From Publishers Weekly
From Queen Elizabeth I and William Shakespeare to Philip Larkin and Winston Churchill, this gathers work from England's most notable writers, poets, philosophers and leaders to create a detailed literary history. Drawn from the most well known works produced during the roughly 350-year period between Queen Elizabeth's "Speech on the eve of facing the Spanish Armada" to Winston Churchill's two "Speeches to the House of Commons" in June 1940, selections include such standards as Hamlet's soliloquy, Satan's lament from Milton's Paradise Lost and the entirety of T.S. Eliot's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. A few lesser known gems dot the roundup, such as Ben Johnson's Oak and Lily, as well as lyrics known more for their tunes than their writers ("Greensleeves" and "Amazing Grace" among them). The mother-and-son editorial team behind this volume has created a collection that is readily accessible to the everyday reader, but will also work well in a classroom setting.
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"This collection is impressive. With such wide-ranging selections, this volume is an excellent resource for high school humanities and science teachers looking to add depth to their lessons."--American Educator
"This unique collection offers the best that has been thought and said, not just in our unmatched literature but also in the evolution of democratic ideas. It is a book to teach, inspire, and delight all who can read the English language." --E. D. Hirsch, Jr., founder and chairman of the Core Knowledge Foundation and author of The Schools We Need and Why We Don't Have Them
"Diane and Michael Ravitch have assembled a splendid and important anthology - and one that deserves the widest possible readership." --Joseph Epstein, author of Friendship: An Exposé
"The English Reader is a remarkable resource for scholars and readers of all stripes. Whether we lean toward canon-building or canon-breaking, we English language readers have a literary history in common. This book makes the high points (and even some of the low points) of that history accessible and provides an education for us all." --Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Harvard University
"This greatest-hits package is a mix of excerpts from longer works and complete short pieces (poems, essays, speeches) that distills the essence of English literature." -Seattle Times
"The 486-page book is the kind of treasure that seldom comes along." - The Oklahoman