History of English

This module contains cover illustrations for a variety of books relevant to the themes dealt with on this website.
For the full references, please consult the Reference Guide

Note that in some cases I had an earlier edition of a book at my disposal so that there may be a slight discrepancy
between the cover image and the reference given below it.

History of English

History of English


Barber, Charles 1993. The English language. A historical introduction. Cambridge: University Press.

Baugh, Albert C., and Thomas Cable. 2002. A history of the English language. Fifth edition. London: Routledge.

Bolton, W. F. 1966. The English language. Essays by English and American men of letters 1490-1839. Cambridge: University Press.

Bolton, W. F. and David Crystal (eds) 1987. The English language. London: Sphere Books.

Bolton, W. F. and David Crystal 1969. The English language. Esys by English and American men of letters 1858-1964. Cambridge: University Press.

Bourcier, Georges 1981. An introduction to the history of the English language. Trans. and adapted by C. Clark. Cheltenham: Thornes.

Bragg, Melvyn 2003. The Adventure of English. The Biography of a Language. London: Hodder and Stoughton.

Burnley, David 2000. The history of the English language. A sourcebook. 2nd edition. London: Longman.

Cable, Thomas 2002. A Companion to Baugh and Cable’s A History of the English Language. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Crystal, David 2007. By Hook or by Crook: A Journey in Search of English. London: HarperPress.

Culpeper, Jonathan 2005. History of English. 2nd edition. London: Routledge.

Dossena, Marina and Roger Lass (eds) 2004. Methods and Data in English Historical Dialectology. Frankfurt: Peter Lang.

Fennell, Barbara. 2001. A history of English. A sociolinguistic approach. Oxford: Blackwell.

Fisiak, Jacek (ed.) 1988. Historical dialectology. Berlin: Mouton-de Gruyter.

Fisiak, Jacek and Marcin Krygier (eds) 1998. Advances in English Historical Linguistics. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Freeborn, Dennis 2006. From Old English to Standard English. 3rd edition. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Gelderen, Elly van 2006. A history of the English language. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Görlach, Manfred 1999. Aspects of the History of English. Heidelberg: Winter.

Katja Lenz and Ruth Möhlig (eds) 2002. Of dyuersitie & chaunge of langage. Essays presented to for Manfred Görlach on the occasion of his 65th birthday. Heidelberg: Winter.

Graddol, David, Joan Swann and Dick Leith. 1996. English. History, diversity and change. London: Routledge.

Hogg, Richard M. and David Denison (ed.) 2006. A history of the English language. Cambridge: University Press.

The Cambridge History of the English Language, general editor: Richard M. Hogg. (here: Volume II, edited by Norman Blake) Cambridge: University Press.

Hussey, Stanley 1995. The English language. Structure and development. London: Longman.

Jespersen, Otto 1972. Growth and structure of the English language. 9th edition. Oxford: Blackwell.

Jucker, Andreas 2004. History of English and English historical linguistics. Stuttgart: Klett.

Jucker, Andreas, Gerd Fritz and Franz Lebsanft (eds) 1999. Historical Dialogue Analysis. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Jucker, Andreas H. and Irma Taavitsainen (eds) 2008. Speech Acts in the History of English. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Kemenade, Ans van and Bettelou Los (eds) 2006. The handbook of the history of English. Oxford: Blackwell.

Knowles, Gerald O. 1997. A cultural history of the English language. London: Edward Arnold.

Lass, Roger 1987. The shape of English. Structure and history. London: Dent.

Leisi, Ernst and Christian Mair 1999. Das heutige Englisch: Wesenzüge und Probleme. Revised 8th edition. Heidelberg: Winter.

Leith, Dick 1997. A social history of English. 2nd edition. London: Routledge.

Machan, Tim William and Charles T. Scott (eds) 1992. English in its social contexts. Oxford: University Press.

McCrum, Robert, William Cran and Robert MacNeil 2002. The story of English. London: Faber and Faber.

Mugglestone, Lynda (ed.) 2006. The Oxford History of English. Oxford: University Press.

Pyles, Thomas and John Algeo 2004. The origins and development of the English language. Fifth edition. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

Quirk, Randolph 1974. The Linguist and the English Language. London: Edward Arnold.

Samuels, Michael L. 1972. Linguistic evolution with special reference to English. Cambridge: University Press.

Scragg, D. G. 1974. A history of English spelling. Manchester: University Press.

Smith, Jeremy 1996. An historical study of English. London: Routledge.

