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Cool Stuff

Writing and Rhetoric | Literary History | General Historical Background | Anglo-Saxon Beginnings | Beowulf | Arthurian Romance and Gawain
| Early Modern (Renaissance) Background
| Metaphysical Poets | Milton

Writing and Rhetoric

CSULA's "A Brief Guide to Online Resources for College Writers"

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Literary History

Luminarium: background and texts

Anthology of Middle English Literature: subpages of Luminarium (be prepared for period music!)

Middle English Lyrics (Luminarium)

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General Historical Background

British Population Animation from Roman Occupation to the Present (BBC animation)

Housesteads Roman Fort Virtual Reality Tour (BBC online)

Interactive History Games (BBC online)

A History of British Architecture (BBC online)

The Cathedrals of Britain (BBC online)

The Bayeux Tapestry a 250 foot long textile history of the Norman Invasion in 1066.

The Middle Ages - an interactive introduction to the culture (Annenberg/CPB Exhibits Collection) (very broad but helpful to the novice)

The Labyrinth—Resources for Medieval Studies (Georgetown University) 

Medieval Women at the Labyrinth (Georgetown University)

Early Christianity

Consult these two Catholic organizations: American Catholic and the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia. Both have information about saints, rituals, history, and more. 

For the Reformation, there's Hanover College's page of links to primary sources

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Anglo-Saxon Beginnings

Viking Women (BBC online)

What Did the Normans Do For Us? (BBC online)

Regia Anglorum: Anglo-Saxon, Viking, Norman and British Living History

The Exeter Book with a photograph of the folio containing "The Wanderer."

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The British Museum's collection of artifacts from Sutton Hoo

"Why Read Beowulf?": An essay on the history of the poem and its manuscript (an MS Word .doc file)

Legends: Beowulf: links to online resources for students of Old English

Course in Old English, including sound files of Readings from Beowulf (Peter S. Baker)

Audio files: Seamus Heaney reads from his translation

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Arthurian Romance and Gawain

Sir Gawain Website (Pace University)

Luminarium: Sir Gawain and The Green Knight 

Gawain in medieval and modern literature and art (UR Camelot Project)

King Arthur: Romancing Politics (Norton Topics Online)

The Camelot Project at the University of Rochester: a fabulous general site for all things Arthurian.

Sir Thomas Malory (Luminarium)

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Chaucer Pages (Harvard)—an excellent resource

"Teach Yourself to Read Chaucer's Middle English" (Harvard University) 

An Electronic Edition of "The General Prologue" of The Canterbury Tales  (Edwin Duncan, Towson University)

Study notes, original illustrations, and bibliography on The General Prologue (Harvard)

Study notes, original illustrations, and bibliography on The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale (Harvard)

Pronunciation Guide for Chaucer (Harvard) 

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Historical Background

The Black Death and Social Change (BBC online)

"Medieval Estates and Orders" on the companion web site to The Norton Anthology of English Literature.

The Reign of Richard II (BBC online)

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Early Modern (Renaissance) Background

Renaissance Image Gallery (Rebecca Bushnell, University of Pennsylvania)—a collection of pictures from the Renaissance.

Poverty in Elizabethan England (BBC online)

The Gunpowder Plot (BBC online)

What If the Gunpowder Plot Had Succeeded? (BBC online)

Elizabeth I: An Overview (BBC online)

Elizabeth's site—A terrific portrait gallery! (

Elizabeth's Spy Network (BBC online)

London: Brighter Lights, Bigger City (BBC online)

Christopher Marlowe

Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593) (Luminarium)

The Magician, the Heretic, and the Playright: Faustus, Marlowe, and the English Stage  (Norton Topics Online)

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Mr. William Shakespeare and the Internet—An excellent site with searchable texts, biography, criticism, and background resources.

Open Source Shakespeare—Shakespeare's complete works along with tools for searching and sorting through it all. 

The Shakespeare Home Page—Several Shakespeare-related links, including frequently asked questions.

Shakespeare's Globe—The official web site of the New Globe, including a virtual tour (under Education and Distance Learning) and information on the rebuilding of the theatre (under Information and Online Reference Library).

Selections from Shakespeare's Sonnets read by Sir John Gielgud.

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Metaphysical Poets

John Donne's love poems read by Academy Award winning actor Richard Burton.

Donne, Holy Sonnets 10 and 14 read by Walter Rufus Eagles.

John Donne (Luminarium)

George Herbert (Luminarium)

Andrew Marvell (Luminarium)

Lady Mary Wroth (Luminarium)

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Paradise Lost Study Guide (summaries, questions and answers, texts, biblical references, and criticism)

Milton-L Home Page (best web resource for research on Milton)

John Milton (Luminarium)

Paradise Lost: Texts and Contexts (Norton Anthology site)

A treasure trove of Paradise Lost illustrations.

Dissent, Doubt, and Spiritual Violence in the Reformation  (Norton)

Tour of Restoration London

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Last Update: 01/12/2016