A History of English Literature - Free PDF Download (2023)

A History of English Literature MICHAEL ALEXANDER [p. iv] © Michael Alexander 2000 All rights reserved. No reproduction, copying or transmission of this publication may be made without written permission. No part of this publication may be reproduced, copied or transmitted except with written permission or in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, or under the terms of any license permitting limited copying issued by the Licensing Agency Office, 90 Tottenham Court Road, London W 1 P 0LP. Anyone who does any unauthorized act in connection with this publication may be liable for criminal prosecution and civil actions for damages. The author has claimed his right to be identified as the author of this work under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. First published in 2000 by MACMILLAN PRESS LTD Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 6XS and London Companies and Representatives worldwide ISBN 0-333-91397-3 hardcover ISBN 0-333-67226-7 paperback A catalog record for this book is available from the British Library. This book is printed on paper suitable for recycling and made from fully managed and sustained forest sources. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 09 08 07 06 05 04 03 02 O1 00 Composed by Footnote Graphics, Warminster, Wilts Printed in Great Britain by Antony Rowe Ltd, Chippenham, Wilts [pg. v]

Contents Acknowledgments Preface Abbreviations

The Literacy Harvest Further Reading


The New Writing Manuscript and Print The Impact of French Writing Practice Change of Dialect and Language Literary Consciousness New Fashions: French and Latin Epic and Romance Courtly Literature Medieval Institutions Authority Letters English Prose

Literary history What's included? Tradition or canon? Priorities What is literature? Language change Other literature in English Is drama literature? Qualities and quantities Texts Further reading Primary texts Secondary texts

PART 1: Medieval 1 Early English Literature: Up to 1100 Orientations Great Britain, England, English Oral Origins and Conversion Aldhelm, Bede, Cædmon Northumbria, and The Dream of the Rood Heroic Poetry Christian Literature Alfred Beowulf Elegies Battle Poetry

2 Middle English Literature: 1066-1500

The Fourteenth Century Spiritual Writing Julian of Norwich Secular Prose Ricardian Poetry Piers Plowman Sir Gawain and the Green Knight John Gower Geoffrey Chaucer The Parliament of Birds Troilus and Criseyde The Canterbury Tales

Dramatic Mystery Plays of the 15th Century

Morality Reproductions Religious Lyric Deaths of Arthur The Arrival of Scottish Poetry Print [p. vi] Robert Henryson William Dunbar Gavin Douglas Further Reading

Part 2 Tudor and Stuart 3 Tudor Literature: 1500-1603 Renaissance and Reformation The Expectations of the Renaissance Investigations England's Place in the World The Reformation Sir Thomas More The Courtier Sir Thomas Wyatt The Earl of Surrey Religious Prose Bible Translation Instructional Prose Drama Elizabethan Literature Verse Sir Philip Sidney Edmund Spenser Sir Walter Ralegh The 'Jacobethans' Christopher Marlowe Song Thomas Campion Prose John Lyly Thomas Nashe Richard Hooker Further Reading

4 Shakespeare and Drama William Shakespeare Shakespeare's Life The Plays Preserved Luck and Fame

[p. vii] The Theaters Restoration Comedy John Dryden Satire Prose John Locke Women Writers William Congreve

The Drama The Commercial Theater Predecessors Christopher Marlowe The Order of the Plays Stories Richard II Henry IV Henry V Comedy Midnight A Night's Dream Twelfth Night The Poems Tragedy Hamlet King Lear Novels The Tempest Conclusion The Making of Shakespeare His Supposed Point of View Ben Jonson The Alchemist Volpone Plus Read

5 Stuart Literature: to 1700 The Stuart Century Drama to 1642 Comedy Tragedy John Donne Prose to 1642 Sir Francis Bacon Lancelot Andrewes Robert Burton Sir Thomas Browne Poetry to Milton Ben Jonson Metaphysical Poets Devotional Poets Knightly Poets John Milton Paradise Lost The Restoration The Earl of Rochester John Bunyan Samuel Pepys Nonfiction Edward Gibbon Edmund Burke Oliver Goldsmith Fanny Burney Richard Brinsley Sheridan Christopher Smart William Cowper

Further reading

PART 3 Augustus and the Romantic 6 Augustan Literature: Up to 1790 The Eighteenth Century The Enlightenment Sense and Sensibility Alexander Pope and Eighteenth-Century Civilization Joseph Addison Jonathan Swift Alexander Pope Translation as Tradition The Abduction of the Keyhole Mature Verse John Gay Lady Mary Wortley Montagu The Romance Daniel Defoe Crossing Currents Samuel Richardson Henry Fielding Tobias Smollett Laurence Sterne The Emergence of Sensibility Thomas Gray Pre-Romantic Sensibility: Gothic Fiction 'Ossian' The Age of Johnson Dr. Samuel Johnson The Dictionary Literary Criticism James Boswell [p. viii] Moral story Abundance Why sages? Thomas Carlyle John Stuart Mill John Ruskin John Henry Newman Charles Darwin Matthew Arnold Further Reading

9 Poetry Victorian Romantic Poetry Minor Verse John Clare Alfred Tennyson Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning Matthew Arnold Arthur Hugh Clough Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Christina Rossetti Algernon Charles Swinburne Gerard Hopkins Further reading

10 Fiction The Triumph of Romance Two Brontë Novels Jane Eyre Wuthering Heights Elizabeth Gaskell

Robert Burns Further Reading

7 The Romantics: 1790-1837 The Romantic Poets Early Romantics William Blake Subjectivity Romanticism and Revolution William Wordsworth Samuel Taylor Coleridge Sir Walter Scott Younger Romantics Lord Byron Percy Bysshe Shelley John Keats Romantic Prose Fine Letters Charles Lamb William Hazlitt Thomas De Quincey Fiction Thomas Love Peacock Mary Shelley Maria Edgeworth Sir Walter Scott Jane Austen To Victoria Further Reading

PART 4 ​​Victorian Literature to the 1880s 8 The Age and Its Sages The Victorian Age Middlemarch Daniel Deronda Nonsense Prose and Verse Lewis Carroll Edward Lear Further Reading

11 Late Victorian Literature: 1880-1900 Differentiation Thomas Hardy and Henry James Aestheticism Walter Pater A Revival of Drama Oscar Wilde George Bernard Shaw Fiction Thomas Hardy Tess of the d'Urbervilles Minor Fiction Samuel Butler Robert Louis Stevenson Wilkie Collins George Moore Poetry Aestheticism A. E. Housman Rudyard Kipling Further Reading

Charles Dickens The Pickwick Papers David Copperfield Bleak House Our Mutual Friend Great Expectations 'The Inimitable' William Makepeace Thackeray Vanity Fair Anthony Trollope George Eliot Adam Bede The Mill on the Floss Silas Marner

The New Century Fiction Edwardian Realists Rudyard Kipling John Galsworthy Arnold Bennett H. G. Wells

[p. ix] Joseph Conrad Heart of Darkness Nostromo E. M. Forster Ford Madox Ford Poetry Pre-War Verse Thomas Hardy War Poetry and War Poets Additional Reading

Fairy Tales C. S. Lewis J. R. R. Tolkien Poetry World War II Dylan Thomas Drama Sean O'Casey Additional Reading

13 Post-War to Post-War: 1920-55 'Modernism': 1914-27 D. H. Lawrence The Rainbow James Joyce Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Ulysses Ezra Pound: The London Years T. S. Eliot The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock The Waste Land Four Quartets Eliot's criticism W. B. Yeats Hugh MacDiarmid and David Jones Virginia Woolf To the Lighthouse Katherine Mansfield Nonmodernism: The Twenties and Thirties Modernism Doesn't Catch The Poetry of the Thirties Political Fields W. H. Auden The Novel Evelyn Waugh Graham Greene Anthony PowellGeorge OrwellElizabeth Bowen

PART 5 The Twentieth Century 12 End and Beginning: 1901-1919

14 New Beginnings: 1955-80 Drama Samuel Beckett John Osborne Harold Pinter Established Protest Novels Galore William Golding Muriel Spark Iris Murdoch Other Writers Poetry Philip Larkin Ted Hughes Geoffrey Hill Tony Harrison Seamus Heaney Additional Reading

Postscript on current internationalization Postmodernism Novels Contemporary poetry Additional reading Contents

[p. x]

Acknowledgments Having defined the scope of this story, and that it would be narrative but also critical, the task of selection was imposed. In order to sharpen my focus, I invited, at a preliminary stage, twenty university professors of English literature each to send me a list of the twenty works they believed should receive critical discussion in such a history. Some of those who responded evaded my rigor by including Collected Works in their list. But thanks to all of them. I have a much longer list of colleagues to thank for answering more academic questions. I name only Michael Herbert, George Jack, Christopher

MacLachlan, Rhiannon Purdie, and Michael Wheeler, who each read a chapter for me, as well as Neil Rhodes, to whom I turned for advice more than once. Thanks also to Frances Arnold and Margaret Bartley at Macmillan, who invited me to write this book; I enjoyed reading and rereading. Thanks to Houri Alavi, who patiently led the monster into the arena. Thanks most of all to my family, especially Mary and Lucy for reading many pages and listening. The book itself is also something of a thank you - to those who wrote what is now called English literature; for scholars, editors, critics; to the English teachers I had at school; to fellow students of literature, especially at Stirling and St Andrews; to everyone I learned from. I still have a lot to learn, and thanks in advance to any readers who bring any errors of fact to my attention.

Illustrations AKG Photo, London, pp. 94, 110, 133, 150, 241; File E.T., p. 21, 28, 45, 207, 202; A British Library, p. 190; The British Museum, pp. 10-11. 10-11. 23, 27; J. Burrow and T. Turville-Petre, A Book of Middle English, Blackwell Publishers, p. 37; Camera Press, London, p. 349; Corbis Collection, p. 340; Corpus Christi College, Oxford, UK/The Bridgeman Art Library, p. 50; Courtauld Institute of Art, London, p. 138; Judy Daish Associates, p. 364; Norman Davies, The Isles, Macmillan, p. 12; The Dickens House Museum, London, p. 277; O Dorset Country Museum, p. 301; Building, pp. 170, 248; Mark Gerson, p. 367; The Hulton Getty Picture Collection Ltd., pp. 10-11. 10-11. 270, 317, 321, 347, 372; Image Select International, pp. 101-1 101-1 96, 139, 185, 335, 338; The National Portrait Gallery, pp. 10-1 10-1 98, 212, 223, 273, 374, 379; Nottingham County Library, The D. H. Lawrence Collection, p. 326; RIBA Library Photograph Collection, p. 255; Ann Ronan in LS.L, pp. 107-1 101-1 54, 62, 79, 106, 232, 242, 251, 263, 268, 278, 282, 287, 291, 298, 300; John Timbers, Arena Images, p. 363; Utrecht University Library, p. 108; The Victoria and Albert Museum, pp. 10-11. 10-11. 64, 168, 213. Every effort was made to trace all holders of copyright, but if any tiver been inadvertently sketched out, the editors would be pleased to take the necessary provisions or as soon as possible. [p. XI]

Foreword This story is written for two audiences: those who know some of the highlights of English literature but little of the surrounding country; and those who simply want to read its long history from its origins to the present day. The history of English writing begins very early in the Middle Ages and continues through the Renaissance, the Augustan and Romantic periods through the Victorian era, the 20th century and into the present. This account is written to be read as a coherent whole. It can also be read in parts and consulted for information. Its narrative plan and layout are clear and aim to be readable and concise. Attention is given to the greatest poets, playwrights, prose writers, and novelists, and to more general literary developments. Each part of the story benefits from being set in literary and social contexts. Space is given for illustrative quotations and for critical discussions of selected authors and important works. Smaller writers and movements are described rather than discussed, but a great deal of information about them can be found throughout the apparatus surrounding the narrative. This apparatus allows History to also be used as a reference work. A glance at the following pages will show the text supplemented by a set of historical tables of events and publications; for boxed biographies of authors and their works; and by marginal definitions of critical and historical terms. There are about sixty illustrations, including maps. There are also suggestions for further reading and a complete index of author names and works discussed. [p. xii]

Abbreviations? Anon uncertain. anonymous b. born c. about, about d. died ed. edited by ed. editing and others. and others etc. and other stuff fl. flourished Fr. French Gk. Greek Lat. Latin ME English Medium med. Lat. Medieval Latin MS., MSS. manuscript, OE Old English manuscripts

[p. 1]



Literary history England has a rich literature with a long history. This is an attempt to tell the story of English. What's included? literature from its beginnings to the present day. Is history written to be read as a whole, Tradition or canon? although it can be read in parts, and its apparatus and index allow it to be consulted for Priorities What is literature? reference. To be read as a whole with pleasure, a story has to have a sociable aspect, change of language and the number of things discussed cannot be too great. It is said that there are “nine and twenty other English literature ways to recite the tribal songs”, and surely there is more than one way to write a history of dramatic literature? English literature. This Introduction tells what kind of history it is, and what it is not, and Qualities and quantities The texts define its scope: where it begins and ends, and what 'English' and 'literature' mean. Primary texts 'Literature' is a word with a qualitative implication, not just a neutral term for writing in secondary texts in general. Without this implication, and without the author's belief that some qualities of literature are best appreciated when presented in the order in which they appear, there would be little point in a literary history. This effort to place the most memorable English writing in an intelligible historical perspective is offered as an aid to the audience's understanding. The reader, it is assumed, will like literature and be curious about it. It is also assumed that he or she will mainly want to know about such works as Shakespeare's King Lear and Swift's Gulliver's Travels, the poems of Chaucer, Milton and T. S. Eliot, and the novels of Austen and Dickens. Thus, the larger gets more space than the smaller on these pages; and minor literature gains more attention than writing that is stronger in social, cultural, or historical importance than in literary interest.

Literary history Literary history can be useful, and is increasingly needed. Scholars specialize in unique fields, English professors teach unique jobs. Larger narratives are being lost; the perspective offered by an overview is not widely available. English students leave school knowing some remarkable works, but little about the country that surrounds them. They would not like to be asked to attribute an unread writer to a context, nor, perhaps, to one of the centuries between Chaucer and the present. “How many thousands never heard the name / Of Sidney or of Spencer, or his books!” wrote the Elizabethan poet Samuel Daniel. This story offers a roadmap for the thousands of people studying English today. College English students who write on a final exam 'Charles Dickens was an 18th century novelist' could be better informed. A reader of this book will have a sense of what English literature consists of, [p. 2] of its content; then how this author or text relates to it, chronologically and in other ways. The map is also a journey, providing changing perspectives on the relationships of writing with its time, of one literary work with another, and of the present with the past. In addition to the pleasures of discovery and comparison, literary history promotes a sense of proportion that puts the present into perspective.

What's included? The historian of a literature tries to do justice to the great things of its tradition, even though it knows better than anyone that classical status is acquired and can disappear. As for literary status itself, Beowulf makes it clear that poetry occupied an important place in the early English world as we know it. The first formal assertion of the classical potential of writing in a modern European vernacular was made around 1307 by the Italian poet Dante. Such a claim was made for English by Philip Sidney in his Defense of Poetry (1579), responding to an attack on the theatre. The Puritans closed the public theaters in 1642. After they reopened in 1660, literature played a central role in English civilization. Beginning in the 1800s, Romantic poets made great claims to the value of poetry. Eventually, Victorians began to study English literature along with that of Greece or Rome. Literature also had its enemies. The ancient Greek writer and philosopher Plato (c.429-347 BC), by banishing poets from his imaginary ideal Republic, recognized their power. The English Puritans of the seventeenth century, when they closed the theaters, made a similar recognition. After 1968, some French theorists claimed that critics were more important than writers. Some California students protested at about the same time that dead white European men were overrepresented in canon.

Tradition or canon? A canon is a selection from the wider literary tradition. The modern English literary tradition dates back to the 15th century, when Scottish poets invoked a poetic tradition with Chaucer at its head. As the Renaissance progressed, this tradition was celebrated by Sidney, Spenser, Shakespeare, Jonson, Milton and their successors. Tradition implies participation and communication: it waxes and wanes, changing aspect every few generations. When scholars first examined English literary history in the 18th century, they found that the medieval phase was stronger and longer than previously thought. In the 19th century, romance became stronger than drama. Writing and literature continues, as does the study of English. Since about 1968, university English departments have diversified: the literary tradition has to deal with ideology and research interests. Another type of writing in English had already entered: the American one, followed at a distance by the writing of other former colonies. The neglected work of women writers has been uncovered. Rejecting literature, “cultural studies” addressed writing of sociological or psychological interest, including magazine stories, advertising, and the unwritten “texts” of film and television. Special courses were offered for sectoral interests - social, sexual or racial. The hierarchy of literary types has also been challenged: poetry and drama have long been united by fiction, then travelogues, then children's books, and so on. However, the literary category cannot be extended infinitely - if new books are promoted, others must be

[p. 3] relegated - and questions of value cannot be ignored indefinitely. Despite the challenge, diversification and accommodation, household names are still found at the heart of what is studied at school, college and university. Students need to be able to put these names in an intelligible order relating to literary and non-literary history. This book, being a history of thirteen centuries of English literature, is concerned with what has living literary merit, whether contemporary or medieval.

Priorities Although this story takes things, as far as possible, in chronological order, its priority is literary rather than historical. Shakespeare wrote that "As long as men can read and eyes can see, / So long does it live, and it gives you life". The belief that literature survives the circumstances of its origin, however illuminating they may be, guides the selection. Ben Jonson claimed of Shakespeare that he was "not of one age, but for all time". This distinctive feature is at odds with historicizing approaches that have sought to return literature to social or political contexts, sometimes with interesting results. Beliefs and priorities aside, few of those 190,000 words can be devoted to the contexts of those thirteen centuries. The necessary contexts of literary texts are indicated briefly and placed in an intelligible sequence. Critical debates get some mention, but a foundation story may also have to summarize the story of a novel. Another priority is the citation of literary texts. But the main consideration was that the works primarily discussed and illustrated will be the greatest works that have delighted or challenged generations of readers and made a difference in their thinking, imagination or life. But who are the main writers? The history of taste shows that few names are forgettable. In Western literature, only those of Homer, Dante and Shakespeare are undisputed, and for a long time the first two were lost sight of. Voltaire, King George III, Leo Tolstoy, G. B. Shaw and Ludwig Wittgenstein thought Shakespeare was overrated. However, since the theaters reopened in 1660, it has had audiences, readers and advocates. Such a sustained reception was not given to other English writers, not even Milton. Not because going to the theater is more fun than reading a book, but because human tastes are fickle. William Blake and G.M. Hopkins were unrecognized during their lifetimes. Nor is recognition permanent: who now reads Abraham Cowley, the most esteemed poet of the seventeenth century, or Sir Charles Grandison, the most admired novel of the eighteenth century? The mountain range of poetry from Chaucer to Milton and Wordsworth has not been eroded by time or distance, though a forest of fiction has grown in the middle ground. Prose's reputations seem less durable: the history of fiction and non-fiction prose shows whole types rising and falling. The sermon was a powerful and popular form from the Middle Ages into the 19th century. In the 18th century, the essay became popular, but it disappeared. Also in the eighteenth century, the novel lost ground to the novel, and the novel began to deserve critical attention. Only after 1660 did drama become respectable as literature. In the 1980s, while theorists were proving authors irrelevant, literary biography flourished. As for nonfiction, the Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded in 1950 to philosopher Bertrand Russell and in 1953 to Winston Churchill as historian. From then on, non-fiction writing fell out of the focus of literature, or at least of its professional students in English departments in Britain. There are now some attempts to reverse this, not always for literary reasons. [p. 4]

What is literature? What qualifies a text as literature? There is no consensual answer to this question; a working definition is proposed in the next paragraph. The Doctor. Johnson felt that if a work was read a hundred years after it was published, it would have withstood the test of time. This has the merit of simplicity. While favorable social, cultural, and scholarly factors play their part in the fact that Homer lasted twenty-seven centuries, a work must have unusual merits to survive the context in which it appeared, however vital its relations to that context may have been. The contexts provided by scholars – literary, biographical, and historical (not to mention theoretical) – change and vary. A literary text, then, is always more than its context. This is the history of a literature, not an introduction to literary studies, nor a history of literary thought. He tries to confine himself to using this definition of cuisine as a simple rule: that the merit of a literary work lies in its combination of literary artistry and human interest. A learned work of art that lacks human interest dies. For its human interest to endure—and human interests to change—a work's language must be alive, and its form must please. Admittedly, such qualities of language and form are easier to recognize than to define. Recognition develops with reading and with the reinforcement of historical imagination and aesthetic and critical judgement. No other definition of literature is attempted, although what has been said above about 'cultural studies', academic pluralism and partisanship shows that the issue is still in turmoil. In practice, although the core has been attacked, loosened and added to, it has not been abandoned. In literary and cultural investigations, the question of literary merit can be postponed almost indefinitely. But in this book it is assumed that there are orders of merit and magnitude, however difficult it is to agree on the cases. It would be unfair, for example, to the quality of a writer like Fanny Burney or Mrs. Gaskell to pretend that the work of a contemporary novelist like Pat Barker is of equal merit. It would be hard to argue that the romantic Mrs. Felicia Hemans was as good a poet as Emily Brontë. And such a special entreaty would be even more unfair to Jane Austen or Julian of Norwich, supreme practitioners in her art, regardless of gender or period. It is necessary to discriminate. The timescale of this history extends from the beginning of English writing, before the year 680, to the present day, although the literary history of the last thirty years can only be tentative. The first known poet in English was not Geoffrey Chaucer, who died in 1400, but Cædmon, who died before 700. The history of so large a territory is not a survey but a series of maps and projections. These projections, as clear as they are, do not tell the whole story. The authors must be selected and their main works chosen. If the discussion goes beyond critical preliminaries, authors as great as Jonathan Swift can be represented by a single book. Half of Shakespeare's plays are not discussed here, although comedy, history and tragedy are sampled. Readers using this story as a textbook should remember that it is selective.

Language change Since literature is a written language, the state of the language always matters. There were four centuries of English literature before the Anglo-Saxon kingdom fell to the Normans. Dethroned, English was still written. It appeared again on the 12th and [p. 5] 13th century, gaining parity with French and Latin by the time of Geoffrey Chaucer. With the 16th-century Reformation and a Church of England for the new Tudor nation-state, English surpassed Latin for most purposes. English Renaissance literature became self-consciously patriotic. John Milton, who wrote verse in Latin, Greek, and Italian, as well as in English, asserted that God spoke first to his Englishmen. English literature is the literature of the English, as well as literature in English. However, Milton wrote the official justification for the execution of King Charles I in the language of serious European communication, Latin. The Doctor. Johnson wrote verses in Latin as well as in English. But with Johnson's death in 1784, British expansion took English around the world. Queen Victoria's educated subjects could read classical and other modern languages. However, in the year 2000, when English became the world's business language, most educated Englishmen and Americans read only English.

Other Literature in English Since - at the latest - the death of Henry James in 1916, Americans have not wanted their literature to be treated as part of the history of English literature. Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson are not English poets. For reasons of national identity, other former colonies feel the same way. There are gains and losses here. The English have contributed a great deal to English literature, but a national history of English writing, as it now must be, is only part of the story. Other English literature, while having more than language in common with English writing, has its own histories. Thus, naturalized British subjects like the Pole Joseph Conrad are in histories of English literature, but non-British ones are not. Now that English is a world language, this history needs to be supplemented by accounts from other literature in English and by comparative accounts of the kind magnificently attempted by Ford Madox Ford, who called himself "an old man crazy about writing." in his March of Literature: From Confucius to Modern Times (1938). The exclusion of non-Brits, while inevitable, is a shame - or so it seems to someone who studied English at a time when the nationality of Henry James or James Joyce was a minor consideration. In Britain today, multicultural considerations influence any contemporary-oriented first year programme. This volume, however, is not a survey of current English writing, but a history of English literature. The author, an Englishman residing in Scotland for over thirty years, is aware that a well-meaning English hug can feel imperial even within an evolving Britain. The adoption of a national criterion, however inevitable, presents difficulties. Since the arrival of an Irish Free State in 1922, Irish writers have not been British unless they were born in Northern Ireland. But Irish writing in English before 1922 is eligible: Swift, Berkeley, Sterne, Goldsmith, Burke, Edgeworth, Yeats and Joyce; not to mention the drama. There are difficult cases: the Anglo-Irish Samuel Beckett, asked by a French journalist if he was English, replied 'Au contraire'. Born near Dublin in 1906, when Ireland was ruled by Westminster, Beckett is eligible and, as his influence changed English drama, he's in. of the Republic of Ireland, and, when included in an anthology with 'British' in its title, protested: 'be warned/My passport is green./No glass of ours was ever raised/To toast the Queen'. Born in 1939 in Northern Ireland, he was educated at a Catholic school in that part of the UK and at Queen's University, Belfast. [p. 6] Writing read in Britain today becomes increasingly international, but it would have been wholly inconsistent to abandon a national criterion after an arbitrary date like 1970. Therefore, Bombay-born British citizen Salman Rushdie is eligible; the Indian Vikram Seth is not. English writing from the United States and other former colonies is excluded. A few non-English writers who played a role in English literature - such as Sir Walter Scott, a Scotsman who was British but not English - are included; some marginal cases are recognized. Few authors can get all the attention and fewer books, although the main works of the main authors should be mentioned here. Literary merit followed, under penalty of displeasing the supporters.

Drama is literature? Drama is strange: part theater, part literature. Part belongs to theater history, part to literary history. I have given to Caesar the things that are Caesar's. The plays live on in the performance, a point often missed by those whose reading of the plays is limited to Shakespeare's, which are extraordinarily well read. In most dramas, the words are a crucial element, but so are the plot, the actors, the movement, the gesture, the stage, the staging, and so on. In some plays, words play only a small role. Likewise, in poetic drama not every line has overt literary quality. King Lear says in his last scene: 'Pray to undo that button.' The request requests an action; the button open, Lear says "Thank you sir". Eight words create three dramatic moment gestures. The words are right, but their power comes from the actions they are part of and the piece as a whole. Only the literary part of the drama, then, appears here. It is a diminishing part, as the literary component in English drama declines after Shakespeare. The only eighteenth-century plays read today are in prose; they have plot and intelligence. In the 19th century, theater was entertainment, and poetic drama was too poetic. The English are proud of Shakespeare and enjoy the stage, but after 1660 the best drama in the English language is that of the Irish: Congreve, Goldsmith, Sheridan, Shaw, Wilde and Beckett.

Qualities and quantities “The best is the enemy of the good”, said Voltaire. As the amount of literature increases over the centuries, the criterion of quality becomes more pressing. Academic literary history, however exact its method, deals largely with accepted evaluations. Voltaire also said that ancient history is nothing but accepted fiction. Literary histories of early English writing agree that poetry is better than prose and discuss the same poems. Later it's more complicated, but not essentially different. Such agreements must be challenged, corrected and supplemented, but not silently disregarded. In this sense, literary history is critical-consensual, stemming from what Johnson called “the common quest for true judgment”. A literary historian who thought that Spenser, Dryden, Scott or Eliot (George or T. S.) were overrated could not omit them: scope for personal opinion is limited. A story's priorities can sometimes be deduced from its space allocation. However, space must also be given to the historically symptomatic. Thus, Thomas Gray's Elegy Written in a Country Cemetery (1750) is treated at length because it shows a century passing from the general to the personal. This does not mean that the Elegy is worth more than all the Old English prose or Jacobean drama, which are [p. 7] summarily treated, or than travel writing, which is not treated at all. Space is given to Chaucer and Milton, poets whose greatness is both historical and personal. Where there is no agreement (as on Blake's later poetry), or where personal insight is offered, this is clear.

Texts Here are the best texts available. These may not be the last texts approved by the author. Line references are not given, for changing editions. Some titles, such as Shakespeare's Sonnets and Dryden's Mac Flecknoe, retain their original forms; and some texts are not modernized. But most are modernized in spelling and reputed by their editors. Variety in edited texts is inevitable, as well-edited texts can be edited based on widely differing principles. This inconsistency is a good thing and should be viewed as positively instructive.

Further Reading Primary Texts Blackwell's Anthologies of Verse. Annotated Anthologies of Longman's Verses. Penguin English Poets and Penguin Classics as a whole. Oxford Books of Verse. Oxford and Cambridge editions of Shakespeare. Oxford University Press World Classics.

Secondary texts Drabble, M. (ed.). The Oxford Companion to English Literature, revised edition (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998). The reference standard work. Rogers, P. (ed.). The Oxford Illustrated History of English Literature (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987; paperback, 1990). Well designed; each chapter is by an expert scholar. Jeffares, A.N. (general edition). Macmillan's History of English Literature (1982-5) covers English literature in 8 volumes. Other volumes cover Scottish, Anglo-Irish, American and other literature. The Cambridge Companions to Literature (1986-). Well edited. Each Companion has specially written essays by leading scholars in various later periods and authors from early English literature onwards.

[p. eleven]

PART ONE: MEDIEVAL 1. Early English Literature: Up to 1100 Overview The Angles and Saxons conquered what is now called England in the 5th and 6th centuries. In the 7th century, Christian missionaries taught English to write. The English wrote law codes and then their poems. Northumbria soon produced Cædmon and Bede. Heroic poetry, of a Christian type, is the main legacy of early English literature, notably Beowulf and the Elegies. A considerable prose literature grew up after Alfred (died 899). There were four centuries of writing in English before the Norman Conquest.

Contents Guidelines Great Britain, England, English Oral Origins and Conversion Aldhelm, Bede, Cædmon Northumbria and The Dream of the Rood Heroic Poetry Christian Literature Alfred Beowulf Elegies Battle Poetry The Harvest of Literacy Further Reading

Orientations Britain, England, English the cliffs of England rise Bright and wide in the quiet bay. Matthew Arnold, 'Dover Beach' (c. 1851)

The cliffs of Dover were often the first in Britain seen by early visitors and have become a familiar symbol of England and the fact that England is on an island. These cliffs are part of what the Romans, since the 2nd century, called the Saxon coast: the southeastern coast of Great Britain, frequently invaded by Saxons. The Romans left Britain, after four centuries of occupation, in the early 5th century. Later that century, the Angles and Saxons took over most of the island of Britain. Around 700 they occupied the parts of Britain that the Romans were part of their empire. This part later became known as Engla-land, the land of the Angles, and its language would become English. It is not always recognized, especially outside of Great Britain, that Great Britain and England are not the same thing. So Shakespeare's King Lear ends on the cliff and beach of Dover. But Lear was king not of England but of Great Britain, in that legendary period of its history when it was pre-Christian and pre-English. English Romantic poet William Blake was thinking of his country's legendary origins when he asked in his 'Jerusalem'

[p. 12] St Bede (676-735) Monk of Wearmouth and Jarrow, scholar, biblical commentator, historian.

And those feet in ancient times Walked over the green hills of England? And was the holy Lamb of God seen in the pleasant pastures of England?

Blake here recalls the ancient legend that Jesus came with Joseph of Arimathea to Glastonbury in Somerset. An answer to his question would be: 'No, in Britain.' Literature is written language. Human settlement, in Britain as elsewhere, preceded recorded history by a few millennia, and English poetry preceded writing by a few generations. The first poems that could be called 'English' were the songs that could have been heard from the ships crossing the narrow seas to the 'Saxon coast' to conquer Britannia. “So they sang on the English boat”, would write Andrew Marvell. The people eventually called English were once separate peoples: Angles, Saxons, and Jutes. St. Bede relates in his Latin Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum (Ecclesiastical History of the English People, 731) that the Jutes were invited to Kent in 449 to save the British kingdom from the Saxons and Picts. The Jutes liked what they saw, and by 600 most of Britain had fallen to them, and to the Saxons and Angles. Celtic Britons who did not accept this went west to Cornwall and Wales. Britain's new masters spoke a Germanic language, in which "Wales" is a word for "foreigners". Other Britons, says Bede, lived beyond the northern marshes, in what is now Strathclyde, and beyond them lived the Picts, in the north and east of Scotland. English was first written down around the year 600, when King Æthelred of Kent was persuaded by St Augustine of Canterbury that he needed a written law code; It was written with the Roman alphabet.

The arrival of the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes in the 5th, 6th, and 7th centuries [p. 13] Historical Old English The peoples to be called English lived in a mosaic of small tribal kingdoms, which linguists speak of Old gradually amalgamated. The threat of Danish conquest began to unify a nation under the English king (OE), 450-1100; Alfred of Wessex (died 899). Under his successors, Angel-cynn (the English people and their Middle English (ME) territory) became Engla-lond, the land of the English, and ultimately England. English Literature, 1100-1500; and modern English, after 1500, which flourished for four centuries, was dethroned in the Norman Conquest in 1066, and for Homer (8th century BC) some generations not well recorded. The author of two After 1066 the English wrote in Latin, as they did before the Conquest, but now also in magnificent epics in verse: French. English continued to be written in places like Medehamstead Abbey (modern The Iliad, about the siege of Peterborough), where monks kept The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle until 1152. Not much of Troy and the rage of English writing survived from the one hundred years following the Conquest, but changes in the Achilles; and The Language of the Peterborough Chronicle indicate a new phase. 'Anglo-Saxon' (AS) is an Odyssey, on the Renaissance Latin term used to designate both the people and the language of Odysseus' pre-conquest adventures as he made his way home to England. The modern scholarly convention of calling the people Anglo-Saxons and Troy Ithaca. Old English should not belittle the fact that the people were English and that Germanic runes, their literature is English literature. secret alphabetic writing. Linguistically and historically, the English poems composed by Cædmon after 670 and Bede Runic in straight letters (673-735) are the earliest we know of. little read between the Middle Ages and the reign of Queen Victoria, when they were cut down. See Frank's coffin. duly published. Only then could they take their place in English literary history. Old English is now well understood, but it looks so different from English today that it cannot be read or understood by a well-educated reader in the same way that the writings of Shakespeare and Chaucer can: it has to be learned. Linguistically, the relationship between AD 1000 and AD 2000 English can be compared to that between Latin and modern French. Culturally, the English of 1000 lacked the authority of Latin. In terms of literary quality - which is the ticket for discussion in this story - the best early English poems can be compared with anything from later periods. Literature changes and develops, not improves. The supreme achievement of Greek literature comes at the beginning, with Homer's Iliad (8th century BC); and that of Italian literature, the Commedia of Dante (died 1321), comes very early. Any idea that Old English poetry will only be of historical interest does not survive the experience of reading Old English poetry in the original - though that takes study - or even in some translations. Old English literature forms part of English literature, and some of it deserves discussion here on literary merit. In addition to merit, he needed luck, luck to commit himself to writing, and to survive. The Angles, Saxons and Jutes were illiterate: their orally composed verses were not written down unless they formed part of runic inscriptions. The Britons did not pass on literacy or faith to their conquerors. The English learned to write only after being converted to Christ by missionaries sent from Rome in 597. Strictly speaking, there is no writing in Old English that is not Christian, as the only literate were the clergy.

Oral Origin and Conversion It would be a mistake to think that oral poetry would be inartistic. The Germanic oral poetry that survives from the end of the Roman Empire, found in writings from Austria to Iceland, has a common form, technique and formulaic repertoire.

[p. 14]

Places of Interest in Early and Middle English Literature Oral poetry was an art that evolved over generations: an art of memorable speech. It dealt with a set of heroic and narrative themes in a common metrical form and evolved to a point where its audience appreciated a richly varied style and technique of storytelling. In these technical respects, as well as in its heroic concerns, early English poetry resembles Homeric poetry. As written versions of originally oral compositions, these poems are of the same type as Homer's poems, though less monumental and less central to later literature. Just as poetry composed orally by the Anglo-Saxons was an established art, Roman missionaries were highly literate. Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People makes it clear that the evangelists sent by Pope Gregory (in 597) to bring the gospel (godspel, 'good news') to the Angles were an elite group. Augustine was sent from Gregory's own monastery in Rome. His most influential successor, Theodore [p. 14] (Archbishop of 664), was a Syrian Greek of Tarsus, who in twenty-six years at Canterbury organized the Church in England and made it a learned Church. His main helper, Hadrian, came from Roman Africa. Theodore sent Benedict Biscop to Northumbria to found the monastic communities of Wearmouth (674) and Jarrow (681). Benedict built these monasteries and visited Rome six times, providing them with the magnificent library that made Bede's learning possible. Throughout the Anglo-Saxon period, churchmen from Ireland and England traveled across Western Europe, protected by the tonsure that marked them as consecrated members of a supranational church with little regard for national jurisdictions. English literature, as has been said, is as much literature in English as it is literature of England. In the 16th century, England became a state with its own national church. Prior to this, English was not always the most important spoken language.

by the educated, and loyalty went to the local lord and church rather than to the state. Art historians use the term "Insular" to characterize British art of this period. Insular art, the art of the islands, is distinct but of mixed origins: Celtic, Mediterranean and Germanic. The blended quality of Old English art holds true for the culture as a whole: it is an Anglo-Celtic-Roman culture. This hybrid culture found literary expression in an unmixed language. Although Britannia was now their home, the English learned few words from the languages ​​of Roman Britain; exceptions include the Celtic names for rivers such as Avon, Dee and Severn, and the Roman words 'wall' (vallum) and 'street' (strata). Arriving with the weakening of the Roman Empire, the Saxons did not need to exchange their Germanic language for Latin, unlike their cousins, the Franks, but Latin was the language of those who taught them to read and write. Upon completing the conquest of Britain, the Saxons were transformed by their conversion to Catholicism. Gregory's mission brought Britain together with the Judeo-Christian world of the Latin West. Aldhelm, Bede, Cædmon Although Cædmon is the first English poet whose words survive, the first known English poet is Aldhelm (c. 640-709). King Alfred thought Aldhelm unequaled at any time in his ability to compose poetry in his native tongue. There is a tradition that Aldhelm was on a bridge leading to Malmesbury, improvising English verse for the harp in Border to attract his lost flock. Aldhelm's English verse is lost; his surviving Latin writings are extremely sophisticated. Aldhelm (c. 640-709), the monastic founder of Malmesbury, Frome and Bradford-on-Avon, was the star pupil at Hadrian's school at Canterbury and became Bishop of Sherborne. His younger contemporary, Bede, wrote that Aldhelm was "the most learned in every respect, as he had a brilliant style and was remarkable both for sacred and liberal scholarship". Aldhelm's brilliance is painfully clear, even through the dark glass of translation, when he chastises an Englishman who has gone to Ireland: The fields of Ireland are rich and green with pupils and with numerous readers, grazing there like flocks, even when the pole pivots are bright with the starry shimmer of bright constellations. Yet Great Britain, situated, shall we say, almost at the extreme extremity of the western climate, also has its flaming sun and lucid moon...

Britain has, he explains, Theodore and Hadrian. Aldhelm wrote sermons in verse and a treatise in verse for a nunnery on virginity. He also wrote an epistle to his godson, King Aldfrith of Northumbria, on metrics, full of riddles, and [p. 16]

Dates of first writings and major events Date 43 98 313 314 AD 330 384 410 413 417 430 AD

Author and title Tacitus: Germania

Christian Tolerance Council of Arles Constantinople Founds Saint Helena Finds the True Cross Saint Jerome: Vulgate Edition of the Bible Legions Taken from Great Britain Saint Augustine of Hippo: The City of God Orosius: World History Saint Patrick in Ireland Saint Ninian in N Great Britain Hengest and Horsa: Conquest by Angles, Saxons and Jutes starts British resistance: Battle of Mons Badonicus; St David in Wales Hygelac the Geat (d.)

449 c. 500 c. 521 524 529

Boethius: Consolation of Philosophy Saint Benedict founds Monte Cassino Legendary reign of Beowulf

c. 547 563 577

Gildas: Conquista da Grã-Bretanha Venantius Fortunatus: Hinos da Cruz

591 597

Gregory of Tours: History of the Aneirin Franks: Y Gododdin

c. 615 616-32 627 632 635 643

Event Conquest of Britain by Emperor Claudius

From this date: early heroic poems: Widsith, Deor,

St Columba at Iona Battle of Dyrham: British confined to Wales and Dumnonia Gregory sends Augustine to Canterbury St Columba (d.) Aethelfrith King of Bernicia defeats the British at Chester Edwin King of Northumbria Edwin converted by Paulinus (?) Sutton Hoo burial of the ship Oswald King of Northumbria defeats Cadwallon in Heavenfield Mercia converted

Finnsburh, Waldere 664 657-80

Cædmon'sHymn Cædmonian poets: Genesis A, Daniel, Christ and Satan

Theodore of Tarsus Archbishop of Canterbury; Wearmouth and Jarrow founded

669-90 678 688

Earliest date for composition of Beowulf (?) Exodus

[p. 17] Dates of first writings and major events - Continued Date Author and title 698 Eadfrith: Lindisfarne Gospels Early linguistic records Ruthwell Cross Bede: Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum 731 756-96 782 (?) The Poetic Elegies 793 800 After this date: Cynewulf: Cristo II, Elene, Juliana, Destinies of the Apostles 802 851 (?) Genesis B 865 (?) Andreas 871-99 878

909 910 911-18 919 924-39 937

Alfredian Translations: Pastoral Care, Ecclesiastical History, Orosius, Boethius, Soliloquies; Anglo-Saxon Chronicle started (?) Beowulf composed by this date

991 990-2 993-8 1003-23 ​​1014 1017-35 1043-66 1066



Offa King of Mercia Alcuin at Charlemagne's court Vikings sack Lindisfarne Charlemagne is crowned Emperor Egbert King of Wessex Danes winter in England Danish army in East Anglia Alfred King of Wessex, the only kingdom not conquered by the Danes Alfred at Athelney Defeat of the Danes: Treaty of Wedmore

Founded Cluny Abbey (Burgundy) (?) Judith (?) The Phoenix Brunanburh in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle

954 959-75 960-88 973 978-1016

Whitby Synod Accepts Authority of Rome Hilda Abbess of Whitby

Monastic revival Major poetry manuscripts: Junius Book, Vercelli Book, Exeter Book, Beowulf MS After this date: The Battle of Maldon Aelfric: Catholic Homilies Aelfric: Lives of Saints Wulfstan: Sermo Lupi Ad Anglos

Mercia subject to Wessex Athelstan King of Wessex Battle of Brunanburh: Athelstan defeats Scots and Vikings End of Norse Kingdom of York: England united under Wessex Reign of Edgar Dunstan Archbishop of Canterbury Edgar's Coronation Reign of Ethelred II Battle of Maldon

Wulfstan Archbishop of York Swein of Denmark King of England Reign of Cnut Reign of Edward the Confessor Harold King Battle of Stamford Bridge Battle of Hastings William I King

End of the Peterborough Chronicle

[p. 18] word games. Even if Aldfrith and the nuns did not appreciate Aldhelm's style, it is clear that 7th century England was not illiterate. More care was taken to preserve writings in Latin than in English. Bede's Latin works survive in many copies: thirty-six complete manuscripts of his prose Life of St Cuthbert, over a hundred of his De Natura Rerum. At the end of his Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum, Bede lists his ninety Latin works. Of his English writings in prose and verse, only five lines remain. As Ascension Day approached in 735, Bede was dictating a translation of the Gospel of St. John into English, and he finished it on the day he died. Even this precious text is lost. On his deathbed, Bede sang the verse of St. Paul (Hebrews 10:31)

which speaks of the fear of falling into the hands of the living God. He then composed and sang his 'Song of Death'. This is a Northumbrian version: Fore thaem neidfaerae naenig uuirthit thoncsnotturra, than him tharf sie to ymbhycggannae aer his hiniongae hwaet his gastrae godaes aeththae yflaes aefter deothdaege doemid uueorthae. Literally: Before this inevitable journey, no one becomes wiser in thought than he needs to be, considering, before his departure, what will be judged to his soul, good or bad, after the day of his death.

The 'Song of Death' is one of the rare vernacular poems extant in multiple copies. Its laconic formulation is characteristic of the Anglo-Saxon. Bede is one of the first five English poets whose names are known: Aldhelm, Bede, Cædmon, Alfred - two saints, a cowboy and a king - and Cynewulf, who signed his poems but is unknown. Oral composition was not meant to be written. A poem was a social act, like storytelling today, not something that belonged to its performer. For a Saxon, writing his vernacular poems would be like having personal anecdotes privately printed, while writing in Latin was like participating in the enduring conversation of learned Europe. Bede's works survive in manuscripts across Europe and Russia. The modern way of dating the years AD - Anno Domini, 'the Year of Our Lord' - was established, if not invented, by Bede. Bede employed this system in his History, instead of dating by the regnal years peculiar to each English kingdom, as was the custom at the time. His example led to its general adoption. Bede is the only English writer mentioned by Dante and the first whose works have been read in every generation since they were written. The first writer of whom this is true is Chaucer. English literature is literature in English; all that is discussed here of Bede's Latin history is his account of Cædmon. But we can learn something about literature from the account of the final acts of Bede, a professional writer. This shows that composing came before writing: Bede composed and sang his 'Canção da Morte' after singing the St. Paul verse on which it was based. Composition was not an origin but a recreation: transmission, performance. These compositional characteristics lasted into the Middle Ages and beyond. Cædmon was the first to use English oral composition to turn sacred stories into verse; the English liked verse. Bede presents this uneducated man's call to compose biblical poetry as a miraculous means of bringing the good news to the English. He tells us that Cædmon was a farmhand at Whitby Abbey, which was presided over by St Hilda (d. 680), an old man ignorant of poetry. At parties when [p. 19] all in turn were invited to compose verses for the harp and entertain the company, Cædmon, when he saw the harp coming towards him, rose from the table and went home. On one of these occasions he left the house where the feast was being held and went to the stable where it was his duty that night to look after the animals. There, when the time came, he settled down to sleep. Suddenly, in a dream, he saw a certain man standing next to him who called him by name. 'Cædmon', he said, 'sing me a song.' 'I can't sing,' he replied. "It was because I can't sing that I left the party and came here." The man addressing him said, "But you must sing for me." “What shall I sing about?” he replied. 'Sing about the Creation of all things,' replied the other. And Cædmon immediately began to sing verses in praise of God the Creator which he had never heard before, and his theme was thus.

Bede gives Cædmon's song in Latin, adding 'This is the general sense, but not the actual words which Cædmon sang in his dream; for verses, however masterly, cannot be translated word for word from one language to another without losing much of their beauty and dignity.' The old man remembered what he had sung and added more in the same style. The next day, the monks told him about a passage of scriptural history or doctrine, and he transformed it overnight into excellent verse. He sang Creation, Genesis and Exodus and other stories from biblical history, including the Incarnation, Passion, Resurrection, Ascension, Pentecost and the apostles' teaching, and many other religious songs. The monks certainly wrote all this down, though Bede only says that "their charming representations turned their instructors into auditors." In 1655 the Dutch scholar Junius published in Amsterdam 'The Monk Cædmon's Paraphrase of Genesis etc.', based on a beautiful Old English manuscript containing Genesis, Exodus, Daniel, Christ and Satan. The poems are probably not by Cædmon, but follow his example. John Milton knew Junius and read Old English, so the author of Paradise Lost could have read Genesis. He calls Bede's account of the vocation of the first English poet a perplacida historiola, "a very pleasant little story." In the margins of several of the 160 complete Latin manuscripts of Bede's Ecclesiastical History are Old English versions of 'Cædmon's Hymn', differing in dialect and detail as usual in medieval manuscripts. Its relationship to what Cædmon sang is unknown. Here is my own translation. Praised be now the guardian of the kingdom of heaven, The power of the Creator, the deep mind Of the glorious Father, who formed the beginning Of all wonder, the eternal Lord. For the children of men he first made heaven for a roof, the holy Creator. Then the Lord of mankind, the eternal Shepherd,

Ordained in the middle as a dwelling place - The Lord Almighty - the earth for men. English is a stressed language, and the Old English line of verse is a balance of two stressed phrases linked by alliteration: the first or second stress, or both, must be alliterated with the third; the room should not. The Old English reverse side is printed with a space in the midline for pointing the gauge. Free oral improvisation in a definite form requires a repertoire of formulated units. The style is rich in formulas, often nominal phrases. Thus, in the nine lines of his 'Hymn', Cædmon has six different formulas for God, a characteristic known as variation. The image of heaven as roof and the Lord as protector is characteristically Anglo-Saxon.

alliteration The joining of words by the use of the same initial letter. In Old English verse, all vowels are alliterated.

[p. twenty]

Northumbria and The Dream of the Rood Many of the manuscripts that perished in the 1530s in the destruction of the monasteries by Henry VIII (see Chapter 3) may have been in Old English. Some 30,000 lines of Old English verse survive in four major manuscripts of poetry. These were written around the year 1000, but contain earlier material. Much has been lost, but three identifiable phases of early English literature are the Northumbrian era of Bede (d.735), the Alfred program (d.899) and the Benedictine revival of the late 10th century. Northumbria is known to us through Bede, but also through surviving illuminated books such as the Lindisfarne Gospels and the Codex Amiatinus, and some fine churches, crosses and religious art. The Ruthwell Cross is from this period: in 1642 this tall stone cross near Dumfries, Scotland, was crushed as an idolater by order of the General Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland. In 1823, however, the minister reassembled and rebuilt it, now 5.7 meters high. It was an open-air cross or wheel, covered with panels in deep relief representing scenes from the life of Christ, each with an inscription in Latin. On it is also carved in runic characters a poem which in a longer MS. version is known as The Dream of the Rood. This longest text in the Vercelli Book (c. 1000) has 156 lines. Ruthwell's text, which ran to about 50 lines, is a great poem in itself. If carved c. 700, may be the first substantial English verse to survive. The Dreamer in the poem sees at midnight a glorious cross rise to fill the sky, adored by all creation. It is covered in gold and jewels, but at other times covered in blood. The Dreamer continues: Still lying there for a long time, I gazed sadly at the Healer's Tree Till it seemed I heard how it broke the silence, Best wood, and began to speak: 'In the course of that time, my mind has away Back to the holt where I was shot down; From my own stump I was torn, dragged by strong enemies, Forged on a roadside scaffold. They made me a crane for evildoers. The soldiers on their shoulders carried me until on top of a hill they placed me; Many enemies made me fast there. Then I saw, marching towards me, the brave King of Mankind; He came to climb on top of me. I dared not break or bend against God's will, though the very ground shook at my feet. Quick I got to my feet, Who falling could have knocked them all down. Almighty God untied Him, eager to mount the gallows, Fearless in the sight of many: He would set mankind free. I shivered as his arms embraced me, but I didn't dare bow to the ground, Bow to the Earth's surface. Stand firm I must. [p. 21] I was created, a rood. I created the great King, Lord of heaven, I dared not bow to the truth. They locked me up with black nails: deep wounds manifest in me,

Wide-mouthed hate teeth. I didn't dare hurt any of them. How they mocked us both! I was wet all over with the blood that gushed from Man's side after He sent His soul... These last lines appear in the Rood at Ruthwell. Ruthwell's Cross is an expression of the veneration of the Cross that spread throughout Christendom from the 4th century onwards. Constantine had a vision of the cross, which told him that in that sign he would win. Victorious, the new emperor declared tolerance of Christianity and built a Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher on Mount Calvary. In excavating the foundations, fragments of what was believed to be the Cross of the Crucifixion were discovered, and miraculous healings were attributed to it. The emperor's mother, Helena, was later associated with this discovery of the cross. Wrapped in gold and silver reliquaries, fragments of the Cross were venerated throughout Europe. A fragment was presented by the Pope to King Alfred and is now in the 10th century Brussels Reliquary, which is inscribed with a verse from The Dream of the Rood. In warrior culture, it was a man's duty to stand by his lord and die in his defense. But the lord in The Dream is an Anglo-Saxon hero, eager to join the battle against death. The cross is the incomprehensible but obedient participant in its lord's mission.

[Figure omitted] 'Carpet' page of the Lindisfarne Gospels, a Latin Gospel book (see page 20), written and painted on parchment by Eadfrith in 698, who became bishop in Lindisfarne, founded indirectly from the Irish monastery by much time. The cross 'carpet' design may have come to Ireland from Egypt. The closest detail is in the insular style of inlaid metalwork, a Celtic/Mediterranean/Anglo-Saxon mix.

[p. 22] death: 'Stand firm, I must.' The cross yields its lord's body to his human followers, who bury it. The three crosses are also buried. But 'the friends of the Lord knew it: it was they who girded me with gold and silver.' of the Second Coming, when those who live under the sign of the cross will be saved. The poem exemplifies both the tradition of vision, in which a bewildered dreamer is led from confusion to understanding, and the medieval "work of affective devotion", affecting the emotions and leading the audience from confusion to faith. He boldly adapts the Gospel accounts to the culture of the audience, employing the tradition of the Old English riddle, in which an object is made to speak, and telling the story of the crucifixion from the humble creature's point of view. The poem fills living cultural forms with robust theology, redirecting the heroic code of loyalty and sacrifice from an earthly lord to a heavenly lord.

Heroic Poetry Early literature often refers to a "heroic age": a period in the past when warriors were more heroic and kings were kings. The Christian heroism of The Dream of the Rood redirected the ancient pagan heroism that can be seen in fragments of Germanic heroic poetry. Waldere, one of the earliest poems, presents the heroism of Walter's defense of a narrow place against its enemies. Finnsburh, another ancient poem set on the mainland, is a vividly dramatic fragment of a fight in Beowulf. Such poems recall the times before the Angles arrived in Britain in the fifth century, as do the minstrel poems Widsith and Deor. Widsith (meaning 'traveler') is the name of a scop (poet), who lists the names of mainland tribes and their rulers, praising generous patrons. Deor is a Scotsman who has lost his office; to console himself he recalls famous instances of evil bringing good, and after each stanza he sings the refrain Thœs ofereode, theseses swarnaeg: 'It is past; so can that.' Deor is one of only three stanzaic poems. The first stanza reads: Wayland knew the wanderer's fate: That obstinate earl suffered agonies, Sorrow and longing the only companions Of his icy exile. Anxiety bit when Nithhad put a knife to his tendons, Lad cleverly lassoed on the better man. It passed; that can too. This story of the imprisonment of Wayland, the smith of the gods, has the happy (pagan) ending of successful multiple revenge. The incapacitated Wayland later escaped, having killed his captor Nithhad's two sons and raped his daughter Beadohild; Beadohild gave birth to the hero Widia and later reconciled with Wayland. A scene from this fierce legend is carved on an eighth-century Northumbrian whalebone box known as the Franks Casket: it shows Wayland offering Nithhad a drink from a bowl he skillfully fashioned from the skull of one of Nithhad's sons; in the background is a pregnant Beadohild. Little of the unnamed material from Germania survives in English. The Franks Casket juxtaposes pagan and Christian pregnancies: the next panel for Wayland, Nithhad and Beadohild shows the Magi visiting Mary and her child. Although English writing emerged with Christianity, not everything that was written was fully Christian. Pope Gregory, according to the story in Bede, saw some righteous

[p. 23]

The front of the Franks Casket, a small box carved from whalebone donated by Sir A. Franks to the British Museum. Runic inscription: 'This is whale bone. The sea threw the fish onto the rocky shore. The ocean was choppy where he swam to the gravel.' For a key to the lower panels, see page 22. Left, Adoration of the Magi; All right, Wayland.

hairy boys for sale in the Roman slave market: on hearing that they were Angles and pagans, he sent Augustine to convert the Angles, to transform them so that, in a famous papal play on words, the Angles would become worthy to share in the joys of the angels. Cædmon converted traditional praise to the heroism performed by poets such as Widsith and Deor to spread the Gospel. But the poetic repertoire was so strongly heroic that the Angles sometimes seem to translate the Gospel back into heroic terms, as The Dream of the Cross did, but without reconceiving the heroism. Here is Andreas' opening in C. W. Kennedy's translation: Lo! We hear of twelve mighty heroes Honored under heaven in ancient times, Thanes of God. His glory did not fail In the clash of banners, the weight of war, After they were scattered and scattered As their lots were cast by the Lord of heaven. Eleven of the twelve heroic apostles were martyred - St. Andrew by mermedo cannibals, according to Andreas, the Acts of the Apostle Andrew. Much Old English prose and verse is given to Saint's Life, a popular genre among Anglo-Saxons from 1000 AD. Miraculous, sensational, moralistic stories still abound in daily newspapers today, though they rarely feature heroic Christians. The sophisticated pagans of Constantine's day expected miracles as much as ordinary Christians. Most of the official and popular writing of the medieval period is of interest to later generations for historical and cultural rather than literary reasons - as is true of most writing of any period.

Christian Literature The dedicated Christian literature of Anglo-Saxon England is of several types. There are paraphrases of verses from Old Testament stories such as that of Cædmon: Genesis and Exodus, Daniel and Judith. They emphasize rewarded faith. There are lives of saints like André or Helena; or the more historic lives of contemporaries like

[p. 24] as St Guthlac (an Anglican warrior who became a hermit), of Cuthbert of Lindisfarne, or of King Edmund (martyred by the Danes). And there are sermons, wisdom literature, and doctrinal, penitential, and devotional materials—such as The Dream of the Cross.

liturgy (Gk) A religious service; the words for the prayers in a service.

The New Testament is mainly represented in translation and liturgical adaptation. Bible translation into English did not begin in the 14th or 16th centuries: the Gospels, Psalms and other books were translated into English during the Old English period; parts of various versions remain. The Bible was made known to lay people through the liturgical program of prayers and readings at Mass throughout the cycle of the Christian year. The liturgy is the source of poems like that of Christ, and it contributes to The Dream of the Cross. Modern drama would eventually grow out of Church worship, especially out of reenactments like those of Holy Week. Christ is a three-part poem also known as Advent Lyrics, Ascension, and Doomsday. The seventh letter based on the Advent liturgy is Eala ioseph min ('O my Joseph'), in which Mary asks Joseph why he rejects her. He replies with delicacy and pathos: 'Suddenly I am deeply troubled, bereft of honor, For I have heard many words for you, Many great sorrows and painful speeches, Much harm, and to me they speak insult, Many hostile words. Tears I must shed, sad in mind. God can easily Ease my heart's inward pain, Comfort the wretched. O youth, Mary, the virgin!' It is out of liturgical adaptations like this that the drama developed. Parts 2 and 3 of Christ are signed 'Cynewulf' in a runic acrostic. The approach is smoother than Andreas. Ascension, for example, is addressed to an unknown patron. Cynewulf begins: By the spirit of wisdom, Illustrious, With meditation and keen mind, Strive now earnestly to understand, To comprehend, how it happened When the Savior was born in purest birth (Who sought shelter in Mary's womb, The Flower of virgins , fairest of maidens) That the angels did not come in white when the Lord was born, a Babe in Bethlehem. Angels were seen there singing to the shepherds Songs of great joy: that the Son of God was born on earth in Bethlehem. But the Scriptures do not say in that glorious time That they came clad in white robes, As they did later when the Mighty Lord, The Prince of Splendour, summoned his nobles, The well-beloved band, to Bethany. Cynewulf, an unknown 9th century cleric, is the only Old English poet to sign his poems. [p. 25] Names and dates are almost entirely non-existent in Old English verse. The four main verse manuscripts are known as the Book of Junius, the Book of Exeter, the Book of Vercelli and the Beowulf manuscript. Each is a compilation of copied and recopied works by different authors, and each is of unknown provenance. Though composed earlier, these manuscripts were written around AD 1000 during the Benedictine Revival, the period of the prose writers Ælfric and Wulfstan, and of some later poems such as Judith and The Battle of Maldon. We now pass from the golden age of Northumbria, the life of Bede (d. 735), to the age of Alfred (d. 899).

Alfred (died 899) King of Wessex from 871, who defended his kingdom against the Danes and translated books of lore into English.

Alfred Bede and Ælfric were monks from childhood, Cædmon was a farmhand. Alfred's life sheds an interesting light on literacy as well as literature. The fourth son of the King of Wessex, he came to the throne of West Saxony in 871, when the Danes had invaded every English kingdom except his own. Although the Danes first settled in eastern and northern England, an area known as the Danelaw, the Danes Alfred defeated turned eastward and eventually settled in Normandy ("the land of the Northmen"). Alfred wrote that, when he came to the throne, he could not think of a single priest south of the Thames who could understand a Latin letter or translate one into English. Looking at the great learning that was in Bede's England and the Latin books that were now unread, the king used the image of a man who could see a trail but didn't know how to follow it. Alfredo was a great hunter, and the trail here is the one left by a pen. Riddle 26 in the Book of Exeter explains what a book is made of: I am the scalp of myself, flayed by my enemy, Robbed of my strength, he soaked and drenched me,

They dipped me in the water, took me out again, They put me in the sun. Soon I lost there The hair I had. The hard edge Of a sharp knife cuts me now, Fingers bend me, and a bird's pride Leaves its treasure trail through me, Leaps again over the brown edge, Sucks the paint from wood, steps on me again, Makes its black marks. At the end, the speaker asks the reader to guess his identity; the answer is a Gospel, made of calfskin, prepared, cut and folded. The feather is a feather (a “chicken pride”); the paint, paint for wood. Writing is later described as leading a trail of "successful falls". And reading is following that trail to the quarry, wisdom. Reading is an art that Alfred mastered at the age of twelve; he started learning Latin at the age of thirty-five. Having saved his kingdom physically, Alfred set out to save his mind and soul. He decided to translate sumœ bec, tha niedbethearfosta sien eallum monnum to wiotonne ('those books which are most necessary for all men to know') into English; and teach the free children of laymen to read them that the quarry, wisdom, may again be pursued in Angelcynn, the family and country of the English. Old English verse was an art older than its written form. Old English prose was used to record laws, but in The AngloSaxon Chronicle of 757 we find evidence of narrative tradition in the story of Cynewulf and Cyneheard. By authorizing versions of essential Latin books into English prose, however, Alfred established English as a literary language. The books he translated were Bede's Ecclesiasticus [p. 26] History, Histories by Orosius, Pastoral Care and Dialogues by Gregory, Soliloquies by Augustine, and Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius, later translated by Chaucer and Elizabeth I. Alfred also translated the Psalms. It was in his reign that The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (ASC) began: the only vernacular history, other than Irish annals, of such an early period in Europe. The first part is based on Bede; the West-Saxon Chronicle then records Alfred's resistance to the Danes. The ASC was maintained in various monastic centers until the Conquest, and in Peterborough until 1154. It used to be considered the most important work written in English before the Norman Conquest, a palm now given to Beowulf. Here is the entry for the climatic year of the Danish campaign, written by a West Saxon.

Alfred's Necessary Authors The learned authors of Alfred were Augustine (354-430), Orosius (early 5th century), Boethius (c. 480-524), and Gregory (c. 540-604).

878 In this year, in the middle of winter after the twelfth night, the enemy came stealthily into Chippenham, and occupied the land of the West Saxons, and settled there, and drove a great part of the people across the sea, and conquered most of the rest. ; and the people submitted to them, except King Alfred. He traveled in hardship through the woods and marshes with a small force... And then at Easter King Alfred with a small force made a stronghold at Athelney, and he and the section of the Somerset people who were closest to it began to fight of that fortress against the enemy. Then, in the seventh week after Easter, he rode to 'Egbert's stone', east of Selwood, and there came to meet him all the people of Somerset and Wiltshire and that part of Hampshire which lay on this side of the sea. And they were glad to see him. And so after one night he went from that camp to Iley, and after another night to Edington, and there he fought the whole army and put it to flight. . .

Alfred was a patron at the baptism of the defeated King Guthrum at the treaty of Wedmore (878). The Somerset marshes are also the setting for the story of Alfred hiding out in an old woman's house and allowing the cakes to burn while he thinks about something else - how to save his country. Alfred's thoughtfulness is evident in his two famous prefaces, for pastoral care and soliloquies. His resolute and practical character was combined with a respect for wisdom and its rewards. Alfred added to his Boethius the following sentence: "Without wisdom no faculty can be fully developed: for whatever is done recklessly can never be considered skill." In his Preface to his later translation of the Soliloquies, he seems to be looking back on his career as a translator when he writes: So I gathered for myself stakes, rigging posts and beams, and handles for every tool I knew how to use, and wood for building and beams and everything I could carry from the most beautiful wood for each of the structures I knew how to build. I did not go home with a single load without wanting to bring the whole forest home with me, if I could carry it all; in every tree I saw something I needed at home. Therefore, I advise every one of those who are able and have many wagons to go to the same forest where I cut these posts; let him seek more for himself, and load his wagons with fair branches, that he may weave many clean walls, and build many excellent buildings, and build a fair city, and live in it with joy and ease both winter and summer, as I didn't until now. But he who taught me, whom the forest pleased, can make it easier for me to dwell both in this transitory wayside dwelling while I am in this world, and also in that eternal home which he promised us through St. Augustine. and Saint Gregory and Saint Jerome, and through many other holy fathers...

Alfred builds a dwelling for his soul from wood taken from the forest of wisdom. In the next paragraph he asks the King of Eternity, whose forest this is, that he grant the soul

[p. 27] a letter that he might have it as a perpetual inheritance. The sheer metaphysical confidence with which this metaphor is treated shows that Alfred's later reputation for wisdom was not undeserved. Later writers also called him Englene hyrde, Englene deorlynge ("shepherd of the English, darling of the English"). Alfred's educational program for the laity was initially unsuccessful, but later bore fruit in the Wessex of his grandson Edgar, who ruled 959-76. After the Ages of Bede and Alfred, this is the third clearly defined Age of Anglo-Saxon literature, the Benedictine Revival, under Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury 960-88, himself a skilled artist. Bishop Æthelwold made Winchester a center for manuscript illumination. In its profusion of manuscripts, the Wessex of Dunstan, Æthelwold and Ælfric is better represented today than Bede's more remarkable early Northumbrian. In this period, English prose became the instrument of a flourishing civilization, with scientific, political and historical as well as religious interests. It was in this second Benedictine era, around AD 1000, that the four manuscripts of poetry were made: the Book of Vercelli, the Book of Junius, the Book of Exeter and the Beowulf manuscript.

Beowulf Like Greek literature, English literature begins with an epic, a poem of historical scope that speaks of heroes and the world, human and non-human. Compared with Homer's epics, Beowulf is short at 3,182 lines, but it is the longest and also the richest of Old English poems. Like other epics, it has a style made for oral composition, rich in formulas. The poem is found in a manuscript from the late 10th century, but it was composed perhaps two centuries earlier, and is set in a world more than two centuries earlier, on the shores of the Baltic. This was the North West Germanic world from which the English came to Britain. The arrival of the Saxons is recalled in a poem in the ASC for 937. ... from the east came Angles and Saxons to these shores, Seeking Britain across the wide seas, Smart for glory, those smiths of war Who vanquished the Welsh, and gained a homeland. The first great work of English literature is not set in Britain. Beowulf opens with the mysterious figure of Scyld, founder of Denmark's Scylding dynasty, who is said to have lived c. 400, before England existed. A Hengest mentioned in a substory of the poem may be the Hengest invited to Kent in 449 (see page 13). The Offa mentioned may be an ancestor of Offa, king of Mercia in the eighth century. Beowulf showed the English the world of their ancestors, the heroic world of the North, a world at once glorious and pagan. Dynasties draw their identity from their ancestors and the rulers of English kingdoms governed by the ancestral right of conquest. The date and provenance of Beowulf are uncertain and its authorship unknown, but the poem would have been of ancestral interest to such a ruler. West Saxon genealogies trace back to Noah via Woden; they include three names mentioned in Beowulf - Scyld, Scef and Beow. When in the seventh century the English became Christians, they sent missionaries to their Germanic cousins. The audience for poetry was the lord of the hall and the men in his entourage. Such an audience was proud of their ancestors - even if, as the poem about the Danes says, "they did not know God." The text of Beowulf is found in a manuscript in the West Saxon dialect of Wessex [p. 28]

The opening of Beowulf in the c.1000 British Library manuscript: HWÆT WEGARDE na in gear dagum theod cyninga thrym ge frunon hu tha æthelingas ellen fremedon ... Word for word: Listen! We of the Danes, in days of yore, of the kings of the people of glory, have heard how those princes did deeds of valor. The irregular outline of the sheet is due to fire damage in 1731

which has become the literary standard. All manuscript texts are about monsters, but Beowulf's main concern is not with monsters or even heroes, but with human wisdom and destiny. It recounts the deeds over two or three generations around the year 500 of the rulers of the Danes and Swedes, and of a people who lived among them in southern Sweden, the Geats. The name Beowulf is not recorded in history, but the poem's political and dynastic events are consistent with history. Beowulf is the nephew of Hygelac, king of the Geats, who died in a raid on the northern fringes of the Frankish empire. This key event in the poem is recorded in two Latin histories as having taken place around 521. Hygelac fell in a raid seeking plunder. When attacking the Frisians on the Frankish frontier, Beowulf's uncle was asking for trouble, the poem says. The Franks took from Hygelac's body a necklace of precious stones, a treasure previously given to Beowulf by the Queen of the Danes as a reward for slaying the monster Grendel (see below). On his return from Denmark, Beowulf presented this prize to his lord, Hygelac, but the necklace was lost in this needless attack. Beowulf prevented the enemy champion, Dayraven, from taking Hygelac's armor by crushing him to death with his bare hands. Beowulf returned with the armor of thirty soldiers and refused the throne, preferring to serve the young son of Hygelac. But when this son is killed for harboring an exiled Swedish prince, Beowulf became king and ruled the Geats for 'fifty years'. The poem has a mysterious opening with Scyld's arrival as a foundling child, sent by God to protect the lordless Danes, his victorious life, and his burial on a ship. His great-grandson Hrothgar inherits the Danish empire and builds the great hall of [p. 29] Heorot, where he rewards his followers with gifts. At a feast, the poet of Hrothgar sings the story of the creation of the world. The sound of music, laughter, and feasting is resented by the monster Grendel, who comes out of the swamps to attack Heorot when men are asleep. He devours thirty of Hrothgar's warriors. Beowulf learns of the Danes' pursuit and comes to kill Grendel, in a tremendous night fight in the hall. The following night, Grendel's mother arrives at the hall and takes revenge. Beowulf follows her to her lair in an underwater cave, where with God's help he kills her. Finally, in old age, he has to fight a dragon, who has attacked the Geats in revenge for taking a cup from their treasure. Beowulf faces the dragon alone, but is only able to kill it with the help of a young supporter; he dies of his wounds. The poem ends with a prophecy of the subjection of the Geats by the Franks or Swedes. The Geats build a funeral pyre for their leader. Then the warriors rode around the tomb. Twelve of them in all, children of ateliers. They recited a dirge to declare their grief, They spoke of man, they mourned their King. They praised his manhood and the dexterity of his hands, They extolled his name; it is right for a man to be prodigal in honoring his lord and friend, to love him in his heart when he finally comes out of the house of the flesh. This was the manner of mourning of the men of the Geats, Partakers of the feast, for the fall of their lord: They said that he was of all kings in the world The kindest of men, and the most gracious, The kindest to his people, the most greedy for fame. The basis of Germanic heroic society is the bond between a lord and his people, especially his warrior retinue. Each will die for the other. Beowulf's epitaph suggests an ethical recipe for heroism: three parts responsibility for one part honor. The origin of Beowulf's life story, in the folktale of the Son of the Bear and his wondrous deeds, is transmuted by the poem into a distinct social ideal of the good young hero and the wise old king. The heroic world is violent, but neither Beowulf nor Beowulf is bloodthirsty. The poem shows not only the glory but also the human cost of a code built on family honor and the duty of revenge. This cost is borne by men and, differently, by women. In this aristocratic world, women have honored roles: peacemakers in marriage alliances between dynasties, bride, consort, hostess, adviser, mother and widow. In Beowulf, the cost of martial honor is represented in the figure of the mourner. Here is the Danish princess Hildeburh at the funeral pyre of her brother Hnæf, treacherously killed by her husband Finn, and her son, also killed in the attack on Hnæf. Shortly after this, Finn is killed by Hengest. Hildeburgh then ordered her own son to be given over to Hnæf's funeral fire for the burning of his bones; she ordered him to be placed beside his uncle. She sang the lamentations, Lamented her pain. The warrior rose; The greatest of cadaverous fires rose to the sky, It roared before the hills. There were heads melting [p. 30] And wounds bursting, as blood flowed From bodies bitten by weapons. Burning fire, the most insatiable of spirits, engulfed the remains of the victims of both nations. Its value no longer existed.

The heroic lifestyle - magnificent, hospitable and courageous - depends on military success. You can descend into the world of the fief, violent and merciless. The heroic code involves obligations to master, family, and guest, and heroic literature puts these obligations in tension, with tragic potential. A comparison can be made between Beowulf and the Achilles of the Iliad. When Achilles' pride is piqued, he does not fight back, returning to the Greeks only after his friend and substitute is killed. Achilles takes his anger out on the Trojan Hector, killing him, dishonoring his corpse, and refusing to give it up for burial, until finally Hector's father humbles himself before Achilles to beg for his son's body. Achilles is reminded that even he must die. Homer's characterization is more dramatic, bright and detailed; Beowulf's characters are types, not individuals. However, the ethos is different. Beowulf devotedly serves his lord Hygelac and his people, the Geats. His youthful exploits in Denmark pay off a debt of honor he owes Hrothgar, who saved Beowulf's father Edgetheow by paying compensation for the life of a man Edgetheow killed. Like Achilles, Beowulf is eloquent, courageous, quick to act, extraordinarily strong. But Beowulf is thoughtful, magnanimous and responsible. As Hrothgar points out, he has an old head on young shoulders; he is a good king. However, as the poem makes clear in a series of stories marginal to Beowulf's life, most warriors from ruling families fall far short of Beowulf's responsibility and judgment. Beowulf is both a celebration and an elegy of heroism. The ideal example given by Beowulf himself implies a Christian critique of an ethic in which honor can be satisfied by the "medicine of the world", revenge. Grendel envies the harmony of the party in Heorot and destroys it. He is a demon: feond means enemy and evil spirit. He is also shaped like a man, although he is of monstrous size. He is identified as a descendant of Cain, the first murderer, who in Genesis is branded and expelled by God from human society. Fratricide was an occupational hazard in ruling Germanic families, as succession was not by birthright but by choice of the fittest. In the heroic age of the north, sons were often adopted, in part to reduce conflict and risk, but sibling rivalry remained endemic. In Beowulf, the greatest crimes are betrayal of a lord and murder of kin. The folk figure of Grendel embodies the wild spirit of fratricidal envy. The dragon is a brute without Grendel's human and demonic aspects. He destroys Beowulf's hall with fire in revenge for stealing a golden cup from his hoard. The dragon jealously guards his treasure underground, while the king distributes rings in the hall. Beowulf commands respect for the depth and maturity of his understanding. Though its archaic world of warriors and rulers is simple, the poem is often moving in its sober concern with wisdom and right action, the fate of dynasties, the limits of human understanding and power, and with the creative and the destructive in life. human. His style has reserve and authority.

Elegies The most striking early English poems are the Exeter Book Elegies: 'The Wanderer' and 'The Seafarer' are heroic elegies, as is 'The Ruin'. A second group [p. 31] of love elegies are 'The Husband's Message', 'The Wife's Complaint' and 'Wulf and Eadwacer'. Elegies are dramatic monologues whose speaker is unnamed and whose situation is implied rather than specified. In the first two poems, the speaker is an exile who lacks a master; his soliloquy passes from his own sufferings to a general lament for the transience of life's glory, expressed in 'The Wanderer' and 'The Ruin' in the image of a dilapidated hall. All three poems are informed by a Christian view of earthly glory; ‘The Ruin’ takes place in the ruins of a Roman city with hot baths, usually identified as Bath. The Wanderer's painful lack of a lord and companions can be remedied, as the poem silently indicates at its end, by turning to a heavenly lord. 'The Seafarer' fiercely rejects a comfortable life on land in favor of the ardors of sea exile, and then explicitly turns to the soul's true home in heaven. Ezra Pound's witty version of 'The Seafarer' (1912) expresses isolation and ardor. It should be read for the feel of the verse rather than the Christian sense of the poem, which Pound considered a later addition and cut. 'The Wanderer' and 'The Seafarer' are passionate and eloquent. They are conveniently self-explanatory, well edited, and fit the social and intellectual context suggested by other poems. They are also attractive because they read as dramatic soliloquies of a type familiar from romantic literature, in which the reader can identify with the speaker's self-expression. The speakers' situations are, however, imaginary, and all three poems appropriate heroic motifs for the purpose of Christian wisdom. If ‘O Marítimo’, like O Sonho da Cruz, is affective devotion, ‘O Andarilho’ can be called an affective philosophy. The second trio of elegies is less self-explanatory. Not evidently Christian or Stoic, they express secular love, not devotion among men. The enigmatic 'Wulf and Eadwacer' is spoken by a woman married to Eadwacer but bearing her lover Wulf's child. The speaker of 'The Wife's Complaint' (or 'Lament') is banished to a cave. 'Some lovers in this world Live dear to each other, lie warm together In the beginning of the day; I go alone Over these earthen caves under the oak. Here shall I sit through the summer's day, Here weep the woes of exile...' Passionate sentiments expressed in a desolate landscape are typical of elegies. 'The Husband's Message' departs from type: in it a man expresses tender love for his wife and calls her to a happy reunion.

Battle Poetry In Germania (c. AD 100), the Roman historian Tacitus says that German warriors recited poetry before battle; and Beowulf recalls his victories before going into battle. Waldere and Finnsburh are early battle poems; but even when England was long established, the invasion renewed the occasion for battle poems. Two survive from the 10th century, Brunanburh and Maldon. Brunanburgh is the entry for 937 in the ASC, a record of the West Saxons' landslide victory over an invading force of Scots, Picts, Britons and Vikings from Dublin. It is a panegyric in praise of the victorious King Athelstan, and was translated by Tennyson in 1880. Although it unfolds time-honored motifs such as birds of prey, it has a historical purpose, [p. 32] and ends with a reference to written histories (cited above on page 27), claiming Brunanburh as the greatest victory won by the English since their original conquest of Britain five hundred years earlier. Maldon is also traditional, with clashing swords, brave words and birds of prey, but with more historical detail of the battlefield's topography, tactics and the names of the local men who took part, names recorded in the Essex charters. We hear of words spoken in the "meeting place" rather than in the mead hall of poetic tradition. Maldon was an East Saxon militia defeat by the Vikings in 991, and after that the ASC says the English paid the Danes to leave. Maldon's purpose is not so much documentary, to record things said and done and give reasons for defeat, as exemplary, to show right and wrong conduct in the field, and how to die gloriously in defense of your lord and Christian England. Many of the details are symbolic: for example, before the battle, Byrhtnoth sent the horses away, and a young man "let his beloved hawk loose from his wrist;/Over the wood he stooped: he trod to battle." There would be no withdrawal; the time for sport is over. Maldon's text cuts off when defeat is imminent. An old footman speaks: 'The courage will grow sharper, the will clearer, The heart fiercer, as our strength diminishes. Here our lord lies level in the dust, Man all disfigured: he will mourn to the end Who thinks to forsake this game of war now. Though I am white with winters, I will not go away, For I mean to lodge beside my dear, Lay me down at my lord's right hand.' This clear and compelling poem shows that the old ways of conceiving and describing the ethos and praxis of battle still worked.

The Literacy Harvest Alfred's translation program created a body of discursive native prose. This was extended into the 10th century, following the renewal of Benedictine monastic culture under Archbishop Dunstan, by new writings, clerical and civil. The extant prose of Ælfric (c.955-c.1020) and Wulfstan (d.1023) is substantial. More than one hundred of Ælfric's Catholic homilies and dozens of his lives of saints survive, mostly for pulpit use during the church year. He is a graceful, intelligent, clear, and unpedantic writer, a winning expounder of the culture of the Church, the mother of arts and letters throughout this period. His homilies are called “Catholic” not because of their orthodoxy, but because they were designed to be read by everyone, lay and clergy. We have impressive political and legal writings by Wulfstan, a Computing Handbook by Byrhtferth by Ramsey, and some lives of clergymen and kings. Ælfric translated Genesis by order of a lay patron. This prose provided the laity with the religious and civil materials long available to the clergy in Latin. Around 1000, the human Latin culture that developed between the revival of learning at the court of Charlemagne, crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 800, and the twelfth-century revival (see Chapter 2) found substantial expression in English. Among the many manuscripts from this era are the four major poetry manuscripts. There was, however, little new poetry after Maldon. Changes in the nature of the language - most notably the use of articles, pronouns and prepositions instead of final inflections - made verse composition more difficult. There were many small [p. 33] words to fit the old meter, and the historical verse in the ASC shows a wobbly technique. The millennium was a period of cultural growth but political decline. The reign of Ethelred II (978-1016) saw an artistic renaissance, especially in Winchester, bishopric and capital of Wessex and England: metalwork and gemstone work, bookmaking, manuscript illumination, embroidery, architecture and music. But there was disunity and Danish invasions. Alphege, Archbishop of Canterbury, martyred by the Vikings in 1012, and Wulfstan, Archbishop of York in the early 11th century, were better leaders of the English than their king. In Sermo Lupi ad Anglos ('Wulf's Word to the English'), Wulfstan raised his voice against the evils that flourished in the social breakdown caused by the Danish invasions. His denunciations resonate with the conviction that he spoke on behalf of the entire community. The conquest of England by the Danish and later Norman kings disrupted cultural activity and changed the language of the rulers. Latin remained the language of the church, but the hierarchy was largely replaced by the Normans, and the uses of English were eliminated. William the Conqueror made his nephew Osmund the first bishop of the new seat of Salisbury. Osmund seems, however, to have been persuaded to retain a use of English, which has survived. The words in the marriage service in the Book of Common Prayer - 'I take you as my wedded wife, to have and keep from this day forward, for better or for worse' and so on - employ Old English doublets. Like the names of body parts and the days of the week, they are an example of Old English survival at such a basic level that it is taken for granted.

Further Reading Alexander, M. Old English Literature (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1983; Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview, revd edn 2000). A simple introduction with translations. Bede. Ecclesiastical History of the English People, trans. L. Shirley-Price, revd R. E. Latham, ed. D.H. Farmer (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1990). The primary source for early Anglo-Saxon history. Campbell, J. (ed.). The Anglo-Saxons (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982; Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1991). Excellent historical summary, very well illustrated. Mitchell, B. and F. C. Robinson. A Guide to Old English, 5th ed. (Oxford: Blackwell, 1995). A grammar, reader and study guide for students.

[p. 3. 4]

2. Average English Literature: 1066 1500 Overview Literature in England in this period was not only in English and Latin, but also in French, and developed in definite directions mainly in France. Epic and elegy gave way to romance and lyric. English writing fully revived in English after 1360 and flourished in the reign of Richard II (1372-99). It gained a literary standard in London English after 1425 and developed modern forms of verse, prose and drama.

The New Writing Calligraphy and Printing Medieval writing was done by hand. For scribes, the period began and ended with the unwelcome arrival of two conquerors: the Normans in 1066 and the printing press in 1476. English literature barely survived the first conquest. The record is spotty, but the few surviving manuscripts show that it was a few generations before native literature recovered. Three centuries after 1066 it fully recovered, flourishing in different dialects under Richard II. A generation later, London English offered a more stable literary medium. Historians of English and England agree that one period ends with the fifteenth century. When the first printed book in English appeared in 1476, the Middle English (ME) phase was practically over: the language had assumed its modern form, except in spelling. Soon after, the Wars of the Roses, a long dynastic struggle between Lancastrian supporters and Yorkist claimants to the throne, ended with the victory of Lancastrian Henry Tudor in 1485. Henry made a political marriage to Elizabeth of York; they named their first son by the British name of Arthur. In 1492 Ferdinand and Isabel expelled the Muslims from Spain and supported Columbus's voyage to the Indies. In 1503 his daughter Katherine married Arthur, who died; then to his brother Henry, who became Henry VIII. Henry divorced her in 1533, leading to a break with Rome and a separate English nation-state with a strong central government and a state church following the Protestant doctrines of the Reformation (see page 78).

Contents The New Writing Manuscript and Printing The Impact of French Scribal Practice Dialect and Language Change Literary Consciousness New Fashions: French and Latin Epic and Romance Courtly Literature Medieval Institutions Authority Letters English Prose The Fourteenth Century Spiritual Writing Julian of Norwich Secular Prose Ricardian Poetry Piers Plowman Sir Gawain and the Green Knight John Gower Geoffrey Chaucer The Parliament of the Fowls Troilus and Criseyde The Canterbury Tales The Fifteenth Century Drama Mystery Plays Morality Religious Lyrics Deaths of Arthur The Coming Print of Scottish Poetry Robert Henryson William Dunbar Gavin Douglas Further Reading

[p. 35] As the printing press and Protestantism became established, manuscripts in which the vernacular script survived, outdated and possibly suspect, were neglected. By the 1700s, some manuscripts were being used as firelighters or worse; Alexander Pope refers to the "martyrdom of jakes and fire" ('jakes': lavatory). Survival was risky: some of Chaucer's works were lost, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight was not printed until 1839. Even if much more had survived, the story would not be simple or clear. Literature survived in three languages: Latin coexisted with Norman French and an “English” that was a jumble of dialects, spoken rather than written. English writing was local, with too few authors and dates for positive literary history. Only after 1360 did English gain parity with French as a literary medium; the English that vernacular (lat. verna, slave) The 'triumphant' was Frenchified in language and culture. Avoiding these complexities, native language; Short Histories of Western European English Literature focus on the modern, skip over its first languages ​​beyond Latin. millennium, land in the Renaissance with relief and don't look back. This Middle Ages Historically, simplification ignores a great deal of good writing and allows the Renaissance to the English Middle Ages to be the period that takes credit for earlier developments. In the Middle Ages, the English language c.500-c.1500. The period after 1100 developed its modern nature and structure. Literature also found modern forms in the so-called late Middle Ages; medieval period: prose in Julian of Norwich and Malory in the 15th century, verse in English political history, this occurs in Chaucer and his many peers in the 14th century, and drama as early as the 12th century, from 1066 to 1485. In the European century. Drama was popular for ten generations before Shakespeare. Cultural history of the 13th century is The impact of the French often regarded as the High Middle Ages. It is not entirely fanciful to see The Conquest of England in 1066 by William of Normandy replacing English in the 12th century as the middle spring of literature, for the language of the new rulers was French. William in the late Middle Ages, in the 13th century, the Conqueror tried to learn English, but gave up; The Saxons who dealt with him had to learn French as summer, the 14th century, and French was the language of court and law for three autumns, and the 15th century as centuries. The Normans spoke Norman French; England's Norman French is winter. called Anglo-Norman. In 1076 all bishops were Normans except Wulfstan of Worcester. Clergymen, writing in Latin as before, recorded some 'English' histories:

Alfred burning the cakes, or the Saxon resistance of Hereward the Wake. Educated men over the next three centuries were trilingual and many households bilingual. Literature in English suffered a severe interruption in 1066. Classic Old English verse died out, later reviving in a very different form, but prose continued: sermons were still written in English and The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle was kept in monasteries. When the new script appeared, it was in an English that became very different from that of the eleventh century. Reasons for this include the lack of any written standard to discourage dialectal variety; scribe practice; linguistic change; and a new literary consciousness. Scribal practice With the disestablishment of Winchester and Wessex English as a literary standard, a uniform West Saxon was not available to the scribes, who now used forms closer to their own dialects. With the demise of the Winchester standard, dialectal divergence became apparent, with a bewildering variety of spellings, word forms and grammatical forms. This variety was dialectal and geographic, but also structural and progressive; Fundamental changes in grammar and accent kept the language in flux for four centuries after the Conquest. [p. 36] Reigns and major events 1066-1399 1066 William I (the Conqueror) 1087 William II (Rufus) 1100 Henry I 1135 Stephen 1154 Henry II (Plantagenet) 1170 Assassination of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, by agents of the King 1189 Richard I on the Third Crusade (see page 40) 1199 John c. 1216 Henry III 1272 Edward I 1307 Edward II 1314 The Battle of Bannockburn (Scots defeat the invading English army) 1327 Edward III 1346 The Battle of Crecy (English victory in France) 1348-9 Black Death 1377 Richard II 1381 Peasant Revolt 1399 Henry IV

Dialect and language change Even when English achieved full literary parity with French in the reign of Richard II (1372-98), there was no standard literary English: the great writers of that reign - Geoffrey Chaucer, William Langland and the author of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight - wrote three different forms of English. Chaucer wrote in London English, Langland in Worcestershire English, and the poet Gawain in Stafford-Cheshire border English. There are Middle English works in Yorkshire English, Kentish English, Norfolk English, and other varieties of English; and much writing in Scots, known as Inglis. William the Conqueror had made London the capital of England, and it was not until 1362 that Parliament was opened in English rather than French. But London English was itself a hodgepodge of dialects, shifting during this period from Southern to East Midland. The Midland dialect area, as seen on the map on page 37, bordered the other four main dialect areas and was understood in each of them. In the 15th century, the change from London English became the national standard. Printing, introduced in 1476, helped to spread this literary pattern under the Tudors (1485-1603). The King's English was eventually disseminated by such centrally published works as the Prayer Book (1549, 1552, 1559) and the Authorized Version of the Bible (1611). Spelling was fully standardized only after Dr. Johnson, 1755. One-word inflection In contemporary British English, regional variation is more a matter of accent than word termination, unlike its language e, but the passages cited in this chapter show Middle English dialects differing in (generally invariant) ) source; vocabulary and grammar. The absence of standard spelling makes Middle English dialect an even greater divergence of grammatical variation. Danish settlement in northern and eastern England in the 10th century in final syllables brought Scandinavian speech forms into English, similar in stem but different in indicating the case inflection of a word. The resulting confusion and number. [p. 37] [Map - omitted] The Dialects of Middle English (drawn from J. Burrow and T. Turville-Petre (eds), A Book of Middle English. Oxford: Blackwell, 1996), with probable places of composition of some works. encouraged a loss of inflection. The order of elements has become the indicator of syntax and meaning: subject-verb-object has now become more common than subject-object-verb. All Early Middle English forms show the reduction of most final inflections towards -e, leading to the survival of only two standard inflections in nouns, plural -s and possessive -s. The Conquest ended up adding thousands of French words to English, sometimes taking the place of Old English words (for example, OE theod gave way to ME, people, and nation), but often preserving Germanic and Latin-derived alternatives (county and county). The crossover with French has nearly doubled English's capabilities in some areas of vocabulary.

The Saxon base was enriched with French, especially in areas such as law and customs; Latin maintained its clerical-intellectual prestige. English, the language of the majority, was on the boil. languages.

Literary Consciousness Middle English writing flourished in the late fourteenth century and developed a literary self-consciousness. A clear example of this comes at the end of Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde: he speaks of his poem in the second person intimate, thee: myswrite the, Ne the mysmetre for defaute of tonge.

your lack of language

Writers in Romance languages: Provençal Bernart de Ventadorn (flourished c.1150-80); Arnaut Daniel (flourished c.1170-1210) French Benoît de Ste-Maure, Roman of Troie (c.1160); Maria of France, Lais (?c.1165-80); Christian of Troyes (c.1170-91), Erec, Yvain, Lancelot, Perceval; Guillaume de Lorris, Roman de la Rose (completed c.1277 by Jeun de Meun). Italian The Italian Trecento (14th century): Dante (1265-1326), Commedia (c.1304-21); Petrarch was named Poet Laureate (1341); Boccaccio, Decameron (c.1351).

He prays that no scribe will miscopy his words, nor substitute a variant form and spoil the meter. Diversite in English refers to difference in dialect, but Chaucer had already warned his audience of change over time: 'Ye know eke [also] that in fourme of speche is chaunge.' Diversity and change were the enemies of this new hope that English verse could achieve the beauty and permanence of the classics. Just before these lines, Chaucer had bid farewell to his poem in an envoi: 'Go, litel bok, go, litel myn tragedie .../ E kis the steppes where as thow seëst pace/ Virgile, Ovide, Omer, Lucan and Stace These lines are based on a scene from Dante's Inferno. In [p. 38] In Limbo, on the threshold of the underworld, Dante and his guide Virgil meet the spirits of Omer (Homer), Horace, Ovid, and Lucan (Chaucer replaces Stace, the epic poet Statius, with Horace). The poets welcome Virgil and beckon Dante to join them. By instructing his poem to "kiss the rungs" of Homer and the poets of the Western classical tradition, Chaucer joins the ranks of Italian aspirants to poetic fame: Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio, all of whom he translated. Chaucer's ambitions for vernacular poetry were raised by reading the fourteenth-century Italian poets, the Trecento. He identifies himself as a European poet, the first to write in English. Furthermore, Chaucer only wrote in English; his senior contemporary John Gower (?1330-1408), to whom Troilus dedicates, wrote in English, French and Latin. After Chaucer, poetry in English forms part of the modern European tradition - although Chaucer's ease and wit is not found again until Thomas Mores's Latin prose Utopia in 1517.

New Fashions: French and Latin Chaucer began writing in the French fashion native to England as early as the twelfth century. We must now return to the French conquest of English. Two generations after the arrival of this Romance language, new literary forms and the humanism of the twelfth century Renaissance appeared, when first the Norman and then the Gothic churches appeared in England. The poems were about knights and then about knights and ladies. In the 12th and 13th centuries, a history of English writing had to discard its English monocle, as writing in the Anglo-Norman kingdom of England was largely in Latin and French. Writers had to be supported, by the Church or by secular patrons, who spoke French. Eleanor of Aquitaine, granddaughter of the first troubadour, William IX of Aquitaine, was the dedication of some of the songs of the troubadour Bernart de Ventadorn (flourished c.1150-80). Eleanor was married first to Louis VII of France, then to Henry Plantagenet of Anjou, Henry II of England. The kings of England spoke French instead of English. The first English king to insist that court business be done in English was Henry V (1413-22), who claimed to be king of France as well as England, Ireland and Wales. Much of Middle English script derives from French script, which in turn derives largely from Latin. Anglo-Latin and Anglo-Norman authors Latin The Italian monk of Bec, Saint Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury (1093-1109) and theologian: Cur Deus Homo? ("Why did God become man?"). Twelfth-century Benedictine chroniclers Orderic Vitalis, an English monk in Normandy, Historia Ecclesiastica; William of Malmesbury (died 1143); Jocelin of Brakelonde; Henry of Huntingdon; Geoffrey of Monmouth, Historia Regum Britanniae (1135).

Humanists John of Salisbury, Policraticus (1159); Walter Map, De Nugis Curialium ('Courtiers' Trifles', 1181-92); Matthew Paris (13th century). Anglo-Norman (Anglo-Norman is the French spoken by the Normans in England). Marie de France and Chrèetien de Troyes may have written some of their Arthurian romances in England; Wace, Roman of Rou (1172).

[p. 39] As literacy spread in Western Europe, international Latin clerical culture was rivaled, from Iceland to Sicily, by vernacular writing, often on secular topics and sometimes by laymen. Writers and readers were mostly men, but some of the new vernacular literature, religious and non-religious, was written for women who had time to read but did not know Latin. Some of these vernacular books were about women as well as for women; some were by women, for example Marie de France (late 12th century) and Julian of Norwich (c.1343-1413/29).

Epic and Romance The change in literary sensibility after 1100 is often characterized as a change of romance. A kind of medieval, epic story for romance. William I's minstrel Taillefer is said to have led the Normans originally from histories written ashore at Hastings reciting the Chanson de Roland. This chanson de geste (“song romauns, or vernacular French; ‘romance’ is the adjective for deeds”) recounts the deeds of Roland and Oliver, two of the twelve pairs of languages ​​derived from Latin. Like an emperor Charlemagne, who dies resisting a Saracen ambush in the Pyrenees. Term from the genus Roland, meaning "wonderful scorns to summon Charlemagne's help until all his enemies are dead". Only then the story '; its adjective is also to sound an explosion in its ivory horn, the olifans. Primitive romance enters with some 'romance', to avoid confusion with details that heighten emotion: three archangels come to lead Roland's soul into 'Romantic', a late 18th-century term of heaven; later, his intended bride, la bele Aude, drops by for a few lines to hear of his writing mimicking medieval death and dies of shock. In dealing with death, the northern epic is reticent where romance is romance. (The use of 'romance' for extravagant: compared to Roland's death, Beowulf's death and funeral is 'love story' is modern.) bleak, the fate of his soul is unclear. Arthur If he was historic, Arthur defeated the pagan Saxons in battle. The first extant Middle English writing to note here is Layamon's Brut in Mons Badonicus (c.510). The (c.1200), a work in the Old English heroic style: this is based on French Roman literature Arthur belongs to de Brut by Wace, a Jersey Norman who in 1155 dedicated the work to Eleanor age of chivalry and the Crusades of Aquitaine . Wace, a Canon of Bayeux, in turn based his work on Latin after 1100. Historia Regum Britanniae (c.1130-6) by Geoffrey of Monmouth (d.1155). In Geoffrey's Wonderful History, the kings of Great Britain descend from Brutus, the original conqueror of the giant-infested island of Albion. This Brutus is the grandson of Aeneas the Trojan, from whom Virgil traced the kings of Rome. Brutus calls Albion 'Britain', after his own name; the capital is New Troy, later called London. The Romans conquer Britain, but the Britons, under Lucius, reconquer Rome. They fight valiantly under King Arthur against the invading Saxons, but Arthur, on the verge of conquering Europe, has to return in the Alps to quell his nephew Mordred's revolt. Fatally wounded in the battle of Camlann, Arthur is taken to the island of Avalon, from where, according to the prophecies of the wizard Merlin, he will one day return. Geoffrey stops in the 6th century at King Cadwallader, after which the degenerate Britons succumbed to the Saxons. Geoffrey of Monmouth started something. 'All that this man wrote about feudalism Arthur's codification', wrote William of Newburgh in c. to lie, or to please the Germanic warrior class, the Britons.' . It was in northern France that the legends of Arthur and his Round Table in Europe during the Second World War period were fleshed out before they again crossed the English Channel for the northern half of the Crusades. Norman kingdom. Normans conquered southern Scotland, Wales and Crusades. The series of expeditions to Ireland which have now been included in Arthurian history. Geoffrey's confection went from Western Europe to Eastern folk history to the Renaissance, and popular legend thereafter. It is in Geoffrey's Mediterranean to recapture Jerusalem that we first read of Gog-Magog, Gwendolen, King Lear and his daughters, taken by the Turks from King Cole and Cymbeline, not to mention Arthur, the Byzantines of the Round Table. in 1071. First Crusade, [p. 40] and Merlin, and the moving of Stonehenge from Ireland to Salisbury Plain. The legendary story of Geoffrey of the Isle of Britain has been translated into English by Layamon. His 14,000-line Brut makes no distinction between British and English, thus allowing the English to regard Arthur, their British enemy, as an Englishman. Layamon was a priest from Worcestershire, an area where ancient verse traditions endured. His talent was for storytelling, and his battles have a physicality found later in Barbour's Bruce (1375) and the alliterative Death (c.1400). These qualities come from Old English verse, but Layamon's meter is crude, employing the old formulas with less economy, mixing irregular alliteration with internal rhyme. Arthur's last words are: 'E Ich wulle varen para Avalun, para vairest alre maidene, para Argante there quene, alven swithe sceone, e heo scal mine wunden makien alle isunde, al hal me makien mid haleweiye drenchen. E seothe Ich cumen wulle to mine kinerich e wunien mid Brutten mid muchelere wunne.'

1095-1104 (Jerusalem taken in 1099); Second Crusade, 1147-9; Third Crusade, 1189-92 (Jerusalem lost in 1187, recovered in 1229, lost in 1291). The Crusades ended in defeat for the Turks at Nicopolis (1396). knight The Old English cniht was simply a boy or young warrior, as in Maldon, line 9. 'Knight' began to acquire its modern sense only after the success of the mounted warrior. chivalry (from Fr. chevalerie, from med. Lat. caballus, 'horse') A system of honorable conduct expected of a knight or 'gentle' (ie, noble) man, involving military service to Christ and king, protection of the weak and avoidance of villainy (from Fr. vilain, base; ME villein, a boor).

And I will go to Avalon, to the fairest of all maidens, to her queen Argante, the fairest Elf; and she shall heal all my wounds, heal me with holy infusions. And then I will go to my kingdom and dwell with the Britons with great joy.