Strang, Barbara 1970. A history of English. London: Methuen.

Taavitsainen, Irma and Päivi Pahta (eds) 2004. Medical and Scientific Writing in Late Medieval English. Cambridge: University Press.

Tieken Boon van Ostade, Ingrid, Gunnel Tottie and Wim van der Wurff (eds.) 1998. Negation in the History of English. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Trask, Robert L. 2001. Mind the Gaffe. The Penguin Guide to Common Errors in English. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

Traugott, Elizabeth 1972. A history of English syntax. A transformational approach to the history of English sentence structure. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

Wakelin, Martyn 1989. The Archaeology of English. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

Weekley, Ernest 1970 [1952]. The English Language. London: André Deutsch.

Watts, Duncan 2006. British Government and Politics: A Comparative Guide. Edinburgh: University Press.

General background

Ball, Martin J. and James Fife (ed.) 1993. The Celtic languages. London: Routledge.

Boyer, Paul S. 2001. Oxford Companion to United States History. Oxford: University Press.

Ayto, John and Ian Crofton 2005. Brewer’s Britain and Ireland. The History, Culture, Folklore and Etymology of 7,500 Places in These Islands. London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson.

Brogan, Hugh 2001. Penguin History of the USA. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

Cannon, John 1997. The Oxford Companion to British History. Oxford: University Press.

Connolly, Sean 2002 [1998]. The Oxford Companion to Irish History. Second edition. Oxford: University Press.

Davison, Graeme, John Hirst and Stuart MacIntyre 2001. Oxford Companion to Australian History. Oxford: University Press.

Fox, Anthony 1995. Linguistic Reconstruction. An Introduction to Theory and Methods. Oxford: University Press.

Gardiner, Juliet and Neil Wenborn The History Today Companion to British History. London: Collins and Brown.

Görlach, Manfred 2003. Einführung in die englische Sprachgeschichte. 5th edition. Heidelberg: Winter.

Hallowell, Gerald 2005. Oxford Companion to Canadian History. Oxford: University Press.

Buck, Carl Darling 1949. A dictionary of selected synonyms in the principal Indo-European languages. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Jackson, Kenneth 1953. Language and history in early Britain. Edinburgh: University Press. See Gillies.

Gilbert, Martin 2007. Routledge Atlas of British History. Fourth edition. London: Routledge.

Sinclair, Keith 1998. Oxford History of New Zealand. Oxford: University Press.

Welsh, Frank 2000. History of South Africa. NewYork: HarperCollins.


Baldi, Philip 1983. An Introduction to the Indo-European Languages. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University.

Beekes, Robert 1995. Comparative Indo-European Linguistics. An Introduction. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Clackson, James 2007. Indo-European Linguistics. An Introduction. Cambridge: University Press.

Fortson, Benjamin W. 2004. Indo-European language and culture. An introduction. Oxford: Blackwell.

Lehmann, Winfred 1996. Theoretical Bases of Indo-European Linguistics. London: Routledge.

Mallory, J. P. 1991. In Search of the Indo-Europeans: Language, Archaeology, and Myth. London: Thames and Hudson.

Mallory, J. P. and D. Q. Adams 2006. The Oxford Introduction to Proto-Indo-European and the Proto-Indo-European World. Oxford: University Press.

Ramat, Anna Giacolone and Paolo Ramat (eds) 1997. The Indo-European languages. London: Routledge.

Salmons, Joseph and Brian D. Joseph (eds) 1998. Nostratic. Sifting the Evidence. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Watkins, Calvert 2000. The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots. Second edition. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.

Germanic languages

Gordon, E. V. 1957 [1927.]. An Introduction to Old Norse. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Harbert, Wayne 2006. The Germanic Languages. Cambridge: University Press.

König, Ekkehard and Johan van der Auwera (eds) 2002. The Germanic Languages. New edition. London: Routledge.

Markey, Thomas 1976. A North Sea Germanic reader. München: Fink.

Robinson, Orrin W. 1992. Old English and its closest relatives. A survey of the earliest Germanic languages. Stanford, CA: University Press.


Bauer, Laurie and Peter Trudgill (eds) 1998. Language Myths. New York: Penguin.

Bex, Tony and Richard J. Watts (eds) 1999. Standard English. The widening debate. London: Routledge.

Blake, Norman F. 1981. Non-standard Language in English Literature. London: André Deutsch.

