This two-volume anthology celebrates four centuries of verse in English, from the Elizabethan era to the present day. The selection begins with the English Renaissance poet Edmund Spenser, and includes a substantial section of extracts from Shakespeare's plays and poetry. The progression from the "metaphysical" school (poets such as Donne and Marvell), the Augustans (Dryden and Pope), the Romantics such as Keats and Wordsworth, the Victorians such as Tennyson and Browning, and the First World War poets such as Sassoon and W.H.Auden, right up to Ted Hughes, Seamus Heaney, and other poets actively writing today, represents a tradition which continues to develop. All the major poets, and many of the less-well know, are featured in John Wain's selection. Volume 1 covers: Spenser, Raleigh, Lyly, Sidney, Greville, Lodge, Peele, Bacon, Daniel, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Donne, Jonson, Dekker, Fletcher, Beaumont, Webster, Herbert, Herrick, Carew, Waller, Milton, Butler, Denham, Cowley, Marvell, Vaughan, Dryden, Sackville, Behn, Rochester, Swift, Congreve, Addison, Tickell, Gay, Pope, Wesley, Johnson, Gray, Collins, Goldsmith, Cowper, Sheridan, Chatterton and Crabbe.
Volume 2 covers: Blake, Burns, Wordsworth, Scott, Southey, Lamb, Landor, Peacock, Byron, Shelley, Clare, Keats, Coleridge, Hood, Macauley, Barrett-Browning, Tennyson, Thackeray, Lear, Browning, Bronte, Clough, Kingsley, Arnold, Meredith, Rossetti, Carroll, Morris, Swinburne, Hardy, Hopkins, Bridges, Stevenson, Wilde, Housman, Kipling, Yeats, Belloc, De La Mare, Chesterton, Masefield, Lawrence, Sassoon, Eliot, Rosenberg, Macdiarmid, Owen, Jones, Graves, Campbell, Smith, Orwell, Betjeman, MacNiece, Auden, Spender, Durrell, Thomas, Larkin, Jennings, Gunn, Hughes, Levi, Stevenson, and Heaney.show more