A knowledge of major historical periods is crucial to understanding the development of writing and theatre. Arts responds to and perhaps encourages social changes such as the French Revolution. Without understanding something of the Medieval period it is hard to appreciate the keen social insights of Chaucer; the French Revolutions is similarly central to the work of the Romantics. Find here some brief summaries of some of the historical periods and events of importance to the development of writing and theatre in the Western world.

There are five historical periods that can be visted by clicking here:
Medieval Period
Elizabethan Period

The Enlightenment
French Revolution and Reaction.

Click on these period names to go to the associated page. Drag the timeline below to see a chronological presentation of these periods and some of the major authors and events of these times. Note history ended in 1832...