Deumert, Ana and Wim Vandenbussche 2003. Germanic Standardizations. Past to Present. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Lippi-Green, Rosina 1997. English with an accent: Language, ideology, and discrimination in the United States. London: Routledge.

Macaulay, Ronald K. 1997. Standards and variation in urban speech. Examples from Lowland Scots. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Milroy, James and Lesley Milroy 1998. Authority in language. Investigating language standardisation and prescription. 3rd edition. London: Routledge.

Pennycook, Alastair 1998. English and the discourses of colonialism. London: Routledge.

Watts, Richard and Peter Trudgill 2002. Alternative Histories of English. London: Routledge.

Wright, Laura (ed.) 2000. The development of Standard English 1300-1800. Theories, descriptions, conflicts. Cambridge: University Press.


Alexander, Michael 2007. A History of English Literature. Second edition. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Benson, Eugene and William Toye 1997. Oxford Companion to Canadian Literature. Second edition. Oxford: University Press.

Roston, Murray 1982. Sixteenth-Century English Literature. Macmillan History of English Literature. London: Macmillan.

King, Bruce 1982. Seventeenth Century English Literature. Macmillan History of English Literature. London: Macmillan.

Novak, Maximilian 1983. Eighteenth-Century English Literature. Macmillan History of English Literature. London: Macmillan.

Stonyk, Margaret 1983. Nineteenth-Century English Literature. Macmillan History of English Literature. London: Macmillan.

Blamires, Harry 1986. Twentieth-Century English Literature. Macmillan History of English Literature. Second edition. London: Macmillan.

Davies, Marion 1998. Bloomsbury Guide to English Literature. London: Bloomsbury Publishing.

Bolton, W. F. 1972. A short history of literary English. London: Edward Arnold.

Bradbury, Malcolm 1996. The Atlas of Literature. London: De Agostini Editions.

Bradford, Richard 1996. Introducing Literary Studies. Hemel Hempstead: Prentice Hall.

Brewer, Derek 1983. English Gothic Literature. Macmillan History of English Literature. London: Macmillan.

Burdorf, Dieter et al. 2007. Metzler Lexikon Literatur. Stuttgart: Metzler.

Carter, Ronald and John McRae 2001. The Routledge History of Literature in English. Britain and Ireland. Second edition. London: Routledge.

Drabble, Margaret (ed.) 2000. The Oxford companion to English literature. 6th edition. Oxford: University Press.

Drabble, Margaret and Jenny Stringer (eds) 1987. The concise Oxford companion to English literature. Oxford: University Press.

Eagle, Dorothy and Hilary Carnell 1981. The Oxford Illustrated Literary Guide to Great Britain and Ireland. Oxford: University Press.

Fabb, Nigel 1997. Linguistics and Literature. Oxford: Blackwell.

Gross, John (ed.) 1998. The New Oxford Book of English Prose. Oxford: University Press.

Hart, James D. 1983. The Oxford Companion to American Literuture. Fifth edition. Oxford: University Press.

Heywood, Christopher 2004. A History of South African Literature. Cambridge: University Press.

Kövecses, Zoltán 2006. Metaphor in Culture. Universality and Variation. Cambridge: University Press.

Jeffares, A. Norman 1982. Anglo-Irish Literature. Macmillan History of English Literature. London: Macmillan, Dublin: Gill and Macmillan.

New, W. H. 2003. History of Canadian Literature. Second edition. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Nünning, Ansgar 2001. Metzler Lexikon Literatur- und Kulturtheorie. Stuttgart: Metzler.

Ousby, Ian (ed.) 1989. The Cambridge guide to literature in English. Cambridge: University Press.

Robinson, Roger and Nelson Wattie 1999. Oxford Companion to New Zealand Literature. Oxford: University Press.

Sanders, Andrew 2004. The Oxford History English Literature. Third edition. Oxford: University Press.

Sanger, Keith 1998. The Language of Fiction. London: Routledge.

Toolan, Michael 1998. Language in Literature. An introduction to stylistics. London: Edward Arnold.

Wilde, William H., Joy Hooton and Barry Andrews (eds.) 1995. Oxford Companion to Australian Literature. Oxford: University Press.

Welch, Robert (ed.) 1996. Oxford Companion to Irish Literature. Oxford: University Press.

Cultural Studies

Ashcroft, Bill, Gareth Griffiths, Helen Tiffin 2001. Post-colonial Colonial Studies. The Key Concepts. Second edition. London: Routledge.

