"I kept my eyes down on the reading list the teacher had given me. It was fairly basic: Brontë, Shakespeare, Chaucer, Faulkner"

The Brontë Sisters

Anne Bronte
Public DomainAnne Bronte
Charlotte Bronte
Public DomainCharlotte Bronte
Emily Bronte
Public DomainEmily Bronte

The Brontë Sisters were Charlotte, Emily and Anne, 19th Century writers of some of the classics of English Literature. Charlotte is best known for Jane Eyre; Emily for her gothic masterpiece Wuthering Heights; and Anne for Agnes Grey.

At the time, it was not considered respectable for women to write novels. They mostly wrote under the pseudonyms of Currer, Acton and Ellis Bell. Charlotte, Emily, and Anne all died of various illnesses in their thirties.



William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare
Public DomainWilliam Shakespeare

William Shakespeare is England's greatest poet and playwright, with 38 plays and 154 sonnets to his name.

He wrote mainly between 1589 and 1613, his body of work including comedies, histories and tragedies.

William Shakespeare's Works Online

Open Source Shakespeare



Geoffrey Chaucer

Geoffrey Chaucer
Public DomainGeoffrey Chaucer

Geoffrey Chaucer is best known for The Canterbury Tales.  He lived between the 13th and 14th Centuries. He is credited with being the father of the English Language, due to his use of the vernacular (or common English) in his tales.

Besides The Canterbury Tales, other major works by Chaucer include The Book of the Duchess, The House of Fame, Anelida and Arcite and the Legend of the Two Women. He also wrote several minor poems, amongst them Fortune, Gentilesse, and Truth.

Works by Geoffrey Chaucer Online


William Faulkner

William Faulkner
Public DomainWilliam Faulkner - Credit: Carl Van Vechten

William Faulkner was an American Nobel Prize winner, and is today one of the best known and most revered American Authors. He wrote both novels and short stories, the latter often driven by financial need. His most popular and critically acclaimed novels are The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying, Light in August and Absalom, Absalom!

Faulkner won two Pulitzer Prizes and two National Book Awards. He was also a screenwriter, contributing to the scripts of Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep, and Ernest Hemingway's To Have and Have Not.