British Literature Texts
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
Module 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
. Module 2: Canterbury Tales (selected) by Geoffrey Chaucer
Honors: Piers Plowman by William Langland
. Module 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
. Module 4: King Lear by William Shakespeare
Honors: Hamlet by William Shakespeare
. Module 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)
. Module 6: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Honors: Persuasion or other novel by Jane Austen
OR Middlemarch by George Eliot
. Module 7: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Honors: Oliver Twist OR David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
OR Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
. Module 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
. Module 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)
Additional Suggested Resources
The 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 is a brief, inexpensive resource that can help you learn to evaluate your student's writing.