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British Literature

Who are the most popular British writers?

The playwright William Shakespeare (1564-1616) and the novelist Charles Dickens (1812-1870) remain two of the most popular and widely known British writers the world over. In addition to writing 35 known plays, Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets and sometimes acted in small parts in his own plays - he is known to have played the Ghost in Hamlet. His best known plays include:Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, Hamletand A Midsummer Nights Dream.

Dickens began his writing career as a journalist, and all his novels were first published serially in periodicals. Many of his works highlight the injustice of 19th century social institutions and the inequalities between the rich and the poor. His most famous works includeOliver Twist, A Christmas Caroland David Copperfield.

The novels of Jane Austen (1775-1817) are known for their subtlety of observation and irony, together with their penetrating insights into the provincial life of the middle-classes in the early part of the 19th century. Her works include Emma, Pride and Prejudiceand Sense and Sensibility- all dramatised on film and TV to critical acclaim.

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