A Little History of Literature


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John Sutherland

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“An enjoyable account of a lifelong involvement with literature.”—John Vukmirovich, Times Literary Supplement
This “little history” takes on a very big subject: the glorious span of literature from Greek myth to graphic novels, from The Epic of Gilgamesh to Harry Potter. Beloved author, John Sutherland, who has researched, taught, and written on virtually every area of literature, guides both young readers and the adults in their lives on an entertaining journey “through the wardrobe” to show how literature from across the world can transport us and help us to make sense of what it means to be human. Along the way he introduces us to a wide range of works, enlivening his offerings with humor as well as learning—from Beowulf and Shakespeare to T. S. Eliot and George Orwell, and from the rude jests of Anglo-Saxon runes to The Da Vinci Code.
For younger readers, Sutherland offers a proper introduction to literature, promising to interest as much as instruct. For more experienced readers, he promises just the same.

John Sutherland, Lord Northcliffe Professor Emeritus of Modern English Literature, University College London, has taught students at every level and is the author or editor of more than 20 books. He lives in London.

"Written in prose that is clear and free from the diktat of theory and criticism, A Little History of Literature is an enjoyable account of a lifelong involvement with literature."—John Vukmirovich, Times Literary Supplement

‘Sutherland attacks a huge subject with skill, courage and engaging good humour. With infectious enthusiasm, he invites us into an illuminating, diverting, sometimes painful, always delightful world of the imagination. . .A rich ambitious treasury of cultural exploration, this provides insightful and original discussion.’—The Good Book Guide

"A genial, enthusiastic guide leads a jaunt through literary history. . . . [Sutherland’s] aim is not to draw a line between high art and low, but to share his prodigious joy of reading."—Kirkus Reviews

"John Sutherland is among the handful of critics whose every book I must have. He's sharp-eyed and sharp-tongued, with a generous heart and a wise head."—Jay Parini

“A welcome reminder of the role [literature] has played in our lives, and of its indubitable destiny to continue to do so.”—Jon Morris, PopMatters

"This slim book makes for a necessarily cursory review of literature’s greats – and the loving treatment by an expert . . . will please both novices and established readers looking to dip back into well-loved works."—Shelf Awareness

‘Writing a history of such a wide subject as this is an achievement in itself, but to condense it into 266 pages is an accomplishment worth applauding. To do this, and keep the history with an ever flowing, meaningful and understandable text is an outstanding triumph.’
—Bill Spence, Suffolk & Norfolk Life.
ISBN: 9780300205312
Publication Date: September 30, 2014
288 pages, x 8 1/4
40 b/w illus.
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A History of Fiction in 294 Lives

John Sutherland

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