How to Be Well Read in English Literature

What follows may be idiosyncratic at times but will, I hope, provide a reasonably reliable overview of the high points of English Literature. I won't attempt to look at the works of other countries; I scarcely know the creations of my realm well enough, and I wouldn't dream of pontificating about other cultures. Indeed, the act of creating this list has made me realise how personal my choices are, and how little use they are likely to be to anyone.
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1
Beowulf
2
The Wanderer
3
The Canterbury Tales (Geoffrey Chaucer)
4
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Simon Armitage (Translator))
5
Piers Plowman
6
Pearl
7
The Cloud of Unknowing
8
Fairy Queen (Spencer)
9
The Complete Poems (Sir Thomas Wyatt)
10
Doctor Faustus
11
Edward II
12
Much Ado About Nothing
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13
Hamlet (Shakespeare)
14
MacBeth
15
King Lear (Shakespeare)
16
A Midsummer's Night Dream (Shakespeare)
17
Twelfth Night (Shakespeare)
18
Measure for Measure (Shakespeare)
19
Anthony and Cleopatra (Shakespeare)
20
The Tempest (Shakespeare)
21
The Alchemist (Ben Jonson)
22
The Duchess of Malfi (Webster)
23
The Complete English Poems by John Donne
24
George Herbert – Church Monuments / Denial / the Collar / Love
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25
Paradise Lost
26
Alexander Pope
27
Robinson Crusoe (Daniel Defoe)
28
Songs of Innocence and of Experience
29
Gulliver's Travels
30
Vanity Fair (William Thackeray)
31
William Wordsworth: Collected Poems
32
Northanger Abbey (Jane Austen)
33
Sense and Sensibility (Jane Austen)
34
Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
35
Mansfield Park
36
Emma
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37
Persuasion (Austen)
38
John Keats: The Complete Poems (Penguin Classics) (John Keats)
39
Jane Eyre
40
Villette (Charlotte Bronte)
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