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British Literature Texts

Excellence in Literature English 4: British Literature British Literature Study Guide

In British Literature, students will study nine full-length works of fiction, including prose, poetry, and drama, as well as associated context resources. Students who choose the Honors option will read eighteen full-length works of fiction, including prose, poetry, drama, and more. A brief chapter in the study guide provides instructions for the additional writing that will round out the honors grade.

Each of the British Literature texts below is linked to my preferred edition at Amazon (my criteria for a good edition). The book links are affiliate links, of course — that means I get a few cents from each book purchase, but it doesn’t change your cost at all (full disclosure at the bottom of the page. You can learn more about the entire curriculum at the Excellence in Literature curriculum home page.

British Literature Texts: Recommended Editions

Beowulf, translated by J. R. R. TolkienModule 1: Beowulf: Translation by J. R. R. Tolkien OR translation by Seamus Heaney

Honors: The Dream of the Rood and Caedmon’s Hymn or The Battle of Malden from The First Poems in English

. Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey ChaucerModule 2: Canterbury Tales (selected) by Geoffrey Chaucer

Honors: Piers Plowman by William Langland

. Sir Gawain and the Green KnightModule 3: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight  and The Faerie Queene (Book 1) by Edmund Spenser and “Letters to Raleigh”

(You may choose the J. R. R. Tolkien translation of Sir Gawain if you prefer.)

Honors: Le Morte d’Arthur by Thomas Malory

. King Lear by William ShakespeareModule 4: King Lear by William Shakespeare

Honors: Hamlet by William Shakespeare

. Paradise Lost by John MiltonModule 5: Paradise Lost by John Milton

Honors: Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan (if not read in English I)

OR The Temple by George Herbert (Poetry Collection)

. Pride and Prejudice, one of the British Literature texts for Excellence in Literature English 4Module 6: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Honors: Persuasion or other novel by Jane Austen

OR Middlemarch by George Eliot

. Great Expectations by Charles DickensModule 7: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Honors: Oliver Twist OR David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

OR Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

. Wuthering Heights by Emily BrontëModule 8: Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Honors: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë

OR Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (if you did not read it in English I) OR Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

. To the Lighthouse by Virginia WoolfModule 9: To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

— This edition of To the Lighthouse features an introduction by Eudora Welty, whose short story "A Worn Path" was featured in Level 1 of Excellence in Literature.

Honors: Space Trilogy by C. S. Lewis (1–Out of the Silent Planet, 2–Perelandra, and 3–That Hideous Strength)

Note: All links to Amazon are affiliate links. See full discloser in footer. .

Additional Suggested Resources

Handbook for Writers from Excellence in LiteratureThe Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers  is a reference book that includes instructions on how to construct logical arguments (theses), write essays, and work with grammar, punctuation, and style. 420 pages, paperback.


Evaluate Writing the Easy Way by Janice CampbellEvaluate Writing the Easy Way is a brief, inexpensive resource that can help you learn to evaluate your student's writing.

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