An Open-Access Digital Anthology

This is an anthology in progress of literature in English. It is designed to be a transatlantic anthology, with examples of texts written in the British Isles, but also colonial America, wand the United States. Many of the texts have been freshly edited and annotated to provide authoritative and curated editions for the use of students and general readers, and to create an alternative to expensive print anthologies. Over time, all of these texts (and more) will be edited and annotated to use the full resources enabled by the digitization of literary works. Please feel free to comment on these texts; we hope to improve the anthology based on the needs of readers.

The anthology is designed to work well on desktop and laptop computers, but also mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. We include the plug-in, which allows readers to add their own layer of annotation to the texts–to underscore key passages, add notes, ask questions. Go to for more information on how the plug-in works.

This is very much a work in progress. Some texts have been edited and annotated fully; others partially; others not at all. Author biographies are being drafted; material is being added. Keep checking back for updates.

This project is open-access, and the texts are available for anyone to use as they wish. We also invite others to join in the project by editing and annotating texts of their own, which can be incorporated in the site to create a free, open-access anthology of reliable works for use in the classroom.

Authors and Texts

*=newly annotated and edited for this anthology

Addison, JosephSpectator #1

Behn, AphraOroonoko*

Bradford, WilliamOf Plymouth Plantation

Bradstreet, Anne: “A Dialogue Between Old England and New“*

Defoe, DanielThe Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe*

Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe

Moll Flanders

Edwards, JonathanSinners in the Hands of an Angry God

Equiano, OlaudahThe Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano

Finch, Anne: “The Introduction,” “The Spleen

Franklin, BenjaminAutobiography

    The  “Silence Dogood” Essays

Gray, Thomas“Elegy Wrote in a Country Churchyard”

Haywood, ElizaFantomina, or, Love in a Maze

Jefferson, Thomas“Autobiography”

The Declaration of Independence

Notes on the State of Virginia

Johnson, Samuel“Rasselas”*

     London: An Imitation of the Third Satire of Juvenal

     On the Death of Dr Robert Levet

     The Vanity of Human Wishes

     To John Lade

Locke, JohnOf Civil Government (The Second Treatise of Government)

Pepys, Samuel: from The Diary

Philips, Katherine: Friendship in Emblem

       Friendship’s Mystery

Pope, Alexander: An Essay on Criticism

The Rape of the Lock


Rowlandson, Mary: Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mary Rowlandson

Rowson, SusannaCharlotte Temple

Sheridan, Richard BrinsleyThe School for Scandal

Steele, Richard: Spectator #2, Spectator #11

Tyler, RoyallThe Contrast

Walpole, HoraceThe Castle of Otranto

Wheatley, PhillisPoems upon Various Subjects

Wilmot, John (Second Earl of Rochester): Satyr

Woolf, Virginia, Mrs Dalloway

Wycherley, WilliamThe Country Wife

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