Seventeenth Century

Eighteenth Century

“I have undertaken  a labor,  a labor  out of  love  for
the world, and to comfort noble hearts:  those that I
hold  dear,  and the  world  to which  my  heart  goes
out.   Not  the  common  world  do  I mean,  of  those
who (as I have heard)  cannot bear  grief  and  desire
but to bathe in bliss.   (May  God then let them dwell
in  bliss!)   Their  world  and  manner  of  life  my  tale
does not regard:  it's life and mine lie apart. Another
world  do I  hold  in  mind,  which  bears  together  in
one heart its  bitter sweetness  and its  dear grief,  its
heart's delight  and its  pain of longing,  dear life  and
sorrowful death,  dear  death  and  sorrowful life.   In
this  world  let  me  have  my  world,   to  be  damned
with it,  or to be  saved.”


A Letter From the Editor

This site combines three sites first created in 1996 to provide a starting point for students and enthusiasts of English Literature. Nothing replaces a quality library, but hopefully this site will help fill the needs of those who have not access to one.

"Luminarium" is the labor of love of Anniina Jokinen. The site is not affiliated with any institution, is sponsored by no-one, nor does it generate any profit.
The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Sixth Edition, has been the main authority consulted for accuracy of dates and details.
Many of the materials collected here reside elsewhere. Quality and accuracy are concerns, and all materials are checked regularly. However, "Luminarium" cannot be held responsible for materials residing on other sites.

The site started in early 1996. I remember looking for essays to spark an idea for a survey class I was taking at the time. It seemed that finding study materials online was prohibitively difficult and time-consuming—there was no all-encompassing site which could have assisted me in my search. I realized I must not be the only one in the predicament and started a simple one-page site of links to Middle English Literature. That page was soon followed by a Renaissance site.

Gradually it became obvious that the number of resources was ungainly for such a simple design. It was then that the multi-page "Medlit" and "Renlit" pages were created, around July 1996. That structure is still the same today. In September 1996, I started creating the "Sevenlit" site, launched in November. I realized the need to somehow unite all three sites, and that led to the creation of Luminarium. A guestbook, a powerful search engine, and a book store are but the newest additions to assist the visitors to the site.

I wanted the site to be a multimedia experience in the periods. I find it easier to visualize what I am reading when there is a small illustration or a tidbit about the background of the author or his work. The music and art of the period serve to complement one's rational experience of the site with the emotional. There are people who write to me who seem to think that if something has a beautiful wrapping, it cannot possibly have scholarly insides. But I do not see why something scholarly cannot at the same time be attractive. It is that marriage of form and function, so celebrated during the Renaissance, for which my site strives.

Some write to me skeptical of the validity of the materials. I often admonish these skeptics to visit the site—with their expertise they should soon realize that the site is scholarly and aims for accuracy at all times. Everything is verified from the authorities in a given subject.

Luminarium wishes to thank its loyal visitors for their contributions and support.

Luminarium is ever indebted to:

The Picture Library at the National Portrait Gallery, London;
John Butler of the University of Manitoba,Canada;
R. S. Bear of the University of Oregon;
Roy C. Flannagan of Ohio University;
Terry Gray of Palomar College;
Kari McBride of the University of Arizona;
Dana F. Sutton of the University of California, Irvine;
Sister Julia Bolton Holloway;
Lee Patterson of Texas;
Allan Alexander of New York;
Eric Blomquist of Sonnet Central;
Carol Gerten of Carol Gerten Fine Arts Gallery;
Curtis Clark of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona;
Michael C. Best of the University of Victoria;
Matt Steggle of Sheffield-Hallam University, UK;
And the countless others who have contributed their
time, work, and expertise to illuminating the Web.

In the future, Luminarium will continue to grow as existing sites are expanded and new sites created.

“ In this Work when it shall be found that
   much is omitted, let it not be forgotten
   that much likewise is performed.”
—Samuel Johnson

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