While Beowulf's body is burned and Roland's soul is escorted to heaven by angels, Arthur's body is taken by elves to Avalon to be healed - and returned. This promise is repeated in Malory's Death of Darthur (c.1470). The shift during the 11th to 13th centuries from Gestes (songs of res gestae, lat. 'things done', 'doings') to chivalric romances forms part of the rise of feudalism. The knight's duty to serve God and the King had a religious orientation and a

strength; it wasn't just a code of honor in literature. Chivalry was both historical and literary; its cultural prestige spread through the novel. The novels were tales of adventurous and honorable deeds - deeds of war, at first; but knights also fought to defend the ladies, or fought for the ladies, introducing a new ethos. Though romance took popular forms, it began as a courtly genre, a pursuit of leisure - like feasting, hunting, reading, playing chess, or love itself. The warrior gave way to the knight, and when the knight dismounted, he courted the lady. In literature, the pursuit of love became more and more refined.

Court Literature The distance between knight and villain, or between knight and boor, widened and became hereditary; a literature for the court has developed. French rulers, ruling by conquest, were fond of ancient romances about Thebes, Aeneas, Troy and Alexander. In 1165, Benoît de Sainte-Maure produced a Roman de Troie of 30,000 lines at the court of Eleanor of Aquitaine. These popular stories of antiquity were "a matter of Rome" - that is, of classical antiquity. Alexander's romances were full of marvels, and Aeneas's Romans represented the queen Dido, whom Aeneas abandoned to go and found Rome. But Arthurian romance, "the talk of Britain," was more popular with women. Chaucer's Nun's Priest swears, from his 'Tale of the Cock and Hen': 'This story too is trewe, I pledge,/Like the book of Lancelot de Lake,/Which women hold in full reverence.' [p. 41] The first developments of Geoffrey's Arthurian material were in French. After Wace came Marie de France, the first known French poet, who lived in England in the late 12th century and wrote several lais - a lai is a tale of a Breton minstrel. Marie turns these songs into verse stories, short and mysterious Celtic fairy tales. An English example of this genre is Sir Orfeo, a novel by Orpheus. Marie de France is to be distinguished from Marie de Champagne, daughter of Eleanor of Aquitaine. It was for Marie de Champagne that Chrètien de Troyes wrote the French Arthurian romances, Erec et Enide, Cligès, Yvain, Lancelot and Perceval, the first vernacular history of the quest for the Grail (the legendary vessel used by Christ at the Last Supper). ). Chrètien was the first to transform the matière de Bretagne, the stuff of Great Britain, from legend to literature; his couplets have a French economy and a light touch. Some of Chrètien and Marie have been translated into English. To go from Chrètien to the English novel is to enter a simpler world. Famous examples of this large category are King Horn (c.1225), Floris and Blancheflour (early 13th century), Havelok the Dane (c.1300), Bevis of Hampton and Guy of Warwick. In octosyllabic rhyming couplets, the Christian knights prove themselves against the Saracens. The most skilful and magical early romance is Sir Orfeo, found in the Auchinleck manuscript of c.1330, which Chaucer may have known. The Greeks Orpheus and Eurydice become English. Sir Orfeo is lord of Winchester; he loses Dame Heurodis to a Fairy King who kidnaps her from his orchard to a Celtic underworld. After ten years of mourning in the desert, Orfeo goes on a faerie hunt down a hillside into the underworld, where he wins back Heurodis with his harp. He returns to Winchester disguised as a beggar and plays so well that the Steward asks about the harp. When informed that the harper had found him near the corpse of a man eaten by wolves, the Regent faints. King Orfeo knew very well that his steward was a man of three and loved him as he should, and he rose and said thus: 'See! Yif ch was Orpheus, the king, And had suffered once In wildernisse miche sore, And had won mi quen o-wy Out of the fairy world, And had brought the yeast hende Right here for the tounes ende...'


If I long gone graceful lady

These ifs end in recognition and reunion, and Orfeo and his queen are happily restored to the throne. Harpours in Brittany after Herd hou this mervaile bigan, And made her - of a lay of gode like, And nempned after the king. This 'Orfeo' move is y-hote: called Gode is the move, sweet is the note.

Brittany that popular sweet call

The novel is an enduring legacy of the Middle Ages, not only for fantasy works like Edmund Spenser's Faerie Queene or the Gothic novel, but also for wonderful but pseudo-realistic works such as Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe and Samuel Richardson's Pamela in the Middle Ages. early 18th century, and to the happy endings of the [p. 42] novels by Jane Austen in the 19th century. Fantasy flourished again in the late 20th century novel.

Medieval institutions Having seen some of the effects of the submergence of English by French, and before turning to the flowering of English poetry in the reign of Richard II (1372-98), we must look at the institutions and habits of mind that shaped this new English literature. . Chief among them is the Church. Modern literature is largely concerned with secular life and written by lay people. But for a thousand years, the thought, culture and art of Europe were promoted by the Church. The clergy was the source of education, arts and literature - including anticlerical satire. Bishops and priests who live in the world – ‘secular’ – bring the Word and sacraments to the people. Higher education and culture were largely provided by “religious”: monks, nuns, and later, friars. Monastic cathedrals in cities, such as Winchester, Canterbury or Westminster, not far from London, had schools. From the twelfth century onwards, intellectual initiative began to move from these schools to the universities. At the universities of Paris or Oxford (founded c.1167), the teachings of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church were modified by new learning. There was in the twelfth century a revival of classical learning and a new systematic thinking about God, man, civil society and the universe: a Renaissance. At the School of Chartres in twelfth-century France, this learning and philosophy was humanistic (see page 75), valuing human life itself as well as a preparation for heavenly life. Intellectual activity in the new universities was conducted less by the secular clergy than by the friars, members of the new orders founded by St. Dominic and St. Francis to evangelize the growing cities. Dominic's Order of Preachers, distinguished in logic and intellectual investigation, revived professional academic philosophy and theology. "Scholasticism", the philosophy of university schools such as that of Thomas Aquinas (c.1225-74), was later considered too theoretical by students of natural philosophy and humanists in northern Europe. But it reintroduced the systematic thinking of the Latin Church Fathers Jerome (c.342-420), whose Latin translation of the Bible from Greek and Hebrew into the vulgar language of the Roman Empire, known as the Vulgate, became the Bible of the West. Augustine of Hippo (354-430) was the main influence on Western theology until the thirteenth century. Ambrose of Milan (c.340-97). Pope Gregory the Great (c.540-604). The main orders of Benedictine monks follow the Rule of Saint Benedict of Nursia (480c.550), the foundation of Western monasticism

Carthusians were founded by Saint Bruno at La Grande Chartreuse (1084). The Cistercians (from Cîteaux, where the order was founded in 1098) were popularized by Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux in 1153. The four Orders of Friars (lat. frater, Fr. frere, brother): Franciscans, Friars Minor or Gray Friars , founded by Saint Francis of Assisi in 1210. Dominicans, Order of Preachers or Black Friars, founded by Saint Dominic in 1216. Carmelites or White Friars, founded in 1154. The Friars of Austin were founded in 1256: they follow a rule based on precepts of Saint Augustine.

[p. 43] of Aristotle, whose works reached Europe via Spain, retranslated from Arabic translations. Scholastics grappled with the problems of theology and philosophy, ontology and epistemology, mind and language. They investigated and debated truths by methods of proposition and logical testing still used in philosophy today. The more humane Christianity of the 12th century, in which the incarnation of Christ made the physical universe speak of its divine origin, encouraged a greater development of all the arts beyond what had been seen in Winchester of the 10th century. it is widely visible in the 10,000 medieval churches that survive in England. She was the patroness of architecture, sculpture, woodcarving, wall painting, stained glass and enamel, fabrics, bookmaking, writing, lighting, and music. These arts enhanced services that represented and proclaimed Christ's life and teachings through the feasts of the Christian year. The structure of a church was a physical icon for everyone, laered or lewed, literate or illiterate. The 15th-century French poet François Villon wrote his mother a ballad as a prayer to Our Lady. What she says of herself was true of most medieval people: onques lettre ne lus (“not a letter have I read”). Femme je suis povrette et ancienne, Qui rims ne scay; onques lettre ne lus. Au moustier voy dont suis paroissienne Paradis peint, ou sont harpes et lus, Et ung enfer ou humidnez sont boullus. I am a poor old woman who knows nothing; I never read a letter. In the church where I am a parishioner, I see painted paradise, where there are harps and lutes, and a hell, where the damned are boiled. Literacy came through the Church, as the man who held the pen was a clerk (Fr. clerc, Lat. clericus). For three hundred years after 1066, monks copied Latin works; The English texts were less worth preserving. The clerical monopoly weakened, but when Middle English is found in manuscripts before 1350, it is usually devotional. However, in a Christian world, all writing had, or could gain, a Christian function. The Latin chroniclers, for example, wrote a providential and moral history modeled on biblical history. Much of the best English writing was wholly religious, such as that of the mystic Julian of Norwich or William Langland's Piers Plowman. Medieval drama and much medieval lyric were created to spread the gospel to the laity. Clerical thinkers, usually academics, gave priority to philosophy over poetry - a priority contested later in the Renaissance.

Authority Academic intellectual authority was vested in certain authors (lat. auctores), such as Augustine in theology or Boethius in philosophy. Writers, religious or secular, Latin or vernacular, invoked earlier authors: authority came from the auctores. Author names are still powerful and can mean more than their books. Chaucer cites Franceys Petrak, the lauriat poet, and Daunte, the wise poet of Ytaille as sources, but claims that his Troilus is based not on its true source, Boccaccio's Filostrato, a lesser name than Petrarch or Dante, but on my auctor, Lollius. Lollius' name is found in the first line of an epistle by the Roman poet Horace: 'troiani belli scriptorem, maxime lolli, ... relegi'. Horace was writing to Lollius Maximus that he was reading the writer at Troy, i.e. Homer. This was [p. 44] misinterpreted as: 'I read Lollius again, the greatest writer of the Trojan War...'. Lollius is appointed as the authority on Troy by the 12th-century philosopher John of Salisbury, a student of Abelard and a witness to the murder of Becket. Another aspect of medieval literary thought is allegory, the creation of deeper meanings beneath the surface of literature or life, meanings of a moral or spiritual kind. The allegory developed out of the Hebrew and Christian use of Bible prophecy as the key to events. The allegory is a function of the principle of analogy, the correspondence of the physical and the spiritual in a universe that was a set of concentric spheres with Earth at the center. Hell was within the earth, heaven above it. In the hierarchy of creation, man was midway between the angels and the animals. Allegory can be expressed in composition or interpretation. Dante laid out a scheme of the four types of meaning found in a text. Allegorists cited Augustine's dictum that whatever is written is written for our doctrine. This accorded with the oft-cited classical maxim that literature should both teach and delight. Classical ideas persisted strongly into the Middle Ages, often in non-classical forms: a significant survival was the classification of literature as composition, a branch of Rhetoric, originally the art of public speaking. Such academic attitudes inspired clerical literature, such as The Owl and the Nightingale (early 13th century), a debate between two birds, a wise Owl and a pleasure-loving Nightingale, Dusty Wisdom, and Alluring Song. It was proverbial that youth and old age are often up for debate, but the debate was sharpened by the rise of universities with few masters and many students. In The Owl, the Latin scholarly debate is updated by the form of the fable of the beast and the English language. The birds' heated discussion turns philosophical; all they can agree on is an arbiter of their dispute, one Nicholas of Guildford. They fly to Portisham, Dorset to see this official; but here the author interrupts, saying that he cannot tell such as was their case. He lets us decide between owl and nightingale.

Lyrics The nightingale became the love bird in Provençal lyrics of the early 12th century. In these early courtly love lyrics, the service due to a feudal lord was transferred to a lady. Whatever the relationship of this literary cult to the real-life court is not found in classical literature. The refinement and abundance of Provencal music - literature is unrivaled in the lyric of northern France and English. However, the love song of the birds is clearly echoed in the lyrics of the early 14th century Harley manuscript. 'Alysoun' opens: Bitwene March and Averil, When the spray begins to sprout, The litel foul has contract will, bird On hyre lede to synge. in her language I live in longing for love, For alle thynge semeliest, She can bring me happiness, I am in rent baundoun. control A hendy hap ich has y-hent, lucky chance received Ichot from hevene am I sent, I know Of all women my love is borrowed is gone And light in Alysoun. landed [p. 45]

From a late 15th-century French manuscript showing the Labors of the Month. ‘Aprilis habet dies xxx’: ‘(The month of) April has thirty days’. April's activity is dating in a garden.

The little bird wants to sing in hyre lede. Loving Alysoun, a local beauty, is a great fluke, a lucky chance; the singer's love was From all women to her. In contrast, the domna (lady) of a Provençal lyric is unique and superior; her troubadour never loved all women. The English poet later claims that he will die unless Alysoun takes pity on him—but her chorus dances. French customs are happily domesticated. Secular lyrics survive not in beautiful manuscripts, but incidentally, as in preachers' examples of frivolities to be avoided - fugitive fragments, without music. Though the cultivation of the stanzaic song is artful, the English lyric is more lively than refined. Another Harley lyric ends: Ich wolde Ich were a thrustelcok, A bountyng other a laverokke; Swete bryd, Bitwen hires kirtel and hires smok Ich wolde ben hid. If only I were a thrush, a pennant or a lark - lucky bird! I would like to be hidden between your skirt and your nightgown. The poet's desire to be a pet bird, close to the beloved, is playful: bryd is 'bird' or 'girl'. The Harley manuscript, like the 13th-century Digby manuscript, is a mishmash of French, Latin, and English. A few secular letters survive in the margins. A late note says: West wind, when will you blow, Can the little rain rain? Christ, if my love was in my arms And I was in my bed again. Lyrics like this or 'Maiden in the mor lay' are anonymous and, compared to a Bernart de Ventadorn, simple. The natural world is glimpsed in 'Sumer is icumen in/Lhude [loud] sing, cuccu!' and 'Mirie it is while sumer ilast/With fugheles [birds'] song/Oc [but] nu neghest [chega near] wintres blast /With weder strong.” These two survive on complex music – not folk songs. Shepherds, home[p. 46] wives and workers sang; but the lyrics were written by officials. More than one is entitled De clerico et puella ('The Clerk and the Girl'); in others a knight dismounts to speak to a girl: As I rode this end of day In mi playing Seigh I, where a litel may Bigan singe: 'His clot seizes!'

was riding


saw a maid may the earth cover him

The singer won't go far with this sharp-tongued shepherdess. Hundreds of medieval letters remain in manuscripts that can be roughly dated, but the composition and authors are generally unknown. There are popular songs like 'The Nut-Brown Maid', drinking songs, Robin Hood ballads and mnemonics like 'Thirty days in September, / April, June and November'. There are some political poems, such as those written at the time of the Peasants' Revolt (1381): 'When Adam dipped and Eve measured/Who then was the gentleman?' and 'The ax was sharp, the handle was hard/In the fourteenth year of King Richard'. But most of the lyrics are religious, including the two oldest lyrics: from the 12th century we have 'Merie sungen the muneches binnen Ely...' ('The monks sang happily inside Ely when King Canute rowed there. The men rowed close to the land, and we heard the monks sing'); and the other is the hymn of St Godric (d.l 170): Sainte Marie virgine Moder Jesu Cristes Nazarene, Onfo, schild, help thin Godrich, Onfang, bring heghilich with the in Godes riche. Holy Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, receive, protect, help your servant Godric; take, bring [it] high with you into the kingdom of God. Rhyming is first found in Church hymns; this song is translated from Latin and ends with a pun on the author's name. We know from a full Latin life that Godric, after many adventures and wanderings, became a hermit at Finchale, near Durham, dying at the age of 105. Late religious lyrics are discussed below, with literature from the 15th century.

English prose Another early 13th century saint's life is that of Saint Catherine, after whom the Katherine Group of texts, written for nuns in Herefordshire, is named. It includes the lives of Saint Margaret and Saint Juliana, and the Ancrene Riwle, a rule for anchors, later rewritten for general use as the Ancrene Wisse, or Guide to anchors. These are the first substantial works in Early Middle English prose. The Riwle is addressed to three well-born sisters "of a father and a mother in the flower of their youth", choosing to withdraw from the world to a life of prayer and contemplation. It prescribes regular reading and meditation, directed towards the inner life and love of Christ. The sisters were supposed to keep two maids, so they didn't have to shop or cook. Ladies with letters but

without Latin were often the patrons and readers of devotional writings in English. The life they chose was the kind of life that gave rise to fourteenth-century mystical writing. The drive towards spiritual perfection was not limited to the religious: much of[p. 47] Vocational writing is for the laity. The Fourth Lateran Council of the Church (1215) decreed personal confession at least once a year. Confession and conscience abound in Ricardian poetry (the poetry of the reign of Richard II). The Council also required the preaching of a homily at Mass after the Gospel. It was mainly in church that the illiterate heard artfully composed speeches.

14th century spiritual writing

Spiritual writers Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) Saint Ailred of Rievaulx (1110-67) Saint Bonaventure (1221-74) Richard Rolle of Hampole ( c.1300-49 ) The Cloud of Unknowing (14th century) Walter Hilton (died 1379 ) ) Julian of Norwich ( c.13431413/29 )

Spiritual writing, seeking a discipline of the spirit to approach God, begins in Middle English with Richard Rolle (c.1300-49). This writing revived with Bernard of Clairvaux, although there has been mystical writing in English since The Dream of the Rood in the 8th century. Rope studied at Oxford and Paris, and his Latin works were widely read in Europe. His writings in English include the Ego Dormio ("I sleep"), a meditation on the Old Testament Song of Songs as an allegory of Christ's love for the Church and the soul, and a Psalter with an allegorical commentary. Poems and prose marked by a musical rhetoric flowed from his Yorkshire hermitage. His Forma de Viver celebrates the solitary's direct experience with the divine, especially through devotion to the holy name of Jesus: 'Joy will be in your ear, honey in your mouth and melody in your heart.' Quite different is the anonymous 'book of Contemplation, which is clepyd the Clowede of Unknowing in which a soul is onyd [united] with God'. This union comes by self-surrender: 'God will only look at him, and late [leave him] alone.' , you never know what, except that you feel in this wine a naked understanding of God'. God is felt in and through this necessary cloud, not behind it. The novice asks: "How do I think of himself, and what is he?" The master replies: “I never wrote” (“I don't know”). In this type of negative theology, God is loved but cannot be imagined. The Book of Private Counseling and Dionises Hid Divinity may be by the author of The Cloud. Walter Hilton's Scale (or Ladder) of Perfection (d.1379) is addressed to the contemplative, and to all who desire to live the spiritual life. The imperfection of self must be known before the gift of God's love can be realized. A soul that has fallen in love with [through] the grace of Jesus ... he is not naght besye [busy] to dedicate himself under his power ... Therefore he preys, and desires him, that the love of God be played hymn with his blessed light, that he might have seen [see] a little hymn for his gracious presence, so ssolde [should] love him; and thus, through your path, the soul of love, which is God, arrives.

Julian of Norwich Julian of Norwich (c.1343-c.1413/27) is the best English spiritual writer before George Herbert, and the first great English prose writer. She says she had her Revelations during a near-fatal illness in 1373, when he was thirty; Margery Kempe visited her at Norwich in 1413. Dame Julian laid out her "performances", mulled over them and then expanded on them. She prayed to God for three things: the memory of his Passion; an illness to hasten her union with him; contrition, compassion, and longing for him. In May [p. 48] 1373 she had a 'display' of the Passion. His next 'display' was of Our Lady, 'a simple mayden and meek, young woman of age, a little waxy above a childe, in the stature she had when she conceived'. thing, the amount of a haselnott, lying in the palm of my hand... and it was as round as a damn. I looked there with the eyes of my understanding and thought: What can this be? And it was generally answered thus: It is all that is made. ' The smallness of created things must be reduced to nothing if we are to reach the creator. "It's like God that we rest in him...he made us just for himself." Once again she has a "body vision" of the Passion: the blood falling as fast as raindrops from the eaves and as round as herring scales. ‘I saw him, and I sought him, and I had him, and I wanted [missed] him...’ ‘And after that I saw God in a poynte; that is, in my understanding, whereby I saw that he is in everything.' 'It was hanging over the eye as men hang a cloth to dry'. The flesh under the thorns was 'rympylde [crumpled] with a yellowish color, like a dried maple'. Christ tells her that the wound on her right side is "big now for all men who must rest in pee and love". He also tells her 'may all forms be good, and all forms be good, and all forms of thy form be good'. Of Christ's compassion, she writes: 'Ech kynde compassion that man has for his evyn-Cristen [Christian companion] with charyte, is Crist in hym. His love excuses us; and by his great courtesy he removes all our faults and beholds us with ruth and pytte as innocent and nasty children.' Christ explains: 'I am, I am. I'm the tallest. I'm the one you love. I am that you lykyst, I am that you serve. I'm the one you take the longest. I am that thou desyryst. I am the one you menyste. I am all.' And 'Our life is all founded and rotten [rooted] in love, and without love we cannot live.

These brief excerpts indicate Julian's focus on core Christian teachings and the purity of his style; but not the richness of the Introductions, nor his meditations on the mystical tradition of the Bible from Augustine to Bernard. Among other fourteenth-century female mystics was Saint Bridget of Sweden (1303-73). Bohemian reformer John Hus said that John Wyclif (c.1330-84) translated the entire Bible into English, but no extant English text is now attributed to this Oxford theologian. (His followers produced an English Vulgate so literal as to be almost unreadable.) It was not the first English Bible—Old English versions exist. But before lay literacy, the Word could only be spread by mouth, which was the role of the Church. Wyclif's attacks on Church abuses gained support, but his denial of Christ's Real Presence in the Eucharist was heresy; his followers, known as Lollards, were repressed and his own polemics suppressed. Wyclif was a reformer, not an English writer. The Bible produced by his followers lacks the qualities that made Luther's version the exemplar of modern German.

Secular prose From the end of the Peterborough Chronicle in 1154, English secular prose - non-religious prose - was used for practical matters, but by the reign of Richard II English had become in general use. John Trevisa translated a French encyclopedia and a world history into Latin; adding that, as the teaching of the primary school was now (1385) in English rather than French, the children know no more French than the left heel. [p. 49] The Sir John Mandeville who wrote his Travels at this time may have been as fictional as most of his stories. Though he claims the traveler's tales he translated from French as his own experiences, he advances his more exotic claims with a disarming hesitation. The main 'journeys' are to the Holy Land, visited three times by Chaucer's Wife of Bath, twice by St Godric and once by Margery Kempe. Margery (c.1373-c.1440), a housewife of Kings Lynn, dictated The Book of Margery Kempe, revising it in 1436. In a mental crisis after the birth of the first of her fourteen children, she had a conversion religious; her confessional testament is fascinating and simple. The Paston Letters, the correspondence of a fifteenth-century Norfolk family, have a similar human interest. Ricardian poetry 1377-99 Events 1337-1453 Hundred Years' War, between England and France 1346 Edward III's victory at Crecy 1348-9 Black Death 1356 Victory at Poitiers 1377 1381

Richard II's Peasants' Revolt


Richard II deposed by Henry IV


c.1370 Geoffrey Chaucer, The Book of the Duchess c.1377 William Langland, Piers Plowman (Text B) c.1382-5 Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde c.1387 Chaucer begins the Canterbury Tales; John Gower begins Confessio Amantis Popularity of mystery plays evident in Gawain's c.1390 ​​manuscript, Chaucer's 'Miller's Tale'; Anon., Stanzaic Morte c.1400 Anon., Alliterative Death

Ricardian poetry The reign of Richard II saw the arrival of a mature poetic literature in Middle English. In addition to the highest quality lyrical and religious prose, we have witty Arthurian verse romances in Stanza Death and Alliterative Death. The revival of English alliterative verse produced at least two great poems, Piers Plowman and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, with three other fine poems in the Gawain manuscript. Verse drama was also popular, although the surviving texts date from the 15th century. The historical development, however, is the appearance of a guaranteed syllabic line in John Gower's long poems (? from the Canterbury Tales. Chaucer's importance is not merely historical. He is as humane as any non-dramatic English poet, with a unsurpassed versatility and narrative skill. Gower wrote in three languages, Chaucer only in English, an instrument with a richer tone and deeper social reach than either French or Latin. Chaucer (c.1342-1400) was a star brilliant in a sky with many bright stars, his importance was recognized at his death [p. 50]

Piers Plowman Piers Plowman is a dream poem in the alliterative style. It begins in the Malvern Hills of Worcestershire: In a sourer season, when the sound was sweet, I clothed myself in shrouds like a sheep, Dwelling like an unholy hermit of labors Traveled through the wonders of this world hitherto.

I wear outer garments as if I were a shepherd in the garb of a hermit not holy in conduct wonders hear

Ac on a May mornynge on Malverne hulles Me byfel a ferly, of fairy me thought; I was very anxious and went to rest Under a brode banke bi a bornes side, And while I lay and stretched and looked into the waters, I slept in a sleep, swayed so merye.

but hills A wonder befell me, from faerie it seemed to me weary of wandering wide sloping brooks flowing so sweetly

The author is said in a c.1400 manuscript to be William Langland (c.1330 - c.1386), probably from near Malvern. A married clergyman in minor orders, he writes more about London and Westminster than about Malvern. He revised his great work several times; it survives in fifty-two manuscripts and three or four versions, known as the A, B, C, and Z texts; The quote above is from text B.

The Dreamer falls asleep: 'And as I lay and lay and looked in the waters, I slept in a sleep, rocked so merye'. From MS CCC 201 f.1 Historic initial depicting the dreamer (parchment) Piers Plowman (15th century)

[p. 51] The sleeper dreams that the world is a beautiful field full of people, between the tower of Truth and the dungeon of Hell: Than gan I to meten a merveilouse swevene, That I was in a desert, where I have never been. As I bihelde in the east, and high to the sonne, I see a tour in a toft trielich ymade; A depe dale binethe, a dongeon on it With depe dyches and derke and dredful of sight. A field full of the likes of me in my twenties, Of all kinds of men, the men and the rich, Working and wandering as the world bids. Some hem the plow, pleyed ful selde...

dream vision knew a tower on a hill, truly built to see i could see humble requires very rarely

One such worker is Piers (Peter) the plowman, after whom the poem is named. Langland follows this Prologue with a series of Passus (lat. 'steps') on a pilgrimage. The dreamer is a learner: we share his experiences, learning from his visions and encounters with Reason, Anima, Holy Church and Lady Meed. The didactic allegory is complex and its course less predictable than its continental predecessors. Each dream is a fresh start of old problems: collective neglect of God and neighbor; how to live well and find personal forgiveness and salvation in Christ's redemption of mankind. The poem is colloquial, its verse rough and its architecture Gothic, moving abruptly from direct social satire to symbolic allegories of salvation. Langland does not want to reform the structures or ideals of Church and society, but our hearts and behavior. That was the hope of those who shouted Piers Plowman verses in Peasants' Revolt. What's new about his work is its gothic existentialism, its dizzying structure, and its deep involvement. In the atmosphere, although not environment and convention,

parallels Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamazov (1880). Its scheme is like that of Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress (1684), but less direct; its length like that of the Cantos of Ezra Pound (1917-59), but theological. This very English poem, more of its time than Chaucer's, is often hard work, but it wins its audience. Evangelical and prophetic, it breathes theology and breathes the Latin of the Vulgate and the liturgy. The climax is the account of the Redemption in Passus 18. On Palm Sunday, Christ entered Jerusalem as a horseman clad in "our" arms (natura humana), "somdel [somewhat] like Piers Plowman." But one of the soldiers at the Crucifixion cried 'Hail, master' and struck him with reeds: 'Hail, rabby', said that ribaude, and threw nets on the hymn, Nailed the hymn with three bare nails to the easel, And poysoun on a pole they they put it on their lips, and bede hym drynke their deth-yvel; your days are over. ‘And if so, help yourself now. If you are the son of Cryst and Kynge, descend from the ride; Thanne shul we light that Lyf the loveth and will not let the dye. Pitousliche and pale, like a prison that deyeth;

mocking cross


mortal drink if smart to believe Life loves you It's over he started to pass out prisoner

[p. 52] The lord of lyf and light tho leyed his eyes togideres. The day for dredre withdrew and derke peck sonne. The wall swayed and cracked and everyone shuddered.

closed his eyes shuddered cracked shivered

The dreamer sees Christ tormenting hell to free humanity. The four Daughters of God (Mercy, Truth, Righteousness and Peace) dispute the justice of Redemption, but finally reconcile: 'Tyl the daye dawed this demaiseles daunted/That men rongen to the ressurexion...' ('These maidens danced until the day dawned and the men played the Passover'). The bells awaken the dreamer. Piers, his wife Kit, and their daughter Kalote kiss the cross and put the demon to flight.

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Clerical and romantic traditions meet in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the best novel in English verse. Sir Gawain is found in a manuscript with three other poems, Patience, Cleanness and Pearl, all in alliterative measure and a late fourteenth-century Cheshire dialect, presumably by a single author. Each poem is surprisingly original and clever, but Gawain must stay here for everyone. It has a typical romance opening, a scandalous challenge to the knights of King Arthur's court at Christmas; the challenge is accepted, and a knight of the Round Table sets out on his quest, surviving adventures and a terrible final encounter, only to return to Camelot a year later. Themes of bravery and gallant conduct are combined with the grail quest, chastity. Gawain is a novel of rare economy and enthusiasm. It displays chivalry - brave knights and beautiful ladies, magnificent hospitality in the castle, courage in the countryside and refined language - in a plot that combines adventure, emotion and surprise. It is full of festive fun and games, a masquerading entertainment, but it raises questions about chivalry, that binding of a military code to the Gospel, which has sustained Christendom. The preaching of the Crusades in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries refined the ethics of chivalry and enshrined it as a religious rule of life. The chivalrous code, dedicated to Christ, protecting the rights of the weak (especially women) and treating antagonists with honor, was a calling. Invoked in ceremonies and literature, it often failed in practice. The Green Knight, a green giant with a huge axe, offers to take one blow from the ax - in exchange for a return blow in a year. Gawain offers to save the honor of his Uncle Arthur and the Round Table. Beheaded by Gawain, the Green Knight takes his severed head from between the feet of the diners and mounts his green horse again, causing consternation: To the hede in his honde he rises, Towards the derrest in the dece he wears his face; And struck lyfte the yye-lyddes, and loked brode, And merged so much with his muthe... For he holds his head high, he turns his face to the highest on the dais; and he lifted his eyelids and looked widely, and spoke the following with his mouth...

The Mouth now tells Gawain to keep his bargain at Cape Verde on New Year's Day, or be a coward. The following Christmas, Gawain made his way through the desert. He fights bulls, bears, wild boars and giants (all in a row), but finds the cold worse: 'Almost dead with the hail, he slept in his irons'. Running water “hung high over his head in hard iisseikkles”. He prays to Mary, and a wonderful

[p. 53] castle appears, so crenellated and spired 'The one cut from paper purely [exactly] semed'. Gawain, who has a reputation as a gentleman, especially with the ladies, is welcomed into the castle by his warm lord. The host proposes that, while he hunts in the morning, Gawain should sleep late to regain his strength; in the evening they will exchange their winnings. Every morning, early, the radiant lady of the castle comes to Gawain's room and locks the door behind her. She flirts with him, pressuring him for a kiss and other displays of love. Gawain plays well, The Order of the Garter declining without refusing; but he is obliged to receive a kiss, and the next day Edward III in 1348 founded the Order of the Two Kisses. These he gives the lord in exchange for the hart and a boar Garter, the first European order of chivalry, the lord wins in his hunt. On the third day, Gawain is persuaded to adopt society's model of the three-kissed knights - and also a lady's sash that makes the wearer Arthur's Round Table. Its members swear to be invulnerable. He gives the lord the kisses, but hides the sash, receiving it in loyalty to his lord and to uphold the right. change the skin of an old fox. Its motto is Honi soit qui mal y pense: on a New Year's morning, in the Green Chapel, the Green Knight appears; ball in Calais, the king danced with him. He threatens heavy blows, but gives Gawain a slight cut to the neck. Gawain Young Countess of Salisbury; when she rejoices. Then the Green Knight reveals that he is lord of the castle, and has dropped her garter. Edward tied it into his that he and his wife were testing Gawain. The slash on his neck is a knee with the words: 'Shame on him, symbolic punishment for hiding the sash: 'because you loved your life; least I think badly of it.' The words are his fault.' Furious and embarrassed, Gawain forfeits his famous courtesy to a Garter used as a device for the twenty-fourth moment. He rides home to Camelot, wearing the sash; he confesses his members of the Order to the fault of St. George, blushing with embarrassment. The court laughed with relief, declaring them Chapel, Windsor. The Knights of the Garter will all wear the sash in Gawain's name: 'To this was accorded renown celebrated at a Round Table made on the 13th of the Round Table/And he honored that success forever after'. seen in Winchester Life and death therefore depend on integrity in the private sexual and social castle. conduct. Gawain the Flawless breaks his word; it is a venial sin. However, the Round Table wears their fellows' mark of failure as a mark of honor. At the end of the poem, another hand has written HONY SOYT QUI MAL PENCE, a motto that fits the opening of the poem and resembles the motto of the Order of the Garter. Gawain has both taste and intelligence: a poem that is itself a Christmas game, it celebrates chivalry while asking how Christian he is.

John Gower John Gower (?1330-1408) wrote his Mirour de l'Omme ("Mirror of Humanity"), a long didactic poem in French, in the 1370s. His Latin poem Vox Clamantis cries out against the social ills of the day. His English Confessio Amantis ("A Lover's Confession") survives in fifty manuscripts and three versions, the last completed in 1393. A lord of lands in Suffolk and Kent, Gower was on terms of trust with Chaucer, who introduced Troilus to him for correction. At the end of Gower's Confessio Amantis, Venus, in turn, says: 'E gret wel Chaucer when ye mete/As mi discípulo e mi poete...'. Caxton printed both poets, and the critic George Puttenham in 1589 called them the first masters of "the art of English poetry". The Confessio is a narrative in the form of a dialogue: Genius, a priest of the religion of courtly love, hears the confession of Amans, “the Lover”. To examine the Lover's conscience, Genius takes you through the Seven Deadly Sins, giving examples of each in its five aspects, telling cautionary tales from antiquity, often from Ovid. Though he is a priest of Venus and the benign goddess Nature (found also in Chaucer's Parlement of Fowls), Genius is also a true priest and eventually convinces the aged Amans to give up courtly love, however refined and refined it may be, for a superior love and wisdom. . The Confessio, like all Ricardian poetry, addresses the role of Christianity in a Christian world that remains the world. Some of the Gower stories are told again by Chaucer: his wife of Bath tells the Gower stories [p. 54] tale of the loathsome bride, and Chaucer's lawman tells that of Constance of Gower. Another story told by both is Ceyx and Alcyone by Ovid. This is how Gower describes the embraces of Alcyone (who became the Halcyon bird): Hire wynges bothe abrod sche spradde, And he, just as sche can suffice, just as she could Beclipte and keste in such a way, embraced As Scheme was what I wanted to do: formerly Hire wings to hire weapons in two Sche tok, and to hire smooth lips Hire strong bile, and so full of beads Scho like to hire brides for me, try If this scheme conforms, To do the Plesance of a wife, As sche dede in that other life. If Chaucer has more variety and power, both have graceful verses, an engaging narrative voice, and a light touch.

Chaucer riding on his pilgrimage; the figure is adapted from a standing portrait. The pencil case shows that he is a writer. He points to the beginning of the story he tells about Melibee. From the Ellesmere Manuscript of the Canterbury Tales of c.1410.

[p. 55]

Geoffrey Chaucer Geoffrey Chaucer was born about 1342 in Vintry, the winegrowers' street, in the walled city of London; with neighboring Westminster, it then had around 30,000 inhabitants. His father and grandfather were wine merchants, but Geoffrey became a king's man, a professional royal servant, holding a range of offices, including collector of customs and scribe of the king's works. He was also a diplomat, who traveled on the king's business, often to France, once to Spain, twice to Italy. His name occurs four hundred times in the records, not as a poet. He lived in London and Kent, surviving the Black Death, the French Wars, the Peasants' Revolt, the Lords Appellant's defiance of Richard II, and Richard's deposition by Henry IV. Chaucer's writing reveals none of this, nor his personal life. His mother was married three times. He himself married Philippa, the daughter of a Flemish knight; his sister later became John of Gaunt's third wife. Geoffrey's sister was a nun. Long after his death in 1400, his son Thomas became England's most important royal servant. Geoffrey's career as a king's man was not uncommon, but he was extraordinarily good at his other vocation, writing English verse. His first lines show his command: 'It is the Romance of the Rose / In which the art of love I enclose.' He enjoys his chosen task, the translation of Le Roman de la Rose, the famous thirteenth-century encyclopedia of love. His dreamer dreams that he wakes up early and goes out into a May landscape, with a garden whose outer wall is painted with figures: Avarice, Envy, Age and Poverty. The gate is guarded by the gatekeeper, Idleness. Inside is the exclusive Garden of Love, with Joy, Joy, Beauty, Riches and other courtiers, the God of Love and the Rose. Chaucer stopped at line 1704, others continued the work. Early poems are based on French dream visions: The Book of the Duchess is based on Guillaume de Machaut. Eustache Deschamps called Chaucer le grand translateur. Chaucer cannot sleep; he reads to drive all night; For me, it's better to play than to play chess or tables. And in this book were written fables That clerks once wrote, And other poets, put in time...


He falls asleep reading Ovid's story about Queen Alcyone, who dreamed that she was looking for her late husband, King Seys. She dreams that she wakes up one morning in May, in a chamber whose stained glass windows speak of Troy and the Romance of the Rose. Leaving, he sees a chronology of Chaucer's works The first part of The Romanaunt of the Rose before 1372 The Book of the Duchess 1368-72 The House of Fame 1378-83 The Parliament of Fowls 1380-2 Boece and Troilus and Criseyde 1382- 6 Palamon and Arcite 1380-7 The Legend of the Good Women c.1387 The Canterbury Tales 1388-1400 [p. 56] hunts, and is led by a dog into a forest where he meets a man in black, a king who complains eloquently of his beloved, a 'goode faire White'. Chaucer asks sympathetic questions, which lead to the revelation that White is dead. The hunting horn sounds, the black king rides back to 'A lang castel with minguas white/By seynt Johan'. This identifies him as John of Lancaster, whose wife Blanche had died. Chaucer wakes up with a book in his hand, The Metamorphoses of Ovid. The Horse of Fame is a three-part vision in which the dreamy poet finds himself in a Temple of Venus, its glass walls etched with the story of Dido and Aeneas. In Book II, Chaucer is carried in the air by an Eagle expounding the theory of sound, to the House of Fame (Rumour, but also Poetry), a bewildering place described in Book III. The poem breaks off when Chaucer meets a man whose name he cannot give: 'But he seemed to be / A man of great authority...'. The Parlement of Fowls Chaucer's first completed work is a dream, the second a shattered dream; his next, The Parliament of Fowls, is a dream ending in a puzzle. The poet seeks to understand Love, which, the books say, has disconcerting effects. He has been reading Cicero's Dream of Scipio, in which Africanus explains how the immortal soul can reach heaven only by working for the common good. Chaucer sleeps and dreams of Africanus, who takes him to a paradisiacal garden of love, containing a dark temple of Venus. Outside, in the Garden, the goddess Nature presides over the Parliament of Birds: it's Valentine's Day, when the chickens, the birds, choose their mates. Three noble eagles seek the hand of a beautiful female, the Formel, each protesting that she will die if she does not accept. Common birds lose their temper, the goose saying, 'But [unless] she loves him, he will love another.' “'Nay, God forbede, a lovere shulde chaunge!”/A tortoise [dove] seyde, e wex for shame al red.' The duck and the cuckoo mock this gentle feeling, the noble birds of prey defend it. Nature calls for a halt and asks the formal to decide. ‘If I were Resoun,’ she says, I would advise you to take the royal eagle. But the formel, with free choice, speaks like this: 'Almighty Queen! until here go away, / I ask for a truce to warn me, / And after that to have my choices in the open air...'. Formel uses here the words with which the king rejected a bill introduced by Parliament: le roi s'avisera, 'the king will think about it'. She 'would not serve Venus nor Cupid, / For just as you...'. Nature dispenses with Parliament. Birds, except golden eagles, hug their mates. But first the faults were chosen to sing, As you were always used to sing a round at this feast, To honor and honor nature. The note, I think, was made in France, The words were exchanged as you can hear, The next versions, as I now have them in my mind. 'Now welcome, somer, with thy tender son, Who hath this winter's marriages shaken, And cast out the blake of long nights.'

give them music

to believe

tossing storms

The circle intertwines its verses, ending with the verses it began with. [p. 57] And with the screams, when the music was made That the fouls done here fly away, I worked, and other bokes called me, To reed on, and yit I network always. I hope, ywis, repay some day That I find something to pay The bet, and so repay I nyl nat spare.

done your

dream better

to move forward

The poet, awakened by the dawn chorus, returns to his books. Parliament has philosophy, a vision of love, a beast's fable, a debate and a light and intriguing manner. Chaucer mixes genres and attitudes: he is a bookworm in search of enlightenment about love, an owl that will never be a nightingale. Boethius, Dante, Langland and Pearl's poet dream of seeking enlightenment, but Chaucer's comic self-presentation is startlingly different.

A passionate learner does not require a book, but a loved one. If we run the dream backwards, the formel betrays the bluff of its noble suitors, the eagles, who will not die. She keeps them waiting until she chooses. Farm birds know that love is physical; but humans must do better than birds. The Temple of Venus is hot with idolized sexual pleasure. Scipio's Dream says that love for the common good leads to immortality, unlike the love of one's fellow men. Extremes of lust and idealization are therefore to be avoided. However, human nature is not very reasonable: love remains a puzzle, unsolvable for those who take themselves too seriously. Such a fresh and elegant presentation of complex issues is incredibly new in English. Parliament is not equaled in French until Pierre de Ronsard in the early 16th century or in English until the late 16th century. Chaucer's work was based on Latin and, in modern languages, on models in French (The Book of the Duchess) and Italian (Troilus). He brought modern European manners to English. He appears to have read Langland but not Gawain. The Prologue to the Legend of the Good Women is Chaucer's last vision of love, written in the first decasyllabic couplets in English. It opens onto a May landscape, full of flowers; the loving courtship of May Day involved flowers, especially the daisy. Chaucer is found kneeling by a daisy by the God of Love, accompanied by his Queen and her retinue, who sing a ballad in his praise: 'Hyd, Absalon, thy golden tresses clere'. Love asks why its flower is venerated by Chaucer, an enemy of love: 'Thou maist yt nat denye, For in full text, without nede of gloss, Thou hast translated the Romance of the Rose, That is heresy, according to my law, And make wise people depart from me...; Didn't you go mad in Englysh ek the bok Like that Crissey from Troylus abandoned, In shewynge like that wemen han don mis?


also wrong

The Queen of Love defends Chaucer: 'This man may be unjustly accused of loving you, as by right he should be excused. Or elles, sir, because this man is new, He can translate a thyng without malice, But because he uses bokes to make, And doesn't care what he takes, That's why he wrote to Rose and ek Crisseyde Of innocence, and nyste what he seyde. . ..

being foolish is used to not paying attention

innocently did not know [p. 58] The Queen is Alceste, who offered to die in her husband's place and was transformed into a daisy: a new metamorphosis. She asks Chaucer to make a legend out of the lives of the saints of love. It tells nine legends of 'martyrs' of love - Cleopatra, Dido, Lucrece, Ariadne et al. - in penance for his 'heresies'. The Prologue is the most "autobiographical" of Chaucer's visions and his last farce in the worship of Love. Victorians loved it. Today feels like a test run for Canterbury Tales.

Troilus and Criseyde 'How that Crisseyde Troylus abandoned' is told in Troilus and Criseyde, a work of marked symmetry. It opens: The double sorrow of Troilus to say That he was King Priam, son of Troye, In love, as his adventures fell From wo to wee, and then by joy, My purpose is, ere I part with you. The poem, set in Troy in the tenth year of the siege, has 8,239 lines and five books. In Book I, Prince Troilus falls in love with Criseyde, the widowed daughter of the seer Calchas who has defected to the Greeks. In II Pandarus reunites his niece Criseyde and the prostrate Troilus. In III, their love is consummated with joy in the house of Pandarus. In IV, the Trojans agree to exchange Criseyde for the captured Antenor. In V Criseyde 'alone, among the Grekis stronge' accepts Diomede's protection. Troilus trusts that she will return, and when his infidelity is proven, he is killed. Sadness is twofold: tragedy has four books of sadness, one of joy. In her 'rhyme royal' (a stanza that rhymes ababbcc), Troie often rhymes with joie and Criseyde with deyde. The end is known in advance: the interest lies in its detailed unfolding. This story was developed in Boccaccio's Filostrato from the 'Trojan books' elaborated in the Middle Ages from Homer, Virgil and Statius. Chaucer's version is the supreme English example of a doomed story of courtly love. The literary dignity of its opening, cited above, relaxes with antes que 1 pane fro ye, an 'oral' gesture to the audience. Chaucer appears innocent and slightly silly, and the teller's quick sympathy for the lovers complicates the interpretation. When their love is consummated, he exclaims: O blessed night, from them so long awaited, How joyous to them both were! Why nad I buy with my soul ypurchased, Ye, or the smallest joy that was there?

them if I wasn't such Yes

His willingness to sell his soul for a kiss comes back to mind when, at the end, we read this plea: O young man, young people, he or she, In whom this love grows with age, Repeyreth hom fro vanite mundane, And from his herte cast your countenance To think of God who after your image You made, and think of everything but a beautiful This world, which passes away like flour at the fair.

house that he considers fair flowers

Then the young people are told to trust Jesus, who nyl falsen no wight ("will not betray anyone") - unlike human lovers. After the cashier's sympathy, it is a surprise to learn that the lovers' joys were unreal. [p. 59] The surprise was prepared. Each book opens with a soaring invocation in the manner of Dante, and the action is punctuated by commentary on a work Chaucer translated, Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy, a medieval handbook for classical philosophy. Boethius speaks for a perplexed and suffering humanity, but ends up accepting the austere arguments of Madam Philosophy. Troilus's five books follow the revolution of the wheel of fortune: sexual happiness is fleeting and temporary, less real than eternal truths and therefore false. On the human level, the plight of lovers is very real. The wounded Troilus complains in his bed. The lovers are united only through the plot of Pandarus, who has to push the fainting Troilus into Criseyde's bed. When Troilus tells her that she must yield, she replies: 'Ne hadde I er [If I had not before] now, my sweet herte deere,/Ben yelde, ywis [indeed], now I am nothing [notJ here.' has been surrendered': she does not surrender. Pandarus, supposed protector of her, in fact worked tirelessly to make her relent, and at her home. But uncle and niece have a knowing relationship; the next morning she calls him a fox. Troilus is also colluding with Pandarus' lie that he, Troilus, is about to die of jealousy - a ploy to get him into Criseyde's room. Deceit and fidelity are part of the secret of courtly love. But Troilus' feigned jealousy turns into real jealousy, and his sincere promises are broken by events. As soon as they separate, sorwe start biting. Criseyde's characterization is ambiguous and opaque, a matter of suggestion and interpretation, closer to Samuel Richardson and Henry James than Roland's Le Chanson. Readers differ on Criseyde's culpability; the narrator excuses it as "tendre-herted, slydyng of courage", terms that also fit him. But when Criseyde gives Diomede Troilus' love token, the narrator says 'Men seyn - me no - que ela yaf hym herte' ('They say - I don't know - that she gave him her heart'). The narrator does not know, but the author invites to guess. The blind pagan lovers are at the mercy of events: the God of Love makes Troilus fall in love with Criseyde as punishment for laughing at love. Criseyde is exchanged willy-nilly for Antenor, who will betray Troy to the Greeks. Readers are free to choose a side, as each character is presented from their own perspective. Romantics can identify with Troilus, or with Criseyde, or pity them both, broken by circumstances. 'Pite renneth sone in gentil herte' is a line that appears five times in Chaucer. If we are not sorry, the ending has no sting and the poem fails. But the reader can see the madness of love and lovers punished for their passions. After the slow revolution of the Wheel of Fortune, Troilus is slain in one line - 'Despicably he slew the fierce Achilles.' His spirit looks down from heaven on those who mourn at his funeral, and 'in himself he laughs'. Sudden Death and Laughter: A Gothic Change of Perspective.

The Canterbury Tales Chaucer's last work, The Canterbury Tales, is his most popular today. His opening 'When that April with his shoures soote' is the first line of English verse that is widely known. The sweet April rains that pierce the dryness of March to the very root are a daydream, a celebration of spring renewal. This overture, a welcome to the April rains and the classic god of the West Wind, is often taken as the starting point for 'Eng. Lit.' (In 1922, T. S. Eliot began his lament for civilization, The Waste Land, with 'April is the cruelest month', reversing Chaucer's reverie.) It would be better to regard Chaucer's opening line as confirmation that English poetry, already seven centuries old, it had successfully tamed the new European literary traditions. Chaucer tells how he joined him at the Tabard Inn, Southwark, by a company [p. 60] of 'wise folk,/And pilgrims were they all'. Spring is the season of pilgrimage in Christendom: And especially from all counties from Engelond to Caunterbury they went The holy holy martyr to seek That the scabbard was found when they were sought.

blessed seek helped sick

The innkeeper proposes a storytelling game to pass the time on the two-day journey to the shrine of St Thomas Becket of Canterbury, killed by agents of Henry II in 1170 at the altar of his cathedral. The thirty pilgrims must each tell two stories on the way out and two on the way back; the storyteller with the best sentence [moral import] and most solaas [comfort, pleasure] wins dinner at Tabard paid for by the others. The game creates the Tales; The Pilgrims' Tales were proverbially known as the 'Canterbury Tales'. Pilgrims tell twenty-four stories of popular genre: lives of saints, moral fables, coarse jokes, fables of beasts, sermons, penitential treatises. The most widely read today are the General Prologue and the tales of the Knight, the Miller, the Wife of Bath, the Merchant, the Franklin, the Forgiver and the Priest of the Nun; less frequently, those of the Cook, the Reeve, the Man of Law, the Friar, the Summoner, the Clerk, the Shipman, the Prioress and 'Sir Thopas'. Moral tales are neglected; we prefer the clowns. Pilgrims don't behave well: they

joke and tease, interrupt and fight; the Knight prevents the Host from attacking the Pardoner. Some don't tell stories; Chaucer counts two as the Host interrupts the first. The Knight prevents the Monk from finishing the thirteenth of his tragedies. The Tales are found in about eighty manuscripts, in separate sections or Fragments. The best manuscripts have ten Fragments, each with one or more tales. If any Fragments are incomplete, the Tales have a conclusion. As the shadows lengthen, with Canterbury in sight, the Host jokingly asks the parson to speak last and 'knytte up wel a greet mateere'. He responds with "a myriad of prose tales... To show them the good, in this voyage,/Of such a glorious pilgrimage parfit/That high heavenly Jerusalem". His Tale is a confessor's handbook based on the Seven Deadly Sins: a fitting end to a pilgrimage and a comprehensive answer to your parliament of fools. The First Fragment has the General Prologue and the Tales of the Knight, the Miller, the Reeve and the Cook. It is a polished introduction and sample of the Tales' narrative as a whole. Between the spring opening and the host's ownership of the pilgrimage, the pilgrim roll in its color, conversation and variety is a miniature of English society. Chaucer joins his 'sonefolk': 'And soon, when the sonne should rest, / So I spoke to him everichon / That I was of his felaweshipe anon'. The diplomat earns the trust of his puppets. The Pilgrims are familiar types of medieval social satire, but Chaucer makes them speak to him and through him to us: their voices animate his brilliant two-dimensional portraits. Medieval satirists rebuke obstinate vice, but the pilgrim Chaucer praises his creatures, letting us see the imperfections to which they are blind. He adores the prioress's elegant table manners and admires the fat monk's fine boots. When the Monk disputes a text which says that a monk outside his cloister is not worth an oyster, Chaucer agrees: 'And I know his opinion was good'. The bookseller author enjoys the Monk's contempt with the absurd idea that he should do the work prescribed to monks: What he should study and make wood for himself, Why go crazy On top of a book in cloystre always to spill, pore [P. 61] Or swynken with your hander, and labore, toil irony Saying a How did Austyn bite? How will the world be served? Augustine ordered that while Lat Austyn had his swynk reserved for him! toil reserved for self, meaning another. satire Attacking

Chaucer's disciple Lydgate testified that Chaucer was always the best. This courtesy sharpens his addiction or madness for irony, often directed at professional avarice. He says of the barrister: 'Nowhere was so bisy a man as he was to ridicule nas, / And yet he looked bisier than he was.' 'He kept that [what] he wanted in pestilence' [Prague]. Chaucer's casual remarks, usually innocent, are sometimes deadly. He wrote of "the smylere with the knyf under the cloak". He is an ironist, not a satirist; His comedy oscillates between human sympathy and an absolute morality. His Knight, Parish Priest and Farmer are ideal: defender of the faith, pastor, worker. His Oxford secretary is also an ideal: no more words were said than necessary. And it was said in form and reverence, And short and quyk and full of sentences; Sownynge in moral vertu was his speche, And merrily wolde him lerne and merrily teche.

an ethical truth tending to

The first tale, that of the Knight, is a chivalric romance in which Princes Palamon and Arcite fall in love with the beautiful Emelye, whom they spy from her prison as she wanders and sings in a garden below. They escape and fight over her, a fight interrupted by Theseus, who orders a tournament in which Emelye's hand is the prize. Before that, Arcite prays to Mars for victory, Palamon to Venus for Emelye, Emelye to Diana not to marry; or, if need be, to marry "the one who wants me most." When Arcite wins, Emelye gives him a friendly look. Her prayer was answered. But Saturn sends out an infernal fury, which makes Arcite's horse throw him down in the moment of triumph; he dies in Emelye's arms. After years of mourning, Palamon and Emelye are married, on the advice of Theseus. Chivalry tries to right the injustice of the world. After this attempt to resolve a love dispute without bloodshed, the Host asks the Monk to speak, but has to give in to the drunken Miller. In the first funny story in English, Alysoun's attractions drive three men mad, two young Oxford officials and John, her former husband. The Miller mocks the Knight's story, also teasing Reeve (a carpenter) by making John (also a carpenter) incredibly stupid. Reeve tells how a Miller is double-crossed by two Cambridge students. The cook then tells of a London apprentice dismissed for a riotous life. He moves in with a friend whose wife kept a kitchen for appearances but diverted it to support her, the last line of the Fragment: 'for a living, she fucked'. The pilgrimage, with its April aspiration, communal devotion to the happy saint, early dawn and chivalrous romance, falls to sex comedy in Oxford and farce in Cambridge. Instead of Canterbury or Heavenly Jerusalem, he went back to the city and a beat shop. Love competition gives way to lovemaking, then to sexual congress, then to sexual commerce. The prodigal son rolled to the bottom of the stairs and Chaucer stopped. Pitch goes up in Lawman Fragment II, goes down with Bath's Wife in Fragment III, goes up with Clerk in IV and goes down with Merchant, then goes up in V with Squire and Franklin. In the second half of the Tales, the moral sentence predominates over the cheerful soleas of the Sailor, 'Sir Thopas' and the Priest of the Nun. In VIII, a canon's Yeoman rides out to tell the pilgrims of his master's fraudulent alchemy. In IX, near 'a litel toun/What ycleped is Bobbe-up-and-doun', the

[p. 62]

'A good wife stood by Bathe': Chaucer's Wife of Bath, an illustration from the Ellesmere deluxe manuscript of the Canterbury Tales (c.1410). She rides, carries a whip and looks for a sixth husband.

the drunken cook falls off his horse, and at X the parish priest begins the unfolding pilgrimage, telling how human failings can be forgiven and humanity saved. For all its brilliant detail, The Canterbury Tales alerts us to general issues and typical fates. Exceptionally, a tale reveals the character of its narrator, as with the Wife of Bath and the Forgiver, which have self-explanatory prologues and self-illustrative tales. However, even they are not individuals, but animated caricatures. Some stories reveal their tellers; others do not. The tale of the nun's priest, of a rooster and his seven hens, is told by a man in a women's house. Each tale can stand alone; the relationship with the teller means less than the relationship with other tales. Tales exemplify human conduct, illusory or holy, and its animal, rational and spiritual bases. The whole is a debate and a drama of ideas and moods. Chaucer is an author who makes fun of authority. The stories he tells himself, Sir Thopas and Melibee, would not have won dinner. 'Sir Thopas' is a parody of the popular Tail Novel, full of silly conventions, empty phrases and bad rhymes. The Host, missing the point, interrupts him with the comment that his rhyme 'isn't worth shit'. Chaucer then tells "a litel thyng in prose", the long moral fable of Melibeus and Prudence. The author, dismissed by his puppet, the Host, shows him the path of wisdom with many phrases. Chaucer repositions himself with the speed of a hummingbird. The detail of the General Prologue does not lead to social realism; there is no stable moral point of view. Chaucer's Gothic shifts in genre and tone are enabled by his comprehensive conception of life, physical, social, moral and metaphysical, shown from a variety of points of view. As his final retractions show, Chaucer's humanity has a theological dimension.

The 15th-century Chaucers and Gowers were buried outside the City of London, in the Westminster and Southwark churches near which each had lived. The Tomb of Fifteenth Century Events and Literature Events 1399-1413 Henry IV 1413-22 1415 1422 1453 1455-85 1461-83 1483 1483-5 1485-1509

Henry V's victory at Agincourt Henry VI succeeds as a minor. Deposed 1461 Defeat at Castillon ends the Hundred Years' War; Turks take Constantinople Wars of the Roses Edward IV Edward V Richard III Henry VII (Tudor)

Literature ?1369-1426 ?1370-1449 c.1405

Thomas Hoccleve John Lydgate The Castle of Perseverance


Wakefield Game Cycle

c.1465 1478 1485 1513

Mankind (play) William Caxton prints The Canterbury Tales Thomas Malory's Le Morte Darthur printed Thomas Mores History of Richard III

[p. 63] author of Piers Plowman is unknown. The name of the author of Gawain is unknown. It was not until 1599, when poetry claimed a public role, that Edmund Spenser was buried near Chaucer, in Westminster Abbey, in what became the Poets' Corner. Of Chaucer's avowed followers, only the Scots and Spenser approach his quality. There was good English writing in the 15th century, in lyric, drama and prose, but no great poets. Thomas Hoccleve (? 1369-1426) called Chaucer his "father". He earned his living as a copyist at Westminster, without his master's skill and diplomacy. Scholars have recently found freshness in Hoccleve's complaints about his boring job, demanding employers, deteriorating eyesight, depression and low wages. Unlike poor Hoccleve, John Lydgate (?1370-1449), a monk from Bury St. Edmunds, did well with the English verses. He had large commissions: his Troy Book was written for Henry V; his version of The Pilgrimage of the Life of Man for the Earl of Salisbury; his fall from the princes to Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester. Here is a stanza from 'As A Midsummer Rose': Floures open upon every green, Whan the larke, messager of day, Salueth th'uprist of the sonne shene Most amerously in April and may may; E Aurora ageyn o morwe gray Causith the days ye hir crown to uncloose: Worldly gladnes is medlyd with affray, Al stant on chaung like a mydsomer roose.

greets rising bright lovingly dawn approaching morning open mixed fear is at the point of change

The stanza form, imagery, and phrase are by Chaucer; the resounding moral refrain is by Lydgate. Most of Lydgate's 145,000 lines say the expected thing in a decorated style without Chaucer's rhythm, liveliness and wit. The decasyllable lost its music in the 15th century, when words changed in accent and inflection. English supplemented with prestige words from Latin and French. Doubling his resources, his eloquence took the form of reduplication, combining English and Romance synonyms, as later in Othello's "blown out conjectures".

Drama Mystery interprets the English drama of Catholic origin. After the 10th century, liturgical drama spread across Europe, enacting the biblical story in Latin and local languages. These rolls are known as miracle or mystery rolls. One of the earliest is the Anglo-Norman Mystere d'Adam, probably written in England around 1140. Suppressed in the Reformation, these plays continued in Catholic Europe, as in the Passion Play in Oberammergau, Bavaria. They were revived in 20th-century England in nativity plays, in Benjamin Britten's Noyes Fludde and in Tony Harrison's Mysteries. The mystery plays were cycles of religious dramas performed by city guilds, craft associations of a religious type. The term 'Mystery' can be derived from two words: mètier (fr.) or ministerium (lat.), meaning 'office'; and mysterium (lat.), 'what has been accomplished'. Just as Greek tragedy began in religious rite, so medieval European drama began with the representation of the central Christian story in the mass and in the annual cycle of services developed by the early Church. There were Christmas plays, [p 64] beginning with the angel's declaration to Mary, his reply and dialogues with Joseph (see page 24), and with shepherds and kings. The Easter plays began with the entry of Christ into Jerusalem, with a procession and palm branches. During Holy Week, the Gospels of the Passion of Christ were recited, with the participation of clerics and the congregation, as is the case today in Catholic churches. The resurrection was enacted by the women arriving at the empty tomb, where they were met by the angel with the question: 'Who are you looking for?', also asked of the shepherds in the manger in the Nativity plays. From this seminal question grew a forest of representations, liturgical, musical and artistic - church windows, sculptures, paintings and handwritten illustrations - as well as dramatic. The drama began in the church, with clergy as authors and protagonists. The congregation sprang into action with performances in the churchyard outside the west door. These dramatizations of the Bible, from Creation to the Last Judgment, were popular. Records survive from France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Ireland and Scotland. A Cornish cycle survives and is reproduced in several English towns, with complete 15th-century cycles from Chester, Wakefield and an unknown town ("the N. Town cycle"). The York cycle has 48 moves. After 1311, the feast of Corpus Christi, celebrating the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, was celebrated on 29 June; this was a long day, in which a cycle, "The Play Called Corpus Christi, was performed. Each guild performed their play in a parade wagon through the streets. They were amateurs, but the payments are recorded. In a play of Cain and Abel, God (who has earned a penny) is greeted by Cain's question to Abel, "Who is that clown [clown] on top of the wall?" The rich quality of these short plays stands up to citation: the Crucifixion and the Second Play of the Wakefield Shepherds, in which the sheep thief Mak (a Scotsman?) tries to hide a sheep he stole from the baby Jesus' manger. its sacred drama recalls Langland. Chaucer's The Miller's Tale often refers to the plays: Absolon, the parish clerk, a female trio, likes to play Herod, a furious tyrant; John the Carpenter forgot Noah's Flood, a play with a comical Mrs. Noah. More subtly, Absolon transvestites

The Annunciation Contest Wagon. From illustrations from a Brussels parade of 1615.

[p. 65] the angel of the Annunciation, his retinue of Alysoun echoes The Song of Songs, and the gullible wife-worshipping carpenter recalls the foolish Joseph of the Nativity plays. The familiarity of religion encouraged comedy, even what now seems blasphemous. Every summer, citizens enacted the drama of human history; Mystery tiles were communal (see illustration on page 64).

Morale plays The moral plays of the 15th and 16th centuries, which showed the fate of a single human person, were staged by traveling companies. The Castle of Perseverance (c.1405) is a show with a cast of thirty-six, to be played in a large open-air arena, dramatizing the life of Humanity from birth to death, with a tournament of virtue and vice , as in the end of King Lear. Mankind (1465) and Everyman (1495) show the lives of representative humans in dialogue with people like Fellowship and Good Deeds. Knowledge says: 'Everyone, I will go with you and be your guide,/In your greatest need I will go by your side.' survive on Dr. Marlowe's Faustus, with its soliloquy protagonist, its Good and Bad Angels, and its final moral. But it is to the Mysteries that Elizabethan drama owes a long-established communal participation in religious drama, civic comedy, and secular drama, recorded but not extant. The Mysteries did not "feed away" at the Reformation; along with other popular forms of piety they were suppressed. The Coventry plays were last performed in 1580. Biblical drama was banished from the stage, returning in Milton's Paradise Lost and Handel's Messiah.

Religious lyrics Religious lyrics derived from Latin songs and hymns. Hymns entered the Latin church in the fourth century, bringing the accentuated rhythm and rhyme of popular music. These hymns swing, unlike quantitative classical verse. There is a vast literature of Latin songs, sacred and profane, from all centuries. Vernacular songs often adapt secular themes. For example: Where were Beth before us, Houndes ladden and havekes beren And hadden feld and wode?

it is they who were before us (who) guided hawks, carried their own field and wood

'Where are they now' is an old question, asked sadly in the Old English Wanderer (see page 31). Now a sharp answer is provided: Men kneeling hem biforen kneeling before them They beren hem well swithe heye carried themselves with much pride indeed And in the twinkling of an eye, the Hoere souls were helpless. your lost

Pride comes before a fall. Equally "medieval" is the doctrine of Adam's "happy guilt" leading to Redemption. Adam was y-bownden, bownden in a bond, Fower thousand wynter thought not long.

linked years too

[p. 66] A sweetly clear exemplification of the doctrine is the aim of some letters, as it was of Fra Angelico's paintings. A perfect one is: I sing about a mayden that is makeles, Kyng of all kynges for here sone she ches. He might as well suffocate there, his moderator was like the dew on Aprille that falls on the grass. He can also suffocate for his bowr moderes Like dew on Aprille that falls on flour...

peerless chose silently where


The coming of the dew is compared to the Holy Spirit, who comes to the Virgin Mary with the delicacy and reverence of a courtier. English religious painting was whitewashed in the Reformation, but Italian painting parallels the richness of English poetry. The lyrics about Christmas and the Crucifixion combine the theological balance of 'I sing of a mayden' with the human dignity of Duccio's Maestà panels in Siena. Others have Giotto's emotional realism. Friars used letters to induce piety and repentance; the Franciscan John of Grimestone's preaching book, made in 1372, contains nearly 250 of these letters, mostly penitential, as notes or illustrations for sermons. But most lyrics are Anon. Some have refrains, as in the Song of Corpus Christi: 'Lully lullay, full, lullay,/The faucon bath drove me to make [love] away.' Another is the complaint of Christ, the lover of mankind: In the vaile of restles mynd I sought in mounteyn and in mede, Trustyng a trewe love to find. On a hill than toke I hede, A voice I herd (and before I yede) In great pain complaynyng tho, 'See, dere soule, my sides bleed, Quia amore langueo.'

valley meadow I took care closer I was sadness then I bled because I'm love sick

This stanza shows how well a rhyming stanza can use alliteration to link and shape syllabic sentences. The refrain, from the Song of Songs, is found in other lyrics. In religious lyric, as in Julian of Norwich's "Introductions," the keynote is the Saviour's personal love for each member of mankind.

Deaths of Arthur The oldest yet familiar prose narrative in English, other than those in scripture, is Le Morte Darthur (1470) by Sir Thomas Malory. The story of Geoffrey of Monmouth branched into many chivalric romances: of these, the most notable in English between Gawain and Malory are the Stanzaic Le Morte Arthur (a contemporary of Gawain and of the same area) and the Morte Arthure of c. 1400, known as the Alliterative Death, of Lincolnshire. These derive from the French prose La Mort [p. 67] and Artu were among Malory's sources. The Stanzaic Morte cleverly develops the division in Lancelot's loyalties that leads to Arthur's death. Wounded, Lancelot sends a message to Arthur: 'Grete welle [greet well] my lord, I pray,/And tell my lady how I fare,/And say I'll come when I can.' Simple messages with double meanings haunt Malory's pages. But implication and love play small roles in Alliterative Death, dedicated to Arthur's campaigns. This fierce 4350-line epic packs a punch. The glamor given to cavalry combat in the Chronicle of Jean Froissart (d.1410), best known in the translation of Lord Berners (1523-5), is corrected by the fight in the Alliterative Death. Here is the end of the fight between Gawain and Mordred: Than Gawayne gyrde to the gome and one the groffe fallis Alls his grefe was graythede, his grace was no bettyre. He shokkes owtte a scorte knyfe schethede with silvere E sholde sholdtede hym in, mas no slytte hacer: His hand slepped and slode o slante one the mayles, And the other sleyly slynges hym undire. With a trenchand knyfe, the trayttoure hym hyttes

Thorowe the helme and hede, a heyghe an the brayne. And so Sir Gawayne was gone, the guide of the men-at-arms. Then Gawain leaped at the man and fell flat on his face; so his misfortune was planned, he had no better luck. He draws a short silver-sheathed knife and should have slit his throat, but no cut is made: his hand slips and slides slantwise on the chainmail rings, and the other man dodged cunningly beneath. With a sharp knife, the traitor hits him in the helmet and head upwards in the brain. And so was that good warrior Sir Gawain.

The author of Le Morte Darthur tells us that he is Sir Thomas Malory and is writing in prison. He is probably the Sir Thomas Malory of Warwickshire who in the 1440s was accused of crimes of violence and spent most of the 1450s in prison, escaping twice. This was in the War of the Roses between the Lancastrian and Yorkist claimants to the throne. In 1468 he was arrested again, on charges of conspiring against Edward IV. He tells us that he finished his book in 1469; he died in 1471. In 1485 William Caxton printed Le Morte Darthur, editing it into twenty-one books. A manuscript with a better text was found in 1934 in the Fellows' Library of Winchester College (founded 1378; motto 'Manners makyth man'). In this manuscript from the 1470s, Malory tells the story of Arthur's life in eight independent but linked books. Malory acknowledges the French (prose) books on which it is based, but not its English verse sources. His is the first prose close enough to modern English to be easily read, and Death is the first major work of English prose fiction. He writes with the candor and confidence of a seasoned storyteller. His straightforward narration sets up the chivalrous world and its conflicting loyalties. At the beginning of Book Seven, Arthur proclaims a tourney in Camelot, "otherwise callyd Wynchester". Lancelot comes in disguise, borrowing the shield of his host's son, Sir Barnard of Ascolot. So your old baron had a princess who was called at that time Fayre Maydyn of Ascolot, and ever she looked on Sir Lancelot wonderfully. And, as the book says, she had so much love for Sir Lancelot that she could never withdraw her love, so she died; and her name was Elayne le Blanke. So that, as she came and went, she was so much in love that she begged Sir Lancelot to accompany him in the justis [just] a tokyn of hers. [p. 68] Lancelot objects, then decides to bear his symbol, 'that none of his fairies could know him'. Wearing Elayne's scarlet silk sleeve, Lancelot receives a near-fatal wound; she nurses him back to health. When he is ready to leave, she says 'have mercy on me and allow me to die for your love'. ‘Sir, I would like to have you as my husband,’ said Elayne. 'Fayre demesell, I sincerely thank you,' seyde Sir Lancelot, 'but truly,' he seyde, 'I chaste [I am resolved] never to marry a man.' be my lover [lover]?” “Jesus, defend me!” seyde Sir Lancelot. 'For I have rewarded your fadir and your brother with all evil for your great kindness.' Yearly. She refuses; he leaves. After ten days she dies, and her body is placed on a black barge which goes down the Thames to Westminster, "and there he rubbed and rolled also and for great cause or [before] no man saw struck". This is the basis of Tennyson's The Lady of Shallott. Malory's prose is rhythmic and there's a greater narrative rhythm to her scenes. Its well-paced narrative, with its dramatic exchanges, speaks of conflict and loss in a wonderful, everyday world. Malory begins her book with Arthur's generation, his miraculous youth and his foreign conquests. The Hundred Years' War fought by the English against the French was lost when Malory was at his height, and he knew full well that the chivalry he portrays in his central books of Sir Gareth, Sir Tristram and the Grail would not be found. Nor was loyalty to the king and courtesy among knights to be found in the War of the Roses, in which Malory had fought. The imprisoned author ends Death with the dismemberment of the Round Table and the death of Arthur. In the dispute that follows the discovery of his adulterous love for Guenevere, Lancelot kills Gawain's brother Gareth and leaves the Round Table for his native France. Gawain, with his uncle Arthur, seeks revenge against Lancelot, and in their absence, the traitorous Mordred claims the throne. Many are on his side against Arthur, and Malory, a Lancastrian, exclaims, 'Alas! this is a great disaffection of us English, for he cannot please us to any term [for any length of time]. ' Without Lancelot, Arthur loses. The closure, with the deaths of Arthur, Lancelot and Guenevere, is full of distrust and regret. Arthur's last knight, Sir Bedwere, falsely tells him that all he had seen on the lake was lapping water and dark waves: 'watirs wap and wawys wanne'. Arthur replies: 'A, Traytour to me and disengage... now you've betrayed me like this!' Bedwere places Arthur on the barge in which the ladies are to take him to the valley of Avylyon to heal him of his grievous wound. Then Bedwere cries out: "Ah, my lord Arthur, what will become of me, now will you go away and leave me here alone among my enemies?" Malory gave the branching Arthurian story its classical form. 'Many men say' is written on Arthur's tomb: HIC IACET ARTHURUS, REX QUONDAM REXQUE FUTURUS ("Here lies Arthur, the former and future king").

The Arrival of Printing The status of Lo Morte Darthur owes much to its printing by William Caxton (?142291), an entrepreneur who learned to print in Cologne and Bruges and set up a printing press near Westminster Abbey in 1476. Most of the eighty books that he printed were [p. 69] religious, but the first was his translation of a story of Troy; he also printed a Canterbury Tales in 1477. He translated from French works such as The Book of the Order of Chivalry, a guide to chivalrous conduct, addressed "not to every common man...

but for noble gentlemen'. Ordinary men could not read, but “quality” marketing had begun. Chivalry was dying, but manners could be learned.

Scottish Poetry In the late 15th century, the best poetry in English came from Scotland. This kingdom, united under Malcolm Canmore in the late 11th century, had four languages: Highland Gaelic, Lowland English, Official Latin, and Noble Anglo-Norman French. Since the 7th century, English was spoken on the east coast, from the River Tweed to Edinburgh. Its speakers called the language of the Gaels, which since the 5th century came from Ireland to Argyll, Scottish. Um Gael was in Latin Scotus, a name then extended to the Lowlanders, who called the northern English-speaking Inglis. After the 14th century, a century of war with England, the Lowlanders called their speech Scottis, and called the Gaelic of the original Scots Ersche, later Erse (Irish). The earliest Scottish literature is the Brus of John Barbour (c. 1325-95), an archdeacon of Aberdeen who studied at Oxford and Paris. The Brus (c.1375) is a heroic life of Robert the Bruce, whose defeat of Edward II at Bannockburn in 1314 made him King of Scotland. This lively chronicle has nearly 14,000 octosyllables, the most quoted being 'A! fredome is a noble thing!" This echoes the Scots' Declaration of Arbroath (1320), a Latin appeal to the Pope: "Verily, it is not for glory, nor for riches, nor for honors that we are fighting, but for liberty - for that alone, which no honest man will part with except his life.” Bruce tells his men before Bannockburn that they have three advantages: 'The first is that we have the richt;/And for the richt ilk man suld ficht [each man should fight]' The second is that 'we' shall have the great wealth that the British brought with them – 'If that happens, we might fall too.' The third is, that we, for our children And for our children and our wifis, And for the freedom of our land, Ar strenyeit in battle to stand...


Sure, profit, family and independence - a good lowland Scottish combination. Universities were founded: St Andrews in 1411, Glasgow in 1451, Aberdeen in 1495. Successors to the Brus include Kingis Quair (c.1424), Sir Richard Holland's Boke of the Howlat [Owlet] (c.1460) and Blind Harry's Wallace (c.1460), inferior to Brus but more popular. Then come Henryson, Dunbar, and Douglas, sometimes called "Scottish Chaucerians." They call Chaucer their father and his Scottish poetry Events Crowned Bruce 1306 The Battle of Bannockburn 1314


Jaime IV morre em Flodden

Literature c.1325-95 ?1424-?1506 ?1460-?1513 ?1475-1522

John Barbour, Brus (1375) Robert Henryson William Dunbar Gavin Douglas

[p. 70] Inglis language, but his only imitative poem is the beautiful Kingis Quair, a southern English poem derived from Chaucer's Knight's Tale, supposedly written by King James I of Scotland during his stay as a hostage in England. (Chaucer's Scottish admirers did not wish to rival him, but to dominate the "international" style. Another hostage, found alive among the dead at the field of Agincourt, was a great poet, Charles d'Orleans (1394-1465), who wrote in English as well as French, but not called 'French Chaucerian'.) Robert Henryson (? 1424-? 1506), William Dunbar (? 1460-? 1513) and Gavin Douglas (? 1475-1522) each have one considerable body of work. These are writers as good as Burns or Scott, but they are little read in Scotland today.

Robert Henryson Robert Henryson was a teacher at Dunfermline, Fife. His Fables are his greatest achievement, but The Testament of Cresseid, a sequel to Chaucer's Troilus, is his most famous work. His decasyllabic and often stanzaic verse is as silent as Gower's. Testament of his has a very medieval divinity and morality. Separated from Troilus, Cresseid joined Diomede; yet', 'Quhen Diomeid had all his appetite, / And chiefly satisfied him of this fair Ladie, / Upon an uther he laid his haill [whole] delyte...'. ‘E mair’ is deadly. Cresseid became a prostitute and suffered from leprosy. An old leper quotes to her a familiar proverb of Chaucer's: I advise the mak vertew de ane neid. To leir to clap thy Clapper to and fro, And light after the law of upper leid.

tree need longs to live leper people

One day Troilus passes this half-blind beggar: Then upon him schost up baith hir ene, And with a blenk it came into his thought That he had vanished his face before he had seen. But scho was in sic plye he knew hir nocht;


difficult situation

It than hir luik in his mind it brocht The sweet visage and amorous blenken Of fair Cresseid, sumtyrne his awin darling.


to look

Neither recognizes the other; he gives alms from 'knichtlie pietie'. The measured turn of Troilus' stanza makes the encounter objective yet compassionate. The Fable of the Preaching of the Swallow is less pathetic than the Testament, but a more universal moral example. In the humorous Fable of the Uponlondis Mous and the Burges Mous (Country Mouse and City Mouse), Henryson makes Aesop at home in a Fife full of humble natural details.

William Dunbar William Dunbar has a courtly sense of the variability of the world: Man's posture shifts and varies; Now som, now seik, now gay, now serious, Now dansand mery, now as dee: Timor mortis conturbat me.

sick sorry dance die

'The fear of death afflicts me.' As a priest, Dunbar is said to have uttered this refrain as an Answer in the Office of the Dead. [p. 71] That merciless and merciless tyrant Takis, no moderis breist sowkand, O bab, full of benignite: Timor mortis conturbat me.

sucking baby willingly

The poem begins 'I who in hell was [health] and joy'; it is known as Lamento to the Makaris (creators, poets). The recurrence of the Black Death made Death a recurring theme. He petulantly devoured The noble Chaucer, of makaris flour, The monk of Bery and Gower, all three: Timor mortis conturbat me.

pitifully flower of poets i.e. Lydgate

Chaucer had died a century earlier. After the English trio, Dunbar names twenty Scottish poets: 'At Dunfermlyne he made roune [whispered] / With Maister Robert Henrisoun. we for dede dispone [prepare for],/Eftir our dede that lif [live] may we.” 'Remeid' for timor mortis is found in Dunbar's poem on the torment of hell, Christ's descent into hell after the crucifixion to deliver the good souls: Concluded is a battle against the dragon blak; Our champion Christ confounds his strength. Hell's yettis burn with a crack; The triumphal sign rasitt is from croce. The divillis trymmilis with you hiddous; The saulis are on loan and to happiness they can go; Chryst with her blud our rescues doffs indoce Surrexit Dominus de sepulchro.

champion gates demons raised tremble voice saves endorse our rescues

The refrain comes from the Easter Mass: 'The Lord is risen from the tomb'. Dunbar's proclamation of victory has a personal sense of drama and a rhythmic thrust that anticipates John Donne (1572-1631). Poems by him are often set in the Renaissance court of James IV, the last of the Stewarts to speak Gaelic. James died in a medieval attack on England in the disastrous defeat of Flodden in 1513. Dunbar shows another side in his vigorous 'flying' (an insulting duel) with the Gaelic poet Walter Kennedy. His invective is best seen in his burlesque about a friar who tried to fly from the walls of Stirling Castle and in his conversation piece 'Twa maritt Wemen and the Wedo', members of the sect of the Wife of Bath. But Dunbar's poems read by non-Scotsmen are his hymns and lyrics of personal complaint.

Gavin Douglas Gavin Douglas, Bishop of Dunkeld, produced the first version of Virgil's Aeneid in any variety of English, working from the Ascensius edition (Paris, 1501). The range and power of Douglas's style make him equal to Dunbar, but his energetic translation has been neglected in favor of the vivid prologues to each book of the Aeneid, especially those dealing with the language and landscapes of Scotland. Going to bed in December, he wrapped his head, 'kest on clathis thrynfald [put on three layers of clothes] / To drive out the peralus persand cald'. In autumn, he sees the cranes, birds that then summered in Scotland, flying in a Y formation. This realistic “North” detail is new. The prologue to a 13th book, a happy ending to the Aeneid written by Mapheus

[p. 72] Vegius, an Italian humanist, in 1428, is brilliantly entertaining. Glad to have finished Virgil, Douglas walks in a garden in June, 'and sat in a sege, / Now musing on this and now on that.' An old man comes to him in a dream, 'Lyk para sum poet of the ald fasson [ancient disguise]' and scolds him for not including his - thirteenth - book. Douglas replies: 'Chew', I said, 'I well inherit what you say And in this case pardon I pray Not that I have something to offend you But rather that I have my time spent badly So lang on Virgillis volume... '

what you forgive at any point

He tells Vegius that some feel his thirteenth book is unnecessary: ​​As to the text according to never-a-deill Mair than langis to the cart the fift quheill.

not a bit belongs to the wheel

With that, Vegius strikes him twenty times with his club - in the same way that an old-fashioned author excluded from this story might spank its author. Douglas resumes his task.

Further Reading Benson, L.D. (ed.). The Riverside Chaucer (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1987; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988). The standard edition. Burrow, J. and T. Turville-Petre (eds). A Book of Middle English, 2nd ed. (Oxford: Blackwell, 1996). A well-designed and annotated textbook anthology. Cooper, H. The Canterbury Tales (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989). A well-thought-out critical introduction. Pearsall, D. (ed.) Chaucer to Spenser: An Anthology (Oxford: Blackwell, 1999). Well chosen and annotated. Schmidt, A.V. (ed.). The Vision of Piers Plowman (London: Everyman, 1978). A well-annotated text.

[p. 73]

Part Two: Tudor and Stuart [p. 75]

3. Tudor Literature: 1500-1603 Overview The hopes of humanists and early Renaissance writers were dashed by the turmoil of the Reformation and the despotism of Henry VIII. A literary Renaissance was triumphantly relaunched in the late 1570s by Sidney and Spenser, and the 1590s produced - in addition to drama - an unprecedented abundance of non-dramatic poets and translators. This Elizabethan golden age also saw a variety of prose, artistic, lively and dignified.

Renaissance and Reformation The Renaissance In 1550, the painter Georgio Vasari wrote of a rinascità in the arts in his native Florence and Italy in the 15th century, a “renaissance”. Nineteenth-century French historian Jules Michelet extended this idea of ​​a “renaissance” from fifteenth-century Italian, the Quattrocento, to a general cultural renewal in Western Europe that began earlier. Michelet's idea proved to be very popular with historians. The turn to classical verse models began with a man whom Chaucer calls "Fraunceys Petrak, the poet lauriat." On Easter Sunday, 1341, Petrarch ('Petrak') was crowned with a laurel wreath in Rome before Robert, King of Naples. The Renaissance revived classic cultural models, such as poet laureates. Greek had died out in the West, but it returned after 1400 with the arrival of Byzantine scholars in Italy, who in 1440 founded a Platonic Academy in Florence. After the Turks took Constantinople in 1453, Greek scholars brought manuscripts to Italy, Petrarch, a humanist, collected classical manuscripts. Aldus Manutius (1449-1515) printed elegant classical texts at his Aldine press in Venice. The Renaissance is sometimes called the “Revival of Learning”, but the classical texts it “discovered” have survived because they were copied in medieval manuscripts. The contrast between Renaissance learning and medieval ignorance is often exaggerated. The Renaissance spread from 15th century Italy to France, Spain and beyond. The Northern Renaissance was, except in the Low Countries, more intellectual than artistic; it was postponed by the Reformation (see page 78). the art of italian

[p. 76] Renaissance artists and authors Architects Filippo Brunelleschi (1377-1446) Leon Battista Alberti (1402-72) Painters Piero delta Francesca (1410/20-92) Sandro Botticelli (1444-1510) Andrea Mantegna (1431-1506) High Renaissance Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) Michaelangelo Buonarotti (1475-1564) Raffaello Sanzio (Raphael) (1483-1520) Albrecht Dürer (Germany) 1471-1528) Humanist authors Netherlands Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536)

Contents: Renaissance and Reformation The Expectations of the Renaissance Investigations England's Place in the World The Reformation Sir Thomas More The Courtier Sir Thomas Wyatt The Earl of Surrey Religious Prose Bible Translation Instructional Prose Drama Elizabethan Literature Verse Sir Philip Sidney Edmund Spencer Sir Walter Raleigh The 'Jacobethans' Christopher Marlowe Song Thomas Campion Prose John Lyly Thomas Nashe Richard Hooker Additional Reading

humanist A student of humanitas (Lot. 'humanity'; also 'literature'); a lover of litterae humaniores ('more humane letters'); an admirer of classical models derived from antiquity; a writer following such models. (Later meanings such as promoter of human values, believer "in religion rather than humanity", atheist - date from the 19th century.)

England Thomas More (1478-1535) Italy Francesco Petrarca (1304-1574) Ludovico Ariosto (1474-1533) Torquato Tasso (1554-95) France Francis Rabelais (1494-1553) Pierre de Ronsard (1524-85) Michel de Montaigne ( 1533-92) Spain Francisco Ximenes (1436-1517) Jorge de Montemayor (1519-61) Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616) Portugal Luís de Camões (1524-80)

The Renaissance is today better known than its literature. The High Renaissance trio of Leonardo da Vinci, Michaelangelo Buonarotti and Raffaello Sanzio (Raphael) typify their characteristics: Leonardo was a painter, anatomist, scientist and inventor; Michelangelo a sculptor, architect, painter and poet; and Raphael's Vatican paintings gave classical form to the long flowering of Italian art. The shift from medieval to Renaissance was at first more formal than substantial; literature changed less than art and architecture, although the content of all three remained Christian. Celebrated icons of the High Renaissance are Michelangelo's gigantic David in Florence, his central design for St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, and its Sistine Chapel. In Italy, the Renaissance had intellectual origins, drawing on the study of Plato (c.427-348 BC) and his followers. It also found civic expression in Medici Florence and the Rome of Leo X (Pope 1513-21), as well as in many smaller city-states.

Expectations The Renaissance had a loftier and more heroic idea of ​​human ability than the ascetic side of medieval thought allowed. From the Dignity of Man (1486), by Pico delta Mirandola, emphasis is placed on the human capacity to ascend to the Platonic scale of creation, reaching a celestial state through progressive self-education and self-formation; his idea of ​​the perfectibility of man was Christian. Michelangelo's sculpture is neither nobler nor more beautiful than the French Romanesque of Moissac or the French Gothic of Chartres, but his pride in naked physical beauty, though based on classical models, is new. His young David is a giant superman compared to the human figures of medieval art. Ambition is a theme of the drama by Christopher Marlowe (1564-93): its protagonists, Tamburlaine and Dr. Faustus, despise conventional norms, though they overstep and fall. Marlowe was also fascinated by The Prince (1513), in which [p. 77] Machiavelli (1469-1527) had anatomized the cynical means by which Cesare Borgia maintained power. Machiavelli advises the prince to be more feared than loved. His failure to condemn shocked and fascinated Henry VIII's English subjects; his moral irony went unnoticed.

Contemporary investigations with the Renaissance were the physical discoveries by the Iberians, of the West Indies by Christopher Columbus (1492) and of the western sea route to India by Vasco da Gama (1498); Ferdinand Magellan circled the world in 1521. Scientific developments, such as in anatomy, were less dramatic, but the shift in approach to natural philosophy heralded by Francis Bacon (1561-1626) called for a more experimental science and a more secular perspective. In a universe where man seemed less limited and heaven less near, the limits to human achievement were not moral but natural: time and mortality. Life was less miserable preparation for the life to come. Since the fall of Rome in the 5th century, historians have found revivals in the 8th century under Charlemagne and in the 12th century; but the revival of classical models in the fifteenth century made Gothic appear deficient. The period between the fall of Rome and the Renaissance was first termed the medium œvum, a "middle ages", by a neo-Latin writer in 1604. Conceptions of the physical universe changed. The scholastic theory had to yield to empirical testing: Galileo (1564-1642) verified with his telescope the heliocentric theory of Copernicus (1474-1543); anatomists dissected the human body; and Machiavelli described power politics at work. Ideals changed: the medieval saint and warrior gave way to the Renaissance hero, courtier, and gentleman. Christianity may have remained, but Christendom, a western Europe united rather than divided by religion, ended with the Reformation. The humanist ideal is expressed by Hamlet: 'What a work of art is man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculty! In form and movement, how expressive and admirable! In action, like an angel! In apprehension, like a god! The beauty of the world! The animal model...!” “And yet,” Hamlet concludes, in words less quoted, “And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? I don't like the man." Humanist disappointment with human reality is poignant in the last line of Shakespeare's Sonnet 94: "The lilies that rot smell far worse than weeds." The Renaissance began with hope but ended in disillusionment, first expressed in the 1590s in England; skepticism came later. It wasn't until the 17th century that some thinkers in England came to regard metaphysics with skepticism and Christianity with reservation.

England's place in the world The Spanish and Portuguese discovery of the New World meant that England was no longer at the end of Europe but at its forefront. The centralization of power in the Crown and finance in London allowed him to take advantage of this. England gained power in the 16th century; his defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 showed that, with God's help, David could defeat Goliath. In 1603, with the accession of King James I, the Scottish Crown came to England; Britain was ready for empire. The spring signaled by Mores Utopia (1517) and Wyatt's verses were ruined by the breakdown of religion in the 1530s, its fruition set back forty years. In 1564, the year of the death of Michelangelo and the birth of Shakespeare, the Italian [p. 78] The Renaissance was over, but the English Renaissance had barely begun. In 1579, renewed cultural confidence was evident in Sir Philip Sidney's Defense of Poesy; and the achievements of Spenser, Marlowe, and Shakespeare followed. English literary history values ​​the poetry of Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503-42) and Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (151747), and humanist writings such as The Governor (1531) by Thomas Elyot and The Schoolmaster (1558) by Roger Ascham, who became tutor to Queen Elizabeth. The achievements of the sixty-two years between Utopia and 1579 would include the refounding of humanist schools, the development of a critical outlook for English poetry, the establishment of its meter,

and the writing of the first blank verse, some fine lyrics and songs, and the first Elizabethan hops, heresies, bays, and ale plays. These preparations eventually led to this Renaissance man, Sir Philip Sidney. However, Came into England all in Sidney's Defense of Poesy (1579) found little to commend in English writing to date. The year-long establishment of the Tudor state under Henry VII and Henry VIII and of a national church A rhyme of c.1525 under Elizabeth I required a consciously national literature so that English could compete with Latin, Greek, French, Spanish and Portuguese. It was too late to compete with Italian: as late as 1638, the Puritan John Milton went to Italy to complete his education. By 1579, when English was on the verge of “bursting into sudden flames,” French already had the poems of Du Bellay and Ronsard to rival Petrarch's. English writers were unlucky with Henry VIII, who beheaded More and Surrey. Wyatt, a lover of Ann Boleyn, escaped the axe, but his son rebelled against Mary Tudor and lost his mind. Mary burned many Protestants as heretics; her father Henry, brother Edward and sister Elizabeth executed fewer Catholics, including in 1587 Mary Queen of Scots, as traitors. After 1581, Catholicism was considered a betrayal; Elizabeth also executed four Puritans.

The Reformation The Protestant Reformation began in 1517 with Martin Luther's attacks on the penitential system, order, and doctrine of the Church. The Reformation, like the Renaissance, was the result of a gradual transfer of authority from weaker central and communal structures to stronger local individual structures, and a concomitant transfer from external to internal forms of thinking, feeling and representing. These shifts towards modern nation-states and individualism began in the 12th century, but the final stages were not gradual: after decades of turmoil and long wars in the north, Europe split into Catholic or Protestant states. In 1519, Henry VIII wrote the first book by an English king since King Alfred, though in Latin, not English. His Latin Defense of the Seven Sacraments, against Luther, was rewarded by Rome with the title of Fidei Defensor ('Defender of the Faith': a title retained on modern coinage as 'F.D.'). Henry had some help with Thomas More's book. Failing to produce a male heir with Catherine of Aragon, Henry asked Rome for a divorce; he wanted to marry Ann Boleyn. Rome hesitated, Ann became pregnant, Henry went through with the marriage, Rome excommunicated him, and Henry appointed Thomas Cranmer Archbishop of Canterbury. When in 1533 Henry became Supreme Head of the Church, now the Church of England, More, who resigned as Chancellor, refused to take the Oath of Supremacy which legitimized Henry's coup. More was beheaded in 1535. In 1540 the three thousand religious houses of England were suppressed and their abbeys, lands and lands taken by the Crown and sold. [p. 79] Sanctuaries were plundered for gold and jewels, most notably that of the archbishop who in 1170 defended the Church against the Crown, Thomas Becket. Henry maintained Catholic doctrines, but in the six years under his son Edward VI (1547-53) reform was imposed; now there were only two sacraments. For the next six years, under Maria (Henry's legitimate daughter by Catherine of Aragon), Catholicism returned with much support. Mary began gently, calling the Benedictines to Westminster Abbey, but not touching the monastic grounds. But her marriage to Philip II of Spain was unpopular and, after a rebellion led by the poet's son Wyatt, orthodoxy was in jeopardy. Cranmer and others were burned alive for heresy. Elizabeth I (1558-1603), daughter of Ann Boleyn, gradually imposed a compromise between Protestant teaching and Catholic practice. The queen was fond of the Catholic liturgy and a strong believer in bishops. There was a great Catholic uprising from the north, but the Catholics lost ground when, in 1570, Rome declared the queen illegitimate (as her father's Parliament had done in 1536). Reformation divisions can still be seen in Europe and the UK. The effects on popular worship, social provision, and general culture were disastrous. The main humanist in the north, Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536), had defended the reform of the Church, education and society, but he backed down in the face of the chaos unleashed by Luther. In Spain, Cardinal Ximenes moved from liberal humanism to the defense of orthodoxy, as did More in England.

Sir Thomas More Thomas More (1478-1535), the son of a lawyer, wrote a new kind of book, the life of a new kind of writer, Pico della Mirandola, a Platonic aristocrat who withdrew from court and cloisters to study and write On the Dignities of Man (1486). Humanists shared a new faith in education: a classical education that taught bright young men and the princes and princesses they would serve to write. In theory, a boy familiar with the examples and warnings of classical history should make a good prince, statesman, or adviser. Rhetoric, the art of persuasive public speaking and literary composition, was the tool of these new ideals. Rhetoric challenged the medieval sciences of logic and theology. Greek was taught in the elite schools and colleges founded by early English humanists, such as the school founded by the rector of St Paul's Cathedral, John

Sir Thomas More (1478-1535), after Hans Holbein.

[p. 80] Colet (1466-1519) and Bishop Fox’s Corpus Christi College, Oxford (1516). The humanists were serious Christians: Colet wanted the boys at St. chaste Latin, whether in verse or in prose, as my intention is, through the school, especially to increase the knowledge and worship of God and Our Lord Jesus and the good life and good Christian manners'. Erasmus taught Greek at Cambridge for five years. He dedicated his Latin work Encomium Moriae (1507) to his friend More. The title means both Praise of Folly and Praise of More, as the Greek word for fool is moros. Mores Latin Utopia was launched by Erasmus at Louvain in 1517. It was not "English" until 1551; in 1557 the unfinished English History of King Richard III de More appeared (see page 113). Utopia describes an ideal country, like Plato's Republic, but also like the witty True History of Lucian (AD c.l15-c.200). Raphael Hythloday is a traveling scholar, who in Book II tells of his visit to a distant geometric island run as a commune with a reasonably elected ruler. There is no private property, gold is used to make chamber pots, vice is unknown, and priests are few and virtuous; some are female. Clothes are uniform; the wedding is preceded by naked mutual inspection in the presence of a respected elder. Utopia (Greek: 'nowhere') is therefore very different from the passionate, feudal Christian England of Book I, where starving men who have stolen food are punished without reason. Hythloday and a character named Thomas More argue over whether a scholar should advise the prince directly or indirectly through his pen; More says directly, Hythloday indirectly. But to the European elite for whom Utopia and Praise of Folly were written, the name of the learned traveler would suggest an angelic dispenser of nonsense. 'More' means idiot; the king is called Ademos (Gk: 'without people'). More tells Hythloday that while utopian communism sounds interesting, it would never work in England. Such jokes, and the ironic mood of Utopia as a whole, make it, like the Praise of Madness, proof against a censor seeking to ascertain the author's teaching on a particular point. This erudite joke launched absurd ideas in the European think-tank, such as basing society on reason alone. But such ideas can be rejected, as Utopia is clearly a parody of traveler's tales, an elaborate joke. Shakespeare used fools to tell truths, and systematic irony would be powerfully used in Swift's Gulliver's Travels. At the heart of this great inside joke was a serious question for humanists: the choice of life. More chose justice, Erasmus his books; both died Catholics, Erasmus in his bed. The Reformation made it clear that a humanistic education would not restrict the passions of men. Lord Chancellor More defended orthodoxy against freethinking heresy by repressing Protestant versions of the Bible; he died 'the king's good servant, but God's first'.

The courtier The Tudors gave their subjects openings to practice wit on the scaffold. The complete gentleman was expected to minimize difficulties, a Renaissance ideal well known in 1535. Its classic embodiment, Castiglione's Il Cortegiano (1528), was translated into Spanish in 1534 and into French in 1538. Although read in England , came to print only in 1561 in Sir Thomas Hoby's version, The Boke of the Courtier. How does the new courtesy differ from the medieval ideal? Chaucer's 'parfit gentle Knyght' is curtile and his squire has both physical and social skills; the 15th-century princes Charles d'Orleans and James I of Scotland were good poets; the young king [p. 81] Henry VIII was a champion athlete who composed songs and motets, and also wrote a treatise in Latin. The Renaissance gentleman was more consciously Christian, more educated, more skilled in speech.

Castiglione established his dialogue at the court of Federigo of Urbino, patron of the painters Piero della Francesa, Botticelli and Raphael and of the humanist Pietro Bembo. Urbino de Castiglione, presided over by women, remains attractive. After a speech by Cardinal Bembo on the ladder of Platonic Love, Monsieur Gaspar began to prepare to speak with the Duchess. 'Of that,' said she, 'let M. Peter [Bembo] be the judge, and the matter will remain in his verdict, whether women are not as fit for heavenly love as men are. But because the dispute between you may be very long, it will not be wrong to postpone it until tomorrow. ' 'No, tonight,' said Lord César Gonzaga. "And how can this be tonight?" said the Duchess. The Lord Caesar replied: 'Because it is already day', and showed him the light that began to enter through the cracks of the windows. Then all the men rose with much admiration, because they did not think that the reasonings lasted longer than usual, except that they began much later, and by their gentleness so deceived the minds of the lords that they knew. not the passing of hours. And none of them felt any weight of sleep in their eyes, which often happens when a man gets up later than his usual time for bed. When the windows were then opened on the side of the palace which has its perspective towards the top of Mount Catri, they saw already rising in the east a fair morning like the color of roses, and all the stars empty, save only the sweet governess. from the sky, Venus, who keeps the boundaries of night and day, from where a sweet explosion seemed to blow, which, filling the air with a biting cold, began to accelerate the finely tuned notes of the beautiful birds among the silent forests of the hills at hand . Then all of them, taking a reverent farewell to the Duchess, departed for their torchless chambers, daylight sufficing. The courtier is a layman, well-grounded in classical literature and history and the arts; a skilled fencer and horseman; a composer and performer of music and song; he talks well. He is trained to rule and with magnanimity. Achievement should feel natural, used with sprezzatura, an effortless grace. Ophelia says that Hamlet has "the eye, the tongue, the sword of the courtier, the scholar, the soldier": Castiglione's ideal in the rhetoric of the humanist. Sir Philip Sidney modeled this ideal. He described his vast Arcadia as a pittance. As he lay dying on the battlefield, he is said to have given his bottle of water to a common soldier, saying, 'Take it, for your need is even greater than mine.' Sidney was christened Philip after his godfather, the Queen's husband; he died attacking Philip II's troops in the Spanish Netherlands in 1586, aged 32.