Ashcroft, Bill, Gareth Griffiths, Helen Tiffin 2005. The Post-colonial Studies Reader. Revised edition. London: Routledge.

Baldwin, Elaine, Brian Longhurst, Greg Smith, Scott McCracken and Miles Ogborn 2003. Introducing Cultural Studies. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall.

Barker, Christ 2003. Cultural Studies: Theory and Practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

During, Simon 1999. The Cultural Studies Reader. Second edition. London: Routledge.

Edgar, Andrew and Peter Sedgwick 1999. Key Concepts in Cultural Theory. London: Routledge.

Gray, Ann 2002. Research Practice for Cultural Studies: Ethnographic Methods and Lived Cultures. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Lewis, Jeff 2002. Cultural Studies – The Basics. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

O’Sullivan, Tom, John Hartley, Danny Saunders, Martin Montgomery, John Fiske 1994. Key Concepts in Communication and Cultural Studies. London: Routledge.

Said, Edward W. 2007 [1993]. Culture and Imperialism. New York: Vintage Books.

Said, Edward W. 2005 [1978]. Orientalism: Western Conceptions of the Orient. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

Walton, David 2007. Introducing Cultural Studies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications

Periods in the History of English


Alexander, Michael 1973. Beowulf. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

Alexander, Michael 1983. Old English Literature. Macmillan History of English Literature. London: Macmillan.

Atherton, Mark 2006. Teach Yourself Old English. Columbus, OH: McGraw-Hill.

Baker, Peter S. 2003. Introduction to Old English. Oxford: Blackwell.

Barney, Stephen A. Word-Hoard: An Introduction to Old English Vocabulary. Second edition. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Bede, The Venerable 1979 [1955] A History of the English Church and People. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

Bradley, S. A. J. 1982. Anglo-Saxon poetry. London: Dent.

Campbell, James (ed.) 1991. The Anglo-Saxons. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

Campbell, Alastair 1959. Old English grammar. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Clark Hall, John Richard 1984. A concise Anglo-Saxon dictionary. Supplement by Herbert Dean Meritt. Fourth edition. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Crossley-Holland, Kevin and Bruce Mitchell 1967. The Battle of Maldon and other Old English poems. London: Macmillan.

Diamond, R. E. 1970. Old English grammar and reader. Detroit: Wayne State University Press.

Fowler, Roger 1973. Old English prose and verse. A selection. 2nd edition. London: Routledge.

Garmonsway, G. N. 1975. The Anglo-Saxon chronicle. London: Dent.

Garmonsway, G. N., Jacqueline Simpson and Hilda Ellis Davidson 1980. Beowulf and Its Analogues. London: Dent.

Godden, Malcolm and Michael Lapidge (eds) 1991. The Cambridge companion to Old English literature. Cambridge: University Press.

Grose, M. W. and D. McKenna 1973. Old English Literature. London: Evans Brothers.

Hamer, Richard 1970. A choice of Anglo-Saxon verse. London: Faber.

Heaney, Seamus 2000. Beowulf. A New Translation New edition. Faber and Faber.

Hogg, Richard 2002. An introduction to Old English. Oxford: University Press.

Holthausen, Friedrich 1974. Altenglisches etymologisches Wörterbuch [Old English etymological dictionary]. 3rd edition. Heidelberg: Winter.

Hough, Carole and John Corbett 2006. Beginning Old English. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Lapidge, Michael et al. 2000. The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Anglo-Saxon England. Oxford: Blackwell.

Lass, Roger 1994. Old English. A historical linguistic companion. Cambridge: University Press.

Lass, Roger and John Anderson 1975. Old English phonology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Mitchell, Bruce and Fred Robinson 1998. Beowulf. An edition. Oxford: Blackwell.

Mitchell, Bruce and Fred C. Robinson 2006. A guide to Old English. 7th edition. Oxford: Blackwell.

Mitchell, Bruce 1995. An invitation to Old English and Anglo-Saxon England. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

Quirk, Randolph, Valerie Adams and Derek Davy 1975. Old English literature. A practical introduction. London: Edward Arnold.

Quirk, Randolph and C. L. Wrenn 1955. An Old English grammar. London: Methuen.

Sisam, Kenneth 1965. The Structure of Beowulf. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Whitelock, Dorothy 1979 [1952]. The Beginnings of English Society. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

Whitelock, Dorothy 1952 [1939]. Sermo Lupi ad Anglos. London: Methuen.

