Literary Movements Timeline
Timeline Description: Literary movements are marked by shared traits of style, subject, and literary genre. While literature predates this list of movements, literary movements began in the early modern period, well after the Renaissance.

Date Event
1660 Neoclassicism(1660 to 1798)

The neoclassical movement in literature was based on classical ideal, skepticism and satire. Noted authors during this movement include Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift.
1765 Revolutionary(1765 to 1830)

The revolutionary literary movement incorporates both political and literary writings in colonial and early revolutionary America.
1798 Romanticism(1798 to 1832)

Romanticism emphasized emotion and imagination. Eventually, romanticism led to the development of the Gothic novel.
1830 American Romanticism(1830 to 1865)

American romanticism was predominantly fiction, rather than poetry. Unlike English romanticism, American romanticism had a strong and sometimes morbid interest in history.
1832 Victorian(1832 to 1901)

Victorian literature dates to the period of Queen Victoria's reign. The novel came to prominence in this period, and a number of authors showed a growing interest in the grittier aspects of life.
1836 American Transcendentalism(1836 to 1860)

American transcendentalism is a literary movement marked by a strong interest in nature. Emerson is the best-known of the American transcendentalists.
1865 Realism(1865 to 1914)

Realists had an interest in everyday life and poverty, as well as simplicity. Noted authors include Flaubert and Tolstoy.
2000 Stream of Consciousness(Early 20th Century)

Stream of consciousness writing eliminated authorial presence, sharing a loosely organized pattern of thoughts. James Joyce and Virginia Woolf are well-known authors in this movement.
2000 Modernism(Early 20th Century)

Modernism is a more varied movement, incorporating different styles, as well as reactions to growing science and technology.
1900 Naturalism(1900 to 1930)

Naturalism is a philosophical movement in literature. Naturalists identified humans as animals, studying their character in relation to their surroundings. Emile Zola is a well-known naturalist author.
1901 Edwardian(1901 to 1910)

Edwardian literature marked a growing division between high and low literature, as well as the growth of children's literature.
1918 The Lost Generation(1918 to 1929)

Several of the best known authors of the 20th century fall into this literary movement. These authors all lived and worked in Paris between the two world wars.
1920 Harlem Renaissance(1920s)

During the 1920s, in Harlem, New York, a strong literary movement developed among African-American writers, including Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston.
1950 Beat(1950s and 1960s)

The beat authors were primarily poets. This was a counterculture and youth culture movement beginning in the 1950s. Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg were well known beat poets.
1965 Postmodernism(1965 to Present)

Postmodernism is a literary movement embracing diversity, word play and other attributes of modern literature. Jorge Luis Borges is an excellent example of modern literary postmodernism.