This survey traces the development of English literary criticism from its roots in classical and medieval theory to the controversies of the present day. The standpoints of the major English critics are examined in their historical contexts, and crucial foreign influences are noted. Proportionate space is also given to many lesser writers who contributed to the liveliness of the debate. Thus significant critical attitudes are identified and the recent outburst in critical theorizing is seen against the background of the past. The aim of the book is to acquaint students with the literary criticism in a reasonably convenient and objective way.