Тhe advent of modernism and the British society at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. Тhe social, political and cultural circumstances in the UK during the 20th century influencing the development of modernism with a special focus on the effect of the two World Wars on the British society. The development of philosophy, anthropology, psychology (psychoanalysis) and their influence on the modern literary theory and criticism. Characteristics of the modern British novel (introduction of new topics, symbolism, new treatment of narrative time, innovative narrative techniques, stream-of-consciousness, postmodern tendencies etc). Modern views on fiction (H. James, J. Conrad, E. M. Forster, D. H. Lawrence, J. Joyce and V. Woolf), and analysis of the representative British novels by J. Conrad, E. M. Forster, D. H. Lawrence, J. Joyce, V. Woolf and W. Golding.