This book begins in a narrow territory, strictly Western, and extends with the passage of time to include the poetry, plays, novels, and works of speculation of the great authors of the past and present, from Russia to Mexico. His objective is to tell the whole story of Western writing in languages other than English from the twelfth-century Chanson de Roland to Evtushenko's poetry of the 1960's.Cohen not only presents a factual account of historical growth. The book reflects the author's own judgments and valuations, arrived at in the course of almost forty years' reading in the main European languages. A work of original criticism, "A History of Western Literature" immediately became a standard reference when first published. In this new edition, the author has included revisions covering the most important recent writers and their work.

chapter 1|14 pages

Epic Tales and Romances of Adventure

chapter 2|20 pages

The Theme of Courtly Love

chapter 3|20 pages

The Rebirth of Italy

chapter 4|19 pages

Mysticism, Mannerism, and Popular Poetry

chapter 5|11 pages

The Birth of the Drama

chapter 6|14 pages

The Later Italian Renaissance

chapter 8|15 pages

The Great Age of Spain and Portugal

chapter 10|26 pages

The Great Age of France

chapter 12|23 pages

Italian Revival and the Age of Goethe

chapter 13|23 pages

The Romantics

chapter 14|26 pages

The Novel in its Prime

chapter 15|33 pages

Poetry After the Romantics

chapter 17|17 pages

Novel Loses Focus, and a Hope for Poetry