The Online Archive offers a wealth of texts from the Middle Ages through the early Victorian period. The Archive includes all public-domain texts trimmed from The Norton Anthology of English Literature over six editions. Texts include annotation prepared by the editors. They are formatted for ease of downloading and printing.

A new Publication Chronology lists over 1,000 texts and the edition in which each was introduced, dropped, and sometimes reintroduced to the Anthology. As such, the Chronology and the archive of texts present a unique window on the teaching of English literature over four decades.

You may browse the list of authors either chronologically or alphabetically by last name. Clicking on a name will download, in a single document, all the selections for that author.

Texts are provided in PDF format; viewing requires the free Adobe Acrobat Reader (5.6 MB). PDF format provides optimal results for printing, and also ensures that pages are properly laid out and typeset, as close as possible in appearance to those in the Norton Anthology.

"The Persistence of English"
Geoffrey Nunberg, Stanford University and Xerox Palo Alto Research Center
This essay from the Seventh Edition of The Norton Anthology of English Literature provides a lively exploration of the English language—its emergence and spread, and its apparent "triumph" as a world language.

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