Whitelock, Dorothy 1975. Sweet’s Anglo-Saxon reader in prose and verse. Revised edition. Oxford: University Press.

Wrenn, C. L. 1973. Beowulf with the Finnesburg fragment. Revised by W. F. Bolton. London: Harrap.

Wright, Charles 1993. The Irish tradition in Old English literature. Cambridge: University Press.

Middle English

Benson, Larry D. (ed.) 1987. The Riverside Chaucer. Oxford: University Press.

Burrow, J. A. and T. Turville-Petre 1996. A book of Middle English. 2nd edition. Oxford: Blackwell.

Blake, Norman F. 1973. Selections from William Caxton. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Warrington, John and Maldwyn Mills 1977 [1953]. Chaucer: Troilus and Criseyde. London: Dent.

David, R. H. C. 1980. The Normans and their Myth. London: Thames and Hudson.

Davis, Norman 1967 [1925]. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Dunn, Charles W. and Edward T. Byrnes 1973. Middle English literature. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

Elliott, Ralph W. V. 1974. Chaucer’s English. London: André Deutsch.

Cawley, A. C. 1970 [1909]. Everyman and Miracle Plays. London: Dent.

Horobin, Simon 2006. Chaucer’s Language. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Horobin, Simon and Jeremy Smith 2002. An introduction to Middle English. Edinburgh: University Press.

Schmidt, A. V. C. 1978. William Langland: The Vision of Piers Plowman. London: Dent.

Lucas, Peter J. and Angela M. Lucas (eds) Middle English. From tongue to text. Selected papers from the Third International Conference on Middle English: Language and Text held at Dublin, Ireland, 1-4 July 1999. Frankfurt: Lang.

Markus, Manfred 1990. Mittelenglisches Studienbuch [Middle English study book]. Tübingen: Gunter Narr.

Matthew, Donald 1992. Atlas of Medieval Europe. New York: Facts of File.

Owen, Lewis and Nancy H. Owen 1971. Middle English poetry. An anthology. Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill.

Partridge, A. C. 1982. A companion to Old and Middle English studies. London: Deutsch.

Robinson, Fred (ed.) 1957 [1933]. The Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer. Oxford: University Press.

Sisam, Kenneth 1970. Fourteenth century verse and prose. Oxford: University Press.

Sisam, Celia and Kenneth Sisam 1970. The Oxford book of medieval English verse. Oxford: University Press.

Early Modern English

Bailey, Richard W. 1996. Nineteenth century English. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Barber, Charles 1997. Early Modern English. 2nd edition. Edinburgh: University Press.

Görlach, Manfred 1991. Introduction to Early Modern English. Cambridge: University Press.

Kastovsky, Dieter (ed.) 1994. Studies in early modern English. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Krug, Manfred 2000. Emerging English Modals. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Kermode, Frank 2000. Shakespeare’s Language. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

Late Modern English

Beal, Joan 2004. English in modern times 1700-1945. London: Arnold.

Dossena, Marina and Charles Jones (eds) 2003. Insights into Late Modern English. Linguistic Insights, Studies in Language and Communication, Vol 7. Frankfurt: Peter Lang.

Görlach, Manfred 2001. Eighteenth-Century English. Heidelberg: C. Winter.

Görlach, Manfred 1999. English in the nineteenth century. Cambridge: University Press.

Kytö, Merja, Mats Rydén and Erik Smitterberg (eds) 2006. Nineteenth century English. Stability and change. Cambridge: University Press.

Mugglestone, Lynda 2003. ‘Talking Proper’. The rise of accent as social symbol. 2nd edition. Oxford: University Press.

Perez-Guerra, Javier et al (eds) 2007. Of Varying Language and Opposing Creed: New Insights into Late Modern English. Frankfurt: Peter Lang.

Modern English

Crystal, David 1995. The Cambridge encyclopedia of the English language. Cambridge: University Press.

Crystal, David 2002. The English Language. A Guided Tour. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

Crystal, David 2007. The Fight for English Language. How Language Pundits Ate, Shot and Left. Oxford: University Press.

Truss, Lynne 2003. Eats, Shoots and Leaves. The Zero Tolerance Approacdh to Punctuation. London: Profile Books.

Upton, Clive and William A. Kretzschmar 2003. Oxford Dictionary of Pronunciation for Current English. Oxford: University Press.

Upton, Clive and John D. A. Widdowson 1996. An atlas of English dialects. Oxford: University Press.

Wells, John 1989. Longman pronouncing dictionary. London: Longman.