British culture has been influenced by many factors including: the status of the island nation; history as a western liberal democracy and a major force; as well as being a political union of four countries in each of the elements preserve the unique traditions, customs and symbolism. As a result of the British Empire, British influence can be observed in the system of language, culture and laws of many former colonies, including Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States.
'English Literature' refers to literature associated with the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man and Channel Islands as well as the literature of England, Wales and Scotland prior to the establishment of the UK. [Citation needed] The majority of English literature in English. In 2005, some 206 000 books published in England and in 2006 it is the largest publisher of books in the world.
The English playwright and poet William Shakespeare is widely considered the greatest playwright of all time, and his contemporaries Christopher Marlowe and Ben Jonson have also been constantly upheld. Recently playwright Alan Ayckbourn, Harold Pinter, Michael Frayn, Tom Stoppard and David Edgar have combined elements of surrealism, realism and radicalism.
Britain's leading writers of pre-modern and early modern, including Geoffrey Chaucer (14th century), Thomas Malory (15th century), Sir Thomas More (16th century), and John Milton (17th century). In the 18th century Daniel Defoe (author of Robinson Crusoe) and Samuel Richardson was a pioneer of the modern novel. In the 19 th century there was further innovation by Jane Austen, Gothic novelist Mary Shelley, author Lewis Carroll children, Brontë sisters, Charles Dickens the social activist, naturalist Thomas Hardy, George Eliot realist, visionary poet William Blake and romantic poet William Wordsworth. Writers of the 20th century English include: science fiction novelist HG Wells, the classic children's author Rudyard Kipling, AA Milne (creator of Winnie-the-Pooh), Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton; controversial DH Lawrence; modernist Virginia Woolf, the satirist Evelyn Waugh; novelist George Orwell's prophetic, while the popular novelist W. Somerset Maugham and Graham Greene, crime writer Agatha Christie (best-selling novelist of all time); Ian Fleming (creator of James Bond); the poet TS Eliot, Philip Larkin and Ted Hughes, and fantasy writer JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis and JK Rowling .
A photo of a Victorian novelist Charles Dickens
Scotland's contribution includes the detective writer Arthur Conan Doyle (creator of Sherlock Holmes), romantic literature by Sir Walter Scott, author of the children JM Barrie, Robert Louis Stevenson's epic adventure and the famous poet Robert Burns. Recently modernist and nationalist Hugh MacDiarmid and Neil M. Gunn contributed to the Scottish Renaissance. A more grim outlook is found in the story of Ian Rankin and psychological horror-comedy Iain Banks. Scottish capital, Edinburgh, was the first City of Literature UNESCO worldwide.
The oldest known English poem, Y Gododdin, composed at Yr Hen Ogledd (Old North), most likely in the late sixth century. It is written in Cumbric or Old Welsh and contains the earliest known reference to King Arthur From about the seventh century, the relationship between Wales and the North Long gone, and the focus of Welsh-language culture shifted to Wales., Where the legend of Arthur was further developed by Geoffrey of Monmouth . The most famous poet of medieval Wales, Dafydd ap Gwilym (fl 1320-1370), the poem consists of themes including nature, religion and especially love. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest European poets his age Until the late 19th century. The majority of Welsh literature in Welsh and most of the prose was religious in character. Daniel Owen is credited as the first-language Welsh novelist, publishing Rhys Lewis in 1885. The most famous of the Anglo-Welsh poet both Thomases. Dylan Thomas became famous on both sides of the Atlantic in the mid-20th century. Swansea writer remembered for his poetry - his "Do not go gentle into that good night: Rage, rage against the dying light." is one of the most quoted verse of English verse - and to 'play for voices' it, Under Milk Wood. Influential church in the 'poet-priest Wales and Welsh nationalists, RS Thomas, nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1996. Welsh's leading novelists of the twentieth century, including Richard Llewellyn and Kate Roberts. Welsh writer currently include Gillian Clarke, Mihangel Morgan, and Wiliam Owen Roberts.
Writers of other countries, mainly from Commonwealth countries, the Republic of Ireland and the United States, has lived and worked in England. Significant examples through the centuries include Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker, George Bernard Shaw, Joseph Conrad, TS Eliot, Ezra Pound and more recently British authors born abroad such as Kazuo Ishiguro and Sir Salman Rushdie