History of English Language and Literature

By Prof. Merin Simi Raj   |   IIT Madras
Learners enrolled: 3889
This course is a chronological survey of the major forces and voices that have contributed to the development of an English literary tradition. It intends to cover the literary ground from the Old English Period till the mid twentieth century focusing on the emergence, evolution and progress of English language and literature through different ages and periods. The course will showcase major literary moments, movements and events in the context of the social, political. religious and economic changes that shaped England and its history from the 5th century BC on wards. The objective of the course is to enable a critical understanding of the intellectual history of England and to equip the learners to analyse literary products within particular socio-historical contexts. 

INTENDED AUDIENCE: Any Interested Learners
PRE-REQUISITES: No formal pre-requisites.However, a familiarity with and an interest in English literary studies would be much appreciated.Industry that will recognize this course.The course is best suited for the academic fraternity.  

Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Core
Duration : 12 weeks
Category :
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
  • English Studies
Credit Points : 3
Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate
Start Date : 25 Jul 2022
End Date : 14 Oct 2022
Enrollment Ends : 08 Aug 2022
Exam Date : 30 Oct 2022 IST

Note: This exam date is subjected to change based on seat availability. You can check final exam date on your hall ticket.

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1: Introduction and Old English Period
Week 2: Middle English Period and Renaissance
Week 3: English Renaissance and Elizabethan Period
Week 4: The Age of Shakespeare
Week 5: The Restoration Age to Enlightenment
Week 6: Augustan Age
Week 7: The Romantic Age
Week 8: The Age of Wordsworth and Romantic poetry
Week 9: The Victorian Age
Week 10: The Rise of the Novel
Week 11: The Age of Modernism
Week 12: The Age of Postmodernism

Books and references

  1. An Outline History of English Literature – William Henry Hudson,The Cambridge
  2. Companion to Old English Literature – ed. Malcolm Godden and Michael Lapidge,
  3. History of English Literature, Fifth edition – Edward Albert,The Oxford
  4. Illustrated History of English Literature – Pat Rogers,
  5. English Social History: A Survey of Six Centuries – Chaucer to Queen Victoria – G M Trevelyan,
  6. An Outline History of the English Language – Frederick T Wood,
  7. The Oxford English Literary History, Vol 12 / 1960-2000 – Randall Stevenson,
  8. A Critical History of English Literature (4 volumes) – David Daiches,
  9. The Routledge History of Literature in English, 2nd edition

Instructor bio

Prof. Merin Simi Raj

IIT Madras
Dr.Merin Simi Raj is an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Humanities and Social Sciences at IIT Madras. She specializes in Postcolonial Writing, Modernity Studies and Historiography Studies. Her teaches History of English Language and Literature, Indian fiction in English, Literary Criticism, World Literature and Feminist Writings.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 30 October 2022 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Madras .It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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