Sir Thomas Wyatt Two generations before Sydney, the first English literary Revival is summed up in Surrey's 'Epitaph on Sir Thomas Wyatt' (1542), praising the parts of the first English gentleman-poet. Among them: A tongue that served in foreign kingdoms their king, Whose courtly conversation with virtue inflamed Every noble heart: a worthy guide to bring Our English youth by labor to fame. An eye whose judgment no affection could blind, Friends to seduce and foes to reconcile, Whose piercing gaze represented a mind With virtue charged, restful, without malice.


[p. 82] Wyatt is said to have the eyes of a courtier, the tongue of a scholar, and a hand that, according to Surrey, 'taught what can be said in rhyme,/That reft [robbed from] Chaucer the glory of your intelligence'. Poetry is just one part of Wyatt; Surrey continues to praise your patriotism, your virtue, your soul. Belief in moral example is typical of Tudor poetics; as well as the boast that Wyatt stole Chaucer's glory. Chaucer had more modesty and discernment when he told his 'litel boke' (Troilus and Criseyde) to 'kiss the steps' of the classical poets (see page 37). Renaissance poets were publicists for poetry; ambition made them jealous of past glory and present competition. Compared to the medieval John Gower, gentle as a man and as a poet, Wyatt is uptight and modern. Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503-42) was a courtier, a diplomat in France and Spain. He celebrated his return to a more honest land with “goodbye to the Tagus, the one to the west with its riverbanks”. He translated sonnets by Petrarch and Alamanni; an example is: Who wants to hunt, I know where a doe is, who wants to But as for me, unfortunately, I can no longer. Vain work has tired me so much that I am one of those who come later. Yet I cannot, by any means, draw my weary mind of the deer, but as she flees before Fainting I follow. So I stop, Because in a hammock I try to hold back the wind. Who lists his hunt, I put him in doubt, Just like me, he can spend his time in vain.

And engraved with diamonds in simple letters There is written, on her fair neck around, 'Noli me tangere, for Caesar I am, And wild to hold, though I seem meek.' This poem (pub. 1815) adapts a sonnet by Petrarch: the dear 'deer' is identified as Ann Boleyn, whose pursuit Wyatt had to give up. Hunting was a royal prerogative, and the verse on his collar (an adaptation of two sayings of Christ) casts Henry VIII as Caesar. Wyatt was twice in prison, but his cool got him out. (Ann Boleyn's other would-be lovers were less fortunate: 'The ax is in the house, their heads are in the street', Wyatt wrote to them.) His own pride can be felt elsewhere in his verse, for example in 'They run away of me that ever I sought / With bare feet lurking in my chamber.' Only in his songs is he the conventional Petrarchan lover: My lute, wake up! Do the last Work you and I will waste, And finish what I have now begun; For when this song is sung and passed, My lute, be still, for I am done.

sonnet (It. sonnetto, 'small sound') A verse form of (classically) 14 lines, rhyming 8 and 6. It is found in Italy in the 13th century, and was used by Dante and especially by Petrarch, whose Canzoniere, with 317 sonnets in a narrative/dramatic sequence, mark a European style. The English or Shakespearean sonnet usually rhymes 4,4,4,2.

The grave grace of his lines has a conscious artistry very different from the rapid social verse of his court predecessor, John Skelton (1460-1529): Wyatt's metrical control makes the learned Skelton, a gifted satirist, look like a casual artist. . The Renaissance set high standards for conscious art. Wyatt reft Skelton to the glory of his wit, even in satire. When Wyatt was banished from court in 1536, he wrote a letter in verse to a friend: 'My own John Poins, since you delight to know/The cause for which I lure myself home/And flee the pressure of the courts. ..'. The letter, adapted from a satire by [p. 83] Alamanni (1495-1556), contrasts court flattery and corruption with the moral health of country life. The innocence of the rural retreat, theme of the Roman poet Horace (65-8 BC), is naturalized. That makes the flesh a home to hunt and hawk, And in bad weather to sit by my book, In frost and snow then with my bow to chase. No man marks where I ride or go... That sounds like timeless English. But Wyatt's conclusion has a new kind of English: I'm not now in France, to judge wine, With sav'ry sauce those delicate ones to feel; Not even in Spain, where it is necessary to lean, Instead of being, externally seem. I don't meddle with intelligences that are so good; Nor does the joy of Flanders let my vision judge Of black and white, nor does it take away my intelligence With bestiality, the beasts so esteem. Nor am I where Christ is given up as prey For money, poison and treachery - in Rome A common practice, used night and day. But here I am in Kent and Christendom, Among the Muses, where I read and rhyme; Where, if you list, my points to come, you will judge how I spend my time.

delicacies bow down, humble themselves

drink prevents

The effects of the Reformation and Renaissance on England are shown here. Christianity is now not Europe, but a state of mind. In newly confirmed but local poetry the xenophobic superiority of an Englishman over bestial Flemings and corrupt sophisticated Latins is proclaimed - in a fabric of echoes of Alammani and Horace. However, Wyatt's voice is independent and personal. He was not the last to resent the princes' ingratitude; one of his poems translates a gloomy chorus of Seneca. A comparison with Mores Christianity is instructive. iambic pentameter Classically, The Earl of Surrey a line of ten alternating unstressed and stressed syllables, The Earl of Surrey (1517-47), eldest son of the Duke of Norfolk, head of the peerage beginning with an unstressed one: for of England, printed his epitaph on Wyatt. Usually gentlemen did not publish verse but examples, Wyatt's 'I have not now circulated it in manuscripts. Wyatt and Surrey were first printed in 1557 at Tottel's in France to judge wine'. Miscellany of Songs and Sonnets. Thus it was in Mary's reign that two variations in modern verse on these regular pattern forms were printed: the sonnet and an unrhymed iambic pentameter, used for the first time in are permitted. The Surrey versions of Virgil's Aeneid II and IV, known as "blank verse".

Surrey's songs and sonnets were more popular than Wyatt's; poets found its regular movement easier to imitate. The Surrey version of a Petrarch poem begins, "Love, who reigns and lives within my thought." Wyatt's begins, 'The long love that in my thought harbors'. Surrey found 'doth' and 'in' metrically convenient. Twentieth-century critics preferred Wyatt, who has a voice and much more to say, though Surrey dared to look to Henry VIII in 'Th'Assyrian king, at peace with foul desire'. Surrey was beheaded on a false charge at the age of 30. Surrey's greatest achievement is its Virgil, not just because he pioneered blank verse. In the Renaissance, as in the Middle Ages, translation was not entirely distinct from composition, although Renaissance philology produced better texts [p. 84] and stricter notions of fidelity. Like Latin, the ancient vernacular of Europe, educated and faded readers were eager for writings in the new national vernaculars. There was a need and a new prestige for translation and for the type of modernizing adaptation known as imitation. Surrey had the example of Gavin Douglas's Enneads (c.1513; see page 71). The comparison is instructive: Surrey has no prologues, less fireworks, more fidelity. Douglas turns every line of Virgil into an animated couplet; Surrey pentameters have a Latin terseness. His version of the Fall of Troy in Aeneid II has a tragic dignity. Here the ghost of Hector tells Aeneas to leave the ruins of Troy and found a new empire: from the depths of his bosom Sighing he said: 'Flee, flee, O son of the goddess, And save yourself from the fury of this flame. Our enemies are masters of the walls now, And the city of Troyë now falls from the top. This is enough for Priam's reign. If strength could serve to succor the city of Troyë, This right hand might well have been his defense. But Troyë now entrusts to your care Her holy relics and her private gods. They join you, like companions of your destiny. Great walls thou buildest for them: for so wilt thou, After the time spent in the wandering flood.'

what can


He left this majestic regular verse for Sidney and Marlowe to perfect.

Religious Prose In the effort to develop a native English vernacular, prose was needed first. Prose is merely written language; French comic playwright Molière's (1622-73) bourgeois gentleman was astonished to discover that he had been speaking prose all his life. While verse chooses to dance in the meter and assume rhyme and other patterns, prose walks with no rules other than those of syntax. Prose has such a wide range of tasks that its history is not easily summarized and its qualities are not well indicated in brief quotations. Chaucer's prose is formless compared to his verse, but the prose Shakespeare gave to Falstaff shows how much ground was invented. However, posterity has awarded all literary prizes to Tudor verse (the drama was mostly in verse), except in one area central to the life of sixteenth-century England.

Bible Translation The Reformation created an urgent need for religious prose. Luther wanted to put the word of God in the hands of the farmer; his German Bible (completed in 1545) helped shape not only German Protestants but the German language as well. The English Bible, in the Authorized Version (AV) of 1611, although less decisive in the evolution of the language, played a similar role in the culture of English-speaking countries; it was adopted in Presbyterian Scotland and later in the Empire. More generally, the Reformation gave the book and the word a privileged place in Protestant lands, and the non-verbal arts an inferior place. The propagation of the Word was the task of the apostles, given the gift of tongues. The Bible, placed in Greek before the [p. 85] time of Christ, has been overwhelmingly read ever since in translation. The goal of your translators has been fidelity. Faithfulness was the rule of Jerome (c.342-420) when he translated the Bible from Greek and Hebrew into Latin, the language of the people of the West. Jerome's Vulgate was in the vernacular and, like sixteenth-century translators, he wrote it to be read aloud. St. Augustine (358-430) says in his Confessions that he was surprised to see Ambrose of Milan read without moving his lips. Though an experienced orator, Augustine had not seen this before. Protestants who practiced unguided private reading, which the Church frowned upon, also moved their lips or listened to the words in their heads. In 1539, Miles Coverdale (1488-1568), producer of the first complete printed English Bible, knew that his words were part of the services of the Church of England. Translators who produced texts for such use did not neglect rhythm and spoken rhetorical quality: they wrote for the language to execute and for the ear to hear. Quite different is the situation of modern Bible translators, translating for fast and silent readers in a world where there is so much to read. Your gift of tongues is a knowledge of ancient languages. The Psalms, Gospel, Epistles, and Old Testament lessons were part of the church services as before, but now they were in English. Under Elizabeth, church attendance on Sundays was required by law. As important to Anglicans as the Bible was the Book of Common Prayer (BCP, 1549) with its still largely Catholic liturgy, translated by Cranmer from Church Latin. For

For centuries, the words and cadences of the AV and the BCP carried the English people from the cradle to the altar and to the grave, and through the Christian year, as Latin had done for a millennium. In the 1920s, T. S. Eliot's titles 'The Burial of the Dead' and 'Ash Wednesday' needed no footnotes; had been in the BCP since the 16th century. Such words were for many the words of life; for all, an example of public English. There are biblical allusions in the early English poems The Dream of the Rood and Beowulf, but the biblical version that most contributed to the language is the AV. English Bible Translations The first English translation of the Bible that we know of is from In 1560 came the Bible from Geneva, by Protestant refugees with a Bede, who finished his version of the gospels in 735 (see page Calvinist Commentary. In 1568 , the less Protestant bishops' 18). Aelfric (died 1020) translated Genesis and other parts of the Bible were published in England. Catholic refugees produced an Old Testament. Parts of several Old English translations of the New Testament at Rheims (1582) and an Old Testament survive; there were also Middle English versions, notably Douai (1610); the Douai-Rheims Bible is translated from the Vulgate. those produced by the disciples of Wyclif (died 1384; see page 48). The First English Bible Translated from Greek and Hebrew In 1604 King James authorized 'a more exact translation into Latin than into Latin has been made by the gifted William Tyndale, who in the English language', avoiding the errors of the Papists and also 1523, in exile, began a New Testament. He was martyred in 'Smug Brothers'. Under Lancelot's presidency in 1536. The first complete printed English Bible was published by Andrewes, teams of scholars produced in 1611 Authorized in 1535 by Miles Coverdale in Zurich. In 1540, the Great Version (AV) or King James Version. It was based on the original languages ​​and based on earlier English versions the Bible, adding Coverdale to Tyndale, was placed in churches. especially Tyndale. It was not revised until 1881-5. [p. 86] Gospels and Psalms were better known, but for a sample of the great simplicity of the AV, Ecclesiastes 12:1-7 will do: Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, neither the years approach, when you say: I have no pleasure in them; as long as the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars are not darkened, nor will the clouds return after the rain; in the day when the guards of the house tremble, and the strong men bow down, and the grinders cease, because they are few, and those who look out of the windows will be darkened, and the doors will be closed in the streets, when the sound of grinding is down, and he will rise at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick will be humiliated; also when they are afraid of that which is high, and fears are in the way, and the almond tree is in blossom, and the locust is a burden, and desire fails: because man goes to his long home, and the mourners walk the streets: or the silver cord is loosed, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is broken at the fountain, or the wheel is broken at the cistern. Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it. This prose for God was not built in a day, but was the work of generations. The emergence of weekday prose for man is not so simply traced.

Instructive Prose Le Morte Darthur, this masterpiece of 15th-century prose, perfects an originally oral mode of storytelling. Renaissance prose had more abstract and prescriptive tasks: the titles The Prince, The Governor, Toxophile, The Courtier, and The Schoolmaster propose ideal secular roles. The roots of these words are not in Old English: Latin, with its Romantic derivatives, crept into English and was again the source of new words. Fifteenth-century scholars borrowed from Latin to meet a technical need or to add weight; Latin duplicates added choice, sonority or play. Patriotic humanists wanted English to replace Latin as a literary medium, but it was Latin that provided both the new words and the stylistic models. Writers on language, whether grammarians or humanists, took their ideas of style from Cicero (106-43 BC) and Quintilian (c.35c.100 AD). Latin-derived words spilled into sixteenth-century English in quantities that worried linguistic patriots. Adventurers in elaborate new styles battled conservatives by resisting "inkwell" terms obviously taken from books. An example of simple Tudor prose is Roper's Life of More, written in the reign of Queen Mary. The first significant prose writers were tutors to the great. Sir Thomas Elyot (c.1490-1546) served Cardinal Wolsey; on Wolsey's downfall he wrote his Governor (1531), dedicated to Henry VIII. Its theme is the need for governors and for governors to be educated - in classic literature. Elyot says Henry praised him for not introducing any Latin or French words that were too difficult to understand; he was appointed ambassador. The humanist John Cheke (1514-57) became Edward VI's tutor. Roger Ascham (1515-68) taught Greek at Cambridge, but it was sport, not Greek, that brought him pleasure. He dedicated his Toxophilus (1545) to Henry, which earned him a pension. Toxophilus (Greek: 'lover of the bow') is a treatise on how to use the longbow, the weapon that won at Agincourt. At home in Kent and in Christendom, Wyatt pursued with his bow in the winter. Ascham has a good page on winter wind: That morning the sun was shining bright and clear, the wind whistled loud and strong according to the time of year. The snow on the road was loose and trampled by horses' feet: as soon as the wind blew it took the loose snow with it and made it slide over the snow in the field which was hard and crusted with frost during the night. , so that I could see very well the whole nature of the wind that was blowing that day.

Archery made for pure English. [p. 87] Ascham became a tutor in 1548 to Princess Elizabeth and served Queens Mary and Elizabeth as Latin secretary, a job Milton performed for the Commonwealth a century later. Ascham says in his Schoolmaster, published posthumously in 1570, that he preferred writing in Latin or Greek to writing in English. In school teaching, Ascham is humane and sensible, but partisan. So he finds the good Lady Jane Gray reading Plato at home while her family are out hunting in the park. Good Queen Elizabeth (her ward) is more learned than all but one or two of her subjects. But rather than the Bible, says Ascham, our forefathers preferred to read Malory, in whom "those are reckoned the noblest knights who slay most men without any dispute, and commit the filthiest adulteries by the subtlest changes." Italy is not the source of Platonic learning. but Catholic vices. Lady Jane, a 17-year-old girl placed on the throne for nine days in an attempted coup in 1553, is also a heroine in John Foxe's (1516-87) strongly partisan book The Martyrs (1563). As an act of state propaganda, a copy of Foxe, illustrated with sinister woodcuts, was placed in English churches on the pulpit, next to the Bible. Foxe relates that the last words of Hugh Latimer, burned at the stake under Mary, were (to a fellow martyr): Grace in England such as, I trust, will never be quenched.'

Drama The spiritual and cultural trauma of the Reformation may explain the fact that the main literature of the period 1540-79 consisted of translations of religious texts. The proceeds of the suppression of monasteries and their schools did not go to education. As England staggered from Luther to Calvin and Rome to its own compromise, the crown was an uncertain patron. But poets needed patrons. Before the opening of the Elizabethan theater, there was no paid writing profession. University men tried in vain to bridge the gap between non-commercial “gentle” status and doodling for a tiny market. However, in this period of inactivity, the secular drama began. The Mystery and Morality plays (see page 64) continued, the Mysteries until Shakespeare's interlude (Lat. day; his Falstaff and Shylock owe something to the eccentric Vice in the Mysteries, who entertained 'between' + 'game') The audience before his resignation. As guilds flocked to buy contest wagons and costumes offered for moral games, mysteries became more expensive. Civic bonding has diminished; Groups of players traveled between fields. between inns and large houses (as in Hamlet). The Mysteries were Corpus Christi plays, summer plays. A new type of play, the interlude, began to be played between courses in big houses at Christmas and Easter. Moral entertainment, the interlude involved debates similar to what Thomas More recounts in Utopia, set in Cardinal Morton's house, where More had been a page. Morton's chaplain Medwall wrote the first interlude we have, Fulgens and Lucrezia, played at Christmas 1497 before the ambassadors of Flanders and Spain; Lucrece has two suitors, a nobleman and a comic servant. Roper's Life tells us that, as a page, More "suddenly, at times, intervened among the players, and never studying for the matter, made a part of himself there presently among them". Drama became a family habit: More's brother-in-law, John Rastell (? 1470-1536), had a stage in his garden at Finsbury Fields, London. He printed Fulgens on his own press; also his own interlude The Four Elements, with the first song printed. Rastell's daughter married John Heywood (c.1497-1580), author of the ridiculous interlude, The Four Ps. In this a Palmer, a Pardoner, a 'Pothecary, and a Peddler compete to count [p. 88] the biggest lie; Palmer wins by claiming that he has never seen a woman lose her temper. The Roman comedies of Plautus and Terence were adapted by humanist teachers for their pupils: the first surviving English comedy, Ralph Roister Doister, was written by Nicolas Udall (1504-56), headmaster of Eton in the 1530s; crosses Plautus with popular tradition. (The Pyramus-and-Thisbe interlude in A Midsummer Night's Dream borrows a joke based on incorrect punctuation from Udall.) At Christmas, university students named a Lord of Misrule and staged plays in King's College Chapel, Cambridge, and in the Hall. of Christ. Church, Oxford. Gammer Gurton's Needle, performed at Christ's, Cambridge, in the early 1560s, is neater, though lower, than Udall's play. (Grandmother's needle, lost while mending the pants of Hodge, a lovestruck rustic, is finally found when Diccon, a rogue, kicks Hodge into his ass; it's funnier than it sounds.) John's son, Jasper Heywood (1535). -98), a Jesuit (and John Donne's uncle), published in 1559 an English translation of Seneca's Troas and, with others, of his Ten Tragedies of Seneca (1581). ('His Seneca' = 'Seneca's'; the expansion of the possessive ending is misplaced pedantry.) Seneca was tutor, then minister to Emperor Nero, carrying out his atrocious whims - such as feeding Christians to lions. When Nero turned on him, Seneca gathered his friends and, in AD 69, committed a philosopher's suicide. His fall resembles those of Wolsey, More and Cromwell. His 'closet' drama - written for study or recital, not the stage - places reason above passion, human dignity above inscrutable fate. What Boethius was to the Middle Ages, Seneca was to the Elizabethans; Greek tragedies were not yet available. Breaking the classic rule that horror must be offstage, the English acted out what Seneca reported. Its characters moralize darkly and at length about unseen atrocities and the vengeance of the gods, but the Elizabethans saw what the Romans read. Sidney praised Thomas Sackville and Thomas Norton's blank-verse tragedy Gorboduc (1561) as "full of majestic speeches and well-sounding phrases, rising to the heights of Seneca in their style, and full of remarkable morality". : New Testament, 1525 Ralph Robinson: More's Utopia, 1551 Sir Thomas Hoby: Castiglione's Boke of the Courtier, 1561 Arthur Golding: Ovid's Metamorphoses, 1565

William Adlington: The Golden Ass of Apuleius, 1566 George Gascoigne: Assumptions of Ariosto, 1567 Jasper Heywood and Others: Seneca, His Ten Tragedies, 1581 Richard Stanyhurst: The First Four Books of Virgil, His Aeneis, 1582 Sir John Harington: Orlando Ariosto's Furious in English Heroic Verse, 1591 Sir Thomas North: Lives of Plutarch's Noble Greeks and Romans, 1595 John Chapman: Homer's Iliad, 1598 Christopher Marlowe: Hero and Leander, 1598; All Elegies of Ovids, 1600 Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke: The Psalms (pub. 1863) Edward Fairfax: Tasso's Gerusalemme Liberata, 1600 John Florio: Montaigne's Essays, 1603 (Lancelot Andrewes et al.: The Authorized Version of the Bible, 1611) [pg. 89] contributed to the 1559 Mirror for Magistrates, a multi-authored bestselling sequel to Lydgate's The Fall of the Princes. One writer at this bad time for writers was George Gascoigne (1539-78), a gentleman-poet who lost his money and tried his pen on almost everything, including Assumptions, a play adapted from Ariosto, a source for Shakespeare's A Taming of the Megara. This is also the period of the Chronicles of Edward Hall and Raphael Holinshed, who, like Plutarch of North of 1579, provided material for tragedies and history plays. Hoby's Courtier and Arthur Golding's Ovid are delightful works from this period. Shakespeare liked Golding's version of Ovid's Metamorphoses, which he still enjoys despite the eight-foot lines it was written in and the rigid moral allegory prefixed to each book. Many of this century's original poems are also translations; The reciprocal is also true.

Verse from Elizabethan literature After the fallow, the flower: in 1552 were born Edmund Spenser and Walter Raleigh, and in 1554 Philip Sidney, John Lyly and Richard Hooker. This generation began what was completed by Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare (b.1564), and John Donne and Ben Jonson (b.1572). Sidney and Spenser were students of humanist schools, and their writing shows a new conscious artistry and formal perfection. There are perfect Middle English lyrics, like 'I sing of a maiden' (page 66), but literature was not the author's vocation. With the exception of Chaucer's lyrics such as "Hyd Absolon thi gilte tresses cleere", metrical perfection was not a goal. The instability of Middle English didn't help. English verse learned French syllable meter in the 12th century and adapted them to its own stress-based rhythms; but Chaucer was right to worry that the change in speech would cause the scribes to mismeasure their verses (page 37). Linguistic changes, such as the loss of final -e, caused many 15th-century poets to lose meter. Printer Richard Tottel attempted to regularize Wyatt's metric. Chaucer's music was inaudible to Tudor ears (its secret was rediscovered by Thomas Tyrwhitt in 1775). The metrical basis of English verse was re-established by Sidney and his circle. By the 1580s, the musical regularity of poems like Marlowe's "Come with me and be my love" was admired. In the 1590s, with Spenser and Campion, it became common. Sidney's verses set a pattern for Elizabethans, as they, in turn, set for Herbert and Milton and their successors. Late Elizabethan verse is too exuberant to be classical in the style of Horace or Virgil, but its formal perfection made it classic for later English poets. Despite its pretensions and an implication of the word Renaissance, Elizabethan verse was not neoclassical. Neoclassical terseness in English is first found in Jonson's Jacobean verse.

Sir Philip Sidney The fame of Spenser's Faerie Queene (Books I-III, 1590; IV-VI, 1596) must not obscure the primacy in non-dramatic poetry of Sir Philip Sidney, to whom Spenser dedicated his apprentice work, The Shepheardes Calender ( 1579): 'Go little book: thyself present,/As a child whose father is not known:/To him who is president/From [p. 90] nobility and of chevalree'. Sidney's glamour, death and legend overshadowed his writing, widely circulated but printed posthumously; his verse was not properly edited until 1962. Sidney led a group that sought to classicize English meter; called Aeropagus, met at Leicester House, Strand, the home of Sidney's uncle Leicester, the Queen's favourite. Its members included the poets Edward Dyer and Fulke Greville. After Shrewsbury School and Oxford, Sidney toured for three years, visiting Paris at the time of the St Bartholomew's Day massacre of Protestants (1572), and also Germany, Vienna, Padua, Venice (where his portrait was painted by Veronese) , Prague, Poland and the Netherlands. Here, William the Silent offered to marry his daughter to Sidney, in a Protestant alliance, but Queen Elizabeth vetoed this. Sidney was disgraced for three years when he opposed the Queen's proposal to marry a Catholic. (A commoner who published a pamphlet against marriage had his right hand cut off.) Sidney, son of the governor of Ireland, had public ambitions, of which his writing was a part; Greville said that "his end was not to write, even while he was writing". In three years, Sidney wrote three books, each of a new kind in English: Arcadia, a novel; a formal Defense of Poetry; and a sequence of sonnets, Astrophil and Stella. Sidney's apparently private sonnets had a more literary ending. Arcadia is entertainment for family and friends, offering positive and negative morals and public morals.

ideals to the ruling class to which they belonged. It's a diversion for serious rulers, as Jane Austen's novels later were for the nobility. It is in prose divided by verse eclogues, singing contests between shepherds. These experimental pieces in classical quantitative metrics and modern Italian forms proved that an English poem can be formally perfect. In an introductory letter to his sister Mary, Sidney describes the Arcadia as "but a pittance, and that insignificantly handled". Your dear self can best witness the way, being done on loose sheets of paper, most of it in your presence; the remainder by sheets sent to you as soon as they were made. ' In 1577, when he began the first version, he was 25 and Mary 16; it ended in 1580 at Wilton, Wiltshire, the home of the Earl of Pembroke, whom she married. In 1580 he wrote his Defense and in 1582-4 he rewrote the first half of Arcadia; this was published in 1590, but superseded in 1593 by the sister version of it, The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia, in which it has been read ever since. Arcadia's success was in part a tribute to the author; lamented in two hundred elegies, he was buried in St Paul's Cathedral as "Mars and Muse of England". The Countess of Pembroke continued her brother's work, revising Arcadia and supplementing his translation of the Psalms with her own excellent versions in free and creative forms. Here is a stanza from his 58th Psalm: Lord, break your teeth; Lord, crush these lions' jaws, then let them sink like water through sand. When the deadly bow draws your marksmanship fury, the arrow shudders before it passes through the marksman's hand. So make them melt like the homeless snail Or like the embryo, whose vital band Breaks before it holds, and formless eyes fail To see the sun, though brought to the lighted earth. Arcadia is based on Greek, Italian, Spanish and French romances; his story is in five prose acts divided by verse. Its splendid scale prefigures The Fairie Queene, but Arcadia was finished, then partially rewritten, while Spenser's poem is far from complete. Sidney's novel tells the story of two princes who were shipwrecked off the coast of [p. 91] Arcadia, the home of pastoral poetry. They disguise themselves and fall in love with the daughters of Basileus (Greek: 'king'), who has retired to live with shepherds to avoid the oracle's prophecy: that his eldest daughter, Pamela, will be seduced; her youngest son succumbs to an unnatural love; commits adultery with his own wife; and his sons-in-law be charged with his murder. After fantastic adventures, some tragic, and outcomes like those of Shakespeare's novels, the oracle is technically fulfilled; but all ends well. Arcadia is a lively game - its people are princes, its plot improbable, its prose contrived. Their fortunes declined with the fall of the nobility, and romance gave way to romance, the plausible amusement of the commoner folk. In his defence, Sidney says that 'nature never presented the earth in such a rich tapestry as several poets have done... Her world is shameless, the poets only deliver a gold.' Thus in Arcadia: There were hills that graced their proud heights with majestic trees; humble valleys whose basic property seemed comforted by the coolness of silvery rivers; meadows glazed with all kinds of attractive flowers; thickets, which, being lined with the most agreeable shade, were witnessed by the cheerful deposition [testimony] of many well-tuned birds; each pasture stored with ewes feeding in sober security, while the pretty lambs with throbbing oratory longed for the comfort of the dams; here a shepherd's boy singing as if he'll never grow old; there a young shepherdess knitting and also singing, and it seemed that her voice comforted her hands to work and her hands marked the beat of the music of her voice. The elaborately patterned rhetoric is tempered by Sidney's sense of fun: the birds bear witness and the sheep are sober. Prince Musidorus is described as having a mind of the most excellent composition, a penetrating wit, wholly devoid of ostentation, lofty thoughts resting on a heart of courtesy, and an eloquence as sweet in utterance as slow in coming to utterance, as noble a demeanor. how he gave a majesty to adversity, and all in a man whose age could not be more than one and twenty years... The adversity of love soon shakes that majesty; the action is often tragicomic. Among the eclogues are much imitated poems such as "My true love has my heart and I have his" and "Ring out your bells". Sidney's 286 extant poems experiment with 143 stanza forms. He was a virtuoso in rhetoric and meter, in symmetrical structure and paradoxical perspectives - qualities we accept more easily in verse than in prose. Astrophil and Stella is a set of 108 sonnets of various kinds, moments in love from Starlover (Astrophil: Gk., masculine) to Star (Stella: Lat., feminine). The setting is literary, but Phil is named after Sidney (a character in Arcadia is called Philisides), and Stella is modeled after Penelope Devereux, who married Lord Rich. The first sonnet, 'Love truly, and willingly in verse, my love to show', climbs a long ladder of logic and rhetoric, only to fall on the last line: “'Fool,' said my muse to me; “Look into your heart and write.” Sincerity is hard work. This is the first sonnet sequence in English, a robust variation on Petrarch's Canzoniere, interspersed with songs. It has gravely perfect sonnets, like "Come to sleep, O sleep, the sure knot of peace" and "With what sad steps, O moon, you ascend the heavens." His lightest virtuosity comes in his Eighth Song, 'In a Grove Richer in Shade'. Astrophil speaks: 'Stella, on whose body is written every character of blessedness;

Whose whole face, all beauty passes, Save thy mind, which yet overcomes: [p. 92] Grant, O grant - but speech, alas, fails me, fearing to pass; Grant - Oh me, what am I saying? But there is no guilt in praying: Grant, O dear, on my knees I pray' - (on my knees on the floor he then stood) 'That not I, but since I love you, Time and place for me can move you.. ' She, with less self-deception and drivel, declines: 'Tyrannical honor thus uses thee, Stella's self cannot refuse thee.' With that she was gone, leaving him so in love With what she had done and said That with that my song is broken. Sidney returns to the first person and his foolish heart. Astute in strategy and rhetoric, Sidney is straightforward in diction. In his defence, he praised Spenser's Shepheardes Calender, but added: "The very structure of his style in an old rustic language I cannot allow." The Defense is the first classic of English literary criticism, and Sidney the first of a line of poet-critics: Dryden, Johnson, Coleridge, Arnold, Eliot. Defends poetry against Stephen Gosson's The School of Abuse (1579), a Puritan attack on the stage, dedicated The Arcadia Publication 1. The Old Arcadia, completed 1580 (first pub. 1912): five books divided by pastoral eclogues in verse. 2. The Countesse of Pembrokes Arcadia, published by Fulke Greville (1590), known as New Arcadia. Although Sidney rewrote less than half of the story, the revision is 50,000 words more than the Old One's 180,000 words. 3. 'The Countesse of Pembroke's Arcadia... Now, since the first edition grew and ended... 1593.' This ties together the first half of the New with Mary's revision of the second half of the Old. 4. In a 5th edition (1621), Sir William Alexander wrote thirty pages to bring together the New and the Old; this ran for nine issues. In 1725 a 14th edition appeared; and also a rewritten edition in modern English. Selections appeared throughout the 18th century.

Reception 1649 At his execution, King Charles I repeated Pamela's prayer in prison. 1740 Richardson called his first novel Pamela. 1810 Hazlitt called it "one of the greatest monuments of the abuse of intellectual power ever recorded." 1860 Dickens' Great Expectations has as its hero Pip, who vainly pursues Estella, borrowing names and characteristics from Arcadia and its title Astrophil and Stella 21. 1977 First complete edition with modernized spelling, ed. M. Evans (London: Penguin): 790 pages, about 320,000 words.

[p. 93] to a Protestant patron, Sidney himself. The Defense is elaborate, modeled on a classic sentence, and full of humanistic learning. However, it begins with a digression on horsemanship and, compared to its Italian predecessors, it proceeds at a gallop, humanized by touches of humor and sprezzatura. His argument is that poetry (that is, literature) imitates the Golden Idea, what ought to be, rather than the blatant reality, what is. It delights us and leads us to virtue, unlike boring philosophy or unedifying history. Plato's charge that poets lie and corrupt applies only to bad poets. Contemporary poetry is full of abuses; ideally, it would promote heroic virtue. Defense is also a prospect. English literature had not hitherto satisfied Sidney; if he had lived to be sixty he might have seen all of Shakespeare's plays. His moral idealism is an attractive if simple version of model theory, animated by an enthusiasm for heroic literature. However, despite all the ardor and exuberance of his twenty-five years, Sidney was not a utopian: “our heightened intelligence makes us know what perfection is, but our infected will prevents us from reaching it” (Defense). The sobriety of northern Christian humanism informs the rewriting of Arcadia undertaken after the Defense: showing the follies of love and the worst follies of honor and pride, to be avoided rather than emulated. Sidney's inventive play belied his sanity and seriousness. He was an original writer as well as an origin.

Edmund Spenser Henry's closing of religious houses caused what Ascham called the "collapse and ruin" of the schools; Sir Thomas Pope, founder of Trinity College, Oxford, in Mary's reign, described the Greek as "very decadent". Only in the 1560s did good schools revive, including Shrewsbury, attended by Sidney, or Merchant Taylors, London, attended by Spenser. Edmund Spenser

(b.1552) received a scholarship at Cambridge, where he translated sonnets by Petrarch and Du Bellay. In 1579 he wrote the Calendar of Shepheardes. From 1580 he was a colonist in Ireland, writing The Faerie Queene. At Raleigh's request, he published three books in 1590 (and received a pension), adding three more in 1596. Spenser dedicated his heroic novel to the queen. It is now the main literary monument of her cult. After the reigns of her younger brother and a sister married to Philip II, Elizabeth ascended to the throne - beautiful, intelligent and 25 years old. It was a universally acknowledged truth that such a queen needed a husband. Dynastic marriage and succession have dominated the century since Prince Arthur's death in 1502. However, Elizabeth has used this truth to her advantage, not just in foreign diplomacy; every year on Ascension Day there was a tournament presided over by her, a lady whose bright eyes rained influence. In the tournament of Chaucer's Knight's Tale (reprinted by John Stow in 1561), Emelye was the prize. The prize at the Ascension Day tournaments was access to Elizabeth. The Philip Sidney who rode in the lists, conceived court masks and wrote 'Today having my horse, my hand, my spear / Guided so well that I got the prize', died of a gunshot wound. As the marriage negotiations ensued, the legend of the Virgin Queen grew, unsullied by her real-life rages when her favorites Leicester and Raleigh fell to the ladies of the court. Elizabeth's birthday was on the feast of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, and part of the cult was transferred to her. There was a cult of virgins: Diana, Huntress; Cynthia, mistress of the seas; Astræa, goddess of justice. The stories of Sir Walter Raleigh putting his cloak in a puddle in the Queen's way, and of Sir Francis Drake finishing his bowling in sight of the Spanish Armada, are true to the theatricality of public life. As the Armada approached, Elizabeth addressed her [p. 94]

Queen Elizabeth I: the 'Ermine' portrait (1585), attributed to William Segar. The ermine is an emblem of chastity.

troops at Tilbury, armed like a knight. The queen, her advisors and her court writers knew the images. The armed lady Britomart in The Faerie Queene is a figure of Elizabeth uniting Britain and Mars. Sir Walter Raleigh (pronounced 'Rauley'), colonist of Ireland and Virginia and - had he found him - El Dorado, wrote Elizabeth a long poem, The Ocean to Cynthia, of which only the first book survives. A sample suggests the mythopoeia of Elizabeth's court: Seek new worlds, gold, praise, glory, Try desire, try distant love, When I was gone, she sent her memory, Stronger than ten thousand warships, To call me back, to leave the thought of great honor, To leave my friends, my fortune, my attempt, To leave the purpose I so long sought, And despise both cares and comforts...

The Queen figures as the cruel beloved, the poet-hero as a knight-errant serving his imperial and imperious mistress; this political recreation of courtly love also informs Spenser's adoption of the chivalric novel as the form of his epic. Medieval Arthurianism had enjoyed a new popularity in Italy at the court of Ferrara, Ariosto's Orlando Furioso (1532) and Tasso's Rinaldo (1562). The Puritan Spenser wanted to “overcome” these poems, build a national myth: the Tudors were descendants of British kings, of whom Arthur was the greatest. Spenser's first three books are prefaced by a letter to Raleigh: 'Sir: knowing how doubtfully all allegories may be interpreted, and this book of mine (which I have entitled The Faerie Queene), being a continual allegory or dismal conceit, I have [ pg. 95] thought it good... to find out for you the general intention... to form a gentleman or a noble person...'. This is the aim of the Defense of Sidney, using the 'historical fiction... of King Arthur', following 'the ancient historical poets: first Homer, who in the persons of Agamemnon and Odysseus set the example of a good governor and a virtuous man ... .; Virgil ... Aeneas; Ariosto... in his Orlando; and lately, Tasso.... By example of excellent poets, I work to portray in Arthur, before he was king, the image of a brave knight, perfected in the twelve private moral virtues, as Aristotle had invented - which is the purpose of these first twelve books...'. [If accepted, he plans twelve more on the political virtues.] Arthur, he continues, 'I fancy that I saw in a dream or vision the Queen of Faerie, and... I went to fetch her in Faerie. In this Faerie Queene I mean 'glory' in my general intent; but, in my particular, I conceive the most excellent and glorious person of our sovereign Queen, and her kingdom in Fairyland... She gives birth to two persons (the one from a very royal queen or empress, the other from a very virtuous and beautiful lady), the latter part of which I express in some places in Belphoebe: molding her name after her excellent presumption of Cynthia - Phoebe and Cynthia being both Diana's names... In the person of Prince Arthur, I display magnificence. This last princely virtue contains the twelve moral virtues, of which 'I make twelve other patron knights, for the greatest variety in history, of which these three books contain three: the first, of the knight of the Red Cross, in whom I express Holiness; the second, from Sir Guyon, in whom I expounded Temperance; the third, of Britomartis, a knight, in which I imagine Chastity...' The complexity of the project is apparent. Elizabeth's other name in the poem, as "the most royal queen and empress", is Gloriana; the twelfth book should have described the twelve days of Gloriana's annual feast. Spenser wrote three more books, Friendship, Justice and Courtesy. Two Songs of Mutability from the Seventh Book appeared posthumously. There are six books of twelve cantos, each of about fifty nine-line stanzas; the poem is about 33,000 lines: shorter than Byron's Arcadia or Don Juan or Dickens's David C:opperfield, but longer than the Iliad and three times as long as Milton's Paradise Lost. Spenser wrote only half of these first twelve books, a quarter of the grand scheme, but he died in 1599. The Faerie Queene and Arcadia, both printed in 1590, are the first great works of English literature since Le Morte Darthur. Extremely ambitious, their scale and achievement give them an importance that posterity has confirmed in various ways. Spenser's long and complex poem, imitative of the ancient Chaucer, was inspired by Milton, Wordsworth and Keats. But Arcadia's popularity ended in the 18th century; his prose was too witty for Hazlitt. In these two works, which have the megalomania of the great Elizabethan house, scholars have recently found rich intellectual schemes. Spenser's craft is the admiration of poets. Canto I, Book I of The Faerie Queene begins: A Gentle Gentleman was skewering in the plain, Clothed in mighty arms and silver shield, Where old wounds of deep wounds lay, The cruel marks of many bloody fields;


The iambic beat is regular, the speech accent coincides with the metric accent; nouns are accompanied by appropriate epithets. Smooth lines and decorous diction are hallmarks of a style notable for its ceremony and harmony, creating the unique atmosphere of the poem. [p. 96]

Knight and Dragon of the Red Cross: a woodcut from the first edition of the first three books of The Faerie Queene (1590) by Spenser. The shield bears the cross of Saint George of England.

'Fairyland' is a word first encountered in Spenser. Book I begins with "a fairy Ladye in mourning, riding a white Asse, with a dwarf behind her leading a warring steed". This is the world of Ariosto: knights, witches, hermits, dragons, floating islands, bronze castles. Spenser's legacy is his style, which enchants us in this world. His aim was not to lull us to sleep, but to allow us to dream. The dreams contain surprises: the next line is "Yet weapons hitherto he never wielded." The old armor worn by this new knight is (as Spenser told Raleigh) “the armor of a Christian man specified by Saint Paul v. Ephes. ' ('Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil' - Ephesians 6:11: the shield of faith and the helmet of salvation.) Spenser's dream is the outward sign of inwardness. religious truths. To the romance of chivalry he adds medieval allegory; glamor gilds the pill of truth. The ethical truths behind Spenser's "continuing allegory or obscure concept" are "dubiously constructed". Teachers use allegory from Plato's dialogues and Jesus' parables. In the Middle Ages, allegory became elaborate, expounding agreed truths in a universe of analogies. But a mode of exposition which has a superficial history and a deeper meaning runs the risk - if the reader is not of the assumed mindset - that the "true" meaning may be lost or misplaced; Spenser's twelve private moral virtues are not found in Aristotle. Allegory, like irony, was useful to humanists: a deeper meaning that proved distasteful to authority could be denied. The unified metaphysics of the medieval order was gone, and there were several new ones. The allegorical keys for Spenser are therefore "doubtful". Their moral sense, however, tends to be clear and often simple. An example is the Guyon and the Bower of Bliss episode. Guyon, the hero of Book II, represents Temperance. At the end of the Book he arrives on the island of Acrasia (Gk: 'indiscipline'), an earthly paradise of erotic love. At the gates, he is tempted by two wanton girls amusing themselves at a fountain, who "swerved to him many visions, which cold courage could create." Inside the Bower, he sees Acrasia bending over a sexually conquered knight and hears a voice sing a 'beautiful posture' encouraging him to pluck the rose of love. Its second stanza says Thus passes, in the passing of a day, From mortal life the leaf, the bud, the flower, No longer blooms after the first decay, That ear was sought to adorn both the bed and the bow, Of many ladies, and many Paramowre: Gather, therefore, the Rose, while it is still noble, For age soon comes, that its pride will ebb: Gather the Rose of loue, while there is still time, The stanza of eight pentameters rhyming ababbcbc turns slowly, stopping like The balance point is reached in the central couplet that rhymes 'bowre/Paramowre'. Against this backdrop (repeated 3,700 times in the poem), the unfolding chain of meaning is decorated by various patterns and repetitions. Sound and sense are equal, or, where the subject is familiar as here, sense is weaker. But to the existing octave, Spenser added a ninth verse of twelve syllables, an Alexandrian: 'While loving thou mayest be loved with equal crime.' and slows the galleon even further. The stanza becomes a lyrical frame to be contemplated in itself, and Time seems to stop. 'Crime' breaks the sensual spell. The captive knight's war-weapons, 'the idle instruments/Of slumbering praise', hang from a tree. Guyon and his guide, the Palmer, [p. 97] rescue the knight, and Guyon breaks the bowers "with pittilesse rigor". The sleeping beasts of Acrasia revert to men (as in Circe's episode in the Odyssey). But a beast, a pig 'high Grille by name' (Gk: 'pig'), wishes to remain a pig. Said Guyon, See the mind of the bestial man, Who so soon forgot the excellence Of his creation, when his life began, That now he chooses, with vile difference, To be a beast and want no intelligence. To whom Palmer like that, The donghill type Revels in filth and filthy incontinence: Let Grill be Grill, and have your pig mind, But let's get away from here, while the weather's nice and breezy. A lucid epitome of the humanist doctrine of self-formation - man can choose to perfect himself or to ruin himself, his physical form shows his spiritual nature. For Spenser, ethics, religion and politics merge, since, in his ideal “conceit”, England was a united and virtuous Protestant nation. Thus, the Red Cross does not allow itself to be seduced by the duplicity of Duessa (the Catholic Church), but prefers the honest Una (the English Church). Unity was imposed on England, but not on the British Isles: the conquest of Ireland was not smooth. Sir Walter Raleigh was involved in some bloody episodes, and Spenser was thrown out of his home. As The Faerie Queene continued, the gap between the ideal and the real was such that the proclaimed perfection of an ideal England can be read ironically. In his remaining years, Spenser wrote a few stanzas about Time and Changeability, the last of which is a prayer to "rest eternally". The Faerie Queene is the greatest poetic monument of its time, and one can lose yourself in its musical, pictorial and intellectual delights. Historically, it is Spenser's major work and takes precedence over smaller but charming works such as The Marriage.

hymns Prothalamion and Epithalamion, poems of wonderful musical vigor, and the Amoretti (containing perfect sonnets, such as 'One day I wrote her name on a thread'). Spenser was beloved by Milton and the Romantics, but by the 18th century his influence had faded. Poets followed the simpler clarity of Ben Jonson, who commented of Spenser: 'In affecting the ancients, he wrote no language. . In humanist theory, propriety was "the great masterpiece to behold", but they objected to Spenser's adoption of a style suited to "medieval" romance, preferring modern elegance to Gothic extravagance. Gothic poems that used or adapted Spenser's stanza were Castle of Indolence by James Thomson, Resolution and Independence by William Wordsworth, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage by Lord Byron, and Eve of St Agnes by John Keats. A recent editor called the poem The Fairy Queen and eliminated Spenser's old spelling where he could; but seniority was part of Spenser's aim.

Sir Walter Raleigh The inaugurators of the golden age of English verse present a historical contrast. Sidney was a non-printing nobleman, but his work survives in many manuscripts. None of Spenser's verse survives in manuscript. He was a scholar who, for all his professionalism, was dependent on the Crown for employment and patronage. The next stage is marked by Marlowe (b. l564), a poor scholar of the Kings School, Canterbury and Cambridge. He also worked for the Crown, but achieved precocious theatrical performance [p. 98]

Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618) with ruff and lace in his hair. A miniature of Nicholas Hilliard, 4.8 cm x 4.2 cm. success with Tamburlaine in 1587. The middle-class Shakespeare (also born in 1564) did not attend university, but made his living acting and writing for the commercial theater, sharing its profits, publishing verse only when theaters were closed. Great gentlemen and ladies wrote, but not for a living: Henry VIII, Elizabeth I and their Earls of Oxford and Essex wrote well, and the Earl of Surrey and Countess of Pembroke wrote very well. But writing was one of its many parts; Henry wrote good music; Elizabeth translated Boethius and wrote in a beautiful Italian hand. The conviction that the gentiles do not earn their living by writing is exemplified in Sir Walter Raleigh (c.1552-1618), son of a country gentleman, who spoke in Devonshire all his life. A national figure, he was a poet of enormous talent who barely made an impression, an amateur. His thirty surviving poems are scattered gestures around a great personality. Some cannot be withdrawn from career and sponsorship, such as The Ocean to Cynthia (pub. 1870) and 'Methought I saw the grave where Laura lay'. This asserts that, thanks to The Faerie Queene (addressed to Raleigh), Elizabeth's fame overshadows that of Laura of Petrarch. The poems printed by Raleigh herald frustrated ambition. A daring soldier and chief colonist of Virginia, he became the queen's favorite and was knighted in 1584. But in 1592 an affair with a maid of honor caused him to lose favor. Briefly in the Tower, he wrote 'Like dreams without truth, so my joys expired', and his best poem, 'As you came from the holy land': As you came from the holy land of Walsinghame, Didn't find you with my true love By the way , how did you come? How will I meet your true love, Who has known many

As I went to the holy land, What came, what went? [p. 99] She is neither white nor dark, But like the beautiful sky, There is no one with such a divine form On earth or in the air. The pilgrim returning from Walsingham (a Norfolk shrine to the Virgin Mary) recognizes this "she": Elizabeth's hair was red. Raleigh's ballad (in anapaest) manages to be energetic, dignified and melancholic. The decisive movement marks the reproaches of 'The Lie' ('Go, soul, guest of the body,/After a thankless errand'), containing the memorable dispatch: Tell the court she shines And shines like rotten wood; Tell the church that it shows what is good and what is not good: if the church and the court respond, then give them both the lie. Sentenced to death for conspiring against James' accession, Raleigh was released from the Tower in 1616 to lead an expedition to the golden kingdom of El Dorado, which he claimed existed in Guyana. Not finding it, his men burned a Spanish settlement; on his return in 1618 he was beheaded. Some Tower poems, such as 'Even such is Time', go beyond their disappointments to re-express the moral conviction of earlier Tudor verse in the simpler forms in which it excelled. The similar moral verse from 'The Passionate Man's Pilgrimage', formerly by Raleigh, has recently been reassigned in red. to an anonymous Catholic refuser. Give me my shell of stillness, My walking staff of faith, My scrip of joy, immortal diet, My bottle of salvation, My robe of glory, true measure of hope, And so shall I make my pilgrimage. Raleigh's grim History of the World (1614) has a justly famous conclusion: O eloquent, just, and mighty Death! Whom no one could advise, you persuaded; whom no one dared, you made; and whom all the world flattered, you drove out of the world and despised; thou hast gathered together all the absurd grandeur, all the pride, cruelty, and ambition of man, and hast covered it all with these two narrow words: Hic jacet! [Here lies...] The dramatic commonplace is close to the heart of Elizabethan literature. Raleigh, who embodied the extremes of ambition in his day, fell, tried to recover, and then wrote and rewrote his epitaph.

The 'Jacobetians' After Sidney and Spenser, the harvest. Shakespeare aside, the 1590s are perhaps the richest decade in English poetic history. Suddenly 'well over thirty poets of at least some talent were writing' (Emrys Jones) - among them John Donne, who wrote satires, elegies and some libertine verse before 1600. The decade 1600-10 is almost as good , even without drama. The great explosions of English poetry occurred in 1375-1400, 1590-1610 and 1798-1824. The Ricardian [p. 100] Non-dramatic poets of the 1590s Sir Walter Ralegh (c.1552-1618: executed) John Lyly (c.1554-1606) Fulke Greville (1554-1628) George Chapman (?1559-1634) Robert Southwell SJ (1561) -95: executed) Samuel Daniel (c.1563-1619) Michael Drayton (1563-1631)

Christopher Marlowe (1564-93: morto) William Shakespeare (1564-1616) Thomas Nashe (1567-1601) Thomas Campion (1567-1620) Sir John Davies (1569-1626) John Donne (1572-1631) Ben Jonson (1572- 1637)

and the romantic constellations have such big stars (if Shakespeare is left out), but there are fewer of them than the 'Jacobetians'. In Hamlet (1601), the Prince wears a dark cloak; Jacobean tragedy is very black indeed. The "golden" phase of Elizabethan poetry passed in 1588. After Gloriana's heyday, writers tackled less ideal subjects. Marlowe wrote of naked will and the fall of ambition; Donne mocked human folly; Bacon's essays reduced human pretense. A skeptical and analytical mood coincided with a more Calvinist temperament towards Catholic Europe. The Elizabethan plantation of Munster brought the harshness of the empire closer to home.

Christopher Marlowe Christopher Marlowe's plays dominate his poems. But his 'Come live with me and be my love' was a favorite, answered in Raleigh's 'The Nymph's Answer to the Shepherd' and much parodied. He gracefully reworks Latin lyrical themes, as well as Raleigh's own 'Serena' and other lyrics from the era. Of the Renaissance types, the lyric was closest to its classical examples. In addition to his Ovid, Marlowe also translated Lucan's first book into blank verse. Ovid's Elegies are polished and witty, but Ovid's Hero and Leander has a brilliance of a new kind. This Epyllion (a short epic) is based on Ovid's Heroides, but is based on a later Greek version of the tale of Leander swimming across the Hellespont to woo the Hero. Before the advent of university spirits - Lily, Lodge, Greene and Marlowe - Ovid's tales were moralized, as in Golding's Metamorphoses. Hero and Leander, however, is more erotic than epic. Marlowe's sexual pleasure, akin to Acrasia, becomes a high fantasy: Though meat is delicious to the taste, So was his neck to touch it, and surpassed Pelops' white shoulder. I could tell how soft was her breast, and how white her belly, And whose immortal fingers marked That heavenly path with many curious notes That run along her back, but my rough pen Can scarcely emblazon the loves of men, much less gods. powerful... The trick of this false modesty is as new in English verse as Leander's "curious points". (A couplet reads: 'There you may see the gods in divers guises, / Committing heady riots, incest, rapes.' Could Golding have seen that such lust is also comic?) Marlowe added homoeroticism to the Greek original. [p. 101] He was to explore his discovery of "classic" sexual glamor in his drama. Of more general note, however, is the absolute safety of the couplets. By line 818, when he stopped, Marlowe had lost control of the pitch, though not the verse; lines from him include 'He who loved did not love at first sight'. Chapman ended the story, with more weight. Epyllion was all the rage in the 1590s; Shakespeare's effort Venus and Adonis is inferior to Hero and Leander, which Marlowe may have written as a student.

Song This was a great moment for the “Twin Harmonious Sisters, Voice and Verse”, Milton's baroque phrase for sung poem or artistic song. English music was famous in the 15th century, but poems set to music survive in numbers from the 16th century. Singing was heard at work, at home and in the tavern, at court and church. The words sung must be singable and their meaning understood in one listen, but the words of 16th and 17th century songs are not, like those of many later art songs, empty except in refrains like 'Hey, nonny, nonny ', or in this song for spring: Spring, sweet spring, is the year's pleasant king; Then everything blooms, then the maidens dance in a circle, The cold does not sting, the beautiful birds sing: Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-us, to-witta-woo! ('jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!' represents the songs of the nightingale, the peewit and the owl.) This song is from a play by Thomas Nashe, as is 'Litany in Time of Plague', with his line 'Glitter falls from the air'. Shakespeare frequently uses songs in his plays, such as Love's Labour's Lost, As You Like It, Twelfth Night and The Tempest. Most of his songs have an art that hides the art. Anonymous songs abound, from the boozy 'Back and Side Go Bare, Go Bare' to the slick madrigal 'My love in her attire doth show her wit'. lyrical anthologies, from Tottel's Miscellany (1557) to A Paradise of Dainty Devices and A Gorgeous Gallery of Gallant Inventions to England's Helicon (1601). These numbers are generally unpopular: 'Thule, the period of cosmography' and 'Constant Penelope sends you, careless Ulysses', in captivating metric hexameters. Fierce language teaching encouraged delight in language.

Thomas Campion Of all composers, Thomas Campion (1567-1620), inventive and masked composer, wrote the best quantitative verse. His 'Rose-cheeked Laura, come', in praise of an ideal dancing woman, is the classic example. In later versions of this theme, the dancer, emblem of Platonic harmony, sings. Campion's Laura is accompanied only by her own silent song (and her verbal wit): rosy-cheeked Laura, come, sing softly to the silent song of her beauty, or another sweetly graceful one. 5

Enchanting forms flow From divinely framed contents:

musical concordance

The sky is music, and the birth of your beauty is heavenly. [p. 102] These dull notes we sing, the Discords need help to grace them; Only purely loving beauty knows no discord,


But delight still moves, Like clear fountains renewed by flowing, Ever perfect, ever in themselves eternal.


The correspondence of syllable length with metric stress in a trochaic pattern is broken twice: by lines 9-10, which represent the singer's alleged clumsiness; and by iamb in line 13, where 'still' is both 'immovable' and 'perpetually'. Another Campion poem that mimics the musical effect is 'When Corinna sings to her lute'. His 'My sweet Lesbia, let us live and love' is one of several contemporary versions of Catullus's vivamus, mea Lesbia, atque amemus.

Prose John Lyly One result of the revived primary schools was artistic prose of the type used by Sidney. Its apex was Euphues (1578) by John Lyly (c.1554-1606), grandson of the author of the standard Latin grammar. Euphues (Gk: 'well-endowed') 'lived in Athens, a young gentleman of great estate, and of such a gracious personality, that it was doubted whether he was more connected with Nature for the traits of his person, or with Fortune for the increase of his possessions.' The balance of 'heritage' and 'character', 'Nature' and 'Wealth', 'person' and 'possessions' and other elements of composition, suggest the delight taken in pattern and parallelism, alliteration and artifice. The court adopted the fashion, and the style is still visible in John Milton's prose generations later. The recommended rhetorical model was Cicero's style, using balanced tropes and rhythms, but Renaissance Ciceronianism is much more artificial than Cicero. He runs into playful excess, as, in the moral sphere, does the exemplary hero, Euphues. It happened that this young imp arrived in Naples (a place of more pleasure than profit, and even more profit than piety) whose very walls and windows showed it to be more the Tabernacle of Venus than the Temple of Vesta [goddess of chastity]. There were all things necessary and ready to lure the mind to lust or incite the heart to madness, a court fitter for an atheist than for one from Athens, for Ovid than for Aristotle, for a dull lover than for a pious liver: more fit for Paris than Hector, and fit for Flora [a goddess of fertility] than Diana. This antithetical style is parodied when Falstaff catechizes Prince Hal. The schoolmaster's role in the style wars of this period is shown by the pedants fondly caricatured in Udall's Rhombus and Sir Nathaniel in Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost: 'You have been to a great feast of languages ​​and you have stolen the leftovers.'

Thomas Nashe Thomas Nashe (1567-1601) carries on the irreverence of Marlowe's graduation. Its extravagance is suggested by its titles: Pierce Penniless his Supplication to the Divell [p. 103] (complaint of a poor writer), Tears of Christ over Jerusalem (an apocalyptic satire), The Terrors of the Night (a study of nightmares), The Unfortunate Traveller. Or The Life of Jacke Wilton (overseas escapades), Have with you to Saffron-Walden, Or Gabriel Harveys Hunt is up (a pamphlet polemic), The Isle of Dogs (a lost play), Nashe's Quaresma Stuffe (an encomium mock red herring, including a parody of Hero and Leander) and Summers Last Will and Testament (a comedy). Pierce Penniless defends the drama against the Puritans: Our gamblers are not like the gamblers across the seas, a sort of squirting lewd comedians, who have common prostitutes and courtesans to play female parts, and shun no immodest speech or impudent action that might provoke laughter. ; but ... honorable and full of gallant resolution, not consisting like theirs in pantaloon, a whore and a madman [stock pieces in the Italian Commedia dell'Arte] In The Unfortunate Traveller, Nashe laments the Italian influence on the English visitor: 'From thence he brings the arts of atheism, the art of epicureanism, the art of prostitution, the art of poisoning, the art of sodomy. Despite his censorship of the Sunday papers, Nashe was at war with the Puritans, especially Spenser's friend Gabriel Harvey. Such was his invective that the Church authorities ordered that 'all Nashe's books and Doctor Harvey's books be taken wherever they are found and that none of his books should ever be printed in the future'.

Richard Hooker's Puritans attacked the Church of England in the anonymous treatises 'Marprelate' (prelate = bishop), taking their tone of prayers as 'Lord, snap your teeth' (Psalm 58). A better effort to love his Puritan neighbor was made by Richard

Hooker (1553-1600) in his Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, a defense of the apostolic episcopal order and doctrine of the Church of England, appealing to natural law as well as the Bible. His well-reasoned moderation is suggested in this passage: The best and safest course for you, therefore, my dear brethren, is to call your past actions to a new evaluation, to reexamine the cause you have taken in hand, and to try the same point by point, argument by point. argument, with all the diligent exactitude you can; to lay aside the gall of that bitterness in which their minds have hitherto abounded, and with meekness seek out the truth... Hooker's Treatise and the History of Raleigh are important works of new English discursive prose.

Further Reading Braunmuller, A. R. and M. Hattaway (eds). The Cambridge Companion to English Renaissance Drama (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990). Jones, E. (ed.), New Oxford Book of Sixteenth-Century Verse (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992). A fresh and generous selection. Kraye, J. (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to English Renaissance Humanism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994). Lewis, C. S., Poetry and Prose in the Sixteenth Century, Excluding Drama (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1954). A clear, bold and provocative introduction.

[p. 104]

4. Shakespeare and the Overview of Drama Shakespeare's Family, Early Marriage, and Obscurity. First mentioned as a London actor and playwright aged 28, he emerged at the height of a wave of poetic new dramas. Kyd and Marlowe died, leaving him the stage. He averaged two plays a year for twenty years: first comedy and history (a form he perfected), then tragedy, and finally romance. He retired early, half of his plays being preserved only in the First Folio, introduced by his successor, Jonson.

William Shakespeare The Life of Shakespeare William Shakespeare was born in 1564 in Stratford, a market town on the River Avon in Warwickshire. He was the eldest son and third of eight children born to John Shakespeare, a luver, and Mary Arden, the daughter of a landowner. In 1568, John was bailiff (mayor) of Stratford. Education at Stratford School was based on Latin grammar, rhetoric and composition; speaking English was prohibited in the higher forms. At the Santíssima Trindade church, which Guilherme rightfully attended with his father, he would also have learned a lot. At home there were three brothers and a sister (three sisters died in infancy), and around the house there were meadows, orchards and parks. He also saw the public life of the city, although his father's participation in it diminished. Wandering players visited Stratford, and in neighboring Coventry there was a performance of the mystery play cycle at the Corpus Christi feast. He left school, probably aged 15, and at 18 he married Anne Hathaway, eight years his senior. At the time of the church wedding, she was expecting a son, born in 1583 and christened Susanna. In 1585 Anne had twins, Hamnet and Judith. When we next hear of William, in 1592, he is at the London theater, attacked in print by a university writer who warns other graduates against an 'arrogant crow' who 'supposes that he is as capable of bombarding blank verse as the best of you'. This upstart is "in its own conceit the only Shake scene in a country". The Shake scene is Shakespeare, whose name is found in various forms, some of them amusing.

Contents William Shakespeare The Life of Shakespeare The Preserved Plays Luck and Fame The Drama The Commercial Theater Predecessors Christopher Marlowe The Order of the Plays Histories Richard II Henry IV Henry V Comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream Twelfth Night The Poems Tragedy Hamlet King Lear Romances A Tempest Conclusion Shakespeare's Achievements His Supposed Point of View Ben Jonson The Alchemist Volpone Additional Reading

[p. 105] How did he live between 1579 and 1592, the “lost years”? Nothing is known, but in 1681 an actor whose father had known Shakespeare told John Aubrey that Shakespeare "was in his youth a schoolmaster in the country". Shakespeare may be William Shakeshaft, apparently a gambler, who in 1581 received money in the will of Alexander Houghton, a Catholic landowner in Lancashire. Houghton's neighbour, John Cottom, was master of Stratford School when William was there. There were notable Catholics at Stratford school: after John Cottom left Stratford his brother was executed as a priest, with Edmund Campion, in 1582. Perhaps John Cottom returned to Catholic Lancashire and found a place as tutor in the very Catholic house of Houghton for 'Shakeshaft'; that he might then have joined a company of players who came to London. Unproven possibilities. But the old faith was strong locally, and the Shakespeares had Catholic loyalty. The poet's mother, Mary Arden, came from a famous Catholic family; a cousin was hanged, drawn and quartered in 1583. Shakespeare's father, John, lost his municipal offices in the 1580s and was denounced for refusal (not going to church) in 1592. In 1757, a mason working in Shakespeare's house Shakespeare found hidden under the tile a 'testament of the soul', a long statement of faith prepared for Catholics likely to die without a priest, signed 'John Shakespeare' at the head of each paragraph. This document, now lost, was published in 1790.

The 'First Folio' Catalog of Shakespeare's plays, published by fellow actors Heminges and Condell in 1623, in which eighteen of the plays were first printed. Cymbeline is listed as a tragedy rather than a comedy.

[p. 106] William Shakespeare may have had Catholic sympathies, but he occasionally attended church, as did many 'Church Papists'. He was not a refuser, but nothing on record is inconsistent with crypto-Catholicism. His daughter was reported to be 'affected by papism': she did not take Communion at Easter 1606, a few months after the Gunpowder Plot. (On 5 November 1605, a conspiracy by Catholic extremists to blow up Parliament was exposed; the conspiracy had links with Warwickshire.) Later, her father is said to have "dyed a papist". The writings show a positive Christian understanding along with a questing Renaissance humanism. The pieces are full of symbolic forms of representation; they show no signs of anti-symbolic Reformation theology. William retained his ties to Stratford, but his professional life was spent in London, writing and acting. He was a partner in the leading company of actors, the Lord Chamberlain's Men, founded in 1594. He performed at Court and at the theater, the Cortina, and at his own Globe theater, built in 1599. Shakespeare shared in the substantial profits from which in 1603 became the King's Men. They played at the Court as well as at the Globe and, from 1608, at Blackfriars indoor theatre, especially in winter. In 1596, William's son Hamnet died, aged 11. In 1597, William bought the largest house in Stratford, New Place. In 1601 his father died. In 1607 his daughter Susanna was married; she gave birth to a daughter the following year. In 1609 his mother died. From 1610 he spent more time at Stratford. In February 1616 his daughter Judith was married and on 23 April 1616 he died: he was buried in the chancel of Holy Trinity, Stratford. There, before 1623, his monument was erected.

The Preserved Plays At his death in 1616, half of Shakespeare's plays had not been printed, but in 1623 two of his fellow actors produced a complete edition: thirty-six plays in one book.

The title page of the First Folio, with an engraved portrait by Martin Droeshout. One of two authorized representations of Shakespeare; the other is the monument at Holy Trinity Church, Stratford.

[p. 107] of nearly nine hundred double-column pages in a large folio, entitled Comedies, Histories, Folio Sheet of Paper. The and Tragedies. During the poet's lifetime, nineteen pieces had come out in small Rooms, a bootleg printing term for large versions that urged players to produce better rooms. Later they also released a book in the format of rooms with highly staged plays. 14" by 20" sheets. There is no evidence that the author corrected texts assembled from his papers. Without the Folio, folded once to make 2 English Literature, it would have been very different. Without the Authorized Version of 1611, leaves (4 pages). In an England there would still be a Bible. But if Shakespeare's friends had not printed his plays, half of the quarto book on each sheet (including Macbeth and The Tempest) would have been lost; the Folio is its real one folded twice, making 4 monuments. (The suggestion that the plays must have been written by someone else, a man of leaves (8 pages. ranking or with a college degree, says something about those who entertain him.) The Folio is prefaced by a poem by Ben Jonson (1572-16), who in 1616 had published his own Works as if he were a classical author. In To the Memory of My Beloved, author Mr. William Shakespeare: and what he left us, Jonson prefers Shakespeare to earlier English poets, and wishes he could show tragedies to Aeschylus, Euripides, and Sophocles. But in comedy, your Shakespeare could bear the comparison: Of all, that insolent Greece, or haughty Rome Sent, or since came from her ashes. Triumph, my Britain, thou hast one to show, Whom all the Scenes of Europe honor. He was not of one age, but for all time!

The conclusion is an apotheosis: Shakespeare, hailed as the 'Sweet Swan of Avon', is raised to heaven as a 'constellation', the 'Star of Poets'. This is a witty poetic breath. But the claim that Shakespeare is not only the greatest European playwright, but also "for all time" is valid. Jonson had a great idea for poetry and was a difficult critic to please. He wrote of Shakespeare that he "loved man and honored his memory, on this side of idolatry, as much as any other". John Milton wrote in the Second Folio (1632) of the "deep impression" made by Shakespeare's "delphick lines" and echoes Jonson in calling him "my Shakespeare". Writers adopted Shakespeare early, critics followed later. The idolatry that Jonson avoided dates back to the Stratford Jubilee in April 1769, led by David Garrick and James Boswell, when false relics of the 'Bard', as he was called, were sold by the thousands. Subsequently, Jonson's witty promotion of Shakespeare to semi-divine status was taken seriously in Germany and even France. In 1818 Keats titled a poem "On sent down to read King Lear once again". The Bard was now more widely read than performed.

Luck and fame But Shakespeare lives because he is a playwright: his plays are recreated in daily performances in and outside the English-speaking world. He entered the theater as it entered its great period, a time of general intellectual ferment, cultural confidence and linguistic exuberance. The materials were at hand - classical and European literature recreated in translation - and models of English verse in Sidney and Spenser, and of animated drama in Lyly, Kyd and Marlowe. Shakespeare was fortunate that his English remained largely intelligible. Chaucer's 'verray parfit gentil knyght' can be misunderstood: verray meant true, full parfit and noble gentle. Compared with Chaucer, Shakespeare takes more [p. 108] scratches with words; however, the meanings have changed less since his time. He also lived in the early modern era: his ideas of the world were shaped by the Christian and humanist ideals that have fueled most of what has followed so far. With luck at school and at home, he had to make his way in the world. By the age of 20, he himself was the father of three children. The theater offered him life.

The Drama It has been two centuries since drama moved out of the church and onto the street, although Mystery plays, which dramatized biblical stories in full-day cycles on summer holy days, continued into Shakespeare's day. The Reformation had transferred a lot of parade and spectacle to the State. The Church was intimidated, and the theater was the main place where the concerns of the day could be carefully aired. There was an appetite in the public for drama, which explored the interests of a large new audience. Theaters were erected by commercial joint ventures outside the city, mainly on the south bank of the Thames, home to amusements not permitted in the city.

Players in the Strolling commercial theater made no money: the audience melted as the hat spun. In the London dockyards of the 1550s, the spectator would place his penny in a box at the entrance (hence 'box office'). Then, in 1576, James Burbage, a carpenter-actor-entrepreneur, built the Theater for the players of the Earl of Leicester, who had a Royal Patent. This was the first purpose-built permanent public theater. Though its title (and perhaps its form) echoes classical theater, Burbage would have been surprised to learn that what played on the stages he built is valued more than the non-dramatic poetry of his day.

Drawing of the Swan Theatre, London: A copy of a c.1596 drawing by Johannes de Witt, a Dutch visitor to London. Tectum Roof Porticus Gallery Sedilia Seats Ingressus Entry Mimorum Ideas Casa Dos Atores Proscênio Fore-Stage Planities Sive Arena Flat Space Ou Arena.

[p. 109] In 1599, the new Globe was three stories high, close to Southwark Cathedral, surrounded by other theatres, houses, inns, churches, shops, brothels, cabins and bear pits. Puritans feared the theater; the Court watched; parts have been licensed. Built by Shakespeare's company from the old rafters of The Theatre, the Globe could seat 3,000 - a large audience, although the atmosphere of the reconstructed modern Globe (opened in 1996) is surprisingly intimate. There were then five other large theaters in a London of around 200,000. Ten days counted as a long run, and revivals were uncommon; new moves were always needed. The plays were staged in the afternoon in this enclosed courtyard with a covered stage and thatched galleries. Shakespeare mentions “the two hours of stage traffic”: there was no scenery to change. As one scene ended, another began: an actor would enter saying 'This castle has a nice seat' or 'Is that a dagger I see before me?' so that the audience would know what to imagine. The audience did not suspend disbelief inside a dark theater: it collaborated in daylight make-believe. The plays did not pretend to be real: the sensual and mature Cleopatra was played by a boy, like all women. The verse is itself a convention, as are the soliloquy and the aside. So is invisibility: in broad daylight, an actor would whisper “I am invisible”. He was not invisible to the 'groundlings', who were on the ground at his feet visible, audible and inhaling, crowding around the stage. Every one of those who paid a penny to stand cannot have heard or understood every flying word. But the sonorous, standardized language appealed in itself; multitudes flocked to hear ornate sermons. The theater was popular; the Globe could contain a sizable fraction of Londoners free to participate. They participated, as in an Italian provincial opera, a Spanish bullfight or a British pantomime. The cultural mix made popular vigor and rawness coexist with poetry and intelligence. Shakespeare went on a high tide. After 1594 both Marlowe and Kyd were dead, and he was the leading playwright, sharing in his company's profits. He began with the sexual knockout of The Taming of the Shrew, the classic atrocities of Titus Andronicus and the martial pageantry of Henry VI, but in his romantic comedies he combined action with literary high spirits. The public drama was crude and refined, sensational and complex; private theaters were closed, smaller, quieter. But theaters were high and low, fine and coarse: it was popular appeal that gave the medium its cultural power, without which its representation of current and recurring human issues would lack the structure of humanist thought, and drama might have lacked humor. .

Predecessors Chapters 2 and 3 followed the drama of Mystery and Morality through the interlude to Seneca's Academic Roman Comedy and Tragedy. As for Shakespeare's immediate exemplars, Jonson wrote, "how far hast thou surpassed our Lyly,/Or boasting Kyd, or Marlowe's mighty stock." After Euphues, Thomas Lyly (1554-1606) wrote for pupils and choristers of the Chapel Royal, who performed in a private theater built in the ruins of Blackfriars. His Campaspe (1583) tells how Alexander loved a beautiful captive but allowed her to marry the artist Apelles, whom he had commissioned to paint her. A humanist debate, conducted in elegant prose with choral interludes, showed greatness giving way to art. But the great Gloriana proved a mean patron to Lyly, and the theater and press were unsupportive of subsequent college wits: Robert Greene (1558-92), whose play Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay tipped Marlowe to Dr. Faustus; and Thomas Lodge (1558-1625), whose prose novel [p. 110] Rosalynde was the source for As You Like It. Lyly is polite, but Greene, Lodge and Nashe have written for new middle-class clients of mixed tastes. 'Sporting' is not the obvious epithet for Thomas Kyd (1558-94), author of The Spanish Tragedy; or, Hieronymo is mad again; perhaps Jonson thought his art was immature. Kyd pioneered the revenge game; his tragedy depiction in the Rose in 1592 may have been a revival. It has an isolated and dying avenger, sinister characters and a brilliantly intricate plot. In the prologue, a ghost cries out for vengeance, and the mad Hieronymo uses a play within a play to avenge his son Horatio. The final stop lines gain little momentum, but the bloody finale is horribly successful; it was very popular. Kyd may also have written a lost play about Hamlet.

Christopher Marlowe Shakespeare eclipsed Kyd but learned from his own contemporary, Christopher Marlowe (b.1564), who was killed in a tavern in 1593. Marlowe announced his talent in Tamburlaine the Great (1587): We will take you to the majestic tent of war, Where thou shalt hear the Scythian Tamburlaine Menacing the world with loud and dreadful words, And scouring kingdoms with his conquering swords. The 'power line' was the blank pentameter, not used since Gorboduc (1561). Its power comes from the rhythmic energy that allowed Marlowe to launch each "amazing term" like a rocket. Each of the lines has a final accent that begs to be shouted. Shepherd Tamburlaine rose to rule the Mongol empire, humiliating the rulers of Persia, Turkey, Egypt and Babylon with a savagery tempered only at the behest of his beloved, the 'divine Zenocrat'. Your arrogance in defying the gods goes unpunished; he just dies. Like the protagonists of The Jew of Malta and

The title page of the sixth edition of Marlowe's play, showing Faustus conjuring up spirits: a demon emerges from the trapdoor.

[p. 111] Dr. Faustus, Tamburlaine is an arrogant upstart who despises human limits. A romantic vision of the Renaissance via Dr. Faust as transcending worn-out teachings like Galileo, or as an emblem of human aspiration like Goethe's Faust. But Faustus doesn't believe in hell and sells his soul for twenty-four years of fun. The knowledge he seeks is meaningless, and he squanders his powers on school tricks. 'Farce' means stuffing, and though the beginning and end of Faustus are golden, the middle of it is stuffed with the Vice jokes of the old Morals; a form which also furnishes a good angel and an evil angel, and demons which finally lay claim to the unrepentant sinner. Cut off is the branch that might have grown straight, And burned is Apollo's laurel branch, That once grew within this learned man. Faust is gone! Consider its hellish fall... The orthodox morals of the Epilogue are transformed by language power and music quite new to the English stage. Earlier, Faustus summoned an image of Helen of Troy: 'Is this the face that launched a thousand ships And burned the topless towers of Ilium? Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss: her lips suck my soul, see whither it flies.' Aspiration turns to illusion: the Doctor's 'immortal' soul falls victim to a demonic succubus he himself has conjured. Marlowe specialized in the glamor of desire: "O thou art fairer than the evening air,/Clothed in the beauty of a thousand stars." He gives the same rhetorical projection to the Christian lines: "See, see, where the blood of Christ flows in the firmament!" cries the desperate Faustus. Sin leads to hell; which makes the theater sensational. Marlowe's powerful line echoes. ; but the extinguished aspiration seems more sardonic than providential. The protagonist of The Jew of Malta is called Barabas, like the thief of the Gospel that the mob spared at the expense of Jesus. A cunning trickster, he blows up a convent of nuns (including his converted daughter) with devilish glee; but finally falls into a cauldron of boiling oil he had prepared for his guests. Marlowe exploits the revulsion of his audience, who see Malta's Catholic defenders and Turkish attackers as amoral as Barabas and lack his cynical enthusiasm. The overreacher falls into hell; yet this play is less tragic than darkly comic, an exposition of hypocrisy. The Prologue, spoken by Machiavelli, has the gleefully impious couplet: 'I count religion only as a a child's toy,/And I suppose there is no sin but ignorance.' The perverse Machiavelli also says: 'I am admired by those who hate me the most'. Although "admired" means "admired", it hints at Marlowe's fascination. Barabas's final screams show that the sin of ignorance is universal. Screams also end Edward II, Marlowe's most professional play, a study in the workings of power: the weak king loses his throne to rebellious nobles who resent his homosexual passion for lower Gaveston and conspire with his wife to depose him. Edward suggested a pattern of Shakespearean pathos for Richard ll.By comparison, Marlowe is disturbing, sensationalist, lacking in tragic complexity, but his sulfuric glow is undimmed.

The Order of Plays Shakespeare wrote an average of two plays a year between c.1588-90 and 1611, except in 1592-4, when the bubonic plague closed theaters. His contemporaries saw or read

[p. 112] Order of Composition of Plays Compiled from the Oxford Shakespeare, ed. S. Wells and G. Taylor (1988). The dates of the first pieces are conjectural. 1590-1 1590-1 1591 1592 1592 1592 1592-3 1592-3 1593-4 1594 1594-5 1595 1595 1595 1596 1596-7 1596-7 1597-8 1597-8 1598 1 598-9

Two Gentlemen of Verona The Taming of the Shrew 2 Henry VI 3 Henry VI 1 Henry VI Titus Andronicus Richard III Venus and Adonis The Abduction of Lucrezia The Comedy of Errors Love's Labors Lost Richard III Romeo and Juliet A Midsummer Night's Dream King John the Merchant of Venice 1 Henry IV The Merry Wives of Windsor 2 Henry IV Much Ado About Nothing Henry V

1599 1599-1600 1600-1 1601 1602 1593-1603 1603 1603-4 1604-5 1605 1605-6 1606 1606 1607 1608 1609 1610 1611 1613 1613-14

Julius Caesar As You Like It Hamlet Twelfth Night Troilus and Cressida The Sonnets Measure for Measure Othello All's Well That Ends Well Timon of Athens King Lear Macbeth Antony and Cleopatra Pericles Coriolanus The Winter's Tale Cymbeline The Tempest Henry VIII Two Noble Kinsmen

Shakespeare play by play, like we do in the theater or at school. But the Folio has given Shakespeare as a whole to readers, and before turning to the representative plays, it's worth taking a look at the order of his writing, both chronologically and in terms of genre. He started with love comedies and chronicles. The first decade produced nine plays named after the kings of England, ten love comedies and two non-historical tragedies. The second decade features more critical comedies, with tragedies and Roman plays, followed by four romances, ending with The Tempest. Ten years after Elizabeth's death, he worked with Fletcher on Henry VIII and Two Noble Kinsmen.

Histories Genre classification of the folio is crude (Greek and Roman histories are classified as tragedies) tetralogy A set of and has caused problems because Shakespeare did not follow the classic division of the dramatic experience into four works. in comedy and tragedy. He used to put comedy into tragedy and vice versa, upsetting the classically minded. History, perfected and defined by Shakespeare's example, is not a pure or classical type of play. He wrote ten English histories in all, listed in the Folio in order of the kings' reigns in their titles. But the order of reigns was not the order of composition. The first tetralogy - the three parts of Henry VI and Richard III - was written in 1590-3. We will examine the second tetralogy - Richard II, Henry IV parts 1 and 2 and Henry V - composed in 1595-9. Henry VI's three plays are loosely constructed, contest-like epic dramas [p. 113] patriotic, military and spectacular. In contrast to these dramatized chronicles, Richard III is a drama. The title of the Room was The Tragedy of Richard of York, and it has a tragic form. Compared with what followed, it is relatively crude, like The Comedy of Errors, The Shrew, and Titus Andronicus, early plays based on unsentimental classical precedents. Richard III is based on More's prose History of Richard III (written 1513 in Latin and English), a study of tyranny. Shakespeare's Twisted Conspirator comes from More (see page 80). Compared with medieval chroniclers who framed their narratives in terms of divine providence and personal character, humanists like More wrote analytic history in the manner of the Roman historian Tacitus (AD 55-after 115). Although he is modeled on the figure of Vice from the Morality plays, Richard is not just evil. A central figure whose soliloquies show inner awareness is found in the play Morality Everyman, but Richard is the first Shakespearean protagonist to soliloquy. Shakespeare's reigns on the stage stop with Richard III and the advent of the Tudors. Henry VIII's three sons, in turn, reversed the previous religious policy. When Shakespeare began to write, Mary Queen of Scots - mother of Elizabeth's heir apparent, James VI of Scotland - lost her mind. Dynastic historiography was dangerous. From 1547, the Tudors ensured that their subjects regularly heard from the pulpit about their duty to obey the Crown. Church attendance was the law, and nine times a year homilies were read on the divine appointment of kings and the duty of subjects to order and obedience. The manuscript of a play from c. 1594 on Sir Thomas More survives, with contributions from six hands, one said to be Shakespeare's; it was not staged during the Queen's lifetime. It was ten years after Elizabeth's death that Shakespeare collaborated on an Henry VIII. The depictions of More and Catherine of Aragon are sympathetic. Shakespeare's stories are based on the Holinshed Chronicles (1587) and on plays such as Woodstock, about the murder of Thomas Woodstock, Richard II's uncle. In the afternoon before his coup attempt in 1601, supporters of the Earl of Essex

commissioned a special performance from Richard ll. Players were initially hesitant, saying the game was obsolete. The Queen said on this occasion that it had been played forty times (that is, since 1595). It wasn't obsolete, however, as she also said, 'I am Richard II, don't you know that?' Richard had been deposed (and murdered) by the Lancastrians, from whom the Tudors had inherited their claim to the throne. Essex was executed.

Richard II Richard II is a historical tragedy, modeled on Marlowe's Edward II in its configuration and manipulation of our sympathies. In each play, the king's irresponsibility and ineptitude is clear, but once he is deposed, we are left to feel sorry for him. Edward neglects his country for Gaveston's favours; Edward's noble opponents are less sympathetic even than he is; his wife and son conspire against him. Marlowe shows the unedifying workings of power, soothed by the flames of homosexual passion. After some red-hot poker and screaming, the play ends with the 'reassuring' young Edward III. In such a story there is no moral meaning. In marked contrast, Richard II is rich in poetry and ideas. Through John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, Shakespeare provides a poetry of England as a Christian kingdom, this "another Eden", this "blessed conspiracy", but watered with the blood and tears of civil war. The king is “the deputy anointed by the Lord”, and the play is symbolic, sacramental, symphonic. It opens with a chivalrous mutual challenge (which Richard [p. 114] cancels by exiling the combatants) and continues with formal and ceremonial verse most of the time. The keynote is Gaunt's dying vision of England as it should be, and as it currently is, leased to Richard's tax cronies. Honorable Lancaster's feudal song ends with his death; Richard cleverly announces that 'we seize in our hands, / Your plate, your goods, your money and your lands'. The disinheritance of Lancaster's son, Henry Bolingbroke, overthrows the principle of succession by which the king retains his throne, and gives the returning Bolingbroke the perfect slogan for his march across England: "I come to Lancaster". The action is symbolic and symmetrical. Richard weeps to be in his kingdom once more, but sits down to hear sad tales of the deaths of kings; the sun rises, but Richard, whose symbol is the sun, falls: 'down, down I come, like a shining phaeton, / Seeking control of unruly jades'. He has a series of arias lamenting his downfall, employing the holy language that at Gaunt's bedside made him yawn. At Flint Castle, the crossing point, Richard has to "go down" to the wannabe Bolingbroke. There follows the symbolic garden scene and the arranged self-deposition in Westminster Hall so that Henry can "proceed without suspicion" - a scene cut from the Bedroom as too dangerous. Henry says that in the name of God he ascends the royal throne. The Bishop of Carlisle points out that he lacks God's blessing, which Henry acknowledges. He deals with quarreling nobles firmly, unlike the petulant Richard of Act I. Henry ends the play with a promise to go as a pilgrim to Jerusalem to atone for the guilt of Richard's murder. The Lord's anointed is succeeded by an efficient pragmatist. Richard invoked divine sanctions and did nothing; the usurper uses the language of rights and does not err. The end justified the means, but the "silent king" cannot now invoke the old sanctions; and he finds he can't sleep. Richard II is the basis for the three-play sequence headed by Henry V. It is also a tragedy, but Richard is no noble tragic hero; he compares his passion to that of Christ, but we pity him less than he pities himself. Shakespeare, however, did not observe the tragic norms that Renaissance theorists derived from Aristotle. The story is raw and messy and needs to be prepared and molded to fit the molds of comedy and tragedy. Furthermore, as Sidney noted, history shows that the wicked prosper, even though Shakespeare's chronicle sources find in it a providential sense of design. The purpose of the tetralogy is revealed by the dying speech of Henry IV, who tells his son that "the soil of conquest [the guilt of usurpation] / Go with me to the land", and that his son's succession is "plain and clear ". right'. For Henry V was not just the heroic victor of Agincourt: he paved the way for the Tudors. He married Kate from France, brought her to England and died, when Kate married Owen Tudor, who was the grandfather of Henry VII, Elizabeth's grandfather.

Henry IV Shakespeare laid the foundation for the tetralogy. Richard II draws on and transcends seven different sources; he is modeled on Edward II, but makes Marlowe look flat. Shakespeare's resourcefulness shows in 1 and 2 Henry IV and Henry V, very different plays from Richard II. They mix verse and prose, high and low, court and tavern, royal camp and rebel camp in a multifaceted depiction of English life. Falstaff's opening words, "Now, Hal, what time is it, lad?" build character as decisively as Henry's opening line, "As shaken as we are, as weak with care." Falstaff's hangover, his familiarity with his prince, and his neglect of time are both theme and character. Shakespeare turns to profit from Hal's legendary savage problem [p. 115] youth, creating a gloriously attractive drinking companion in Falstaff. Prince Hal studies the common people he will have to lead in the war; he learns his manners and speech, and the part he will have to play. The rebellious Hotspur despises "the king of smiles" and his "popularity" efforts. But acting has now become part of political life: Henry sends to the battlefield at Shrewsbury men dressed like him, duplicate kings whom Douglas slays. These multiplied images admit that the monarchy has lost its sacredness, that royalty is a role, with Hal as a substitute. Hal transforms into Prince Henry at Shrewsbury, kills the Honorable Hotspur and, like a fairytale, lets Falstaff take the credit. Shakespeare worked a trick by which Hal played the tone and was not corrupted. In 2 Henry IV we see less of Hal and less of the festive, comic side of undisciplined folk life, more of his illness and low tricks. We also see cheating and suspicion in high places. Prince John cheats; King Henry wrongly accuses Prince Henry of wanting him dead so he can have the crown. In his last interview, he advises his son to "occupy giddy minds / With foreign quarrels": Agincourt is a diversion! Eastcheap bandits will serve in Henry V as a foil to the noble king. In a rich invention,

Judge Shallow reminisces in his Gloucestershire orchard with Falstaff about his mischievous youth and how his days of whoring and drinking will return when Falstaff is Lord Chief Justice. When Falstaff accosts the new king as he comes from his coronation, he is to be banished; but the loveliest of vices was riding again in The Merry Wives of Windsor. Henrique V Henrique V begins by telling us that it is a chronicle transformed into a play, set “in this wooden O” (the Globe), with prologues and chorus and reference to “history”. It is a contest with heroic pictures. Henry coolly plays his legendary role for all it's worth, but on the night before Agincourt we see him pray and suffer and, disguised as a common soldier, take the king's part in a discussion with other soldiers. We see him dealing with nobles, traitors, enemies, soldiers, captains, the French court, the princess. But he never meets the people of Eastcheap, and Falstaff dies offstage. Throughout Henry V, we see the sordid side of the tapestry of history alternating with the public side. Immediately before Kate's wooing from France, we hear that Doll Tearsheet is dead and that Bardolph will be running a brothel. Harfleur's daughters are threatened with rape, so that the city relents; Kate learns English so she can give in. Henry's clemency is followed by his furious slaughter of the prisoners and a joke about Alexander "the Pig". The play is a carefully crafted study of how to be king and what it costs; but for all his courage and splendid words Henry deserves more admiration than the unmerited love which animates his hostess's account of the death of one of the "gentlemen in England now bedridden" of whom Henry speaks at Agincourt, Sir John Falstaff . Mrs. Quickly: No, he's definitely not in hell. He is in Arthur's bosom, if any man was in Arthur's bosom. A came to a better end and went away like any other Christian child. A split between twelve and one, even at the turn of the tide - for after I saw him stir the sheets, play with the flowers and smile with the tip of his finger, I knew there was only One Hand. For her nose was sharp as a pen and a babbling of green fields. "What now, Sir John?" said I. "What man! Be of good cheer.' Then he screamed, 'God, God, God', three or four times. Now I, to comfort you, order you not to think of God; I hoped there was no need to worry about such thoughts just yet. Then the mother asked me to put more clothes on her feet. I put my hand on the bed and felt them, and they were stone cold. Then I felt her knees, and so up and up, and everything was as cold as any stone. [p. 116] The sacred ideals of England and royalty, set out early in Richard II and made into theater by Richard at Flint Castle, were betrayed by him in practice. His usurping successor could not lay claim to these ideals, however just and firm his rule. England is finally led to foreign victory by a rightfully succeeding king who has shown he has studied his people and his role well. But the new relationship between England and its king is based on a providential combination of succession and success. As the Epilogue points out, Harry of Agincourt was soon succeeded, as King of France and England, by the Infant Henry VI, 'Of whose state so many had control/Who lost France and made their England bleed'. In human terms, Shakespeare's stories are at their best in Henry IV, a play that mixes Henry's brooding distrust of his wild son with Eastcheap's comic irresponsibility in producing a romantic denouement: Hal's apparent savagery is the lesson of Henry V. The father-son conflict is rehearsed comically in Part I, with Falstaff as the King, and with an almost tragic seriousness in Part II. Shakespeare's inclusion of all types and categories in his historical representation of England helped to enrich and universalize his later tragedies, notably King Lear.

Comedy Shakespeare's early plays are primarily comedy and history, more open and inclusive types of plays than tragedy. Comedy came easily to Shakespeare. Half of his dramatic output is comedic, and his earlier critics, from Jonson to Johnson, preferred his comedy. Writing on his first surviving play, Two Gentlemen of Verona, is now complete. It is a love comedy with familiar ingredients: a duke, young rivals, a father named Antonio, a daughter who dresses as a boy to follow her lover, a ring, a glove, a friar's cell, comic servants, a song (' Who is Silvia?'). The plot is strongest in The Comedy of Errors, based on a Roman comedy by Plautus (c.254-184 BC) that Shakespeare is said to have studied at school, about identical twins with the same name, Antipholus. Shakespeare is confident enough to give the twins Antipholus identical twin servants named Dromio and manage the complications. Comedy was easier to write than history: there was a repertoire at hand in Roman comedy and medieval romance, and in Lyly's humanistic wit and polish. To write a story, Shakespeare had to turn chronicle into drama, but in comedy he had a stock of proven devices on the stage - the disguise, the mistaken identity, the contrasting perspectives on the love of men and women, parents and children, masters and servants. The alternation of perspective, contrast and variety became a structural principle in all of his pieces. Compared to Two Gentlemen, Henry VI's plays are elementary, although Richard III, like The Shrew, is a strong theatrical piece. But nothing in the early stories prepares us for the brilliance of Love's Labour's Lost and the maturity of A Midsummer Night's Dream, pieces without direct plot sources. In Love's Labor's Lost, the King of Navarre and three friends vow to renounce the company of women for three years while they seek wisdom in a "small academy". The Princess of France and three of her ladies arrive; men fall in love but dare not tell each other; the ladies dress up and make the men look like fools. Their decision to break their vows and court the ladies is rationalized by the witty Biron: From the eyes of women this doctrine I derive. They still glow with certain Promethean fire. It's the books, the arts, the academies That show, contain and feed the whole world.

[p. 117] In an Interlude of the Worthy Nine, enacted by characters from a comic subplot, news arrives of the death of the princess's father. The comedy ends not with four weddings, but with a funeral and a year of mourning. The men's efforts to continue courting are rebuffed; Biron is reminded by his lady Rosaline that 'The prosperity of a joke is in the ear/He who hears it, never in the tongue/The one who makes it'. at a hospital'. The play ends with the cuckoo's spring call, answered by the owl's winter call. This "smug comedy" is driven by a play of language and ideas so lively that its sudden stop, the loss of love's labor in death, is a shock. After gallantry and laughter, the Messenger's black clothes tell the princess his news before he speaks. Making action comments on words like that at the climax shows mastery of the theatre. Death interrupts the interlude, and the farewell of the laborers of love is followed by the cuckoo and the owl. Rosaline is the first quintessentially Shakespearean heroine - a woman of more solid understanding than the man who swears his love for her. Love is madness, but necessary madness; for foolish mistakes are the only way to learn. Biron: 'Let us once lose our oaths to find each other/Or else lose ourselves to keep our oaths.'

A Midsummer Night's Dream Shakespeare's wit and complexity go even further in A Midsummer Night's Dream, a play involving four weddings and "a rare sight." Duke Theseus of Athens is to marry the Amazon queen, Hippolyta; two young Athenian couples (after much confusion in a wood near Athens) also get married. The King and Queen of the Fairies, Oberon and Titania, are passionately fighting over an Indian boy; Oberon makes Titania fall in love with Bottom, a weaver who is rehearsing (in another part of the woods) a play for the Duke's wedding. The source for the Athenian part of the story is Chaucer's The Knight's Tale; Shakespeare adds to the triangle of young lovers a second woman, in love with a man who despises her. (A foursome allows for a happy ending with no loss of life.) Puck, servant to the classics Oberon and Titania, is a creature from English folklore. Bottom and his friends, hailing straight from the streets of Stratford, choose to play Pyramus and Thisbe, a love tragedy from Ovid's Metamorphoses. With great assurance, Shakespeare choreographs these disparate elements into four-tiered action: fairy king and queen, legendary hero and heroine, fashionable young lovers, and English merchants. Puck adds supernatural confusion to the effects of love and midsummer moonlight. Directed by Oberon, he places a donkey's head on Bottom and squeezes the love-inducing juice of a magical herb onto Titania's eyelid. She wakes up and loves the first creature she sees - the asinine Bottom, who she carries to her shelter. Love Juice causes operatic chaos between the four young lovers in the woods. But Jack will have Jill: Oberon makes Puck settle everything in time for the wedding. The eve of the Duke's (and the lovers') wedding is resumed with the play of Pyramus and Thisbe, lovers who, each convinced that the other is dead, commit suicide. The efforts of innocent craftsmen in tragedy are met with laughter at court, and the public always laughs at the suicide of lovers; 'very tragic joy'. It's a brilliantly inappropriate piece for a wedding. Shakespeare used a similar tragedy of mistakes to close his next play, Romeo and Juliet. If comedy is tragedy avoided, often in Shakespeare it is narrowly avoided. The passions of lovers in the woods read conventionally, but this predictability and interchangeability is intended by Shakespeare - as presented in Benjamin [p. 118] The opera from Britten's 1960 play, where the four voices sing love-hate duets, which build into a harmonious final ensemble. The fierce jealousy of fairies is expressed in sumptuously baroque poetry, while the irrationality of sexual possession is only faintly hinted at in the Titanic goddess's love for Bottom. The unimaginative Bottom says on waking: 'I had a very rare vision. I had a dream beyond the intelligence of man to say what a dream it was. Man is nothing but an idiot if he expounds that dream. Thought it was - no man can say what. I thought I was, and I thought I had - but the man is just a patched-up fool if he offers to say what I thought I had. Man's eye has not heard, man's ear has not seen, man's hand cannot taste, his tongue cannot conceive, nor his heart tell what my dream was. I'm going to ask Peter Quince to write a ballad about this dream. It should be called "Bottom's Dream", because it has no bottom. Bottom's bottomless dream is the theme of the play: love, moonlight and madness. Hippolyta observes: "It is strange, my Theseus, that these lovers should speak." Theseus replies: Stranger than true. Maybe I'll never believe those old fables or those fairy toys. Lovers and madmen have brains so boiling, fantasies so molding, that they grasp more than cold reason ever comprehends. The lunatic, the lover and the poet Are all compact in imagination. ... And as the imagination develops The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen turns Them into forms and gives ethereal nothingness A local habitation and a name ...

For Theseus' Athenian reason, the story of the night is incredible; for Hippolyta, it witnesses something real. HIPPOLYTA:

But all the story of the night told, And all their transfigured minds so close together, More witnesses than fancy images, And grow into something of great constancy.

They switch roles in their reactions to the Interlude. HIPPOLYTA: That's the silliest thing I ever heard. THESEUS: The best of this kind are but shadows, and the

the worst shadow actors are no worse if the imagination corrects them. HIPPOLYTA: It must be your imagination, then, and not theirs. THESEUS: If we imagine nothing worse of them than themselves, then they may pass for excellent men.

This pair of exchanges tells us a lot about Shakespearean drama. The play within the play was a device he favored: players become spectators of a play; the theater audience is both divine spectators and foolish shadows. Hippolyta, who has found truth in dreams, cannot accept the play; whereas their rational master lends his imagination to complete the inadequacy of the images. Are dreams and games the same thing? Which can we trust? [p. 119] That the whole world is a stage, and all men and women just actors, as Jaques says in As You Like It, was a common concept. A poem by Raleigh puts it clearly: What is our life? a passion play, Our joy is the music of division, Our mothers' wombs are the wearying houses, Where we are dressed for this short Comedy, Heaven is the judicious perceptive spectator, That sits and marks even those who do wrong, Our tombs that hide us from the sun that seeks, Are like curtains drawn when the play ends, So we march playfully to our last rest, Only we really die, this is no joke. Finally, in The Tempest, Prospero predicts that the stage, "the great globe itself," will dissolve. Shakespeare now produced a series of more mature comedies in which the averted tragedy comes much closer, as in The Merchant of Venice and Much Ado About Nothing. He wrote the love tragedy Romeo and Juliet and the political tragedy Julius Caesar. Hamlet was written around 1600, as was As You Like It. Twelfth Night, written in 1601, is discussed below as an example of a mature love comedy. In order of composition, there follow what critics of the late 19th century called "problem plays", Measure for Measure and All's Well That Ends Well, bittersweet love comedies, and Troilus and Cressida, a satirical version of Trojan love and Greek heroism. . While most plays address a problem, the moral conundrums these plays address are not resolved by the marriages they end with; its spirit is satirical, more disconcerting than comic. Measure for Measure addresses sexual crimes and punishments. Chastity is exemplified by the aspiring nun Isabella and the puritanical magistrate Angelo, appointed to cleanse the vices of Vienna. She begs for the life of her brother Cláudio, condemned for having impregnated the bride; the price Angelo asks is Isabella's virginity. The Duke of Vienna disguised as a friar performs a 'bed trick', in which Angelo sleeps with his fiancée Mariana, thinking of her Isabella; and a 'head-trick', in which an assassin is executed in Claudio's place. In the end, the Duke unties the knot by tying four more knots, marrying Isabella himself. Marriage is better than convent or brothel: but the theatricality of the duke's measure points to the intractability of the issues. The tragedies that follow Hamlet also deal with intractable problems: the justifiability of tyrannicide; the corruption of personal honor by ambition and power; and the fate of goodness in the world.

