Beowulf is the longest epic poem in Old English, and one of the earliest surviving literary texts from the English-speaking world. From this unique manuscript, to the precocious wit of the teenage Jane Austen and the pathos of Wilfred Owen’s Great War poetry, the Library holds works from some of the greatest writers in the English language, spanning over 1000 years of literary history. Particularly fascinating are the drafts and re-drafts of some of our greatest literary treasures, which offer a unique insight into the processes and influences that have helped create these iconic works.
BeowulfView images from this item (1)
Sir Gawain and the Green KnightView images from this item (3)
The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey ChaucerView images from this item (1)
Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'ArthurView images from this item (1)
The Notebook of William BlakeView images from this item (113)
Shakespeare's First Folio
The first collected edition of the works of Shakespeare.View images from this item (1)
'History of England': Austen juveniliaView images from this item (12)
Manuscript of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's 'Kubla Khan'View images from this item (2)
'Alice's Adventures Under Ground', the original manuscript version of Alice's Adventures in WonderlandView images from this item (94)
The Ballad of Reading Gaol by Oscar WildeView images from this item (1)
Copyright: © British Library
The Poetry Manuscripts of Wilfred OwenView images from this item (3)
Copyright: © The Wilfred Owen Literary Estate. This item can be used for your own private study and research. You may not use this work for commercial purposes.
The Left-handed PunchView images from this item (1)
The Antibook - Francisca PrietoView images from this item (1)
The text in this article is available under the Creative Commons License.