celtish
AD 43 Roman invasion and occupation. Beginning of Roman rule of Britain.
436 Roman withdrawal from Britain complete.
449 Settlement of Britain by Germanic invaders begins
450-480 Earliest known Old English inscriptions. Old English
1066 William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, invades and conquers England.
c1150 Earliest surviving manuscripts in Middle English. Middle English
1348 English replaces Latin as the language of instruction in most schools.
1362 English replaces French as the language of law. English is used in Parliament for the first time.
c1388 Chaucer starts writing The Canterbury Tales.
c1400 The Great Vowel Shift begins.
1476 William Caxton establishes the first English printing press. Early Modern English
1564 Shakespeare is born.
1604 Table Alphabeticall, the first English dictionary, is published.
1607 The first permanent English settlement in the New World (Jamestown) is established.
1616 Shakespeare dies.
1623 Shakespeare's First Folio is published
1702 The first daily English-language newspaper, The Daily Courant, is published in London.
1755 Samuel Johnson publishes his English dictionary.
1776 Thomas Jefferson writes the American Declaration of Independence.
1782 Britain abandons its colonies in what is later to become the USA.
1828 Webster publishes his American English dictionary. Late Modern English
1922 The British Broadcasting Corporation is founded.
1928 The Oxford English Dictionary is published.