Twelfth Night Twelfth Night, which marks the midpoint of Shakespeare's career, is a mature love comedy with a happy ending. Shipwrecked separately on the Illyrian coast are the twins, Viola and Sebastian, each thinking the other has drowned; each ends up marrying well. As in most of Shakespeare's plays about love, the protagonist is a girl, Viola. She disguises herself as a young boy (Cesário), to avoid detection instead of chasing after a young man. Cesario (Viola) is hired by the young Duke Orsino to take his love to young Olivia. Olivia and Viola mourn a sibling. Viola falls in love with Orsino, [p. 120] however, and Olivia falls in love with Cesario. Orsino's opening words announced the theme of nostalgia: If music is the food of love, play it, Give me too much of it, which, fed up, appetite can get sick and thus die. This strain again, has had a moribund fall.

Oh, it sounded in my ear like the sweet sound That breathes on a bank of violets, Stealing and smelling. Enough, no more, not as sweet now as it was before. This piece is as much music as it is action: players dance a series of variations on love. Orsino and Olivia go overboard in love. When Orsino says that women's hearts lack restraint, Viola disagrees: My father had a daughter loved a man How could it be, perhaps, if I were a woman, I should your lordship. ORSINO: And what is her story? VIOLA: A white one, my lord. She never told her love... Viola's love is discreet, patient, non-possessive, reserved. Beneath the plaintive strings is a scherzo of brass instruments led by Sir Toby Belch, who stays up late drinking his niece Olivia's cakes and beer and belting out high catches, much to Malvolio's chagrin. Olivia's butler, as his name suggests, is "sick with self love". He is deceived by a forged letter written by another servant, Maria, into thinking that his mistress wants him to woo her. In a very funny scene, Malvolio's statements convince Olivia that he is crazy. Olivia herself is tricked into marrying Viola's lost twin, Sebastian. Viola reveals herself to her restored Sebastian. Maria marries the unworthy Toby, and Viola her wonderful Orsino. Humiliated Malvolio is single; as is the clown Feste, who sings the songs, 'O my Lady, where are you wandering?', 'Come away, come death' and 'When I was a little boy'. Feste is one of Shakespeare's best fools. Henry VIII and James I kept licensed fools; the Popes kept one until the 18th century. Shakespeare developed the jester into a choric figure. Fools of him joke and sing, and mock his superiors—as do the Lord Chamberlain's men. Feste's songs are sad, and there is a balance in the play between the things that make romance and fairytale - discoveries, recognition, the promise of love fulfilled, the restoration of a lost twin - and the sense of a world ruled by time. in which these desired things do not happen. Viola and Sebastian are identical brother and sister; Shakespeare was the father of these twins, of whom the boy died, aged 11. Sexual possessiveness is a theme of A Midsummer Night's Dream and a lot of noise. It becomes more insistent in the "trouble plays" and Hamlet, King Lear and Antony and Cleopatra, and is the theme of Othello and half of The Winter's Tale. Among the many variations of love explored in Twelfth Night there is no jealousy; it is Shakespeare's last innocent play.

The poems What Shakespeare wrote before he was 28 do not survive. His best non-dramatic poems are found in the volume entitled Shake-speares Sonnets, published in 1609. From him [p. 121] sonnets began in 1593-4, the year he also published Venus and Adonis and The Abduction of Lucrezia, long verse narratives of sexual passion, inspired by Ovid. In a tale adapted from the Metamorphoses, Venus pursues the reluctant youth Adonis, who dies; sexual desire and love are exemplified and discussed. In a tragic episode in early Roman history, Tarquin rapes the noble matron Lucretia, who commits suicide. Shakespeare finds it difficult to take either story too seriously: the playful erotic comedy succeeds more in Marlowe's Hero and Leander than in Venus and Adonis. In Shakespeare's poems, rhetoric draws attention to itself to the detriment of narrative. Resistance to sexual passion is comic in Adonis, admirable in Lucrezia, but the poems' achievement lies less in the narrative than in the dramatic depiction of Tarquin's state of mind as he approaches his crime. 'Tarquin's sweeping steps' are later applied to Macbeth. The sonnet (see page 82) carried medieval doctrines of love into modern European poetry; the first sonnet in English is found in Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde, and sonnets appear in Shakespeare's early plays as symbols of love. The playwright followed the example of other sonnets by composing his love sonnets in sequence. He had allowed some of them to circulate "among his private friends" before 1598. Their apparently unauthorized publication in 1609 may not have been against his will. Secrecy was part of the sonnet's convention, and much in this unconventional sequence is not transparent; still projects an intelligible story. There are 126 sonnets for a handsome boy, followed by 26 for a brunette. The love poems to the young lord at first implore him to have children so that his beauty does not die. The poet then states that the beauty of the lovely boy will not die as these poems will keep him alive until the end of time. Man's physical beauty, it seems, is not matched by his conduct. The poet's love is ideal and unselfish, but the recipient coolly exploits the devastating effect of his appearance and position. The poet tries to believe in the best, but his disquiet grows and erupts into disgust: "Lilies that rot smell much worse than weeds." In twelve-line sonnet 126, the poet abandons his claim that poetry will preserve youthful beauty and selfless love—against Time and death. If it is a surprise to discover that the sonnets express an ideal love for a handsome man, it would be an even greater surprise for readers of sonnets to discover that the poet's mistress is not beautiful, young, noble, chaste, or admirable. Her love for the 'sick colored woman' is sexual and obsessive. Her sexual favors make her "a bay where all men ride", but the poet's illicit relationship with her requires mutual pretensions of love. Finally, in sonnet 144, 'Two loves I have, from the epigram Short comfort and despair', the adorable boy and the dark woman unite in a sexual union that doubly sharp betrays the poet. The sequence ends in humiliated disgust and is followed by two frigid epigrams about poem. the burns inflicted by Cupid, and also a narrative stanza of 329 lines, A Lover's Complaint, which

some now think it is by Shakespeare and part of the Sonnets volume project. In it, a shepherdess complains of having been seduced and abandoned by a young man of extraordinary beauty and eloquence. This anti-idyll clarifies the Sonnets' design and theme, for the 'Lover' is the bottled seducer of 1-126, as experienced by one of his victims. The volume then has four main characters: the adorable boy, the dark woman, the poet and the ruined maid. The volume explores unsatisfied love. None of the poet's loves can be satisfied: the youth's adoration, because he is a man; woman's love, because it is lust. A lover's complaint shows the predatory nature of sexual desire, a theme of Shakespeare's non-dramatic poems. The 'Com [p. 122] complaint' completes the sequence in such a schematic way that simple biographical interpretations are impossible. None of the poet's loves has the normal purpose of sexual love, the procreation of children. Yet this unspoken orthodoxy makes sense of the insistent advice to "procreate" with which the sequence begins: "Of the most beautiful creatures we wish to increase." But there is no increase. Shakespeare's Sonnets is an intriguing volume, and at first the series seems less than the sum of its parts; but the opposite is true. The Sonnets imply a story that is both complex and unhappy. This surprises anyone familiar with the anthology pieces - the sensual appeal of love in 'I shall compare you to a summer's day' (18); the noble sentiments of 'Let me not marry true minds' (116); the thrill of 'When to Silent Sweet Thought Sessions' (30); the grandeur of 'How the Waves Roll to the Pebbly Shore' (60); the melancholy of 73: That time of year when thou canst gaze When yellow leaves or none or few hang Over those branches that shiver against the cold, Bare choirs ruined where late the sweet birds sang. The appeal of such poems must not be denied; compared to other sonnets, Shakespeare writes a more powerful line in a simpler rhyme scheme, giving a more dramatic delivery. But these exceedingly beautiful poems, taken together, are rich not only in artistry and expression but also in dramatic intelligence. His generous idealism is gradually penetrated by an understanding of the illusions of love. Sonnet 73 ends: 'This thou perceivest, which makes thy love stronger/Love that well thou must soon leave.' This commends the young man for continuing to cherish the old poet. But this courteous acknowledgment of the inequalities of age, rank, and love also recognizes that such kind attentions cannot last. The ending hides a disapproval: 'well' may be a play on the poet's name, Will. Two later sonnets are devoted entirely to 'Will' plays like Desire. Such signatures encourage us to take the 'I', the speaking writer, as Shakespeare himself; however, the detectives who identify the poet's loves and the rival poet are all in the dark. The sonnets move between the poles of autobiography and the Sidneian novel. Though Shakespeare sounds as if he's outspoken, relationships are always dramatized and threatened by rivalries that remain enigmatic. ‘Will’ names himself and himself, but does not name his loves. There is one area where dramatized voice can be personal. 'I shall compare you to a summer's day' ends: 'As long as men can breathe and eyes can see / Live this so much and it gives you life.' The claim is that this poem will live until the end of time, or as long as men read English verses aloud. Vainglory is Shakespeare's. However, the claim must be waived. The poet admits at 126 that the "lovely boy" must be translated by Nature into Time, the enemy of human love. Two Christian sonnets, 55 and 146, look beyond death and the Last Judgment, but the series is of this world. Shakespeare's sonnets may contain our best love poems, but the note is not always "the skylark at daybreak." The sequel dramatizes the misery of love in this world more than its splendours.

The tragedy Julius Caesar is based on Thomas North's 1579 version of Plutarch's Lives of Greek and Roman Nobles. It is a game of rhetorical power and unusual lucidity, albeit with a dual focus. Caesar's assassination exemplified the medieval idea of ​​tragedy: the [p. 123] fall of a great man. Dante placed the murderers Brutus and Cassius alongside Judas in the lowest circle of hell, for betraying one's lord was then the worst sin. But Brutus is the play's other hero, an honorable man who makes a tragic mistake. Reformers such as John Knox (1513-72) justified tyrannicide. But the noble Brutus, for what seems to him a good reason, commits murder, and his murder and betrayal haunt him. He gets, however, the introspective soliloquies characteristic of Shakespeare's tragic heroes. More generally characteristic of Shakespeare's dramaturgy is the dual dramatic focus on Caesar and Brutus. This duplicity, with implied comparison and transfer of sympathy, was first seen in Richard II, in many of the plays, and in the title of Antony and Cleopatra. The four great tragedies—Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth—are not strictly of definite type, except that each ends with the hero's death, just as the comedies end with the wedding. Each finds the noble protagonist in an evil predicament. Hamlet exclaims: “The time is out of place. O accursed spite!/ That I was born to mend this.' This incompatibility is one of the foundations of tragedy: Hamlet is a humanist prince in a mafia family; Othello is a warrior in a world of love and intrigue; Coriolanus is a Homeric Achilles in modern politics. In Lear's Britain, goodness must go into exile or disguise in order to survive. But Lear is partially responsible for his own tragedy, and Macbeth almost entirely: it is he who dismantles time. Shakespeare did not adhere to a model of tragedy, despite the continued popularity of A. C. Bradley's "tragic flaw" theory. In his Shakespearean Tragedy (1904), Bradley proposed that each of the tragic heroes has a flaw: ambition in Macbeth, jealousy in Othello. This misapplies Aristotle's Poetics, which did not speak of the protagonist's character, except to say that he should be noble, but not so noble that we cannot identify with him. Aristotle's penetrating

the analysis was based on action, finding that the tragedy proceeds from a tragic mistake - as when Oedipus marries his mother in ignorance - rather than a character flaw such as jealousy. Tragedies can be understood without Aristotle, even if Shakespeare was aware of Aristotle's notion that a tragedy would inspire feelings of 'pity and fear' - as is suggested by the words 'woe or wonder' in Horatio's lines at the end of Hamlet: 'The that this is what you would see;/If any doom, or wonder, cease your seeking.' Shakespeare does not exemplify Aristotle's admired singleness of focus or unity of action: Hamlet is extremely complex, and in Gloucester and His Sons King Lear plays a minor role. plot.

Hamlet Whatever ideas he had about tragedy, Shakespeare learned the genre from the tragedies he saw when he came to London, such as Thomas Kyd's revenge plays. These were influenced by the example of the Roman Seneca's "closet drama", written to be read, not performed. Thomas Nashe wrote in 1589 that 'the English Seneca read by candlelight yields many fine sentences like 'Blood is a mendgar', and so on: and if you treat him well on a frosty morning, he will give you whole Hamlets, I must say handfuls of tragic speeches.” Shakespeare's Hamlet is just as complicated, and depends on familiarity with an earlier play about Hamlet, presumably by Kyd and now lost. Horatio's final summary gives the recipe that made tragedy popular: you must hear about carnal, bloody and unnatural acts, about accidental judgments, casual killings, about deaths caused by cunning and forced causes; And in that result, the purposes confused Fallen in the heads of the inventors. [p. 124] The world of Seneca and Elizabethan and Jacobean tragedy is morally corrupt, its incident and language sensational: evil conspiracy, cunning death, madness. Hamlet has it all, and its complex plot is handled with usual dexterity. However, it is an entirely new kind of play, for in its lengthy soliloquies we are given unprecedented access to the thoughts and feelings of Hamlet, an admirable hero in a horrible world. The prince is "the expectation and rose of the just state", the ideal Renaissance prince lamented by Ophelia. The heir apparent knows the humanistic ideal of human nature: “What a work of art a man is!” But in practice, in the Danish prison, “I don't like the man”. Hamlet ponders, tests the king's guilt, deceives those who watch over him, and berates his mother, but does not act. His madness is feigned, but he is poisoned by the evil around him, mistreating Ophelia, sparing Claudius' life when he finds him praying, in case Claudius is saved from eternal punishment. (A reason not to take revenge 'too horrible to read or utter' - Johnson.) The tragedy of revenge is premised on action, and action so deferred adds to the suspense. Only when Hamlet is sent to England to be killed can he defend himself. He is relieved when challenged to a duel; once put out of his misery, he can act. The audience shares his relief. The concatenation of deaths in Hamlet's last scene also yields tragedy's strange aesthetic satisfaction: if such terrible things must be, this is how they must happen. Romeo and Juliet and Julius Caesar are based on previous playthroughs or game types. Shakespeare's later tragedies are more original. Because of its domestic focus, Othello may come closest to tragedies for modern audiences. Macbeth is the most intense, sudden, economical; Antony and Cleopatra the most expansive in language and feeling. But there is room to discuss only Shakespeare's most glaring tragedy.

King Lear King Lear is greater than other tragedies in its moral scope. It's a good and evil play, a parable with little character psychology. It all starts like a fairy tale: the old king asks his three daughters to tell which one loves him the most. His youngest, Cordelia, loves him, but she isn't prepared to outdo her sisters to gain a richer portion of the kingdom. The subplot also has a fairytale ending, in which good brother Edgar defeats bad brother Edmund in single combat. Virtue triumphs here, but not in the main plot. This ends with a brief scene introduced by the stage management: 'Enter Lear, with Cordelia in his arms.' Lear asks: Why should a dog, a horse, a mouse have life, And you without breath? You won't come no more, Never, never, never, never, never. Please undo this button. Thank you sir. Samuel Johnson (1709-84) edited Shakespeare in his early fifties. He relates that many years ago he was so shocked by Cordelia's death that 'I don't know if I ever could bear to read the last scenes of the play again' - until he had to edit it. For "Shakespeare allowed Cordelia's virtue to perish in a just cause, contrary to the natural ideas of justice, the hope of the reader, and, what is still stranger, the faith of the Chronicles." Johnson's reaction was unusual. only in its strength; Nahum Tate adapted Lear in 1681 to give it a happy ending in which Edgar marries Cordelia, and this version of the play occupied the stage well into the early 19th century. Why does Shakespeare stray from his origins and have Cordelia hanged? In this play, Shakespeare seems to have wanted to show the worst pain and the [p. 125] worst evil that can be felt and inflicted by human beings. As usual with him, this is put in terms of family. What is 'the worst' is asked by Edgar, and when Lear carries the dead Cordelia onto the stage, Kent asks 'Is this the promised end?' - a reference to Judgment Day. Evil pursues good for most of the play. Lear's sufferings when cast into the storm by his daughters Goneril and Regan drive him mad. Lear's son-in-law Cornwall plucks out the eyes of the loyal Duke of Gloucester,

sending him "to sniff his way to Dover". These eldest daughters are monsters of cruelty and lust. Edmund, the bastard son of Gloucester, destroys his brother and father. Lear's tirades on the moor, his meeting with Gloucester on the beach, and the last scene of the play are terrible to read or see. There is nothing in English to compare with the scenes of Lear the Fool and Edgar on the moor. Excerpts from Lear reach a sublimity beyond anything in secular literature. Virtue does not triumph in Lear, but vice fails miserably. Cordelia, Kent and Edgar are as good as Goneril, Regan, Edmund and Cornwall are bad. After Cordelia is hanged, Lear dies and Kent is about to follow his master. It's up to Edgar to say the last lines: To the weight of this sad time we must obey, Speak what we feel, not what we must say. The eldest gave birth to more: we young ones will never see so much, nor live so long. We feel what Edgar says, having seen the greatest suffering man can endure. However, evil lost: Edgar defeats Edmund; Goneril kills Regan and herself. Good finally prevails, at the cost of the lives of Gloucester, Lear, Cordelia and Kent. Much earlier, the Duke of Cornwall suffered a mortal wound from a loyal servant to the Duke of Gloucester - who saw this with his remaining eye. Children treated cruelly preserve the lives of their parents: Edgar helps his blind father, Cordelia her mad father. In his preface to Tess (1891), Thomas Hardy supposes that Shakespeare endorses the words of blind Gloucester: "As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods." They kill us for fun.' But Gloucester speaks these words in the presence of his wronged son Edgar, who, disguised as a beggar, takes care of his father, twice saving him from despair and suicide. He finally reveals himself to his father, where, upon hearing the true story of his son's conduct, Gloucester's heart "bursted smilingly". This chilling paradox offers the audience a clue: not grief or wonder, but grief and wonder. Earlier, the crazed and exhausted Lear was rescued, cared for, let sleep, washed, dressed in new clothes and, to the sound of music, brought back to life by his daughter. He feels unworthy and foolish and twice asks for forgiveness. When they are recaptured by their enemies and sent to prison together, Lear is delighted: 'Come, let us go away to prison:/The two of us alone will sing like birds in a cage:/When you ask me for blessing, I'll kneel/ And I will ask you for forgiveness.” He adds: “Upon such sacrifices, my Cordelia,/The gods themselves throw incense.” Edgar had told the defeated Edmund, "Let's exchange charity." Johnson observes: "Our author negligently gives his heathens the sentiments and practices of Christianity." Edmund regrets it – too late to save Cordelia. Lear thanks a man for undoing a button and calls him Sir. The play is a struggle between good and evil - more a play than a treatise, but in which despair is resisted. Christianity does not intend that goodness be rewarded in this world. Johnson says that Cordelia's virtue perishes in a just cause: it would [p. 126] ​​it would be truer to say that Cordelia perishes, but that her virtue does not. This is where Shakespeare leaves the dying argument between this world and the next. At this point, it is useful to analyze Lear's penultimate scene, a glimpse of Shakespeare in action. Before the battle between the army of Cordelia and Lear, on the one hand, and that of Cornwall, Goneril and Regan, on the other, Edgar asks his father, Gloucester, to wait for him. ACT V, SCENE 2: Internal alarm. Enter with drums and colors Lear, Cordelia and soldiers on stage; To go out. Enter Edgar, disguised as a peasant, leading the blind Duke of Gloucester. EDGAR: Here, father, take the shade of this tree For your good host; pray that the right can prosper. If I ever come back to you, I'll bring you comfort. GLOUCESTER: Grace go with you, sir. Exit Edgar Alarum and go back inside. Enter Edgar EDGAR: Out, old man. Give me your hand. Absent. King Lear lost, he and his daughter ta'en. 5 are taken GLOC: No more, sir. A man can rot even here. EDGAR: What, bad thoughts again? Men must endure his departure as well as his coming hither. Maturity is everything. Let's go. GLOC: And that's also true. 10 Exit Edgar Leading Gloucester Edgar's farewell in line 3 means he will do or die. However, blind Gloucester's prayers, if any, are not answered; Edgar brings him no comfort. Gloucester wishes to stay; he doesn't care if he's captured, like Lear. But Edgar won't let his father despair; he reminds him that men must be ready to die, not choose the moment of their death. The weight of the scene is given in lines 5 and 10. But the tree adds a lot: the tree, linked to the words 'rot' and 'ripening', adds to the goodness of lines 1-4 and the wisdom of lines 8-9 to something. conscientiously Christian. The tree helps Edgar remind us that men, like fruit, do not choose to enter the world; and that men should not choose to fall and rot, but be ready for the death which God sends. With a tree and a few simple words - and no mention of trees in Eden or Calvary - a lot can be done in ten lines.

Shakespeare did not go deeper into tragedy than King Lear. Macbeth, Antony and Coriolanus are later, not darker. Though Macbeth's vivid soliloquies bring us so keenly to mind, his malice is far more serious than Lear's arrogance, and the poetic justice refused at Lear's end is inevitable in Macbeth.

Romances Shakespeare ended his career with romance and tragicomedy. Pieces by him do not express his views, but his choice of subject indicates changing interests. In his last plays, he focuses on the father-daughter relationship. The strong and often subversive role played by sexual attraction in Shakespeare's writing, starting with Hamlet, takes a different turn after Antony. In the Sonnets, Measure for Measure, Troilus, Hamlet, Othello and Lear, the power of sexual passion to destroy other ties is shown. Hamlet's attacks on women's honor show that his mind has been tainted. In his madness Lear reasons that, since his sons had persecuted him, there must be [p. 127] no more children, no more procreation. When Macbeth hesitates to kill Duncan, his wife taunts him with a lack of manhood. Iago tests Othello's male honor with tales of Desdemona's adultery. Antonio weighs honor and sexual love in a more tragicomic balance. The children's relationship with the protagonist is crucial only in Lear and Macbeth, but it will become central. In Lear, Edmund's sexual effect on Goneril and Regan is monstrous, while Cordelia's merciful care for her father is exemplary, pure, holy. It revives him, brings him, as he says, back out of the grave. The moral resurrection of a father through a daughter better than he deserves is the theme of four of the last five plays Shakespeare wrote before he retired to Stratford: Pericles, Cymbeline, The Winter's Tale and The Tempest. Sexual jealousy is a major theme only in The Winter's Tale, where Leontes' jealous suspicion of his wife's fidelity is (unlike the jealousy of previous plays) without any excuse. Leontes asks Hermione to persuade his old friend to stay, then misinterprets one of their exchanges. In a fit of jealousy, he destroys his family. The gods declare him deceived; he does penance for many years; then he is miraculously restored. Women act as angels and ministers of grace. Their names are clearly symbolic: Cordelia, Marina, Innogen, Perdita, Miranda. The generations were changing: in 1607, Shakespeare's first daughter, Susanna, married a Stratford doctor and produced his first granddaughter, Elizabeth. Her mother Mary died in 1609. If The Winter's Tale is the richest of these plays, The Tempest is the most perfect. All four James I James Stuarts are improbable in plot and unrealistic in manner. They are theatrical fairy tales, like the interior of James VI of Scotland, masks in the court of James I, full of special effects, songs and dances. In each, tragedy is succeeded by Elizabeth I eventually averted by providential or divine intervention: father and daughter are reunited in 1603 as James I of the pattern of rescue, healing, restoration and forgiveness. The pattern is that of medieval England. In 1625 he novels that contribute to plots: stories where deep human desires come true. The lost are succeeded by their found, mistakes can be righted, death is not separation, families are brought together in love. The happy endings of son Charles I. Stuart are providential in the Christian-humanist sense: they come by way of grace-ruled England, embodied and embodied as forgiveness and loving-kindness. The plan of action is natural, human and disconnected, until 1714. familiar, but with explicitly supernatural interventions, pagan in name but with a Christian meaning. While staunchly virtuous characters like Kent, Edgar or Paulina are needed, the transformative effect of the recovered daughters and Hermione comes more as a grace than merit on the father's part. The enduring Christianity of these plays is not allegorical or moral, but sacramental and providential.

The Tempest The three predecessors to The Tempest begin with tragedy and end in comedy: the father is finally restored to and by the daughter. But in this play the tragic question is already in the past. Twelve years have passed since Duke Prospero was overthrown and placed on a rotten boat with his three-year-old daughter. Her presence saved him: 'A cherub / You were, who preserved me'. Divine Providence takes them to a deserted island, and The Tempest tackles the central question of Christian humanism: the extent to which education and upbringing can improve nature. The play is original in its fable and observes the units of time and place. Prospero educated his daughter, but failed to educate an earth goblin he encountered on the island, Caliban, "a demon ... into whose nature education will never settle". Caliban tried to rape Miranda. Prospero uses his magic to raise the storm and bring to the island those who brought him down: his brother Antonio and Alonso King of [p. 128] Naples; with Alonso's brother Sebastian and son Ferdinand. He uses the spirit Ariel to deceive and test these castaway nobles: Ferdinand proves himself worthy of Miranda's hand; Alonso regrets his crime; but Antonio and Sebastian do not wish to reform. They are like Spenser's Gryll, who prefers to remain a pig: 'Let Gryll be Gryll and have your pig's mind.' They joke about how much money they could make by parading Caliban as a freak. At the end of the play, Caliban (who has also been tested and failed) resolves (unlike the noble swine) 'to be wise in the future/And seek grace'. the marriage of Ferdinand and Miranda, “And thence retire to my Milan, where/Every third thought shall be my tomb.” The Tempest appears first in the Folio, with more performances than any other play; it was taken as a will, as its author then retired to Stratford. (The last surviving play in which he had an important hand, Henry VIII, was written from retirement.) Prospero is unprecedented. The Duke in Measure for Measure plays Providence in disguise, but Prospero is a magician who openly creates and directs the action. It's hard not to compare him to his creator, the actor-businessman-author who often compared the world to a stage. After the mask of Hymen (with Iris, Ceres and Juno) that Prospero puts on for the benefit of Ferdinand and Miranda, Prospero says:

Our parties are now over. These actors of ours, as I foretold you, were all spirits, and they are melted in the air, in the air; And like the groundless fabric of this vision, The cloud-shrouded towers, the dazzling palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all that it bequeathed, shall dissolve; And, as this insubstantial parade faded away, Don't leave a shelf behind. We are so stuffed What dreams are made of, and our little life Is surrounded by sleep. We should see a reference in the 'big globe itself' to the Globe theatre. Prospero later abjures his 'raw magic' and drowns his book. Gonzalo then invokes a blessing on the young couple, using a theatrical metaphor: 'Look down, you gods,/And upon this couple throw a blessed crown,/For it is you who charted the path/ That brought us here.' Directors still use chalk to 'block' on the stage boards the movements the actors must make. If the world is a stage, the author is a god who makes the Providence of the plot. The Tempest and A Midsummer Night's Dream are pieces that rely heavily on the powers of language to create images and use the transformative power of music. The earthly speech in which Caliban describes the island, though based on Golding's version of Ovid's Metamorphoses, is an original invention. Caliban's aerial counterpart, Ariel, is, like Puck, a spirit that sings and operates the transformations commanded by its master. At the end of the play he is released, and Prospero's last words to the audience ask to be released.

Conclusion Shakespeare's Conquest Shakespeare had extraordinary gifts and was lucky to find the perfect opening for them in the theater. What he achieved still looks wonderful. Like Mozart, he found [p. 129] easy composition, but not repeated. He preferred to transform existing plays and stories, inventing when he needed to. He perfected the new genre of the history play and developed new forms of romance and sex comedy. Every game is different; this is especially true of his tragedies. To read Shakespeare's plays is to encounter an unprecedented range and variety of situations and behaviors and to improve understanding of human surfaces and depths. The Doctor. Johnson declared in his preface that, by reading Shakespeare, a "hermit could estimate the transactions of the world". Since Johnson's time, the novel has added detail and breadth to our idea of ​​world transactions. But the novel also increased the length, and unless Johnson's hermit had the patience of an accountant he would lose the concentrated force of the drama and the play and metaphor of Shakespeare's language.

Keats' supposed point of view was to praise Shakespeare's "negative capacity", his non-partisan and non-ideological capacity. Shakespeare has been claimed as a defender of the most diverse points of view, political and social, and the lines of actors cited in evidence. But a play does not have a point of view - it is not a treatise, not an argument, not a debate, but a play: a complication of the initial situation. The playwright imagines and gives words to the participants; ventriloquism is one of his skills. Shakespeare lived in controversial times and set only one play, The Merry Wives of Windsor, in his own England. Some, since Keats, thought they knew Shakespeare's point of view; before, he was suspected of not having one. 'He is so much more careful to please than to instruct, that he seems to write without any moral purpose' (Johnson: Preface to Shakespeare). At the end of Evelyn Waugh's A Handful of Dust (1934), the hero is forced to read the complete works of Dickens aloud to a madman in the jungle; after finishing, he must start again. Rereading Shakespeare would be a minor penance. Thanks to him we can better understand how we live and think. We also share his linguistic omnipotence; language was to him what Ariel was to Prospero - he could do anything with her.

Ben Jonson Ben Jonson (1572-1632), eighteen years younger than Shakespeare, knew him well; they acted in each other's plays. As a playwright, poet, critic and man of letters, Jonson dominated his generation. He was a great poet and a great playwright. Jonson and Marlowe belong to Shakespeare; other Jacobins appear in the next chapter. Jonson wrote that Shakespeare was the greatest of writers and that he "loved man, this side of idolatry"; he also mentioned his 'little Latin and less Greek' and his carelessness. Ben Jonson studied at Westminster School with the antiquarian William Camden (1551-1623), author of Brittania (1587). He then worked with his stepfather, a stonemason, and served as a soldier in the Low Countries, killing an enemy champion in single combat. In 1598 he killed a colleague in self-defense. Converted in prison, he was 'twelve papist years'. He played Hieronimo in the Spanish Tragedy of Kyd in 1601. Asked about the Gunpowder Plot in 1605, in 1606 he (and his wife) were accused of refusal. After the publication of his Folio Works in 1616, James I gave him a pension. We come to know Jonson through his moral satire, criticism, social verse, and self-portraits. He tells us of 'my mountain belly and my rocky face'; and that he weighed nearly twenty stone (170 kilograms). In 1618-19

[p. 130] he walked to Scotland to win a wager; their conversation at the table was recorded by their host, Drummond of Hawthornden. He wrote plays, verse and court masks and died in 1637. Jonson's education gave him a classical idea of ​​literature, valuing sanity, conciseness and integrity. He regarded the old masters as 'guides, not commanders', which, as Oscar Wilde observed, 'made the poets of Greece and Rome terribly modern'. But these poets are not known now as they were to Wilde; and the terrible modernity is not obvious in Jonson's gloomy Sejanus (1603) and Catilina (1611). These Roman tragedies are less lively than Shakespeare's; the toga hides the actuality of his political satire. Satire is also the motif of Jonson's comedy: Every Man in His Humor (1598) is set in Florence (Shakespeare is listed in the cast) and Volpone (1605) in Venice; but London is the setting for Epicœne, or the Silent Woman (1609), The Alchemist (1610), Bartholomew's Fair (1614), and other plays. Jonson's ridicule of the deformations of contemporary life is fierce but ridiculous: although he maintained that comedy does not derive from laughter, we laugh more, and harder, at his comedies than at Shakespeare's. Jonson has the renaissance idea that comedy takes us out of serious addictions and madness. 'Comedy is an imitation of the common mistakes of our life, which he represents in the most ridiculous and contemptuous way that can be, so that it is impossible that any observer can be content to be one of them.' - Sydney. The characters in Jonson's comedy are caricatures governed by a single idea. In physiology, a "mood" was a bodily fluid, the excess of which unbalanced the temperament, making it phlegmatic, bilious, sanguine, melancholic, choleric, and so on. Jonson extended this purgative approach to overcoming monomanic passions and fixations. (This tradition of 'humor' goes from Chaucer to Dickens to Henry Fielding and the caricaturist Hogarth in the 18th century. Dickens enjoyed playing Bobadil in Every Man in his Humor.) In Jonson's grotesque world, avarice is the chief vice, ahead of pride, lust, and gluttony; madness is everywhere. Jonson's London bubbles up more anarchically in Bartholomew Fair, the action centered in the stall of the pigwoman, Ursula, where pork and human flesh are for sale and hypocrisy is unmasked. Although he later wrote more for the Court than the public, Jonson mocks the citizen no more than the courtier. His ideal remained integrity, artistic, intellectual and moral; he hated fraud, personal, moral or social. Jonson has given his Abundant Spirits a classic focus. Epicœne has a brilliantly simple plot. Volpone and The Alchemist share a simple foundation in the trust tricks played by two fraudsters in a series of greedy seagulls. The cheating machine spins faster and faster until the cheaters outrun each other and the bubble bursts. Jonson makes the theme of Marlowe's aspiration comic rather than tragic.

The Alchemist In The Alchemist, Sir Epicure Mammon plans the sexual conquests he will enjoy after taking the elixir of youth: 'I'll have all my beds blown up, not filled; and the swollen, unctuous nipples Of a fat pregnant sow, freshly cut, Dressed in a rich, pungent sauce; For this I will say to my cook: 'There is gold; Go ahead and be a knight.' [p. 131] The alchemist's stone, supposed to turn base metal into gold, attracts London's hangers-on: Epicurean merchants, but also brothers like Tribulation Wholesome. The Tribulation deacon, Ananias, has a quote - 'You look like the Antichrist with that obscene hat!' — which hits the note of crazed disproportion that charmed Jonson. He is the first critic of Puritan capitalism, but his critique of human nature, while "terribly modern", is as old as the view of Rome adopted by the first-century poet Martial.

Volpone Volpone is darker than The Alchemist, but the wealthy Volpone (Italian for 'old fox') is Sir Epicure's cousin. It starts with 'Good morning to the day; and next, my gold!/Open the shrine, that I may see my saint.' He and his servant Mosca (Fly) deceive a series of fortune hunters, Voltore, Corbaccio and Corvino: each one gives him a gift in the hope of becoming his heir. Corvino (Raven) is convinced that the bedridden Volpone is so deaf that he must be at death's door: Mosca screams in Volpone's ear that his "droopy cheeks ... look like frozen tea towels, standing on end". , but fails to match Mosca's cockney insults. Mosca suggests that Corvino invite Volpone to make out with his young wife Celia. Before seizing Corvinus' bounty, Volpone sings a joyous song, adapted from Catullus: 'Come, my Celia, let us provide/While we can, the sports of love./Can we not deceive the eyes/Of some poor domestic spies? His rape is thwarted, but his fantastic antics only cease when, to enjoy the defeat of the birds of prey, he makes Mosca his heir and pretends to die. Mosca tries to betray Volpone and so, in a courtroom climax, Volpone has to prove that he is alive. Put in irons until he's as sick as he pretends to be, he comes out with, 'That's called the humiliation of a fox.' This savage moral cartoon about avarice is also wonderfully amusing; Volpone is allowed to speak the witty epilogue.

Leitura adicional Bate, J. The Genius of Shakespeare (Londres: Picador, 1997). Gurr, A. The Shakespearean Stage 1574-1642, 3ª ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992). Wells, S. (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare Studies (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986).

[p. 132

5. Stuart Literature: Up to 1700 Overview The 17th century is split in two by the outbreak of the Civil War in 1642 and the temporary overthrow of the monarchy. With the return of Charles II as king in 1660, new models of poetry and drama came from France, where the court was in exile. In the reign of James I, high ideals were combined with bold intelligence and bold language, but mid-century religious and political extremism broke this combination. Restoration prose, verse, and theatrical comedy were marked by worldly skepticism and, in Rochester, a cynical wit worlds away from Bunyan's evangelicalism. When Milton's Paradise Lost was released in 1667, its grandeur spoke of a heroic world gone. Dryden's representative career moves from Donne's "metaphysical" poetry to a new "Augustian" consensus.

The Stuart Century The Stuart century was concerned with succession. James VI of Scotland ruled England as James I from 1603 to 1625. James' son Charles I ruled until the outbreak of civil war in 1642. The monarchy was restored in 1660 and Charles II ruled until 1685, followed by his brother , James II. In 1688, James fled before his invading son-in-law, the Dutchman who became William III. William and Mary were succeeded by Mary's sister Anne (1702-14). There was therefore an eighteen-year gap between reigns, 1642-60, or Interregnum, when first Parliament and then Oliver Cromwell ruled. This was broken up by the execution of Charles I in 1649. The regicide was a new departure in European history. He 'cast the ancient realm/Into another mould', as Andrew Marvell put it in his Horatian Ode. When England became a kingdom again, its literature also fell into other molds. The execution of Charles I also divided the career of poet John Milton. In 1644 he had written: "I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and breathless, that flees the race in which that immortal crown must be contested, not without dust and heat." 'That garland' is the heavenly prize of virtue in the race of life. Milton won poetic laurels in Italy for the "dust and heat" of prose controversy. He

Contents The Stuart Century Drama to 1642 Comedy Tragedy John Donne Prose to 1642 Sir Francis Bacon Lancelot Andrewes Robert Burton Sir Thomas Browne Poetry for Milton Ben Jonson Metaphysical Poets Devotional Poets Gentleman Poets John Milton Paradise Lost The Restoration The Earl of Rochester John Bunyan Samuel Pepys The Theaters Restoration Comedy John Dryden Satire Prose John Locke Women Writers William Congreve Further Reading

[p. 133]

Detail from 'View of London', engraved by Claes Jan Visscher, 1616. The view is from above the South Bank, looking north across the Thames (Thamesis) to Old St Paul's. Donne was then Dean of the cathedral and Milton a new pupil at St Paul's School. In the foreground (on the right) is the Globe Theater.

became Latin secretary to the Council of State, losing his sight in 1652 while writing the Council's defense of his regicide. Milton's secretaries were to include Marvell and John Dryden. In the second edition of Paradise Lost (1674), Milton defended his blank verse against the "bondage of rhyme". However, in this same year, the last of his life, he gave Dryden permission to turn it into rhyme - for an opera. Times changed, and for Milton times fallen. As a boy at St Paul's School, Milton could have heard his Dean, John Donne, preach in the cathedral. Donne was writing before 1600, the year of Twelfth Night. John Dryden died in 1700, the year of The Way of the World by William Congreve. So Donne, Milton and Dryden together take us from 1600 to 1700. The prose of these poets shows the differences of their times: Donne's sermons, Milton's polemics, Dryden's literary criticism. Donne's tomb survived the fire of London in 1666 and stands in the frescoed spaces of Christopher Wren's new St Paul's Cathedral in London as a reminder of more dramatic days (see page 138). 'The Stuart century' is a convenient historical label, pasting the name of a twice interrupted dynasty onto a round number. (The first century to call itself a century was the 19th century.) Literary history also needs less neat period names: the English Renaissance stretches from Mores Utopia in 1517 to Milton's last works in 1671. The Execution of Charles I moved to England. After Charles and Cromwell, any regime, monarchical or republican, that believed itself to be divinely ordained was unreliable. The regicide made it clear that "ancient rights . . . stand or break, / As men are strong or weak" (Marvell: Horatian Ode). After 1660, Christianity is less [p. 134] explicit in polite writing. Charles II hid his Catholicism. When his brother James II tried to restore an absolute monarchy, it was his Catholic appointments that were unacceptable.

Jacobean Do reign of James I (Lat. Jacobus), 1603-25.

Drama until 1642 Marlowe, Shakespeare and Jonson are the giants of English Renaissance drama. The main Jacobean plays are listed below. Public theaters also flourished under Charles I, until Parliament closed them in 1642. Plays were not always printed and the authors are sometimes unknown. Some were prolific: Thomas Heywood (?1570-1632) claimed to have written two hundred plays and Philip Massinger (1583-1649) fifty-five. Thomas Dekker, Sir Francis Beaumont, John Fletcher and John Ford also wrote copiously.

Comedy The comedy of this period continued into the comedy of manners of the eighteenth century. The Merry Wives of Windsor (1597) is Shakespeare's only "citizen comedy", a genre whose archetype is Dekker's The Shoemaker's Holiday (1599). This one celebrates a jolly cobbler Mayor of London, without satire and with some feeling. Crass jokes defuse serious expectations; Dekker's hero tells his wife that one of his maids "has a particular defect: she farts in her sleep." These jokes are found in Dekker's source, Thomas Deloney's stories in The Gentle Craft (1597). This 'citizen' tradition nourishes not only eighteenth-century popular comedy, but also Dickens and modern situation comedy; it relies on common characters and laughable situations. A Chaste Maid in Cheapside (1611, revived in the reconstructed Globe in 1997) by Thomas Middleton (1580-1627) is more satirical, with Yellowhammer, a goldsmith, and Sir Walter Whorehound, a rakish gentleman. Beaumont's highly theatrical Knight of the Burning Pistle pokes fun at the simplicity of the theater's prosperous grocers, who send their apprentice onto the stage to be as good a knight as any they see there. Jonson despised the city's naive comedy and grew disenchanted with the court mask. Ups and downs attended the Globe, but the drama's popularity allowed theater audiences to part ways. Masque had elegant verses, music, gods and goddesses (played by the royal family, though they didn't speak), and an allegory that upheld the hierarchy. These programs paid well; the only performance of Coelum Britannicum (1634) by Thomas Carew cost £12,000. But the money went into design: sets, costumes, shows; Jonson took offense in the name of Poetry. The designer was the first British neoclassical architect, Inigo Jones (1573-1652). He built the Banqueting Hall in Whitehall, from which Charles left for his execution. Jonson's masks had crystalline lyrics and high doctrine, and were imitated by Milton. But the mask was the ancestor of modern opera and ballet, a spectacle that does not always require intelligent attention.

Tragedy The Jacobean tragedy continued in the vein of Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy of an earlier generation. The Best of John Marston (?1575-1634), Cyril Tourneur (?1575-1626), John Webster (æ.1578-c.1632) and Thomas Middleton (c.1580-1627) is sometimes read alongside Shakespeare's tragedies. Typically, the avenger, a man of unrecognized talent, is hired to avenge a private wrong involving murder and sexual honor. Wicked crimes are horribly punished; virtue, her oppressors, and the avenger die. Like Mafia movies, the revenge play has a recipe: catch an incestuous Cardinal, [p. 135] Stuart playwrights until 1642 With better known plays and approximate date of first performance. George Chapman (?1559-1634), Bussy D'Ambois (1607) Thomas Dekker (?1570-1632), The Shoemaker's Holiday (1599) Thomas Heywood (?1574-1641), A Woman Killed with Kindness (1603) John Marston (?1575-1634), The Malcontent (1604) Cyril Tourneur (?1575-1626), The Atheist's Tragedy (1611) John Webster (c.1578-c.1632), The White Devil (1609), The Duchess of Malfi (1612-13)

John Fletcher (1579-1625) with Shakespeare, Henry VIII (1613) and Two Noble Kinsmen (1613-14); several plays with Beaumont Thomas Middleton (1580-1627), (?) The Revenger's Tragedy (1607), The Changeling (1622, with Rowley), A Chaste Maid in Cheapside and A Game at Chess (1624), Women beware Women (1620 -7) Philip Massinger (1583-1649), The Fatal Dowry (1618), A New Way of Paying Old Debts (1625) Sir Francis Beaumont (1584-1616), The Knight of the Burning Pestle (?1607), The Tragedy Maiden (c.1610, with Fletcher) John Ford (1586-after 1639), 'Tis Pity She's A Whore (1633) a disaffected avenger, poisons the skull of the Duke's murdered mistress/his Bible/his saddle bow; boil in Mantua for two hours; add a good lady to taste. These intensely somber plays are lit by candle flames of virtue and moments of passion in language that briefly recalls Shakespeare. Deputy bubbles over the stove in a Catholic courthouse. By comparison, Hamlet, which transcends the Vengeance formula, is a large and varied play. The best of revenge tragedies is Webster's The Duchess of Malfi, with a strong heroine in his Dowager Duchess. Her secret marriage to her butler causes her brothers, a duke and a cardinal, to try to drive her crazy. When her ingenious cruelties fail, she calmly faces execution. The Duke, her twin brother, says after she has been strangled: 'Cover her face; my eyes dazzle; she died young.” Revenge plays are frightening, but their forty-year-old popularity suggests a fascination with human evil that demands explanation. The old ideas of human nature were shaken by the imposition of four religious regimes in four decades. If comedy is social, showing the challenge to old social values ​​of new mercantile values, tragedy is metaphysical. Theology may be relevant here: Thomas Aquinas (1225-74) considered man good but stupid, while Martin Luther (1483-1546) considered man bad but intelligent. John Calvin's (1509-64) doctrine that the majority are doomed gained ground early in James' reign. Whatever the source of the pessimism of the Jacobin tragedy, it is difficult to take it as seriously as it seems to take itself. There is wit and interest in the human motive in The Changeling of Middleton, with a subplot possibly by William Rowley. Beatrice-Joanna, an heiress, hires De Flores to kill her unwanted fiance. The killer then claims her as a reward. With revulsion, he replies: 'Push! You forget yourself!/A woman dipped in blood and speaks of modesty! ' She admits the attraction of the repulsive De Flores and succumbs to him. The "comic" subplot in Bedlam (The Bethlehem Asylum) reflects these themes. Middleton is a disciplined and versatile playwright whose secular realism can sound very modern. [p. 136]

John Donne John Donne (1572-1631) is the most outstanding of the seventeenth century poets. In the 1590s he wrote elegy and satire. The elegies are amorous and urbane, like Ovid's, but have more attack. In Elegy 16, 'On his Mistress', Donne, about to depart abroad, warns her not to frighten her mistress With the onset of midnight, crying: 'Oh, oh Nurse, O my love is dead, I owe you I have seen the White Alps depart alone; I saw him, I, Assaulted, I fight, taken, stabbed, bleed, fall and die!' This nightmare would be frightening if it didn't end so soon. This tragicomedy in five lines suggests that Donne, “a great frequenter of plays”, had the playwright's ability to grab us by the neck. Poems of his begin with “What if this gift were the last night of the world?” or “I wonder by my faith what you and I/Did until we loved each other!” or "Beat my heart, three-person God." invites identification with the speaker, and the speaker with Donne, lending immediacy. But the speaker contradicts himself in the next poem. Serious, passionate love poems, such as 'The Anniversary', 'A Nocturnal: for St Lucy's Day' or 'A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning', are followed by wanton irreverence, as in 'I can love both the fair and the dark,/ Whom abundance melts, and who wants to betray', or 'Love's Alchemy', which ends: 'Do not wait for the mind in women; at their best / Sweetness and intelligence, they're just mummies, possessed' (once enjoyed sexually, no more than preserved dead meat). Many of his best poems mix amorous protestations with hyperbole that invites disbelief, as in these lines from 'The Ecstasy': 'All day, our postures were the same, / And we said nothing, all day'. Donne's gifts for drama and controversy developed early. Educated in rhetoric and logic, he came from a family dedicated to the memory of Sir Thomas More, his mother's great-uncle. He was raised by his mother, Catholic until her death in 1631. His father and grandfather wrote Jesuits. The Society of Jesus is an interlude, and his brother Jasper translated Seneca's plays. Jasper Heywood and the religious order founded in Paris by his brother were Jesuits; Jasper, head of the Jesuit mission in England 1581-3, 1534 by the Basque Ignatius Loyola: was exiled under sentence of death. Educated at Oxford and Cambridge, Donne intended to reform and became master of feasts at Lincoln's Inn in 1593. His brother, held in Catholicism the world over, in Newgate Prison for harboring a priest, died there. Donne left Catholicism and opposed Protestantism. Edmund Church. He sailed to Cadiz with Raleigh and to the Azores with Essex, found Campion and Robert Southwell in office, and became a Member of Parliament. But in 1602 a secret marriage precipitated with Jesuits. his patron's young niece ended her career - 'John Donne, Ann Donne, Undone', he once said. His exclusion worsened when the Jesuits were (incorrectly) blamed for the Gunpowder Plot (1605), a Catholic plot to blow up King and Parliament. Donne attacked Catholic extremism in Pseudo-Martyr (1610) and

Ignatius His Conclave (1611), but still found no office. He wrote a treatise in defense of suicide. The King encouraged him to take Holy Orders, and he became a priest in the Church of England in 1615, then a royal chaplain, and in 1621 Dean of St Paul's and a famous preacher. Donne's first prose was Paradoxes – 'That Only Cowards Dare Die' - and Problems – 'Why did common opinion bestow souls on women?' While virtuous men pass silently / And whisper their souls away...'. The paradox was a habit confirmed by exclusion. The difficulties of those who are not convinced [p. 137] Protestants are arduously argued in Satire III, A Quest for the True Church. He vigorously exhorts his audience to seek true religion. Where? Mirreus, thinking that she has no home here and has fled from us, looks for her in Rome, because he knows that she was there a thousand years ago.

a fragrant

'He loves her rags so much,' he continues, 'as we here obey/The tunic where the prince sat yesterday'. (Papists revere the sacrament, but we English bow to a cushion.) Donne preaches reformers, conformists, and freethinkers, then turns against the reader and himself: 'unmoved thou/Of strength shall one, and forced, but one permits./ And the right' ('forced' means 'tortured'). Be busy looking for her, believe me, He is from no one, no worse, who seeks the best. Worshiping, or despising an image, or protesting, Everything can be bad; doubt wisely, in a strange way To be inquiring correctly, is not to go astray; Sleep, or run poorly, it is. On a huge hill, craggy and steep, the truth lies, and he who will reach it, must, and must go; And what the brusqueness of the hill resists, wins; Strive, however, so that before old age, twilight of death, Your soul rests, for no one can work that night.

an unknown road


The need to find the true Church confronts the political rule, observed across Europe, that a country adopt the religion of its ruler. Will it help on the 'last day' Saying that a Philip, or a Gregory, Philip II of Spain Pope A Harry or a Martin taught you that? Henry VIII Luther Is not this excuse for mere contraries, Equally strong; both sides can not say it? That thou mayest properly obey the power, its limits know; That past, its nature and name changed; to be then humble with her is idolatry. Donne was known to the public as a preacher. Verses by him were privately admired ("the first man in the world, in some ways," Jonson said), but published only after his death. Twentieth-century critics were especially impressed by love poems such as 'The Sun Rising', 'The Anniversary' and 'The Good Morrow'. As good as his Holy Sonnets, Hymns and 'Good Friday, 1613: Riding Westward', and his translation 'The Lamentations of Jeremy'. Donne argues aloud to define, dramatize, and project the mood of a moment. Theatrical improvisation is the basic thrust, giving compression and grit to his writing. Its most sustained paradoxes come in 'Good Friday, 1613: Riding Westward': 'Westward I am driven / This day, when my soul's form inclines eastward'. too heavy for me. Whoever sees the face of God, that is, life itself, must die; What kind of death was it then to see the codfish die? ... If I dared not look at these things, I dared look at their miserable mother, Who was God's partner here, and so provided [p. 138] Half of that sacrifice, which redeemed us? Though these things, as I ride, are of my eyes They are still present in my memory, For it looks upon them; and you look at me, O Savior, as you hang on the tree; I turn my back on you, but to receive corrections...

Monument to John Donne by Nicholas Stone (1631-2). The rector of St. Paul's Cathedral is in his shroud above his urn. The monument survived the 1666 fire at Old St Paul's (see page 154) and stands in the new Wren Cathedral (see page 170).

Although religious and metaphysical categories are central to his thinking, Donne's love poems are not truly metaphysical. They use logic to justify statements like: 'She is all states and all princes, I,/Nothing else is!' ('The Rising Sun') is not a philosophical proposition, but a dramatic gesture. Donne is neither a skeptic nor an emotionally selfish romantic. It is that he forced the language of the drama of the 1590s into the lyric. His love poems are in the Jacobean style: although he is a master of verse, he eschewed Elizabethan melody, natural imagery and classical beauty. The idea dominates the word; and the words have what he called a “masculine persuasive force”. Donne had an 'immoderate desire for human learning and languages'. He often took pictures of new discoveries in anatomy and geography. He greets a very literary naked lover with: 'O my America, my new found land!' The doctors examining him in bed 'are adults / Cosmographers, and I their map'. Despite such contemporary reference, he never escaped the soul/body problem of medieval scholasticism, nor the Four Last Things Christians should meditate on: Heaven, Hell, Death and Judgment. Even his love poems are concerned with the resurrection of the body. If his uneasiness was new, his cause wasn't. In 'A Hymn to God the Father' he wrote: 'I have a sin of fear, that when I have spun/My last thread, I shall perish on the shore;/But swear by thyself, that in my death thy son/ It will shine as it does now...'. The theologian who knew that the promise of redemption is universal asks the Father to repeat it personally to him. Eternal destiny, both general and personal, is never far from Donne's Sermons and Divine Meditations. 'No man is an island, whole of himself; each man is a piece of the continent, a part of the continent; if a clod is washed away by the sea, Europe becomes smaller, as if it were a promontory, as if it were a manor of your friends or your own; Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Humanity; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; He folds for you'. Despite its last gesture, this famous passage is communal. Donne's sermons rehearse his "sin of fear" to make listeners identify with their guilt, fear, regret, and ecstasy. The preacher was his representative in the pulpit, as the priest had been at the altar. If Donne's poems read dramatically, his sermons were dramatic both audible and visible. Conspicuous on his raised pulpit, his main stage prop was the preacher's hourglass: "we are now working for an hour, and no more". If there's one minute of sand left, (There isn't) If there's one minute of patience left, hear me say, This minute that's left is that eternity we speak of; on this minute depends eternity.' In the days when kings could be scolded from the pulpit, the public was not spared. In Donne's sermons, the women fainted and the men wept: "like guilty creatures sitting in a play", to apply the words of Shakespeare's Hamlet. Donne often imagined his own death. He did not die in the pulpit, but managed to preach his last sermon in his shroud, as the

title page of sermon printed as Death's Duell, 1632. His biographer Isaak Walton (1593-1683 wrote that 'Dr. Donne had preached his own funeral sermon.' upright, ready for take-off in the General [p. 139] Resurrection. This tomb survives to the fire of London and old St. Paul's. Donne's last superiority play exhibits a medieval "good death" in the Renaissance guise of the theater-like world. This was not a philosophical 'virtuous man' passing 'smoothly', but a sinner dying in an exemplary hope Marvell describes Charles I as 'the real actor' on the 'tragic scaffold': Charles' end in 'that memorable scene' was the last instance of the Renaissance understanding of life as exemplary display, which gives this phase of English life and literature a special resonance.

Prose for 1642 Marvell's cool impartiality contrasts with Donne's histrionic urgency. During the seventeenth century, prose became simpler, less elaborate. His stylistic model was not the astute Cicero but the lower Seneca; and there were English copies of it. The first great writers to choose conciseness were Ben Jonson and Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) in their Essays of 1597. In his Advancement of Learning (1605), Bacon argued that truths about natural phenomena should be established by experiment. This empiricism gained ground in both philosophy and science. The founders of the Royal Society (1662) recognized Bacon as their master, and their secretary wanted to reduce the style to "a mathematical simplicity". Then, the cadences of Lancelot Andrewes (1555-1628), the antiquarian Robert Burton (1577-1640) and the physician Thomas Browne (1605-82) gave way to a style whose function was to assert its business: not only in the a the politics of Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) and the epistemology of John Locke (1632-1704), but in fields outside philosophy. The two styles are worlds apart, and

the difference is connected with the movement from first causes to secondary causes, from Donne's angels and the metaphysical doctrine of analogy to Newton's apple and the physical law of gravity.

Charles the Martyr. The frontispiece of Eikon Basilike. The Depiction of His Sacred Majesty in His Solitudes and Sufferings (1649). The text was elaborated from the notes of the king. Casting off the earthly crown, he takes the crown of thorns, looking up to the heavenly crown that awaits him. Latin labels explain the emblems. The book says 'My hope is in Your Word'.

[page 140] Prose para 1642 Lancelot Andrewes, Bishop of Winchester (1555-1626) Sir Thomas Browne (1605-82) Religio Medici (wr. c.1635; pub. 1642), Pseudodoxia Epidemics: or, Inquiries into 96 Sermons (1629) . Muitos Tenentes Recebidos e Comumente Presumidos Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) Ensaios (1597, 1612, 1625), Verdades (1646, revd 1650, 1658, 1672); Hydriotaphia, Urn Advancement of Learning (1605), New Organum Buriall (1658). (1620), História de Henrique VII (1622), De Augmentis Scientiarum (1623), The New Atlantis (1627). Robert Burton (1577-1640) A anatomy of melancholy (1621, reed 1624, 1628, 1632, 1638, 1651).

Sir Francis Bacon Francis Bacon rose under James I to become Lord Chancellor. Dismissed in 1621 for corruption, he laid out his plans to systematize the pursuit of knowledge, dividing supernatural truths from biblical revelation from truths of nature. ' for human understanding: 'not of a sect or doctrine, but of human utility and power,' words that remarkably define the priorities of the modern world. But King James did not invest in research, nor did he found a College of Science, as proposed in The New Atlantis (1627). For all the reputation of his other works, only Bacon's Essays have since been widely read. The viewer who liked Hamlet but hadn't realized it was so full of quotes has stumbled on a clue to Renaissance writing: his love of nuggets. His favorite book was Erasmus's Adagia (1500), a collection of classic proverbs with witty commentary. Adages and proverbs, ornaments in sponge cakes from the 1580s, filled the puddings of the 1590s, the decade of essences, crumbs and aphorisms. Donne practiced this contraction – as did Jonson, when he said that Donne “by not being understood would perish” and that “Shakespeare wanted art”. Bacon's Essays are a bit like Montaigne's Essays (1533-92), translated by John Florio in 1603. Bacon sets out a topic in three pages. A professional daredevil, he knew the value of an opening blow: 'Reuenge is a Wilde Justice of sorts; that the more the nature of man runs, the more the law must eliminate it” or “He who has wife and children, has given hostages to fortune; For they are impediments to great undertakings, whether of virtue or malice. The essays intertwine experiences and authorities; his closed sentence has Montaigne's skepticism but without his engaging exploration. Reading them is like playing chess with a superior opponent.

Lancelot Andrewes The central assumption, even of natural philosophers before the Civil War, is religious. Deism, recognizing the Author of Nature rather than the God of Revelation, was first discovered by Lord Herbert of Cherbury. On completing his De Veritate, Herbert recounts that he knelt down and asked for a sign from heaven to know whether he should publish it: 'a loud though soft noise' from a clear blue sky assured him that he should. [p. 141] His younger brother, the poet George Herbert (1593-33), was a friend of Donne and Lancelot Andrewes (1555-26). Andrewes, the leading Anglican writer after Donne, followed Richard Hooker (1554-1600) in finding his Church to be a via media, a middle ground, between Rome and Geneva, upholding both the apostolic succession of the Catholic Church and the doctrines of the Reformation. The doctrine of the Elizabethan Church was Swiss, not Roman, but Hooker guided the national church into the mainstream. The acceptance of the via media is clear in George Herbert's 1620s poem 'The British Church': its 'dear mother', neither Geneva nor Rome, whose 'fine aspect in proper arrangement/Not too mean and not too gay/Shows who it's the best'. Andrewes' apprenticeship allowed the English Church to contend with Rome on better terms. He was linguistically the most learned of the Authorized Version translators, and his sermons expound the text with surgical skill.

Robert Burton Bacon's concise method and Andrewes' incisiveness are not to be found in Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, What It Is, with all its types, causes, symptoms, prognoses, and various cures. In three Partitions, with their various Sections, members and subsections, Philosophically, Medicinally, Historically opened and cut. This museum of milder forms of mania since the 18th century has not been consulted for its science but has fallen, like an old second-hand bookshop, for the atmosphere. Robert Burton (1577-1640), an Oxford professor in an age of accumulating specialized knowledge, confessed to having read many books, but "to little purpose, for want of a good method". Burton was a collector, self-deprecating and skeptical; fond of a Latin authority, opinion, or argument; not sure if it's worth going straight to the point. He was appreciated by Sterne and Lamb, connoisseurs of anticlimaxes and appeals to lovers of the strange and picturesque.

Sir Thomas Browne Sir Thomas Browne's (1605-82) style is more metaphysical than Burton's, and his Religio Medici ('A Doctor's Faith') has enduring value for its peaceful and humane tone: To my religion, though there are various circumstances which might persuade the world that I have nothing, such as the general scandal of my profession, the natural course of my studies, the indifference of my behavior... Christian. Browne himself was 'of that newly founded and reformed religion in which I like nothing but the name', a staunch Anglican. He studied medicine in Europe, where, he tells us, he "wept profusely" at Catholic devotions, "while my consorts, blinded by opposition and prejudice, fell into a fit of scorn and laughter." He upheld the neglected Christian idea that "no man can justly censure or condemn another, because, indeed, no man truly knows another." In matters of fact and interpretation he has a physician's confidence in evidence and a Christian belief that nature has a code, which he has tried to read, though without much confidence in reason. Common sense and sympathy coexist with speculation: "I like to lose myself in a mystery", he confides, "to pursue my reason to an aloft [O the height (of God's ways)!]". work, Urn-burial, a meditation on the vanity of earthly fame, prompted by the discovery of ancient burial urns near Norwich. [p. 142] What name did the sirens sing, or what name did Achilles assume when he hid among women, though puzzling questions, are not beyond all conjecture. At what time people from these ossuaries entered the famous nations of the dead and slept with princes and advisers, may admit of ample solution. But who owned these bones, or what bodies these ashes composed, was a question above antiquarianism; it must not be resolved by man, nor easily perhaps by spirits, except if we consult the provincial guardians, or tutelary observers. If they had made as good a provision for their names as they did for their relics, they would not have made such gross mistakes in the art of perpetuation. But to subsist in bones, and to exist only pyramidally, is a fallacy in duration. One fascination of his style, which here verges on self-parody, is the dangerous balance between the metaphysical, the moral, and the scientific. By the end of the century, physics and metaphysics were separate pursuits.

Poetry for Wit by Milton Ben Jonson Donne was admired by those who read it; but the extravagance either stopped under Charles I or took a quieter form. Later non-dramatic poets followed neither Donne nor Milton, but Jonson (1572-1637), a professional poet as well as a playwright. Its clarity, edge, and economy lie behind the wit of Andrew Marvell, the polish of Alexander Pope, and the weight of Samuel Johnson. Jonson's Works (1616) begins 'To the Reader': 'Please take heed, that he take my book in hand, / To read it well; that is, to understand.'

Jonson's natural ferocity was balanced and grounded by a lifetime of reading, which transmuted classic phrases, verses and entire poems into English literature. He especially imitated the caustic and lyrical epigrams of the Roman poets, Catullus, Horace and Martial. Jonson's verse is social, addressing one person, one theme, one occasion. Its function, civil, moral or aesthetic, is as clear as its meaning. He wrote short, highly elaborate poems in a variety of styles on a variety of subjects. His undramatic verse matches his writing for the stage, and he carved a role for the poet as the arbiter of civilized society, an ideal that lasted for a century and a half. Jonson's social ideal is exemplified in 'To Penshurst', a letter of thanks to the Sidney family for their hospitality at their Kent estate: 'Thou art not, Penshurst, built to show envy.' The unassuming birthplace of Sir Philip Sidney offers country hospitality to all, commoner and king alike. The fantasy of the golden age mingles with reality: The ruddy apricot and the woolly peach Hang on your walls, that every child may reach. And though thy walls are of country stone, They are raised without man's ruin, without a man's groan; There is no one who lives on them and desires them; But all enter, the farmer and the clown, And none empty-handed, to greet Thy lord and lady, though they have no suit. Some bring a capon, others a country cake, Some walnuts, others apples; some who think they make The best cheeses bring them...

juice fine dress / favor to beg

The dry humor of 'thinking' and 'doing nothing' earns credit for the ideal implicit in Jonson's praise: reciprocal rights and duties, harmonious hierarchy. Penshurst was [p. 143] the house of a patron; but Jonson was not a reliable sycophant: 'His sons thy great lord may call his own,/A fortune in this age, but seldom known.' His own idea of ​​hospitality is defined in 'On Asking a Friend to Dinner', which ends: 'No single word / That will be uttered at our merry table / Shall make us sad in the morning; or frightening/The freedom we'll enjoy tonight.' (Young poets used to dine with Jonson at the Mermaid tavern in London. Robert Herrick (1591-1674) is best known of the Sons of the Tribe of Ben, as Jonson called them.) The first line of Jonson's mask Pleasure Reconciled to Virtue is ' Room, room! make room for the bouncy belly!' Another side of the bear Jonson is seen in 'On My First Son' (who died aged seven): 'Farewell, son of my right hand, and joy;/My sin was too much hope in thee, beloved boy' (the name of the son was also Benjamin: 'son of my right hand' in Hebrew). Deliberate humor, couplet rhyme, and formal compression were for Jonson means of self-control. An impersonal artistry is seen in his perfect mask songs, such as 'Queen and huntress, chaste and fair' or 'Behold the chariot here of Love, / In which my lady rides'. A final taste of classic Jonson poise, in another untimely death: It's not growing like a tree Bulk makes a man better; Or standing on a long oak tree, three hundred years, To fall a trunk at last, withered and bald and withered: A lily of a day Is fairer farther away, in May, Though it falls and dies that night; It was the plant and flower of light. In small proportions we see only beauty, And in small measures life can be perfect.

Metaphysical poets Dr. Johnson identified a "race of poets" between Donne and Cowley, known since then as the "metaphysical poets". The term was not one of admiration. Dryden had said that Donne "affects metaphysics" in his love poems, baffling "the fair sex" with "good philosophical speculations." As he suggests “affects”, these metaphysics are not seriously offered. Johnson took exception to the relentless naivete of Donne's comparisons, citing 'A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning', which compares separated lovers to a pair of compasses. Sincerity, Johnson said, would be more simply expressed. In his 'Elegy' for Donne, Thomas Carew wrote 'Here lies a king, who ruled as he saw fit/The universal monarchy of intelligence.' Donne had subjects, disciples of Jonson. Later poets learned from both, but none had Donne's wit or impropriety. Henry King wrote in his 'Execution' to his late wife: But listen! My pulse, like a soft drum Beats my approach, tells you I'm coming; And however slow my marches are, I will finally sit down beside you.

Poetas metafísicos Henry King (1592-1669) George Herbert (1593-1633) Thomas Carew (1594-1640) Henry Crashaw (1612/13-49) John Cleveland (1613-58) Abraham Cowley (1618-67) Andrew Marvell (1621) -78) Henry Vaughan (1621-95)

Thomas Traherne (1637-74)

King, Herbert, Crashaw and Vaughan have the paradoxes of their Christian perspectives; that of Carew and the Cavalier poets (see below) is more intelligent and mild; they didn't have to try as hard as Donne or Jonson. Charles's English poetry [p. 144] the reign is ripe. With all the skill of the previous generation, it has more warmth, flexibility and joy, without losing penetration or tragic sense. The certainty of Herbert and Marvell is found in lesser writers, like Robert Herrick, Thomas Carew or Edmund Waller, who are not overshadowed by their greatest contemporaries. Few poets of any age have as many fine lyrics as Herrick in his Hesperides. A story cannot ignore poems like 'Ask me no more where Jove bestows / When June passes, the rose faded' or Waller's 'Go Lovely Rose': 'Go, lovely Rose, / Tell her she wastes her time and I, /That now she knows,/When I look like her to you,/How sweet and fair she seems to be.' Ends: So die, that she The common fate of all rare things may read in thee: How little part of time they share That are so wonderful, sweet and fair.

Carolina e poetas Cavalier Aurelian Townshend (c.1583c.1651) Henry Drummond de Hawthornden (1585-1649) Lady Mary Wroth (1586-1652) Robert Herrick (1591-1674) Thomas Randolph (1605-35) Edmund Waller (1606-1687) ) Sir John Suckling (1609-42) Sir John Denham (1615-1669) Sir Richard Lovelace (1618-58) Margaret Cavendish, Duquesa de Newcastle (1623-73)

'The Common Fate of All Rare Things' is effortlessly perfect. In quality and quantity, minor poetry of the seventeenth century is second to none. Such a general quality comes from the life of the time.

Devotional Poets Between the crises that began James' reign and ended that of his son, George Herbert (1593-1633) wrote devotional verse. Gifted Herbert, youngest son of a gifted family, not finding a career, became a village parson. This rural priest's poems made him an unofficial saint of Anglicanism. His life-told with piety and charm by Izaak Walton, author of The Compleat Angler-describes an ideal a little more chivalrous than Chaucer's pilgrim Parson. Herbert's poems are homely in imagery and simple in language, and often about church; its volume is called The Temple. These prayer-poems differ from similar poems by Donne, Marvell, Crashaw, Vaughan or Traherne in being addressed personally to God in an intimate tone. Christ was for Herbert a human person who is spoken to and who can respond. Such medieval intimacy became rare after Herbert; for Milton, God 'has no need / Man's works or his own gifts' ("On his Blindness"). This alienation was increased for rational Anglicans by the Puritan enthusiasm of the 1640s. Herbert's simple faith was not simple-minded; Renaissance Christianity was not lacking in mind or drama. Herbert, a former public speaker at the University of Cambridge, spoke fluent Latin. His is the studied simplicity of parables. The words danced to him: 'Lovely and lovely language, sugar cane,/Honey of roses, whither wilt thou fly?' (from 'The Forerunners'). He could, whenever he wanted, surprise. 'Prayer' is an arc of metaphors, ending: 'The milky way, the bird of paradise,/The church bells beyond the stars heard, the soul's blood,/The land of spices, something understood.' openings of 'Virtue' - 'Sweet day, so fresh, so calm, so bright' - and of 'A Flor': 'How fresh, O Lord, how sweet and clean / Are your returns! just like the flowers in spring.' Later in 'The Flower', after a barren time: And now in age I sprout again, Caroline From the reign of After so many deaths I live and write; Charles I (Lat. Carolus), Once Again I Smell the Dew and Rain, 1625-42 (executed 1649). And savor the verse. [p. 145] The lines are often complaints - unresolved in 'Discipline', or anguished, as in 'Denial': 'Come, come, my God, oh come! and grew fiercer and wilder With every word, I thought I heard someone calling, Child! And I answered: My Lord. The title is both the clerical collar and cholera, a fit of rage. The Temple leads to 'Love (III)', a eucharistic prayer. Herbert compares Communion to visiting a tavern. It begins: ‘Love welcomed me; yet my soul drew back' and ends, 'You must sit down, says Love, and taste my flesh:/ So I sat and ate.' Donne, Herbert and Traherne all had Welsh connections. Herbert's disciple Henry Vaughan (1621-95) was Welsh. Their Christianity was platonic: 'My soul, there is a country/Far beyond the stars' and 'I saw eternity the other night/Like a great ring of pure endless night.'' They all went to the world of light ! ' contains the verse: I see them walking in an air of glory, Whose light tramples my days: My days, which are at best, but dull and old, Mere gleams and decays. The mystical vision is strongest in the work of Thomas Traherne (1637-74), whose wonderful poems and Centuries, prose meditations, were printed only in 1908. Vaughan and Traherne, like Herbert, were devout poets who did not write

verse. An earlier "son" of Herbert was Richard Crashaw (1613-49). An Anglican priest appointed by parliamentary commissioners, Crashaw wrote his baroque Temple Stairs before exile and Catholicism. These Anglican Pietists lack Herbert's stamina and syntax; Vaughan's second couplet (quoted above) falters. From this date onwards, the educated wrote less about the sky. Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea (1661-1720), wrote that the soul 'Joys in the underworld' of natural scenes. In the light of sense and reason, vision gleamed and faded.

Gentleman Poets A quietist reaction to the religious and political revolution had begun in the 1640s. With the Civil War, high Anglican piety became private. The gallant secular verses of "Cavalier poets" like Sir John Suckling (1609-42) and Sir Richard Lovelace (1618-58) have come to an end or become corrupted, as in Lovelace's "The Grasshopper", a delightful poem of friendship written for Charles Cotton. Abraham Cowley also wrote a 'Grasshopper'; Izaak Walton's Fisherman is an Anglican version of the Roman poet Horace, who is retiring. Most knights did not join Charles II in France, but joined the clergy in the country, sending (like locusts) joyful signals to their short-lived companions. The Civil War overwhelmed some good writers. Court and church were patrons of good literature before the war; the alliance survived, but the sacred and profane verses diverged. The country's most surprising poems were by Andrew Marvell (1621-78), written in 1650-1 but published posthumously. Opposing the king's execution, Sir Thomas Fairfax, Lord General of the Parliamentarian forces, retired to his estate in Yorkshire. Marvell taught his daughter there, later taught at Eton. A moderate parliamentarian, he was later a deputy and diplomat. [p. 146] Marvell's poems have the wit of Donne and the cleanliness of Jonson, with a lighter touch and a social, aloof tone. 'Society is almost rude/To this delicious solitude', he wrote in 'The Garden', claiming not the dignified calm of a philosopher, but a poet's delight in the 'garlands of repose': 'Annihilating all that is done /A green thought in a green shadow.” Contemplation, scorned by Milton in 1644 as "a fugitive and cloistered virtue", is defended at length in "Upon Appleton House". But at my back ever I hear the winged chariot of Time rushing near, And yonder before us lie Deserts of vast eternity. These lines from "To his Coy Mistress" condense the Renaissance apprehension of time into a metaphysical conception of eternity as infinite empty space. Like Herrick in 'Collect Rosebuds While You Can', Marvell makes mortality an argument for sexual love: 'The grave is a beautiful and private place,/But I guess no one embraces'. private' retain their Latin meanings, 'narrow' and 'private'. His poems play unobtrusively with words, a subtlety boldly used in his "Horatian Ode upon Cromwell's Return from Ireland", a remarkable analysis of the contemporary crisis. He praises Cromwell's strength, then his art - suggesting that he let the king escape that he might be recaptured and tried: That hence the royal actor was born, The tragic scaffold might adorn; While all around the armed bands Clapped bloodied hands. He nothing common did or meant In that memorable scene, But with his sharpest eye The ax's edge tried. ... Praise for Charles - or for a good performance? The ambiguity is systematic: 'clap your hands', applaud or drown your words; 'mean', base or intend; 'scene', stage or platform; 'edge' (lat. acies), view or edge; 'try', to assess sharpness or fairness. After Cromwell's Irish victories, 'What can others not fear/If so he crowns each year?/A Caesar, he, will soon come to Gaul,/To Italy, a Hannibal.' Sublime comparisons! However, Caesar was assassinated, Hannibal defeated. A final exhortation and warning: But thou, son of war and fortune, March indefatigably, And to the last effect Still hold thy sword upright: Beyond the strength it has to frighten The spirits of the dark night, The very arts that won One power it must maintain. Marvell, a satirist on the Parliamentary side, wrote after the Civil War that "the Cause was too good to be fought". Men should have trusted in God; they should and might have entrusted the whole matter to the king. ' The insight of Marvell's mind resembles that of the French mathematician and [p. 147] the theologian Blaise Pascal (1623-62). In 'The Mower to the Glowworms' and other poems, Marvell uses aesthetic appeal to express the irrationality of mortal love:

O living lamps, by whose dear baroque light A term in art The nightingale sits so late, history for the ornate And studying all the style of the summer night that succeeded Its matchless songs meditate... classicism of the grave religious poem by High Marvell 'The Coronet' is in the Baroque style, which always has a revival. kind of exhibitionism about it. 'Bermuda', about Puritan migrants to America – 'So they sang on the English boat,/A holy and glad note' – has equally wonderful imagery: 'He hangs in the shadows the bright orange,/Like golden lamps in a green night'. Marvell's poems are lucid, decorative, exquisite and penetrating, but also enigmatic. Crisis, Civil War, Commonwealth, Restoration 1629 1633 1634 1635 1638 1639 1640 1641 1642 1643 1644 1645 1646 1647 1648 1649

1650 1651 1652 1653 1655 1657 1658 1659 1660

Parliament, refusing more taxes, is dissolved. Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury, acts against the Puritans. Charles I imposes Ship Money to increase revenue. Attempt to impose Anglican liturgy in Scotland meets with resistance. Scots sign a National Covenant to resist the episcopate. Charles' army proves unreliable against the Scots Covenanters. The Short Parliament is called; and refuses taxes. The Scots invade. The Long Parliament is convened (and remains until 1653). Charles' minister Strafford is tried by Parliament and executed; the Star Chamber court is abolished; Great protest against royal excesses; Puritan legislation; a rise in Ireland. The King leaves London after conflicts with Parliament. The Royalist and Parliamentary armies fight at Edgehill. The Puritans closed the public theaters. Many battles. Parliament enforces Presbyterianism in England. Cromwell defeats Prince Rupert at Marston Moor. Cromwell's New Model Army triumphs at Naseby. Laud executed. Charles surrenders to the Scots. The levelers proclaim the sovereign people. The Scots deliver Charles to Parliament for £400,000. Parliament's attempt to disband the Army fails. Charles intrigues. The Scots, invading on Charles's behalf, were defeated at Preston. Parliament purged of its Presbyterian majority by the Army. Rump Parliament votes to judge the King. Charles I tried and executed. The Rump abolishes the monarchy and the House of Lords, and proclaims England the Commonwealth. Levellers deleted. Royalist Protestants join Catholics in Ireland: rise crushed by Cromwell. Charles II lands in England. Cromwell defeats the Scots at Dunbar. The Scots crown King Charles II. Defeated at Worcester, he goes to France. War with Holland (until 1654). The Army asks for a new Parliament. Cromwell replaces the remaining elected members with a group of appointees, the Barebones Parliament. Proclaimed Lord Protector. Major Generals govern England in eleven military districts. Parliament gives Cromwell sovereign powers. Cromwell dies and is succeeded by his son Richard. Richard retires. General Monck marches with the Army of Scotland to restore Parliament. Charles II invited him back to restore the old form of government.

[p. 148]

John Milton Poetry in the seventeenth century came from the court, the church, the nobility, or the theater. The big exception is the late work of John Milton (1608-74), after the great crisis of the Civil War. He wrote for a spiritual elite. Paradise Lost, he prayed, would be “A suitable audience would be found, though few,” echoing Christ's saying that many are called but few are chosen (Matthew 20:16). He invoked for his epic the Spirit "who prefers/Before all temples the pure and upright heart." If this is not in keeping with our ideas of Puritans, not all Puritans were like Shakespeare's Malvolio or Jonson's Tribulation Wholesome. Milton was not a conformist. His father's career illustrates the link between Protestantism and capitalism: expelled from home for reading the Bible in his bedroom, he became a clerk (legal writer) and loan shark in London. He kept his books, giving his eldest son the education of a scholar and a gentleman: St Paul's School (strict); University of Cambridge (disappointing); five years of private study; a grand tour of Italian literary patrons. Education shaped the life and work of England's most influential poet. It was an education in Spenser's high Protestantism. St. Paul gave his student a humanistic faith in the powers of the mind and the elevated role of poetry. He read extensively in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and modern languages, and was remarkable for learning at a time when a reader could know virtually everything he was known for. His first poem was a version of Psalm 114, 'When Israel came out of Egypt'. This becomes 'When the blessed seed of the faithful son of Terah...'. A 'proper' audience would know of God's promises to Abraham and his descendants. The few who knew that Abraham was the son of Terah would see that 'faithful'

he distinguishes the son's faithfulness from the father's idolatry, and he would be saved from madness. Milton's “faithful” father had left an idolatrous home. As one of the "blessed seeds", Milton would claim that God "spoke first to his Englishmen", the new chosen people. Humanist ideals shape early poems: the poetic aspiration in “At a Vacation Exercise” and “What needs my Shakespeare for his honored bones”; impatience in 'How long is there time, the subtle thief of youth/Stolen on his wing my twenty-third year.' the playful debate of L'Allegro and Il penseroso. Young Milton is already a master of medium and form, and his joy in exercising his art is contagious. L'Allegro, the merry man, is fond of comedy: 'Then to the well-trodden stage/If Jonson's learned sock is on,/Or the sweetest Shakespeare, child of fancy/Warble his notes of wild native wood.' The pensive Thinker prefers tragedy; he goes to church alone: ​​But may my due feet never fail, To walk in the pale cloister of scholars, And love the high vaulted ceiling, With massive ancient pillars to the test, And historic windows richly lighted, Casting a dim religious light. Let the resonant organ blow To the full-voiced chorus below, In loud service, with clear hymns, How can sweetly, through my ear, Dissolve me in ecstasy, And bring all heaven before my eyes.



[p. 149] A joyful response to nature and art animates the first works. The 'weak religious light' is Anglican and the 'ecstasies' quasi-Italian. After Milton left the Church of England in the mid-1630s, he would do to words what the Church did to stained glass and music. But for years he was part of Carolina high culture, an artistic consensus between Church and Court, writing court masks. The figuration of the Nativity Ode is clearly baroque. Peace, he writes, crowned with olive green, came gliding softly Through the revolving sphere Her herald ready, With tortoiseshell wings the amorous clouds parting, And waving her myrtle wand wide, She attains a universal peace across sea and land .


The olive wreath of Peace is classic and biblical, as the turtledove brought an olive branch to the Ark. The appearance of Peace is now compared to the chariot of Venus, drawn by doves; 'loving' is an epithet transferred from the goddess of love to the clouds that cling to her. The Love it symbolizes is divine, not pagan. Such use of classical symbolism was a common form in Europe. Milton's early Protestant ideals were at odds with his sophisticated Italian style. At court, Charles I sponsored the Baroque sculptor Bernini. This style, far from Puritan simplicity, displays its art with the confidence of the Catholic Reformation. Milton wrote six sonnets in Italian and English verse in Italian. The title Paradise Lost responds to Tasso's epic Gerusalemme Conquistata (1592), 'Jerusalem Won'. Milton embraced Renaissance and Reformation, Greek beauty and Hebrew truth. That embrace was strained in the 1630s, when England's cultural consensus broke down. In 1639 Milton abandoned a second year in Italy, returning from Tasso's patron palace in Naples to write prose in London. Although John Donne called the Calvinist religion "plain, simple, frowning, young," the first Puritan writer who was truly pure and simple was John Bunyan (1628-88). Strains begin to appear in Comus (1634), a mask for a noble family. It owes something to Jonson's Pleasure Reconciled to Virtue (1618), but Milton's virtuous Lady rejects the (sexual) Pleasure eloquently urged by Comus, the "jumping belly" of Jonson's mask. Virtue is Chastity (that is, obedience to divine Reason). Comus' earnest argument shows his author's ambition. Lycidas (1637) is an ambitious pastoral elegy for a contemporary of Cambridge, a priest and poet who drowned in the Irish Sea. Lycidas is the longest poem in a collection of elaborate pastoral elegies in Latin and Greek. Nature laments the young shepherd-poet and parts of classical form in which a classical pastoral elegy is displayed. The Renaissance pastoral convention allows Milton to pastor lamentations, discuss poetic fame, and criticize the pastoral care of bishops. He shows his poetic skill, the death of another. and his horror at the early loss of a poetic talent. Apollo tells him that Jove (i.e. God) will judge his fame in heaven, a Reformation response in Renaissance form. The crisis comes after the list of flowers brought "to scatter the lauded hearse where Lycid lies./Thus to interpose a little ease/Let our feeble thoughts flirt with false conjectures." The "false conjecture" is the pagan pretense of the poem. As the body was not recovered, there was no hearse to spread: 'thou the shores, and sonorous seas / Wash away, where'er thy bones are cast...'. Then: Weep no more, wretched shepherds weep no more, For Lycidas his sorrow is not dead, Sunken though he is under the watery bed,

[p. 150] Thus sinks the day-star to the bottom of the ocean, And yet mends his drooping head, And deceives his rays, and with new bright ore, Flames on the brow of the morning sky: So Lycidas sank low, but rose high, Through the dear power of him who walked on the waves. He is now with the 'sweet societies of heaven/ That sing, and singing in his glory they move,/ And wipe away forever the tears from their eyes.' Revealed faith consoles, contrary to the myth of nature. Yet nature's poetry returns: Henceforth thou art the genie of the shore, In thy great reward, and shalt be good To all who wander in this perilous flood. So sang the rude young man...

Guardian Spirit

This unknown shepherd (Milton) sings a not-so-coarse song. And now the sun lay over all the hills, And now it fell into the western bay; At last he rose, and wrung out his blue cloak: Tomorrow for fresh woods and new pastures. The beauty of closing doesn't end the discord of 'where Lycid lies', a deliberate false note. These passionate questions and answers mark all of Milton's mature work. Personal concerns also intrude on the prose to which, in an abrupt change of plans, Milton began to dedicate himself. In London, in 1641-2, he published five anti-episcopal treatises; and in 1642, shortly after the outbreak of the Civil War, he married Mary Powell, a girl half his age who soon returned to her royalist family. Milton wrote four treatises in favor of divorce, then attacks on the king, then the government's defenses against his regicide. With Cromwell dead, Milton again called for a republic and freedom of conscience, publishing The Ready and Easy Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth when Charles II returned.

John Milton, aged about 62, when he was blind for 10 years. Engraved by William Faithorne for The History of Britain, 1670.

The prose of Paradise Lost Milton might be little read today if he hadn't written Paradise Lost. The first principles of politics and religion were being debated in Parliament, in open-air meetings, and in treaties. None appealed to principle more grandiosely than Milton, though he abused his opponents. He noticed when he argued that Scripture permitted the putting away of a wife deemed incompatible. Then, in an attack on episcopate, The Reason of Church Government (1642), he confessed an 'inward suggestion which now daily grew in me, that by labor and intense study (which I consider to be my portion in this life), together with strong nature's propensity, perhaps I might leave something so written for later times that they should not willingly let it die. the maternal dialect.' He outlined his plans: Time does not serve now, and perhaps I may seem too wordy to give any certain account of what the mind at home, in the spacious circuits of its reflection, is at liberty to propose to itself, though of greater hope and hardest attempt; if that epic form of which the two poems of Homer and the other two of Virgil and Thasso are diffused, and the book of Job a brief model; or if ...

[p. 151] But the poetry was postponed. Satan's Speech to the Sun, written in 1642, appeared in Paradise Lost in 1667. The brief epic Paradise Regained and the Samson tragedy Agonistes followed in 1671. The only prose that escaped the 'dust and heat' of controversy is Areopagitica , named after the Areopagus, the hill of Ares where the Athenian parliament met. This speech for unlicensed freedom of printing to the Parliament of England is couched in the form of a classic prayer, beginning with a quote from Euripides: 'This is true liberty, when men born free,/ Having to advise the public, may speak free ...'. Areopagitica, however, defends not freedom of speech, but freedom of the press. He asks Parliament to stop the 'licensing' of books before publication, a practice started by Henry VIII, abolished in 1641 but re-instituted in 1643. A particular kind of liberty was one of Milton's ideals, and his speech has sentences nobles: as good almost kills a man as it kills a good book: whoever kills a man kills a reasonable creature, the image of God; but he who destroys a good book kills reason itself, kills the image of Codfish, so to speak, in the eye. Many men live as a burden to the earth; but a good book is the precious lifeblood of a master spirit, embalmed and purposely treasured for a life beyond life. He ends with a vision of England as Samson: “I think I see in my mind a noble and mighty nation waking like a strong man after sleep and shaking his invincible hair.” Areopagitica used to be seen as a classic of liberalism, prophetic of religious and civil tolerance. His defense transcends his occasion. But Milton would not have allowed Catholics to publish, and he never argued against censorship after publication: "if [books] are found to be malicious and libelous, fire and executioner will be the most timely and effective remedy." burned, and their printers and authors would suffer either ears cut off or noses cut off. Parliament remained impassive; Milton later acted as a censor for Cromwell. Among his other prose, one still reads Of Education. A Latin On Christian Doctrine found in the censor's office in 1823, translated and published in 1825, makes his heterodoxy, dimly visible in Paraíso Perdido, crystal clear. The poet's plan of 1642 was fulfilled twenty-five years later. He may have worked on Adam Unparadis'd, a drama that became Paradise Lost, and on Samson, but he returned fully to poetry only after Cromwell's death in 1658. His causes failed, the age-old Rule of the Saints prophesied in Revelation failed. had come, the English reverted to their regal and episcopal vomiting. He had lost his sight in 1652, his wife and only son in 1653, a daughter in 1657 and his beloved second wife in 1658. He was 50 years old. He had counseled the public, in vain. He remained his poetic talent. In the Civil War, Milton turned from poetry to reforming prose and strengthened his argumentative powers. In his later poetry, he flirted less with the "false assumption" of the classical poems that charmed his youth and shaped his style. Instead, he mythologized himself. After the Restoration and amnesty he introduces himself as 'In darkness and dangers hemmed in, / And in solitude; yet not alone', for he was visited by the Celestial Muse. This is from the Invocation to Paradise Lost, Book VII. The Invocations to Books I, III, and IX put the epic to plaintive personal use, creating a myth of the afflicted poet as a blind seer, or as a nightingale, who 'in the darkest hiding place hid,/Tunes his nocturnal note'. In the sonnet "When I Consider How My Light Was Spent", he fears that "that talent which is death to hide" is now "lodged with him useless". He asks 'Does God require daily work, light denied'? He hears: 'God needs neither man's work nor [p 152] his own gifts'; he must "stand and wait." His sonnet 'I thought I saw my dead saintly bride' ends: Love, sweetness, goodness in his person shone So clear, as in no face with more delight. But she bent down to embrace me, I woke, she fled, and the day brought back my night. In Invocation to III he again makes a personal protest against his blindness: Thus with the year the seasons return, but not to me they return. or flocks, or divine human face. Later, he identifies himself with the faithful angel Abdiel: 'Among the infidels, faithful only he;/ Among countless false ones, unmoved,/ Unshakable, undimmed, unshakable' (III.897-9). Paradise Lost follows the Renaissance idea that poetry should set a compelling standard of heroic virtue. Maintaining a humanist belief in reason and the didactic role of the word, Milton turned the argument back into poetry. In Renaissance European conversation, his was the last word. In addition to relating the Fall, he attempted a more difficult task: "to vindicate the ways of God to men." He would retell the story of 'man's first disobedience' to show the justice of Providence. The result is, in its artistry, power and scope, the greatest of English poems. The Doctor. Johnson, no lover of Milton's religion, politics, or personality, concluded his life thus: 'His great works were wrought under disapproval and in blindness, but difficulties vanished at his touch; he was born for what is hard; and his work is not the greatest of heroic poems, just because it is not the first.' Paradise Lost is a work of grandeur and energy and intricate design. It includes in its scope most of what was worth knowing about the universe and history. The blind poet balanced details occurring in six separate books.

Paradise Lost begins with the fall of angels, Satan's plan to capture God's newly created species, and a heavenly prediction of the future. In Book IV we find Adam and Eve in the Garden. Raphael tells Adam about Satan's rebellion, the war in heaven, the fall of angels, the creation of the universe, man and his desired mate, and warns him about the tempter. In IX Satan deceives Eve, and Adam resolves to die with her; the Son conveys God's condemnation and promises redemption. In X, Satan boasts of his success, but he and his angels are turned into serpents. In XI and XII, Raphael shows the miseries of humanity until Redemption, after which Adam will have "a paradise within thee, much happier." The 'heroic poem' exemplified right conduct. There are several heroisms: Adam and Eve, like the Son, show 'the best fortress/Of patience and heroic martyrdom' (IX.31-2), - not Achilles' individual heroism or Aeneas's imperial duty, nor even chivalry of Italian romantic epics. The magnificence of Satan's appearance and first speeches turns into envy and revenge. At the center of the poem is an unglamorous human story, though 'our first parents' are ideal at first, as is their romantic love: So hand in hand they passed, the loveliest pair That ever since in love's embraces found each other , Adam, the best man of men since he was born His children, the fairest of his daughters Eve. [p. 153] In IV Eve says that Paradise without Adam would not be sweet. In IX, the Fall elaborates the Genesis account. Eve, choosing to farm alone, is deceived by the serpent's clever arguments. She urges Adam to eat. 'Not deceived' he joins her in love: How can I live without thee, how to renounce Thy sweet talk and love so dearly joined, To live again in this wild forest forsaken? Eve leads Adam to sin, but also to repentance; blaming herself for the Fall, she proposes suicide. Milton typifies the sexes traditionally (“He for God alone, she for God in him”), but also allegorically – Adam is intellect, Eve is sense. He likes cosmology, she prefers gardening. Although the sexes are not equal, the presentation of sexual love and marriage is positive and fresh. Central to Paradise Lost is the first good marriage in English literature. When Adam and Eve are expelled from the Garden: A few natural tears they let fall, but they soon wiped them away. The world was all before them, where to choose Their resting-place, and Providence their guide: So hand in hand, with slow wandering steps, Across Eden they walked their lonely path. Milton's endings display his mastery of verse, syntax, and meaning. The only humans, having lost God and guest angels, are "lonely" but holding hands; wandering still guided; in need of rest, but free to choose. The balance is, as Milton said poetry should be, "simple, sensual and passionate". Milton's Christian humanism depends on human reason and, for him, "reason is also choice". Right reason freely chooses to recognize the truths of God. Eve freely chooses not to accept Adam's reasoned warning; Adam freely chooses to die with her; the Son freely chooses to die for Man. Milton held that "just are the ways of God,/And justifiable to men", but made God justify himself and blame mankind. 'Whose fault?' asks the Father, 'Whose but his? Ungrateful he had from me / All that he could have; I made him fair and just, / Enough to stand, yet free to fall' (III.97-9). The point is clear, but so is the irritation. Here "God the Father," as Alexander Pope said, "makes a school divine" (an academic theologian). Representing God the Father as conducting his own defense was a mistake. Mysteries, as Donne wrote, are like the sun, "dazzling yet clear to all eyes." Milton explains the dazzle. The invented scene of the Son's promotion to 'Vice Manager', which leads to Satan's revolt, is a blunder. To portray 'what eye has not seen and ear has not heard' is next to impossible: in Milton the life of Heaven is much like that of Homer's Olympus: 'Tables are laid, and suddenly heaped/With angels' food, and the ruby ​​nectar flows... They eat, they drink, and in sweet communion/Quaff immortality.” Dante does it better. Failures are the reverse side of Milton's strength of purpose. Paradise Lost compactly does what the Mystery cycles did. His biblical story is rational, as the Renaissance wanted, and pictorial, in the style of Italian ceiling painters. The energy and grandeur of Paradise Lost impresses even readers who don't know the Bible. It's like listening to Handel's Messiah in the Sistine Chapel; or, more precisely, how a blind man might hear a Messiah by Henry Purcell (1659-95), if he had composed one. Paradise Regain'd is not about redemption, but about temptation in [p. 154] desert. The Son's rejection of Satan's offer of Athena's (pagan) learning stands out against a barren landscape. Samson Agonistes is a tragedy to be read, not acted out. ('Dialogue without action can never please as a union of narrative and dramatic powers' - Johnson.) Its form is Greek, with protagonist and chorus; its subject is the fate of Israel's champion, "eyeless in Gaza at the mill with slaves." Samson speaks: 'Why was my creation ordained and prescribed/As of a person set apart for God/Designed for great exploits; if I must die / Betrayed, captive and both my eyes gouged out?' O dark, dark, dark, amidst the midday glow, Irretrievably dark, total eclipse Without all hope of dawn!

O first created ray, and thou great word, Let there be light, and the light was over all; Why am I thus deprived of thy chief decree? The sun to me is dark And silent as the moon, When she leaves the night Hidden in her empty interlunar cave. Milton's self-justification turns scripture and tragedy into autobiography. For example, Delilah betraying Samson to the Philistines is reminiscent of the first Mrs. Milton. Finally, the pursued hero overthrows the temple, slaying all his enemies at once: "the world rules to avenge his vision" (Marvell). The last refrain, both Greek and Christian, begins: "All is better, though we often doubt / What the unfathomable disposes / Of the highest wisdom brings." He ends: His servants with a new acquisition Of true experience of this great event With the peace and bath of solace dispensed, And calm of mind, all passion spent. Milton left English poets an example of dedication to his art, but also of passionate self-assertion.

The Restoration The restored monarchy ushered in a new temperament and cultural style that has endured. Though things sobered up under King William, Congreve's The Way of the World (1700) is still a 'Restoration comedy'. The return of Charles II gave literature opportunities it had not had eighteen years ago. Theaters opened, determined to reject Puritan seriousness. The king's friends returned from France with a more secular, skeptical and "civilized" tone and neoclassical ideas. The Church of England was re-established. Charles sponsored the Royal Society, the Royal Observatory, the theater and the opera. In 1665-6 the Plague and the Great Fire destroyed much of London. Sir Christopher Wren designed fifty-one new churches; its St Paul's Cathedral was completed in 1710. London "society" took shape in the new quarter of St Paul's. James. Tea, coffee and chocolate were drunk in places of public recreation. Horse racing has become a staple of the social calendar. It has become "civilized" for men to be nice, not to talk about religion and politics and talk gallantly about "the fair sex". There were wars with Protestant Holland, then with Catholic France. The Expulsion [p. 155] Events 1660-1700 1660 1662 1665-6 1666 1666 1670 1672 1673 1677 1678 1680 1683 1684 1685 1688 1689 1690 1691 1693 1694

The Monarchy is restored: Charles II passes the Law of Oblivion. Charles marries Catarina de Bragança (they have no children). Act of Uniformity excludes nonconformist ministers. Great Plague of London. Great Fire of London. The Dutch invade the naval port of Chatham, near London. Secret Treaty of Dover: In exchange for a subsidy, Charles II agrees to aid Louis XIV of France against the Netherlands. Declaration of Indulgence for Catholics and Nonconformists. Test Act excludes Catholics from public office. William of Orange marries Mary, daughter of James, Duke of York. Titus Oates invents a 'Popish Conspiracy'; persecuted Catholics. Crisis over the Exclusion Act to exclude James, Duke of York, from the succession on the basis of his Catholicism. (His second wife was the Catholic Maria of Modena, and they had a son and heir.) Failure of the rye house plot to kill Charles and James. Monmouth, Charles's bastard son, is implicated in the Rye House conspiracy. Carlos I dies; James II agrees. Louis XIV allows persecution of French Protestants. 1687 James Declaration of Indulgence for Freedom of Conscience. Seven bishops refuse to swear a Second Declaration. The so-called Glorious Revolution: William of Orange is asked to help depose James, who flees to France; William III and Maria II rule. The Bill of Rights; tolerance of non-conformists. James arrives in Ireland; William's war with France continues. William defeats James at the Battle of the Boyne in Ireland. The Jacobites are defeated at the Battle of Aughrim (Ireland). The National Debt is initiated. Bank of England is established.

in 1688 by James II, Charles II's Catholic brother, led to the exclusion by Act of Parliament of Catholics from the succession. In Scotland, the Presbyterian Church was established by law; if the monarch came north, he was supposed to change his religion when crossing the border (as today). The monarchy was limited by Parliament and the commercial interests of the city; the wounds of the Civil War slowly healed. The governmental balance achieved in the Bloodless Revolution of 1688 prevailed in England until the extension of voting rights in the Great Reform Bill of 1832. The writing took its tone not from the Court, but from an educated society defined by rank, property and, more and more money. . New ideas were spread in newspapers. Around 1700 a book

commerce had begun to support writers and cater to leisure readers, some of the 'fair sex'. Journalism began, sensational or intelligent. There was also a literature of religious and social dissent. In literature, the Restoration was a period of novelty, change, and refoundation rather than great writing. Apart from Paradise Lost and the Anglican Prayer Book of 1662, the only books of those forty years which have been read in every generation since then are Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress (1678-9), some poems by John Dryden, [p. 156] and the best comedies of the Restoration. The faith of Bunyan, the philosophy of John Locke and Augustus (31 BC-AD the mathematics and optics of Sir Isaac Newton had a more lasting cultural impact than any other14) Among the poets of the period literary work in verse, prose or drama. An exception may be made for Dryden's Augustus were Virgil Absolom and Achitophel (1681), the model for a century of couplet satire. In a period of (70-19 BC), Horace (65recurrent public crisis, writing was topical, allusive and factional, and theater resumed in 8 BC), Propertius (54/48 with current affairs, political, ecclesiastical and sexual The journal and novel date c.16 BC) and Ovid (hand 43. BC-AD 17/18). The “heroic” tragedy of the Restoration did not last well, but its comedy is often performed today. It was the source of the good-natured comedy tradition in English writing: Henry Fielding, Oliver Goldsmith, Richard Sheridan, Jane Austen, W. S. Gilbert, Oscar Wilde and many more since. Dryden was the leading poet of the period, excelling in all its forms, especially satire and translation. He also wrote the best critical prose of an age when prose walked into conversation. If the Restoration period produced no first-rate writers, it gave new importance to secular literature. It is remarkable that Charles II's tolerance extended to the great writer who was the public apologist for his father's execution. Milton's absoluteness was more recognized than welcomed in an era of compromise and crisis management. After a sunset of 'heroic' gestures, the poetry lulled into the verses of the gentle sons of Ben Jonson's 'Children': Suckling, Denham and Waller. The civil, secular, and social culture of the Restoration period is often called august: its writers saw parallels between the restored monarchy and the peace restored by Emperor Augustus after civil war and the assassination of Caesar ended the Roman republic. Charles I was not Caesar and Charles II was not Augustus, but he was "civilized": he shared his cousin Louis XIV's esteem for les beaux arts et les belles lettres. He patronized the Royal Society, the theater and actresses. English augusts valued peace and order - and envied the prestige, patronage and polish of early augusts. Augustanism ruled from Dryden's maturity in the 1680s until Alexander Pope's death in 1744, but its ideals guided Dr. Johnson (died 1784) and educated Jane Austen (1775-1817). Literary history sometimes includes the Restoration in the eighteenth century, as "eighteenth century" qualities can be found in literature from 1660 to 1798, the date of publication of Wordsworth and Coleridge's Lyrical Ballads. Augustus' verse was typically in rhymed pentameter couplet, as, for example, in Pope's epigram: Nature and the laws of nature lie hidden in the night; God said: Let Newton be! and everything was light. The "heroic couplet," so named for its use in Restoration heroic tragedy, was less about ancient virtue than about its modern absence. This example is usually reminiscent of a superior text, the creation of light in Genesis. The theoretical prestige of the "heroic poem" was maintained by critics, as in Joseph Addison's appreciation of Paradise Lost in The Spectator in 1712. Another homage to the heroic was the translation. Dryden's Aeneid (1697) and Pope's Iliad (1720) echo Milton but moderate and modernize their exemplars. These heroic pictures put the meekness of everyday life into perspective; which has also been explored less critically in prose. Restoration consensus was an agreement to disagree. Carlos II managed to govern without parliament and overcame his problems, but Jaime II reignited old conflicts and in 1688 was forced to leave. An Act of 1662 had re-established Anglican Uniformity, banishing both Catholics and [p. 157] dissenting heirs of the Puritans. New centrists might laugh at Samuel Butler's Hudibras (1678), a satire on a Presbyterian knight, one of those stubborn bands Of wandering saints whom all men recognize To be the true Church Militant: Those who build their faith upon The holy text of pike and gun; Decides all controversies by infallible artillery, And proves the orthodoxy of his doctrine By blows and apostolic blows; Call fire, sword, and desolation A godly and complete reformation, Which ever must be done, And is still doing, never done; As if religion was destined for nothing more than to be fixed.

