what is the difference between English and British literature.

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wannam eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Typically, the term English Literature refers to works written in the English language.  The term British Literature refers to works written by the people of the all of the United Kingdom of Britain, commonly referred to as the UK.  The UK consists of Northern Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales.  While most British Literature is also written in English, there are some works written in other languages that are still considered British Literature.  For example, some works written in Latin or the Scottish Gaelic are still under the umbrella of British Literature.  Often these terms might be confusing because there is a period in history where the two terms overlap.  It was a time when English language works were primarily written in what would become the UK.