The Earl of Rochester A less straightforward reaction to the reversal of social mores in 1660 is found in the libertine humor of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester (1648-80), son of a Cavalier hero and a Puritan mother. The libertine delight in poetic sex, found in Ovid and the classical poets, and in Marlowe and Donne, was a convention of gallant Cavalier verse. Rochester, however, is fierce. Like other Restoration writers, he disliked righteous sentiments and sexual hypocrisy, but he was also skeptical of human reason. Renaissance humanists imagined that Reason would choose to move up rather than down the scale of creation, although Erasmus, Montaigne, Jonson, and Pascal had doubts. Skepticism was applied to the theory of the state by Thomas Hobbes. In his Leviathan (1651), written in exile in France, man's natural brutality needs the control of an absolute ruler. This skepticism is the starting point of Rochester's Satyr against Reason and Humanity: Were I (who at my expense am already One of those strange and prodigious creatures, man) A free spirit to choose, for my own part, What a case of flesh and blood I'd gladly wear, I'd be a dog or a monkey or a bear, Or anything but that vain animal That prides itself so much on being rational. To envy a dog is to remember the Greek cynics, and Rochester was as much a cynic as he was a sceptic. His Interregnum childhood led him to doubt the rational perfectibility of man. Rochester 'shined her youth and health in lavish voluptuousness' (Johnson). He had a libertine's disregard for love: 'Love a woman! You're an ass!/'It's a very insipid passion/Choosing your happiness/The silliest part of God's creation.' The King fared no better: Her scepter and her staff are long, And she can sway the one, who plays with the other, And makes him a little wiser than his brother. Restless he rolls from whore to whore, A merry, scandalous, poor monarch. Charles II had seventeen recognized bastards. [p. 158] Rochester's boldness can be both light and crass, as in 'Song of a young lady: to her ancient lover': 'Old person, for whom I/All flattering youths dare,/Till you grow old,/Sore , shivering, mad cold;/But continue as thou art,/Old person of my heart.” His style of wit, both metaphysical and august, was admired by both Marvell and Dryden. He turned to God on his deathbed.

John Bunyan Another type of conversion was that of John Bunyan (1628-88). Son of a tinsmith and soldier in the Parliamentary Army, his Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners (1666) recounts the effect of reading Luther and the stages of Protestant spiritual autobiography: conviction of sin, realization of redemption, spiritual rebirth, calling. He became an unlicensed Baptist preacher, was arrested in 1660, and continued to preach and write in Bedford Prison; in prison again he wrote The Pilgrim's Progress (1678, 1679), The Life and Death of Mr Badman and The Holy War. Pilgrim's Progress has been a highly successful religious allegory, for reasons that are easily understood. As I walked through the wilderness of this world, I came to a certain place where there was a lair, and I lay down in that place to sleep; and while I was sleeping I had a dream. I dreamed, and behold, I saw a man dressed in rags, standing in a certain place, with the face of his own house, a book in his hand and a great load on his back. I looked and saw him open the book and read in it; and as he read, he wept and trembled; and being no longer able to contain himself, he broke out with a pitiful cry, saying, 'What shall I do?' In this situation, therefore, he went home and restrained himself as much as he could, that his wife and children might not perceive his distress; but he could not remain silent for long, because his problem increased. [This man is called a 'Christian'. Christian tells his wife and children that everyone in their town will be burned by fire from heaven; they think he is mad.] Now I saw, once, when he was walking through the fields, that he was (as he used to) reading this book, and very distressed in his mind; and as he read, he burst out, as he had done before, crying, 'What must I do to be saved?' [A man named Evangelista gave him a scroll] ... and there was written: 'Flee the wrath to come.' The man therefore read it, and looking at Evangelista very carefully [with sadness], said: Whither shall I fly? So said Evangelista, pointing with his finger over a very wide field, do you see that wicket gate? The man said: No. Then said the other: Do you see that bright light? He said, I think so. Then said the evangelist: Keep that light in your eye and go straight up to it; so you will see the door; to which, when you knock, you will be told what you must do. Then I saw in my dream that the man started to run. Now, he had not run far from his own door, but his wife and children, perceiving this, began to cry for him to return; but the man put his fingers in

ears and ran, shouting: Life! life! eternal life! So he didn't look back, but fled into the middle of the plain. On his way from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City, Christian passes through the Swamp of Dismay and the Vanity Fair, and meets Mr. Sage of the World; the piercing simplicity of the narrative has brought it back to many while England was a strongly Protestant country. When in 1847 the scholar Thackeray chose the title Vanity Fair for his novel, he sharpened his moral outlook. Bunyan challenges the idea that literary judgment is unaffected by belief. He made his English clear and pure that he might save souls. Readers who do not seek to be saved in the Christian way, or who cannot place biblical revelation so far above [p. 159] reason, recognize the power of Bunyan's storytelling and enjoy his homespun cunning. But compared with the other English allegory of salvation, Piers Plowman, Bunyan is awfully simple. A milder Puritanism is found in the works of Richard Baxter (1615-91). The gulf between Bunyan and Rochester could not be bridged by church or state. The Puritans attacked the new theaters, where marriage, the marriage market, and extramarital intrigues were played for laughs. Playwrights responded that comedy selects the ridiculous to satirize. Actresses became the public mistresses of public men: Nell Gwynn went from the bed of the actor Charles Hart to that of the libertine poet-dramatist Sir Charles Sedley, and then to that of Charles II, whom she called "Charles the Third".

Samuel Pepys An overview of life in London is found in the diary kept by Samuel Pepys from 1660 to 1669. Pepys (1633-1703) was 'clerk to the king's ships' during the Dutch war. On his death, his fellow diarist John Evelyn (1620–1706) wrote of him as 'a very dignified, industrious and inquisitive person, none in England surpassing him in knowledge of the navy ... universally loved, hospitable, generous, learned in many things, skilled in music, a great connoisseur of learned men.' The diary shows Pepys as a faithful servant of the government, social, lover of plays and music, conventionally religious, proud of his country, his profession, his family, his wife and his home. He records everything disarmingly, including his own infidelities. The diary was deciphered and partially published in 1825. Its interest lies not only in the accounts of the plague, the fire and the Dutch at the gates in 1665-7, but also in its details. It shows that public life was, like social life, marked by public infidelity and venality. In earlier reigns, the unedifying life of the Court led to comment, not public laughter. Nobody laughed at Henry VIII.

Theaters London theaters opened to plays by the old playwright Sir William Davenant (1608-68) and to adaptations of pre-Civil War dramas, but there were no professional actors and the new plays were different. Two public companies licensed by the king performed in purpose-built theaters like modern theaters. Davenant's in Lincoln's Inn Fields and Dorset Garden, and Killigrew's in Drury Lane were covered; they had proscenium arches, curtains, scenery, lighting, and music. They provided lightly classical entertainments of a semi-operatic type for the Court and their friends. Noble arms and noble loves display and fret over their heroic achievements and debate issues of honor in symmetrical couplets. These English tragedies lack the focus of French tragedy. It's hard to see them staged, but Dryden's All for Love (1678) is a good read. It's a tidy version of Antony and Cleopatra, in dignified blank verse that works better than the heroic couplets in Dryden's earlier tragedies. Shakespeare now became the stage substitute: his plots, language and morals were adjusted to suit the fashion influenced by plays by Pierre Corneille (1616-84) and Jean Racine (1639-99) seen in Paris. A neoclassical critique was imported, with “rules” that required the three “units” of action, place and time: that the action take place in one place in no more than three hours. Shakespeare ignored these rules, but they are worth understanding. Critics have turned Aristotle's argument that [p. 160] most good tragedies have a single plot as a rule; and added the units of place and time. These doctrines are laid out economically by Dryden in his prologue to his play Secret Love (1665): He who wrote this, not without effort and thought From the French and English theaters brought the most exact rules by which a play is wrought: the units of Action , Place and Time; The non-stop scenes; and a mixed humor from Chime Of Johnson, with rhymes from Corneille.

i.e. Ben Jonson

Drama now tried to be purely comic or purely tragic, and critics also adopted Aristotle's praise of artistic unity, uniqueness of effect, and philosophical truth. To their doctrine that art should imitate the permanent traits of human nature, they added the principle that it should show rewarded virtue. These goals are irreconcilable in tragedy. In Nahum Tate's 1681 version of King Lear, Cordelia survives to marry Edgar. Johnson, writing of Lear in 1765, approved: A play in which the wicked prosper and the virtuous fail may doubtless be good because it is a fair representation of the ordinary events of human life: but as all reasonable beings naturally love justice, I cannot be easily persuaded that the observation of justice makes a play worse; or that, other excellencies being equal, the public will not always rise more satisfied from the final triumph of

persecuted virtue. In the present case, the public decided. Cordelia from the Tate era always retired with victory and happiness. Shakespeare leaves Edgar and Albany to support "the gored state", but in 1681 England was still a gored state; Charles' legitimate heir was his headstrong brother. The only neoclassical tragedy whose appeal survived into the eighteenth century was Thomas Otway's Venice Preserv'd (1682).

Restoration comedy Restoration comedy showed the sordid sexual side of the tranquil social world. The main comic writers of Charles's reign were Sir George Etherege (? 1634-? 91) and Restauratian Plays with dates of first performances. Sir George Etherege: Love in a Tub (1664), She Would if She Could (1668), The Man of Mode; or Sir Fopling Flutter (1676). John Dryden: The Indian Queen (1664), Marriage à-la-Mode (1672), The Conquest of Granada (1669), Aureng-Zebe (1675), All for Love (1678). William Wycherley: Love in a Wood, or, St James's Park (1671), The Country Wife (1675), The Plain Dealer (1676). George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham: The Essay (1672). Aphra Behn: The Rover (1677). Thomas Otway: Venice Preserved (1682). Sir John Vanburgh: The Relapse (1696), The Provok'd Wife (1697). William Congreve: Love for Love (1695), The Way of the World (1700). George Farquhar: The Recruiting Office (1706), The Beaux' Stratagem (1707). [p. 161] William Wycherley (1641-16); in the second tier is Aphra Behn (1640-89), the first woman to earn her living from her pen. The humor and provocative amoralism of these comedies were considered crass in the 1700s and have changed: Sir John Vanburgh (1654-1726) is lighter, William Congreve (1670-1729) more polished, George Farquhar (?1677-1707) more genial - trends which continued into the eighteenth century. Charles Lamb (1775-1834) argued that the artificial comedy of the Restoration, no longer performed in the early 19th century, had nothing to do with real life. Victorian historian T. B. Macaulay found it immoral; 20th-century critic L. C. Knights found it dull; today it entertains once more, though the sex comedy of the 1670s is more lewd than witty. Restoration comedy takes pleasure in the vices it caricatures: it shows "the way we live now," pushing current trends to logical extremes. The hero of Wycherley's The Country Wife is said to be impotent due to venereal disease and is no threat to women. His name, Horner, was then pronounced the same as 'honor', a word heard frequently in the play. Homer uses his reputation for insurance to dishonor the women in the play and give 'horns' to their husbands. We are not to condemn the moral of the play, but rather to admire its plot, wit, and retort. Old ideals were shattered in the Civil War. Before her, faith was supported by reason; thereafter Rochester and Bunyan were equally suspicious of reason.

The Rehearsal (1672) by John Dryden, The Duke of Buckingham, was a hugely successful prose burlesque of the theatrical conventions of the "heroic" tragedies of the 1660s, spiced with partisan and personal attacks known as "lampoons", in the manner of the modern private soldier. Eye. One target of their mockery was John Dryden (1631-1700), who staged five plays in 1667. When Davenant died in 1668, Charles II, a great patron of the theater, made Dryden Poet Laureate. It was a time of class, party and faction. Rochester, Buckingham and Sedley looked down on Dryden as a social inferior. Others, who made their living writing, recognized his superiority by attacking him. He was called 'Bayes', after his laurel wreath of laurel leaves. When royalist politics and religion faded in the 1680s, Dryden turned to satire and then to translation. He wrote of all kinds, but posterity liked best the undramatic work of his later career: his satire, his prose, and his Virgil. We have very complete materials for Dryden's life. His long literary career is a commentary on his time. At Westminster School, near London, where his Puritan family had sent him for a classical education, he was, when the King lost his mind, one of John Dryden's leading writers Astraea Redux (1660) Annus Mirabilis (1667) Essay on Dramatic Poesy (1668) Absolom and Achitophel, part I (1681) The Medal, A Satire against Sedition (1681) Mac Flecknoe (1682) Religio Laici (1682)

À memória do Sr. Oldham (1684) The Hind and the Panther (1687) A Song for St Cecilia's Day (1687) Alexander's Feast (1697) Virgil: Works (1697) Fables, Ancient and Modern (1700)

[p. 162] Scholar of the king. After Cambridge he returned to London to live writing for the stage and court. Though a gentleman, he was a slave to the pen, writing twenty-five plays, some with collaborators. His politics turned to satire, and his religion deepened in the Anglican Religio Laici ('Faith of a Layman') and The Hind and the Panther, in which he reasoned his way

in Catholicism. He maintained this faith in the reign of William III, a time of anti-Catholicism, to the material disadvantage of himself and his family. Dryden's faith turned from Puritan to Catholic; his style shifted from metaphysical to baroque to something clearer. His theatrical flourish settled in the 1670s in a less heroic and more urban manner of speech in verse. Extravagance has matured into complexity. Charles wanted heroic tragedies to be in rhyming couplets, as in France, but the second edition of Paradise Lost (1674) has Milton's defense of 'English heroic verse without rhyme' and a eulogy poem by Marvell, including the lines: Well canst thou [Milton] scorn thy Readers to seduce With tinkling Rime, of thine own sure sense; While the Town-Bayes write all the time and spells, And how a pack horse is weary without its bells.

anti-Catholicism In 1678 the London Fire Monument was erected. Its inscription said that the fire was started "by the treachery and malice of the popish faction...to introduce popery and slavery". These words, removed under James II, were re-cut under William and remained until 1831.

Milton had just given Dryden permission to "mark his lines": put Paradise Lost in rhyme for a semi-opera. The result, The State of Innocence, was printed but never performed, although Dryden learned much from reducing Milton's 10,000 lines to 1,400. to show that he also thought all the time. Marvell scoffed at the rhyme: the rhyme borrows a point in a closed couplet. Dryden found the English closed couplet to be too neat for tragedy, and instead turned it into the vehicle for satire. He also used open couplets and triplets, as in the famous opening of Religio Laici (1682): Dim, like the rays borrowed from the moon and stars To lonely, weary, wandering travelers, is the soul's reason: And as on high , Those turbulent Fires discover, but Heaven Does not lighten us here; Thus the bright ray of Reason was borrowed, not to secure our doubtful way, but to guide us to a better day. This "layman's religion" depends less on the brilliant Reason than on the light of Faith, but its language is quietly witty. Dryden has a reasoned reply to the historical critique of scripture: Safer, and far more modest, it is to say that God would not leave mankind without a way: And that the Scriptures, though not always free from corruption, or whole, or of course, Are incorrupt , sufficient, clear, entire, In all things that our necessary faith requires. If this is not George Herbert's faith, it at least makes sense in an area where reason could help neither Bunyan nor Rochester. [p. 163]

Satire In Mac Flecknoe Dryden found his true calling, satire in verse. Old Richard Flecknoe, a Catholic priest and dull writer, has long ruled the empire of Dulness: All things human are subject to decay, And when fate calls, monarchs must obey. This Flecknoe found, who, like Augustus, young Was called to empire, and long ruled: In prose and verse, was possessed, without dispute, By all realms of Nonsense, absolute. Seeking a successor, Flecknoe - like Augustus - adopts an heir (Mac means 'son'), the playwright Shadwell: 'S—— alone my perfect image bears, ripe in the tedium of his tender years: S—— alone, of all my children, it is he Who is confirmed in full stupidity. The rest to some vague meaning make-believe, But S——never strays to meaning...”

mock-heroic (mock' = 'pretend') A mode that doesn't mock heroism, but uses heroic style to belittle pretense. Less misleading is Pope's term for The Rape of the Lock (1713), 'Hero-Comical'

The poem, composed in 1679, was published in 1682 when Shadwell became a political opponent.

Mac Flecknoe inverts the goals and methods of heroic tragedy, transforming the heroic into the false-heroic and converting the rhyming couplet to new ends: expanding the smallness of the pretense. “There is a great difference,” Dryden wrote in a speech about the satire's original and progress, “between the careless butchery of a man and the subtlety of a blow which severs the head from the body and leaves it standing in its place. place." Dryden used the clipped tone of praise. Where Donne, Jonson, Milton, and Butler employ the hard-boiled ridicule of classic satirists, Dryden preferred "good mockery," clever provocation. Flecknoe's 'deviation' is a 'nice blow'; we are amused, not outraged. This writing is easy but full of comparisons, metaphors, allusions, wordplay. Dryden made the couplet such an effective instrument of satire that Swift, Pope, and Johnson used no other. Pope reused Mac Flecknoe's Empire of Dulness in his Dunciad. The subject of Absolom and Achitophel is the rebellion of Charles's illegitimate son, the Duke of Monmouth, prompted by the Earl of Shaftesbury, leader of the Whigs. Dryden compares this failed rebellion to that of the biblical Absolom against his father David, the great king of Israel; Israel, as in the sermons Dryden heard as a boy, means England. Nonconformists thought that Charles' infidelities had caused God to send plague, fire and the Dutch in 1666-7. Achitophel (Shaftesbury) was supported by city merchants who believed that 'kings were worthless and a hindrance to trade'. Brave David (Charles II), humane to his enemies, was a beloved king in Israel. He loved God - but also music, music, dancing and beautiful women. Dryden seizes this nettle with glee: In godly times the Priest's office began, Before polygamy became a sin; When man, into many, multiplied his kind, E'er one for one went, cursed, confined: When Nature urged, and no law withheld [p. 164] Promiscuous Use of Concubine and Bride; Then the monarch of Israel, after Heaven's own heart, His vigorous heat conveyed, in various ways, to wives and slaves: And, broad as his command, he scattered the image of his creator through the earth. Dryden delivers his complex fable with surprising ease, confidence and humor. Absolom's criticism is laced with praise: 'What faults did he have (for who from faults is free?)/His Father could not, or he would not see.' fussy flower Beautiful just in sight, but solid power; And nobler is a limited command, Given for the love of all his native land, Than one successive title, long and dismal, Extracted from the musty scrolls of Noah's ark.' Biblical David mourned bitterly for his son Absolam, killed in flight; but Monmouth survived. This deft poem, published during the Shaftesbury trial for treason, ends with David's mercy to the rebels - and to his children. But he warns the king, the country and any future rebels against a second civil war. Charles prevented the exclusion from Parliament of James, Duke of York, from his "successive title". Parliament took its revenge, however: when James was deposed, Dryden lost the laureate to Shadwell. Dulness had done it. Literary succession was on Dryden's mind in his moving poem in memory of the young poet John Oldham, and again in his last work: his Musical Odes, his Preface to the Fables, and his Virgil. It is the subject of his 1693 epistle 'To my dear friend, Mr. Congreve, in his comedy called The Double Dealer': Well, then, the promised time has come at last; The present Age of Intelligence obscures the past: Strong were our Sirs, and while they fought they Wrote, Conquering with Might of Arms and Might of Intelligence: Theirs was the Race of Giants before the Flood... The realism of this retrospect is so remarkable as for your timbre. Making way for Congreve, Dryden finds his own generation weaker than their predecessor. Charles brought refinement, but the likes of Shakespeare and Jonson would not return. There were giants in the land in those days, before the 'Flood' of the Civil War. Our age has long been cultivated, but what we gain in skill we lose in strength. Our builders were cursed by Want of Genius; The second Temple was not like the first. The rebuilt temple was English Augustinism. 'Oh, that your brows my Lawrel had held,' says Dryden to Congreve: 'Well if I had been deposed if you had reigned!' The Latin translation would cultivate English, as the Greek translation cultivated Rome. The success of Dryden's Sylvae (1685), a selection of Horace, Theocritus, Lucretius and Virgil, encouraged him to make a complete Virgil for Tonson, the bookseller. Couplets could finally be properly heroic:

[p. 165] Arms and the Man I sing of, who, forced by Fate, And haughty Juno's relentless hatred; Cast out and exiled, the Trojan Shoar left: Long labors, both by sea and land, he endured; And in the doubtful War, ere he won The Latian Realm, and built the destined City: His banished gods restored to Divine Rites, And established a sure Succession in their Lineage; Whence comes the Race of the Alban Fathers, And the long Glories of majestic Rome.

Lazio, in Italy

rulers descended from Aeneas

The proclamatory flourish of this overture recalls the fanfares of Henry Purcell (1659-1695), Dryden's collaborator in these years, or the ornate carving of Griming Gibbons (1648-1721). “I saw Virgil,” wrote Dryden in the preface to the Sylvae, “as a majestic writer, grave and succinct, who pondered not only every thought, but every word and syllable: who still intended to cram his sense into as narrow a space as possible. compass how possibly he could...'. However, in his Aeneid Dryden chose "to seek excellence and abandon brevity", as English is less compact than Latin. The Sylvae's preface sets out its policy: a translator should make his author appear as charming as possible, so long as he retains his character and does not make him different from himself. Translation is a kind of drawing after life; where all will recognize that there is a twofold kind of resemblance, a good one and a bad one. It's one thing to draw the true contours, the like features, the exact proportions, the coloring itself maybe tolerable; and another thing to make all this graceful, by the posture, the shadows and, above all, by the spirit that animates the whole. This animating spirit can be felt in the prophecy in which Aeneas' father exalts the government of Rome above the arts of Greece: "Let others better mold the flowing mass Of metals, and inform breathing bronze, And soften a cheek of flesh into flesh." marble; Plead better at the bar; describe the heavens, and when the stars rise, and when they rise. But Rome! it is affliction alone, with terrible influence, To govern mankind, and make the world obey: Disposing of peace and war thy own majestic way. To tame the proud, the chained slave to free, These are imperial arts and worthy of you.

(VI. 1168-77)

England should also excel in empire, not art. Dryden's ingenious dedication can also be read from the side as an acceptance of William III's rule. Always a political writer, he read his times and his readers well, as in the last jocular Chorus to the Secular Mask (1700): All, all, at once: Thy pursuit had a wild beast in sight; Your wars brought nothing; Thy lovers were all false. It's good that an old age is gone, and it's time to start a new one. At the end of a century in which the monarchical succession had twice been broken and restored, Dryden was buried in Chaucer's tomb. ‘What was said of Rome, adorned [p. 166] of Augustus, may be applied by way of easy metaphor to the English poetry embellished by Dryden', wrote Dr. Johnson: "he found brick and left marble". more usable than when he found it.

Prose Dryden was also a master of what he called 'the other harmony of prose'. Though musical, it manages to sound like you're talking to an intelligent friend. : diary, family letters, the essay, the 'character'; novel and autobiography; history, criticism, philosophy, political thought, religion and the natural sciences. The Royal Society of London was the nursery of English science, its members in A Prose Chronology of the Restoration 1662

Revised Version of the Book of Common Prayer; Joseph Glanvill, The Vanity of Dogmatizing

1664 1665 1667 1668 1669 1670 1672 1674 1675 1677 1678 1679 1680 1685 1686 1687 1688 1689 1690 1692 1693 1695 1696 1697 1 698 1701 1703

John Evelyn, Sylva Izaak Walton, Life of Richard Hooker (The Rochefoucauld, Maximes) Thomas Sprat, History of the Royal Society of London for the Best of Natural Knowledge John Dryden, Essays on Dramatic Poetry; John Wilkins, Towards a Real Character, and a Philosophical Language Bp. Gilbert Burnet, Conference between a Conformist and a Non-conformist Walton, Lives (Pascal (d.1662), Thoughts) Andrew Marvell, The Rehearsal Transprosed Thomas Rymer, Reflections on Aristotle's Treatise of Poetry Thomas Traherne, Christian Ethics (Spinoza (d.1662). 1677), Ethics) John Bunyan, The Pilgrim's Progress Burnet, History of the Reformation of the Church of England Sir Roger the Stranger, Select Colloquies of Erasmus (trans.) Charles Cotton, Montaigne's Essays (trans.) Lord Halifax, Letter to a dissident Isaac Newton, Principles of Mathematics (Latin) Aphra Behn, Oronooko, or the Royal Escravo; Halifax, Character of a Trimmer John Locke, Two Treatises on Government; First Letter on Locke's Toleration, An Essay Upon Human Understanding Sir Richard Temple, Miscellaneous Rymer, A Brief View of Locke's Tragedy, The Reasonableness of Christianity, Archbishop Tillotson (d. 1694), Works John Aubrey, Miscellanies; Richard Baxter (d. 1691) Relics Baxterianae; John Toland, Unmysterious Christianity William Dampier, Travels Jeremy Collier, A Brief View of the Immorality and Profanity of the Stage John Dennis, The Advancement and Reform of Modern Poetry Lord Clarendon (d.1674), A History of the Rebellion and Civil Wars

[p. 167] eluding Wren, Boyle, Hooke, Locke and Newton. Its secretary, Thomas Sprat, writing in History of the Royal Society, wished to make language suitable for science: The language, which makes so much noise in the world... They [the Royal Society] have, therefore, been more rigorous in running the only remedy that can be found for this extravagance; and this has been a constant resolution, to reject all amplifications, digressions, and augmentations of style; to return to the primitive purity and brevity, when Men delivered so many Things, in almost as many Words. They demanded of all their members a close, naked, and natural way of speaking; positive expressions, clear senses; a native facility; bringing all things as close as possible to mathematical simplicity; and preferring the language of craftsmen, countrymen, and merchants, before that of sages or scholars. This is propaganda: the Society's royal patron much preferred the language of Wits. Nor did Sprat cure all members of the metaphor, though such ideals may have helped clarify the prose. His puritanical distrust of figurative language was taken to its logical extreme in John Wilkins' Philosophical Language, satirized in Jonathan Swift's Academy of Projectors in Gulliver's Travels (1726), where projectors, instead of using words to represent things, carry the things themselves. As the chronology titles indicate, the Restoration ushered in an era of reasonableness. The Society was both social and scientific, beginning with informal gatherings of Oxford scholars and writers, not all of whom had the scientific interests of Abraham Cowley. It was an early example of a club meeting to discuss matters of interest. Talk, Sprat's "natural way of speaking," informs Restoration prose, allowing for difference but inviting compromise. The presumption that language is for civil exchange made for reasonableness. Civilization and urbanity spread from the city and the Court to the liberal professions and the nobility. Women begin to make a substantial contribution to writing. But this civilization excluded middle-class dissenters, and the Society had few "Artizan" members. There's plenty of enjoyable minor prose: the lives of Izaak Walton; the journals of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn; Colonel Hutchinson's memoirs by his daughter Lucy; the account of Buckingham's murder in The Brief Lives of John Aubrey. Dorothy Osborne began a letter to her future husband, William Temple: “Sir, if it pleases you to know that I desire to have you with me, it is a satisfaction you will always have, for I do this perpetually.” Another new form was “character”. , a brief biography. An example is the character of Henry Hastings, of Lord Shaftesbury, 'the copy of our nobility in ancient times in hunting and not in times of war': he was short, very strong and very active, with fair red hair, his clothes always of green cloth and never worth when new five pounds... No woman in all his walks of the wife grade of a yeoman or less, and under forty, but it was extremely her fault if he was not an acquaintance intimate

with her... The upper part [of the living room] had... a desk, on one side of which was the church Bible, on the other the Book of Martyrs; on the tables were hawk's hoods and bells and things like that, two or three old green hats with their crowns tucked in so as to hold ten or a dozen eggs, which were of a kind of pheasant, a bird he took great care of. and fed himself; tables, dice, cards and boxes abounded. In the hole in the desk was a stash of used pipes. On one side of this end of the room was a cupboard door, where the strong ale and wine were kept, which never came except in individual glasses, the rule of the house being exactly observed, for he never drank too much or allowed this. On the other side was a door to an old chapel not used for devotions; the pulpit, as the safest [p. 168] place, there was never a shortage of a cold beef loin, venison pasty, bacon shank, or a big apple pie, with a thick, extremely roasted crust... He lived to be a hundred years old, never lost his sight, but he always wrote and read without glasses, and rode his horse without help. Until well into his eighties, he rode to the death of a deer as well as any other.

John Locke John Locke (1632-1704) was a key figure in British cultural history. An Oxford academic, he became physician to Lord Shaftesbury, moved to Holland at the Monmouth crisis, and returned with William of Orange. Publishing after 1689, he formulated an empirical philosophy that derived knowledge from experience and a theory of government as a contract between the governor and the governed. He preferred to derive Christianity from reason rather than revelation, but he exempted Catholics from his advocacy of religious toleration. His Essay Concerning Human Understanding asserted that, at birth, the human mind was “a white paper, empty of all characters, without any ideas”: a blank space written by experience. Knowledge comes from reason reflecting on sense impressions and monitoring the association of ideas. This epistemology and psychology, drawing on Sir Isaac Newton's mechanics and optics, became part of eighteenth-century common sense,

Writers Among the still unrecognized writers of the 17th century are poetesses Anne Bradstreet (c.1612-72) and Katherine Philips, "the incomparable Orinda" (1631-64); Anne Killigrew (1660-85) and Anne, Lady Winchilsea (1661-1720). Mary Astell (1666-1731) and Delarivière Manley (1663-1724) wrote variously and extensively, as

Anne Bracegirdle, one of the first actresses on the Restoration stage, playing the Indian Queen in Aphra Behn's The Widow Ranter (1689). A mezzotint at the Victoria and Albert Theater Museum, London.

[p. 169] made Aphra Behn (1640-89), thrown into authorship by the untimely death of her Dutch husband. The light-hearted banter of Behn's sex comedies caused a scandal, though not with other playwrights, with whom she got along well, nor with Nell Gwynn, to whom she dedicated The Feign'd Curtezans. She shows the other side of debauchery, notably in The Rover, where Angellica Bianca, a 'famous courtesan', truly loves but experiences the disappointments of free love. Behn's adventures as a colonist in Suriname, a royal spy in Antwerp, and a woman in the Restoration theater also entered her fiction. Her 'novel', Oroonoko, or the Story of the Royal Slave, is an ideological novel: a noble African prince cruelly enslaved by colonists is redeemed by the love of the 'brave, beautiful and steadfast Imoinda'.

William Congreve The literary century ended with Congreve's comedy The Way of the World, a classic intrigue of manners, love, money and marriage. William Congreve (1670-1729) shines the mirror of society. Mirabell woos Millamant, niece of the widowed Lady Wishfort, while courting her aunt. This is kindly told to the aunt by Mrs. Marwood, whose advances Mirabell spurned. Lady Wishfort now hates Mirabell "more than a Quaker hates a parrot" and will disown Millamant if she marries him. A conspiracy by Mrs. Marwood and Fainall, Lady Wishfort's son-in-law, to obtain the inheritance is thwarted by an amusing counter-conspiracy involving servants, a country cousin ("rustick, ruder than Gothick") and a belated legal surprise. Love and virtue outweigh villainy, though wit outshines virtue. In this double-dealing world, integrity (when passionate) has to assume the guise of frivolity. The audience needs the clues from the characters' names, but the names of the lovers are unclear. How does Millamant treat his “thousand lovers”? What other than wit is "admirable" about Mirabell? In the Proviso scene, the lovers negotiate the rules of their marriage: MILLAMANT: ... I won't be cursed after MIRABELL: Names! MILLAMANT: Yes, as a wife, wife, my dear,

I'm married; positively, I will not be cursed.

joy, jewel, love, darling, and the rest of that nauseating ditty, in which men and their wives are so deeply familiar - I will never tolerate it - Good Mirabell, let us not be familiar or affectionate, nor kiss in front of people... Let us never visit each other together, nor go to a play together, but let us be very strange and well mannered: let us be as strange as if we had been married for a long time; and as well educated as if we weren't married. MIRABELL: Do you have any other conditions to offer? So far your demands are quite reasonable. However, the sophisticated Millamant soon confesses to Mrs. Fainall: 'If Mirabell does not make a good husband, I am a lost thing; for I find that I love him violently.' Wit's mask slides off to reveal true love. Driving Mrs. Marwood goes into her closet to overhear a conversation, Lady Wishfort says: "There are books on the chimney - Quarles and Pryn and Short View of the Stage, with Bunyan's works to entertain you." Quarles was a curious old moralizer; Prynne, an enemy of stage plays; Bunyan died in 1688. Congreve thus tries to laugh at the recent attack on himself, among others, by Jeremy Collier in A Short View of the Immorality and Profaneness of the English Stage (1698). Collier was not a Puritan, but a principled Anglican clergyman who refused to take the oath to William and Mary. [p. 170]

New St Paul's, built to replace Old St Paul's (see page 133), the Cathedral of the City of London. Begun in 1675, completed in 1711. The architect, Sir Christopher Wren, wanted a dome on a central drum, but had to incorporate a long traditional 'Gothic' nave.

The Way of the World was not a success and Congreve wrote no more plays. George Farquhar stuck with the formula, but Collier's dislike was prophetic. Alexander Pope (1688-1744), whose own humor could be risque, was quick to disapprove of the kind of Restoration comedy in which "smut was humour."

Further Reading Corns, T.N. (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to English Poetry, Donne to Marvell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993). Danielson, D. (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to John Milton (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999). Parry, G. The Seventeenth Century: The Intellectual and Cultural Context of English Literature, 1603-1700 (Harlow: Longman, 1989).

[p. 171]

Part THREE. Augustus and Romantic [p. 173]

6. Augustan Literature: Up to 1790 Overview After Pope's brilliant achievements, literary civilization broadened to include more of the middle class and women. The aristocratic patron gave way to the bookseller. After mid-century, the august "sense" of Swift, Pope and Johnson was increasingly complemented by Sensibility, with "Ossian", Gray and Walpole. Romance flourished in the 1740s with Richardson, Fielding and Sterne. The last part of the century saw great achievements in non-fiction prose, with Johnson, Gibbon and Boswell, a brief revival of drama (Goldsmith, Sheridan), and a retreat of poetry into privacy and eccentricity. The Eighteenth Century The course of the eighteenth century presents a stark contrast to the disruption and change of the seventeenth century. A desire for rational agreement and growing confidence marks literary culture for a century after 1688. There were crosscurrents, exclusions, and developments: the novel arrived in the 1740s, and Augustanism was increasingly in dialogue with other modes. England and her empire in the British Isles prospered through improvements in agriculture and industry, and through trade with her overseas empire, first commercial, then territorial. In 1740, the Scottish poet James Thomson exhorted Britannia to rule, and especially to "rule the waves". Having contained Louis XIV in Europe and eclipsed the Netherlands, Britannia defeated France in India and North America and dominated the far south of the Pacific. With more leisure at home, literature gained a readership and, through the trade in books, periodicals, salons and libraries, it reached beyond the Church, the nobility and the liberal professions and beyond London, Dublin and Edinburgh. However, most of the population - nine million at the end of the century - could not read. Much of the religion of a rational Church of England settled down to duties, social and private, although there was the evangelical revival known as Methodism. Dissenters and Catholics had civil shortcomings, but they were tolerated: dissenters with condescension, Catholics with distrust. Tolerance was extended to Jews (expelled from England in 1290) and to atheists. [p. 174] Public events around the time of Pope William's death. Anne reigns (until 1714). 1702 Marlborough defeats the French and Bavarians at Blenheim. 1704 Marlborough defeats Louis XIV at Ramillies. 1706 Union of the Scottish Parliament with that of England at Westminster. 1707 Fall of the Whigs. Christopher Wren's St Paul's Cathedral completed. Copyright Act 1710. Treaty of Utrecht ends the War of the Spanish Succession. British earnings. 1713 Anne dies. The Hanoverian succession: George I reigns (until 1727). 1714 1715 Fall of the Conservatives. The Jacobite rising defeated. 1721 Walpole Chancellor of the Exchequer and First Lord of the Exchequer (until 1742). George I dies. George II reigns (until 1760). 1727 The Methodist Society is started in Oxford. 1730 Lloyd's List (of navigation) begins. 1734 War of the Austrian Succession: George II defeats the French at Dettingen. 1743 Jacobite army arrives at Derby and withdraws. 1745

Contents The Eighteenth Century Enlightenment Sense and Sensibility Alexander Pope and Eighteenth-Century Civilization Joseph Addison Jonathan Swift Alexander Pope Translation as Tradition The Rapture of the Keyhole Mature Verse John Gay Lady Mary Wortley Montagu The Romance Daniel Defoe Cross Currents Samuel Richardson Henry Fielding Tobias Smollett Laurence Sterne The Rise of Sensibility Thomas Gray Pre-Romantic Sensibility: 'Ossian' Gothic Fiction The Age of Johnson Dr. Samuel Johnson The Dictionary Literary Criticism James Boswell Nonfiction Edward Gibbon Edmund Burke Oliver Goldsmith Fanny Burney Richard Brinsley Sheridan Christopher Smart William Cowper Robert Burns

Further reading

The periodicals carried literary essays on neutral civilized topics, including literature itself. The status of the literature is shown also by the sums subscribed to Prior and Pope editions, and the authority accorded to Addison, Chesterfield, Burke, Gibbon, and Johnson. Johnson's Dictionary was a monument to English letters, as was his edition of Shakespeare and his Lives of English Poets - in sixty-eight quarto volumes. There were literary crazes, by Sterne's Tristram Shandy, Macpherson's 'Ossian' and Gothic fiction. The neoclassicism that prevailed until the middle of the century defended that Art should imitate Nature or reality; but the success of literature became such that Nature began to imitate Art. Homesteads were designed to look "natural" or pleasantly wild; the owners built hermitages and picturesque ruins to experience literary feelings. Much of the literature of the 18th century has an educated or aristocratic tone, but its authors were largely middle class, as were their readers. The art of letters had social prestige, and poets found patrons among the nobility, who also wrote. Congreve, Prior, and Addison rose in society, as did, despite their handicaps, Pope: "Above a patron, though I condescend/Sometimes to call a minister my friend." The booksellers who commissioned Johnson's Lives of Poets asked him to include several

nobles alongside Milton, Dryden, Swift and Pope. Fiction was less polite and more commercial than poetry. In Johnson's Dictionary, the most cited prose writer is Samuel Richardson, the son of a cabinetmaker who became a printer and eventually a novelist. Johnson himself was the son of a bookseller. The pioneering realist, Daniel Defoe, was a journalist for hire who lived by his pen. Defoe and Richardson had a concern for the individual conscience that evolved from the Protestant anxiety about personal salvation found in John Bunyan. Defoe and Richardson were dissenters. Henry Fielding, an Anglican, dismissed Richardson's concern for introspection and attacked social abuses.

The Enlightenment The Enlightenment is a name given by historians of ideas to a phase that followed the Renaissance and was followed (though not ended) by Romanticism. The Enlightenment believed in the universal authority of Reason and its ability to understand and

Hanoverian England (1714-1830) George I, grandson of James I, was Elector of the German state of Hanover, and he and his successors, George II, III, and IV of England, are Hanoverian. As did his successors William IV and Victoria, but "Hanoverian England" generally refers to the reigns of the four Georges. Enlightenment (German: Aufklärung): a period of intellectual progress in the 18th century, when Reason was expected to eliminate the superstition of the darker ages.

[p. 175] explain, as in Pope's line: 'God said, Let Newton be, and all was light.' He favored tolerance and moderation in religion and had hope in the rational perfectibility of man. Among English writers, skepticism rarely reached the deism of anticlericals like the French Voltaire and the virtual atheism of the Scotsman David Hume: 'Enlightenment' is a term that fits France and Scotland better than it does England. Edward Gibbon (1737-94) is one of the few fully Enlightenment English writers, although by the time of the French Revolution (1789) the term fit political thinkers such as William Godwin and Tom Paine, and writers such as Maria Edgeworth. When Horace Walpole, himself indifferent to religion, went to France in 1765, he found its rational ruthlessness uncomfortable. Early in the century, the third Earl of Shaftesbury advocated enlightened self-interest, holding that multiple self-interest would work together for good - a benign view spurned by Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), for whom Christianity was a necessary curb on irrationality. human. Realist Bernard de Mandeville (1670-1733) held that self-interest leads to competition, not cooperation. Literature at the time of the Pope 1704 1705 1706 1707 1708 1709 1710 1711 1713 1714 1715 1716 1719 1722 1726 1728 1729 1730 1731 1732 1735 1736 1737 1738 1739 1740 1742

Isaac Newton, Optics. (Playwright Sir John Vanburgh designed Blenheim Palace for the Duke of Marlborough.) George Farquhar, The Recruiting Officer. Farquhar, The Beaux' Stratagem; Isaac Watts, Hymns. 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury, Letter on Enthusiasm. Sir Richard Steele, The Tatter, Berkeley, A New Theory of Vision; Earlier poems; Nicholas Rowe (ed.), The Works of Mr William Shakespeare (6 volumes to 1710). Bishop Berkeley, Treatise on the Principles of Human Knowledge; Shaftesbury, Advice to an Author. Joseph Addison, The Spectator, Shaftesbury, Features. Addison, Cato. John Gay, Pastor's Week; Bernard de Mandeville, Fable of the Bees. (Handel, WaterMusic.) Gay, trivia and three hours after marriage (Hawksmoor designs St Mary Woolnoth, London). Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe. Thomas Parnell (died 1718), Poems; Daniel Defoe, Moll Flanders. James Thomson, Winter, Gay, Fables. John Law, A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life; Gay, the Beggar's Opera; Ephraim Chambers, Cyclopaedia. Thomson, Britannia. Thomson, The Seasons; Henry Fielding, Tom Thumb. The gentleman's magazine. The London Magazine. Samuel Johnson, A Voyage to Abyssinia (Hogarth, A Rake's Progress). Bishop Butler, The Analogy of Religion. William Shenstone, Poems; John Wesley, Poems and Hymns; Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, The Absurdity of Common Sense. Johnson, London. John and Charles Wesley, Hymns and Sacred Poems; David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature Samuel Richardson, Pamela. (Handel, Messiah; Hogarth, Marriage à la Mode.)

[p. 176]

Sense and Sensibility Reason is a better watchword for eighteenth-century Englishman than Reason. Sense encompasses practical reason, the ability to distinguish true from false, common sense (from lat. communis sententia, common opinion). At first it was related to, not opposed to, Sensitivity, a capacity for moral feeling. When Sensitivity became more aesthetic and sentimental, it began to be contrasted

with meaning, as in the title of Jane Austen's novel. Sense, finally, recalls Locke's influential account of the mind, in which reliable knowledge of the real comes from sense impressions.

Alexander Pope and Eighteenth-Century Civilization The time of Augustanism coincides with the time of Alexander Pope (1688-1744), when Addison and Swift also flourished—as did the unAugustan Defoe. From then on, the august temperament did not dominate the roost, but characterized the most successful work of the century: Gulliver's Travels, Dunciad IV, Gray's Elegy and Johnson's trials. Joseph Addison was a poet and a tragedian, but his legacy is The Spectator, a daily newspaper he edited and co-wrote with Sir Richard Steele, in succession to Steele's The Tatler (1709). Steele's paper entertained, The Spectator entertained.

Joseph Addison After the excesses of faction and enthusiasm, John Locke, Isaac Newton, Christopher Wren and others showed what human intelligence can do. Joseph Addison (1672-1719) conveyed these achievements to the new middle class in prose that Johnson called "the model of the middle style." The Spectator sold an unprecedented ten thousand copies of each issue; his wit was edifying, unlike the Restoration; Addison's essays were taken as a model for over a century. In issue #1 (Thursday, March 1, 1711) the Spectator introduces himself: I think I... was always a favorite of my schoolmaster, who used to say my pieces were solid and would wear well. I was not long at the University, before I was distinguished by a profound silence: For during the Space of Eight Years, except in the public Exercises of the College, I scarcely uttered the quantity of a hundred words; and, in fact, I don't remember ever speaking three sentences together in my whole life. While I was in this Learned Corps, I applied myself with such Diligence to my Studies, that there are very few celebrated Books, either in Learned or Modern Languages, with which I am not familiar. travels to Egypt to 'measure a Pyramid; and as soon as I adjusted myself to that particular, I returned to my native country with great satisfaction'. He is also an observer of men: I spent my last years in this city, where I am often seen in most public places, though there are not more than half a dozen of my select friends who know me; of whom my next Papers will give a more particular account. There is no place of General Resource where I do not frequently appear; I am sometimes seen poking my head into a round of politicians at Will's and listening with rapt attention to the narratives that are made in these small circular hearings. Sometimes I smoke a pipe at Child's; and while I seem attentive to nothing but the postman, I hear the conversation of every table in the room... In short, wherever I see a crowd of people, I always mix with them, although I never open my lips, but in mine Club itself. [p. 177] The Club exists to establish 'the Papers which may contribute to the Advancement of the Public Good'. Its members are Sir Roger de Coverley, Sir Andrew Freeport, Captain Sentinel and Will Honeycomb - country, city, army and society; the Church is not represented. The Spectator is the Club's critic: 'Your taste in books is a little too fair for the times you live in; he has read everything but approves very few.' Addison maintains this false pomp throughout. The instruction comes lightheartedly from Steele: 'I doubt not, but England is at present as educated a nation as any in the world; but any thinking man can easily see that the affectation of being gay and fashionable has almost consumed our common sense and our religion. Common sense and religion are interchangeable. Addison warned that "The mind that remains inactive for a single day, springs up in follies that can only be killed by a constant and assiduous culture." ' (Isaac Watts, 'Against Idleness and Mischief'). Addison goes on (in No. 10) to weed out folly and cultivate the mind: It was said of Socrates that he brought philosophy from heaven to dwell among men; and I will be ambitious so that it is said of me that I took Philosophy from Cupboards and Libraries, Schools and Colleges, to reside in Clubs and Assemblies, at Tea Tables and in Cafés. I would, therefore, in a very particular manner, recommend these speculations of mine to all well-ordered families, who set aside an hour each morning for tea, bread, and butter; and I would sincerely advise them for their good to order that this document be delivered punctually and considered as part of the tea equipment. The gentleman-Socrates offers sound material for conversation to empty-headed men. He then turns to the Tea Crew. But there is no one for whom this Document will be more useful than for the Feminine World. I have often thought that not enough efforts have been made to find suitable jobs and amusements for the righteous. Their amusements seem designed for them, more like women than like reasonable creatures; and are more adapted to Sex than to Species. This combination of mockery, analysis and seriousness is august. The premise is that the human being is a rational animal or (in Christian terms) a rational creature. What is proposed with a smile is serious: the assiduous culture of everyday life will remove the foolishness and vice from the well-regulated family, which leads O Espectador. It was for her family, not just her father, that Addison wrote

articles about Milton and the ballad. Pope would observe that "our wives read Milton and our daughters plays." The family would insist that the father take them to Bath, the new upper-middle-class spa. Addison's classic Cato (1713) was popular, but this tragedy expressed the ruling class's interest in principle and nobility. Johnson described Cato as "more a poem in dialogue than a drama". His own Young Irene (1736) was a failure. No 18th century tragedy lasted. John Home's Romantic Douglas (1756), a hit in Edinburgh, is now remembered mainly as a curiosity and for an audience member's cry, "Whaur's your Wullie Shakespeare noo?" Neoclassical ideals did much for satire, translation, prose and criticism in England, but not for tragedy.

Jonathan Swift Addison's smooth rise was only interrupted when the Whigs were away, which led him briefly into journalism (and thus this book). Defoe, Swift and Pope

An Established Career Joseph Addison, born in 1672, son of the Provost of Lichfield. He went from Cathedral near Charterhouse, to Oxford, to a fellowship at Magdalen College, to a European tour. Dryden praised his Latin poems. He wrote Dialogues on the Usefulness of Ancient Medals and a Verse Tribute to the Blenheim Victory. Under-Secretary of State, MP, fell with Whigs 1711, turned to journalism and drama, rejoined Whigs 1715, Chief Secretary for Ireland, married Countess of Warwick, retired on a pension of £1,500, buried in Westminster Abbey, 1719.

[p. 178] Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) Major Works: The Battle of the Books; A Tale of a Tub 1704 The Bickerstaff Papers 1708 The Examiner (ed.); Meditations on a Broomstick 1710 An Argument against the Abolition of Christianity, the Conduct of the Allies 1711 A Proposal to Correct the English Language 1717 Drapier's Letters 1724 Gulliver's Travels 1726 A Brief View of the State of Ireland 1728 A Modest Proposal 1729 Conversation 1738 Verses about the death of Dr. Swift 1739 a lacked its advantages. Defoe (b.1660) is later credited with being a novelist; he was a maverick, who wrote over 560 books, pamphlets and newspapers. Pope (b.1688), disabled, Catholic and largely self-taught, also lived by pen. Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), born to English parents in Dublin after his father's death, had a career as frustrating as Addison's was successful. Educated alongside William Congreve at Kilkenny and at Trinity College, Dublin, Swift came to England and was secretary to Sir William Temple, statesman, author and advocate of naturalness in garden design. Without preference, Swift was ordained in Ireland, but visited London from Dublin. He left the Whigs for their failure to support the Church against dissent. In 1713 he became Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin-not, as he would have preferred, a bishop in England. He lived in Dublin in indignant opposition to the Whig government in London, defending Ireland and the (Anglican) Church. He gave a third of his income to the poor - usually Catholics. In 1704, Swift submitted to satirical review the claims of ancient and modern authors in The Battle of the Books, and the claims of Rome, Canterbury, Geneva, and the sects in the more complex A Tale of a Tub. His often anonymous controversial works can be straightforward, as in the Drapier Letters, which successfully thwarted an English currency fraud in Ireland. But his enduring works argue from an absurd premise, as in An Argument to Prove that the Abolition of Christianity in England might, as things now stand, be attended with some inconveniences, and perhaps not produce the many good effects proposed by it. Swift believed that "we need religion like we need our dinner, evil makes Christianity indispensable and that's it." But here he writes from a different point of view: The Gospel system, after the fate of other systems, is generally antiquated and blown up; and the mass or body of the common people, among whom it seems to have had its last credit, are now as ashamed of it as their superiors... I hope no reader will imagine me so weak as to rise up in defense of real Christianity, such as used in primitive times (if we may believe the authors of those ages) to have an influence on the belief and actions of men... the other having been for some time wholly set aside by general consent as wholly inconsistent with all other schemes. current wealth and power. [p. 179] Likewise, A Modest Proposal, to prevent the children of poor people in Ireland from being a burden to their parents or country, and to make them beneficial to the public, proposes that surplus children should be eaten. A very experienced American, an acquaintance of mine in London, assured me that a healthy, well-groomed child is, at the age of one year, delicious, nourishing, wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, roasted, or boiled; and I have no doubt it will do just as well in a fricassee or a ragu. I make

therefore, I humbly offer for public consideration that of the one hundred and twenty thousand children, already computed, twenty thousand may be reserved for reproduction, of which only a quarter are male. ... May the remaining one hundred thousand, at one year of age, be offered for sale to people of quality and fortune throughout the kingdom, always advising the mother to let them suck profusely in the last month, to make them plump and fat for a good table. One child will make two dishes at an entertainment for friends; and when the family dines alone, the forequarter or hindquarter will make a fair dish, and seasoned with a little pepper or salt will be very good cooked on the fourth day, especially in winter. After enumerating the moral and economic advantages of his scheme, Swift disinterestedly ends: “I have no children with whom I can propose to get a single penny; the youngest is nine and my wife is pregnant. ' The proposition is prophetic of the 19th-century economist who, on hearing of the death toll in the Potato Famine in Ireland, sadly remarked that it was not enough. Swift exposes the inhumanity of emerging forms of rational simplification by simplifying them further. His modest proposal solves a human problem through an economic calculation that ignores human love and treats the poor like cattle. Gulliver's Travels (1726) also lead new perspectives to logical conclusions. Captain Gulliver records his travels to the lands of the minuscules, the giants, experimental scientists and horses. Gulliver expects Lilliput's little ones to be delicate and Brobdignag's giants to be coarse; they are not. These first two journeys are often retold for children; the wonderful tale simply told delights both readers who guess Swift's purposes and readers who don't. Gulliver draws on the True History of Lucian of Samosata (c.125-200), an account of a voyage to the moon, earnest but utterly false. Gulliver refers to "Cousin Dampier" (William Dampier's Travel Round the World and Voyage to New Holland were widely read), and gives Lilliput a map reference, placing it in New Holland (i.e. Australia). Gulliver is, like Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, one of the practical, self-sufficient sailors through whom Britannia began to rule the waves. As in Crusoe, the reader can identify with the hero, whose common sense guides him in his adventures. Our identification with the 'I' who tells the story is Swift's secret weapon. At the end of Book II, Gulliver boasts of the triumphs of British civilization to the King of Brobdignag, who has treated him kindly. The king says that the advances Gulliver reported make him think of his countrymen as "the most pernicious race of hateful little worms that nature ever allowed to crawl over the face of the earth". Shocked, Gulliver tries to impress him with the invention of gunpowder and the marvelous effects of artillery. The king was horrified by my description of those terrible engines and by my proposal. He was astonished to see how so helpless and crawling an insect as I was (these were his expressions) could entertain ideas so inhuman, and in such a familiar way, that he seemed utterly indifferent to the scenes of blood and desolation which I had painted as the common effects of these. destructive machines, of which, he said, some evil genius, enemy of mankind, must have been the first inventor. As for himself, he protested, though few [p. 180] things delighted him as much as new discoveries in art or nature, but he would rather lose half his kingdom than have knowledge of such a secret, which he ordered me, as I valued my life, never to mention again. A strange effect of narrow principles and short views! Greater surprises await Gulliver in Book IV in the land of the Houyhnhnms, noble horses endowed with reason. These human, enlightened creatures rule the Yahoos, a savage, man-like race noted for lust, greed, and filth. The Houyhnhnms have no words for lying and are shocked by Gulliver's accounts of civilization. He adopts the ways of these equine philosophers, but they cast him out. Picked up by a Portuguese ship, he returns to London, but is so recoiled by the scent of humans that he prefers the stable to the marital home. We find that we have been rationally driven to deny our own nature: like Gulliver, we have been truly gullible ("seagull": fool). In each of the books, Swift alters one dimension of life, starting with magnitude. In Book 3, he removes death: the Struldbruggs are given immortality - but without youth. As they get older, they become less and less happy. In Book 4 he reverses the traditional image of reason guiding the body as a man rides a horse. Should we prefer the society of rational horses to stinking Yahoos? Swift defined man not as a rational animal, but as an animal capable of reason. He had a keen sense of our capacity for self-delusion, madness and addiction. His telescope offers perspectives, at first comical, then horrific, that confront us with unpleasant facets of human life, silently recommending proportion, humility and companionship. Swift tricks the complacent reader into the same traps as Gulliver. His reductio ad absurdum intensifies the paradoxes of existence, offending humanists from Johnson to Macaulay to F. R. Leavis. His is the intellectual ferocity of the seventeenth century, like Rochefoucauld or Pascal, not the gleeful brutality of the eighteenth century. He enjoyed spoiling men's romantic illusions about women, as in his line 'Celia, Celia, Celia sh——s'. His poems to Stella show that he was not a misogynist. Those who suggested he was misanthropic misunderstood his irony; he didn't believe in eating children. But he was anti-romantic, hating false hearts and false ideals. A passionate English clergyman, he showed integrity, courage and cunning in defending Catholic Ireland against English exploitation. Swift was also very funny. At his Projector Academy, for example, a scientist tries to extract moonbeams from cucumbers. And his verses on the death of Dr. Swift is a masterpiece of comic realism: ... Here, change the scene, to represent

Like those I love, my dying lament. The poor Pope will suffer for a month; and Gay One week, and Arbuthnot one day. St. John himself will hardly fail to bite his pen and shed a tear. The rest will shrug their shoulders and shout 'I'm sorry, but we all must die'. .. My friends, whose tender hearts Learned better to play their parts, Receive the news in sad dumps, 'The Dean is dead (and what trumps?) The Lord have mercy on his soul. (Ladies, I will venture for the vole.) Six deans, they say, must bear the shroud.


Dean Swift in Letters, A Strong Offer

[p. 181] (I wonder what king I should call.) “Madam, will your husband attend the funeral of so good a friend?” ... He loved the Dean. (I lead a heart.) But dear friends, they say, must part. His time had come, he ran his race; We hope he is in a better place. Why do we mourn the death of friends? No loss easier to provide. A year has passed; a different scene; No further mention of the Dean; Who now, unfortunately, is no more missed Than if it had never existed.

(in letters)

Swift ends the poem with a defense of her record.

Alexander Pope's Self-Defense also concludes the retrospective Epistle to Dr. Alexander Pope's Arbuthnot (1688-1744). Pope found that "the life of a wit is a war on earth". He rose to fame at an early age, and envious enemies attacked him for personal reasons. Pope is the first non-dramatic professional poet in the English language, dedicating his life to the art of poetry, achieving an unprecedented position for this. He lived by and for his art - a tribute to both his new status and his determination. Pope was the son of a fabric merchant in the city. When a law was passed prohibiting Catholics from owning a home within ten miles of London, the popes moved, settling in Windsor Forest, west of London. The boy attended schools, but bone tuberculosis at the age of 12 kept him at home, reading, writing and drawing; and kept it small. Portrait painter Joshua Reynolds described Pope in late life as 'about six feet tall; very hunchbacked and deformed.” Catholics (unlike dissenters) could not go to university, vote or hold public office and were taxed and penalized in other ways - they could not, for example, keep a horse worth £10. overcame these drawbacks. At age 12 he wrote a version of a poem by the Roman poet Horace. It begins thus: Happy the man whose desire and care A few confined paternal acres, Contented to breathe his native air, On his own soil. And it ends: Thus let me live, invisible, unknown; So, without regret, let me die; Steal from the world, and not a stone Tell you where I am. The ease of phrase and movement here vindicates Pope's assertion that, like Horace, he was 'blind in numbers [verse], for numbers came. when parallels were drawn with arts and letters under Augustus. The order of Virgil's poems - pastoral in youth, then didactic, then epic [p. 182] Alexander Pope (188-1744) 1709


1711 1712 1713 1715 1719 1726 1728 1733 1735 1734-

An Essay on Criticism The Rape of the Keyhole (In Two Corners) Windsor Forest The Iliad (trans.) Verses for Lady Mary Wortley Montagu The Works of Shakespeare (ed.); The Odyssey (trans.) The Dunciad Essay on Man Epistle to Arbuthnot Horatian Translations, Imitations, Satires, Moral Epistles

it had been followed by Spenser and Milton. Dryden had followed the more social path of another august poet, Horace, writing epistles, elegies and occasional poems; he then translated Virgil. Pope wrote pastorals, then a didactic Essay on Criticism (an update of Horace's Ars Poetica); a mock-epic in The Rape of the Lock; translations of Homer's epics; then Moral Essays and Horatian Epistles; and the anti-epic Dunciad. Pope had the humanist's faith in the educational role of poetry and valued neoclassical clarity, conciseness, and elegance. He used the literary profession to exemplify and defend values ​​that made humanity saner, more refined, and more complete. He never stopped: editing Shakespeare, annotating the Dunciad and publishing a refined version of his own letters. Pope refined each couplet, for true ease in writing comes from art, not chance, as those who have learned to dance move more easily. It's not enough that the roughness offends, The sound must seem like an echo to the sense. An Essay on Criticism Style is important, for the purpose of art is to show reality in so clear a light that its truth is revealed: True humor is Nature dressed in vantage What has often been thought but never so well expressed . 'Wit' here means poetic insight, not the cleverness that makes Pope so quotable. Its polish may suggest that it was not original. But his Pastorals and the Forest of Windsor introduced a new and picturesque landscape poetry, paving the way for the romantic poetry of nature. In the 1800 preface to Lyrical Ballads, Wordsworth attacked Pope's artificial diction, claiming that the poet "is a man speaking to men". But poets, strictly speaking, are writers who have learned to make written words speak. Matthew Arnold said that Dryden and Pope were classics not of our poetry but of our prose. Pope's verse has the clarity and judgment of prose - in his Essays on Criticism and on Man, and in his Moral Essays. But his Elegy to the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady and Eloisa to Abelard are moving, and his Epistles, like that of To Miss Blount, on leaving town, after the Coronation (of George I), have a fine modulation of feeling and an apprehension. of details by the poet. [p. 183] This short poem is a key to Pope's work. Teresa Blount and her sister Martha were close friends with Pope. Writing to her in the field, he begins with a Roman simile: 'Like an affectionate virgin, whom a mother cares for...'. This promises the respectful decorum that gave 18th-century verse a bad name, but the couplet's second line - 'Drags from the city into the wholesome country air' - misleads the reader. We felt Teresa's reaction and heard her mother's words. The tedium of country life - for a girl who was presented at Court - is given in miniature: She went, to simple work and festering streams, Old-fashioned Salons, dull aunts and croaking rooks: She left the opera, park, meeting , joke, For morning walks and prayers three hours a day; To divide your time between reading and bohea, To meditate and pour your solitary tea, Or over cold coffee, play with the spoon, Count the slow clock and have dinner exactly at noon; Averts her eyes with pictures on the fire, Hums half a tune, tells tales to the squire; Up to your godly garret after seven, There to starve and pray, for that is the way to heaven.


an expensive type of tea pronounced 'tay' once unfashionable

After the city thrills, the old familiar things are different and worse. The admirer ends on the last couplet: “Vexed to still be in town, I frown,/I look sour and hum a tune—how can you now.” She wants to be in the city, he wants to be with her - an instance of the august theme of the vanity of human desires. This epistle anticipates The Rape of the Lock, The Dunciad and the Moral Essays.

Translation as Tradition In Life of Pope, Johnson paid much attention to Pope's translation of Homer, deeming the Iliad "the noblest version of poetry the world has ever seen" and "a performance which no age or nation can claim to equal." Homer was the foundation of classical education, both the standard author of Aristotle's Poetics and Virgil's model for the Aeneid. English education was based on Latin, but better Greek brought Homer within reach. Pope wrote of Virgil in the Essay on Criticism that 'Homer and Nature were, he found, the same.' This was also true of Pope, whose favorite reading as a boy was Ogilby's 1660 version of the Iliad. He spent his best ten years translating Homer - and achieved financial independence. At 21 he had translated the speech in which Sarpedon encouraged Glaucus to battle, arguing that first in peace should be first in war. The idea that heroic status implies responsibility was adapted to an eighteenth-century society also based on hierarchy. Public school students learned Sarpedon's speech in Greek. Pope's version is: 'If all our cares eluded the covetous Grave, Who claims no less the Fearful than the Brave, For the Lust of Fame I would not vainly dare On battlefields, nor urge thy Soul to War. But since, unfortunately, the ignoble Age must come, the disease and the inexorable doom of death; The Life that others pay, we will grant, And give to Fame what we owe to Nature; Brave though we fall; and honored, if we live; Either let Glory win, or Glory give!'

Or [pg. 184] Translator-poets from Marlowe to Shelley experienced ancient literature as modern; its relevance is what made it classic. So English gentlemen can be heroes too. Given this essential continuity, the translator's task was, as Dryden put it, 'to make his author appear as charming as possible, so long as he retained his character'. The Pope's Iliad begins: Achilles' wrath, for Greece, the terrible spring, Of innumerable woes, heavenly Goddess, sing! That Wrath that hurled into Pluto's dark reign The Souls of mighty Chiefs prematurely slain; Whose limbs they dug up on the bare shore Devouring dogs and hungry vultures tore: Since great Achilles and Atrids fought, Such was the sovereign fate, and such the will of Jove.

i.e. Hades

Atreides: Agamemnon

Papa maintains that momentum. John Keats says that it was "On first looking at Chapman's Homer" that he first breathed the "pure serene" of Homer. But readers of the whole thing might find Pope's language more breathable. Its range includes hard physical action, as shown in the elegant third couplets of each of the quotes above. Johnson was less interested in the Essay on Man, a work of deistic Christian philosophy, derived from reason rather than revelation. It is 'what has often been thought' after Locke proposed that 'our business here is not to know all things, but those which concern our conduct'. The proper study of humanity is Man. Man oscillates between angel and beast in the scale of creation: Placed on this isthmus of an intermediate state, A being darkly wise and grossly great... Sole judge of truth, in endless error cast: The glory, the jest and the riddle of the world! Human danger makes sanity and proportion essential. Epistle I had ended quite serenely: 'One truth is clear: whatever it is, it is RIGHT.

The Abduction of the Lock The Abduction of the Lock combines the wit of the Essay on Criticism with the beauty of the Pastorals. It is a lively masterpiece, the funniest poem in English between Dryden and Byron. It is about the quarrel between two families caused by the fact that Lord Petre cut a love lock from the head of Arabella Fermor, the Belinda of the poem. Pope's enlargement of this storm into a cup of coffee did not, as might have been hoped, "laugh along" with the parties. If this is satire, its tone is not harsh by the brutal standards of that elegant era, which the critic John Dennis had already

The Rape of the Lock was published in two cantos in 1712. Rape (lat. raptus) means 'to take by force', 'abduction'. Helen's kidnapping caused the Trojan War and the capture of Briseis caused Achilles' wrath. Pope expanded the poem to five cantos in 1714, adding the "machine" of the Sylphs and other epic furnishings.

described Pope in the press as a crippled papist dwarf whose physique showed that he had the mind of a toad. Where Swift used logic and optics to maximize and minimize, Pope uses epic frames to reduce trivialities to their proper proportions. The epic allusions provide much of the [p. 185]

Alexander Pope, aged about 26: a handsome young gentleman in a full wig. The pose does not allow Pope's hunchbacked back to be seen. By Charles Jarvis, c.1714. wit of the poem. Belinda in her morning make-up session is described as ritually worshiping her own reflection: First, clad in white, the nymph-intent adores, Bare-headed, the cosmetic powers. A celestial image appears on the glass; To this she stoops, to this her eyes she raises; The lesser priestess beside her Tremendous altar begins the sacred rites of the pride.

i.e. the maid

In Homer, the priest sacrifices to cosmic powers, and it is the hero who arms; here, the epic is feminized. Some of the skits are simple: 'The hungry pass sentence soon,/And the wretched hang that the jury may dine.' But Pope's diversion usually involves zeugma (the yoke of the incongruous) and anticlimax, as in line 2 of this account from Queen Anne's Hampton Court: Here it is, great Anna! whom three kingdoms obey Dost sometimes advises drinking - and sometimes tea. Here heroes and nymphs resort, To taste a little of the pleasures of a court; In several conversations, instructive hours passed, Who gave the ball or made the visit last; One speaks of the glory of the British Queen, And the other describes a charming Indian canvas; A third interprets movements, looks and eyes; With every word a reputation dies.

England, Ireland and Scotland

But social life has compensations: "Belinda smiled, and everyone was cheerful." The tortoise here and the elephant unite, Turned into combs, the speckled and the white. [p. 186] British trade squeezed the world for jewels, perfumes and combs, to make a British beauty more beautiful. The disproportion is absurd, but its results are poetic. Pope's couplets make the trivial exquisite: the coffee table, the card table and the 'Sylphs' fairies that fly around Belinda:

Transparent forms too fine for mortal vision, Their fluid bodies half dissolved in light. Loosened in the wind, her ethereal clothes flew, Fine glittering textures of the transparent dew. The articulation of the last line “echoes the meaning”. Pope takes pleasure in refining the precious world he ridicules. The joy of the writing makes the rape lighter than Pope's later heroic comedies. In 1717 Pope added a moral, spoken by Clarissa. It is based on Sarpedon's speech to Glaucon (see page 183): 'How vain are all these glories, all our pains,/ Unless common sense preserves what beauty gains? ...' '... But since then, alas! frail beauty must decay, Curly or not, as the locks will turn gray, Since painted or unpainted, all will fade, And she who despises a man must die a maiden; What then remains, but our power to use, And keep a good mood even whatever we lose? And trust me, dear, good humor can prevail, When airs, flights, screams and reproaches fail. Beauties in vain your pretty eyes may roll; Charms strike the eye, but merit conquers the soul!' So spoke the lady, but no applause followed. Though parodying, this advice for women to use their power wisely balances older, puritanical, chivalrous attitudes toward sexual love. We hear more about common sense, good humour, merit and soul in the Pope's last Epistle to a Lady.

Mature Verse The later verse is mostly satire, in which Pope "without method, speaks to us with sense" in epistles or public essays: unromantic forms which show that readers sought advice from poets. The second of the four Moral Essays is the Epistle to a Lady: Of Women's Characters. Pope believed that the key to a man's character was the "ruling passion". In that case, according to the recipient of the epistle, Martha Blount, "most women have no character at all." On this fragile hook, Pope hangs several "characters". Chloe fits a modern idea of ​​an 18th century lady: Virtue she finds too painful an endeavor, Content to live in decency forever. So reasonable, so impassive, How never to love or be loved. She, while her lover pants on her breast Can mark the figures on an Indian breast; And when she sees her friend in deep despair, she Observes how much a cheetah exceeds the mohair.

fine fabrics

Pope's ideal woman is “herself, even if China falls”. [p. 187] She who never answers until her husband grows cold, Or, if she rules him, never shows that she rules; She charms by accepting, submitting to influences, but has more humor when she obeys. In another epistle, Of the Use of Riches, Pope shares his ideas on landscaping with Lord Burlington (1694-1753), the pioneer of English Palladianism. Pope reminds landowners, who spent fortunes on their estates, that “something is more necessary than expense,/And something prior to even taste—'that makes sense.' cupids squirt before: a lake behind / Improves the sharpness of the north wind...'. In Timon's fountain: 'Unwater'd see the fallen sea-horse wail, / And the swallows perch in the dusty urn of Nilus' [of the river Nile]'. In his chapel: 'To rest the cushion and soft Dean invite,/Who never mentions Hell to educated ears.' Pope's last works were Imitations of Horace. The First Epistle of the Second Book of Horace is dedicated to Emperor Augustus (ie George II). Maecenas, political adviser to Augustus, was a patron of poets, giving Horace a small estate and Virgil a house. Augustus asked Horace why he had not written one of his epistles for him. George I did not speak English. Prime Minister Walpole was not interested in poetry. George II asked: ‘Who is this Pope I hear so much about? I can't find merit in it. Why do not my subjects write in prose?” Your Majesty disdains;/And I am unaccustomed to panegyric strains.' The Epistle also reviews the literature of the kingdom. Among his memorable lines are: "What a great delight to the Britons farce affords!" This epistle should be read in conjunction with Arbuthnot's, a more personal defense of Pope's record, with its acid portrayal of Addison. In the Essay on Criticism, Horace is praised for having 'judged coldly, though he sang with fire'. Pope's Horatian satire is fine, but the fourth book of The Dunciad, a satire on the inversion of civilized values, is touched with fire. The title suggests an epic poem about a donkey or donkeys. Dryden's Mac Flecknoe gave Pope the idea of ​​the empire of stupidity, where now 'the second donkey rules like the first donkey'.

sleep,/And poured out his spirit upon the earth and the depths.' In the Dunciad of 1728 Pope exposes the mediocrity of those whom the Whigs had patronized: 'While Wren in sorrow goes down to the grave,/Gay dies without pension with a hundred friends;/Hibernian politics, O Swift! thy destiny;/And the Pope's, ten years to comment and translate.' But the fourth Dunciad rises above retaliation. It shows that mediocrity has become systematic; the colonization of Westminster (the seat of government and civility) by the City (the natural seat of monotony); the decline from education to pedantry and from humanitarian learning to fact or butterfly collecting; the replacement of Christian humanism by specialized research in natural philosophy; and the final triumph of dullness. The courtiers of Dullness range from the fierce pedant Bentley to a young milord on the Grand Tour: 'Europe he saw, and Europe saw him too.' beware!/Practice now from theoretical repair./All my orders are easy, short, and complete:/My children! be proud, be selfish and be dull!'

The Dunciad The first Dunciad (1728) was heroed by Lewis Theobald, a meticulous critic of Pope's edition of Shakespeare. The Dunciad Variorum (1729) identifies in false scholarly notes the Grub Street pedants and hackers lampooned in 1728: 'since it is only on this monument that they must hope to survive.' In The New Dunciad (1742), a fourth book was added. In the final revision of 1743, the new Poet Laureate, Colley Cibber, became the hero.

[p. 188] She spoke more, but yawned - All Nature's beckons: What mortal can resist the yawn of the Gods? It instantly reached churches and chapels (St. James's first, for lead Gilbert preached). Unfinished treatises in each office slept; And leaderless armies slumbered on campaign; And navies craved orders on the main sea. The Pope asks the Muse to say "who first, who resigned last to rest". A row of asterisks follows: the Muse is sleeping. Dullness is at hand. In vain, in vain - the hour that all composes Cai without resistance: the Muse obeys the power. She comes! She comes! the black throne beholds primeval night and ancient chaos! So, in his approach felt, and secret power, Art after art comes out, and all is night, See the truth hidden in his old cave run away, Mountains of casuistry heaped over his head! Philosophy, which once leaned on Heaven, Shrinks to its second cause and is no more... Religion blushes, covers up its holy fires, And unwittingly morality expires. Neither public nor private flame dares to shine, No human spark remains, no divine glimpse! Look! thy terrible empire, Chaos! it is restored; The light dies before your uncreating word; Thy hand, great Anarch! lets the curtain fall, And universal darkness buries everything. The 'uncreating word' reverses Creation by the divine Logos, returning the universe to Chaos. Pope is a seventeenth-century reaction to an eighteenth-century mechanical universe and an apocalyptic indictment of Hanoverian forgetfulness of the role that humanism assigned to literature. Pope, an enlightened Catholic deist, feared that wine would turn to water.

John Gay Pope, by his genius and his intense cultivation, dominated the literary scene. His circle included his friend John Gay (1685-1732), who had an up-and-down career, losing money earned for his Poems in the South Sea Bubble. Of his works lives only The Beggar's Opera, a parody of the Italian opera, popular in London since 1705: “an exotic and irrational entertainment, which was always opposed and always prevailed” (Johnson). In 1716, Swift had written to Pope: “a set of Quaker pastorals may succeed, if our friend Gay can imagine it. ... Or what do you think of a Newgate pastoral, among the whores and thieves there?' (Newgate Prison housed the cream of London's vast criminal population.) Gay's semi-opera, the 1728 hit, was performed more often than any other play. in the 18th century. For the 1723 season the castrato Senesino received £2000. Gay wrote to Swift:

[p. 189] 'People have now forgotten Homer, Virgil and Caesar, or at least lost their positions, for in London and Westminster, in all polite conversation, Senesinus is voted daily as the greatest man that ever lived.' In 1727, the sopranos Cuzzoni and Faustina fought on stage. In Gay's mock opera they become Polly Peachum and Lucy Lockit, two of the wives of Macheath the highwayman. His song 'How happy could I be with anyone / If the other lovely darling were far away' was applied to Sir Robert Walpole, his wife and his mistress. One of Gay's thieves is Bob Booty, a name that has stuck with Walpole. Where Italian opera was noble, Gay's is sordid; Her Peachum is based on Jonathan Wild the Thief-Taker. The Beggar's Opera is much more darkly satirical than Gilbert and Sullivan, but fashionable audiences were enthralled by Gay's rogues and whores and English folk songs like "Over the hills and far away".

Montagem Lady Mary Wortley

Lady Mary Wortley Montage Mary Pierrepont was the daughter of the Duke of Kingston and cousin of Henry Fielding. She learned Latin and met Congreve, Prior and Addison. On the run with Edward Montage, MP, she shone at Queen Anne's Court and was a friend of Pope. Smallpox ended her beauty days. In 1716 she traveled to Turkey with Ambassador Montage. In London with Lord Hervey ('Sappho' and 'Sporos' in Pope). She left her husband, Montage, in 1739 to follow an Italian, in vain; she remained abroad for twenty years. Her daughter married Lord Bute, later Prime Minister.

The career and writing of Lady Mary Wortley Montage (1689-1762) illustrate her age. Birth, beauty, and intelligence made her a darling of society; she was also independent and erudite. Best remembered for her letters, she wrote political prose and a play, but first became known for her verse. Her ballad 'The Lover' coolly defends extramarital discrimination, as does Pomfret in The Choice (1700). The ideal lover would be 'No pedantic yet erudite, nor wantonly gay/Or laughing because he has nothing to say,/To all my sex complacent and free,/Yet never love anyone but me.../But when the long hours of audience passed/And at last we met with champagne and a chicken,/May every affectionate pleasure of that hour please...' Lady Mary's friend, Mary Astell, had shown a reasoned disinterest in Some Reflections upon Marriage ( 1700), questioning male assumptions. But Lady Mary's Letters have a particularly dry quality. Turkey's are celebrated. To the Countess of Mar, of Adrianople, April 1, 1717: I pray to God (dear sister) that you will be as regular in letting me have the pleasure of knowing what passes on your side of the globe as I am careful in trying to amuse you for the account of all that I see and that I think you would like to hear [Gives details of Turkish women's clothing]. for the most jealous husband knows his wife when he meets her, and cannot dare touch or follow a woman in the street. [She ends:] So you see, dear sister, the customs of mankind do not differ so much as our travel writers would have us believe. Perhaps it would be more fun to add some surprising customs of my own invention, but nothing seems to me so pleasant as the truth, and I believe nothing is so acceptable to you. I conclude by repeating the great truth of my being, dear sister, etc.

The Novel Daniel Defoe A London butcher named Foe had a son who called himself Defoe. Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) was an expert on acceptable truths. He traveled widely, failed as a stocking merchant, welcomed William III to London, was in prison and worked as a spy before becoming a “travel writer”, a writer who makes you see. Unwary readers read A Journal of the Plague Year as an eyewitness account, and Moll Flanders as a moll [p. 190]

'Crusoe saving his goods from sinking ship': an illustration from a 1726 edition of Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, first published in 1711.

autobiography. Their accountants give their experience 'directly'. When Robinson Crusoe returned to his sunken ship, I first found that all the ship's provisions were dry and untouched by water, and being in a very good mood to eat, I went to the bread room and stuffed my pockets with biscuit and ate. while I was doing other things, for I had no time to waste; I also found some rum in the big cabin, which I took a big gulp of and which I really needed enough of to cheer me up for what lay ahead of me. The credibility of this castaway's adventures (based on Alexander Selkirk's account) seems to be ensured by his daily pockets full of real cookies. Defoe "had no time to waste" as he told his story full of things: a saw, boards, a knife, ropes, a raft, a hut, how to plant. We experience these things; we see a footprint in the sand; and with the arrival of man Friday, we realize with Crusoe that man does not live on ship's biscuits alone and that it is Providence that saved him. I have unfortunately! no divine knowledge; what I had received by my father's good instruction was then worn out by an unbroken series, for 8 years, of maritime malice and constant conversation with nothing but people like myself, wicked and profane to the last degree: I don't remember of having had at all that time a thought which tended both to look upwards towards God, and inward to a reflection of my own ways: but a certain stupidity of soul, without desire of good, or conscience of evil, completely overpowered... This is not Augustine's Confessions nor the Pilgrim's Progress, but the passage ends: 'I cried, Lord, be my help, for I am in great distress. This was the first prayer, if I may call it that, that I have offered in many years...'. Although Crusoe stresses his evil, his story is only fleetingly spiritual. Rather, he survives by his own effort, which he [p. 191] Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) Major Publications: The True-Born Englishman 1700 The Short Way With Dissenters 1702 The Appearance of Mrs. Veal 1706 The History of the Union of Great Britain 1709 Robinson Crusoe 1719 Captain Singleton 1720 Moll Flanders; A Diary of the Plague Year, Colonel Jack 1722 Roxana 1725 Tour across the Isle of Great Britain 1726 sees it as God's guidance. He is a modern type: fearing God within reason, enterprising, self-confident. Compared to Gulliver, his adventure novel is naive. Its mythic quality has allowed it to be seen as a modern fable of various kinds, like that of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Karl Marx. On its Protestant side, it compares with the life story of John Newton, who went to sea as a boy, worked in the slave trade, converted to the gospel and became a minister. Newton, the author of 'Amazing Grace', had a great effect on the poet William Cowper (1731-1800). Earlier, in The Shortest Way with Dissiders, Defoe had defended the opposite of his own views. This was misunderstood, and the dissenting author was placed in prison and pillory. After that, he put his opinions and his irony in his back pocket. A Whig, he worked underground for the Tory Lord Oxford, then wrote for the Whigs. Having discovered the effect of the autobiographical perspective on gullible readers, he used the ordinary details of the journalist to make the reactions of ordinary people to extraordinary situations credible. His later adventure novels introduced the picaresque into English fiction. In their malicious fiction, opportunists survive the wounds in their consciences. They are not studies of religious self-deception: Providence helps those who help themselves. After lucrative sexual adventures in England and Virginia, the difficult Moll Flanders helps herself to christening gifts and a child's gold necklace, feels guilty, becomes a picaresque full of professional thief and ends up (later adventures) prosperous and penitent. Colonel Jack's career has adventures of a similar pattern. Less prosperous is the end of Roxana, a courtesan who refuses to marry. Captain Bandits, episodic. A Singleton is a mercenary whose chaotic adventures have earned him a fortune. Pluck plus penitence takes picaro or rogue is to success. the hero of Spanish novels Contracurrents Lazarillo de Tormes The Christianity of eighteenth-century literature can go unnoticed. Pope concealed his Catholicism, but (1553) and nonconformity could be expressed unmistakably, as in Isaac Watts (1674-1748), author of Aleman's Guzman hymns such as 'O God, our help in ages past' and 'When I behold the wonderful cross'. Congregational of Alfarache (the singing of hymns from 1599 was adopted by the Anglican John Wesley (1703-91) in his mission to the unchurched in 1604). poor; its Methodists eventually left the established Church. Wesley was greatly influenced in his youth by A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life by John Law (1686-1761), who refused the oath of allegiance to George I and renounced his Cambridge Fellowship,

[p. 192] Events 1745-89 Jacobites crushed at Culloden near Inverness in northern Scotland. 1746 Great Britain switches to the Gregorian calendar. 1752 William Pitt becomes prime minister. The Seven Years' War with France begins. 1756 Accession of George III. 1760 The Seven Years' War ends, with victory for Great Britain. Wilkes Freedom Riots. 1763 Boston Tea Party. 1773 The American Revolutionary War begins. 1775 American Declaration of Independence. 1776 Gordon's anti-Catholic riots. 1780 Great Britain recognizes American independence. Pitt the Younger becomes prime minister. French Revolution of 1783. 1789 Becoming tutor to Edward Gibbon's father. Law's emphasis on private prayer also influenced Samuel Johnson. Johnson would include Watts in Lives of the Poets: Hymns Are Poems. Literature included religion, ancient history, and other non-fiction. Despite the fictional fireworks of the 1740s, the novel long remained a low form of the novel, given to indecency and realism. Ladies can write romances, as in The Female Quixote (1752) by Charlotte Lennox (1720-1804), but no lady wrote a romance before Evelina (1778) by Fanny Burney (1752-1840). Her friend Hester Thrale, an omnivorous reader, owned thousands of books but few novels. Once, when depressed, she wrote: 'No book would divert my attention from the present misery, except an old French translation by Quintus Curtius - and Josephus' History of the Siege of Jerusalem. Romance and novels did nothing for me: I tried them all in vain.'

Samuel Richardson Samuel Richardson (1689-1761) was a printer-publisher-bookseller-author. Courtesy books on how to behave in society included writing letters: the thank-you letter, the condolences. Richardson wrote examples of “family letters” for more complex social situations. From that came the idea of ​​Pamela; or Virtue Rewarded (1740), the account of a young girl brought up in letters and a diary of her wealthy master's ('Mr. B.') attempts to isolate and seduce her. The epistolary form of the first English novel sounds artificial, but the effect is immediate. Her resistance leads him to recognize her qualities and to marry her. To read the letters addressed to the parents is to hear confidences and feel sympathy: the soap opera's formula. Pamela's situation is morally interesting, as is the unfolding drama. Richardson, relying on his readers to know that virtue is its own reward, shows a good daughter becoming a very good wife, under conditions that are both comic and difficult. The social order of the 18th century comes as a shock to modern readers, for whom the reward of becoming Mrs. B. looks very earthy. The prudential subtitle was too much for Henry Fielding, who wrote a brilliant take-off, Shamela, in which a young prostitute's virtue is a farce designed to raise her price. Richardson's breakthrough in Clarissa (1747-8) is surprising. It is a mature and complex society novel, epistolary, with several correspondents. The heroine and her oppressor are more interesting than in Pamela, and the action and texture are richer. [p. 193] Clarissa is hunted and pursued by the wicked but attractive Lovelace. He cannot tire her out, and she fights him and his accomplices throughout, but is tricked, kidnapped and raped, and eventually dies a holy death. That sounds sensational and conventional, but the effect is different. Its ruthless logic makes it the only surviving 18th-century tragedy. Those who have subjected themselves to the toils of this million-word boa recognize it as the most engaging English novel, perhaps even the greatest. It surpasses his successor, Sir Charles Grandison, whose hero saves women from potentially tragic situations to everyone's satisfaction. Sir Charles, "the best of men," was regarded in the eighteenth century with a complacency that readers since Jane Austen have been unable to replicate.

The psychology of Henry Fielding Richardson had an effect on the European novel. He also deserves credit for spurring Henry Fielding (170554) to fiction. Fielding found Pamela so hypocritical that he started a second burlesque of her, Joseph Andrews. Joseph is Pamela's virtuous brother who (like Joseph in Exodus), rejects the amorous advances of her lover Lady B[ooby] and is dismissed. Parody is forgotten in the perpetual motion of risible adventures on the road and in the inns, and in the richly comic character of Parson Adams, a sincere and earnest truth-teller in a wicked world. Fielding wrote twenty-five plays before taking up the practice of law, driven from the stage by Walpole's censorship. He confronted London's corrupt justice system and tried to reform justice for the poor. In his experiments with the new form of the novel he was not interested in realistic details and individual psychology. As it offers neither pictorial realism nor interior life, reading it requires a general readjustment. He is a satirist in august prose, classically educated, energetic, witty and discursive, a narrator who is perpetually present, outside his story, not absorbed by it. Narrative itself draws its sense of rhythm, scene, and plot from the theater. Fielding is a cheerful moralist. So when Joseph is robbed, stripped, beaten and thrown into a ditch, a stagecoach passes by. The postilion, hearing a man's groans, stopped his horses and said to the coachman, 'he was sure there was a dead man lying in the ditch, for he heard him groaning. they are confused late and have no time to care for dead men.' A lady,

who heard what the postilion said, and also heard the groan, anxiously called the coachman, 'to stop and see what was the matter'. and returned, 'that there was a man sitting upright, as naked as he had ever been born,'-'Oh, J-sus,' cried the lady, 'A naked man! Dear coachman, drive and leave him. ' When the theft is mentioned, a gentleman passenger says to drive so as not to be robbed too. A lawyer advises that the victim be taken to the bus, so that they are not implicated in legal proceedings. Not without a ticket, says the coachman; and so on. To renew a good text - the parable of the good Samaritan - while showing how bad another - Richardson's - is, is an Augustan procedure. Fielding's The History of Tom Jones, although his action is also full of noisy roadside adventures, is planned. 'A comic epic in prose', has eighteen books [p. 194] (Homer has twenty-four, Virgil twelve). Its symmetrical timescale is centered around 24 action-packed hours at an Inn in Upton-upon-Severn. Tom, a foundling, is expelled from Paradise Hall, the home of his adoptive father, Squire Allworthy, in Somerset, and after many adventures and discoveries he marries Sophia Western in London. They head west. Each book has a critical prologue as forceful as the narrative that follows. Even the chapter titles are mini-essays. In Book V, Chapter X, showing the truth of many observations of Ovid and other more serious writers, who have proved, beyond contradiction, that wine is often the harbinger of incontinence, Tom throws himself into a murmuring brook, and breaks out: O Sophia, if heaven gave you into my arms, how blessed my condition would be! ... How contemptible would the brightest Circassian beauty, dressed in all the jewels of the Indies, appear to my eyes! But why do I mention another woman? ... Sophia, Sophia alone will be mine. What rapture there is in that name! I'll engrave it on every tree! ' With these words he arose, and saw - not his Sophia - no, not a Circassian maidservant, rich and elegantly dressed for the High Signior's seraglio. No; without a dress, in a dress that was a little of the coarsest, and not the cleanest, dewy with some odorous effluvia, the product of the day's work, pitchfork in hand, Molly Seagrim approached. Our hero had in his hand his penknife, which he had drawn for the purpose mentioned, of carving into the bark; when the girl approaching him cried out with a smile: 'You do not intend to kill me, squire, I hope!'... Here ensued a negotiation, which, as I do not feel obliged to relate, I must omit. It is enough that it lasted a full quarter of an hour, at the end of which they withdrew into the thickest part of the wood. Some of my readers may be inclined to think that this event is unnatural. However, the fact is true; and, perhaps, it may be sufficiently explained to suggest that Jones probably thought that one woman was better than none, and Molly probably thought that two men were better than one. In addition to the reason previously mentioned attributed to Jones' present behavior, the reader will also be pleased to remember in his favor, that he was not at this time the perfect master of that wonderful power of reason, which so well enables earnest and wise men to subdue their unruly passions. and refuse any of these forbidden diversions. The wine had now fully subdued that power in Jones. After other robust escapades of the same type and the proof that he did not commit the crime for which he was expelled from Paradise Hall, Sophia accepts Jones in a happy marriage; her name means Wisdom. Fielding announces "nothing but human nature" in his first "Bill of Fare", but in his dedication he says that "recommending the path of goodness and innocence was my earnest effort in this story". Allworthy and Sophia accept Tom's warm humanity. The unheroically named hero is honest and innocent, if not sexually innocent. He willingly forgives those who misuse him. Fielding reconciles human nature with the commendation of goodness through what Coleridge considered "one of the three great plots of literature." The remarkably different Tom Jones and Clarissa were the father and mother of the English novel. Fielding's inner Amelia was also more conventional, like her rival's Grandison.

Tobias Smollett Tobias Smollett (1721-71), a widely traveled Scottish surgeon based in London, has Fielding's robustness, but Fielding is an introvert compared to the heroically cantankerous Smollett, whose daringly drawn caricatures of public life have the frantic action of cartoon animation. He translated the picaresque Le Sage and the witty anti-romance of Cervantes; his own novels follow suit. He sketches types and comments on social mores - on the road, in Bath or in London - with little [p. 195] Fiction from Richardson to Edgeworth 1740 Samuel Richardson, Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded. 1741 Richardson, Family Letters. 1742 Henry Fielding, Joseph Andrews. 1747 Richardson, Clarissa (7 volumes, 1748). 1748 Tobias Smollett, The Adventures of Roderick Random. 1749 Fielding, The Story of Tom Jones, a Foundling; Smollett, Gil Blas (trans. by Le Sage). 1750 John Cleland, Memoirs of Fanny Hill. 1751 Fielding, Amelia; Smollett, The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle. 1753 Richardson, The History of Sir Charles Grandison (7 volumes, 1754); Smollett, Adventures of Ferdinand, Count

1755 1760 1761 1765 1764 1768 1771 1773 1774 1778 1782 1785 1786 1788 1789 1790 1794 1796 1800

Perseverance. Fielding (d.1754) Diary of a Journey to Lisbon; Smollett, Don Quixote (trans. by Cervantes). 1759 Samuel Johnson, Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia (Voltaire, Candide). Laurence Sterne, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy (9 volumes, 1767). (Rousseau, La Nouvelle Heloise). Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto. Oliver Goldsmith, The Vicar of Wakefield. Laurence Sterne, A Sentimental Journey. Henry Mackenzie, The Man of Feeling; Smollett (died 1769), The Expedition of Humphry Clinker. Henry Mackenzie, The Man of the World. (Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther). Fanny Burney, Evelina, or the story of a young woman's entry into the world. (Laclos, Les Liaisons hazardeuses; Rousseau, Confessions). Charlotte Smith, Manon Lescaut (trans. by Prévost). William Beckford, Vathek: An Arabic Tale. Charlotte Smith, Emmeline. Mrs. (Ann) Radcliffe, The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne; Charlotte Smith, Etheline or The Recluse by the Lake. Mrs. Radcliffe, a Sicilian romance. Mrs. Radcliffe, The Mysteries of Udolpho; William Godwin, Caleb Williams. Burney, Camilla, or A Portrait of Youth; Matthew Lewes, The Monk; Robert Bage, Hermsprong. Maria Edgeworth, Rackrent Castle.

history. He wrote a Complete History of England and much more, as well as the romances between the lively Roderick Random and the gentle Humphry Clinker, the two for which he is best remembered.

Laurence Sterne Laurence Sterne (1713-68) refers to Smollett as Smelfungus, on account of his critical Travels in France and Italy. Sterne was the most unique of the four fathers of the English novel. Clarissa and Tom Jones tweak the prototypes, but The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy seems to come out of nowhere. In fact, the novel had several sources: the novel and the adventure, but also philosophical tales like Swift's Gulliver and Voltaire's Candide, and non-realistic fictions like Rabelais and Swift's Tale of a Tub, and non-fiction, like Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy. The Life and Opinions disappoints all conventional expectations: Sterne, amusing [p. 196] because of fiction's claim to combine realism with chronology, he begins his hero's Life with an Opinion. The book begins like this: “I wish my father or my mother, or even both, since they were both equally involved in this, had cared about what they did when they generated me...”. After more opinions, Chapter I ends: 'Please, my dear, said my mother, didn't you forget to wind the clock? - Good God! exclaimed my father, making an exclamation, but taking care to moderate his voice at the same time, "Did a man, since the creation of the world, ever interrupt a man with so silly a question?" Pray, what was his father saying? - Anything." Some medical opinions held that the timing of conception affected the embryo. Why did your mother ask your father, when he wasn't saying anything, that specific question? Because Walter Shandy, a common man, on the first Sunday night of the month, 'wound a large domestic clock, which we had standing at the back of the stairs, with his own hands:--And being between fifty and sixty years old ... he gradually brought some other small family concerns into the same period.” The monthly membership of Mrs. Shandy of the ideas of winding the clock and procreation is presented as an example of Locke's theory of sense impressions. Instead of G‑d's 'Let there be light', the word spoken in the hero's creation is an inquiry about the clock. Clock time and subjective experience and language are at odds. The narrator is not born until vol. iv, his nose being damaged in the process by Dr. Slop, who took a long time to unpack his carefully tied bag of instruments. Tristram's father writes a Tristra-paedia, or treatise on Tristram's education, instead of educating him. The hero is violated in vol. vi., but does nothing. Much of the inaction relates to Tristram's beloved Uncle Toby and his hobby horse, or obsession, with making a set of military fortifications he erected in the garden impregnable. An old soldier, he woos the Widow Wadman until he is told by Corporal Trim that his curiosity about where Uncle Toby got his groin wound has nothing to do with the topography of Marlborough's campaigns. Long before, Toby takes a fly he has caught to the window: 'go, says he, raising the window, and opening his hand as he spoke to let it escape; go, poor devil, go away, why should i hurt you? This world is certainly big enough to contain both you and me." Tristram claims that he often thinks he owes "half of my philanthropy to this accidental impression." Poor Tristram, at the age of four, suffered another accidental impression. , being half emasculated by the sudden descent from a sash window. The associations of ideas in this book are irrational: life trumps all opinions in books. This one ends, with Tristram still a boy, in an inconsequential anecdote about the infertility of the bull of Shandy: 'L-d! said my mother, what's all this about?—A COCK and a BULL, said Yorick—And one of the best of its kind I ever heard.' END.

Sterne, a country clergyman, paints a portrait of himself in Parson Yorick. “Like all the best shaggy dog ​​stories,” says critic Christopher Ricks of Tristram Shandy, “it is both lewd, absurdly comic, unabashedly exasperating, and very insightful in its understanding of human responses.” The story of the shaggy dog ​​and the rooster. -and-bull are cousins ​​of the 'Irish bull', as Ricks reminds us. The Irishman Sterne had the pleasure of defeating English common sense. What's the point of all this futility? While the men talk for nine volumes, Tristram's poor mother barely says a word. However, her last question is connected to the first. This whole story is (or pretends to be) about male decline. It is also a potent demonstration of human impotence [p. 197] language and reason. "Nothing strange will last long," said Johnson: "Tristram Shandy didn't." But this eruditely perverse joke appealed mostly to men. In this it is not unlike the postrealist work of James Joyce, himself something of a Smelfungus. The emergence of Sensibility Sterne's last work, A Sentimental Journey, ends: So that when I reached out my hand, I held the END OF VOL II of Fille de Chambre. Inappropriate and experimental, this is sentimental only because it's an old man's fantasy - holding back. But comic pathos is one of Sterne's specialties - as in Uncle Toby's fly toss. The generation that followed Pope was more ready to show Sensitivity. Pope had censured callous superiority, "the arched brow and Parnassian sneer," and wrote of his own father that he knew "no language but the language of the heart." long wandered / But he stooped to Truth and moralized my song.' A move towards audience acceptance and access was general: comedy after Congreve is less complex, more sentimental. Swift and Defoe's prose is simple. Watts' hymns are clear and heartfelt. Though Pope was not lacking in moral philosophy or feeling, his subtlety seems sharp in comparison with the wider taste of Hanoverian England. Sensitivity is, in part, a middle-class modification of upper-class cool. Although Fielding despised Methodist enthusiasm, his intelligence is driven by a strong conviction of the need for truth-telling, mercy and charity. In his Etonian way, he is as evangelical as Richardson in his support of oppressed virtue, though he doesn't call it that. Horace Walpole and Thomas Gray, Etonians of the next decade, lacked Fielding's moral robustness entirely; they preferred the arts. Stealing the flavor of its moral dimension seemed irresponsible to Dr. Johnson. He had no time for aesthetes, and though he responded to true feeling, he despised the cult of sensibility. Sensitivity, the ability to feel, had many roots. The moral sensibility has Christian origins, and its eighteenth-century expression owes much to dissent, Methodism, and Scottish philosophy ('Scotch' was the form preferred by the English public in the eighteenth century). But the conflicts of the 17th century caused many to seek a less explicit Christianity. school (one kind of moral feeling might be formulated as philanthropic benevolence, in the manner of deists, like Shaftesbury boarding school. David Hume's Treatise on Human Nature (1739) and Inquiry into the Principles of School) for morals ( 1751) developed a theory of natural social sympathy and the subordination of the self to the children of social conditions. The tradition of rural retreat from conflict or court corruption was modified for the upper classes. something more private. The old moral harmony of Ben Jonson's To Penshurst was no longer an ideal. The Civil War retirement poetry that appealed to the 18th century was Denham's estate poem Cooper's Hill. Pope's youthful 'Ode on Solitude' is a version of the Horace reverie that became an ideal of eighteenth-century nobility: an independent country life, pleasant but not mellow. Voltaire would end his Candide, a fable about the folly of assuming that humans are naturally good, with "Il faut cultivative son jardin" ("One must cultivate one's own garden"). That garden was the character's garden, requiring what Addison called "a constant and assiduous cultivation." [p. 198] The eighteenth-century garden expressed an ideal of natural life, often with a literary program. In the 1730s Lord Cobham developed Stowe into an Elysian Fields with a River Styx and temples of ancient British virtues and nobles; his last name was Temple. The garden of the poet William Shenstone (1714-63) had a much imitated ruin. In Sir Henry Hoare's Stourhead in the 1740s, the walk around the lake recreated a sequence of images from Virgil's Aeneid VI. Pope's poetry about the countryside was carried on by James Thomson in his popular The Seasons (1726-30). The Evening Walk, a late 18th-century theme, began with Milton's Il penseroso, imitated in the meditations of Lady Winchilsea and Thomas Parnell. Edward Young in his Night Thoughts (1742) gratified a taste for morbid rumination, as did Robert Blair in The Grave (1743): 'the task be mine / To paint the dark horrors of the tomb.'

Thomas Gray Sensitivity is distilled to something more than cultural taste in the Elegy written in a country churchyard by Thomas Gray (1711-71), the most gifted poet of the generation after Pope. The celebrated Elegy, the most complete poem of medium length of the 18th century, was published in 1751. After that Gray refused the laureate and wrote few verses; as a professor of modern history at Cambridge, he never taught. His fourteen published poems are sophisticated and eclectic. In the Augustan vein are his 'Lines on Lord Holland's Seat' (1769), a brilliant satire on a disgraced Treasurer-General, Henry Fox. It begins with 'Old and forsaken by every venal friend,/Here H[olland] took a pious resolution/Smuggling a few years and endeavoring to mend/A broken character and constitution.' 'Here' is Margate, where Fox retired building ruins on his property. He dreams (in Gray) that if he had not been

betrayed, he might have ruined London: 'Owls might have hooted in St Peter's choir,/And stinking, rubbish foxes in St Paul's.' To his august wordplay and polish, Gray added the proto-romantic tastes shown in his letters. Gray put the Ode, an imitated neoclassical form of the Greek lyric poet Pindar, to new purposes. 'Ode on the Death of a Favorite Cat Drowned in a Bath of Goldfish' is easy to like: Pope's heroic-comical idiom is used to refine the sentiment, ending in a stern warning to the ladies: Hence, O beauties, do not deceived, know, a misstep is never recovered, and be bold cautious. Not everything that tempts your wandering eyes And heedless hearts is a fair prize; Not everything that glitters is gold. Johnson considered the Odes a misapplication of talent. The moral of the Eton Ode – 'where ignorance is bliss,/'It is madness to be wise' – now seems too well done to be taken as seriously as Gray meant. His two most ambitious Odes imitate Pindar both in form and in their elevated, condensed, and allusive style. The Progress of Poetry shows the Muses migrating from a conquered Greece to the free England of Shakespeare and Milton. From the sublime Milton to Gray himself there is a decline. Pindar, "the Theban eagle", had flown high. Gray aspires to 'keep his way far/Beyond the bounds of a vulgar fate,/Below the Good as far - but far above the Great'. Pope [p. 199] had indulged the ministers, but knew them; Gray's Poetry distances itself from Power; Sterne dedicated his novel to William Pitt, the new prime minister. According to Pope, English verse improved from correction to noble energy: 'Waller was smooth; but Dryden taught to join / The variegated verse, the resonant line, / The long majestic march, and divine energy.' In Gray's Progress, the sublime is remote in time or place: Helicon, the icy north, or 'the limitless forests of Chile'. His note reads: 'Extensive influence of poetic genius on the remotest and most uncivilized nations: their connections with liberty and the virtues that naturally accompany it (See the Erse, Norwegian, and Welch Fragments, the Lapland and American Songs.)' Gray he was interested in the remote origins of British poetry and in Parry, a blind Welsh harpist who visited Cambridge. In The Bard, a Pindaric Ode set in 1290, the last Welsh oral poet prophesies the doom of the invader, Edward I, and the return of poetry to Britain under the Tudors (Welsh). His appearance is dramatic: On a rock, whose haughty brow frowns over the foaming flood of old Conway Clothed in the black garment of affliction, With downcast eyes the poet arose (Loose his beard and gray hair Floated, like a meteor , to the troubled air) ... Gray believed that Edward had ordered all the bards killed. The bard's last words to the king are: '"Be thy Despair, and beware accepted, / Triumph and death are mine." / He spoke, and headlong from the mountain top / Into the depths of the turbulent tide plunged into endless night .' Poesy has an epigraph from Pindar: φωναντα συνετοισιν εζδε το πανερµηνεων χατιζει: 'speaking only to the intelligent - for the rest they need interpreters'. The Odes were successful, and for the first time difficult poems about poetry became fashionable. “No one understands me and I am perfectly satisfied,” Gray wrote Mason, but its sublime meaning was so misunderstood that he had to take notes. Later, Gray translated from The Goddodin, a Welsh poem from c.600, and from the Old Norse Edda. He also made walking tours of his own: in the Lake District, in 1769; and in Scotland, back in Killiecrankie, where the wildness of the Highlands became less pleasant. The Elegy, by contrast, is about death, not the death of poets or poetry, but of the country poor: “Each in his narrow cell forever lies,/The rude ancestors of the village sleep.” They didn't have Gray's chances: 'Knowledge in their eyes, their page wide/Rich with the spoils of time never unfurled.' Yet many gems of the purest serene ray, The dark unfathomable caverns of the ocean bear: Many flowers are born to blush unseen, And waste their sweetness in the desert air. The poet half envies their obscurity: Far from the ignoble strife of the maddened crowd, Their sober desires never learned to stray; Along life's cool secluded valley They kept the silent tenor of their path. Choice and placement of adjectives and control of pacing and phrasing are accurately assessed. [p. 200] For Johnson, the merit of the poem lies in the application of moral truths. He concludes his Life:

In the character of his Elegy I rejoice to agree with the common reader; for by the common sense of readers uncorrupted by literary prejudices, after all the refinements of subtlety and dogmatism of learning, every claim to poetic honors must finally be decided. The cemetery is full of images that find a mirror in every mind and feelings to which every chest returns an echo. The four stanzas that begin Yet even these bones are original to me: I have never seen the notions anywhere else; however, whoever reads them here is convinced that he has always felt them. If Gray had often written like this, it would be pointless to blame him and pointless to praise him. The four stanzas ask if anyone ‘Left the warm surroundings of the merry day,/Nor cast a longing look back. // In some loving breast rests the soul that takes leave...'. Johnson's fear of "something after death" responded. In the opening of the poem, the plowman leaves the world for darkness and for Gray, whose isolation shudders in an exquisite word: "Now fades the shimmering landscape in sight." In the imagined finale, an illiterate rustic remembers the now-buried poet as a crazed loner. The poem ends with an inverted perspective. The silent exposure of the poet and reader of the Elegy to the darkness of death has become familiar to many later poets and readers. The Elegy's shift from the death of others to the death of self is symptomatic of the Romantic shift to the private and personal, a clue to the minor scope of almost all late eighteenth-century verse. The exceptions, Christopher Smart, Robert Burns and William Blake, were not central to English writing. But this is to anticipate, and it is necessary to note some other examples of sensitivity.

Pre-Romantic sensibility: 'Ossian' A pre-Romantic sensibility is visible in Milton, but by the time of Pope's death it was everywhere. Poetic models changed: "What are the ballads of cunning Addison, / Coldly correct, for Shakespeare's wild Warblings?" asked Joseph Warton in The Enthusiast: or, The Lover of Nature (1744). Joseph and his brother Thomas wrote verses in imitation of Spenser and Milton's The Thinker, where "the sweetest Shakespeare, Fancy's son, / Warbles his native woodnotes wild". Thomas's History of English Poetry (1774-81) preferred medieval and Elizabethan poetry to that of the period when "Late, too late, correction grew in our care" (Pope). The uncorrected warble preceded Wordsworth's lyrical ballads of 1798 by fifty years. In his Spenserian The Castle of Indolence (1748), James Thomson portrayed poetic idleness as reprehensible but inviting. In a second Canto, the Knight of Industry, who had made Britannia the land of freedom, frees (with the help of a bard) the most virtuous inmates of the Castle. Gray's other themes - melancholy, marginality, madness and extinction - are found in the lives of poets William Collins (1721-59; melancholy), Christopher Smart (1722-71; the asylum), Thomas Chatterton (b.1753; died in 17), William Cowper (1731-1800; suicidal melancholy) and George Crabbe (1754-1832; occasional melancholy). The triumph of sensibility and its taste for fantasy and the primitive sublime is demonstrated by the phenomenon of 'Ossian' Macpherson (1736-96). Thomson was a borderline Scotsman who, like many Irishmen and Scots, chose to mingle with the English Epicureans. He left Edinburgh before the Scottish Enlightenment of David Hume and Adam Smith. Other Enlightenment figures, David Blair and Joseph Hone, [p. 201] wished to preserve something of the Gaelic-speaking Highland culture, suppressed after the crushed Jacobite revolt at Culloden in 1746. In 1759, Macpherson, a young Highlander, translated a Gaelic fragment Hone had collected, a play on the death of Oscur, beginning 'Why do you open up again the source of my pain, O son of Alpin, asking how Oscur fell?' then Fingal: An Epic Poem in Six Books (1761), Temora: An Ancient Epic Poem in Eight Books (1763), and The Works of Ossian (1765). The success, repeated in London, was amplified in Europe, where Goethe found Ossian superior to Homer. Fifty years later, Napoleon had scenes of Ossian painted on his bedroom ceiling. Not Dr. Johnson, who challenged Macpherson to produce the original manuscripts; He couldn't do it; controversy continues. (The earliest extant manuscript of any Scottish Gaelic verse dates from 1512, while the original Ossian was a 3rd-century Irish oral bard.) Upon seeing the Fragments, Gray was "raptured by their infinite beauty", a modern aesthetic reaction; authenticity or falsity were immaterial. Macpherson, it seems, processed fragments of oral verse into strange prose in print in English. Original translation! (The impressionable Boswell asked whether many men could have written such poems. Johnson: 'Many men, many women, and many children.') The Fragments, out of print until recently, are in rhythmic prose reminiscent of translated Old Testament texts. Fragment 8 begins: Beside a rock on the hill under the ancient trees, old Oscian sat in the moss; the last of Fingal's race. Blind are your aging eyes; his beard is swaying in the wind. Dull through the leafless trees, he heard the voice from the north. Sadness revived in his soul: he began and mourned the dead. As little as it owes to ‘Ossian’ and as much as it owes to Macpherson, the Fragments appealed – as fragments, to be completed by fantasy. All are sad and noble, all remember death, often caused by love, in landscapes of loss. Modern Gaels object that the voice provided for them is a broken voice. In 1726, James Thomson called for a revival of the sublime in poetry, which inspired mankind 'from Moses to Milton' William Collins (1721-59), author of Ode to Evening (1747), refers to Thomson as a druid. (Of the Druids, pagan British priests killed by the Romans, little is known.) In the 1740s, Robert Lowth lectured in Latin - to, among others, Christopher Smart - on the sacred poetry of the Hebrews, dwelling especially on the sublime. rhythms of the prophets. In 1756, Edmund Burke argued in The Sublime and the Beautiful that the aesthetic pleasure of the sublime arose from pain at the sight of the immense, the obscure, and the traumatic. Poetry could now be inherent not only in a perfected work of art, but also in the "infinite beauty" of fragments of an inspired genius, enthusiast, druid or bard. Sophisticated craftsmen of the 18th century liked to imagine wild ancestors.

Romantics thought of Thomas Chatterton (1753-70) as the archetypal child genius killed by neglect. Chatterton copied medieval manuscripts kept at St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol, and then invented a local 15th-century poet, Fr. Thomas Rowley, and wrote poems for him. His attempt to pass this on to Horace Walpole failed; Walpole had lost faith in Macpherson. The spelling that threw dust in the eyes of the romantics can no longer hide the non-medieval feeling. Rowley's 'Mynstrelles Songe' begins: 'O! synge intoe mie roundelaie, O! droppe the brynie teare wythe mee.' [p. 202]

'Chatterton' by Henry Wallis, 1856. Thomas Chatterton's suicide at the age of 17 (in 1770) made him a type of genius neglected by the Romantic poets. Wallis' model was the novelist George Meredith.

Gothic fiction manuscripts were all the rage. In a preface, Horace Walpole (1717-97) pretends to have found The Castle of Otranto: A Gothic History (1764) in a manuscript by Onuphrio Muralto, canon of Otranto in the twelfth century. Horace, the fourth son of Sir Robert Walpole, brought up in the Palladian splendor of Holkham Hall, Norfolk, gradually turned a house on the Thames side of Strawberry Hill, west of London, into a small Gothic castle, where he printed Gray's Odes. His story begins with Conrad being killed at his wedding by a large falling helmet. His father Manfred, tyrant of Otranto, imprisons the murder suspect inside this helmet, which is capable of swaying its plume. Enlightened readers did not assume that such events occurred even in Latin latitudes, but their universe lacked miracles. The fantasy of The Castle of Otranto created a vogue for camp thrillers in which nobles drug and rape beautiful wards in the bowels of their mountain strongholds, and statues bleed from the nose. The Queen of Goth, Mrs. Radcliffe (1764-1823), is restrained: when in The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794) the heroine asks Montoni why he keeps her prisoner, he replies 'because it is my will' - a horrible answer in an Age of Reason. William Beckford's Oriental Vathek (1786), written in French, is a perverse fantasy, as is The Monk (1796), a 'shocker' by Matthew Lewis. Heir to a fortune, Beckford built himself a massive Gothic tower, Fonthill Abbey, surrounding his park with a high wall. For all its curiosity value, the literary merit of eighteenth-century Gothic fiction pales in comparison to the use made of Gothic in the nineteenth-century novel.

A Era by Johnson Dr. Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) The son of an old Lichfield bookseller, whose stocks he read, Johnson went to Oxford, thanks to a family friend; but the money ran out after four terms and he left. Marrying a widow much older than he was, he founded a school, where his convulsive mannerisms were a gift to his student, David Garrick. In London, he lived by his pen, turning his hand to anything. He wrote the Parliamentary Debates for The Gentleman's magazine from memory (Dickens would later use shorthand). The life of Grub Street is recorded in his Life of Richard Savage, a poet with whom Johnson walked the streets when they had nowhere to sleep. After the Dictionary (1755), he edited Shakespeare and wrote the Lives and A Journey to the Western Island of Scotland (1775). Prayers and Meditations was published in 1785.

Samuel Johnson (1709-84) dominated the world of letters for thirty years. The Johnson of James Boswell's catchphrases, the conversationalist who knocked opponents out with one sentence, was real enough. But the Boswell orator was primarily a great writer: poet, biographer, critic, editor, essayist, author of a tragedy and a philosophical tale, of political books and of travel and prayer. Peerless as a judge of language and literature, he himself made permanent contributions to the Dictionary, the Preface of [p. 203] Shakespeare and the Lives of Poets. This was part of a general expansion of knowledge, the most public symbol of which was Captain Cook's voyages through the South Seas with the naturalist Sir Joseph Banks. Savants wrote for general readers in clear prose, none more lucid than the philosophers Bishop Berkeley (1685-1753) and David Hume (1711-76). An abridged retrospective of English from 1760 to 1798 shows non-fiction prose taking center stage. Poetry receded, the novel withered, but the decline of drama was halted by Goldsmith and Sheridan. However, between 1770 and 1791 the works of Johnson, Gibbon, Smith, Burney and Boswell listed below appeared.

Nonfictional prose: 1710-98 1710 1739 1750 1751 1754 1755 1756 1757 1758 1759 1762 1763 1765 1769 1770 1771 1773 1774 1775 1776 1779 1 783 1785 1789 1790 1791 1792 1793 1794 1796 1798

Bishop Berkeley, Treatise on the Principles of Human Knowledge. David Hume, Treatise on Human Nature (3 volumes, 1740). Samuel Johnson (ed.), The Rambler (until 1752). (Diderot and D'Alembert, French Encyclopaedia, volume 1; 35 volumes, 1780). Hume, History of England (2 vols, 1762). Johnson, Dictionary of the English Language. Edmund Burke, Inquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful. Tobias Smollett, A Complete History of England (4 volumes, 1758). Edward Gibbon, Essai sur l'étude de la literature; David Hume, Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding. Adam Smith, Theory of Moral Sentiments. Bishop Hurd, Letters of Chivalry and Romance; Lord Kames, Elements of Criticism. Lady Mary Montagu (d.1762), Letters. Johnson, Preface to Shakespeare; Henry Fuseli, Painting and Sculpture of the Greeks (trans. by Winckelmann). Elizabeth Montagu, An Essay on the Writings and Genius of Shakespeare; Sir Joshua Reynolds, Discourses on Art. Burke, Reflections on the Cause of Present Discontents. John Wesley, Collected Prose Works (32 volumes, 1774). James Cook, Travel Around the World. Lord Chesterfield (died 1773), Letters to His Natural Son; Thomas Warton, History of English Poetry (3 vols, 1781). Johnson, A Voyage to the Western Isles of Scotland. Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (6 vols, 1788); Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations; Thomas Paine, Common Sense. Hume (died 1776), Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion; Johnson, The Works of the English Poets, with Prefaces, Biographical and Critical (68 vols, 1781). David Blair, Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres. James Boswell, A Tour of the Hebrides; Horace Walpole, An essay on modern gardening. Charles Burney, A General History of Music (4vols); Gilbert White, Natural History of Selborne. Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France; Thomas Bewick, General History of Quadrupeds. James Boswell, The Life of Johnson; William Gilpin, Essays on Picturesque Beauty; Paine, The Rights of Man. Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. William Godwin, Political Justice. Paine, The Age of Reason (3 volumes, 1811). Burke, A Letter to a Noble Lord. Richard Brinsley Sheridan, collected speeches.

[p. 204] [Figure omitted: The definition of 'lexicographer' in Dr. Johnson (1755).] Johnson, a coarse and boorish provincial, shortsighted, pockmarked, and melancholy, became the center of polite letters. Members of Johnson's Literary Club included the writers Goldsmith and Boswell, the statesmen C. J. Fox and Burke, Sheridan the playwright, Gibbon the historian, Reynolds the painter, Burney the musician, Banks the naturalist, Adam Smith the philosopher and economist, and William Jones, the orientalist. Another member was Johnson's former pupil, the actor David Garrick, with whom Johnson had walked to London when his small school failed in 1737. Johnson's centrality is not an illusion caused by Boswell's version of his last twenty-one years. years. The solar system looks the same in earlier accounts of Johnson by Sir John Hawkins, Mrs. Thrale and Fanny Burney. Most 18th-century writers were men, often single men, but the widowed Johnson had many female friends, including Elizabeth Montagu and Charlotte Lennox, for whom he wrote a foreword. Johnson's outspoken character appealed to people who, like Boswell, were put off by his appearance and manner. He was distinctly human, making room for many unfortunates, though he wasn't averse to dining out. He had a deep Christian faith. He told an Anglican priest who, as an old man, stood bare-headed in the rain for a considerable time in Uttoxeter market, because as a young man he had refused his father's request to look after the family bookstand: 'In contrition I raise me and I hope the penance was expiatory.

Memory and dictionary composition were fundamental to education, but Johnson's mental strength and keen verbal sense were exceptional. He composed in Latin or English in his head, writing poems when complete. Quotations from the Dictionary were recalled from its wide readership, often on non-literary subjects such as travel, manufacturing, agriculture, and chemistry. His writing is heavy and incisive. He examined the ideas critically, considering their true meaning, relation to principles, and practical consequences. His principles were Anglican and conservative, opposing American independence in Taxation No Tyranny, unlike his friend Burke. He attacked British injustice, such as towards Ireland, and would drink "to the coming insurrection of the Negroes in the West Indies". He didn't like Americans because they owned slaves. Johnson's prose and heroic personality are illustrated by a passage from his letter to Lord Chesterfield, from whom he sought help in his early Dictionary struggles. Chesterfield now tried to associate himself with the completed work.

Seven years, my lord, have passed since I waited in your outer chambers or was turned from your door, during which time I have pushed my work through difficulties of which it is useless to complain, and finally brought it to the brink of publication without [ P. 205] an act of help, a word of encouragement, or a smile of favor. Such treatment I did not expect, as I never had a patronus before... Is not a patronus, my lord, one who looks unconcernedly at a man struggling for life in the water and when he reaches the ground overwhelms him with help? The notice you have been pleased to receive of my labors, if it had been early, would have been kind; but it has been postponed until I am indifferent and cannot enjoy it, until I am lonely and cannot impart it, until I am known and do not desire it. There was no dictionary established before Johnson, and an authority was needed to standardize spelling, to clearly distinguish between meanings, and to decide on usage. He held the post, with secretarial help, for nine years; in which he also wrote the entirety of two newspapers, The Rambler and The Idler; Irene, a tragedy; the poems London and The Vanity of Human Wishes, and a philosophical short story, Rasselas. Definitions established the authority of the Dictionary. Believing that "the chief glory of any people comes from its authors", Johnson illustrated the meaning through 114,000 quotes gathered from authors since Sydney. When I first assembled these authorities, he wished that every citation should be useful for some purpose other than the illustration of a word; Therefore, I drew from philosophers the principles of science; of the remarkable facts of historians; complete process chemicals; of the admirable divine exhortations; and from poets beautiful descriptions. Such is the design, while still far from the execution. When time demanded that I organize this accumulation of elegance and wisdom into an alphabetical series, I soon found that the volume of my volumes would frighten the student, and I was forced to abandon my scheme of including everything pleasant or useful. in English literature, and I reduce my transcriptions too often to groups of words in which scarcely any meaning is retained: thus, to the weariness of copying, I have been condemned to add the vexation of expurgation. Johnson's Preface shows that he believed in regularity, but was well aware that words change their sound and meaning and that therefore his work, inevitably imperfect, would also become obsolete: 'I am not so lost in lexicography as to forget that words are the children of the earth, and that things are the children of heaven.” Johnson's London and The Vanity of Human Wishes are "imitations," or modern applications, of satires by the Roman poet Juvenal. Like Swift, Johnson was an enemy Johnson's Dictionary: Some Examples of ENTHU´SIASM Definitions. n. A vain belief of private revelation; a vain confidence of divine favor or Communication. Enthusiasm is based neither on reason nor on divine revelation, but is born of the conceit of an overheated or conceited brain. -Locke. TO´RY. n. One who adheres to the old state constitution and the apostolic hierarchy of the Church of England, as opposed to a Whig. The knight is more important in the country than in the city, because this raises more interest in him. Addison. WHIG. n. 2. The name of a faction. He who is of true value to church and state must avoid the extremes of Whig on account of the former, and the extremes of Tory on account of the latter.-Swift. WISDOM n. 1. The powers of the mind; the mental faculties; the intellects. This is the original meaning. 2. Imagination; fantasy speed. 3. Feelings produced by the rapidity of fantasy. 4. A fantasy man. 5. A man of genius. 6. Sense; judgment. 7. In the plural. Healthy mind; unmaddened intellect. 8. Invention; ruse; file power. [p. 206] of illusion, and poems by him examine the madness of human ambition. In his prayers, he often reproaches himself for laziness. He expected to complete the Dictionary in three years, knowing that the French Academy had taken forty years. But 'Such is the design, though it is still far from execution.' ,/As we toil from day to day,/By sudden bursts, or slow decline,/Our social comforts fade away.' The Vanity of Human Desires warns, therefore, the ambitious student that in the 'illusory mine of hope' there is no gold: If no disease invades your numb veins, Nor the ghosts of melancholy haunt your shadow; Yet do not expect life to be free from suffering or danger, Nor think that man's destiny has been reversed for you: Deign that the passing world turns your eyes, And stop awhile at letters, to be wise; There mark what evils the scholar's life assails, toil, envy, want, the patron and the prison. See nations slowly wise and meanly righteous, For buried merit to lift the belated bust. Johnson takes a dark pleasure in exposing the false hopes he once shared. There is an almost tragic satisfaction in things said so revealingly in the right combination of the right words. Such a verse appeals to accuracy and experience, not imagination.

In the month before his death, Johnson wrote a version of Horace that has the simple elegance of eighteenth-century diction, but also image and rhythm: The dissolved snow is seen no more The fields and woods, behold, they are green, the changeable year renews the plain, The rivers know their banks again, The spirited nymph and naked grace The labyrinthine dance traces together. The successive plan of the changing year Proclaims mortality to man. The blasts of fierce winter give way to spring, Spring gives way to summer's reigning ray, Then summer sinks into autumn's reign, And winter cools the world again. His losses soon the moon supplies, But wretched man, since he lies Where Priam and his sons are buried, Is but ashes and a shadow...

Literary Criticism The moral essays of Johnson and Rasselas have long been admired, and their prayers and meditations can move atheists. His literary criticism is especially valuable, and now this criticism has few readers in general, especially pleasant. We often disagree that neoclassical principles can be technical or moralistic - but Johnson makes his judgments on clear grounds, forcing us to agree or disagree. He also escapes the limitations of the eighteenth century, as he often does in the Lives quoted in this History. Johnson is clearer than Coleridge, more analytical than Arnold, and more direct than T. S. Eliot. He delivers [p. 207]

doctor Samuel Johnson, by Sir Joshua Reynolds, c.1775, aged about 66. Shortly after returning from Scotland, Johnson folds a book backwards to bring a page close to his good eye. He objected to this portrayal: 'I won't blink Sam'.

the reaction not only of the judging intelligence, but of the whole man. Milton "thought that woman was made only for obedience and man only for rebellion". Pope "never drank tea without a stratagem"; although he translated the Iliad, he did not "overflow with the Greek". Gray didn't use his apprenticeship. But these imperfect men wrote extraordinary works that instill rational admiration: Paradise Lost, or “the Cemetery”. What he found false he disdained: Milton's Lycidas or Gray's Odes. Johnson's preface to Shakespeare is the first good general account and the last before the worship begins. “Shakespeare is, above all writers, at least above all modern writers, the poet of nature, the poet who holds up a faithful mirror to his readers. of manners and of life.' Still, he was careless with plot and morals; he hastened his endings; he was very wordy and obscure and enjoyed puns and humor contests. He is also the writer Johnson best loves and cites, both in the Dictionary and in life: to Boswell as they ride through Scotland and to his physician as he is dying: 'Can't you minister to a sick mind?' Johnson thinks. it is undignified that Macbeth makes Heaven "peek through the cloak of darkness": is he literal or have we been vague? He cannot bear the pain of Cordelia's wrongful death: could we justify it to Johnson? His premises may be narrow, but he makes us think.

Johnson also destroyed two dominant prejudices. Critics objected to mixed or tragicomic drama; Johnson defends it by appealing art to nature, "in which, at the same time, the reveler hurries to his wine and the mourner buries his friend." Second, the prestige of "unity of place" kept Antony and Cleopatra, in which there are many scene changes, offstage. Johnson: The objection arising from the impossibility of spending the first hour in Alexandria and the next in Rome supposes that when the play opens the spectator really imagines himself in Alexandria and believes that his walk to the theater was a trip to Egypt and that he lives in the days of Antony and Cleopatra. Surely he who imagines this can imagine more. He who can ascend the stage at once to the palace of the Ptolemies can ascend in half an hour to the promontory of Actium. Illusion, if admitted, has no certain limitation; if the [p. 208] the spectator can be persuaded since his old acquaintances are Alexander and Caesar, that a room lit with candles is the plain of Pharsalus..., he is in a state of elevation above the reach of reason or truth, and from the heights of empirical poetry can despise the circumscriptions of terrestrial nature. ... The truth is that the spectators are always attentive and know, from the first act to the last, that the stage is just a stage and that the players are just players.

James Boswell This embodiment of English common sense was not Boswell's creation, but Johnson's solidity owes much to the memory, devotion, and skill of a man very different from himself. The Life of Boswell (1791, 1793, 1799) is the first and perhaps the only great life of an author. James Boswell (1740-95), son of a Lowland Law Lord, took a Grand Tour. When he was in Switzerland, he charmed Voltaire and Rousseau, who introduced him to the Corsican hero Paoli. His account from Corsica made him famous: he wore the headband of a Corsican patriot and was known as Corsica Boswell. The 23-year-old lion hunter planned a presentation for Johnson, but his presenter mentioned him as hailing from Scotland. 'Sir. Johnson, (said I) I do come from Scotland, but I can't help it.' I am willing to flatter myself that I meant it as a slight kindness to calm and conciliate you, and not as a humiliating humiliation at the expense of my country. But be that as it may, this speech was rather unlucky; for with that quickness of reasoning for which he was so remarkable, he seized upon the expression 'came from Scotland', which I have used in the sense of being from that country, and, as if I had said I came from there, or left him, retorted: 'That, sir, I think, is what many of your countrymen cannot help.' This coup surprised me quite a bit... While including his hero's flaws (for which he was heavily criticized), Boswell will make a fool of himself to lure Johnson. Indeed, he takes pains to sound comical: 'Amidst some patriotic groaning, someone (I think the alderman) said, 'Poor old England is lost.' JOHNSON: "Sir, it is not so much to be lamented that Old England is lost, as that the Scots have found it."' Boswell adds a footnote: which a great deal of meaning is condensed.' Such notes can drive devotees to helpless laughter. But the Life is a work of scholarship and affection, fully documented with letters to and from Johnson, prayers and epitaphs composed by Johnson, and his responses to moral and legal questions put to him by Boswell over twenty-one years. We have a picture of Johnson's circle and life at the time. But we don't take our eyes off the man himself, so full of passion, humor, melancholy, fears and quirks, as well as common sense, honesty and common sense. His mind was reminded of the vast amphitheater, the Coliseum of Rome. In the center was his judgment, who, like a mighty gladiator, fought those apprehensions which, like the beasts of the arena, were in cells, ready to be hurled at him. After a skirmish, he drove them back to their dens; but not killing them, they still attacked him. Boswell knew Johnson like a bear leader knew his bear and could play as much with him as he did with him. Aware that Johnson "was sometimes a little moved by the spirit of contradiction", he took him to a dinner where he met his political opposite [p. 209] John Wilkes would be. They talked without a fight and Johnson unfroze. Boswell: 'Mr. Burke gave me a lot of credit for this successful “negotiation”; and he said pleasantly that there was nothing like it in the whole history of the Diplomatic Corps. ' 'Bozzy' ​​also persuaded the 64-year-old Johnson to go to Scotland, ride through the Highlands and risk the Hebrides in the autumn in an open boat. His accounts of his experiences are now available in one volume, and the comparison improves the understanding of the skill with which Boswell enlivened Johnson's life; each book is masterful. Johnson showed his ability to go from the detail to the universal by observing the construction of windows in Banff. This generalization follows: The true state of each nation is the state of common life. The manners of a people are not to be found in schools of learning, or in the palaces of grandeur, where the national character is obscured or obliterated by travel or instruction, by philosophy or vanity; nor is public happiness to be cherished by the assemblies of the gays or the banquets of the rich. The great mass of nations are neither rich nor

gay: those whose aggregate constitutes the people, are found in the streets and in the villages, in the shops and farms: and of them considered collectively, the measure of general prosperity must be taken. Johnson's common touch makes "Augustanism" real. The Life is a wonderful account of a profound and surprising man, whom we come to know socially as well as one can be known through a book. Boswell's memory allowed him to recall long conversations (he took notes later) and to recreate scenes, some of which he had staged. It includes prayers, which correct for social bias. Boswell's self-dramatization and self-revision can be traced in the candid diaries in which, for thirty years, he recorded his indulgences and unhappiness. Dedication compensated for vanity, and his fame as a writer did not stop growing. Boswell did the public relations for David Garrick's 1769 Shakespearean Jubilee in Stratford: music by Thomas Arne, sets by Joshua Reynolds, an Ode by Mr. Garrick, recitations galore, and thousands of souvenirs sold. At this “event” the national poet was called a Bard for the first time, an odd title for a London playwright neither preliterate nor Welsh.

Nonfiction "Nonfiction" is a very dull library classification for the prose of Burke, Gibbon, and Sheridan. History was a part of eighteenth-century literature - both Gray and Warton became professors of history - as was oratory: all were branches of rhetoric. Literature today neglects most non-fiction prose, although history can be written well (as can literary criticism), but formal oratory has declined. The 19th-century historian Macaulay once described Burke as "the greatest man since Milton". Few politicians today have read any of the three.

Edward Gibbon's style ideals also changed in the 18th century, from Dryden's ease and Addison's polish to Johnson's variety of manners. But the top end became more majestic and oratory. Burke and Sheridan begin the era of British parliamentary oratory. But the award for memory, composition and learning goes to another member of the Club, Edward Gibbon (1737-94). Its Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire begins in the golden age of the 2nd century Antonine Emperors. Its end is not the barbarian invasions or the restoration and decay of Charlemagne's western empire, but the [p. 210] Fall of Constantinople in 1453. Gibbon read and condensed materials in ancient and modern languages ​​over the twelve centuries connecting the ancient world with the modern, covering the invasions of the Goths, Persians, Saracens and Turks, the rise of Christianity and Islam and the crusades. He combined antiquarian detail with an enlightened moral and philosophical interest in human nature. An American editor at Gibbon observes that "the English are at their best in writing the spoken word", citing Gibbon's method of composition, which consisted of "casting a long paragraph into a single mould, trying it out by ear, depositing it it in my memory, but to suspend the action of the pen 'until I had given the last polish to my work.' Gibbon is not an essayist who likes epigrams: he has placed paragraph of marble beside long paragraph of marble, and his six volumes are not to be traversed like asphalt. The finished work is as overpowering as the Palace of Versailles when occupied, though its manner is sometimes of the kind which caused Versailles to be no longer occupied. If we carefully trace the distance from the Antonine wall to Rome, and thence to Jerusalem, we shall find that the great chain of communication from the north-west to the south-east point of the empire extended to the length of four thousand eighty Roman miles. city ​​to city, with very little respect for the obstacles of nature or private property. Mountains were pierced and daring bows cast over the widest and swiftest streams. The central part of the road was elevated on a terrace which dominated the adjacent land, consisted of various strata of sand, gravel and cement, and was paved with large stones or, in some places near the capital, with granite. Gibbon miles are Roman millia passuum, not English miles; he writes here not as an Englishman but as a Roman historian. More English is his explanation of the decision not to conquer the Picts beyond the Antonine Wall: 'The lords of the fairest and richest climes on the globe have returned with scorn from dismal hills assailed by the winter storm, from lakes hidden in a blue mist, and of cold and lonely moors over which the forest stags were chased by a troop of naked barbarians." He pauses on a geographical survey of the eastern provinces to say that "Phenicia and Palestine will live forever in the memory of mankind, since America, as well as Europe, has received letters from the one and religion from the other.” Antithesis as a way of thinking: countries linked by Ps, continents by vowels; literature weighed against religion. Chapter XV, "A Candid But Reasonable Inquiry into the Progress and Establishment of Christianity," considers "by what means the Christian faith won so remarkable a victory over the established religions of the earth." Gibbon maintained that religion and barbarism undermined the Empire. Gibbon's editor says he was a moderate skeptic, "quite willing to accept the existence of a Deity, but without stipulations about the precise mechanics of the operation of the Divine Will". Gibbon lasted surprisingly well as a story, although its irony might make its readers suspect that they might be barbarians themselves.

Edmund Burke It is not for his ideas on the sublime, mentioned above, that Edmund Burke (1729-97) is generally remembered, but for his Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790), with its image of Marie Antoinette helpless in the land of bravery, for one

only French sword. He opposed the atheism and extremism of the revolutionaries and offered a conservative idea of ​​society as composed of "little platoons" of family, [p. 211] locality and other natural associations, and as organically adapting and improving rather than applying universal ideas. He championed the liberation of the House of Commons, Ireland, Catholics and the American colonies, and brought the case against Warren Hastings, accused of corruption and ruthless rule in British India. As a reformer, Burke opposed revolution. The big question made him define his assumption that society was a living thing and not a model governed by contract, mechanism or ideas. Matthew Arnold found Burke "so great, because, almost alone in England, he brings thought into politics, he saturates politics with thought". He influenced Wordsworth and Coleridge.

Oliver Goldsmith Oliver Goldsmith (1730-74) was, like Dryden, Addison, Gay and Johnson, an all-round Augusta, writing an Analytical Essay on the Present State of Polished Letters (1759), fiction in The Vicar of Wakefield (1764), poetry , notably The Deserted Village (1770) and, in She Stoops to Conquer (1773), a fine comedy as well as much hackwork. Boswell said that Goldsmith 'wrote like an angel, but spoke like poor Poll'; he was helped by Johnson, just as Pope helped Gay. The Vicar of Wakefield is about the misfortunes of an innocent clergyman and his family, a Fielding-like plot without the Fielding satire. It was a huge success, but it has little in the way of interiors. This 18th-century externality works best in his equally successful She Stoops to Conquer, a comedy about one night's mistakes: Mr. for a maid, whom her supposedly shy official suitor tries to seduce. All ends well in this good-natured, often-revived anti-sentimental comedy. The title of The Deserted Village sets the theme. 'Sweet Auburn, loveliest village on the plain' is a rural England losing its people. When the fictional author returns to his birthplace, he finds it ruined by 'One Master', who 'rules the whole domain'. Scarcely does the earth pass, to hasten evils a prey, Where wealth accumulates and men decay; Princes and lords can flourish, or they can fade, A breath can make them, as a breath made them. But a bold peasantry, the pride of their country, Once destroyed, can never be replenished. Gone are the villagers and the schoolmaster ('And still they looked, and still their admiration grew, / That a little head could bear all she knew') and the inn. He fondly remembers: “The whitewashed wall, the well-sanded floor,/The varnished clock that jingled behind the door.” The empty field has been rearranged so that “Its views amaze, its palaces amaze” and “The field blooms - a garden and a tomb.” Nostalgia turns to politics: “I see rural virtues leave the land.” As in Gray's Progress of Poetry, Poetry loves Liberty. Before emigrating, she cautions that States 'have native strength,/ Though 'very poor, yet may be very blessed.' Fluency turns to concentration as the next lines teach That the proud empire of commerce rushes into rapid decay, As the ocean sweeps the work'd mole away; While self-dependent power can defy time, As rocks withstand waves and sky.

pier built

[p. 212] This conclusion was written by Johnson, the breakwater of Augustus defying the rising tide of romanticism. Its values ​​continued into the 19th century in the diaries and letters of Hester Thrale and Fanny Burney, author of Evelina and Cecilia, and in the verses of the Rev. George Crabbe. Johnson hated false pastoralism and admired Crabbe's The Village (1783) as a true picture of difficult rural life. The narrative couplets of Crabbe's last Borough and Tales contrast well with Wordsworth's ballads on similar themes. Crabbe continued to write them until 1819.

Fanny Burney Fanny Burney (1752-1840) wrote from the age of ten and transcribed her father's General History of Music, but published Evelina, or a Young Lady's Entrance into the World anonymously. She succeeded and she was invited to Mrs. Thrale, where she was horrified to find it on display. 'I hid it under other books, as I would die - or faint at least - if anyone innocently picked it up while I was here.' The mild-mannered Fanny knew that society disapproved of fiction. Innocent Evelina goes to society in London and Bath, is pursued by the dashing wily Willoughby, but marries the unassuming and considerate Lord Orville. Virtue is rewarded, the plot confuses, the dialogue shines. The epistolary mode allows the machinations of men and the world to be experienced through Evelina's eyes. Evelina taps into an 18th-century interest in perspective and partial knowledge. She is a bridge from Grandison to Pride and Prejudice.

Richard Brinsley Sheridan Almost all eighteenth-century literature is very theatrical in its awareness of the audience and in its use of appearance to manipulate the audience's attitude. Caricatures by William Hogarth (1679-1764) and oratorios by G. F. Handel (1685-1759) were public

Portrait of Fanny Burney as an Elegant Young Woman, by her cousin, Edward Francesco Burney, c.1785.

[p. 213] theater. But there were no top-notch Hanoverian plays before Goldsmith. Garrick mastered a theater of Shakespeare adaptations, farces and pantomimes - and Addison's Cato. The son of an Irish actor, Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751-1816) went from Harrow School to Bath, where he eloped with a singer, fought duels and reconciled parents - a good start to a life in theater management. In 1777 Johnson proposed him for membership in the Club, remarking, according to Boswell, that he had 'written the two best comedies of his age': The Rivals (1775), with its glorious Mrs. Malaprop, a great success at Covent Garden and The School for Scandal (1777). On Garrick's death in 1779, Sheridan took over the Drury Lane theater and wrote The Critic. He was 28 years old. But in 1780 he entered the House of Commons, where he followed the example of Burke rather than Gibbon, who never spoke. He spoke for six hours at the Warren Hastings trial. Oratory led to office, and he then divided his public career, as leader of the Whig Opposition, between speaking at length and running Drury Lane, which had to be rebuilt twice. But his neglect of details brought him debt instead of progress. Four Lords carried his coffin, but they placed it near Garrick and not, as he wished, near Fox. The three plays of his youth show that he understood theater better than anyone since the decline of Restoration drama. Restoration formulations underlie his plays, which were very different from the sentimental dramas then on London's great public stages. His masterpiece, The School for Scandal, is about two brothers, Charles and Joseph Surface (Fielding-style theatrical names: Charles II liked women, Joseph rejected the advances of the Pharaoh's wife). Charles looks like a rake but has a good heart; Joseph speaks of feeling and morality. His friend, old Sir Peter Teazle, has a young Lady Teazle and a younger ward, Maria. In the end, Charles gets Maria, whom Joseph pursues while trying to seduce Lady Teazle. All is revealed when Charles knocks over a screen in Joseph's chambers, exposing Lady Teazle, who has overheard her husband's concern for her (see illustration). She exposes the hypocrisy of her future

Screen episode in Act IV, scene 3, of Sheridan's A School for Scandal, first produced at Drury Lane in 1777.

[p. 214] seductive. Bath is the School of the title: scandal, real or invented, is better than the affectation of virtue. It's wonderfully intelligent and masterful - yet, compared with Congreve, or Jane Austen, broad and formulaic.

The abandonment of a tradition reworked by Christopher Smart Sheridan is a sign of the breakdown of the Augustan consensus. William Cowper (1731-1800), the representative poet of the later period, wrote poems of radically different kinds, as did Gray and Christopher Smart (1722-71). Stylistically, Smart's poems are Augustan - deft and decorous, witty or religious - or (after his mental breakdown) biblical. Modern anthologies often include the curious and delightful "For I will consider my cat Jeoffrey," a section of the unpublished Jubilate Agno ("Rejoice with the Lamb"). Jeoffrey is more spiritual than Mr. Walpole, whose drowning was mourned by Gray. Animal lovers may find other sections odd: Let Noah rejoice in Hibris who is from a wild boar and a tame sow. For I bless God for the immortal soul of Mr. DOWNHAM pigg in NORFOLK. Let Abdon rejoice over Glede who is very ravenous and cannot be eaten. For 1 fast on this day until August 31 N. S. to prepare for the Sabbath of the Lord. ('N.S.' means 'New Style': in the Gregorian reform, the calendar lost 11 days in 1752.) These madhouse productions were often dismissed as such. But they mimic the antiphonal structure of the Psalms: the “Let” verses are almost biblical in content, the “For” verses autobiographical. This antiphonal alternation of biblical and non-biblical would have been shockingly odd rather than obscure. Smart published in 1763 A Song to David, a wonderful and mystically arranged work, one of the most tamed stanzas is the 76th: Strong is the lion - like a coal His eyeball - like the mole of a bastion His chest against enemies: Strong , the gier eagle on its sail Strong against the tide, the huge whale Emerges, as it goes.

masonry finish

A comparison of this to William Blake's poem 'The Tyger' makes both seem more biblical and Smarts more Augustan. Smart's last publication was a complete version of Horace, who in the 18th century was almost an English poet.

William Cowper The battle between the Psalms of David and the Odes of Horace was lost most tragically by Cowper, a writer of light verse, who after a nervous breakdown in 1763 tried to kill himself. After an evangelical conversion, Cowper wrote the Olney Hymns. A worse breakdown came in 1773, when he thought God had ordered him to kill himself. Failing in his attempt, he lived the rest of his life convinced that he was doomed, "condemned below Judas: more abominable than he". The deluded but mild and sociable poet found patrons, one of whom had him write a blank verse poem by Miltonic on the couch where they sat. Dr Johnson [p. 215] wrote of Paradise Lost that “we abandoned our master and sought companions”. The Task (in six books, 1785) is, on the contrary, a very sociable poem. The First Book Argument Begins: Historical Deduction of Seats, from the Stool to the Sofa. “A schoolboys outing. — A walk in the country. — The scene described. — Rural sounds and enchanting sights. “Another walk. — Error about solitude charms, corrected. — Colonnades praised. “Alcove and the view from it. — The Desert. - The woods. — The Thresher. — The necessity and benefits of exercise. — The superior works of nature, and in some cases inimitable by art. — The weariness of what is commonly called a life of pleasure. - Sometimes convenient scene changes. — A common description, and character of the crazy Kate presented to her. gypsies. “The blessings of civilized life. - etc. Cowper found walking to be beneficial. He leads our gaze across the scene: Here Ouse, winding slowly across a flat plain Of spacious meadows dotted with cattle, Leads the eye along its winding course, Enchanted. There, firmly rooted on their Stand bench, never forgotten, our favorite elms That guard the shepherd's lonely hut; While far beyond and overflowed the stream That as with molten glass embeds the valley, The sloping land recedes in the clouds...

The landscape includes cattle, "the shepherd's lonely hut", "numberless beauties of hedgerows, square tow'r, / High spire", and "Woods, moors and remote steaming villages". These English scenes are found in similar combinations in Ann Finch, Pope, Thomson, Collins and Gray, but Cowper composes them better and talks more sanely. He was admired by Jane Austen and the painter John Constable (1776-1837), and echoed by Wordsworth and Coleridge. He wrote a poem of utter despair, 'The Castaway'.

Robert Burns During the 18th century, writers arrived in the mainland of Great Britain from the provinces, Ireland and Scotland. The second president of the United States, John Adams, came to England for a classical education. Edinburgh and Dublin had their own Enlightenments, nurturing their own national literatures but also making an impression on English literature through Edgeworth, Burns, Scott and others. The Scottish Enlightenment were primarily academics who wrote mostly prose. Poetry written in Scots was unknown in England, as was Gaelic writing in Edinburgh. The Reformation and the unions of crowns and parliaments did not help Scotland's imaginative vernacular literature. This first came to English notice with Robert Burns (1759-96). On the title page of his Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect (Kilmarnock, 1786), Burns introduces himself as "The Simple Bard, unbroken by the Rules of Art". One Edinburgh critic distilled this into "a heaven-taught plowman". Burns plowed a poor leasehold farm, but was taught his letters, and Augustinian English, French, and a little Latin, by a graduate employed by his father, also a poor tenant. He wrote in English until, aged twenty, he discovered that the Scots he spoke had been revived as a literary medium by Allan Ramsay and especially Robert Fergusson. [p. 216] He intended this Kilmarnock publication to pay for his emigration to Jamaica. His satires of Calvinism offended, and he and his pregnant Jean Armor had to do public penance in church. But in Edinburgh, Henry Mackenzie, author of The Man of Feeling (1771), praised these Scottish dialect poems in The Lounger. The loafers toasted the ploughman poet, who drank in Edinburgh taverns. With the farm failing, Burns took a position at Excise, collecting taxes for the Crown. Expanded Poems were published in Edinburgh in 1787 and expanded again in 1794 to include Tam o'Shanter. The Scots Musical Museum, a collection of every Scottish song in existence, now consumed most of Burns' creative energy. He contributed hundreds of poems, often altered or rewritten. Burns wrote several times in both English and Scottish, and his instant fame spawned some myths. Very rarely had he "walked in glory and joy/Following his plow along the mountainside", as Wordsworth would have it, and given up farming with relief. He is famous as a Democrat - against rank, kirk and state, and for whiskey, liberty and the French Revolution - but he joined the Dumfries Volunteers before his death in 1796. His versatility is seen in his exceptionally talented songs. Not all of them are as beautiful and moving as 'My love is like a red, red rose', 'Ye banks and braes o' bonny Doon' or 'Ae fond kiss'. With the songs of love, patriotism and feeling are erotic, comic, sarcastic and obscene songs. Burns embraced raunchy folk with enthusiasm, as in his subversive The Jolly Beggars. Burns found their voices in the vernacular, and his Scottish poems eclipse those in English. However, he owes a general debt to the neoclassical tradition and to the reductive comic irony of the eighteenth century. He created for himself a social voice in which the soliloquy sounds natural, as for example in his justly famous 'To a Mouse On Turning Her up in Her Nest with the Plow, November 1785', ending But Mousie, thou art not thy way to atone Prove that prediction can be in vain: Mice and Men Gang aft agley's best-laid schemes often go awry And leave us nothing but sorrow and pain, depart For the joy promised! Yet thou art blessed compared to me! The present just touches you: Mas Och! I cast my e'e back, In bleak prospects! And forward, although I can't see it, I think I'm scared!


These and many other of his famous lines express sentiments to which every breast echoes. This is an august quality. Contemporary readers would have recognized its epigraph 'Simple bard' as by Pope, and 'The Jolly Beggars' as a miniature opera by the beggar; it was also published as 'Love and Liberty'. A Cantata'. He wrote letters in satirical verse and, in 'Holy Willie's Prayer', blithely converted heroic-comic techniques to the mockery of self-righteous piety. Tam o 'Shanter itself is an Augustan-heroic poem in the tradition of rogue realism. This 18th-century irony is subdued in Sir Walter Scott, but it shows its advantage in later Anglo-Scots such as Byron, Macaulay and J. S. Mill. The energy of the wonderful Tam o' Shanter allows his audience not to notice its complexity. Burns knew it was his most finished piece, and because it was ideal for [p. 217] convivial social recitation, is a fitting testament. According to Emerson, Burns offers "the only example in history of a language made classical by the genius of a single man". Sometimes, however, Burns combines his Scots with English words, as in the fourth word in the first line of 'To a Mouse': 'Wee, slimet, cowran, tim'rous beastie'. One of Burns' models was

James Beanie, not for his Scoticisms, Arranged in Alphabetical Order, Designed to Correct Inadequacies of Speech and Writing, but for The Minstrel (1774). Burns was not a simple bard, but an astute minstrel.

Further Reading Chapman, R. W. (ed.). Boswell's Life of Johnson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1953). It gives age just like the man. Fairer, D. and C. Gerrard (eds). Poetry of the Eighteenth Century: An Annotated Anthology (Oxford: Blackwell, 1998). Mack, M. Alexander Pope: A Life (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1985). Detailed literary biography. Rogers, P. (ed.). The Eighteenth Century (London: Methuen, 1978). A good short account.

[p. 218]

7. The Romantics: 1790 1837 Overview English Romantic literature is predominantly poetic, with six major poets writing in the first quarter of the 19th century, transforming the literary climate. Blake was unknown; Wordsworth and Coleridge gained partial acceptance in the first decade; Scott and Byron became popular. The flowering of the younger Romantics, Byron, Shelley and Keats, came after 1817, but by 1824 they were all dead. The other great literary artist of the period is Jane Austen, whose six novels were published anonymously between 1811 and 1818. Other books that appeared without the author's name were Lyrical Ballads (Bristol, 1798) and Waverley (Edinburgh, 1814). The novels of the "Waverley author", Sir Walter Scott, were extremely popular. There was original fiction by Maria Edgeworth and Mary Shelley, and non-fiction by Thomas De Quincey, Charles Lamb and William Hazlitt.

The Romantic Poets Early Romantics William Blake

Contents The Romantic Poets Early Romantics William Blake Subjectivity Romanticism and Revolution William Wordsworth Samuel Taylor Coleridge Sir Walter Scott Younger Romanticisms Lord Byron Percy Bysshe Shelley John Keats Romantic Prose Belles liters Charles Lamb William Hazlitt Thomas De Quincey Fiction Thomas Love Peacock Mary Shelley Maria Edgeworth Sir Walter Scott Jane Austen To Victoria

William Blake (1757-1827) was a contemporary of Burns, but he lacked his success. He grew up poor in London, went to art school, apprenticed to an engraver at the age of 14 and made his living by printmaking. His beautiful adolescent poetic sketches were printed but not published. He recorded his later poems by his own laborious method, hand-coloring each copy of the booklets in which he published them. Eventually, his art gained him some admirers, notably the painter Samuel Palmer (1805-81). Blake had begun his Songs of Experience with 'Hear the voice of the Bard!' - but the age would not heed this truly 'heaven-taught' genius. Self-taught and misunderstood at reading, he opposed dominant intellectual, political, social, sexual and ecclesiastical orthodoxies, with a marked contempt for deistic materialists, censorious priests and the President of the Royal Academy, Sir Joshua Reynolds. A revolutionary who [p. 219] briefly shared Milton's hope that paradise could be restored by politics, he came to regard political radicals, his allies, as blind rational materialists: 'Mock on, mock on, Voltaire, Rousseau;/Mock on, mock on, 'tis all in vain./You throw the sand against the wind,/And the wind throws it back.” For Blake, human reality was political, spiritual, and divine. A breakthrough material ideal showed 'Newton's One Vision and Sleep' (Isaac Newton's prophetic writings were then unknown). A religious visionary pushed by deism to unorthodox extremes, Blake was also, unlike most mystics, a satirical ironist and a master of wild aphorisms, as in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. Blake's Songs of Experience (1794) contain what became his most celebrated poems, such as 'The Sick Rose', 'The Tyger' and 'London', which begins: 'd Thames flows, And marks on every face I meet Marks of weakness, marks of affliction.

The Romantic Poets Early Romantics William Blake (1757-1827); William Wordsworth (1770-1850); Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834). Younger Romantics George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824); Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822); John Keats (1795-1821).

Blake uses the rhythmic quatrains of Isaac Watts's Divine Songs for Children (1715), repeating and twisting words and sounds to create a discord with the childlike vision of his earlier songs of innocence. Concentration gives his images a surreal intensity: "the sigh of the unhappy soldier / Runs in blood through the palace walls" and "the curse of the young whore ... the wedding hearse explodes with curses". When read, it was not understood. Wordsworth later said: "There was no doubt that this poor man was mad, but there is something in this man's madness which interests me more than the sanity of Lord Byron and Walter Scott." At the time of the French Revolution there were many who saw signs that the Judgment of the Apocalypse was at hand, but Blake was isolated and his thinking was esoteric. He drew on unknown theological traditions of biblical prophecy. Blake's thought evolved in his later prophetic books, often inverting conventional religious values ​​in a way derived from the 18th-century satirical traditions of inverted perspective. Thus, Milton's Father God is parodied as "Old Nobodaddy on high" who "farted and belched and coughed". He invented new and complex myths with allegorical strands of meaning, as in the Vision of the Daughters of Albion, featuring Oothoon, Theotormon, and Bromion. Scholarship has made the late Blake less obscure, but it will never communicate like other romantic poetry. If the keys can never fully unlock these prophetic myths of political and sexual liberation, still lightning can strike from their most impenetrable clouds. A brief history cannot do justice to Blake's later work, which is a study in itself. Blake illustrated a book by Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797), the indomitable author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), who married the radical social philosopher William Godwin (1756-1836), author of an Inquiry about

Political Injustice (1793) and a programmatic Gothic novel, Caleb Williams (1794). She died after giving birth to a daughter, who would later become Mary Shelley. Godwin's belief that humanity, once it was reasonable, could be improved by rational persuasion persuaded many in the early 1790s.

Subjectivity The ingredients of romantic sensibility already existed before 1798, but the new poets found authentic voice, touch and intensity for it. The New Elements in Lyrical [p. 220] The ballads were defined and given impetus by Wordsworth's preface added in 1800 (no mention of Coleridge). The quality and impact of the best poems was such that lyric poetry and imaginative literature were permanently altered, especially by the new emphasis on subjective experience. This subjectivity is exemplified in a famous Wordsworth lyric: She dwelt among the untrodden paths Beside the springs of Dove, A maiden whom there was none to praise, And very few to love. 5


A violet by a mossy stone Half hidden from the eye! - Beautiful as a star, when only one Shines in the sky. She lived unknown, and few could know When Lucy ceased to exist; But she's in her grave, and oh! The difference for me.

William Wordsworth (1770-1850) Son of the estate manager of Lonsdale, Westmorland. In 1778 his mother died, Wordsworth became a boarder at Hawkshead School. 1790 walks 2,000 miles through France and the Alps on the Cambridge Long Vacation. 1791 in France. 1792 a daughter born to Annette Vallon. Wordsworth returns home to seek funds; the war prevents a meeting. 1794 the Terror (mass executions) dampens Wordsworth's enthusiasm for the French Revolution; he "renounced moral questions in despair". 1795 a legacy allows him to live in Dorset; meets Coleridge and moves to live near him, with his sister Dorothy. 1798 lyrical ballads. 1799 returns to the lakes for good. 1802 inherits money Lord Lonsdale owed his father. Marries Mary Hutchinson. 1807 Poems in two volumes. 1810 moved away from Coleridge. 1813 appointed Distributor of Stamps (tax collector) for Westmorland. 1843 named Poet Laureate. 1850 Prelude published.

The ending illustrates a principle from the Preface that in these poems “the feeling developed there gives importance to the... situation, and not the... situation to the feeling”. of a general nature', or general truth. The comic impulse of the eighteenth century also recedes. If Pope had written lines 3-4 or 7-8 above, irony might be suspected; but social irony has no place in Wordsworth's funereal manner. The lines from Gray's Elegy address Wordsworth's position: "Many flowers are born to bloom unseen/And waste their sweetness in the desert air." Gray's Cemetery lies between London and the lakes, from where the half-hidden violet and the first star (the planet Venus) can be seen. However, it takes a poet's eye to see a Lucy and a poetic reader to respond. The poet is becoming a special interpreter of special truths for a special reader, not of general truths for ordinary readers. That relationship is more personal and may be deeper and more intense than the one it replaced, but - as the rhyme in 'oh!' illustrates. - can also be more risky. As poetry became more subjective, literature began to be defined as imaginative. Thus the post-Romantic prose of Carlyle and Ruskin, Newman and Pater is more "literary" than the rational prose of J. S. Mill, which relies less on rhythm and imagery. In fiction, too, the keynote is often set by imaginative natural description, as in the Brontës' novels.

Romanticism and Revolution There has been a European Romanticism or pre-Romanticism since the 'Ossian' mania of the 1760s. Rousseau's Julie, ou la Nouvelle Héloïse (1761) and Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774) added the passionate love for the ingredients of sensibility outlined in the last chapter. This is how Robert Southey (1774-1843), expelled from Westminster School, could say that he went to Oxford with 'a heart full of poetry and feeling, a head full of Rousseau and Werther, and my religious principles shaken by Gibbon' He says here who was a typical student of the generation who shared Wordsworth's reaction to the French Revolution: “Bliss was it [p. 221] to be alive in that dawn, / But to be young was heaven.' Southey became very popular and ultimately a strong Tory. The idea of ​​the American Revolution excited European intellectuals. The French Romantics were radical and liberal, but the English Romantics were divided. Early 18th-century French thinkers admired the British for having already reined in royal power; Mid-eighteenth-century French thinkers identified repression with king, nobles, and clergy. Things were not so clear in England, where the French Revolution had a mixed and variable reception. The youthful frenzy was modified by the Terror, when thousands were slain. Tom Paine (1737-1809), hero of the American Revolution and radical author of The Rights of Man (1791), was welcomed into France. However, his opposition to the execution of Louis XVI landed him in prison and close to the guillotine. In 1793, France declared war on England, whose government, as a result, became more repressive - and had a lot to repress. Napoleon began his "liberating" conquest of Europe; Great Britain resisted and finally succeeded. But his own reforms had to wait until after 1824, when Byron, Shelley and Keats, young radicals at the end of a long and severe period of national reaction against the Revolution and Napoleon, were dead. Blake was the only romantic to remain true to his vision in midlife. Coleridge and Wordsworth lost faith in utopian solutions and, in 1815, turned to the Church of England.

William Wordsworth's early radicalism Wordsworth has been muted, but a democratic tone is clear in the announcement of lyrical ballads; with Pastoral and Other Poems (1798), who advises that most poems should be considered as experiments to determine "the extent to which the language of conversation in the middle and lower classes of society is adapted to the purposes of poetic pleasure". In line with this program, some lyrical ballads relate incidents of unsophisticated rural life, using language close to common speech. The Preface attacks the artificial 'poetic diction' used in eighteenth-century conventional verse (and suggests that eighteenth-century verse is conventional). The Preface proclaims that, in this moment of crisis, the poet is the defender of human nature. For a multiplicity of causes, unknown in former times, are now acting with a combined force to blunt the discriminating powers of the mind, and, incapacitating it for all voluntary effort, to reduce it to a state of almost savage torpor. The most effectual of these causes are the great national events which occur daily, and the increasing accumulation of men in cities, where the uniformity of their occupations produces a desire for extraordinary incidents, which the rapid communication of information [news] hourly gratifies. . Literature and theatrical exhibitions in the country conformed to this trend in life and customs. The invaluable works of our elder writers, I almost said the works of Shakespeare and Milton, are neglected by frantic romances, sickly and stupid German tragedies, and deluge of idle and extravagant stories in verse. When I think of that degrading thirst for outrageous stimulation, I am almost ashamed that I spoke of the feeble effort with which I endeavored to neutralize it. . It also shows the 18th-century austerity that kept extravagance out of his work. A phrase in the Preface, however, states that "all good poetry is the spontaneous outpouring of a powerful feeling". Unlike most earlier types of poetry, this described its own poetic process, which involved "emotion recalled in tranquillity". But the burst model did nothing for his reputation. Despite lyrics like 'My heart jumps when I see / A rainbow in the [p. 222] Events 1789-1824 1789 1791 1792 1793 1794 1796 1797 1798 1799 1800 1803 1804 1805 1807 1808 1809 1811 1812 1813 1814 1815 1816-17 1818 1819 1820 1821 1822 1823 1824

French Revolution. The Third Estate becomes the National Assembly. Louis XVI accepts a new constitution. France is declared a Republic. Monarchists massacred. Reign of Terror in France. France and Great Britain at war. Pitt suspends habeas corpus law, restricts the press. Robespierre guillotined. French invasion of Ireland fails. Naval mutinies are suppressed. Naval victories. The French intervene in the Netherlands, Austria, Italy, Egypt. Rebellion against British rule in Ireland. Nelson wins the Battle of the Nile. The Law of Combinations prohibits unions. Ireland is united with England. Irish MPs come to Westminster. The Irish Rebellion is suppressed. Napoleon is crowned Emperor. Nelson defeats the French fleet at Trafalgar. Abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire. Great Britain opposes France in the Peninsular War in Spain. Napoleon conquers the Papal States and occupies Vienna. George III is crazy. The Prince of Wales becomes Regent (until 1820). Luddites break machines in the Midlands. The French army invading Russia is destroyed by winter. Wellington wins in Spain. The Allies invade France. Napoleon abdicates. Napoleon returns; he is defeated by Wellington at Waterloo. Riots. The parliamentary motion for universal suffrage is defeated. 'Peterloo Massacre': Eleven radicals killed at Manchester rally. George III dies. George IV reigns (until 1830). Failure of the Cato Street Conspiracy, a conspiracy to assassinate the Cabinet. The Greeks revolt against Turkish rule. Prime Minister Peel initiates legal reforms. Combinations Act 1799 repealed.

heaven', he rarely gushes, especially compared to other romantics. Matthew Arnold rightly praised his ability to face the worst with appalling calm - as in 'A sleep did my spirit seal', which achieves moral grandeur in eight less-than-effusive verses. Of the major lyrical ballads, only Coleridge's Rimre of the Ancient Mariner is a ballad, and the lines written a few miles above Tintern Abbey, Michael, Nutting, and 'There was a boy, you knew him well' are not lyrics. But the volume asserts in its hybrid title that the finer qualities of song-like lyrics, such as 'A sleep made my spiritual seal', can be inherent in crude 'folk' verse tales.

Experimental poems partially succeed or fail in interesting ways. More significant are the anecdotes of everyday life, such as 'We are Seven' and 'Simon Lee', which successfully mix genres and offer unresolved points of view. Less tentative are the central lines written a few miles above Tintern Abbey, which run in Cowper's conversational mode. Coleridge's earlier Frost at Midnight was a model for Tintern, giving the landscape reflection a new poetic intensity and psychic depth. The thought of the two friends was at this point almost indistinguishable. Both poems offer the doctrine of Nature [p. 223] now associated with Wordsworth, Coleridge in finely articulated psychological, philosophical, and religious form. Wordsworth felt "A presence that disturbs me": a sublime sense Of something far more deeply mixed, Whose abode is the light of the setting suns And the round ocean and the living air, And the blue sky, and in the mind of man. These are the accents of faith - but on what? Coleridge is always a Christian, but Wordsworth still recognizes no God outside of natural phenomena: "the mighty world/Of the eye and the ear, - both what they partially create,/And what they perceive." The Nature that calls for your cooperation is your anchor, nurse, guide, guardian and the 'soul/Of all my moral being' Tintern has an emotional weight that makes Coleridge's most perfect poem seem magically light. In Frost at Midnight, Coleridge's gaze at the fire in the Devon cottage goes back to a daydream of his school days in London, where he dreamed of his childhood in Devon; and then forward to the hopes he has for his sleeping child. In this imaginative reverie, 'Fancy' makes 'a toy of Thought'. Imagination was for the romantics a means of access to truths that were psychic and not rational. When Tintern is finished, Wordsworth confides his hopes in his sister Dorothy. In a fascinating opening verse-paragraph of natural description, each poet confides in the reader. We are drawn into intimacy and identification with the poet-speaker. Poems in Two Volumes (1807) has memorable poems: Resolution and Independence, the Ode to Immortality, 'The Lone Reaper', the Elegiac Stanzas at Peele Castle and some Miltonic sonnets, but also the sinister Ode to Duty, 'Stern Daughter of the Voice of God!” Wordsworth asks Duty to give him "the spirit of self-sacrifice" and "the confidence of reason".

William Wordsworth, 48, a pencil and chalk portrait of Benjamin Robert Haydon, 1818. Known in the Wordsworth family as 'the Bandit'.

[p. 224] duration of five long winters' (Tintern) was a retreat to the base to recover from the crushing of his political dreams by the Terror and from his first love of war with France. At home, he rebuilt himself, renewing memories of his natural upbringing and dealing with other traumatic memories. In 1802 he had already asked 'Where has the visionary brilliance fled? Where is it now, the glory and the dream?' (Immortality Ode). But when, after 1807, public recognition came, the poetic inspiration was gone. He wrote new poems and rearranged old poems, publishing in 1814 a Prospectus for an intended philosophical poem, The Recluse. It begins with "On man, nature and human life,/Reflecting in solitude...", verses full of zealous lack of enthusiasm for philosophy. In his great decade, Wordsworth always preferred prosaism to "inane and gaudy phraseology." An 1806 poem begins with 'Spade! with which Wilkinson farmed his land”. But his verse now became almost uniformly monotonous.

Wordsworth's reputation was transformed by a poem published in 1850 as The Prelude, or Growth of a Poet's Mind; its working title was "the poem for Coleridge". It is a blank verse memoir in fourteen books, first drafted in two parts in 1799, expanded to thirteen books in 1805, and fixed for forty-five years. Critics generally prefer 1805 to 1850, and readers rightly respond to the freshness of the two-part Prelude of 1799, with its boat-stealing and night-skating episodes. In any of its elaborate versions, it is the most valuable long poem of the 19th century (Byron's Don Juan is the most entertaining). Wordsworth records his mental and psychic growth with dogged integrity. Those who do not find the growth of this poet's mind as absorbing as he did must go through the books dealing with Cambridge, London, mountaineering, and France to arrive at the great passage in Book XII which begins "There are points of time in our existence." . , with their memory of traumatic experiences. Wordsworth's faith in humanity is less impressive than the honesty with which he faces loss and his inability to explain everything. Oh! mystery of Man, from what depths do your honors proceed! I am lost, but I see In simple childhood something of the foundation On which your greatness rests; but this I feel, That from yourself comes, that you must give, Otherwise, you will never be able to receive. Days past Come back to me almost from the dawn Of life: the hiding places of Man's power Open; I would approach them but they close. I see for glimpses now; when age comes I can hardly see, and I would give, While we still can, as much as words can give, Substance and hope for what I feel, enshrining, Such is my hope, the spirit of the past For future restoration: - He then adds bluntly 'Another one of these memorials' and remembers waiting to return home from Hawkshead school at Christmas 1783. He goes up a hill to see which road the horses are coming for him and his brothers to go home; but 'before we had been ten days/pilgrims in my father's house he died'. He returns to the memory of waiting. And then the wind and the hail And all the affairs of the elements, The one Sheep, and the one tree destroyed, [p. 225] And the sombre music of that old stone wall, The clatter of wood and water, and the mist That on the line of each of these two roads Rolled in shapes so indisputable; All these were such sights and sounds as I often took notice of, and thence drank As from a fountain... Wordsworth ends this sublime and musical passage by saying, that a strong wind still causes him inward turmoils - Whatever their office, whether for seduce Thoughts too busy in the thought they had, Or enliven an hour of vague tranquillity. The Wordsworth who recreates, confronts, and draws on his most painful memories was no lyrical simpleton. Although in 1812 he felt "no need of a Redeemer", his trust in Nature's providence and his continual transcription of her traces to his memory are religious. An even more impressive example of Wordsworth's moral originality and his acceptance of the sterner providence comes from his elderly narrator's startling words at the conclusion of The Ruined Cottage, a heartbreaking tale of desolation: 'I turned away/And walked to the along my road to happiness.” This early draft of a narrative included in The Excursion was published in 1949. Wordsworth is a stranger poet than is commonly realized.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1835) had every poetic talent but discipline. It has been said that his greatest masterpiece was Wordsworth, but his own exceptional gifts produced five absolutely remarkable poems: The Ancient Mariner in Lyrical Ballads; from the same period, Frost at Midnight, and the Kubla Khan and Christabel fragments, unpublished until 1816. Finally, Dejection: An Ode (1802), written on the night he heard Wordsworth read the Ode of Immortality. Wordsworth later added a conclusion to his own Ode, declaring that: 'To me the meanest flower that blows may give/Thoughts that are often too deep for tears.' STC, as he called himself, could not make the same leap of faith. He fluently hints at the beauties of the night that surround 'That crescent moon, so fixed as if it grew / In its own cloudless and starless blue lake', but ends, 'I see them all so excellent, / I see, do not feel, how beautiful they are." He "cannot wait," he says, "for outward ways to gain/The passion and life, whose springs are within." i.e. Sara Hutchinson). He published it on the fourth anniversary of their marriage. of Wordsworth and the seventh of his.

The image of a fountain recurs in Kubla Khan, and in Wordsworth's commemoration of STC's death, when "all Coleridge's mortal power / Was congealed in its wondrous fountain". derive from sensory impressions on a mental blank slate. Coleridge also went beyond the physiological turn given to Locke's theory of the association of ideas by David Hartley (1705-57). Coleridge named his first son Hartley, but the second after the idealist philosopher Berkeley, who placed the source of knowledge in the divinely inspired human mind. For Coleridge, the association of ideas could only lead to the combinatory power of Fantasy, as he defined it in the Biographia Literaria, while the poet imitates divine creativity through the power of

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1835) Younger son of the vicar of Ottery St Mary, Devon. Educated at Christ's Hospital, London. He leaves Cambridge to join Light Dragoons, as Silas T. Comberbache; purchased under an insanity clause. He marries Sara, Robert Southey's sister-in-law, as part of the scheme for Pantisocracy, an ideal commune in Pennsylvania. 1795 finds Wordsworth; friendship, lyrical ballads. 1798-9 in Germany. 1799 in love with Sara Hutchinson, sister of Wordsworth's future wife. Opium addict (prescribed drug). 1804-6 in Malta; returns to London in despair. 1810 Fight with Wordsworth. Giving lectures, dramaturgy, writing O Amigo. Spiritual crisis of 1813. Recovers from addiction to Dr. Gillman's, Highgate, London. 1816 Christabel and Other Poems, Lay Sermons, Statesman's Manual. 1817 Biographia Literaria, Sybilline Leaves. 1825 Aids to Reflection; Church and State.

[p. 226] Primary imagination. This is the core of Coleridge's critical thinking, in which literature is less a work of art than a natural product of the imagination. His applied criticism is both philosophical and comprehensive, as when in Biographia Literaria he expands on Wordsworth's ideas about poetic diction and rhythm. It may be psychological, as in his remarkable critique of Shakespeare. Most branches of knowledge contribute to Coleridge's critique, which he continued unceasingly in letters, notebooks, lectures, and in the margins of books. Biographia Literaria is an attempt to give his 'literary life and opinions' on poetry more systematically. Intended as an autobiographical preface to his Christabel and Other Poems (1816), it has outlived its function. Too long for a preface, it was too short for the two volumes assigned by the publisher. Magisterial pages on, for example, 'The Poets Before and After Mr. Pope', are filled in by secondary matter. He has often been accused of borrowing unrecognized from the German Romantic thinkers he studied at Göttingen in 1799. Coleridge's critique is never uninteresting, though it can be frustrating: autobiographical, speculative, wide-ranging, unpredictable, and enriched by his reading range. He thought aloud, and his writing resembles his speech, which, as Hazlitt and Carlyle testify, was wonderful and boundless. His later works on social and religious issues combined romantic conservatism with Christian radicalism and had a lasting effect. As J. S. Mill wrote, 'By Bentham [the founder of Utilitarianism], beyond all others, men have been led to ask themselves, in regard to any ancient or accepted opinion, is it true? and by Coleridge, What is the meaning of this?' The STC's insights into symbol, understanding, and development influenced John Henry Newman; his cultural critic, Matthew Arnold. Modern criticism of poetry begins with Coleridge. The musical and psychological modulation of Frost at Midnight and Dejection is found in improvised epistolary poems such as This Lime-tree Bower my Prison, but also in his "demonic" poems, of which only The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere is complete. It is an experimental ballad narrative of a voyage to the South Pole, the sailor's wanton murder of an albatross, and the psychic punishment, a living death, that vanishes when the beauty of nature suddenly impels the sailor to bless God's creation. . This symbolic supernatural romance was decorated with archaisms. Later, Coleridge modernized the "medieval" spelling and inserted pseudo-archaic marginal glosses. The poem's popular success owes to its narrative drive and packaging of nightmarish imagery and homely morals in a rhyming doggerel hard to forget: 'Water, water, everywhere,/ Not a drop to drink' and 'A man more sad and wiser / He got up the next morning.” The complete poem has weak passages, unlike Kubla Khan and Christabel. These are the first entirely successful experiments in modes that have been attempted for half a century: exotic imagery and medieval romance. 'In Xanadu did Kubla Khan' is an incantation; each name says the vowels of the other backwards. The magic increases as the pace increases. Then (as his heading note tells) STC was interrupted in writing this vision which he had in a dream by the call of 'a person on business from Porlock'. Breakup enhances the mystery. If Coleridge had never touched opium, this symbolic account of poetic possession shows that he had "drank the milk of paradise" - and that such an intense experience was a burden. This is the first supra-rational poem in English, what De Quincey called a poem of power rather than a poem of knowledge, though its fuel is the STC's extraordinary reading. Christabel, his neatest and most sinister Gothic poem, interrupts: it never provided the happy ending it intended. Innocent Christabel is possessed by a [p. 227] handsome demon, despite the “medieval” Christianity of the poem. It is a flesh-eating novel in verse, "fancy" and "sickly" in its subject - to use the terms of Wordsworth's Preface - but disciplined and subtle in execution. The Romantic revival often drew on Percy's Reliques of Ancient English Poetry (3 volumes, 1765; 4th ed., 1794). Bishop Percy (1729-1811), who translated from Chinese, Old Icelandic, Spanish and Hebrew, collected old songs, ballads and romances in English and Scottish, often in "improved" versions. Relics from him had enormous influence. The antiquarian of the 18th century, the romanticism of the past, was the source of the 19th century romanticism.

Sir Walter Scott's The Lay of the Last Minstrel (1805) was the first of the novels in verse for which Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) made his name. He began by translating German imitation novels and collecting Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, continuing the work of Percy and The Scots Musical Museum. The battlefields of the borders of Scotland and England

it produced such ballads as The Chevy Chase of the 15th Century, a novel admired by Sidney, praised by Addison, and printed by Percy. Scott spent much of his childhood in the Borders with his grandparents. The Lay, sung in a Scott noble family in Tudor times, is a medieval tale of manor and magic, taking cues from Christabel, whom Scott had seen in the manuscript, and Spenser. There's a shape-shifting dwarf and a wizard, Michael Scott, from whose tomb a magical book is taken to provide a curse. It also has a party, tournament, horses, armor and a picturesque country. But a tragic outcome to this tale of lovers from rival families is averted - by love, chivalry and magic, not divine grace. The ballad is recited in a lithe and pleasant minstrel verse form. Scott followed his huge success with other verse novels, including Marmion and The Lady of the Lake, until Byron captured that market. He then wrote novels, anonymously.

Younger Romantics Lord Byron George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824) had wild ancestry, a Calvinist childhood, good looks, and a clubfoot. Inheriting his title unexpectedly, he lived noisily at Harrow and Cambridge, creating an image for rakish and athletic exploits. The "desire for extraordinary incident" noted by Wordsworth could be "hourly gratified" in the Regency by pampered nobles, including the Prince Regent. The Romantic Poet, spontaneously producing poems like a tree produces leaves or lightning from a stormy cloud, was more intriguing to journalists and society than mere poems. A composite image of imperfect poet-genius drew elements from Coleridge's opium addiction; of Byron and Shelley scattering wives, mistresses, children and debts across Europe; and the early deaths of younger romantics. Rousseau and Napoleon preceded Byron, but he was the first British poet to become the hero-villain of an advertising cult. Upon leaving Cambridge, Byron sought adventures in the Iberian Peninsula, Malta and the Turkish empire. These voyages contributed to the first two cantos of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, published in 1812: While a young man dwelt on the isle of Albion, Who was good in the ways of virtue delighted; But he spent his days in the grossest turmoil,

Britain was once nothing

[p. 228] And vex'd with joy the sleepy ear of Night. Oh me! indeed, he was a shameless, sore creature, given to amusements and impious mirth; Few earthly things found favor in his eyes Except concubines and carnal company, And boasting sailors of high and low rank. Childe Harold was he tall.



Childe is a medieval knightly title, and Byron (for he is clearly himself) claims a lineage tainted by ancestral crimes. The parties he is proud of took place at Newstead Abbey, Nottinghamshire, his inherited seat. He draws his Spenserian stanzas from Thomson's The Castle of Indolence (1748), in which indolence seems a venial sin. Childe Harold does not regret: Aside he lurked in sad reveries, And from his native land he resolved to go, And visit burning lands beyond the sea; With almost drugged pleasure, he almost craved misfortune, And whenever the scene changed he sought the shadows below. 'I woke up one morning and found myself famous,' wrote Byron, but the fame was no accident. He never stopped writing, or being guilty, unrepentant, and famous. The poetic autobiographer mentions his love for his daughter and half-sister, but mostly shows his sensitivity through a travelogue. "Europe he saw," wrote Pope of an earlier milord on his Grand Tour, "and Europe saw him also." In Switzerland, Byron writes: I do not live in myself, but become part of my surroundings, and for me the high mountains are a feeling, but the hum of human cities tortures... This is Wordsworth on a brass instrument. Harold writes in his farewell: There is pleasure in the pathless forests, There is ecstasy on the lonely shore, There is society, where none meddle, By the deep Sea, and music in its roar: I love not Man less, but Nature more ... Wordsworth internalized the external threads of eighteenth-century sensibility into a new personal poetry; Byron processed the result for export. The comparison makes clear the breadth of Byron's attitude. 'Roll over, deep dark blue ocean - roll over!' he declaims. The rhetoric, the persuasive rationale of Burke and Gibbon, was now amplified by emotion.

emphasis, simplification and repetition, in writers as diverse as Sheridan, Mary Shelley and Macaulay, and in parliamentary oratory. Winston Churchill was the last in this style. Byron captivated the crowd with romance and dramatic poems in flowing verse, posing as himself. Only their liberalism, selfishness and skepticism were sincere. Notable among his doomed self-projections is Manfred (1817), in which the superman refuses deathbed repentance, saying to the abbot: 'Old man! 'it's not very difficult to die'. Byron's sensational novels continued with Cain into 1821. But his journalism in verse also had a more intimate and epistolary side, glimpsed above in 'Save [p. 229] concubines and carnal company' and the irony of 'E'en for scene change would seek the shadows below' - a prophecy of Don Juan. Having woken up famous, Byron became more than famous. After throwing herself at him, Lady Caroline Lamb described him as "mad, evil and dangerous to know". In 1814, his half-sister gave birth to a child rumored to be his. In 1815 he married a wealthy, serious and unhappy wife. Ostracized for incest, he left England for good in 1816, traveled to Lake Geneva, stayed with the Shelleys, then moved to Italy. Most days Byron was a drawing-room milord, but he had wild spells: his debauchery in Venice involved two hundred women; he was also bisexual. He sealed his European reputation as a rebel with his death while supporting the Greek revolt against the Turks. Byron's distinctiveness and originality are found in his anti-romantic Don Juan. He got tired of his own poses and the “cant”, the hypocritical expression of sentiment. His new irony is much closer to the self he reveals in his brilliant letters. Like Scott, Edgeworth, Peacock, Landor and Austen, Byron did not think that the Romantic revolution invalidated rational criticism. Pope he thought far better than any of the romantics. His mature voice is first heard in Beppo and The Vision of Judgment. Don Juan (1818) begins I want a hero: an unusual wish, When each year and month sends a new one, Until, after filling the gazettes with hypocrisy, The age discovers that he is not the real one; Of these I wouldn't mind boasting, so I'll take our old friend Don Juan. We all saw him in the pantomime Envoy, a little before his time. Byron's Don Juan (pronounced in the English way), the legendary womanizer who ends up in hell, the Don Giovanni of Mozart's 1787 opera, is, among other things, a humorous self-portrait: a passive young man who gives in to desires. lovers of a series of beautiful women in Seville, Greece, St. Petersburg and England. But Don Juan, like Tristram Shandy, is not read by the Life, but by the Opinions, which include: 'What men call the gallantry and adultery of the gods, / Is much more common where the climate is sultry' and 'Thou shalt believe Milton , Dryden, Pope;/Thou shalt not establish Wordsworth, Coleridge, Southey;/For the first is mad beyond all hope,/The second drunk, the third so picturesque and garrulous...'. Though it amounts to satire, most of Don Juan is a long running joke. As far as self-display is concerned, the mature milord is more interesting than Childe's self-esteem. “It may be wasteful,” Byron wrote a friend, “but isn't it the life, isn't it the thing?” He exposes the hypocrisy with a wonderfully varied use of anticlimaxes that disarm as they unmask. Some have accused me of a strange design Against the creed and morals of the land, And trace in this poem every line: I don't pretend I understand very well My own meaning when I would be just fine, But the fact is I have nothing planned, A unless it's a happy time, A new word in my vocabulary. [p. 230]

Percy Bysshe Shelley Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) was, like Byron, an aristocratic radical with the money to flout convention. But Byron was a Regency swashbuckler and milord, feted by society before his exile, while Shelley was already an exile at Eton, a revolutionary thinker, an intellectual for whom thinking was usually the thing to do. He believed in vegetarianism, pacifism and free love - for marriage, he thought, enslaved women. Philosophical anarchist William Godwin thought so too, but he became Shelley's father-in-law. Both held that man, as reasonable, was perfectible. Expelled from Oxford for daring the authorities to disprove atheism, Shelley soon became known as a revolutionary who had run off with two 16-year-olds within two years. The second, daughter of Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft, would later write: 'That man might be perfected to the point of being able to expel evil from his own nature and from the greater part of creation, was the cardinal point of his system. When his body was washed up on the coast of Italy with an Aeschylus in his pocket, Shelley replaced Chatterton as the romantic poet-victim. Most of his work was published posthumously. Wordsworth said that 'Shelley was one of the best artists of us all: in the work of style, I mean.' poems - strong stuff in 'Men of England' and 'England in 1819'. Academic recovery of the historical context of these poems has not repaired the damage done to poetry in general by the excessive use of the romantic nature.

letters in primary school. It is still rumored that Wordsworth's heart only danced with daffodils. Shelley is not only the author of 'Hail to thee, blithe Spirit!/Bird thou never Overt' ('To a Skylark'). His writing is intellectually abstract and "Considerably uninviting / For those who, despising meditation, / Have been cast in a different frame". Wordsworth 'had as much imagination / Like a pot of ale: - he never could / Imagined any other situation, /... Than that in which he found himself.' . His greatest achievement is in his philosophical poems like Mont Blanc, Prometheus Unbound and The Triumph of Life, in the pastoral elegy Adonais, and in lyrics like 'When the lamp is shattered' and the Choruses from Hellas. Philosophically, Shelley was a Platonist, holding the world of appearances less real than the world of underlying Forms and Ideas. An omnivorous reader, he was deeply interested in empirical science and eventually became skeptical of earlier revolutionary fantasies, such as the one in The Masque of Anarchy where 'up to her ankles in blood, / Hope, that most serene maiden, / Was walking with a quiet countenance. The atheist constructed new myths, as in his ambitious lyrical drama, Prometheus Unbound. In this conclusion to Aeschylus' Prometheus Bound, the Titan who can foretell the future is given the traits that Shelley found admirable in Milton's Satan. A cosmic explosion frees Prometheus from the tortures imposed by a jealous God. The play ends with prophecies about the liberation of mankind. It has lyrical variety and beautiful passages, but the mythology is obscure. More impressive are the darkly apocalyptic visions of The Triumph of Life, incomplete in his death. Critics who complain that Shelley's world lacks solidity and oxygen must consider her serious Platonic belief that words are inadequate to express the ultimate, which is ineffable. Shelley employs her music and rhetoric to represent a mind

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) Son of Sir T. Shelley, MP. Hates Eton; publishes two Gothic novels. 1811 sent from Oxford to distribute his The Necessity of Atheism. Runs away with Harriet Westwood (16). 1812 a radical activist in Dublin and Wales. 1813 Queen Mab. 1814 to Geneva, with Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin (16). Son born to Harriet. 1815 receives legacy. Mary's son dies. Alastor. 1816 with Byron on Lake Geneva. Mary starts Frankenstein. Hymn to Intellectual Beauty, Mont Blanc. Harriet drowns; Shelley marries Mary. 1817 finds Keats. 1818 moves to Italy. The Revolt of Islam; translates Plato's Symposium. Julian and Maddalo. 1819 Prometheus Unbound; Ode to the West Wind. 1820 in Pisa. The Cenci (realized in 1886). 1821 Defense of Poetry; Adonais; Hellas. 1822 The Triumph of Life; translations. It drowns. Posthumous Poems of 1824 (ed. Mary Shelley). 1839 Poetical Works (ed. Mary Shelley).

[p. 231] running in search of complex and evanescent truths. The energy, vision and music of the most exciting English lyric poets are exemplified in this stanza from Adonais, an elegy for John Keats: The one remains, the many change and pass away; Heaven's light ever shines, earth's shadows fly; Life, like a dome of multicolored glass, Stains Eternity's white glow, Till Death crushes it to shards. - Die if you want to be with what you're looking for! Follow where everyone fled! – Rome's blue sky, Flowers, ruins, statues, music, words, are faint The glory they transfuse with truth fit to speak. Shelley here is close to despair – as a pastoral elegist should be – but self-pity intrudes as he “bared his scarred and bloody forehead,/ Which was like Cain’s or Christ’s.” This poet-as-victim also appears in that wonderful performance, his Ode to the West Wind, Oh! lift me up like a wave, a leaf, a cloud! I fall on the thorns of life! I bled! The Ode combines extreme formal complexity with rhythmic energy and a cosmic scale of reference. The final stanza is a prayer to the wind of inspiration to make me your lyre, as is the forest: What if my leaves fall like yours? The tumult of thy mighty harmonies Will draw from both a deep and autumnal hue, Sweet though in sadness. Be thou, fierce Spirit, My spirit! Be thou me, impetuous! Drive my dead thoughts over the universe, Like withered leaves to hasten a new birth! And, by the enchantment of this verse, Spread, as from an unquenchable hearth Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind! Be through my lips to the Earth unawakened The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind, if winter comes, can spring be long overdue?

Hope is plucked out of despair. The prophesied spring is not physical or simply political, but moral and spiritual. This is also the point of Shelley's eloquent Defense of Poetry, that love and imagination, the sources of moral sentiments, can be developed by poetry. The Defense is a comprehensive and categorical response to an ironic essay The Four Ages of Poetry (1820), in which his friend Thomas Love Peacock (1785-1856) argued that the Romantics' claims to poetry were blatantly exaggerated and that modern poetry had declined from 18th-century Silver Age poetry, itself weaker than early Golden Age poetry. Poetry naturally recedes: “While the historian and philosopher advance and hasten the progress of knowledge, the poet wallows in the rubbish of past ignorance. Mr. Scott digs up the poachers and [p. 232] cattle thieves of the old frontier. Lord Byron sails after thieves and pirates on the banks of the Morea and among the Greek islands... Mr. Wordsworth collects village legends from old women and sextons...' Shelley's Unfinished Defense combines Sidney's arguments with the fervor of Wordsworth's Preface, finally declaring that 'Poets are the unacknowledged lawgivers of the world.' . (Bentham wrote in an unpublished manuscript of c. 1780: 'The difference between prose and poetry [is that] ... prose begins at the left margin and continues to the right ... whereas in poetry some of the lines fall short'. )

John Keats John Keats (1795-1821), son of a London stable manager, attended not Eton or Harrow but Enfield School, a splinter academy. Here he learned much English poetry before leaving at age 15, now the head of a family. At 20 he graduated from Guy's Hospital as an apothecary surgeon, but decided to be a poet. Through Leigh Hunt (1784-1859), editor of the liberal Examiner, he met Hazlitt, Lamb and Shelley. His 4,000-line Endymion (1817) was censored in Conservative quarters. Poems by him appeared in 1820. He died in Rome in 1821 of tuberculosis. Keats' reputation rose with his death and did not fall. His gift is clear in 'On First Looking into Chapman's Homer' (1816). His notable attempts at sonnet form helped him craft the stanzas used in his Odes. In Endymion's couplets and the blank verse of the unfinished Hyperion, his fertile mind tends to run: his imagination has responded impetuously to sensual beauty, in women, nature or art, and in the verses and language themselves. The stanza form controlled his sentences and focused his thinking, and his later instanzaic poems, Lamia and The Fall of Hyperion, are less fuzzy. Endymion's early critics wanted him to rein in his aestheticism -

John Keats (1795-1821) after a sketch by B(enjamin) R(obert) Haydon, a pen-and-ink drawing above An(no)1816, and a more classically idealized sketch, crossed out.

[p. 233] 'A thing of beauty is a joy forever,' it begins. They found her overt sensuality cloying. But Keats didn't need to be told that aesthetic joy passes. In 1816 he had asked in Sleep and Poetry: 'And may I take leave of these joys?/Yes, I must pass

them to a nobler life,/Where I may find the agonies, the struggles/Of human hearts.' Sleep and Poetry is a title that points to Keats' enduring concern with the morality of the imagination and the complex relationships between art and experience. In his last great work, The Fall of Hyperion, he is told that 'The poet and the dreamer are distinct,/Diverse, opposites, antipodes./The one pours balm upon the world,/The other irritates it.' In A Véspera de Santa Agnes, he produced perhaps the most coherent of all the symbolic legends invented by the romantic poets. Using a medieval romance setting and the Spenserian stanza, Keats brings together young lovers from rival families, a situation found in The Lay of the last Minstrel and Christabel. The ending is neither tragic, as in Romeo and Juliet, nor happy, as in Scott or Coleridge's intended ending. Unlike Scott's lovers, Madeline and Porphyro consummate their love in their stained-glass room, though she may not know what is happening: in her dream it has melted away, as the rose mixes its perfume with the violet, — Sweet Solution : meanwhile the frost the wind blows Like Love's alarm drumming the biting hail Against the panes; The moon of Santa Inês has set. The mutual wish-fulfillment element is clear, but the hail tells us it doesn't last. Unlike his masters, Keats views medieval society and religion critically, but he also shows that a sweet modern solution does not bring happiness forever: And they are gone: yes, long ago These lovers fled into the storm. This medieval romance is more serious than Scott's and more balanced than Coleridge's. Keats once again perfected a genre pioneered by others in La Belle Dame Sans Merci, the first lyrical ballad to have the qualities of both forms - and much imitated by poets up to W. B. Yeats. Between April and September 1819, Keats wrote six Odes. This sublime Greek lyric form, revived in the 18th century and favored by the Romantics, often addresses abstract entities. In his Odes to the Nightingale, the Grecian Urn and Autumn, Keats has much of the grandeur of Wordsworth's 'Immortality Ode', the evocativeness of Coleridge's 'Dejection Ode' and the intensity of Shelley's apostrophe to West Wind. He brings to this demanding form his sensual apprehension and a new poetic and intellectual economy. His Odes dramatize the struggle between desire and thought. Odes tempted Romantic poets to use capital letters - as in Schiller's "Ode to Joy". Especially tempting lyrics were 'I' and 'O!'. Keats resists. He advised Shelley to "load every crevice with ore". His own gift was to imagine a particularly desired sensation: 'Oh, for a sip of vintage! that bath was / Cooled a long age in the deeply dug earth, / Tasting of the flora and green of the countryside, / Provencal dance and song and sun-scorched joy!' Provencal troubadours sang about the nightingale. So for Keats, hungry for myths, the song of the nightingale he heard on Hampstead Heath was love poetry. (The Symbol, wrote Coleridge, 'always partakes [p. 234] of the Reality which it renders sensible.') On first hearing the bird sing 'over summer with utter ease', his 'heart aches': not only for a girl he loved, but because he wants oblivion. He wants to drink and "with you disappear into the dark of the forest": Fade, dissolve and forget completely What you never knew among the leaves, The weariness, the fever and the restlessness Here where men sit and hear each other groan ; Where paralysis shakes some, sad, last gray hairs, Where youth grows pale, skeletal and dies; Where but to think is to be full of sorrow And heavy-eyed despair, Where beauty cannot keep her eyes bright, Or a new love yearn for them beyond tomorrow. Keats' images of illness and death would be so concrete if we didn't know that he was an apothecary surgeon who cared for his dying brother, Tom. This concreteness is the 'ore' he recommended to Shelley. The fight goes on: 'Now more than ever it seems good to die,/To cease at midnight without pain,/While you're pouring your soul abroad/In such ecstasy!/Still you would sing, and I have ears in vain—/Become a turf for thy high requiem.'Thou wast not born for death, Immortal Bird! No hungry generation will tread you down; The voice I hear in this passing night was heard in ancient times by the emperor and the clown. This is a strong version of the classical and renaissance claim - one that gives this story the interest it may have - that human music is heard through human generations impatient to replace their predecessors. The same dispute between the beauty of art and the pain of life pervades the Odes to Psyche, Indolence, Melancholy and the Greek Urn. For the Romantics, the glory of Greece surpassed the grandeur of Rome, and Keats' Odes transform Greek myths into new English myths. Thus, the Urn is a "not yet violated bride of Stillness", an "adopted daughter of Silence and slow

Time." Autumn is treated as a "Season of mists and ripening fruit,/Intimate friend of the ripening Sun/Conspiring with him." The models the Romantics emulated were Shakespeare and Milton. His best lyrics survive comparison, just as the lyrical music of Schubert (1797-1828) and Chopin (1810-49) survives comparison with that of Mozart (1756-91). But no English Romantic poet has been able to combine intensity with major form on the scale of Milton and Beethoven. Keats envies the perfection of the scenes on his "not yet violated" urn. He turns to her again when finished: Cold Pastoral! When old age this generation has wasted, Thou wilt remain, amid other misfortunes Than ours, a friend of man, to whom Thou sayest, "Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty" - that is all Thou knowest on earth, and all What do you need to know.' [P. 235] Keats did not always think that what the urn says is all we need to know, as he once wrote in a letter that "an eagle is not so good a thing as a truth". In another letter, he wished for a life of sensations rather than thoughts. He created a correlate of this desire in 'To Autumn', the most perfect English poem of the 19th century. The mental struggle of earlier Odes is over, and a seemingly naive natural symbolism tells us all we need to know - that, like "gathering twitter swallows in the skies" in September 1819, he accepted that winter was not far behind. The spontaneous mode of romantic poetry depends, in large works, on unusual powers of syntax and form, and also on organization, which cannot be improvised. Keats's main Odes are superbly arranged, but his earlier Hyperion, like some of Byron's and Shelley's ambitious mythos, is lost. The new sublime, what Keats called “the sublimated of words or egoist”, needed a world, a myth, an intelligible form to communicate more than one person's feelings and experience. Moving away from Christianity towards a “religion of humanity” led the younger Romantics to create tentative truths in historical legends and literary myths. They found some of them difficult to finish, as did their readers. Wordsworth's 'low' rural narratives manage to downplay their symbolic values. The grandiose Titanic mythos of its successors are less coherent. In Keats' last book, The Fall of Hyperion: A Dream, he sees a stairway leading upward and is told by the Prophetess Moneta: 'None can usurp this height ... / But those to whom the miseries of the world / Are misery , and will not let them rest.” This fragment has a maturity that suggests that Keats may have equaled Wordsworth in magnitude and quality. Tennyson considered Keats the greatest poet of the 19th century, and T. S. Eliot, who was no friend of the personal cult of poetry, judged Keats's letters "certainly the most remarkable and important ever written by any English poet". A few quotes may suffice to indicate its lively quality. In a letter to a friend, he wrote, thinking of Wordsworth: 'We hate poetry that has a palpable design about us - and if we don't agree, it seems to put one's hand in one's trouser pocket. Poetry must be great and discreet..." Elsewhere he wrote: "the axioms in philosophy are not axioms until they are proved on our wrist." In another letter he mentions to his brothers: "...that quality which Shakespeare possessed so enormously - I mean Negative Capacity, that is, when man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable seeking of fact and reason -'. Romantic poetry changed priorities in English literature. Henceforth, poetry is about personal experience and not about the public and moral concerns of a classical/Christian Augustanism. In this general cultural shift to finding meaning in personal rather than collective experience, poetry has led the way. And whereas Fielding's 18th-century novel focused on moral action, the 19th-century novel chronicles the emotional development of characters - or of a main character with whom we are expected to identify. The first-person narrator is no longer an ironist.

Romantic prose Belles lettres Romantic poetry invites a reverence that Romantic prose essayists, for all their “fine writing,” rarely display. In the year that Keats addressed the nightingale as a "light-winged tree dryad" on Hampstead Heath, Thomas Love Peacock wrote [p. 236] Men of Letters Charles Lamb (1775-1834) Specimens of the English Dramatic Poets Living in Shakespeare's Day (1818), Essays of Elia (1823). William Hazlitt (1778-1830) Characters of Shakespeare's Plays (1817), English Comic Writers (1819), The Spirit of the Age (1825). Walter Savage Landor (1775-1864) Imaginary Conversations (1824-9).

Leigh Hunt (1785-1859) (ed.) The Examiner and others. Thomas Love Peacock (1785-1866) Headlong Hall (1816), Melincourt (1817), Nightmare Abbey (1818), Crochet Castle (1831), Gryll Grange (1861). Thomas De Quincey (1795-1859) Confessions of an English Opium-Eater (1821).

that 'We know ... that there are no dryads in Hyde-park nor naiads in the Regent's channel. But barbaric modes and supernatural interventions are essential to poetry. Either in scene, or in time, or both, it must be far from our ordinary perceptions.' The latter is an eighteenth-century judgment on romantic poetry, to be read with Wordsworth's preface and Shelley's defence.

Charles Lamb Charles Lamb (1775-1834) was indifferent to ideas, politics and the Lake District. His anthology of the earliest playwrights was a contribution to later Romantic tastes. Though his commentary is often insightful, Lamb treated Renaissance pieces as cabinets of poetic jewels and curiosities. His preference for reading plays rather than seeing them is only partly due to the deplorable state of the theater. Playwrights were for him "dramatic poets", while the romantics were specimens of the humanity that lived in Lamb's time. The purpose of his own family essays is to show his idiosyncratic sensibilities. The charm cherished by his friends lingers on in Old China and The Two Races of Men - these are "the men who borrow" and "the men who lend". Coleridge appears as 'Comberbatch, peerless in his depredations'; the books he returns are "enriched with annotations".

William Hazlitt A humorous phrase was not the greatest ambition of lifelong radical William Hazlitt (1778-1830). His literary and theatrical criticism consists of live and random “impressions”. He wrote a wonderful essay, My First Acquaintance with Poets (1823), an unforgettable account of his encounter with his heroes twenty-five years earlier. Wordsworth “sat down and spoke very naturally and freely, with a mixture of clear accents flowing into his voice, a deep guttural intonation, and a strong tinge of northern burr, like the rind of wine. He instantly proceeded to wreak havoc on half a Cheshire cheese on the table...'. STC's forehead was wide and high, light as if it were made of ivory, with great protruding brows, and his eyes rolling under them, like a sea with darkened luster... His mouth was coarse, voluptuous, open, eloquent; his chin good-natured and round: but his nose, the helm of the face, the index of the will, was small, weak, nothing - like what he made.' Vigorous caricature made Hazlitt an effective journalist and public speaker, but his politics clouded his critical judgment. The prize that romanticism gave to sincerity leaves a merely autobiographical critique to the mercy of whim [p. 237] and prejudice. Lamb, for example, so “gentle”, so fond of old books, old China and his old schoolmate Coleridge, had a philistine contempt for the music of Mozart and Handel. Leigh Hunt (1784-1859) was a benign exponent of descriptive and appreciative criticism, a man of letters of liberal energy and sympathy. He will be remembered less for his own writing than as the editor who published Keats, Shelley, Byron, Hazlitt, Hogg and Tennyson.

Thomas De Quincey Thomas De Quincey (1785-1859) is best remembered for the elaborate prose of Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, an autobiography filled with hallucinatory dreams, notably one of Easter Sunday when he recognizes the face of Ann, a young woman aged 17. year-old prostitute who helped him when he was depressed in London. The psychological setting given by De Quincey to his compelling memoirs is reminiscent of those in Frost at Midnight and Wordsworth's "spots of time". It prefigures the Brontës' imaginative use of Gothic.

Fiction Thomas Love Peacock Thomas Love Peacock (1785-1864), who worked alongside Lamb in the East India Office under John Mill, was an excellent satirist. Like the gifted poet Walter Savage Landor, Peacock was a radical gentleman of the 18th century. Both wrote imaginary conversations between writers, but Landor's historical conversations have none of the rapidity of Peacock's ironic field dialogues between "perfectionists, deteriorationists, status-quotators...transcendentalists, political economists, theorists in all sciences... picturesque and lovers of fine dining.' Elphin's Misfortunes (1829), set in 6th-century Wales, contains 'The War Song of Dinas Vawr', a parody of the darkage battle poem envisioned by the Romantics: 'The mountain the sheep are sweeter/But the sheep of the valley are fattest;/We therefore saw fit/To take the last.'

Mary Shelley If Peacock's dialogues are modeled on those of Plato, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus (1797-1851) is a cross between the Gothic tale and the fable of ideas; neither is realistic. Frankenstein began as a literary experiment within a social experiment - as a "ghost story" in a play proposed by Byron at the Villa Diodati in Lac Leman, Switzerland, in 1816, while Mary's half-sister Claire Clairmont was having an affair with Byron. Two years earlier, 16-year-old Mary had run away with Shelley from her father, philosopher and novelist William Godwin. Her mother, the feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, died after her birth in 1797. Mary herself lost a daughter aged 17, had a son aged 18, and, following the suicide of another of her half-sisters and Shelley's wife, married her. with the poet at age 19. She had lost another child before being widowed at 24. She dedicated Frankenstein to Godwin. Shelley wrote a preface, supposedly by Mary, and also a disingenuous pre-publication review in which he refers to the author as a man and showing Godwin's influence. Men were the midwives of this myth-making text. Frankenstein is an epistolary narrative with three narrators, the English Arctic explorer Captain Walton, the German scientist Victor Frankenstein and the anonymous [p. 238] 'man' that Frankenstein 'creates' from human body parts by electrical experiment. The Creature wants a mate, which Frankenstein sets up but destroys. Then he kills his creator's brother, his friend and his wife; he tries to kill him but he escapes

in the Arctic. Frankenstein's sensational content and moral ideas are conveyed in mechanical style. His interest is cultural, moral, philosophical and psychological: it is a nightmare of alienation; a sentimental critique of the victorious intellect on which Shelley and Godwin relied; and a negative critique of a Faustian overconfidence in natural science.

Maria Edgeworth Women have made a notable contribution to fiction since the early 19th century. The historical novel was perfected by Scott, but he did not invent it. In Waverley he wrote "to in some distant degree emulate the admirable portraits drawn by Miss Edgeworth". He refers to the anonymous Castle Rackrent: An Hibernian Tale Taken from the Facts and Manners of Irish Squires Before the Year 1782, an orally edited memoir of the steward of the Rackrent estate. Its editor observes in his preface that the race of Rackrents has long since become extinct in Ireland; and the drunken Sir Patrick, the litigious Sir Murtagh, the struggling Sir Kit, and the slovenly Sir Condy, are characters who could no more be found in Ireland today than Squire Western or Parson Trulliber in England. There is a time when individuals can bear to be moved by their past follies and absurdities, after they have acquired new habits and a new consciousness. Nations, like individuals, gradually lose attachment to their identity, and the present generation is more amused than offended by the ridicule heaped upon their ancestors. This historian-editor is R. L. Edgeworth, an enlightened County Longford landowner who, despite his "new conscience", was attached to his Irish identity and, in 1800, voted against merging the short-lived Irish Parliament with that of Great Britain. -Britain. When his eldest daughter, Maria, left English boarding school, he gave her Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations. This gave her the term Rackrent, a title that suggests both an extortionate rent and the destruction and ruin of the property. The 'oral' style was new. Having, out of friendship to the family, on whose property, praised be Heaven! Mine and I live rent-free, without thinking, we voluntarily commit ourselves to publishing the RACKRENT FAMILY MEMORIES, I think it is my duty to say a few words, first of all, about myself. My real name is Thady Quirk, though in the family I have always been known as nothing less than 'honest Thday', then in the days of Sir Murtagh, late I remember them calling me 'old Thady', and now I've come to 'poor Thady'; for I wear a long, large coat winter and summer, which is very useful, as I never put my arms in the sleeves; they are as good as new... Maria Edgeworth (1768-1849) took Thady's language from her father's butler's speech. To this passage is added a long note on the Irish overcoat and a glossary explaining customs and terms. Thus, 'An English tenant does not mean a tenant who is English, but a tenant who pays his rent on time'. nephew buys Sir Condy's estate. Since then, the 'long... extinct' facts and manners of the Rackrent squires have formed the staple of Anglo-Irish fiction, as has the illogical rattle in which they are related: 'no man could stand after dinner but himself. Sir Patrick, who could be left out of the Godfather of Ireland, let alone the Three Kingdoms themselves'. As for Sir Kit, 'Unfortunately, after hitting the toothpick [p. 239] from his opponent's finger, he received a ball on a vital part, and was driven home, in little more than an hour after the case, speechless in a wheelbarrow, to my lady'. The anecdotes are in lively Irish English, the notes and glossary in dry Anglo-Irish. Behind the comedy is a sharp analysis of the supposedly stupid servile Irishman and irresponsible madness of the old squires. Castle Rackrent is, like Tristram Shandy, a tale of steep decline, but with Swift's mastery of perspective. It is also the first of several types of novel: historical, Anglo-Irish, regional, colonial. With her father, Maria Edgeworth defended the education of her daughters, and wrote other stories, but the Irish stories stand out: Ennui, The Absentee and Ormond. She sent Scott examples of Irish conversation; Miss Austen sent you a copy of Emma.

Sir Walter Scott The Quarterly Review, founded by Scott, hailed the anonymous Waverley (1814) as "a Scotch Castle Rackrent", but "in much greater strain". Waverley; Or, 'Tis Sixty Years Since deals with a wider subject more directly, the Jacobite Rising of 1745, in which Bonnie Prince Charlie, supported by Highland clans loyal to the deposed House of Stuart, advanced to Derby before retreat and defeat. Scott's initial approach is oblique, establishing Edward Waverley as a decent young English gentleman who spent his youth, like Cervantes' Don Quixote, reading chivalric romances. He is an innocent blank page. Finding himself in Scotland with his detachment of dragons, he becomes enthralled by Scottish hospitality and manners and by Rose Bradwardine. He is then captivated by Highland life and smitten with Flora MacIvor, whom he sees in the valley in a 'romantic jungle' scene: Here, like one of those lovely forms that decorate Poussin's landscapes, Waverley found Flora looking up at the waterfall. Two paces behind was Cathleen, holding a small Scottish harp, which Flora had been taught to use by Rory Dall, one of the last harpists in the West Highlands. The sun now leaning in the west, set a rich and varied tone... Eventually he joins Flora's bold brother Fergus in the Prince's army. He orders a pair of plaid trousers (a middle ground between English breeches and a Highland kilt) and sees bloody action. He gradually sees that he is being used by Fergus. captured,

Fergus and his clansmen face death bravely. Flora becomes a Benedictine nun in Paris. Waverley marries Rose Bradwardine: a happy union! But the orotund prose is not naively romantic: the very picturesque view of the waterfall is presented with some irony. Like Flaubert's Don Quixote and Emma Bovary, Waverley falls in love with book images. James of the Needle's making of trews is a parody of an epic hero's weaponry. The tragic Highland romance is set in a British romance about a young Englishman who wisely marries a lowland Scotswoman. Scott's success was immediate, immense, international. Waverley was followed by twenty-five Scottish historical novels, notably The Antiquary (1816), Old Mortality (1816), The Heart of Midlothian (1818) and Redgauntlet (1824), and English medieval romances, beginning with Ivanhoe (1819); also part numbers, biographies, essays and editions. Thanks to Scott, Edinburgh saw the Prince Regent in a kilt (and pink tights) sipping whiskey: a swallow that made the summer of Scottish tourism. Scott, the first Briton to be made a baronet for writing books, may be the most influential of all British novelists. His historical novels use a new social story to recreate the past through imaginary and real characters. He combined wide reading in 18th-century antiquaries with fluent composition and storytelling. Leisure and [p. 240] detailed in the exposition, he sets out several centers of interest; the action chicken develops energy and drama. He made the past imaginable, with a comprehensive understanding of the motives and influences that shape the actions of groups and individuals. His characterization is benign, detached, shrewd, good-natured, owing much to the eighteenth-century theatrical traditions of external representation, but very broad in its social scope, with poignant low-life characters. His reconstruction of how things play out in the story is broad, penetrating, and subtle, and his plots are expertly handled. In his Scottish romances he sought to make different versions of Scottish history mutually intelligible to his heirs, using a new relativistic historical and anthropological approach to reconcile sectarian traditions so that a Scotland that understood itself could be known in England. Scott was a patriot and a unionist. The greatest commercial success of 'The Wizard of the North' was Ivanhoe, the Jane Austen (1775-1817) Born in the first of the English novels that succeeded her Scottish novels. She created Steventon, Hampshire. 1801: fantasy drama industry producing 'good reads' and bodice rippers. In Scott moved to Bath. 1806: Moved to medieval English contests, drawn from reading rather than local knowledge, Southampton usage. 1809: Moved to theatrical scenes, such as Flora MacIvor at Waterfall, Lost Irony of Chawton, Hampshire. 1817: Died and Scottish Iron. His popularity and reputation eventually faded, as did his generosity in Winchester. Novels, in order of style, mean he looks wordy compared to his faster imitators. The composition (with the publication success of Ivanhoe and its sequels should not obscure the author's achievement of dates): Waverley's Sense and Sensibility, a historical novelist of range, understanding and poise. (1811), Northanger Abbey (1818), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Jane Austen Mansfield Park (1814), Emma (1816), Persuasion (1818). Jane Austen (1775-1817) grew up in the quiet rural parish of her father, the Reverend George Austen, in a family where literature was the main entertainment. One of her five older brothers became their father's trustee and successor. She wrote for pleasure as a child, and as an adult she chose to work on '3 or 4 families in a country village': the world she knew. Her wit, skill and background are not romantic but 18th century Augustan and Anglican like the ideals of the old country gentry she portrays. Despite its sudden spring in the mid-18th century, the novel became a major form again only after 1800. Before Austen, there were gothic tales, sensibility novels like Mackenzie's The Man of Feeling, Fanny Burney's social entertainments. and Charlotte Smith, and Godwin's experiments with ideas, but the novel reached perfection with Jane Austen. It went on to popularity, periodical publication and bigger things. “And what are you reading Miss…?” “Oh, it's just a novel”, replies the young woman; as she puts the book down with affected indifference or momentary embarrassment. – ‘It’s just Cecília, or Camila, or Belinda’; or, in short, just some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the fullest knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest outpouring of intelligence and humor, are conveyed to the world in the idiom. most chosen. Thus, Jane Austen at Northanger Abbey. (Cecilia and Camilla are novels by Fanny Burney; Belinda, a novel by Maria Edgeworth.) In her brilliant fragment, Love and Friendship, the 14-year-old Austen mocks the romance of female sensibility, and in Northanger Abbey, begun in 1798, the foolishness of the gothic. Catherine Morland reflects: 'Lovely as were all Mrs. Radcliffe, and charming even as were the works of all her imitators, perhaps it was not in them that human nature, at least in the Midland counties of England, should be seen. . 241] [Figure omitted: ‘Tales of Wonder’ (1802) by James Gillray, a print that caricatures the Gothic craze. Tales of Wonder was the title of a collection of horror tales in verse published by M. G. Lewis in 1801. Ladies listen to Lewis's The Monk.] to.' She learned from Fanny Burney, but preferred Cowper, Crabbe, and Johnson's moral essays to wish-fulfillment fiction. After juvenile writing to entertain the family, she devoted herself to romance. Her novels are cast in the form of a comedy of manners: accuracy of social behavior and dialogue, moral realism, elegance of style and ingenuity of plot. For all her insight and intelligence, Austen is a distinctly moral idealist. The owner of irony reveals a Cinderella tale that ends in engagement. The heroine, typically from a good family but with little money, has no recognized prospect other than marriage; no desire to marry without love; and not a suitable man in sight. After trials and moral discoveries, virtue wins. Of the few professionals

novelists before her, none are as consistent. Formally, Austen's fiction has the drastic selectivity of drama and, like Racine, gains from it. The moral life of her time is clear in her pages, even though the story is social and not national. Two of her brothers, however, became admirals; and in Persuasion, amid the vanities of Bath, she rejoices in the naval officers' challenge to the old social hierarchy. His comedy of manners accepts the presence or absence of rank, wealth, intelligence, beauty and masculinity as facts and factors in society, while placing goodness, rationality and love above them. Such a comedy is not trivial, unless a woman's choice of husband is trivial. For all her fun and sharp wit, Austen's central concern is with the integrity of a woman's affections. Her novels become more and more touching. The glittering Northanger Abbey and the somber Sense and Sensibility are preparatory to the well-managed joy of Pride and Prejudice, which the author came to find "very light, bright and bright". It's certainly simpler than the serious Mansfield Park, the classic Emma, ​​and the autumnal Persuasion. It's hard to choose between these. Mansfield Park is not about its heroine's education: her example educates others. In the midst of a complex social comedy, pure and simple Fanny Price, a poor niece raised in Mansfield in its splendid park, but not sophisticated by it, resists the predatory charm of London visitors. Edmund, her admired cousin, finally realizes the beauty of her nature. Moral worth is less directly recommended in Emma, ​​a work of art designed with economic symmetry. 'Emma Woodhouse, pretty, intelligent, and wealthy, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to gather some of the best blessings in existence; and she has lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to dis [p. 242]

Jane Austen aged c.35. A pencil and watercolor sketch by her sister Cassandra in c.1810, the only image to show Jane Austen's face.

annoy or annoy her. Emma, ​​the village queen, prides herself on her acumen and decides that Harriet Smith, a beautiful seventeen-year-old girl of unknown birth whom she adopts, is too good to marry a local farmer. Emma invites her home to meet the new parish priest, who misinterprets the encouragement and proposes to Emma. This is just the first of Emma's misguided efforts to marry off Harriet. Austen manages appearances in such a way that the reader shares Emma's dangerous delusions. Virtually everyone in the book is tricked by her imagination. In that sense, Austen is totally anti-romantic. Emma, ​​spoiled by her old father, believes that she herself will not marry. "But you'll still be a spinster!" says Harriet, "and that's so terrible!" “Don't worry, Harriet,” Emma replies, “I won't be a poor spinster; and it is only poverty that makes celibacy contemptible to a generous public! ' Both may be thinking of a garrulous old spinster from the village, the kindly Miss Bates, an old family friend who is neither pretty nor smart nor rich. The normally considerate Emma is later taken in by Frank Churchill's prank at a picnic and, in a casual comment, publicly ridicules Miss Bates' stupidity. For this cruelty she is reprimanded by Mr. Knightley, a worthy family friend who has the judgment Emma's father lacks. Other misunderstandings follow: Harriet Smith imagines that Mr. Knightley is interested in her; Knightley

thinks Emma is in love with Frank Churchill. But Mr. Churchill suddenly reveals that he has been secretly engaged to the mysterious Jane Fairfax. Emma is walking in the garden when Knightley calls. ‘They walked together. He was silent. She thought he was always looking at her and trying to get a fuller view of her face than it suited him to give. ’ In the tightly governed world of Jane Austen, this is intimacy and drama. After Knightley chivalrously consoled Emma for the pain caused by Mr. Churchill, and was disillusioned, he declared his love and asked her to speak. Miss Austen now teases her reader: 'What did she say? - Just what she should, of course. A lady always does. Reticence resumes. However, Knightley comments on Mr. Churchill: 'Mystery; Finesse - how they pervert the understanding! My Emma, ​​not everything serves to prove more and [p. 243] more the beauty of truth and sincerity in all our dealings with one another?' Although Miss. Austen smiled at the man's vehemence, she also admires truth, sincerity and frankness. This is at once august, romantic, and romantic. Persuasion is for devotees his most moving and interesting novel. Eight years before the novel begins, 19-year-old Anne Elliott was persuaded by Lady Russell, a friend of her late mother's, to break off her engagement to Wentworth, a man she loved, accepting Lady Russell's view that he was: 'a young man, who had nothing but himself to recommend him, and no hope of attaining wealth, but the chances of a very uncertain profession [the navy], and no connection to secure even his rise in that profession. ... '. Captain Wentworth returns rich and, he tells his sister, "ready to make a foolish marriage." Anyone between fifteen and thirty can ask me. A little beauty, a few smiles and a few navy compliments, and I am a lost man.” However, “Anne Elliot was not out of his thoughts as he more seriously described the woman he would like to meet. . “A strong mind, with sweetness of manners,” was the first and last of the description. ' Wentworth is convinced that a woman who has broken off her engagement does not have a strong mind; and Anne is convinced that Wentworth cannot think of her. He soon becomes involved with Louisa Musgrove, but when Louisa falls it is Anne who is calm and helpful. Previously, Wentworth had quietly relieved Anne of the attentions of a troubled two-year-old while she nursed the child's sick brother. In a letter to a friend, Maria Edgeworth comments on this passage: 'Do you not see Captain Wentworth, or rather feel him in her place, taking the boisterous child from her back as she kneels beside the sick boy? on the couch?" In this short novel - completed when the author fell seriously ill - gesture and silence develop emotional expressiveness. At the climax, Anne takes the opportunity to make it clear to Wentworth-indirectly but persuasively-that she still loves him. Wentworth sits writing at a table in a room full of people while Anne is engaged in debate with a naval officer who claims that men's love is more constant than women's love. Wentworth listens to her reply, which ends: "All the privilege I claim for my own sex (it is not very enviable, you need not covet it) is that of loving longer, when existence or hope is gone. ”. compared to Emma's plot, Persuasion's is theatrically conventional, especially on its "wicked" side; but the core relationship is managed magically. No nineteenth-century successor in novel or theater approaches economics in the dialogue and action that Austen developed through formal discipline and subject matter concentration. (Her novels offered "an admirable copy of life", but they lacked imagination, according to Wordsworth, who lacked the kind of imagination she relied on in a reader.) She also appears to be the first female English prose writer since Julian of Norwich who it is clearly superior to male contemporaries in the same field. A more refined novelist than Scott, she confirmed the novel as a genre significantly belonging to women writers and readers. Towards Victoria The literary lull that followed the untimely deaths of Keats, Shelley and Byron is truly a transitional era, the period of the Great Reform Bill of 1832. The features of the Victorian era began to appear: liberal legislation, a triumphant middle class, industrial advance, proletarian agitation, religious renewal. When Victoria ascended the throne, [p. 244] the warning voices of Keble and Carlyle were audible. Among the young writers were Tennyson, the Brownings, Thackeray and Dickens. Major Events and Publications of 1823-37 Events 1823 Peel initiates penal reforms.

1825 1826 1828


Notable Publications 1824 James Hogg, Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, Walter Savage Landor, Imaginary Conversations; Mary Russell Mitford, Our Village; Walter Scott, Redgauntlet; Lord Byron (died 1824), Don Juan xv-xvi; Percy Bysshe Shelley (ed. Mary Shelley), Posthumous Poems. The Stockton-Darlington Railway opens. 1825 S. T. Coleridge, Aids to Reflection; William Hazlitt, The Spirit of the Age. University College, London is founded. 1826 Benjamin Disraeli, Vivian Gray, Mary Shelley, The Last Man. Duke of Wellington becomes prime minister. The John Clare, The Shepherd's Calendar, John Keble, Test and Corporation Acts of 1827, which kept Catholics in the Christian Year, Alfred and Charles Tennyson and non-conformists in high places, are repealed. Poems by Two Brothers. Catholic Emancipation Act; Daniel O'Connell elected to Parliament. Peel establishes the


1832 1833


1836 1837

Metropolitan Police. Stephenson's Rocket runs on the Liverpool-Manchester railway. George IV dies. William IV reigns until 1837. 1830

The Reform Bill is approved: the end of 'rotten neighborhoods'; 1832 the franchise is extended. Parliament abolishes slavery in the Empire. 1833 Education and Factory Acts are passed. John Keble's sermon 'National Apostasy' starts the Oxford Movement. New Poor Law Act passed. The "Tolpuddle Martyrs of 1834". The Houses of Parliament burn. 1835

Barry and Pugin design new Houses of Parliament. William IV dies. Victoria reigns (until 1901).


William Cobbett, Country Walks; Coleridge, On the Constitution of Church and State; Alfred Tennyson, Poems, Mainly Lyrics. Alfred Tennyson, Poems. Thomas Carlyle, Sartor Resartus; Keble, Newman, and others. Tracts for the Times (-1841); Robert Browning, Pauline. George Crabbe (died 1832), Poetical Works. Coleridge (died 1834), table talk; Charles Dickens, Sketches of Boz; Captain Marryat, Midshipman Easy, R. H. Froude, Keble, John Henry Newman et al., Lyra Apostolica. Carlyle, French Revolution; Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers; William Makepeace Thackeray, The Professor, John Gibson Lockhart, The Life of Sir Walter Scott.

Further Reading Barnard, J. (ed.). The Complete Poems of John Keats, 2nd ed. (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1977). Butler, M. Romantics, Rebels and Reactionaries: English Literature and Its Context 1760-1830 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982). Macrae, A.D.F. (ed.). P.B. Shelley (London: Routledge, 1991). A good selection of students. Wu, Duncan (ed.). Romanticism, 2nd ed. (Oxford: Blackwell, 1998). An annotated anthology.

[p. 245]

Part Four: Victorian Literature up to 1880 [p. 247]

8. The Age and its Sages Overview Victoria's long reign saw a growth in literature, especially fiction, practiced notably by Dickens, Thackeray, the Brontës, George Eliot, Trollope, James and Hardy. Poetry was also popular, especially Tennyson's; Browning and (though unknown) Hopkins are also great poets. Thinkers were also avidly read. Matthew Arnold, poet, critic, and social critic, was the last to deserve the respectful attention formerly accorded to such sages as Carlyle, Mill, Ruskin, and Newman. Many Victorians allowed their understanding to be guided by thinkers, poets and even novelists. It was a time both joyful and confused by growing wealth and power, the pace of industrial and social change, and scientific discovery. After the mid-reign, confidence began to wane; its last two decades took on a different atmosphere, and literature developed various specialized forms - aestheticism, professional entertainment, disenchanted social concern. These decades, which also saw a belated revival of drama, are treated separately.

Contents The Victorian Era Moral History Abundance Why Sages? Thomas Carlyle John Stuart Mill John Ruskin John Henry Newman Charles Darwin Matthew Arnold Further Reading

The Victorian era 'Victorian' is a term often extended beyond the Queen's reign (1837-1901) to include the reign of William IV from 1830. Historians distinguish early, middle and late Victorian England, corresponding to periods of pain growing, from the 1850s, and the loss of consensus after 1880, a date that offers a convenient division: Charles Dickens (1812-70) and Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) belonged to different eras. Under Victoria, a Britain transformed by the Industrial Revolution became the world's leading imperial power and its most interesting country. Fyodor Dostoevsky, Mark Twain, Henry James and even French writers came to see London. New Yorkers were waiting on the docks to find out if Dickens's Little Nell from the Old Curiosity Shop was still alive. But were England's authors as busy with their rapidly changing age as the term "Victorian literature" might suggest? Many were. Historian T. B. Macaulay praised the spirit of progress of the age. Thomas Carlyle and John Ruskin prophesied against the age, as Dickens sometimes did. Tennyson [p. 248]

Albert Memorial, Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, London. Albert had died in 1861; The Gothic Monument to George Gilbert Scott (1864-7) celebrates the achievements of the era and the prince's patronage of the arts and sciences.

periodically tried to understand him; Matthew Arnold criticized him; Mrs. Gaskell thought and thought about this. Anthony Trollope represented him.

Moral history While literature is never merely history, the novel becomes a moral history of modern life with Dickens and Thackeray, elaborately so in George Eliot's Middlernarch, a novel that exemplifies a principle that Eliot derived from Scott: 'there is no private life. that has not been determined by wider public life”. However, the larger life was interesting to George Eliot (pseudonym Mary Ann Evans) because it shaped the moral and emotional lives of single people. In keeping with that romantic priority, his characters are more personal than Scott's. George Eliot (1819-80) was one of many who sought wisdom in an age of shaky certainties and robust consciences. Clerics, sages, and critics wrote lessons and lectures for the breakfast and tea table. These were later bound in tomes with marbled endcaps. Few are archived today, except in universities. Victorian books that live on today are mostly novels, and these novels (despite the "authenticity" of their modern film versions) do not hold a mirror to the era. The Victorians produced impressive reporting on London's poor, Manchester factories and urban sanitation, but a documentary social realism was not the norm in Victorian fiction. One reason for this lies in the subjective and imaginative character of the Romantic literature of the years 1798-1824, which altered the nature of non-factual writing. The simple pleasure of vicarious selfishness died with Byron, but books, yearbooks, and [p. 249] Events and publications of the events of 1837-84

Notable publications 1837


Chartist movement, demanding votes for workers, 1838 begins. 1839


Victoria marries Prince Albert. Penny Post was started in 1840. The Conservative Ministry of Sir Robert Peel. 1841


1842 1843 1844


Potato famine in Ireland (until 1850).



Repeal of Corn Laws protecting landowners: this 1846 divides conservatives. Russell's liberal ministry (until 1852). 1847


Revolutions in Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Rome, etc. 1848 Marx and Engels: The Communist Manifesto. The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood is founded.



Thomas Carlyle, The French Revolution; Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers. Dickens, Oliver Twist; Elizabeth Barrett, The Seraphim and Other Poems. Dickens, Nicholas Nickleby, Mrs. Hemans (died 1835), Collected Works; Charles Darwin, The Voyage of HMS Beagle (J. M. W. Turner, The Fighting Temeraire; Stendhal, The Charterhouse of Parma). Robert Browning, Sordello. Carlyle, on heroes and hero worship; Dion Boucicault, London Assurance. T. B. Macaulay, Lays of Ancient Rome; Alfred Tennyson, Poems. Carlyle, past and present; John Ruskin, Modern Painters (5 vols 1860). Dickens, Martin Chuzzlewit; Benjamin Disraeli, Coningsby, Elizabeth Barrett, Poems; William Barnes, Poems of Country Life, in the Dorset Dialect; William Makepeace Thackeray, The Luck of Barry Lyndon. Disraeli, Sybil or the Two Nations; John Henry Newman, Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine; R. Browning, Dramatic Romances and Lyrics (Edgar Allan Poe, Tales of Mystery and Imagination). Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë, Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell; Edward Lear, Book of Nonsense. Anne Brontë, Agnes Grey; Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre; Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights; Anthony Trollope, The Macdermots of Ballycloran; Tennyson, the princess. Anne Brontë, the tenant of Wildfell Hall; Dickens, Dombey and son; Gaskell, Mary Barton; Mill, Principles of Political Economy, Thackeray, Vanity Fair, Arthur Hugh Clough, The Bothie of TobernaVuolich. Charlotte Brontë, Shirley, Macaulay; The History of England (5 vols to 1861); Ruskin, The Seven Lamps of Architecture; Thackeray, Pendennis. Dickens, David Copperfield; Elizabeth Barrett


Great Exhibition at the ‘Crystal Palace’.



The Victoria and Albert Museum opened.




Crimean War against Russia (until 1856).



Browning, Sonnets of the Portuguese; Dante Gabriel Rossetti and others, The Germ; Tennyson, In Memoriam; William Wordsworth, The Prelude. Ruskin, The Stones of Venice (3 vols 1853); E. B. Browning, Windows of the Guidi House. J. H. Newman, Discourse on the Scope and Nature of University Education; Thackeray, The History of Henry Esmond. Charlotte Brontë, Villette; Dickens, Dark House; Elizabeth Gaskell, Cranford; Matthew Arnold, Poems. Dickens, Hard Times; Thackeray, The Newcomes; Tennyson, The Charge of the Light Brigade; Coventry Patmore, The Angel in the House (4 parts 1862). Gaskell, North and South; Trollope, The Director; R. Browning, Men and Women; Tennyson, Maud (Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass).

[p. 250] Events and Publications of 1837-80 Continued 1856 1857

indian riot.


1858 1859 1860 1861

American Civil War (until 1865). Prince Albert dies.


Prince Bismarck becomes Prussian chancellor (until 1862 1890). The London Underground has started. 1863 1864






Benjamin Disraeli's Second Reform Bill.



W. E. Gladstone PM (until 1874). First Trade Union Congress of 1868.

1869 1870 1871

Anglican Church disestablished in Ireland. 1869 The Prussians defeat Napoleon III at Sedan. 1870 Paris Commune suppressed. 1871 Non-Anglicans allowed to attend Oxford and Cambridge. 1872 1873

James Anthony Froude, History of England (12 vols 1870). Charlotte Brontë, The Professor, Dickens, Little Dorrit; Gaskell, The Life of Charlotte Brontë; Carlyle, Collected Works (16 volumes 1858); Thomas Hughes, Schooldays of Tom Brown; Trollope, Barchester Towers; E.B. Browning, Aurora Leigh; George Eliot, Scenes from Clerical Life (Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary; Charles Baudelaire, Les Fleurs du Mal). Carlyle, Frederick the Great (8 volumes 1865); Clough, Amours de Voyage. Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities; Eliot, Adam Bede, 'The Veil Lifted'. Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White; Eliot, The Mill on the Floss. Dickens, Great Expectations; Thackeray, The Four Georges; Trollope, Framley Parsonage; Francis Turner Palgrave (ed.), The Golden Treasure; D. G. Rossetti (trans.), Early Italian Poets. E. B. Browning, Last Poems; George Meredith, Modern Love; Christina Rossetti, Goblin Market. Eliot, Romola; John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism. Newman, Apologia Pro Vita Sua; Trollope, Can You Forgive Her?; R. Browning, Dramatis Personae. Arnold, Essays in Criticism; Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland; Dickens, our mutual friend; Newman, The Dream of Gerontius. Eliot, Felix Holt; Elizabeth Gaskell (d.1865), wives and daughters; Algernon Charles Swinburne, Poems and Ballads. Trollope, The Last Chronicle of Barset (Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace). Collins, The Moonstone; Browning, The Ring and the Book; William Morris, The Earthly Paradise (3 volumes, 1870). Matthew Arnold, Culture and Anarchy. Disraeli, Lothair; Newman, A Grammar of Consent. Eliot, Middlemarch (4 volumes 1872). Hardy, under the Greenwood tree. Arnold, Literature and Dogma; Hardy, a pair of blue eyes; Walter Pater, Studies in


Disraeli becomes PM (until 1880).


1875 1876

Public Health Law. Invention of the telephone.

1875 1876


Victoria Empress of India.



Gladstone denounces the imperialism of the Conservative government of 1879. 1880

Rebirth. Hardy, away from the madding crowd; James (B.V.) Thomson, 'The City of Dreadful Night' Trollope, The Way We Live Now. Eliot, Daniel Deronda; Henry James, Roderick Hudson. Hardy, The Return of the Native (Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina). James, Daisy Miller, The Europeans. (Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov).

periodicals brought a regulated romanticism into Victorian homes - through, for example, the novels of Jane Austen. In this simple sense, all subsequent literature - even the anti-romantic literature of the modernists - is post-romantic. Victorian narrative history has much in common with novel writing. Scott's desire to tell the tribe's story was felt by Thackeray, Dickens, and George Eliot, who recreate the worlds [p. 251] around their childhoods. In an age of disorienting change, historical thinking was spurred on by Carlyle's trumpet blasts in his French Revolution, Heroes and Hero Worship, and Past and Present. Carlyle's effects can be read in Ruskin, Dickens and William Morris.

Abundance An avid readership, larger than before, was regularly fed with serials and three-story novels. Complete editions by popular novelists and bestselling prophets, and by meticulous prose writers such as John Henry Newman and Walter Paten span many volumes. In an age when engineering miracles appeared every month and London had several postal deliveries a day, Dickens was considered hyperactive. Trollope wrote 2 to 3,000 words daily before going to work at the Post Office. He invented the mailbox, rode for dogs midweek and Saturday, and wrote seventy books. The verse of a Tennyson, Browning or Morris does not fit into a thousand pages. Minor writers like Benjamin Disraeli, Bulwer Lytton, Charles Kingsley, Mrs. Oliphant and Vernon Lee were equally prolific. Victorian vigor continued less cheerfully in Thomas Hardy, Henry James, Joseph Conrad and Edwardian Ford Madox Ford. Thereafter, serious novelists became less productive, although D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930) and the American William Faulkner (1897-1962) are exceptions. To some, this abundance seemed oppressive long before 1914. But when Lytton Strachey Eminent Victorians was released in 1918, most of what Victorians believed, assumed and hoped for had died. Strachey's exposures of Cardinal Manning, Dame Florence Nightingale, Dr. Thomas Arnold and General Gordon sold well. Victorians liked to laugh at themselves with Dickens, Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear, W. S. Gilbert and Oscar Wilde, and they had a genius for light verse and nonsense verse (not the same thing). But modernists ridiculed the Victorians, who are still not always taken seriously, even by academics. Although universities have reinvested heavily in Victorian literary culture, quality remains the yardstick in a critical history. Much of this literary abundance is of human or cultural interest. How much of that has artistic value?

Queen Victoria opening the Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace, Hyde Park, London, 1 May 1851.

[p. 252] Before attempting this question, a change in the writer's position should be noted. The novel became big public entertainment at the same time that books became big business. The writer now worked for the public, through the publishing house. While Wordsworth had a government sinecure and the Prince Regent had forced the reluctant Miss. Austen to dedicate Emma to him, Victorian writers were crowd pleasers. It is true that the Queen liked Tennyson to read to her and that she commissioned the complete works of Lewis Carroll. When she wished to meet Dickens, he refused to be introduced. Dickens was a commercial wizard as well as a literary one, but not every writer knew how to deal cards. Edward Lear, a twentieth son, acted as tutor to Lord Derby's sons. Robert Browning, Edward Fitzgerald and John Ruskin had private income. Lewis Carroll was a mathematics teacher, Trollope a civil servant, Matthew Arnold an inspector of schools. But commercial publishing and writers' personal finances meant that few Victorians treated literature as an art - unlike Jonson, Milton, Austen or Keats, none of whom were rich. There were perfectionists - W. S. Landor, Emily Brontë, Christina Rossetti, J. H. Newman, Matthew Arnold, Gerard Hopkins, Walter Paten Henry James and others in the nineties. Other perfectionists, Tennyson and Wilde, prospered greatly, and George Eliot made millions in modern money, though less than Dickens. But few Victorian novels are as well done as Wuthering Heights or Middlemarch, and few Victorian poems are perfect. What was perfection compared with imaginative and emotional power, moral passion and the communication of vision, preferably to a crowd? The popularity of romanticism, combined with the press's need for a quick and regular supply, had an inflationary effect on the literary scene. The quality of the writing of Carlyle, Thackeray, Ruskin and Dickens is more grossly uneven than that of their eighteenth-century predecessors. In retrospect, and compared to today, the Victorian reliance on middle-class public taste is impressive. The quality of novels published in monthly serials is high, if not consistent. Ordinary talents were pressed by the frantic pace of serial publishing, but Dickens exulted in it. His novels might be shorter, but few would want them any less. The abundance and irregularity of Victorian writing does not suit the summary generalizations of a brief literary history. For the reader curious about time, however, there is compensation in its immense variety and in the set of original and individualized images that it gives of its time. The reader of Christopher Ricks' New Oxford Book of Victorian Verse (1988) will be in for some pleasant surprises.

Why wise? The enduring influence of Victorian thinkers such as Carlyle, Mill, Ruskin, Newman, Darwin and Arnold requires some preliminary attention. Why did this new animal, the Victorian sage, appear? Why has secular literature assumed such importance? Why did the saint Newman write two novels and the politician Disraeli sixteen? Why did another Prime Minister, Gladstone, publish three books on Homer and a third, Lord Derby, translate Homer? Why did Matthew Arnold believe that poetry would come to replace religion? Deism and skepticism in the 18th century reduced both what educated Christians believed and the strength with which they believed it. At the time of the French Revolution, some intellectuals (not all of them radicals) were not Christians. Public meetings gave orators new chances, and dissent became more political than religious. In the liberal reforms of 1828-33 the Church of England lost its [p. 253] monopoly. Most Victorians went to church or chapel, although the industrial towns of the Midlands and North had fewer churches, which did not always provide convincing leadership. In an age of rapid change and disappearing landmarks, guides to the past, present, and future were needed, and lay preachers appeared. Some were dissidents, some skeptical, some mean-spirited. Carlyle and Ruskin came from Scottish Calvinist backgrounds to establish pulpits in the English press. Nonreligious intellectuals like George Eliot sought and provided guidance. The Oxford Movement renewed the Catholic heritage of the Church of England. Most preachers preached, of course, from Anglican pulpits, such as Charles Kingsley of the Broad Church, who also preached from university pulpits, as well as his Christian Socialist friend, the Reverend F. D. Maurice. These thinkers were the first to see and seek to understand the effects of industrial capitalism on social and personal life, effects that continue. Their often valid reviews are rarely read today, as the tones in which Carlyle and Ruskin address their audiences sound strange today. However, they had a profound influence, so long assimilated as to be forgotten, on many significant currents of national culture, among them Gothic Revival, Anglo-Catholicism, Christian Socialism, British Marxism, La Toryism. Young England", the trade union movement, the Arts and Crafts movement, the National Trust, the Society for the Preservation of Ancient Monuments, and environmental, arts and literature cults. The society and conditions shaped by the Industrial Revolution found their first response in these thinkers.

Thomas Carlyle The voice of Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) was heard soon after the silence of the Romantic poets. The University of Edinburgh enlightened this mason's son of the Presbyterian ministry for which he was intended, but left him dissatisfied with skepticism. Religion was created by mankind to meet human needs: its old clothes must be discarded, updated, replaced with new man-made beliefs. This is the subject of Sartor Resartus (“The Coated Tailor”), which purports to be the autobiography of a mad German philosopher edited by an equally fictitious publisher. A romantic heart is similarly "edited" by an illuminated head in Edgeworth's Castle Rackrent (1800) and Hogg's Justified Sinner (1832), but Carlyle's work is much more

Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) Signs of the Times (1829), Characteristics (1831), Sartor Resartus (1833-4), History of the French Revolution (1837), Heroes and Hero-Worship (1841), Chartism (1839) , Past and Present (1843), Letters and Speeches of Oliver Cromwell (1845), Occasional Discourse on the Negro Question (1849), Pamphlets of Latter Days (1850), Life of John Sterling (1851), Life of Frederick the Great of Prussia (1858-65).

extraordinary in form and style. Once devoured by its message, the chaotic style of the book makes reading difficult. After arduous years of studying German thought and translating Goethe, Carlyle moved from Craigenputtock, Dumfries, to Chelsea, where his History of the French Revolution made him famous. Despising metaphysical and materialistic thinkers, he forged a faith in Life, in intuition and action, and in historical heroes who transcended human limitation. Your great statesman, priest, man of action, captain of industry, man of letters - carries out his vision with energy. Sincere action is good in itself; the view itself is secondary. Carlyle's cunning, incisiveness and conviction cannot hide a lack of wit, a substitution of ends for means. It is an attitude that paved the way for "world history" man, the Hitlers and Stalins of the religion of mankind. Carlyle was one of the first to diagnose the ills that industrial capitalism brought to society. He saw the situation of the factory worker whose work was the source of wealth: without participation or pride in the processes to which he was a slave; exploited, underpaid, discarded (unemployment was high in the 1840s) and condemned to the workhouse. Carlyle's analysis was admired by Karl Marx when he took refuge in [p. 254] liberal England. Marx's solution was political: class war and the victory of the proletariat. Carlyle's admonition was a moral one: those to whom harm is done, harm them back. The remedy, in Past and Present, lies in the renewal of old arrangements: leaders who work, a renewed feudalism. Carlyle argues that Gurth, the Saxon swineherd of Scott's Ivanhoe, knew his master, his place and the value of his work. Unlike the factory worker, the Gurth servant was spiritually free. This idealization of mutual respect between different layers of pre-industrial society, found in Burke, Scott, Cobbett's Rural Rides (1821-) and Pugin's Contrasts (1836), is found again in Disraeli, Ruskin and even Morris. Anti-capitalist, it more often took on a paternalistic than a progressive form. Carlyle's political legacy was distrust of revolution and fear of the mob, an unforgettable expression in his French Revolution, a source of Dickens's Tale of Two Cities.

John Stuart Mill John Stuart Mill (1806-73) was the son of James Mill (1773-1836), a Scotsman destined for the ministry who came to London like Carlyle. A friend of economist David Ricardo and philosopher Jeremy Bentham, James forced his young son through a famously strict educational program. At the age of 16, J. S. Mill founded the Utilitarian Society to study Bentham's idea that all politics should be judged by the criterion of what promoted "the greatest happiness of the greatest number" by using a "happiness calculus". As Mill relates in his Autobiography (1873), as a young adult "he felt himself elevated to an eminence from which he could see an immense mental domain and see extending into the distance intellectual results beyond all reckoning." it recalls Swift's Academy of Projectors and Bentham's Panopticon, a blueprint for a workhouse where each inmate could be supervised by a single all-seeing person. (All prisoners could see the supervisor's elevated observation room, but they couldn't tell if he was watching them.) British reformers used Bentham's planning throughout the 19th century, but his reductive, mechanistic model of society was anathema. to Carlyle and Dickens (see illustration on page 255). At the age of 20, Mill suffered a depression from which he was rescued by reading Wordsworth's poetry - "the very culture of feelings I sought". Mill's lucid essays on Bentham and Coleridge balance rational material improvement with emotional and spiritual growth. They are a good starting point for understanding post-Romantic culture and an advertisement for the 19th century liberal mindset. Intellectual clarity marks the prose of On Liberty (1859), Principles of Political Economy (1848), and Utilitarianism (1863).

John Ruskin The most romantic prose of the Victorian sages is found in John Ruskin (1819-1900). Its eloquent reaction to social problems had a fascinating effect on the thinking and lives of young people: on William Morris and Oscar Wilde, on Gandhi, who read it on trains in South Africa, and on Marcel Proust, who translated it (with some help ) for French. Ruskin, untrained in aesthetics, would be England's great art critic. He then moved from art and architecture to society, denouncing England's ugly greed and eventually, in apocalyptic tones, the pollution of the natural world by "the storm cloud of the 19th century". [p. 255] Ruskin's greatness is as impressive as his uniqueness, an example of the effect of evangelicalism and romanticism on an only child. Of his first view (aged 14) of the Swiss Alps at sunset, he wrote (aged 70) that "the walls seen of lost Eden could not have been more beautiful". Like the Alps at sunset, Ruskin's works are vast, awe-inspiring and easy to get lost in. He is like Coleridge in his scope, but less metaphysical and more moral in his discursiveness. It has passages of rhythmic harmony almost as beautiful as Tennyson's verse: of rapt perception and analytical description, of social insight and prophetic force. Of passages describing it, Virginia Woolf has written that it is as if "all the sources of the English language had been put out to play in the sunlight". He was a charming public lecturer, but could, self-cocked, slip into awkwardness or obsession. Ruskin, like Carlyle and Dickens, confronted with the brutality and waste of industrial society and the amoral neutrality of political economists, was outraged. He proposed radical and collective human solutions in both the arts and politics. He lost the narrowness of his upbringing, but regained his Christian faith. He called himself a Tory of the Homer and Sir Walter Scott school and a "Communist, the reddest of reds". Ruskin's first major work, Modern Painters (5 volumes, 1843-60), was interrupted by The Seven Lamps of Architecture and The Stones of Venice (3 volumes,

'Contrasted residences for the poor', one of architect A. W. Pugin's controversial contrasts (1830; revised edition 1841). The modern asylum is a rational House of Correction, like Bentham's Panopticon (see page 254); its turnkey suppliers and dissectors anticipate Dickens. The medieval asylum, by contrast, provided food, affection, and Christian burial.

[p. 256] 1851-3). He turned from championing the English Romantic painter J. M. W. Turner to preserving in prose the medieval architecture of Europe that was being destroyed. He drew and measured Venice's major Gothic buildings like a geologist, studying their architectural components and ornaments. Volume 1 reviews the results of this original research, ranking good and bad. Volume 2 cleanses Venice of its post-medieval reputation and defines, after an imagined overview of Europe from the air, "the nature of the Gothic". He derived the health of Gothic architecture from the status of its makers in craft guilds, in contrast to the uniform finish of the British factory and the status of its makers. (Gothic Revival architect A. W. Pugin had anticipated these views in Contrats (1836). Ruskin did not recognize this, perhaps because Pugin wanted to undo the Reformation as well as the Renaissance.) Ruskin's perception that the worker was being transformed on a machine led him to denounce competition and commercialism. After 1860 he plunged into furious propaganda about art and crafts, about social, political and economic theory. He poured money, lectures, pamphlets and public letters, and opened schools, organizing the Guild of St. George and teaching at the Colégio dos Trabalhadores. He was the first Slade Professor of Art at Oxford, resigning twice. Increasingly isolated, he had periods of delirium. After 1889 he retired to Brantwood, his home in Coniston Water, said little and wrote nothing. (His career would curiously parallel that of 20th-century American poet Ezra Pound.) Before falling silent, Ruskin wrote a charming autobiography, Praeterita, a lucid vision of the lost paradise of his childhood: his sheltered upbringing, learning the Bible by heart. with your mother; Private education; reading Byron; Oxford (not very useful to him); learning to draw (very well). Travel opened its eyes: in a specially built carriage with a seat for young John to see, the Ruskins visited the homes of clients (his father was a sherry importer, partner of Pedro Domecq) and then drove through Normandy, Switzerland. and northern Italy. He studied geology, hiked and drew in the Alps or in Scotland. In Praeterita, the reformer's lingering desire is to recompose his youthful visions and make us see - the Rhône, the Alps, a single tree. This calm after the storm is not disturbed by a word about her arranged marriage, which ended in public scandal; his crush on Rose La touches on his lawsuit against Whistler. Ruskin's principles, in art, crafts, architecture and ecology, have outlived their immediate causes. Praeterita ('Things Past'), ends: Fountain Branch I saw with Charles Norton, under the same arches where Dante saw her. We drank of it together and walked together that night in the hills above, where the fireflies among the fragrant thickets flickered in the not-yet-dark air. How they sparkled! moving like starlight through the purple leaves. How they sparkled! through the sunset that turned to thunderous night when I entered Siena three days ago, the white edges of the mountain clouds still lit from the west and the calm golden open sky behind the gate of Siena's heart, with its words still golden, Cor magis

tibi Sena pandit, and the fireflies across the sky and clouds rising and falling, mingled with the lightning, and brighter than the stars. Cor magis tibi Sena pandit is the city's motto: 'More than its gates, Siena opens its heart to you'. Sunset and farewell coincide in Wordsworth's Tintern, Coleridge's Dejection, Keats's Autumn, and Shelley's West Wind. High skies and gloomy clouds are a Victorian combination. [p. 257]

John Henry Newman

John Henry Newman (1801-90), The Arians of the Fourth Century (1832), Tracts for the Times (1833-41), The Tamworth Reading Room (1841), Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine (1845), Loss and Gain (1847), Discourses on the Scope and Nature of University Education (1852), Apologia Pro Vita Sua (1864), The Dream of Gerontius (1865), An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent (1870), The Idea of ​​a Universidade (1873).

Romanticism, on the one hand, is "poured religion," a definition that suggests that religion is an emotion. This was not the opinion of John Henry Newman (1801-90), the master of Victorian non-fiction prose. The rationalists' departure from Christian belief and early moves to separate church and state in England provoked John Keble, a fellow of Oriel College, Oxford, to preach a sermon in 1833 on "national apostasy": the prospect of an atheistic England. This started the Oxford or Tractarian Movement, so called Tracts for the Times, founded by Newman and contributed by Keble and Pusey, also Fellows of Oriel. The treatises argued that the Church of England maintained the faith of the apostles and the early Church. In 1841, Newman, vicar of the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, published Tract 90, which states that the 39 articles in which the Church of England formulated its faith under Edward VI were those of the historic and universal Catholic Church. Newman, originally an evangelical and later a liberal, came to believe that Broad Church liberalism would first dilute and then dissolve Christian belief. The bishops denounced Tract 90, and Newman had to consider the possibility that the Church of England was not apostolic and that the Roman Catholic Church was what he claimed it to be. He renounced St Mary's and its scholarship, and in 1845 was received into the Catholic Church. As Oxford was the intellectual center of the country's religious life, Newman's conversion was a milestone in post-Reformation history. Other clergymen and graduate students turned to Rome. Was this a “second spring” of English Catholicism? In 1846 Newman left Oxford, paying one last visit to his tutor at his college: Trinity was never cruel to me. There used to be a lot of mouth dragon growing on the wall opposite my freshman rooms, and for years I took it as the emblem of my own perpetual residence to death at my university. On the morning of the 23rd I left the Observatory. I have never seen Oxford since, except its towers as seen from the railway. This passage comes from the Apologia Pro Vita Sua, a vindication of his life, composed in 1864 in response to Charles Kingsley, who casually remarked in a critique that Newman, like Catholic clergy generally, did not regard truth as a necessary virtue. (Alexander Macmillan, editor of the magazine in which the commentary appeared, earnestly asked Newman whether this was not the Catholic position.) Newman's scrupulous history of his religious views showed the falsity of Kingsley's accusation and convinced a skeptical public of his own good faith . The Apology remains a compelling spiritual and intellectual autobiography. Newman studied the Church Fathers and Anglican theologians of the seventeenth century and, like them, composed for the ear, concerned with rhythmic and syntactic organization as well as clear arguments and distinct diction. Some of his sermons, hymns, prayers, poems and lives of English saints have survived his occasions; as well as its history, theology, and fiction of the Church. One of the early hymns hints at his modesty: Lead, kindly Light, amidst the enveloping darkness. Guide me; The night is dark and I am far from home; Lead me. Guard my feet; I don't ask to see The distant scene; one step enough for me. [p 258] Very obscure for Kingsley, this hymn was a favorite of Thomas Hardy. Newman's main work in verse is The Dream of Gerontius, turned into an oratorio by Elgar. Dramatizes the fate of the soul after death. Newman's other most valuable works are his Development of Christian Doctrine, which relates the historical evolution of Christian dogma to the teaching authority of the Church, and his Grammar of Assent. Another classic is his Idea of ​​a University, his speeches as the first Chancellor of University College, Dublin. He defines and defends the liberal idea of ​​education against Edinburgh utilitarianism and an Irish hierarchy who assumed their new college was there to teach Catholic doctrine. Newman's "idea" is that a university is not for teaching useful knowledge or dogmatic truth, nor for pursuing research, but for educating philosophically and critically, for disciplining and enlarging the mind. In his Apology, Newman approaches Christian belief along converging arguments from history and personal experience, as well as from scripture, philosophy, and theology. His view that Providence guided the historical development of Christian revelation brings a British empiricism to theology. His argument from experience rests on educated imagination, developing a romantic doctrine. Newman also thought that the Oxford Movement developed out of Romanticism. In retrospect, he understood that Movement as

a reaction to the dry and superficial character of the religious teaching and literature of the last generation, or century; and as a result of the need felt both by the hearts and intellects of the nation for a deeper philosophy; and as the evidence and partial fulfillment of that need, to which even the leading authors of the generation then bore witness. First, I mentioned the literary influence of Walter Scott, who turned men's minds towards the Middle Ages... He then mentioned Coleridge, who 'estimated his age and managed to interest his genius in the cause of Catholic truth. '; Southey's fiction; and Wordsworth's Philosophical Meditation. Thus, he anticipates Mill on Wordsworth's culture of feelings and the role attributed to imaginative literature by Matthew Arnold. A central passage of the Apology is from 'Position of My Mind Since 1845': Considering the world in its length and breadth, its various histories, the many human races, their beginnings, their fortunes, their mutual alienation, their conflicts; and then their ways, habits, governments, forms of worship; its undertakings, its aimless courses, its haphazard conquests and acquisitions, the helpless completion of long-standing facts, the signs so faint and broken, of a superintendent project, the blind evolution of what becomes great powers or truth, the progress of things, as of irrational elements, not to final causes, man's greatness and smallness, his long-range aims, his short duration, the curtain drawn over his futurity, life's disappointments, the defeat of good, success of evil, physical pain, mental anguish, the prevalence and intensity of sin, the pervading idolatries, the corruptions, the sad hopeless irreligion, that condition of the whole race, so terrible, but exactly described in the words of the Apostle, 'no having hope and without God in the world, all this is a vision of vertigo and horror; and it inflicts upon the mind a sense of a profound mystery which is utterly beyond human solution. What is to be said about this heart-breaking and reason-baffling fact? I can only reply that either there is no Creator, or this living society of men is, in a true sense, excluded from His presence... And so I argue about the world - if there is a God, since there is a God, the race humanity is involved in some terrible aboriginal calamity. It is beyond the purposes of its Creator. This is a fact, a fact as true to me as the fact of your existence; and thus the doctrine of what is theologically called original sin becomes to me almost as certain as that of the world [p. 259] exists, and as the existence of God... Supposing then that it is the Will of the Creator to interfere in human affairs, and to take steps to retain in the world a knowledge of Himself so definite and distinct as to be proof against the energy of human skepticism... The latter is the argument that leads him to believe in the authority of the teaching of the Catholic Church.

Charles Darwin In The Voyage of the Beagle (1845), Charles Darwin (1809-82) relates his experience as a ship's naturalist on an expedition to South America in 1831-6. Like poets from Wordsworth to Thomas Hardy, he felt "superior to ordinary men in perceiving things that easily escape notice, and in observing them carefully." The observation led to the theory systematically demonstrated in On the Origin of Species (1859), that species evolve by retaining the characteristics of their most successful members. The Descent of Man (1871) gathered new evidence for the old idea that humans descended from apes; Darwin wrote cautiously, but it had a great effect. Geology had shown that the Earth was millions of years old. 'Higher Criticism', as it was called to distinguish it from textual criticism, doubted the historical basis of supernatural events in scripture. Geology, evolution, and scientific history combined to show that the Bible was not scientific history. Many British Protestants had an empirical model of truth and an implicit faith in the literal truth of the Bible. These two simple notions were now in conflict. If the Creation account in Genesis were neither scientific nor historical, could it be true? If not, was the New Testament true? Evolution challenged Christian ideas about the origin and end of humanity. Some, like Tennyson, modified their belief in the existence of God and the special destiny of mankind. Others, like Thomas Hardy, felt cheated. Darwin was not a social critic, but his work had a lot of influence, clearly seen in George Eliot's novels.

Matthew Arnold The last central Victorian thinker is Matthew Arnold (1822-1888), son of Dr. Thomas Arnold, the Rugby School's Reforming Principal. Matthew had his father's sense of duty, but he chose to conduct his own mission to educate the middle class in a colder tone, more French than British, or - to adopt the terms of Culture and Anarchy - more Hellenic than Hebrew. He diverted his talents from poetry writing to emphasize the value of European and biblical literature. Arnold's prose is, with Newman's, among the most persuasive of Victorian writings. Arnold writes like a man of the world and not like a prophet; a critic, not a sage. Using this urbane manner, he traveled the provinces for thirty-five years as Inspector of Schools. But the smiling speaker had a serious concern: he saw a new ruling class obsessed with profit, use and morality, unnoticed by ugliness, untouched by big ideas or good ideals. In his polemic Culture and Anarchy, he dismisses aristocracy as

Matthew Arnold (1822-88) The Strayed Reveler and Other Poems (1849), Empedocles on Etna (1852), Essays in Criticism (1865, 1868), Schools and Universities on the Continent (1868), On the Study of Celtic Literature ( 1867), Cultura e Anarquia (1869), Guirlanda da Amizade (1871), Literatura e Dogma (1873).

Barbarians, and derides the middle class as Philistines - a name offensive to the Puritan belief in the English as a chosen race. His terms “culture” and “philistine” gained lasting currency. His literary criticism will be mentioned later, but his prediction that the consolations of religion would in the future be furnished by poetry [p 260] deserves final mention in an account of the Victorian sages. His successor, Walter Pater (1839-94), discussed in Chapter 11, was a critic not of society but of art, letters and individual life.

Leitura adicional Holloway, J. The Victorian Sage: Studies in Argument (Londres: Macmillan, 1953). Houghton, W. E. The Victorian Frame of Mind: 1830-1870 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1957). Young, G. M. Victorian England: Portrait of an Age (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1936; edição anotada por G. K. Clark, Oxford: Oxford University Press 1977).

[p. 261]

9. Poetry Overview This survey of Victorian poetry up to 1880 is restricted to the major figures listed below, ignoring considerable minor poets such as Emily Brontë, William Barnes, Edward Fitzgerald, William Morris, George Meredith, Coventry Patmore and C. S. Calverley . The copious variety of Victorian verse is well exemplified in the anthologies listed under 'Further Reading' (page 271). Although Victorian verse is largely post-Romantic, giving new inflections to the personal, subjective, emotional, and idealistic impulses of the Romantics, it is more varied than this suggests. Expressive and plaintive, it is also descriptive of nature and domestic and urban life. He often dramatizes figures from history, legend, and literature. Browning, Clough, and Hopkins suggest an idiosyncrasy of subject, language, and meter equally pronounced in less serious and less important poets.

Contents Victorian Romantic Poetry Minor Verse John Clare Alfred Tennyson Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning Matthew Arnold Arthur Hugh Clough Dante Gabriel and Christina Rossetti Algernon Charles Swinburne Gerard Hopkins Further Reading

Victorian romantic poetry Small verse John Clare From the minor verse between Byron and Tennyson we admire the best of Walter Savage Landor, George Darley and Thomas Lovell Beddoes and can respond to the sentimental lyrics of Tom Moore and Mrs Felicia Hemans, but the poetry of John Clare ( 17931864) has value as a whole. His Descriptive Poems of Rural Life and Scenery (1820) and later volumes are a faithful account of ancient rural life. Clare, a farmhand, describes in a simpler voice than Crabbe and in more detail than Wordsworth: 'I husked pieces of straw and got switches too.' His innocence is seen in 'I Am'. Upset about moving from his home village in Northamptonshire, Clare spent decades in nursing homes. If Wordsworth clothed Nature with piety and philosophy, the things described by his successors are more present in reality to imaginary sight and touch than those in

Poetas Alfred, Lord Tennyson (180992) Elizabeth Barrett (1806-61) Robert Browning (1812-89) Matthew Arnold (1822-88) Arthur Hugh Clough (1819-61) Dante Gabriel Rossetti (182882) Christina Rossetti (1830-94) Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909) Pe. Gerard Hopkins (1844-89)

[p. 262] his own memories. Natural detail comes to play an authenticating role in many poems by Alfred Tennyson, Robert Browning, Gerard Hopkins, Thomas Hardy and Edward Thomas. Thanks to the advancement of the natural sciences, particularity has increased; but Tennyson also had the power 'to create scenes, in accordance with some state of human feeling so suited to him as to become the embodied symbol of it'. Thus, J. S. Mill wrote about Tennyson's early poems, Mariana and The Lady of Shallott.

Alfred Tennyson Alfred Tennyson (1809-92) succeeded Wordsworth as Poet Laureate in 1850. He became almost universally popular, and when he died in 1892 he was lamented as "the voice of England". The Queen Dowager liked him to read Maud to her, and he wrote such great public poems as 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' and 'Ode on the Death of the Duke of Wellington'. On an Edison recording of the former, he can be heard "choking off his o's and a's" – his description of himself reading Morte d'Arthur. It fits in such ringing lines as: And slowly answered Arthur from the barge Morte d'Arthur The pits of doves in timeless elms, And the murmur of countless bees 'Down, O Maiden' The long day wanes; the slow moon rises; the deep moans circulate with many voices. Iysses Tennyson hailed Virgil as "manipulator of the most imposing measure fashioned by the lips of man." His own orchestral musicianship was admired by later writers, although they mocked him. James Joyce called him 'Alfred Lawn Tennyson'. Tennyson is the central poet of the 19th century. Eliot did not join the modernist reaction against Tennyson, but W. H. Auden considered him "the most stupid of our poets" (if with "the best ear"); Auden recoiled from his familiar mindset. Tennyson was more ruminative than intelligent, but he was versed in science and religion, and In Memoriam A. H. H. dramatizes the struggle between Faith and Doubt better than any other work. Tennyson has subjugated everything to his craft, and ideas are often set to music in verse by him. His main interest was feelings, as in this Song of The Princess: Tears, idle tears, I don't know what they mean, Tears in the face of the depth of some divine despair.

Raise your heart and bring your eyes together, As you gaze upon the happy fields of autumn, And think of the days that are no more. "These lines," said Tennyson, "came to me on the yellowing tide of autumn at Tintern Abbey, full for me of their past memories." (Tintern is on the Wye, a tributary of the Severn, on whose shore his friend Arthur Hallam was buried.) The poems echo with voices and memories. Tennyson created landscapes and inscribed emotions in real landscapes. He was the sixth of twelve children of the Rector of Somersby, Lincolnshire. The disinherited eldest son of a farmer, the dean was a reluctant clergyman. Melancholy, drunkenness, violence, opium and madness visited the Rectory, but it [p. 263]

Alfred Tennyson, aged about 30, an engraving after an oil painting by Samuel Laurence, 1838.

produced three poets among his children. Alfred, taught Greek by his father, imagined Troy on a North Sea beach: 'Here often, as a child, I lay reclined; And here the Greek ships seemed to be.” At Cambridge, Alfred became friends with the brilliant Arthur Hallam, eldest son of Henry Hallam, a historian who predeceased all of his twelve children. Arthur, who had published theology and literary criticism and was to marry Tennyson's sister, died of a cerebral haemorrhage aged 22. This event darkened Tennyson's life. Rejected by his first love for a richer suitor, the poet moved away, staying with friends, writing: ... for the restless heart and brain The use of measured language is; The sad mechanical exercise, Like narcotic numbing, numbing pain. He married late and lived in the country, on the Isle of Wight and in Surrey. After Poems, Mainly Lyrics (1830), collections came every few years, mostly in 1832 and 1842. Larger works include In Memoriam (1850); Maud (1855), Enoch Arden (1864) and The King's Arthurian Idylls (1859-88). Critical opinion is divided on the long poems, except In Memoriam. This elegy for Hallam, expressing agonizing doubts about Christianity and human destiny, is the most moving English poem of its length. Its 132 letters, all in the same stanza, were not written as a sequence, but finally arranged to span three natals. The keynote is pure loss: Old Yew, which clings to the stones That name the underlying dead, Your fibers entangle the dreamless head, Your roots envelop the bones...


Dark house, beside which I once again stand Here in the long nasty street, Doors, where my heart used to beat So fast, waiting for a hand...


[p. 264] ... My Arthur, whom I shall not see Till all my line of widows be executed;

Dear as a mother to her child, More than my brothers are to me.


The loss becomes widespread: ... Behold, we know nothing; I can only trust that good will fall Finally - far - finally, for everyone, And every winter will turn to spring. So runs my dream; but what am i? A child crying at night; A child crying for the light, And no language but a cry.


Are then God and Nature in conflict, That Nature lends such evil dreams? So careful of the type she looks, So careless of the single life...


The man, his last work, who looked so handsome, So splendid purpose in his eyes, Who rolled the psalm to the wintry skies, Who built himself fans of fruitless prayers,


Who trusted in God was love indeed And love the final law of Creation - Though Nature, red with teeth and claws With ravine, cried out against their creed -...


There rolls the bottom where the tree grew. O earth, what changes have you seen! There, where the long street roars, the stillness of the central sea bathes.


Tennyson was the first poet to accept geological time and evolution. In Memoriam rises slowly, groaning, towards a hard-won Christian faith. He dramatizes inner feelings and projects them into an outer world of landscape, space and time. Remarkable lyrics of natural symbolism act as emotional turning points on the journey to the third Christmas: 'Calm is the soundless morning'; 'Tonight the winds begin to pick up'; ‘Witch elms that change the ground’; 'The time of the birth of Christ is approaching'; 'Ring, wild bells, to the wild sky'; "Now the last long strip of snow disappears." The cycle produces its effect as much through repetition as through arrangement. Its composer's gift was for music, scene and soliloquy rather than narrative or architecture. Like Wordsworth before him and Hardy and Eliot after him, he "sees for glimpses" and "remembers." His best work is from the first half of his career, but he kept his lyrical gift. The Romantics had turned poetry toward autobiography, real, feigned, or disguised. Victorians often avoided self-disclosure by using a first-person, historical, legendary, or invented speaker. Tennyson's best poems outside of In Memoriam include dramatic monologues like Ulysses and Tithonus. Without context, the monologue is open to multiple interpretations. In Ulysses, Odysseus plans one last voyage to the western ocean; he hopes, if he dies, 'to see the great Achilles, whom we [p. 265] knew’. Tennyson said the poem expressed his own "need to move on and face the struggle of life" after Hallam's death; the need can be felt more than the courage. The ghosts of Homer, Virgil, Shakespeare and Milton speak in the rhythms and phrases of Ulysses. Tennyson was steeped in the classic and, more than any predecessor, also in the entire English poetic tradition. As a student he had translated some of Beowulf, the first English poet to do so. He chose the lines in which Beowulf "unlocked his treasure of words". Tithonus, like Tiresias, The Lotos-Faters and other poems written after 1833, yearns for death. Its speaker was loved by the goddess Aurora (Dawn), who gave him eternal life, but not eternal youth. Nothing is more Tennysonian than the opening: The forest decays, the forest decays and falls, The vapors cry their burden to the ground, Man comes and tills the field and lies below, And after many summers the swan dies. Only cruel immortality consumes me; I wither slowly in your arms...

Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning When, in 1846, Robert Browning (1812-89) secretly married Elizabeth Barren (1806-61), she was the most popular poet. Only after her death in 1861, when he returned to England from Italy, did her reputation eclipse hers. His Portuguese sonnets (not translations, but his own love poems) were much admired – ‘Como eu te amo? Let me count the paths, but right now they seem too declamatory. The more serious reaches of his verse novel Aurora Leigh make for better reading.

Browning lacks the beauty of verse and language of Tennyson, but the poets apply the Romantic legacy in ways that can be compared. After his opening verse was criticized as being self-obsessed, Browning chose not to wear his heart on his sleeve. Turning abroad, he wrote a series of unsuccessful plays - melodramatic acting vehicles - then returned to dramatic monologue. Whereas Tennyson spoke indirectly through classical myth and literary legend, Browning's speakers are, or seem, historical. He had read a lot of out-of-the-ordinary Renaissance history, as demonstrated in the novel Sordello. He perfected the monologue in 'My Last Duchess': the speaking Duke had his last wife killed because she smiled at everyone. Browning develops the form further in Men and Women (1855), Dramatis Personae (1864), and others. 'The Bishop Orders his Tomb', a compact and energetic tale, is a good representative of the form. Browning's artists, humanists, and clergymen, ancient and modern, speak as compulsively as Coleridge's Ancient Mariner. Like the characters in Ben Jonson's "humor" comedy, they sacrifice proportion, humanity, and morality to an overriding passion. Spirit and willpower may seem self-righteous in these confessions, as the author offers no context or judgment. However, in Browning, as in Dickens, the allure of selfishness must be read against a humane, non-dogmatic Christianity. When authorial judgment is explicit, as in 'The Lost Leader', 'Prospice' and the Asolando Epilogue, Browning's attitudes are strong, even rude. Browning needed his masks. He insisted that his poems were dramatic, not personal, as Tennyson and Hardy had. Modern speakers are often lovers, dissatisfied, possessive or obsessive. 'Porphyria's Lover' talks about strangling Porphyria with her own hair, ending with 'And still God didn't say a word.' The grotesque fascinates Browning, who rarely satisfies the [p. 266] curiosity he arouses. But he didn't want to satisfy: 'A man's reach must exceed his reach / Else what good is a paradise?' ('Andrea del Sarto'). His later years produced The Ring and the Book, a romance in verse of monologues about a 17th-century Roman murder, in which twelve participants recount what happened. This use of separate perspectives, found in the early epistolary novel, became a formal principle in the work of Browning's admirer, the American novelist Henry James. It remains a detective story formula. Browning had a novelist's fascination with the inscrutability of motives and the unpredictability of their combined effects. The monologue was a gift to Thomas Hardy, Rudyard Kipling, Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot. In its master's hands, however, the monologue offers the allure of a feat or puzzle. Like many 19th-century musical virtuosos, for example Abbot Liszt, Browning likes to draw attention to his own skill, and manner trumps importance. “Does Irks care about the bird full of mutton?” asks the speaker of “Rabbi Ben Ezra”: “Does Frets doubt the beast full of jaws?” Browning's striking talent is best utilized in short poems such as 'Home-Thoughts from Abroad', 'Meeting at Night' and 'Parting at Morning', and in some of his modern love poems such as 'Two in the Campagna', ending: No. I kiss her cheek, take the warmth of her soul - I pluck the rose and love her more than tongue can speak - then the good minute is gone. How am I so far from that minute already? Shall I go Still like the ball of thistle, without bar, Onward, whenever light wind blows, Fixed by no friendly star? Just when I looked like I was about to learn? Where is the thread now? Off again! The old trick! Only I discern - Infinite passion and pain Of finite hearts that yearn. This was a gift he did not lose on his wife's death, as many later poems testify, including one, 'Inapprehensiveness', from 1889, his last year.

Matthew Arnold's English romantic poetry was not always romantic. Keats was the first to strongly associate romantic longing with love, the ideal of post-romantic life and literature. The only Victorian poem both great and perfect - as Matthew Arnold's "Dover Beach" was called - opens with Nature: The sea is calm tonight. The tide is full, the moon is beautiful On the straights - on the French coast the light Shines and goes; the cliffs of England rise Bright and wide in the quiet bay. Come to the window, sweet is the night air! The second subject, Amor, returns in the final verse-paragraph: ‘Ah, love, let us be

[p. 267] true/to each other!” But nature and love, beauty and passion are not at the heart of the poem. There is a new reason why lovers should be faithful to each other: for the world that seems to lie before us like a dreamland, so varied, so beautiful, so new, really has neither joy nor love nor light. , Neither certainty, nor peace, nor help for pain; And we are here as on a dismal plain Swept with confused alarms of fight and flight, Where ignorant armies clash in the night. From this island once brilliantly surrounded by the "Sea of ​​Faith", Arnold can "only hear its long, distant, melancholy roar". He had come from his father's Rugby School to an Oxford torn between Tractarianism and Liberalism, and from his father's Liberal Broad Church faith to realize that the Bible was only partly historical. A. H. Clough, Arnold's friend and his father's prize pupil, resigned his scholarship in 1848, unable to sign the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England. This crisis of faith in Christianity gave Arnold a strong sense of human isolation, expressed in the poetry of his earlier career. “I have less poetic feeling than Tennyson,” he would write to his mother, “and less intellectual vigor and abundance than Browning; yet, because I have perhaps more fusion of the two than either of them, and have more regularly applied that fusion to the mainstream of modern development, I am likely to have my turn.' Arnold's self-analysis is clear. sighted, as is his prediction that 'the movement of the mind' would bring him readers. His diagnosis of the moral ills of modern life is sound, but he also found that his poems lack the tonic effect of true tragic poetry. They are intensely sad, while his later prose, forging new roles for literature and religion in society, sparkles with humor. Arnold's best poetry is personal, a category which in his case includes intellectual autobiography ('Stanzas from the Grande Chartreuse' and 'The Buried Life') and poems for other writers, as well as the love poems for Marguerite and the academic pastorals. , The Scholar Gypsy and Thyrsis. In all these poems, earth, water and sky lend symbolic power and poignancy. His literary criticism is impersonal, "looking at life firmly and seeing it as a whole", applying the moral and intellectual criterion of "high seriousness", stating that great literature is "a critique of life", and briefly citing to show what is classic. Arnold's poetic critique was not improved, not even by Eliot, who borrowed heavily from him. His mastery of classical, European, English and biblical literature shows the quality of Victorian high culture. Scholarly critics like W. P. Ker or Eric Auerbach may match his knowledge, but they don't cite as revealingly. His own poetry meets the tests he has set, but its style and pace can seem too studied. Here is the conclusion of the Thyrsis pastoral elegy: Very rare, very rare, grow now my visits here! 'Noise from the middle of the city, no, as with you of old, Thyrsis! within reach of the bells of the sheep is my house. - So, through the harsh and tiring roar of the great city, Let in your voice a whisper often come, To chase fatigue and fear: Why do you faint? I roam till I die, Roam! The light we seek is still shining. Do you ask for proof? Our tree still crowns the hill, Our Scholar still travels the beloved hillside. [p. 268]

Arthur Hugh Clough 'Thyrsis' is Arthur Hugh Clough (1819-61). Clough's Squibs are often cited to illustrate Victorian doubt, but his long poems now command our attention. In Amours de Voyage and Dipsychus, his frankness, irony, texture of conversation and play of humor seem very modern. His most perfect work is the early verse novel, The Bothie of Tober-na-Vuolich, an animated mock epic novel, in Homeric hexameters, of the adventures of a "reading party" of Oxford men in the Highlands.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Christina Rossetti In 1848, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, the son of an Italian political refugee, founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, a group of young artists, including John Millais and Holman Hunt, committed to an anti-academic realism, a simple straightforwardness not modified by classical and therefore 'medieval' norms. The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood lasted for five years, but Rossetti later worked with or close to William Morris, Ford Madox Brown and Edward Burne-Jones. J. M. Whistler and A. C. Swinburne stayed with him at Chelsea. Rossetti's often unfinished paintings and irregular poems have a deliberate emotional intensity. An admirer of Keats, he wrote at the age of eighteen 'The Blessed Damozel', in which a beauty 'leaned / From the golden bar of heaven', longing to be reunited with her earthly lover. The poem mixes sensuality with spiritual imagery; the Damozel bows "until her bosom shall have warmed / The bar of heaven". Rossetti's symbolism and his association of erotic love with death anticipate Aestheticism and Decadence. When his wife, a former model, committed suicide, he buried with her a book of poems that he later exhumed. His bohemian lifestyle caused a scandal, and his verse was attacked in a pamphlet, The Fleshly School of Poetry.

His sister Christina Rossetti (1830-94) held a pre-Raphaelite truth to nature,

'Buy from us with a golden curl': the frontispiece to a volume of Christina Rossetti's verse, Goblin Market (1862), published by Morris, Marshall, Faulkner and Co. Dante Gabriel Rossetti's illustration is based on a line from the title poem.

[p. 269] with bright colors and clear edges. A devout Anglo-Catholic, she renounced two engagements for religious reasons, took care of her family and wrote poetry. For ten years she did volunteer work to help former prostitutes. Her poem 'In An Artist's Studio' reflects on her brother's doomed world: 'A face looks out from all her canvases,/ The same figure sits, walks or stoops... Not as she is, but was when hope shone;/ Not as it is, but as it fills his dream.” Songs like “When I Die, My Darling,” “My Heart Is Like a Singing Bird,” and “Does the Road Wind Uphill All the Time?” her beautiful lyrical gift - the best English poet, thought Virginia Woolf. Delicacy and a pale fantasy are her hallmarks, and she has written well for children, though 'An Apple-Gathering' is more than girly. Her masterpiece, Goblin Market, is a fairy tale richly laden with forbidden fruit, of two sisters, of innocence lost and redeemed. Her adult themes, close to her brother's, are handled with tact and discipline beyond him, and a sensual verbal and rhythmic energy.

Algernon Charles Swinburne Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909) was an anti-Victorian immoralist; he referred to Tennyson's Morte d'Arthur as the Morte d'Albert. A libertarian aristocrat and lover of Greek lyric poetry, he followed Shelley and Landor. Victorian strictness produced an extreme reaction in him. Swinburne was a hedonist, a literary aesthete and an expert on Greek impropriety, favoring ecstatic Greek cults over the "pale Galilean", Jesus Christ. Metrically, he was a virtuoso, and his songs and ballads were in vogue in the 1860s, but their appeal lay in their reversal of respectability and moral "uplifting." In it, the Victorian cult of the dead takes on a post-erotic tone. To sing, under appropriate circumstances, the chants by which he is represented in anthologies, 'When the hounds of spring are on winter's trail' and 'I will return to the great sweet mother' and 'The Garden of Proserpine', can be fun. But rereading shows them to be vague in meaning, passionate in their own way and designed to induce sentimental despair. His versions of the 15th-century criminal poet Villon lasted longer. The original's octosyllabic lines impede the translator's fluency, fatally evident in his elegy for his idol, the French poet Charles Baudelaire (182167). Masochism and alcohol led to Swinburne's breakdown. In his last thirty years, under voluntary restraint, he poured out verse, plays, pornography, prejudiced literary criticism, and an odd romance. “We poets in our youth begin with joy,” wrote Wordsworth, “but in the end comes discouragement and madness.” The Swinburne heirs rose and fell in the 1890s.

Gerard Hopkins The poetry of Gerard Hopkins (1844-89) - he disliked his middle name, Manley - was first published by his friend Robert Bridges in 1918. Converted to Oxford (and cut by his family), Hopkins was received into the Catholic Church by J. H. Newman, and entered the Society of Jesus in 1868. Courageous, sensitive, often ill, he worked in industrial parishes, then as a conscientious professor of Greek at University College, Dublin, dying of typhoid fever. Hopkins set aside his first lines, but in 1877 a chance remark from his dean led him to write The Wreck of the Deutschland and submit it to a Jesuit journal. He was rejected. Hopkins subsequently thought the Society might consider [p. 270]

Gerard Hopkins SJ (1844-89). A late photograph.

poetry as incompatible with his profession. He privately exchanged poems with Robert Bridges and R. W. Dixon; his were extremely unconventional in style. Even in the 1930s they looked experimental and modern - The Wreck of the Deutschland begins The Faber Book of Modern Verse (1936) - and were imitated. The shock has passed, the astonishing achievement remains. “A horrible thing happened to me”, wrote Hopkins in 1864, “I began to doubt Tennyson”. His instinct, he said, was to "admire and do otherwise." Hopkins avoided smooth movements and harmony of language to make the reader see and think. He believed with Coleridge that Nature is "the language thy God speaks." His tutor at Balliol, Walter Pater, would have encouraged a scrupulous articulation of moments of perception. Hopkins further believed that the Incarnation meant that "the world is charged with the greatness of God", and he therefore tried to capture the individuality of each created thing in corresponding words. To do this in an age slipping into what Blake called "Newton's single vision and sleep," he had to awaken the forces of language - spring in rhythm, apprehension in syntax, rapidity in diction - to sharpen his grasp of reality. God creating nature is his first theme, as in 'Hurrahing in Harvest': summer ends now; now, of barbarous beauty, the splinters rise Around; up there, what walks in the wind! what lovely behavior Of silk sack clouds! has the wildest and most obstinate drift of flour ever molded and melted into the skies? I walk, I rise, I lift heart, eyes, I descend all that glory in the heavens to glean our Saviour: And eyes, heart, what looks, what lips still gave you a rapturous love greeting of more real answers, of rounder answers? Flour from cloud fragments is collected for a response to the priest's high heart. The mysticism of nature becomes almost eucharistic. This transformative intensity is such that the alliteration in mold and melting and in glory and shine, and the extraordinary rhyme in Saviour, seem functional. He was into 'original, counter, spare, weird' stuff, but his idiosyncrasy never became predictable. Your diamond condensation

[p. 271] makes Browning look like an old sailor. Pascal's apology for writing a long letter because he didn't have time to write a short one is not necessary for Hopkins' poetry. Only four of his fifty-three complete poems are longer than two pages, and few of them are less intense. Even the musical 'Binsey Poplars felled 1879' ends with significant discord in 'unselve'. He has a higher proportion of outstanding poems than any contemporary; he must rank himself as a poet with Tennyson and Browning. Hopkins began his adult writing with the words 'Thou dominating me/God!' The sinking of the Deutschland to the happy memory of five Franciscan nuns exiled by the Falck Laws drowned between midnight and morning of December 7, 1875 is a terrifying work. His often lyrical vision of the world as the embodiment of divine glory includes tragedy and suffering at its center. His ecstatic vision 'The Windhover' ends: 'and embers blue and desolate, ah, my dear,/Fall down and smite and cut gold-vermilion'. bitterly with God and with despair. 'There is no worse, there is none' is out of the world of King Lear. 'I wake up and feel the darkness fall, not the day' is a Christian nightmare. It is wrong, however, to view these anguished poems outside of a tradition of spiritual conflict that goes back to the Old Testament's Book of Job. Hopkins' range isn't wide, but he touches both the depths and the heights.

Further Reading Armstrong, I. Victorian Poetry, Poetics and Politics (London: Routledge, 1993). Richards, B. (ed.). English verse, 1830-1890 (Harlow: Longman, 1980). An annotated anthology. Ricks, C. (ed.). The New Oxford Book of Victorian Verse (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990). A fresh new selection.

[p. 272]

10. Fiction Overview The super-productive Dickens is the dominant figure of the Victorian novel, combining elements of the Gothic - a genre made serious by the Brontë sisters - with a remarkably imaginative account of the social institutions of Victorian London. The mood of his novels owes much to the popular stage and melodrama, though the language and character creation are his own. His rival, Thackeray, is represented here by Vanity Fair. A less theatrical realism emerges with Mrs. Gaskell and Trollope, and with the historian of imperfect lives in their fullest social settings, George Eliot.

The Triumph of the Novel

Contents The Triumph of Romance Two Novels by Brontë Jane Eyre Wuthering Heights Elizabeth Gaskell Charles Dickens The Pickwick Papers David Copperfield Bleak House Our Mutual Friend Great Expectations 'The Inimitable' William Makepeace Thackeray Vanity Fair Anthony Trollope George Eliot Adam Bede The Mill on the floss Silas Marner Middlerarch Daniel Deronda Nonsense Prose and Verse Lewis Carroll Edward Lear Further Reading

Modern images of nineteenth-century English life owe much to novels and versions of novels. By 1850, fiction had pushed aside the theater, its old rival as the leading form of literary entertainment. As with Renaissance drama, it took intellectuals some time to realize that a popular form could be quite significant. Human beings have always told stories, but they have not always read the long prose narratives of the type known as novels. The reign of the novel now lasts so long that novelists seem natural. There were follies from Bulwer Lytton (1803-73) to Gothic romance and Scott's fiction, but it was Benjamin Disraeli (1804-81) only in the 1840s, with Charles Dickens, that Mrs. Gaskell (1810-65) the novel again achieved the popularity that William Makepeace Thackeray enjoyed in the 1740s. Between 1847 and 1850 (1811-63) appeared Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Vanity Charles Dickens (1812-70) Fair and David Copperfield . In 1860 Dickens was Anthony Trollope (1815-82) still in his prime, Mrs. Gaskell and Trollope were going strong and George Eliot had Charlotte Brontë (1816-55) begin publishing. Poetry was popular, but prose was more popular. The popularity of the broadly realistic novels of Emily Brontë (1818-48) seems to go hand in hand with the broadening of the base of middle-class democracy. George Eliot (1819-88) For the sake of clarity, this cornucopia of fiction is treated author by author, at the expense of chronology, interrelationship, context. Dickens coincidentally published his first novel in the year of Victoria's accession. Although the Brontë sisters wrote ten years later, they are treated here first, not in chronological order. His novels are closer to the genres of romantic poetry than the realism of the conventional novel; fantasy and family are more relevant to his work than national currents [p. 273] history. This also allows Ms. Gaskell, Dickens and Thackeray, who are closer to historical developments, are seen together.

Two Brontë Novels Jane Eyre Elizabeth Gaskell’s Life of Charlotte Brontë (1857) tells the story of this family of squalor and splendor, reflecting on squalor. The older sister, entrepreneur, editor, and survivor, impressed first, and her Jane Eyre is a first-person autobiography of emotive, narrative, and sometimes mythical power. The orphaned heroine suffers, is judged many times and triumphs. We must feel for her and with her; insofar as we are asked to judge, it does right. She opposes the abuse of authority, whether by an aunt, a clergyman, an employer, or an admirer. She puts conscience before love, refusing to become Rochester's mistress and refusing marriage to a clergyman less interested in her than in supporting her mission. She returns to Rochester now free to marry and in need. Jane deserves her ultimate happiness, while the brave young protagonists who succeed in Dickens's novels are as lucky as they are good. Jane's righteousness is sometimes reminiscent of that in Jane Austen's teenage parody of Mrs. Radcliffe, Love and Friendship. Some readers suspect that Jane is used by her creator as a fantasy vehicle; others enjoy the trip. Matthew Arnold wrote that Charlotte's mind contained "nothing but hunger, rebellion and rage", a view which suggests that the book's psychology is at odds with its external Christianity - an accusation which has also been leveled against Richardson's Pamela; or Virtue Rewarded (1740), in which a poor girl also marries a gentleman. Jane Eyre works as much for her atmospheric writing as it does for her morals.

Charlotte Brontë (1816-55) and Emily Brontë (1818-48) were daughters of the Rev. Patrick Brunty, an Irishman. With their mother's death, they went to a school for clergy daughters, returning after an illness interrupted the lives of two older sisters. They were educated at home, the parsonage of Haworth, a village on the Yorkshire moors, with their sister Anne (1820-1849) and brother Branwell. As teenagers, they wrote fantasies set in the worlds of Gondal and Angria. The girls taught, acted as governesses, and wrote. Charlotte: Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell (ed., 1846); Jane Eyre (1847), Shirley (1849), Villette (1853), The Professor (1857). Emily: Wuthering Heights (1847). Anne: Agnes Gray (1847), The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848). Branwell drank himself to death. Charlotte was married, dying a few months later while pregnant. Patrick survived.

The Brontë Sisters, by their brother Branwell Brontë, c.1834. Oil on canvas, then heavily folded. From left to right: Anne, Emily, Charlotte.

[p. 274] urgency of his narration. The Brontës are the first novelists, or writers of novels, to endow the landscape with Wordsworth's sensibility and weight of meaning. Jane Eyre uses the description with a new symbolic suggestion and delicacy, as in the description of the horse chestnut tree in Rochester park and the red room in Aunt Reed's house. The nightmare red room signals the Gothic key to a work that is guided by the stars of passion, ordeal and trauma. Jane's 'master', his crazy Creole wife locked in the attic, the thwarted bigamy, Jane's surprise legacy, the telepathic call across the swamp and the burning hall, are all machines of the Gothic novel, a genre the Brontës adopted in the childhood. . For some readers, these archetypes are novel-appropriate and psychologically powerful. Gothic deals with fantasy, which can be used playfully, as by Horace Walpole, or intellectually, as by Mary Shelley. If her conventions are taken seriously, she can only escape the absurd by avoiding the cliché. The seriousness of Charlotte Brontë's effort to define emotional integrity is compromised by a Gothic tradition degraded in its common devices and its common responses. . The untransmuted archetype and autobiography also appear in later, more realistic novels. Of these, Villette is the best, although the reformer Harriet Martineau found him too preoccupied with "the need to be loved". Anne Brontë's Wildfell Hall Tenant successfully combines realism and the Gothic. In the Brontë family, real life was gothic.

Wuthering Heights Those who come to Emily Brontë's Wnthering Heights, having seen a film version, are shocked by the complexity of a narration that even seasoned admirers find puzzling. That this is no simple first-person love story is clear from the opening comedy of errors, in which Lockwood's attempts to interpret his northern lordship's elfin' house by the gentle conventions of southern England prove woefully off target. : Heathcliff's home, Wuthering Heights, is a demon menagerie. The romantic habit of adopting the narrator's point of view gets a jab in the rabbit. Confused Lockwood is placed in a bedroom with a bed in the closet; in a nightmare, Cathy's spirit tries to get in through the window. He 'pulled his wrist to the broken glass and rubbed it back and forth until the blood oozed out and soaked the bedclothes; he still wailed, "Let me in!" Emotional extremity also characterizes Emily's eerie poems, published by Charlotte as standalone lyrics but originally composed for characters in the 'Gondal' saga of her childhood. At the end of Wuthering Heights Lockwood is in the graveyard where Cathy is buried between Linton and Heathcliff: the one half gray and half buried in the moor: Edgar Linton's harmonized only by grass and moss creeping up his foot: Heathcliff's still naked . I lingered around them, under that benign sky; he watched the moths flitting along the moor and the bluebells, listened to the gentle wind blowing through the grass, and wondered how anyone could imagine a restless sleep for those who slept in that quiet land. The attention to the word "swamp" here suggests that Lockwood does not yet understand what he sees.

Some of Housekeeper Nelly Dean's middle narration is not as believable as Lockwood's. It unfolds a three-generation tale of two families whose relations are torn apart by the "proper" but fatal marriage of Catherine Earnshaw of Wuthering Heights to Edgar Linton of Thrushcross Grange. An opposition between wild passion [p. 275] and civil kindness is found in the names of houses and their owners (Earnshaw is Old Norse for Eagleswood). The passion of Catherine and her adopted brother, the orphan Heathcliff (a significantly unchristian name), is more of an elemental affinity than a romantic sexual love. As children they play together on the moor in a poetic landscape more firmly envisioned than any before Thomas Hardy. Catherine likens her love for Heathcliff to "the eternal rocks below", telling the governess, "Nelly, I am Heathcliff!" Farm. But his long revenge sours, and he starves to be reunited with Catherine - underground! The saga ends in a loving marriage between the next generation families, thwarting Heathcliff's will. Heathcliff's hatred dies with him, but the madness and cruelty of the book, though carefully unendorsed by the author, remain disturbing. Despite Heathcliff's wolf teeth, Emily's writing is not trite, and she transmutes the grotesqueness of her Gothic materials much better than Charlotte. Her complex narrative is filtered through multiple points of view and timeframes, and her attitudes remain inscrutable. In its combination of ferocity, imagination, perspective and control, Wuthering Heights is unique.

Elizabeth Gaskell It is convenient, if chronological, to take Charlotte's next biographer, Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-65), wife of a Manchester Unitarian minister and mother of a large family, who began at thirty-seven to write Mary Barton: The Manchester's Tale of Life (1848). Dickens then secured it for his magazines. Her work has the virtues of 19th-century realistic fiction by Jane Austen and Anthony Trollope. Cranford (1853), set among the ladies of a small town near Manchester, is small, well observed, delicately penetrating. Seemingly his least serious book, its deserved popularity may diminish ideas of its true merit. His most distinguished book is Wives and Daughters (1866), still unfinished, which anticipates George Eliot in its constantly constructed exploration of family and provincial life shaped by historical contingencies that are less obviously thematic than Ruth's (1853). , about a seduced milliner, and North and South (1855). An age at which Mrs. Gaskell is in the background is healthy.

Charles Dickens The bubble of reputation that hangs over writers seems to be more volatile for novelists and playwrights than for poets. Lord Lytton, Harrison Ainsworth, Benjamin Disraeli and George Meredith are hardly read today. Trollope found George Eliot's novels incredibly intellectual, but of late she has enjoyed long-standing critical and popular success. Trollope's own popularity has recently been matched by a developing critical reputation. The 19th century novel itself achieved full respectability only with George Eliot. Newman, in Loss and Gain (1848), used it to explore religious issues. Cardinal Manning said, "I see that Newman has stooped to writing novels." Fiction would consciously be elevated to the status of art by Henry James. However, the master of the beginning

Charles Dickens (1812-1870) Born in Portsmouth, Dickens moved to Chatham. His father, an employee of the Navy's pay office, was arrested for debt in Marshalsea Prison. Charles was taken out of school at age 12 to work in a blackening warehouse, but he returned to school and was an office boy at 15, then a stenographic reporter of parliamentary debates for the Morning Chronicle. Works include: Sketches by 'Boz' (1836-7), The Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist (1837), Nicholas Nickelby (1838), The Old Curiosity Shop (1840-1), Barnaby Rudge (1841), American Notes ( 1842), Martin Chuzzlewit (1843-4), A Christmas Carol (1843), Pictures from Italy (1844), Dombey and Son (1847-8), David Copperfield (1848-50), Bleak House (1852-3), A Child's History of England (1851-3), Hard Times (1854), Little Dorrit (1855-7), A Tale of Two Cities (1859), Great Expectations (1860-1), Our Mutual Friend (1864-5) , The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1870). He married Catherine Hogarth in 1837; they had ten children. Founding editor of the Daily News, Household Words and All the Year Round, he traveled across America and Europe, was a philanthropist and amateur actor. He left his wife in 1858 in defiance of scandal; he maintained a secret friendship with Ellen Ternan, an actress. He died exhausted by public reading tours.

[p. 276] The Victorian novel, Charles Dickens (1812-70), had no interest in the theory of fiction. The success of his early books owed much to the immediate popular appeal of their comedy and pathos, and their attacks on notorious public abuses. To Trollope in The Warden (1855), Dickens was still “Mr. Popular Sentiment”. First impressions are not easily dislodged: Dickens so amused everyone that it took him a century to be taken seriously. Academics have already corrected this. Dickens's novels were originally released not in book form, but in parts in illustrated monthly magazines - the 19th century equivalent of a television series. They were read aloud in families, and Dickens gave semi-dramatic readings by gaslight to large audiences. The novels have been staged and are often adapted into films and musical performances. There have been crazes before - Richardson in the 18th century, Scott and Byron in the 1810s and 1820s - but Dickens' audience was much larger. Its success in popular media continues, with readers and audiences alike, often in forms different from those of its first incarnation - as it did with Shakespeare. Dickens's mother, when she and her husband were released from Marshalsea Prison, wanted Charles to remain in the blackening factory. The trauma, recounted in David Copperfield, hardened Dickens. He learned early the lesson of Mr. Micawber:

'Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income of twenty pounds, annual expenditure of twenty pounds and a half and six, results in misery. The flower is ruined, the leaf is withered, the god of day descends upon the dreary scene, and - and in short, you are forever in the ground. How I am!'

The Pickwick Papers The experience also gave the young Dickens what Chesterton called "the key to the street." The office boy got a job as a reporter for a London daily newspaper. He traveled around England by bus, writing reports on schedule as well as sketches. Sketches by 'Boz' and cuts by Cruikshank, a famous illustrator, were commissioned; then The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club. Chapter 2 begins: That punctual servant of all work, the sun, had just risen and began to light a light on the morning of May thirteenth, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-seven, when Mr. Samuel Pickwick burst like another sun from his sleep, opened his bedroom window and looked out at the world below. Mr. Pickwick is soon on the stagecoach to Rochester with a Mr. Jingle: 'Head, heads - mind your heads!' cried the loquacious stranger, as they came out under the low arch, which in those days formed the entrance to the dockyard. 'Terrible place - dangerous work - another day - five children - mother - tall lady, eating sandwiches - forgot bow - knock - knocks children look around - mother head - sandwich in hand - head of household outside - shocking, shocking! Looking at Whitehall, sir? - cool place - little window - someone else's head outside, eh, sir? - he also didn't keep a keen enough watch - eh, sir, eh?' 'I'm ruminating,' said Mr. Pickwick, 'on the strange changeability of human affairs.' 'Ah! I see - at the palace door one day, at the window the next. Philosopher, sir?” "An observer of human nature, sir," said Mr. Pickwick. 'Oh me too. Most people stay when they have little to do and less to achieve. Poet, sir?” The shorthand writer in the streets, inns and courts of London maintained "a very keen watch". But the caricaturist, mime and storyteller also invents: Mr. Jingle is a version of Dickens himself, a Cockney Byron; he convinces himself in our [p. 277]

Charles Dickens, playing Captain Bobadil in Ben Jonson's Every Man in his Humor in 1845; a painting by C.R. Leslie.

trust. Pickwick is not a novel, "just a big book" as George Gissing said, and full of texts that beg to be read aloud, to be shared. Not all of its successors are great books, though they all have passages where the language bounces and bounces like a glass. Not all are novels, if the novel has to tell a coherent story and present social reality. The approach is too theatrically stylized to be realistic. Dickens loved comic acting. The novelist he admired was Fielding, the play he most acted in was Jonson's Every Man in Laws Humour: tough satirical role models, like 18th and early 19th century caricaturists: Hogarth, Rowlandson - and George Cruickshank, the illustrator himself of Dickens. But Dickens also loved melodrama, the

source of some of its own memorable effects and less memorable plotlines. As Ruskin put it, Dickens's action takes place within "a circle of stage fire". Some who laughed at Pickwick because of his nineteen-month appearance also exclaimed about a series he launched concurrently, in which Oliver asked for more and Nancy was murdered. Oliver Twist presents Dickens, the hagiographer of martyred innocence - in asylums, schools, factories, prisons and courts - the Dickens who makes us feel the cruelty of injustice and the pinch of poverty. His testimony of life in the streets is not documentary, but symbolic, fabulous, moral: deprivation, constriction, dirt; hypocrisy, servility, meanness; devotion, philanthropy. We cry less easily than the Victorians, but in the comedy and pathos of Dickens's first decade, the comic writing looks absolutely better: the scandalous Martin Chuzzlewit, not the endearing Nicholas Nickleby. Reading early Dickens is like traveling on a bus, heading in the right direction, at widely varying speed, pulled along by emotional impulse and personal energy, propelled by vividly defined idiosyncratic characters. Critics who praise Dickens are reduced to listing his favorite characters: Mr. Jingle, Pecksniff, Micawber, Mrs Gamp, Wemmick and his Aged P, Mrs Jellyby and her Telescopic Philanthropy, Flora Finching, Mr Podsnap. This habit, mysterious to those who haven't read Dickens (everyone should read Dickens), simply acknowledges the delight given by its astonishing fertility of invention. He is a dramatic [p. 278]

'Fagin in the Condemned Cell', an illustration by George Cruikshank to Dickens's Oliver Twist (1837-9). The book on the shelf could be a Bible. Black and white, guilt and punishment, life and death!

writer, and the hundreds of characters are creatures of the stage, defined by an extraordinary mood or habit; often caricatures or puppets, often magnificent, sometimes evil. Few have inner consciousness and three dimensions. Everyone has life, few grow.

David Copperfield There is no answer to the question whether this rich and copious writer is at his best at the beginning or at the end, in parts or in whole, in comedy or drama. Only a few dishes can be tasted here. His most enchanting book may be David Copperfield, a lucid autobiographical fairy tale. By a trick of narration, we fully share the views of both the child and the adult looking back. We experience Steerforth's seduction of David and see the casual greed behind it. We see with the Dickens smile and the Dickens quill the child-bride Dora offering to help David by holding his pens. Steerforth's career, however, tests our ability to feel what Dickens wants after little Emily's undoing. Interest wanes. The first piece of writing where everything counts is the brief A Christmas Carol. After the elaborate Dombey and Son (1006 pages), the novels are drawn and have thematic ambition. Academic opinion admires the three great novels, Bleak House, Little Dorrit and Our Mutual Friend, 1000 pages more serious and complex than those that made their name. PostDombey Dickens is certainly worth re-reading if there's time. The comic illusionist withdraws, the tragic artist advances. Stakes are raised, there is loss and gain.

Bleak House Of these big three, Bleak House is the best integrated, though difficult to summarize. The plot has two main threads, the Chancellery case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce's estate, so long that the costs absorb all the benefits; and the discovery that orphaned Esther Summerson is the presumed dead illegitimate daughter of Lady Dedlock. Saint Esther is to be married to John Jarndyce, for whom she keeps house; he nobly releases her to marry a young doctor. Of the secondary characters, Skimpole is wonderful. Summary, however, conveys even less than usual. By the end of Dickens, although we vividly experience the exteriors of many characters, there are none whose lives we fully share since.

[p. 279] inside - not even Esther, who is closer to its center, and whose narrative conveys much of the story. The house that Esther must establish with her doctor is the symbolic antitype of the novel's various dark houses. However, it is difficult to take care of Esther's doctor or, as much as Dickens wants, Esther. For all its crowded canvas, the book is not about people, but about mindsets, feelings, institutions, the experience of living in a phantasmagoria: a dark world that relates to life in Victorian London but is imagined in a very different way. staff to be a mirror. until life. Late Dickens is not character-centered but visionary, full of metaphors, symbols, and fables of good and evil, sympathy and cunning. An indicator of this is the symbolic suggestiveness of opening moves, such as "The floods were out in Lincolnshire" or Chapter I, "In Chancery": London. Michaelmas' term has recently ended and the Lord Chancellor sits in Lincoln's Inn Hall. Unrelenting November weather. So much mud in the streets as if the waters had just withdrawn from the face of the earth, and wouldn't it be wonderful to find a Megalosaurus, about 12 meters long, waddling like a giant lizard up Holborn Hill. Smoke descending from chimneys, forming a soft black drizzle with flakes of soot as big as snowflakes full grown - in mourning, one might imagine, for the death of the sun. Dogs, indistinguishable in the mud. Horses, little better; sneezed on his own blinkers. Passengers on foot, pushing each other's umbrellas in a general infection of a bad mood and losing their footing on corners ... Fog everywhere. Fog upstream, where it runs through verdant meadows and meadows; fog down the river, where it rolls polluted between the rows of ships and the riverside pollution of a big (and dirty) city. Fog on the Essex marshes, fog on the Kentish hills. Mist creeping into coal mine cars; fog spread over the shipyards and hovering in the rigging of great ships; fog falling over the rails of barges and small boats. Mist in the eyes and throats of former Greenwich retirees...

Our Mutual Friend The later novels may open up to three subjects in the first three chapters, as well as Our Mutual Friend: the recovery of a body in the Thames; the Veneering dinner; Silas Wegg with his peg leg. The themes don't always hold together, but Dickens' parts are better than other writers' wholes. There is Mr. Podsnap, for example, who "considered other countries ... a mistake, and of their manners and customs would conclusively remark, 'Not English!'", eliminating them with "a peculiar flourish of his right arm". He instructs a French visitor in the pronunciation of English: "We call him Horse," said Mr. Podsnap, with tolerance. ‘In England, Angleterre, England. We aspirate the “H” and say “Horse”. Only our lowest classes say "Orse!" "I beg your pardon," said the foreign gentleman; “I am always wrong!” “Our Tongue,” said Mr. Podsnap, with the graceful awareness of always being right, “It's Hard. Ours is a copious and tempting language for strangers. I will not proceed with my question.' This could be the beginning of Dickens. This is the last Dickens: a certain institution in Mr. Podsnap, who he called "the young man", can be considered embodied in Miss. Podsnap, his daughter. It was an inconvenient and demanding institution, as it required that everything in the universe be archived and adjusted to it. The question above all was, would that bring a blush to the young man's cheek? The last sentence is immortal and Victorian. The first sentence has the more abstract humor of later novels, with no loss of acrobatic mocking grandiloquence. The clearest of Dickens' books is Hard Times, a satire on the hard heart [p. 280] regimes that govern industrial life in North Coketown. It is a fable without the specificity and nightmare of Dickens' London. The critic Leavis agreed with his analysis and savored the bite of his caricatures: industrialism in Bounderby, utilitarianism in Gradgrind. However, their love story has a weak piety that lets the romance's energy leak out.

Great Expectations Dickens best combines storytelling and analysis in Great Expectations, a story with a single focus of consciousness. Expectations are cast on 'Pip', a boy raised by his tough sister, wife of a simple village blacksmith. Suddenly, Pip receives money from a mysterious source, provided by a lawyer, Jaggers. Pip imagines that her benefactor is Miss. Havisham, an heiress abandoned on her wedding day, who trained the beautiful Estella to exact revenge on men. Pip's rise in the world turns its head. In London, he is embarrassed by his blacksmith brother-in-law, good-natured Joe. Estella chooses to marry a rival suitor who is Pip's social superior. The story takes a few vacations, one of which being Pip's visits to the eccentric home of Jaggers' kind clerk, Wemmick. But this holiday is, like Homer's similes in the Iliad, a reminder of the normal human simplicities left behind. Everything in the novel fits together, even the melodrama, which often weakens the effects it is supposed to intensify. A disciplined start helps: our country was a swamp, close to the river, in, as the river meandered, twenty miles from the sea. My first fullest and most vivid impression of the identity of things seems to me to have been gained on a raw and memorable afternoon at dusk. In such a moment I discovered with certainty, that this dismal place

overgrown with nettles was the churchyard; and that Philip Pirrip, deceased of this parish, and also wife Georgiana of the former, was dead and buried; and that Alexander, Bartholomew, Abraham, Tobias, and Roger, sons of those mentioned above, were also dead and buried; and that the flat dark desert beyond the church-yard, crisscrossed with dykes and mounds and gates, with scattered cattle feeding on it, were the swamps; and that the lead line below was the river; and that the distant wild lair from which the wind blew was the sea; and that the little bundle of chills getting scared of it all and starting to cry, was Pip. "Stop your noise!" a terrible voice cried, as a man rose from among the graves beside the church portico. 'Be quiet, you little devil, or I'll cut your throat!' This is a convict who escaped the prison hulls moored in the Thames. The terrified boy brings food that he steals from the house. In return, the convict Magwitch, having done well in Australia, magically becomes Pip's secret benefactor. When he returns to inspect the young gentleman his wealth has created, Magwitch is proud but Pip is embarrassed. Dickens wrote an ending in which Estella found that "suffering was stronger than Miss Havisham's teachings" and Pip is single. But the published ending, altered at Lytton's suggestion, reads: I took her hand and we left the ruined place; and just as the morning mist had long since risen when I first left the forge, so the afternoon mist was now rising, and in all the wide expanse of still light they showed me I saw no shadow of another parting. her. This punished marital ending, reminiscent of Paradise Lost, does not take away the pain from Grandes Esperanças, a romantic 'autobiography' in which the reader is more attentive [p. 281] than the hero-narrator. Here, Dickens best combines his myth-making with a world of experience. His critique of worldly success succeeds because it is not too explicit.

'The Inimitable' Dickens was 'the Inimitable' - a word from his own circus style. His extraordinary talent is exclusively communicative. In his best scenes, his words sound like actors, gesticulating and acting on their own. However, he can be over-praised or under-praised. In contests organized by critics, individual Dickens novels won in fields such as Wuthering Heights, Vanity Fair and Middlemarch. A general comparison shows him less refined than Jane Austen, less convincing than Richardson in Clarissa, less profound than Tolstoy or Dostoevsky, less terrible than Flaubert. If the comparison to Shakespeare offered by supporters of the English novel or the Victorian era is taken seriously, the quality and breadth of character and language in Shakespeare's poetic drama make the comparison harmful. Dickens's view is peculiar; their cultural traditions, though vital, are, compared with Shakespeare's, often sentimental or melodramatic. Their women leave a lot to be desired. Thackeray played the number where Paul Dombey dies on Mark Lemon's desk in Punch with the words: 'There is no writing against a power like this... it is stupendous.' This particular pathos is no longer so stupendous.

William Makepeace Thackeray William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863) was born in India but, after his father's death and his mother's remarriage, was educated in England. He enjoyed Cambridge and an amateurish period in Europe as a painter, throwing his money away. He got married, but his wife went crazy and he started to live off his pen, supporting his daughters, who lived with their mother in Paris. These were the miseries from which, financially at least, he emerged in the 1840s as a brilliant Punch draftsman and caricaturist. After The Luck of Barry Lyndon (1844) and The Book of Snobs (1846), Vanity Fair appeared monthly in 1847-8; then Pendennis (1848-50), The History of Henry Esmond (1852), The Newcomes (1853-4), and The Virginians (18579); also English humorists of the 18th century (1851) and The Four Georges (1855-7). Thackeray is not like other Victorian novelists: he does not show people behaving well. A talented parodist and worldly ironist, sarcastic if not heartless, his reputation was once as wide as it was high. Now it looms over Vanity Fair, the later novels being little read, perhaps because their focus is on gentleman conduct. Fewer novel readers today are prepared to view the middle class from above, as Thackeray did, than from below - as Thackeray's "Mr. Dickens of geranium and curls" did. As that phrase suggests, both men saw it from the outside.

Vanity Fair Thackeray illustrated his own books. His book on snobs enthusiastically sketches a variety of social climbers. The rising wealth of the middle classes created an unhappy interface with the gentry. The age-old theme of upward social mobility is emerging in Jane Austen, floating in Disraeli, and scrutinized by Trollope. The classic satire on this famous English preoccupation is Vanity Fair, subtitled A Novel without a Hero, just as Fielding called Tom Jones a "comic epic in prose." Follow the fate of Becky Sharp, a fearless social climber. These are contrasted with those of Amelia Sedley, the daughter of a stockbroker; becky is the

[p. 282]

'Mr Joseph Entangled': Joseph Sedley helps Becky Sharp roll up a ball of green silk. One of W. M. Thackeray's illustrations for his Vanity Fair, published in monthly installments, 1847-8.

the orphaned son of an artist and a French opera dancer. In Chapter 1, as Becky sits in her friend Amelia's carriage outside Miss Pinkerton's Academy for Girls, she receives Johnson's Dictionary. When they leave, Becky throws him out the window; she does not intend to be a governess. The first man Becky charms is Amelia's brother, Jos, the rich, dim-witted, cowardly Collector of Boggley Wallah. Becky is quick-witted and unscrupulous, Amelia sweet and decent and silly. Amelia hopes to marry handsome Lieutenant George Osborne, the son of a merchant. Then, “in the month of March, Anno Domini 1815, Napoleon landed at Cannes, and Louis XVIII fell, and all Europe was alarmed, and funds fell, and old John Sedley was ruined.” Against his father's wishes, George Osborne marries poor Amelia, ashamed of doing the decent thing for his honorable friend Dobbin, who loves Amelia. It is a mistake. Becky starts out as a governess in the family of Sir Pitt Crawley, a Hampshire baronet, bewitching him so much that the gruff old man actually asks her to marry him. "I repeat, I want you," said Sir Pitt, knocking on the table. 'I can't go on without you. I didn't see what it was until you left. The house goes wrong. It's not the same place. All my accounts got messed up again. You must go back. Come back. Dear Becky, come on. ' 'Come - like what, sir?' Rebecca gasped. "Come as Lady Crawley if you like," said the baronet, snatching up his crepe hat. 'There! this will zatusfy you? Come back and be my wife. Your vit vor't. Birth to be hanged. You are as fine a lady as I see. You've got more brains in your little crook than any baronet's wife in the county. You will come? Yes or no?" "Oh, Sir Pitt!" said Rebecca, very moved. "Say yes, Becky," continued Sir Pitt. ‘I am an old man, but a good man. I've been fine for twenty years. I'll make you happy, zee if I don't. You must do what you like; spend what you want; and do it your way. I will make a zettlement for you. I will do everything normally. Look year! ' and the old man fell to his knees and leered at her like a satyr. Rebecca resumed an image of dismay. Throughout this story, we never see her lose her presence of mind; but she did now, and cried some of the truest tears that ever fell from her eyes. “Oh, Sir Pitt!” she said. 'Oh, sir - I - I'm already married.' [p. 283] Becky is sorry because she played her hand badly. She secretly married Rawdon, Sir Pitt's spendthrift youngest son, hoping he would inherit his wealthy aunt's estate. As Sir Pitt's wife, she would be wealthy now and could soon expect to be his widow. As Mrs. Crawley, she takes her gambler husband higher and higher in society with less and less money. Regency society may have been driven by money and pleasure, but it could not have been as incredibly cruel as this one. Few novels move as smoothly as Vanity Fair. We watched Becky climb higher and higher without visible support. The Fair's social scenes, current affairs details and theatrical effects revolve in action similar to that of a Ben Jonson comedy, but accompanied by snappy commentary and appeals to the middle classes. Thackeray has a whip-crack style. Wives follow their men to Brussels and the Countess of Richmond's Ball on Waterloo Eve. Amelia persists in loving George, who writes proposing escape to Becky, who is bewitching a general. Finally, "no more gunfire was heard in Brussels - the pursuit

rolled miles away. Darkness fell over countryside and town: and Amelia was praying for George, who was lying on his face, dead, with a bullet through his heart. ' At the climax, Rawdon discovers Becky alone with her protector, the Marquess of Steyne. He plucked the diamond ornament from her chest and threw it at Lord Steyne. He cut it on his bald forehead. Steyne wore the scar until the day he died.” Becky claims to be innocent, “but who could tell what was the truth that came out of those lips; or if that corrupt heart were pure in this case?' More anticlimaxes ensue: Steyne anticipates Rawdon's challenge to a duel by having the bankrupt gambler named governor of Coventry Island, a fever pitch. Becky pursues her luck in Paris and then Pumpernickel, where she shows Amelia George Osborne's letter proposing elopement, so that Amelia will marry the faithful Dobbin. Whether Becky was technically innocent and whether she had any feelings for Amelia are intriguing moral questions, but less clear-cut than the brevity of life and the rarity of goodness in Vanity Fair. In his witty narrative, drama alternates with irony, sentiment with cynicism, hilarity with sadness. Thackeray's daring and wit create effects that are difficult to define, but they seem to be more moral and humane than he pretends, and curiously moving. Its disillusioned exposition of conventional sentiment and morality implies that there are truer standards. Mrs. Lynn Lynton wrote that 'Thackeray, who saw the faults and frailties of human nature so clearly, was the kindest, most generous and loving man at heart. Dickens, whose mind turned to an almost morbid tenderness and sympathy, was infinitely less plastic, less generous, less personally sympathetic.” Thomas Babington Macaulay made a different comparison: “To play Thackeray and Dickens, my dear, / Two lines sum up critical nonsense, / One lives on a countess’s sneer, / And another on a hatter’s weeping.” The historian may have been irritated by his popularity.

Anthony Trollope Like Thackeray, Anthony Trollope (1815-82) descended into the world and wrote. Each week he would write 40 pages, each 250 words long, usually while traveling by train or ship to the post office. His autobiography says he started a new novel the day after finishing the last one. In twenty years, his novels have netted £68,939 17s. 5d., which he thought "comfortable, but not splendid." Trollope presents himself as a factory worker proud of his work, but his demystification

Anthony Trollope (1815-82) Son of a failed barrister and Frances Trollope, author of The Domestic Manners of the Americans (1832), educated in Winchester and Harrow. Clerk of the General Post Office from 1834, moved to Ireland in 1841, returned in 1859 and retired in 1867. The Macdermots of Ballycloran (1847). The Warden (1855), Barchester Towers (1857), Dr Thorne (1858), Framley Parsonage (1861), The Small House at Allington (1864) and The Last Chronicle of Barset (1867) are Barsetshire romances. Can you forgive her? (1864), Phineas Finn (1869), The Eustace Diamonds (1873), Phineas Redux (1876), The Prime Minister (1876) and The Duke's Children (1880) are the Palliser Novels. Others include The Way We Live Now (1875).

[p. 284] of the craft of writing bother the sensitive. He was a robust Englishman, devoted to fox hunting and cigars, taking his own bath with him on his travels. In 1900, when intellectuals and intellectuals parted, aesthetes and intellectuals recoiled from Trollope's confidence. However, Newman and George Eliot admired him. Its warm, temperate, good-natured image of an innocent rural social order now has a nostalgia that gilds its original charm. But Trollope wasn't naive: he didn't live near a cathedral and shouldn't be confused with Septimus Harding, the Warden of Barchester, let alone Archdeacon Grantly. Most of his books are set in London. He lived in Ireland for eighteen years and traveled more than any other nineteenth-century writer, in Europe, Africa, the Americas and the Pacific. He was a working man, a civil servant at the front and a moderate reformer, standing for Parliament as a Liberal in 1869. A sample of Trollope's comedy appears at the beginning of Barchester Towers. At the inaugural reception hosted by his wife, the evangelical bishop Proudie is approached by Bertie, son of the Reverend Vesey Stanhope, whom the new bishop has recalled from a long residency in Italy. Proudie, mistaking Bertie for an Italian prince, is initially unimpressed: "There was just a hint of a foreign accent, and nothing more." "Do you like Barchester as a whole?" asked Bertie. The bishop, looking dignified, said he liked Barchester. "You haven't been here very long, I think," said Bertie. "No, not long," said the Bishop, and tried again to push his way between the back of the sofa and a heavy Dean, who was looking over him at the Signora's grimaces. "You weren't a bishop before, were you?" The Doctor. Proudie explained that this was the first diocese he had occupied. 'Oh... I thought so,' said Bertie; “but sometimes you change the subject, don’t you?” “Translations are done occasionally,” said Dr. Proudie; “but not as often as formerly.” "They reduced them to about the same number, didn't they?" said Bertie. To this the bishop could not answer, but again tried to move the dean. "But the job, I suppose, is different?" continued Bertie. “Is there much to do here in Barchester?” This was said in exactly the tone a young Admiralty official would use when asking the same question of a Treasury acolyte brother. ‘The work of a bishop of the Church of England,’ said Dr. Proudie, with considerable dignity, 'it's not easy. The responsibility he has to carry is really great.” "Really?" said Bertie, widening his wonderful blue eyes. 'Good; I was never afraid of responsibility. I once thought about becoming a bishop.'

“I thought about being a bishop!” said Dr. Proudie, very surprised. ‘That is, a parish priest – a parish priest first, you know, and a bishop afterwards. If I had started it, I would have latched on to it. But overall I like the Church of Rome better.' The bishop could not discuss the matter, so he remained silent. 'Now, there's my father,' continued Bertie; 'he didn't stick to it. I imagine he didn't like to repeat the same thing over and over again. By the way, bishop, have you seen my father?” This talk of conflicting purposes fits Bertie's idle inquiries into the work and rewards of the spiritual life against the would-be reformer's offended sense of caste. Trollope's Olympian calm and wit are successfully displayed in Barchester, but he can be more than just fun. Trollope plays his hundreds of characters, often country nobles or people in learned professions, with discreet patient care. His moral realism has Jane Austen's value for integrity and Thackeray's eye for the operation of interest, with a far less overt irony. Unlike Dickens, he has [p. 285] no violently good or bad characters, and less melodrama than George Eliot. After Barset, its benign tone darkens in Palliser's novels. The late The Way We Live Now is a satire on speculative finance. Trollope's readership grew, complete sets of her forty-seven novels appearing in the 1990s from five publishers. Palliser's novels of high politics and marital intrigue after Can You Forgive Her? are more ambitious in their moral explorations. As romance is supposed to entertain, Trollope can be a great novelist. He is certainly a master of form whose supreme master, Leo Tolstoy, said of him: 'He kills me with his excellence.' The realism he excels at is broad and everyday rather than deep or intense. Trollope and Hopkins are polar opposites, both as writers and as Christians.

George Eliot George Eliot (1819-1880) was born Mary Ann Evans, the daughter of the butler of a Warwickshire estate, a circumstance which informs all of his work. Life has changed for Tom and Maggie; and yet they were not wrong in believing that the thoughts and loves of those early years would always be a part of their lives. We could never have loved the earth so well if we had not had childhoods in it, - if not for the earth where the same flowers reappear each spring that we used to pluck with our little fingers as we sat babbling to ourselves in the grass - the same hips and bristles on the autumn hedges - the same redthroats we used to call "God's birds", because they did not harm the precious crops. What novelty is worth this sweet monotony where everything is known, and you love because you know? The forest I walk through on this mild May day, with the young tawny foliage of the oaks between me and the blue sky, the white star flowers and the blue-eyed well and the creeping ivy at my feet - what a grove of palms tropical, what strange ferns or splendid wide-petaled flowers could ever excite fibers so deep and delicate within me as this homely scene? These familiar flowers, these well-remembered notes of birds, this sky with its flickering glow, these furrowed grassy fields, each with a kind of personality given by the capricious hedges - things like these are the mother tongue of our imagination, the language charged with all the subtle, inextricable associations which the fleeting hours of our childhood left behind. Our delight in the sunlight and the thick grass of today could be nothing more than the faint perception of weary souls, if it were not for the sunlight and grass in distant years that still live in us, and transform our perception into love. This is from the beginning of The Mill on the Floss. The "whimsical" hedges are reminiscent of the "little lines of sporting wood running wild" above Tintern Abbey. Wordsworth found in the memory of past experiences a moral influence of nature, an organic process. The complex interiority of romantic poetry here reaches the novel, a form largely shaped by theatrical exteriority, especially in novels dealing with social issues. Mary Ann Evans also maintained that nature feeds moral emotions through the imagination, but doubted that 'An impulse from a vernal forest/Can teach you more about man,/Of moral evil and good,/Than all wise men could ' (Wordsworth, 'The Table Has Turned'). She read all the sages and became one. She had a thirst for understanding, and throughout her life she was educated in ancient and modern literature, religious history, philosophy, and science. At twenty-one, she lost the literal, passionate belief in evangelicalism that had gripped her in childhood. She then sought to reinterpret human life and history in the light of a human imagination and the human sciences, while maintaining the Christian values ​​of love, sympathy and duty. [p. 286] Determination and mental toughness enabled her to translate Strauss's Life of Jesus (1846) and Feuerbach's Essence of Christianity (1854), radical new works reducing Christianity to history and psychology. She helped edit The Westminster Review, a scholarly journal founded by J. S. Mill. She became emotionally attached to her editor, John Chapman, and then to Herbert Spencer, the apostle of scientism, before forming a lifelong union with the versatile G. H. Lewes, Goethe's biographer and advocate of Comte's positivist philosophy and phrenology. Lewes, a married man with several children, could not divorce his wife, having recognized her child conceived in adultery with a friend of his. Miss Evans discovered the illegality of her

positivism Credo of Augusto Comte (1789-1857), who taught that sociology and other human sciences would lead to definitive knowledge that would explain human behavior, as the physical sciences explained matter. The captains of industry would rule, the religion of mankind would be established, women would encourage the growth of altruism.

painful union, and called herself Mrs. Lewes. George Eliot was beloved by readers, including the Queen, but Mary Ann, or Marian, Evans was not invited to dinner. Gradually, the wider world came to visit her and Lewes on Sunday afternoons at their London home. Her beloved brother Isaac, however, never spoke to her; he only wrote to her when she was married, after Lewes's death in 1878. She died soon after. The intellectual who grew up with Walter Scott began writing stories herself, encouraged by Lewes. In a set of Waverley novels he gave her, Lewes described Scott as "her most revered and best loved novelist". When Scenes of Clerical Life appeared in 1857, 'George Eliot' was considered either a clergyman or a clergyman's wife. This was followed by Adam Bede (1859), The Mill on the Floss (1860), Silas Marner (1861), Romola (1862-3), Felix Holt, The Radical (1866), Middlemarch (1871-2), Daniel Deronda ( 1874-6), and the short story, 'The Lifted Veil'. All but Deronda and Romola are rooted in provincial England; Romola is situated in 15th century Florence. With her death, Eliot was admired, even revered. After a backlash against the intellectuality of later novels, she was considered one of the two or three great novelists of the 19th century, and Middlemarch the classic Victorian realist novel. The above passage from The Mill on the Floss suggests George Eliot's commitment to the experience of living, accompanied by a sincere effort to understand its processes and convey its value. The final words "...the sun and grass of distant years that still live in us and turn our perception into love" echo Wordsworth's Ode to Immortality. This formulation, which also approximates the mood of Tennyson's In Memoriam and Arnold's Dover Beach terms, relies on a scientific metaphor: sunlight stored in memory has transformative moral power. As value and meaning become problematic, the need to define them becomes urgent and the vocabulary more complex, elaborate and provisional. Dickens and Thackeray begin with Sketches, George Eliot with Scenes. She later named five of her seven novels after their protagonists, adopting the post-romantic narrative mode of virtual autobiography, as in Oliver Twist. Dickens's attack on social abuse draws its emotional power not from an accurate representation of the Yorkshire Schools but from the reader's identification with the protagonist, a convention borrowed from romance, adventure and fantasy. After Byron, the romantic protagonist is often transparently the author as both hero and victim. Jane Eyre shows how difficult it is to avoid vicarious self-pity in this mode, where protagonist, author, and reader all share the same point of view and come together, a problem best handled in David Copperfield and even better in Great Expectations. George Eliot's seven novels develop the mode's strengths without entirely overcoming its weakness.

Adam Bede In Adam Bede, the beautiful and vain Hetty Sorrell prefers the young squire Arthur to the dignified Adam, a carpenter. She is going to marry Adam but becomes pregnant and kills [p. 287] the baby. The hanging is switched to transport after Arthur intervenes. In prison, Hetty is comforted by Methodist preacher Dinah Morris, beloved by Seth Bede. Seth stands aside to allow her brother Adam to marry her. This tragicomedy of moral choices is set in a strangely idyllic rural society. Mrs. Poyser, Hetty's aunt, was considered a comic creation equal to Sam Weller. Sam's creator Dickens was not fooled by the manly pseudonym of George Eliot: "no man ever had the art of making himself so much like a woman mentally." The Mill on the Floss The narrator of The Mill on the Floss is Maggie Tulliver, who had a childhood like that of Mary Ann Evans: she is a sensitive, intelligent and clumsy girl, irritated by the bonds of rural society, although her domesticities are again described in loving detail. The narrative of the quoted passage initially moves from 'them' (Tom and Maggie) to 'us' (who used to call robins 'God').

Illustration for The Mill on the Floss (1860), by George Eliot, by W. J. Allen. Tom and Maggie Tulliver predict their fate.

birds'), in 'I' reflecting in a forest, and again in 'us' the readers, Humanity. The third-person narrative merges into collective autobiography and normative reflection. The story ends in catastrophe: Maggie saves her estranged brother Tom from a flood; they drown, reconciled in a final embrace. The ugly duckling has turned into a swan, but it must die. We must identify with Maggie in her stand against prejudice and family pride, and in the pain caused by the mutual attraction between her and Stephen Guest, her cousin's handsome young fiance. The drama unfolds against the backdrop of a “real” social panorama, of painful choices between family, love and friendship. It is experienced through Maggie's acute sensitivity, seen above in a richly reflective mode. The moral intelligence of the heroine-narrator's commentary is characteristic of George Eliot's fiction. In the catastrophe, Maggie gives her life for her brother, a martyr of Christian family love. The moral is less somber than those of Wordsworth's peasant tragedies Michael and 'The Ruined Cottage'. [p. 288]

Silas Marner A symbolic Christian dimension dominates Silas Marner, The Weaver of Raveloe. Silas, falsely accused of theft, is excluded from his Protestant sect. His lonely pursuit of his trade makes him prosper, but one day his gold is stolen from his hut. An orphan whose mother died in the snow knocks on his door; by creating her, he regains happiness. This parable of redeeming love is opposed to a melodramatic narrative. The girl chooses to stay with Silas when the squire's eldest son recognizes that he is his real father. His younger brother's body, found with the stolen gold in a drained lake, reminds him of the fate of the girl's mother, whom he never acknowledged. The rural comedy shrinks and the themes play out darker as the chosen situation evolves. Romola looks like a match. In a picturesque historic Florence, with the Medici facing off against Savonarola and popular unrest, Titus, a plausible Greek, weaves an intrigue. Romola, however, is one of George Eliot's hard-tested heroines who finds her destiny in sacrifice. Noble in birth and character, this daughter of an old blind scholar is tricked into marriage by Titus; who betrays her, her father and her own benefactor. A painting by Tintoretto is the source of Eliot's next work, the dramatic poem The Spanish Gypsy (1868). After prose about Coventry, why Italy and poetry? George Eliot wrote poetry because he felt his writing lacked symbolic power. Silas Marner shows her universalizing her concerns through religious parables. Romola tries to elevate its subject by using a Florentine setting sanctified by art and literature. The result, however, is not a great tragedy, but a research-based historical novel. The more authentically historical this novel is, the less the use of a remote or glamorous setting escapes the bounds of documentary realism. Eliot's research reconstructed the literal prison she was trying to escape. Felix Holt, the Radical is the most dispensable of English novels, a historical recreation of 1832, the eve of the Reform Bill. Esther chooses the austere idealist Felix over Harold Transome, the heir to the estate. By an expedient of the Victorian stage, Esther turns out to be the true heiress, and Harold's father a petty lawyer.

Middlemarch These experiments paved the way for Middlemarch, a great novel by any standards. The historical canvas is very wide. The various stories of the multiple plot are plotted from the beginning, gradually blending into a drama that brings together intense human and moral interest. Themes emerge naturally from believable families and marriages, and the final results do not depend on the gratuitous interventions of melodrama or authorial providence. Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life is set, like Felix Holt, in an industrial Midlands town in 1832. It shows the erosion of ideals by experience. Young, unworldly, and fiery Dorothea Brooke, against the advice of her uncle, sister, and gentry connections, accepts the Reverend Dr. '. Upon discovering that her husband is mean and that he is secretly unsure of his great work and will never complete it, she sympathizes and worries for him. He dies suddenly, leaving a will that shows his true meanness. The smart Dr. Tertius Lydgate, a pioneering physician, has been forced to marry the town's beauty, Rosamund Vincy, the daughter of a manufacturer hoping to break out of the mainstream [p. 289] March. She is not interested in her research, but in distinguishing her social backgrounds. Rosamund has a pretty neck, good manners, a strong will, a small mind and a small heart. Middlemarch's established doctors ensure that Lydgate's new ideas do not prosper; the young couple nearly gives up on the fine house he has unwisely bought for her - but are rescued by a loan. Lydgate, like Dorothea, is loyal to a selfish spouse. Casaubon's lively young cousin, Lydgate's friend Will Ladislaw, admires Dorothea, who is innocently friendly to him. In his will, Casaubon forbids Dorothea to marry Ladislaw on pain of losing her inheritance. Fred, Rosamund's immature brother, loves Mary Garth, daughter of a real estate agent, Caleb. The Garths house has the love and integrity that George Eliot has valued since childhood. Mary is too religious to allow Fred to become a clergyman, a gentle profession, and Fred teams up with Caleb. learn the trade of land agent. Mrs.'s sister Vincy is married to the banker Bulstrode, a hypocritical Calvinist, who before coming to Middlemarch and marrying Harriet Vincy, made his pile pawning and receiving stolen goods in London, marrying his boss's widow, and defrauding his grandson, lost. and supposedly dead, but still alive. This turns out to be Will Ladislaw. Bulstrode is blackmailed by Raffles, a reprobate, whom he allows to die, silently varying Dr. Lydgate. But Raffles had talked and Lydgate innocently accepted a loan from Bulstrode. When this reaches Middlemarch gossip, the doctor is ruined along with the banker. Mrs. Bulstrode stands by her husband. These lives are confused, but Dorothea gives up Casaubon's money to marry Ladislaw. We learn in a descending ending that Fred and Mary get married and are good and happy and live to old age, if not rich. "Lydgate's hair never turned white": He works in a thriving London fashion practice, but "he always thought of himself as a failure." Dying at fifty, he leaves Rosamund rich. She marries an elderly doctor, deeming her happiness "a reward".

“But it would be unfair not to say that she never uttered a disparaging word for Dorothea, keeping in religious memory the generosity that came to her aid in the most acute crisis of her life.” Will becomes a Liberal MP for Middlemarch, and Dorothea a minor wife, mother and benefactress - she who performs the 'small, nameless, forgotten acts / Of kindness and love' which Wordsworth in Tintern Abbey calls 'that best part of life of a good man'. Dorothea is a good woman who lived in a society that did not allow her to make the great contribution her nature sought, a point made in the Prelude to Middlemarch with a comparison to the career of Saint Teresa of Avila, and repeated in the Finale: Her finely tuned spirit touched still had its delicate problems, though they weren't widely visible. Full nature of her, like that river which Cyrus broke the strength, broke into channels that had no great name in the land. But the effect of her existence on those around her was incalculably diffuse: for the increasing good of the world depends in part on unhistorical acts; and that things are not as bad with you and me as they could be, is partly due to the number who faithfully lived a hidden life and rested in unvisited tombs. (Cyrus, founder of the Persian Empire, who freed the Jews from captivity, was admired by Christians as well as the classical author Plutarch. Mary Garth 'wrote a little book for her children, called Stories of Great Mere, taken from Plutarch' (Cyrus also diverted the Euphrates for irrigation.) George Eliot's moderate use of catastrophe and happy ending allows for a rich if [p. 290] moderate realism in presentation and a satisfying realism of assessment: life is imperfect. of illegitimacy, mistaken identity, bequests, misplaced letters, unlikely coincidences, and drownings (this author's favorite form of natural disaster) is small; the sensational Raffles is a well-calculated exception. George Eliot tempers the excesses of sentiment and irony found in its more “Victorian” predecessors.In structure and theme, its parallelism of unhappy marriages, with one woman finally repaying the other's generosity with a helpful tip that makes a marriage, may owe something to Vanity Fair. The moral and mechanical complexities of a story with multiple ongoing centers of interest are managed with constant clarity and subtlety. Here the comparison with Dickens is to George Eliot's advantage. These complexities are more numerous than is suggested in the plot summary above, which leaves out Dorothea's comic uncle Brooke of Tipton, a mixed-up contender in the liberal interest; his worldly sister Celia, conventionally married to Sir James Chettam; two noble/clergy families, the Cadwalladers and the Farebrothers; and other relationships of family, class and business interest. The dense social web constructed produces an extraordinarily rich depiction of provincial life in central England. The image is also an analysis - 'study' in the subtitle has both meanings - and Middlemarch's meanness and prejudices can be seen as limiting or stifling all but the Garths, whose value is not related to the city, but to the land, work and family. Its integrity is Christian in its derivation. George Eliot's continued comments are not to everyone's taste. Some prefer the novel as a drama to the novel as a moral essay. Those who do not wish to be so explicitly guided will concede the quality and scope of their understanding. The realization of motive at the end of Middlemarch makes for wonderful writing. The steady pace, compared with Thackeray and Dickens, does not dampen interest in the evolving destinies of the Bulstrodes, of Dorothea and Lydgate, Rosamund and Ladislaw, the Garths. The rising tension of the penultimate stages is dramatic or operatic, with the main motifs in full view. Human imperfection, even in Casaubon's chilling example, is presented with understanding, although he receives more sympathy from his wife than from his creator. Some critics find Dorothea too good and Ladislaw less interesting than she finds him. This English novel, however, has fewer blemishes than others of its range in the 19th century. In 1874, the American Henry James (1843-1916), beginning his career as a novelist, noticed some, but concluded that Middlemarch "sets a limit . . . to the development of the old-fashioned English novel." All Victorian novels so far revised were old-fashioned inclusive in their readership, although Middlemarch would attract the attention of some educated people today. The conscious procedures of James' own art, following French examples, make George Eliot's opening sound solidly provincial. James' handling of narrative ownership and point of view is more discriminating. However, he fully shared Eliot's concern for the future of innocence in an increasingly complex civilization. He considered old-fashioned English novels "loose, baggy monsters". However, there is always an appeal of art to life and human importance. James' refinement set a different threshold for the novel's development.

Daniel Deronda Daniel Deronda, Eliot's last novel, had a mixed reception. To save her family and herself from poverty, Gwendolen Harleth marries the wealthy Grandcourt, who had children by a known mistress of Gwendolen's. Grandcourt's Egoism [p. 291] and his mistress's reproaches isolate Gwendolen, who increasingly relies on the moving Daniel Deronda - an idealist of a kind dear to Eliot, who in the Middlemarch Preface dwelt on the modern problem of the martyr without a cause. Deronda turns out to be the son of a Jewish singer, who sacrificed him for her own career. When Grandcourt drowns, Deronda marries Mirah, a young singer, and dedicates himself, with Mirah's brother Mordecai, to founding a Jewish national home in Israel. Many readers feel that the Jewish theme is presented uncritically. Daniel Deronda does not show English virtue and foreign duplicity, quite the contrary. His international perspectives on the fate of idealists in a sophisticated world are those of Henry James and Conrad. After George Eliot's death in 1880, the novel's achievements and audience became more specialized as the common culture further diversified.

Nonsense prose and verse Lewis Carroll The rest of the 19th century is treated separately, but before leaving the Victorian highlands, mention should be made of a rare flower that grew there: Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The author, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, was a deacon at Christ Church, Oxford, professor of mathematics and a pioneer of portrait photography. Alice Liddell was the daughter of the dean of Christ Church, joint publisher of the Standard Greek Dictionary. Alice was originally invented by Dodgson for her and her sisters while he was rowing with them on the Thames in 1862 when she was ten years old. Alice's adventures take place when in a dream she falls down a rabbit hole. In a series of strange and threatening situations, the creatures engage her in "increasingly curious" conversations and sing nonsensical songs. Alice's undaunted common sense saves her. Children still enjoy Alice's fantasy, surprise and logical and verbal jokes, as in 'The Mad Hatter's Tea Party'. The action often shows the absurd arrangements by which the big animals eat the little ones (crying with pity as they do so), and the big ones rule the little ones without scruples. Adults like the flow of riddles and logic games such as 'How do I know what I want to say until I see what I say?'

The Mad Hatter's Tea Party. An illustration by John Tenniel for Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland (1865) showing Alice, the March Hare, the Dormouse and the Hatter. [p. 292] There are also verse parodies. Alice tries to repeat lsaac Watts' 'Against Idleness and Mischief': 'Like the busy little bee / Improves every bright hour'. It comes out as 'Like the little crocodile / Improves its shiny tail', with a second verse; How gleefully he seems to smile, How easily he spreads his claws, And welcomes the minnows, With gently smiling jaws! Other parodies are found in a sequel, Through the Looking-Glass (1871), notably 'Jabberwocky', a version of a German romantic ballad in mock Anglo-Saxon; ''Twas brillig, and the slithy toves/Did gyre and gimble in the wabe...' Humpty Dumpty, a literary critic, explains: '“Brillig” means four o'clock in the afternoon - the time when you start grilling things for the dinner." "That will do just fine," said Alice, "and "slithy"?" “Well, “slithy” means “flexible” and “slimy”. “Lithe” is the same as “active”. You see, it's like a portmanteau - there are two meanings rolled into one word." "I see now," Alice commented thoughtfully, "and what are 'toves'?" "Well, 'toves' are something like badgers - "Are something like lizards – and they are something like corkscrews.” Another parody, “The White Knight's Song” (“I'll tell you all I can;/There's little to relate”) brings out the illogic of Wordsworth's ballads. Alice's books, wonderfully illustrated by Tenniel, had great success and entered the language. Unlike other Victorian children's books, they don't teach lessons.

Edward Lear The softer, more nonsensical verse of Edward Lear (1812-88), an accomplished watercolorist, has less logical force and purpose than Carroll's, more whimsical and melancholy charm. He reads but doesn't speak Spanish, He doesn't tolerate ginger beer: Before the days of your pilgrimage are gone, What a pleasure to meet Mr. Lear! Nonsense verse, England's answer to French symbolism, thrived before the nineteenth century, but its flowering may be the flip side of Arnold's proposition that "all great literature is at bottom a critique of life." Victorians also had more time for their children.

Further Reading Gaskell, E. Life of Charlotte Brootë, ed. E. Cleghorn (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1975). Haight, G. George Eliot: A Life (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1968). Wheeler, M. English Fiction of the Victorian Period, 2nd ed. (Harlow: Longman, 1994).

[p. 293]

11. Late Victorian Literature: 1880s 1900s Overview. The final decades of the reign saw a disintegration of the reading public's middle ground. The writers kept up with or outpaced a booming mass market, as did Hardy and James, respectively. These were great talents, but it was a transitional period without a central figure, although Wilde briefly took center stage in a revival of literary theater, with Shaw as the other leading figure. Early Victorian poets continued to write, but their juniors were withdrawn or smaller, consciously aesthetic or consciously warm. There was a new professional minor fiction, in Stevenson and Conan Doyle.


Contents Differentiation Thomas Hardy and Henry James Aestheticism Walter Pater A Revival of Drama Oscar Wilde George Bernard Shaw Fiction Thomas Hardy Tess of the d'Urbervilles Minor Fiction Samuel Butler Robert Louis Stevenson Wilkie Collins George Moore Poetry Aestheticism A. E. Housman Rudyard Kipling Additional Reading

The two decades of 1880-1900, with the next decade, lie between the Victorian highlands and the peaks of modernism. For a long time, Joyce, Pound, Eliot, D. H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf hid their predecessors. If literary history is written by the victors, such as the Romantics and Renaissance humanists, a broader view can bring revision. As the modernist revolution recedes and the dust settles, it is easier to see the origins in the eighties and nineties and attempt an evaluative sketch. It is an outline, for great writers are few. Confidence in the cultural resilience of the general reader and in the direction of society has waned. Serious writers dealt with a middling market by some simplification or specialization, or else they entered into overt or covert opposition to majority views, as some poets did. The first major newspaper claiming to be the organ of democracy, the Daily Mail, began in 1896. Its owner bought The Times in 1908. "The newspaper is the roar of the machine," declared W. B. Yeats. A less oracular truth is that paper and printing were cheaper and that the new technology found a new market among the newly literate.

Thomas Hardy and Henry James Drama revived, with Wilde and Shaw; the poets shrank; the sages went to aesthetics or [p. 294] Events and publications 1881-1901 Events

Main publications 1881

1882 1884

The Irish secretary is murdered in Dublin. The Third Reform Law extends the right to vote.

1882 1884


Prime Minister Gladstone resigns with the 1885 defeat of his Irish Home Rule Bill.


1887 1888 1889


Revised Version of the New Testament (Old Testament, 1885); Henry James, Portrait of a Lady, Washington Square; Oscar Wilde, Poems. Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island. James Murray (ed.), A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles (125 parts, 1928). Sir Richard Burton (trans.), Arabian Nights (16 volumes, 1888); H. Rider Haggard, King Solomon's Mines; George Meredith, Diana das Travessias; Walter Pater, Marius the Epicurean; John Ruskin, Praeterita (3 volumes, 1888); Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Tiresias and other poems. Thomas Hardy, Mayor of Casterbridge; James, The Bostonians, The Princess Casamassima; R.L. Stevenson, Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde, kidnapped; Rudyard Kipling, departmental ditties; Tennyson, Locksley Hall, sixty years later. Hardy, The Woodlanders (August Strindberg, The Father). James, The Aspern Papers; Kipling, Simple Tales from the Hills. Stevenson, The Master of Ballantrae; Robert Browning, Asolando; W. B. Yeats, The Wanderings of Oisin; Father, Thanks. Sir James Frazer, The Golden Bough (12


The Assisted Education Act provides free elementary education from 1891. 1892


Second Irish Home Rule Bill is defeated. 1894


1896 1897 1898 1899 1900 1901

Boer War against the Dutch South Africans (until 1899 1902) The Labor Party is founded. 1900 Queen Victoria dies. Edward VII reigns (until 1910). 1901

volumes, 1915); William Morris, News from Nowhere. Hardy, Tess of the d'Urbervilles; Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray. Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes; Wilde, fan of Lady Windermere; Yeats, The Countess Kathleen. George Moore, Esther Waters; Kipling, The Jungle Book; Stevenson, The Ebb-Tide; George Bernard Shaw, Arms and the Man. Hardy, Jude the Obscure; H. G. Wells, The Time Machine; Wilde, An Ideal Husband, The Importance of Being Serious. Stevenson (died 1894), Weir of Hermiston; A. E. Housman, A Shropshire Lad. Joseph Conrad, The Black of Narcissus; James, what Maisie knew. James, The Turn of the Screw; Shaw, Profession of Mrs. Warren; Hardy, Wessex Poems. Kipling, Stalky and Co. Conrad, Lord Jim. Kipling, Kim (Anton Chekhov, The Three Sisters).

in politics. There was a lot of fiction, some short, like by R. L. Stevenson, George Moore, George Gissing and Arthur Conan Doyle, which show the expertise of the time. One author who enjoyed intellectual prestige for fifty years was the versatile and productive George Meredith (1828-1909), remembered today for The Egoist (1879) and Diana of the Crossways (1885). But the only novelists so substantial [p. 295] that several of his works are still read are Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) of Upper Bockhampton, Dorset, and Henry James (1843-1916) of New York. In subject matter and approach, they are worlds apart. James sponsored "poor little Thomas Hardy," as later did T. S. Eliot of St. Louis, Missouri. In The Great Tradition (1948), the critic F. R. Leavis, weeding the garden of English fiction for Cambridge students, retained George Eliot, James and Conrad, but threw out this “provincial maker of coarse and cumbersome fictions that sometimes have corresponding virtues.” ”. But Hardy has proven to be perennial. From Dorset, James' field and approach must have looked very rarefied. Hardy's novels did not fit Leavis' idea of ​​fiction as moralized realism; they are shepherds, romances or tragic dramas, not studies of provincial life. James spent most of his adult life in England as an observer, writing frequently about the islanders. He is a great practitioner of the art to which he dedicated his life and influenced the ways in which that art was later analyzed. An American who influenced the English novel, he is treated more marginally than he deserves in a history of English literature. Henry James came from a family of speculative intellectuals, his father a theologian, his brother William a philosopher of religion and psychology. Educated in the United States and Europe, he set his scenes in New York, Boston, Paris, Switzerland, Florence, Rome or London. His people are sometimes artistic, more often moneyed people who stay in villas or country houses: the floating society of a new international civilization, superior in tone rather than substance. The central figure is often a young woman, the victim of subtle maneuvers regarding money. An urban narrative voice focuses on the subject, attending to exactly what each character knows. The reader has to infer the reason and wait. Despite the subtlety of his narration, psychology and syntax notoriously elaborated on in his later work – James' fundamental interest is in innocence and those who exploit it. Thomas Hardy's father was a Dorset mason, his mother a maid who gave him for his twelfth birthday a copy of Dryden's Virgil. His past was confusing and less respectable than he did in The Life of Thomas Hardy, the posthumously published biography named after his second wife but written by him. Leaving school early, he was apprenticed to architects in Dorchester, then in London. He continued to educate himself, as did George Eliot. He married above himself (so they both thought), the niece of a Cornish vicar. They were happy at first, but she

Henry James A Selection: Roderick Hudson, The Americans (1877), Daisy Miller (1879), Portrait of a Lady, Washington Square (1881), The Bostonians (1886), The Aspern Papers (1888), What Maisie Knew (1897) , The Turn of the Screw (1898), The Wings of the Dove (1902), The Ambassadors (1903), The Golden Bowl (1904). Fabian Society Founded in 1884, the Fabian Society was dedicated to the gradual achievement of socialism. It is named after Quintus Fabius Maximus, the Roman general who defeated Hannibal by avoiding battle until a favorable time (he was nicknamed Cunctator, the Retarder). Among its artistic members were Edward Carpenter (1844-1929), sexologist, environmentalist, vegetarian and author of the poem Towards Democracy (4 volumes, 1883-1902); and later poet Rupert Brooke (1887-1915) and children's writer E. Nesbit (1858-1924).

he resented his success as a novelist, which allowed him to build a house outside Dorchester, in which they spent many unhappy and childless years. James' major novels are listed above; Hardy's are taken later. The chasm between Hardy and James indicates a trend. It is at this juncture, or disjunction, that a weakened acceptance of gospel truths in the literal forms offered by the Protestant churches began to have an effect on divergent and more partial ideals. In his novels, George Eliot kept his agnosticism quiet behind a Christian morality. Hardy, suddenly losing his beliefs, proclaimed his atheism, then his agnosticism. A churchgoer unable to forgive God for not existing, he also blamed God for his lack of compassion. James, too educated to mention the divine, shows a post-Calvinist interest in evil spirits, as does Stevenson, whom he admired. Many devoted themselves to spiritualism and the occult: W. B. Yeats, H. Rider Haggard, Andrew Lang, Arthur Conan Doyle, J. M. Barrie, Rudyard Kipling. Many put their faith in secular politics: William Morris, founder of the Socialist League (and the Arts and Crafts movement), and George Bernard Shaw, founder of the Fabian Society. After listening to [p. 296] Shaw speaking, Oscar Wilde wrote The Soul of Man under Socialism, which is nevertheless a plea for artistic individualism. Some were strongly patriotic: W. E. Henley, Rudyard Kipling and Sir Henry Newbolt for England, others for a Celtic identity. As beliefs diverged, codes became important. Aestheticism The period saw a cult of beauty or aestheticism, now remembered for the decadent illustrations of Aubrey Beardsley (1872-98) and the life of Oscar Wilde, arrested for homosexuality in 1895. It was not just or primarily a literary movement. His importance is not in the lifestyle of the decadent, nor in his own work, but in a new idea: that literature was an art and worth living for. This idea shaped the lives of Yeats and Joyce, Pound, Eliot and Virginia Woolf. Keats' Greek Urn had said: 'Beauty is Truth, Truth is Beauty', but Keats weighed Beauty against ideas of the good life. Tennyson also subscribed to the view that beauty served truth by making wisdom or noble conduct attractive. But aesthetes separated art from morality. They cited Walter Pater's Conclusion to The Renaissance (1873) - 'the desire for beauty, the love of art for art's sake', a formula found in Theophile Gautier (1811-72), who in 1835 denied that art could be useful . Walter Pater Ruskin's lectures on the beauty and dignity of work inspired schoolboy Oscar Wilde to take up manual road work. After Oxford, Wilde left work to William Morris and pursued beauty, following the example of Walter Pater, another Oxford professor, who turned Keats' desire for a life of sensations rather than thoughts into a program. The Conclusion of Pater's Revival contains this passage: Every moment some form becomes perfect in hand or face; some tone in the hills or in the sea is chosen more than the rest; some state of passion, awareness or intellectual excitement is irresistibly real and attractive to us - just in the moment. Not the fruit of experience, but experience itself, is the end. Only a counted number of pulses are given us of a dramatic and varied life. How can we see in them all that can be seen in them by the most refined senses? How to move more quickly from point to point and always be present in the focus where the greatest number of vital forces unite in their purest energy? ... Burning always with this hard and precious flame, maintaining this ecstasy, is success in life. Oxford youth had heard of "a sound mind in a sound body" in their public schools. His university, still largely clerical, wished to place "a Christian gentleman in every parish". Ecstasy after ecstasy was a new ideal. What were the 'more refined senses'? The Conclusion was scrapped in a second edition, closing the stable door after the horse was gone, as "it might possibly deceive some of those young men into whose hands it might fall". Pater made his own point clearer in Marius the Epicurean (1885), a historical novel which commends an austere Epicureanism in "the only great prose of modern English" (W. B. Yeats), and very readable. However, this austere critic's discussion of Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa breathes strange yearnings. Leonardo's painting (also called La Gioconda, 'The Smiling Lady'), wrote Pater, embodies 'the animalism of Greece, the lust of Rome, the mysticism of the Middle Ages with its spiritual ambition and imaginative loves, the return of the pagan world , the sins of the Borgias. It is older than the rocks among which it sits...' Matthew Arnold had said that it was the task of the Critic to 'see the object as in [p. 297] itself really is'. Taking Pater's subjectivity to a logical conclusion, Wilde argued that 'the highest criticism' aims at 'seeing the object as in itself it really is not' (The Critic as Artist, 1890), and indeed Leonardo's lady and what Pater saw in her is not the same thing. However, Yeats chose "She is older than the rocks" as the first item in his Oxford Book of Modern English Verse in 1936 - a greatly perverse gesture. It's not verse, but for Yeats it was modern; he was eight years old when it was published. Pacer relates art to life in 'Style', an essay in Appreciations (1889). Art must first be beautiful, then true: I have said, thinking of books like Les Misérables by Victor Hugo, that prose literature was the characteristic art of the nineteenth century, as others have said, thinking of its triumphs since Bach's youth , assigned that place to music. Music and prose literature are, in a sense, the opposite terms of art; the art of literature presenting to the imagination, through the medium of the intelligence, a range of interests, as free and varied as that which music presents to it through the senses. And certainly the tendency of what has been said here is to bring literature into these conditions as well, in accordance with which music posits itself as the typically perfect art. If music is the ideal of all art, precisely because in music it is impossible to distinguish form from substance or matter, the subject of expression, then literature, finding its specific excellence in the absolute correspondence of the term to its import, will only be the fulfillment of the condition of all artistic quality in things everywhere, of all good art.

Good art, but not necessarily great art, the distinction between great art and good art depending immediately, so far as literature is concerned at all events, not on its form but on the matter... Given the conditions I have tried to explain as constituting good art - then, whether it be devoted to the increase of men's happiness, the redemption of the oppressed, or the increase of our sympathies with one another, or the such presentation of new or old truths about ourselves and our relation to the world as it may ennoble and strengthen us in our sojourn here, or immediately, as with Dante, to the glory of God, it will also be great art; whether, in addition to those qualities which I have summarized as mind and soul - that mystical color and perfume, and that reasonable structure, it has something of the soul of humanity in it, and finds its logical and architectural place in the great structure of human life. A song from the comic opera Patience (1881), with lyrics by W. S. Gilbert and music by Sir Arthur Sullivan, shows that Wilde was noticed in London. Gilbert and Sullivan's operas had the confident relationship with a wide audience that serious writers were missing. 'If you are eager to shine in the high aesthetic line' ends: Then a sentimental passion of a vegetable fashion must excite your languid spleen, a Plato-like fondness for a timid young potato or a not-quite-French bean! Though the Philistines may squabble, you'll rank as an apostle in the high aesthetic bracket if you walk down Piccadilly with a poppy or lily in your medieval hand. And all will say: As you walk your flowery path, 'If he is content with a vegetable love that I certainly would not like, Why, what a particularly pure youth must this pure youth be!' That satire proved to be accurate.

A Revival of Drama Oscar Wilde Oscar Fingall O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (1854-1900), the son of a famous Dublin surgeon, went from Trinity College to Oxford, then to London, to spread aestheticism [p. 298]

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), photographed in London between 1890 and 1894.

and himself. A brilliant talker, he has put his art into his lifestyle. As fascinating as Wilde's act is, his writing seems weak when compared to that of the comparatively flamboyant Byron. Serious emotion emerges as an unhealthy feeling in his early poems and fiction, and in The Ballad of Reading Jail (1898) and De Profundis (1905), written after his fall. (Lord Queensbury accused Wilde of homosexual practices, a serious legal offense - Wilde was sleeping with Queensbury's son, Lord Alfred Douglas. Wilde sued for libel, lost and was imprisoned, dying in exile in France). dated to 'Ossian' MacPherson's 'The Death of Oscar' (1759). Ossian provided Wilde with his first and middle names. Wilde's death started a legend of Saint Oscar, which has been better for newspapers than for literature.

Wilde is a brilliantly provocative critic, but his distinction lies in his comedies, Lady Windermere's Fan, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest, performed in 1892-5. The latter has been called the best English comedy since Sheridan, Goldsmith, or even Congreve, and is cited more often than any non-Shakespeare play. Only Bernard Shaw was not amused. The banter with Ernest and 'seriously' is resolved in the last line of the play, in which Jack Worthing discovers that he is actually Ernest Moncrieff, and thus able to marry Gwendolen Fairfax, who will only marry him if he is named Ernest. He releases his ward, Cicely Cardew, to marry Algernon Moncrieff. The skillfully managed plot is a pretext for an absurd dialogue full of paradoxes. Lady Bracknell, Gwendolen's mother, questions Worthing about his past and learns that he has money. LADY BRACKNELL: And now to minor matters. Her parents are JACK: I lost my parents. LADY B: Both? Losing a parent can be considered as


a misfortune - losing both seems like carelessness. Who was your father? Was he born into what radical newspapers call the purple of commerce, or did he rise through the ranks of the aristocracy? JACK: I guess I don't really know. The fact is, Lady Bracknell, I said I had lost my parents. It would be closer to the truth to say that my parents seem to have lost me... In fact, I don't know who I am by birth. I was... well, I was found. LADY B: Found? [p. 299] JACK: The late Mr. Thomas Cardew, an old gentleman of a very charitable and kind disposition, found me and gave me the name Worthing, as he had a first-class ticket to Worthing in his pocket at the time. Worthing is a place in Sussex. It is a seaside resort. LADY B. Where did the charitable gentleman who had a first-class ticket to this resort find him? JACK [gravely]: In a bag. LADY B: A purse? JACK [very seriously]: Yes, Lady Bracknell, I was in a bag - a rather large bag of black leather with handles - an ordinary bag, really. LADY B. In what locality did Mr. James, or Thomas, did Cardew find this common bag? JACK: In the changing room at Victoria Station. It was given to him by mistake. LADY B: The cloakroom in Victoria Station. JACK: Yes. The Brighton line. LADY B: The line is irrelevant. Mr. Worthing, I confess that I am somewhat confused by what he told me. To be born, or at least to be brought up in a bag, whether it has handles or not, seems to me to demonstrate a contempt for the ordinary decency of family life which recalls one of the worst excesses of the French Revolution. And I presume you know what this unfortunate move led to? As for the specific location where the bag was found, a changing room in a railway station might serve to hide a social indiscretion - it's probably been used for that purpose before - but it could hardly be considered a secure base for a recognized position in good society. .. You can hardly imagine that Lord Bracknell and I would dream of allowing our only daughter - a girl brought up with the utmost care - to be married in a dressing room and form an alliance with a pack ? Good morning Mr. Worthing! [Lady Bracknell leaves the room majestically] This comedy of manners is not satire, for it is not mimetic. The 'good society' is a pretext for an imaginary world, although Wilde's wit relies on social overtones for some of its effects. Although he recognized W. S. Gilbert, Wilde's comedy is personal and extraordinarily verbal, perfecting the techniques of his own conversation. Lady Bracknell later tries to stop her nephew Algernon from marrying Cicely Cardew, but upon learning that she has £130,000. 'in Back' observes: 'Miss Cardew strikes me as a very attractive young woman, now that I look at her. Few girls today have really solid qualities, qualities that last and improve with time. We live, I am sorry to say, in the age of surfaces.” In fact, no woman should be precise about her age. She looks so calculating...'. The assumption that society depends on untruth is the basis of this logic: "In matters of great importance, style, not sincerity, is what matters." Echoes of Wilde can be found in the parodist Max Beerbohm (1872-1956). His aunts, butlers, bachelors and debutantes reappear in the weightless world of P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975). Wilde brought literature and theater together after a century in which poets from Shelley to Tennyson wrote poetic plays, little performed and largely forgotten. After Sheridan, the theater fell into the hands of corporations, making farces or subliterary melodrama, vehicles for actors like Edmund Kean and William Macready. After making his name in The Bells (1870), actor-entrepreneur Henry Irving took London by storm, performing lavish Shakespearean plays with Ellen Terry. In Lyceum productions, the acting came first, the staging second, the text last. Act V of The Merchant of Venice was abandoned so that Irving (Shylock) could achieve maximum emotion. [p. 300] In comedy, London Assurance (1841) by the Irishman Dion Boucicault was an effective play, but stolen French farces were the staple. The play by the great Norwegian Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906) was staged for the first time in England in 1880 with a translation by William Archer. Recovery began with Sir Arthur Pinero (1855-1935), whose The Second Mrs Tanqueray (1893)

Shaw likened it to "the culminating chapters of a singularly powerful and original novel"; Mrs. Patrick Campbell played Mrs. T., a "woman with a past" (i.e., lover of rich men). But Ibsen is more than social-realism-with-a-moral-problem, and Wilde's and Shaw's plays are minor compared to some of the foreign plays that were beginning to be seen in London. Reading the plays of the Russian Anton Chekhov (1860-1904), Shaw said, made him want to tear up his own; he resisted the temptation. George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) Key plays: Arms and George Bernard Shaw the Man, The Devil's Disciple (1894), You Never Can Tell George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) was an honest if wicked man who did more ( 1897), Caesar and Cleopatra of their talent, contributing to the long and vigorous British cultural life. In 1876, with his mother (1901), Mrs. Warren, he came from Dublin to London, where he had been Clerk of the Profession (1898), seven years under John Bull. He worked long as a music critic and then a drama critic, a champion of Other Island (1904), Man and Wagner and Ibsen. A follower of Carlyle and Life Force, he combined Superman, Major Barbara socialism with the worship of strong men and emancipated women. After five novels, he wrote (1905), Androcles and the Lion, many plays, beginning with Widowers' Houses (1892), an attack on slum landlords, and (1912), Pygmalion (1913), Mrs Warren's Profession, a satire comic exposing the economic incentives for Heartbreak House (1919), prostitution in a capitalist society. Mrs. Warren runs a chain of brothels; her CambridgeSaint Joan (1923), in a well-brought-up daughter, Vivie, happily becomes a cigar-smoking actuary. The Golden Days of Mrs. Warren King Charles defend social convention, Vivie wins the arguments. The play could not legally be (1939). staged in England until 1926. Shaw used the theater as a tool for social reform, presenting situations that challenged conventional attitudes, directing a flow of ideas to audiences, provoking and entertaining. Published plays have long argumentative prefaces and lengthy stage directions. An enemy of Victorian pieties, he attacked theatrical censorship, medical fraud, the English devotion to class and accent, the British treatment of Ireland, and so on. As his ideas gained ground, his plays lost the challenge. We admire his versatile technique in tickling the middle class while attacking

George Bernard Shaw, in London around 1890.

[301]] its prejudices, but its actuality is dated. He attacked the reverie of W. B. Yeats, who retaliated by dreaming of Shaw as a smiling sewing machine. He was perhaps more of a mechanical can opener, opening minds with paradoxes. Shaw was not modest - he considered himself better than Shakespeare, or said so. But time and his own success transformed the tireless craftsman, wit and educator into an artist. The English tend to regard Irish people who make jokes as fundamentally unserious. The “dreamer” W. B. Yeats (1865-1939), who spent more than half his life in England, came a long way to a more lasting achievement. Yeats and Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) are treated later, as is Hardy's poetry.

Fiction Thomas Hardy The art of Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) was his poetry, but after his marriage he set it aside to make a living as a novelist. He ended up with fiction in Judas the Obscure (1896). The six novels listed after Under the Greenwood Tree are considered major,

but there are good things in all three novels; Classes are not exclusive. A pair of blue eyes was a favorite of the French novelist Marcel Proust (1871-1922); it also provides a backdrop for the poems Hardy wrote after his wife's death. Hardy's first novel, The Poor Man and the Lady, was turned down by Macmillan as fiercely satirical. He wrote Desperate Remedies (1871), a strongly plotted novel of ingenuity, and then the pastoral Under the Greenwood Tree. Ingenuity, fantasy, and romance are found in the most serious novels of character and setting. Like Dickens, he borrowed from folklore, popular theater and ballad tragedies. Despite this "aesthetic" quality, he visualizes the settings topographically (he was trained as an architect) so that their firm features are readily visualized, as in Egdon Heath's famous description that opens The Return of the Native. In The Dorchester) is organized so that the reader can locate

Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) Uma seleção: 'Novels of Character and Environment': Under the Greenwood Tree (1872), Far From the Madding Crowd (1874), The Return of the Native (1878), The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886) ), The Woodlanders (1887), Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1891), Jude the Obscure (1896). 'Romances and Fantasies': A Pair of Blue Eyes (1873), The Trumpet Major (1880), Two on a Tower (1882). Prefeito de Casterbridge, a cidade (baseada em

Thomas Hardy sits with his second wife, Florence, on the shaft of a 'bathing machine' on Aldeburgh beach, 1915. [p. 302] every scene in the street, tavern, house or workplace. Hardy has lived much of his life outdoors. Unlikely or coincidental scenes could be viewed because he made sure we would see them clearly, oftentimes placing them in natural settings. He pits human figures against a world that has been inhabited for immense periods of time. In his tragic novels, he endows his puppets with nobility, consciously following Greek models. The environment and action are often more important than the character. His characters, rather than showing psychological development, are made up of simple elements and experience a variety of emotions as the plot and situation act upon them. His novels develop in climatic scenes. His blending of genres invokes a wider variety of dimensions than other novelists. Hardy's obscure birthplace, "away from the ignoble strife of the maddening mob" (Gray's Elegy), gave him a long perspective, augmented by his family's longevity. His grandmother told him of 'that long-ago day when they learned with astonishment / Of the death of the King of France' ('One We Knew (M. H. 1772-1857)'). Hardy noted that Wordsworth could have seen him in his crib, just as Gray could have seen Wordsworth in his. Hardy's last visit to London was to attend the wedding of Harold Macmillan to the daughter of the Duke of Devonshire. When he died in 1928, two years before D. H. Lawrence, he had not written a novel for thirty-three years. That career ended in a firestorm of protest: Tess of the d'Urbervilles, and especially Jude the Obscure, shocked an audience Hardy had already wooed with rustic humor and characters as compelling as Gabriel Oak in Far From the Madding's abundant tragicomedy. Crowd. The middle novels that end unhappily, The Mayor of Casterbridge and The Woodlanders, do not depart at all from what can happen to unhappy lovers in romantic tragedy. He had hidden his views from the pious and prudish in a career as a popular novelist, buying himself financial independence. He then set a trap for the Wessex of the final maps with the dead bodies of Tess and Jude and their symbolically named children, repaying the public for the accommodations he had to make.

Tess of the d'Urbervilles All novels have moments of grandeur, and The Mayor of Casterbridge is a balanced tragedy, but her most powerful book is Tess of the d'Urbervilles: A Pure Woman. Tess Durbeyfield is her poor family's hope. After the horse on which her father's work depends is killed in an accident, she goes to work for a wealthy relative, Alec, who seduces her. Tess improvises a christening for the child, who dies; the vicar is reluctant to bury the child (named Sorrow) in consecrated ground. A later summer, as a milkmaid, she becomes engaged to Angel Clare, the agnostic son of an evangelical clergyman. On their wedding night, she tells her husband about her past. Disgusted, though not an angel himself, he leaves her. Things at her house get worse. Working on a mountain farm, she meets Alec, who has become an itinerant preacher, but drops out to pursue her. With her letters to Angel unanswered, she becomes Alec's mistress for the sake of her family. She kills him and spends a "honeymoon" hidden in the woods with Angel, who has returned. She is arrested at Stonehenge and hanged, leaving Angel with her younger sister. ' 'Justice' was done, and the President of the Immortals, in Esquile's phrase, had ended his game with Tess. it seemed, by its subtitle, to condone adultery and murder. Hardy expressed surprise. The 'flaws and falsity' in Tess (Henry James's phrase) come from Hardy [p. 303] ambiguous use of popular methods. The raw plot and simple characterization of the 'shocking' lured the audience into an ambush where conventional values ​​were overthrown. The pure woman's confession that she has been "ruined" by the devilish Alec causes her impure angel to abandon her. Her innocent finesse then causes the 'reformed' Alec to abandon evangelism. The Victorian reader sees that conventional norms of class, gender, morality, and the supernatural do not work; and that it is natural for Tess to attract Alec and Angel, and it may be natural for her to kill Alec. The use of paradox in the 1990s is not limited to Shaw and Wilde. Tess is crude in plot and Alec's character, but not in her natural, imaginative style, although there are clumsily learned references at times. After the Chaseborough dance, a village beauty jealous of Tess challenges her to a fight. She takes off her bodice and exposes her plump neck, shoulders and arms, arid in the moonlight, under which they look as luminous and beautiful as a Praxitelian creation, in her possession of the perfect roundness of a vigorous country girl. She clenched her fists and walked over to Tess. Alec rides in and rescues her: 'Jump after me,' he whispered, 'and we'll be shooting the screaming cats in no time! , Greek sculptor Praxiteles doesn't have much to do with this episode, omitted from Tess's serialization in the popular Graphic. The mention of Aeschylus, as the curtain falls on Tess, forces a comparison with the Tragedy. But "the President of the Immortals" was not a familiar phrase even to classicists, and is less well introduced than the mention of Cyrus at the end of Middlemarch. Hardy may have thought that his pure suffering woman was a more realistic modern counterpart to St. Theresa than the martyr of Eliot's idealism, Dorothea. Having rescued Tess from the frying pan and the 'screaming cats', Alec gets lost in the middle of the night. Tess is tired and he stops to give her a rest, lending her his overcoat. He discovers where they are and returns. The Chase was shrouded in dense darkness, though morning wasn't far off. He was forced to advance with outstretched hands to avoid contact with the branches, and found that reaching the exact point where he had started was totally beyond his capabilities. Wandering up and down, round and round, he finally heard a slight movement from the nearby horse; and the sleeve of his greatcoat unexpectedly caught his foot. "Tess!" said d'Urberville. There was no answer. The darkness was now so great that he could see nothing at all but a pale mist at his feet, which represented the white muslin figure he had left among the dead leaves. Everything else was black. D'Urberville bowed; and he heard soft regular breathing. He knelt and bent even lower, until her breath warmed his face, and in a moment his cheek was in contact with hers. She was sleeping soundly, and on her eyelashes there were tears. Darkness and silence reigned everywhere. Above them rose the primeval yews and oaks of The Chase, on which gentle birds sat in their last nap; and over them they stole the leaping rabbits and the naked. But, some might say, where was Tess's guardian angel? The Chase speaks better of innocence and error than this last question. Hardy is at his best when he allows the description to interpret itself, as in the visionary courtship scenes at Talbothays Dairy. He is a great visual and symbolic storyteller rather than a social analyst in the tradition of the 19th century realist novel. The red-mouthed, pure-hearted Tess is a memorable symbolic figure. In Jude the Obscure, a child named Old Father Time hangs the two babies and then [p. 304] himself, leaving a note: 'Done because we are very menny'. Grotesque! But it reflects Hardy's idea that life is determined, not by heredity, environment and economics, but by "gross causality". Chance, in logic, cannot be cruel, although it may seem so. Such pathos makes one think less of the victims than of their creator, Hardy.

Minor Fiction Samuel Butler Hardy's attack on Victorian morality was anticipated by Samuel Butler (1835-1902), author of E.rewhon (1873), a dystopian novel. Butler was a professional heretic, attacking the Resurrection (Darwin applauded), Canadian modesty (Montreal did not display nude statues), Darwinian evolution (Butler preferred Lamarck's theory), and the Homeric problem (The Authoress of the Odyssey, 1897). His heartless satirical novel, The Way of All Flesh (1903), is based on his own upbringing in a clerical family.

dystopia An imaginary world in which everything is wrong; the opposite of 'eutopia' (a good place). Erewhon is an anagram of Nowhere, 'utopia' (no place).

Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-94) was once famous enough to be known as RLS, but his work has faded, leaving an adventurous legend. He sailed extensively in his childhood – his Edinburgh family built lighthouses – and despite poor health he traveled far from Scotland, dying in Samoa. He wrote plays, travels, a historical novel, and A Child's Garden of Verses (1885), with much else dated. Still vivid are his full-length novels, begun in Bournemouth: Treasure Island (1883), Kidnapped (1886) with its sequel Catriona (1893), The Master of Ballantrae (1889) and, engaging more seriously with the past, Weir of Hermiston (1896), unfinished. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886) is a beautiful film, but, like Bram Stoker's horror Dracula (1879), it disappoints adult retellings. Later tales, The Ebb-Tide and The Beach at Falesà, slightly anticipate Conrad. RLS weaves excellent yarns in an economically picturesque style. Another Scotsman who developed a genre in England was Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930), with his Sherlock Holmes detective stories, beginning with A Study in Scarlet (1887).

Wilkie Collins Genre perfection for a middling market began with Dickens' friend Wilkie Collins (1824-89), who made a career out of a new kind of minor fiction in The Woman in White (1860) and The Moonstone (1865). ). . These detective novels combine murder mystery with problem solving in a kind of gothic saloon. In true Gothic novels, such as James Hogg's Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (1824) or Wuthering Heights, the horror and problems of interpretation are endless. Dickens' last book, The Mystery of Edwin Drood (unfinished) would have transmuted the detective story.

George Moore George Moore (1852-1933) wrote extensively and variedly. An important figure in Anglo-Irish literature, he is known here for pioneering French fictional styles in English and remembered most notably for Esther Waters (1894), a novel in the naturalistic manner of Emile Zola, combining a clinical physical realism derived from natural science . with an unglamorous pathos. Esther is a religious girl taken from home to work at a racing stable; she becomes pregnant and goes through many trials. George Gissing [p. 305] (1857-1903) also wrote about poverty and failure, but from personal experience; especially, in New Grub Street (1891), from the life of a struggling writer.

Poetry Aestheticism The old wrote until they died: Browning in 1889, Tennyson in 1892, Morris in 1896, Swinburne in 1909. Of the younger ones, based on verse published before 1901, none is a great poet: William Ernest Henley (1849 -1903) ), Lionel Johnson (1867-1902), Ernest Dowson (1867-1900), W. B. Yeats (1867-1939), John Davidson (1857-1909), A. E. Housman (1859-1936). Prose and verse together show Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) as a great talent. The great poetry of Hardy and Yeats came after 1900. Looking at the nineteenth century, it seems that after the deaths of Byron, Shelley and especially Keats, poetry suffered a loss of quality and centrality. In 'The Tragic Generation' (in Autobiographies) Yeats wrote of Johnson and Dowson and other 'fellows at the Cheshire Cheese', a pub in Fleet Street where the Rhymers' Club met. Some Rhymers have a cameo in Ezra Pound's Hugh Selwyn Mauberley: 'Dowson found whores cheaper than hotels'; Johnson died "falling off a high stool in a pub". Affecting dandyism, distancing themselves from a prevailing English cordiality - Gilbert's Patience is a guide again - they became as precious as they pretended to be, emigrating into dissipation and premature death. Arthur Symons (1865-1945) and John Gray (1866-1934) survived. Some were decadent and also aesthetes; many of them were dandies, many homosexuals, most became Catholic. Judged by continental standards, few were truly decadent. The mood and subject matter of the group is best captured in a line from Dowson, 'They are not long, the days of wine and roses', and his 'Cynara', which ends: I cried for madder music and for stronger wine, But when the feast is over and the lamps expire, Then your shadow falls, Cynara! and the night is yours; And I am desolate and weary of an old passion, Yea, I hunger for the lips of my desire: I have been true to you, Cynara! in my fashion.

These poets, like Swinburne and the painters Whistler and Sicken, often pursued their French aesthetic ideals, sometimes in French cafes. In The Importance of Being Earnest, the fictional brother Ernest, killed by Jack, "is said to have expressed a wish to be buried in Paris". “In Paris!” exclaims Canon Chasuble. "I'm afraid this hardly indicates any very serious frame of mind at the end." Lionel Johnson is the only one of this wasted group to have written more than ten interesting poems, notably "The Black Angel" and "On the Statue of Charles." Me at Charing Cross'. His art imposed economy on the swinburnian tendency to swoon. Both Yeats and Ezra Pound were related by marriage to Johnson.

A. E. Housman A Shropshire Lad (1896) by A. E. Housman, the most distinguished volume of the decade, later became very popular. Housman, the son of a Worcestershire barrister, had unrequited feelings for an Oxford colleague, as an unpublished poem suggests: 'Because I liked you better/Than it becomes a man to say...'. A classical scholar, he failed his final exams and became a clerk in the Patent Office, back in [p. 306] 1892 his learning earned him the chair of Latin at University College, London. A great textual critic of Latin poetry, he kept his own verses well separated, his second volume, Last Poems, appearing in 1922. A Shropshire Lad is set in a timeless country inhaled from Horace's pages as much as Shropshire, a county is not. well known to Housman. Its short lyrics, simple in form and refined in diction, revolve around youth and death. A stoic, restrained note of desperation is played flat and often. Some of the poems have been set to music: 'The fairest of trees, the cherry now', 'In summer in Bredon', 'Is my crew plowing?', 'At Wenlock Edge the woods are in trouble'. Much of Housman is in this little poem: Into my heart an air that kills From a far country blows: What are those blue remembered hills, What pinnacles, what farms are these? This is the land of lost contentment, I see it shining plain, The happy road where I went And can't go back. Pastoral nostalgia rarely has this painful economy. In Hardy, Wilde and Housman there is a temptation to self-pity that is not always resisted.

Rudyard Kipling Most of the notable poems of the time are anything but aesthetic. A notable earlier work, 'The City of Dreadful Night' by James Thomson (1834-82), pseudonym 'B.V.', and the pseudo-Cockney 'Thirty Bob a Week' by John Davidson are urban wilderness poems, both by Scotsman. Some are starkly sincere, like W. E. Henley's 'Invictus' ('I am the master of my fate;/I am the captain of my soul') and 'England, my England'. His “Madam Life is a play in bloom/Death is stalking everywhere”, a realistic sketch of urban life, uses the figure of the prostitute not for standard pathos but to make an unromantic moral argument. But the master of the warm mood was Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936), born in India, educated in England. A journalist in India, his prose reputation began with Plain Tales from the Hills (1888) and Jungle Books (1894, 1895). Barrack Room Ballads (1892) comes in the cockney accent of the soldier who knows nothing of "the Widow of Windsor", Queen Victoria, and the politics of her empire: all he knows is the army. The cheerful vigor of this verse made it welcome in homes without shelves. Kipling became a favorite writer for millions in the Empire, with poems such as 'Gunga Din', 'Ladies', 'If', 'Tommy', 'Danny Deever' and 'The Road to Mandalay'. His quotability was used against him: 'A woman is just a woman,/ But a good cigar is a smoke', for example, but those are the words of an angry man, not his maker. Kipling's popularity fell with that of the Empire, but his imperialism was never uncritical. In 1897 he warned the British of their fate in 'Recessional', written for Victoria's Diamond Jubilee; a recession hymn is sung as the priest leaves the church at the end of the service. God of our fathers, known of old, Lord of our distant battle line, Under whose awful hand we hold dominion over palms and pines - Lord God of hosts, be with us still, Lest we forget - lest we forget. [p. 307] The end of the empire is foreseen: 'The tumult and the cries cease;/The captains and the kings depart'... 'Far away our navies dissolve.' Kipling's final petition is: 'By frenzied vainglory and foolish words - Thy mercy to Thy people, Lord! Few of the Queen-Empress's subjects would have been surprised by the idea that the English were God's people. Further Reading Innes, C. Modern British Drama, 1880-1990 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992). Raby, P. (ed.). The Cambridge Companion to Oscar Wilde (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997). Thornton, R.K.R. (ed.). The Decadent Dilemma (London: Edward Arnold, 1983).

[p. 309]

Part Five: The Twentieth Century [p. 311]

12. Endings and Beginnings: 1901-19 Overview The war of 1914-18 made the England of Edward VII (1901-10) and the beginning of George V's reign seem forever 'pre-war' and a pendant to the 19th century . Those years were rich in good writing of many kinds, old and new, major and minor, but established masters and modes were dominant: poetry by Hardy, drama by Shaw. In 1910 Swinburne died and Yeats' Collected Poems appeared. The fiction of James and Conrad, and Kipling, was more ambitious and far-reaching than that of younger writers such as Arnold Bennett. Ford Madox Ford's career is representative of the changes to come. However, by 1918 the impression made by "modernist" writing before 1914 had faded, and writers later famous as modernists or as war poets were little known.

the new century

Contents The New Century Fiction Edwardian Realists Rudyard Kipling John Galsworthy Arnold Bennett H. G. Wells Joseph Conrad Heart of Darkness Nostromo E. M. Forster Ford Madox Ford Poetry Prewar Verse Thomas Hardy War Poetry and War Poets Further Reading

Queen Victoria's death in 1901 renewed the novelty of the century. His elderly, chain-smoking son, Edward VII, diffused a much more relaxed atmosphere. In clubs, men left their waistcoat buttons undone, as the new King did; there was talk of votes for women. In 1910, the accession of George V again promised new beginnings: the new Georgian age would be different from the Edwardian one... The old world of rank, (unequal) prosperity, and horses and railways had one liberal hope: the way of life of Britain, Europe and America and the Empire would gradually improve - materially, politically and morally. . The world would become more civilized. This did not happened. The words set into Sir Edward Elgar's 'Pomp and Circumstance' march, 'Land of Hope and Glory', have a refrain, still vigorously sung each year at the Last Night of the Promenade Concerts at the Albert Hall: '...wider still, and wider, let your bounds be set./God who made you mighty, make you mightier yet!' How strange that must have sounded in 1919, and again in 1947, when India became independent and the Empire became the Commonwealth. We can read about the pre-war English world in the novels of John Galsworthy, Arnold Bennett, H. G. Wells and E. M. Forster; in light fiction such as G. K. Chesterton's The Innocence of Father Brown (1911) and E. C. Bentley's Trent's Last Case [p. 312] Events and publications of the events of 1900-19

Publications 1900

1901 1902

Victory dies. Edward VII reigns (until 1910) End of the Boer War.

1901 1902

1903 1904

1905 1906 1907


H. H. Asquith (Liberal) becomes Prime Minister at 'Votes for Women' rally in Hyde Park, London.



Edward VII dies. George V reigns (until 1936). Publish-


Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim; G.B. Shaw, You Can Never Tell. Rudyard Kipling, Kim. Henry James, The Wings of the Dove; W.B. Yeats, Cathleen Ni Houlihan; Beatrix Potter, The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Conrad, Typhoon, Romance (with F. M. Hueffer); James, The Ambassadors. G.K. Chesterton, The Napoleon of Notting Hill; Conrad, Nostromo; James, The Golden Bowl; M. R. James, Ghost Stories of an Antiquary; J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan; J.M. Synge, Riders to the Sea; Shaw, John Bull's Other Island; Thomas Hardy, The Dynasts (3 parts, 1908). E.M. Forster, Where Angels Afraid to Tread. John Galsworthy, the man of the estate; Rudyard Kipling, Puck of Pook's Hill. Conrad, The Secret Agent; Edmund Gosse, father and son; Synge, The Playboy of the Western World; Hilaire Belloc, Cautionary Tales for Children. Arnold Bennett, The Old Wives' Tale; Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows; Yeats, Collected Works (Anton Chekhov (d.1904), The Cherry Orchard). E.M. Forster, Howards End; H.G. Wells, O.


Impressionist exhibition held in London. Deli Durbar.



Active suffragettes. Loss of the Titanic.

1912 1913


World War I begins.



Battle of Ypres; Landings at Gallipoli.





Battle of the Somme. David Lloyd George (Liberal) becomes Prime Minister. The Easter Rising in Dublin. Battle of Passchendaele. Bolshevik Revolution in Russia Armistice ends fighting: Germany defeated.


Treaty of Versailles.



History of Mr. Polly. Rupert Brooke, Poems; Chesterton, The Ballad of the White Horse; D. H. Lawrence, The White Peacock. Edward Marsh (ed.), Georgian Poetry I; Walter de la Mare, The Listeners. D. H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers; Compton Mackenzie, Sinistra Street. Hardy, Satires of Circumstance; James Joyce, Dubliners; Shaw, Pygmalion; Yeats, Responsibilities; Ezra Pound Lustra, (ed.) Des Imagistes (anthology). Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier, Conrad, Victoria; D. H. Lawrence, The Rainbow; Ezra Pound, Cathay. James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.


T.S. Eliot, Prufrock; Conrad, The Shadow Line.


Brooke, Collected Poems; Lytton Strachey, eminent Victorians. Eliot, Poems; Siegfried Sassoon, The WarPoems; Yeats, The Wild Swans at Coole.

(1913); and in Edwardian children's books: New Treasure Seekers by E. Nesbit, The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter, Puck of Pook's Hill by Kipling, The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, Cautionary Tales by Hilaire Belloc - and the play by J. M. Barrie Peter Pan, a theatrical whimsy first performed in 1904, published in 1911 and still on the London stage every Christmas. Shaw dominated the stage and Barrie was the only new theatrical talent, with The Admirable Crichton (1902) and What Every Woman Knows (1908). The Abbey Theater opened in Dublin in 1904 for plays by [p. 313] Synge and Yeats. A wider world appears in the novels of Henry James and Joseph Conrad, with more knowledge of good and evil.

Fiction Edwardian Realists Rudyard Kipling In Kipling's Kim, a vast world is seen through the eyes of an unprejudiced child living on the streets: 'He sat, defying city orders, astride the Zam-Zammah gun on its brick platform opposite the old Ajaib-Gher - the Wonder House, as the natives call the Museum of Lahore.' Readers of Empire's favorite author have been enthralled by this adventure novel, with its glimpses into India's human and religious variety. Kipling, like his Irish-Indian orphan Kim, could say 'Thank Allah who gave me two / separate sides of my head'. Many heads can be inhabited by readers of her five collections of adult short stories and many different worlds experienced - in, for example, 'Regulus', 'Aunt Ellen', 'Dayspring Mishandled', 'The Church That Was in Antioch' and 'The Janeitas. Many of the stories are dramatic monologues expressing unknown prejudices without author censorship. The “imperialist” label means that Kipling is still overlooked, even though his extraordinary abilities make him “a writer impossible to belittle” (T. S. Eliot). He is just as clear, but less simple, than H. Rider Haggard, Henry Newbolt and John Masefield. Puck of Pook's Hill is original, combining the fairy Puck with the lives of those who worked in the Sussex Valley under each invader over two millennia. There was new herding from the south: Sussex was home to Kipling and Belloc, Kent to James, Conrad, Ford and Wells.

John Galsworthy The domestic romance was dominated by John Galsworthy, Arnold Bennett and H. G. Wells. John Galsworthy (1867-1933), the son of a solicitor - like Housman and Bennett - is known for a series of novels, beginning with A Man of Property (1906), about the Forsyte family stockbroker, tracing their fortunes, finances, marriage and artistic, in times of change. This impartial chronicle has become less satirical over twenty-three years. His plays, The Silver Box, Strife and Justice, address social issues in a moral spirit. His conventional decency can be judged by his impression of Conrad (see below).

Arnold Bennett Arnold Bennett (1867-1931) was the best impresario of letters since Dickens: he wrote journalism, revised fiction for the Evening Standard, produced entertainments such as The Grand Babylon Hotel, and composed sensitive romances of provincial life in French realist detail, notably The tale of the old wives. He bought a steam yacht, which for Henry James, W. B. Yeats, Ezra

Pound and Virginia Woolf were the mark of the beast. Kipling and Wells drove big new cars. In Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows, the "poop, poop!" of the car driven by Mr. Frog personifies the undesirable in modern life.

H. G. Wells Herbert George Wells (1866-1946), son of a small merchant and professional cricketer, won a scholarship to study science at South Kensington and soon broke [p. 314] for printing. He wrote pioneering science fiction in The Time Machine (1895) and others; a feminist novel, Ann Veronica (1909); a parody of advertising in Tono-Bungay (1910); and a social comedy in The History of Mr Polly (1910), about being a cloth dealer. Unhappy Polly, trying to burn herself to death, gets scared of the flames and runs out of her house and her marriage and her shop to happiness: a riverside pub. Wells's belief in progress led him to tracts and popularization (The Outline of History, 1920). His last book was Mind at the End of its Tether (1945), as might have been predicted by G. K. Chesterton, who distrusted salvation by the corporate state.

Joseph Conrad

Joseph Conrad (1857-1924) Romances selecionados: Almayer's Folly (1896), Lord Jim (1901), Youth, Heart of Darkness (1902), Nostromo (1904), The Secret Agent (1907), Under Western Eyes (1911), The Shadow Linha (1917).

Josef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski (1857-1924) was the son and grandson of Polish gentlemen who dedicated their lives to resisting Russian rule in Ukraine. His mother died in exile in northern Russia when he was seven, his father when he was eleven; at sixteen he set out to sea, joining a French ship in Marseilles. There are rumors of arms dealing, attempted suicide, of having killed a man. After ten years at sea, he became a master mariner and a British subject. In 1893, a young product of Harrow, Oxford and the Bar wrote home from the Torrens, sailing to Adelaide: The first mate is a Pole named Conrad and he is an excellent fellow, if strange to look at; he is a man who travels and has experience in many parts of the world, and has a background of stories that I draw on freely. He had been in the Congo and around Malacca and Borneo and other outlying parts, not to mention a little smuggling in the days of his youth... The writer was Galsworthy, who would help Conrad. In 1895, after twenty years at sea, this Polish aristocrat published Alrnayer's Folly and married an English typist. He explained in his preface to The Nigger of the Narcissus (1897) that 'My task ... is by the power of the written word to make you hear, to make you feel - it is, first of all, to make you see. ' As 'first of all' suggests, Conrad still thought in French; ‘above all’ would be more natural in English. He soon suggested to Ford Madox Ford that they should collaborate; they wrote The Inheritors and Romance. Ford shared Conrad's view that the English novelist does not construct his book with precise intent and a steady mind. It never occurs to him that a book is an achievement, that writing it is as much an enterprise as the conquest of a colony. He has not so clear a conception of his craft. Conrad's books were more admired than bought; his narration was not direct and his style was not idiomatic. An exile from nation, language and family, writing in his third language, he wrote of lonely lives, on ships or outposts, or of exiles in London. Family history and personal experience made Conrad suspicious of political idealists. His writing is torn between a proud sense of honor and a sardonic sense of irony.

Heart of Darkness Conrad's first words encountered by many students are 'Mistah Kurtz - he died', the epigraph T. S. Eliot used for 'The Hollow Men'. They are spoken of in Heart of Darkness, a long story or novella based on Conrad's journey across the Congo in 1890 to become a river pilot for the Belgians, who managed trade on the river. To arrive [p. 315] the heart of the dark continent had been a childhood dream of Conrad; the experience took a toll on his health and changed him. Kurtz is the company's agent on the Inner Station, a colonialist intellectual corrupted by the pursuit of ivory and power; he is worshiped in 'indescribable rites' involving human sacrifice. Marlow, Conrad's narrator, reveals his story to three men in a boat at the mouth of the Thames. His nightmare experience has affected him more seriously than he realizes. Impressed against his will by Kurtz's intensity, he found that, back in Brussels, he could not tell Kurtz's "intendee" the truth of his last words, "The horror! How horrible!" Instead, he says Kurtz's last words were "your name his", whereupon he hears "an exultant and terrible cry, of inconceivable triumph and indescribable pain. "I knew - I was sure!" this. The story ends with the Thames "leading into the heart of immense darkness". That darkness is the darkness of the human heart, but also of London and the future of empires. Marlow has three listeners: a Director of Companies, an Accountant and a Lawyer. '"And this too," said Marlow suddenly, "has been one of the darkest places on earth." Britannia, he explains, would have seemed 'dark' to a young Roman naval commander waiting to invade. London is like imperial Rome, but also like commercial Brussels, run by companies, accountants and lawyers. The conquest of Britannia, as described by Tacitus in his Agricola (AD 98), parallels the exploration of the Congo: a defiant African queen on the banks of the river is described in terms that echo Tacitus' account of the British queen.

Boadicea; and Kurtz's enclosure, decorated with human heads, is like Tacitus' grove of Druids in Anglesea. Conrad disliked the Russian empire and spent twenty years transporting goods for the French, British and Dutch empires. Marlow tells his friends that Roman administration was "just one big squeeze" and that the conquest of the land, which mostly means taking it from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than we do, is not a pretty thing. when you look at it a lot. What redeems it is just the idea... something you can pick up, bow down to, and offer a sacrifice to... This portentous line is true in ways that Marlow (and the reader at this point) cannot see. In addition to dramatic irony, Heart of Darkness is a parable with moral, psychological, and spiritual aspects. Its rigid narration breeds claustrophobia. Dickens's drama is looser, James's scrutiny is more refined, but English prose has seen none of this dense universality before. In Conrad's more mature work, gesture and narrative become less intrusive.

Nostromo Other notable works are Victory and The Shadow Line, with three great novels, Nostromo, Under Western Eyes and The Secret Agent, of which Nostromo is the recognized masterpiece. Its opening shows Conrad's rhythmic balance: At the time of Spanish rule, and for many years after, the town of Sulaco - the lush beauty of the orange groves testifies to its antiquity - was never commercially anything more important than a coastal port with a Fairly large local trade in ox hides and indigo. The clumsy sea-sea galleons of the conquistadors, which, needing a strong gale to move, would have been laid to rest, where their modern ship built on clipper lines advances by the mere flapping of her sails, had been barred from Sulaco by the prevailing lulls. of its vast gulf. [p. 316] Some harbors on earth are difficult to access by the treachery of submerged rocks and the storms of their shores. Sulaco had found an inviolable sanctuary from the temptations of a commercial world in the solemn silence of the deep Gulf Placido as if inside an enormous semicircular and roofless temple open to the ocean, its walls of high mountains hanging with the mourning curtains of the clouds. This image is sumptuous but not decorative, as the large unresponsive natural setting puts human activity in the perspective that Conrad wants. It is a great book, in which the temptations of commerce actually violate the peace of the gulf and alter the history of the South American republic of Costaguana. The São Tomé silver mine, inherited by Charles Gould, is financed by an American idealist. Its expansion gradually changes lives in the country, including that of the illustrious Gould, who believes that “material interests” and hard work will make Costaguana more peaceful and prosperous. Means become ends, limiting the value of human activity, even the heroic deeds of the charismatic Nostromo – “our man”, the agent of the best party of the Revolution. A varied cast of strongly marked characters cross and recross a vast and beautiful landscape for sad or tragic ends. There's plenty of irony and some comedy: the dutiful, unimaginative harbormaster, Captain Mitchell, appreciates the historical significance of each event. There are tempo shifts in the narration, so that even the most picturesque actions fit into patterns from which the meaning can be understood, although there is a lot of suspense at the end. Conrad's interest here is not in individual psychology but in the complex web of human action and in moments of high and low drama. It's a deeply satisfying work, epic in scale and rank similar to Middlemarch, more visual, less parochial and engaging our sympathies less immediately. Political complexities also preoccupy the other two great novels, where Conrad's sense of human absurdity grows more intimate and Dickensian. James and Conrad would be models for T. S. Eliot in his effort to regain for poetry some of the ground he had lost to the novel.

E. M. Forster An Edwardian novelist appreciated in England is Edward Morgan Forster (1879-1970), who wrote four pre-war novels, Where Angels Fear to Tread (1905), The Longest Journey (1907), A Room with a View (1908) and Howards End (1910). Forster was raised by his mother; a great-aunt left him money. After Kings College, Cambridge, he acted as tutor and private secretary and became associated with the Bloomsbury group (see page 340). Forster's first short story shows his mastery of the comedy of manners: 'The Story of a Panic' (1904) pits conventional English tourists against natural Greeks. A Room with a View has several panics, in a comical boarding house in Florence and later in Surrey, pitting inhibited upper-class characters against liberated lower-class characters. Under the motto 'Only connect', Howards End offers liberal hope for the future in the marriage of sensitive Helen Schlegel to businessman Henry Wilcox at the title house. Both novels offer an analysis of an evolving England that can be saved by tolerance, indulgence and sympathy in personal relationships, often presented through female characters. A Passage to India (1924), however, while advocating the same virtues through Mrs. Moore and Mr. Fielding, shows the differences between Englishmen and Indians as irreconcilable, largely thanks to English prejudice. Quested Adela, hoping to see the 'real' India, is taken to the famous Marabar Caves by Muslim Anglophile Dr. Aziz.

[p. 317]

E. M. Forster (1879-1970).

Caves have a strange echo – ‘ou-boum’. She panics, accusing him of a sexual advance. At trial, she drops the charge, but Aziz moves away from Fielding's friendship towards an India without the British. Connection is not just a personal issue. This ambitious three-part novel, Mosque, Caves and Temple, has the clear modeling of Forster's theme and a plot deftly balanced on the dividing line between interracial sexual contact and the cave incident. What "happened" is unclear - probably nothing. We see the Brahmin professor Godbole serene amid the Hindu temple festival, but Forster is more indulgent of non-Christian mysticism than the possibility of the divine. ‘Ou-Boum’, the echo in the Caves, says to the sacred Hindu word ‘Om’ what ‘Hocus Pocus’ says to the Latin words of consecration, Hoc est corpus meum. Too much noise, too little connection. Forster may have been a "thesis" novelist who lost his thesis. Though he used his gift with tact and charm, he no longer wrote fiction. Maurice, published posthumously, was completed in 1910. His Aspects of the Novel (1927), "intellectually null" for F. R. Leavis, is useful for the more modest.

Ford Madox Ford Ford Madox Ford (1873-1939) presided over the transition to modernist writing, as typified in Joyce's Ulysses and T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land (both 1922). Ford was the grandson of the Pre-Raphaelite painter Ford Madox Brown and the nephew of W. M. Rossetti, brother of D. G. and Christina. His father was Dr. Francis Hueffer, music critic for The Times and author of The Troubadours; Ford changed its name from Hueffer after the war. In 1906-8 he wrote The Fifth Queen, a picturesque Tudor trilogy about Catherine Howard of Henry VIII. Conrad called it "the swan song of the historical novel". In 1908, Ford founded The English Review, editing it for fifteen months and doing literary history. Issue 1 included contributions from Hardy, James (“The Jolly Corner”), Conrad, Wells, W. H. Hudson, R. B. Cunninghame Graham, W. H. Davies, Galsworthy and Tolstoy – “The Raid”, translated by Constance Garnett. Later editions had contributions from Bennett, Yeats, Chesterton, Belloc and George Moore. Ford also featured Ezra Pound, Wyndham Lewis, Rupert Brooke, E. M. Forster, Lowes Dickinson, and [p. 318] Norman Douglas to a wider audience, and immediately published a mailed story, 'Odor of Chrysanthemums' by an unknown D. H. Lawrence. Ford brought the generations together, but after the war some of these names were "trendy" and some were not. Ezra Pound, the leading modernizer of English poetry, said it was Ford who modernized it, laughing at the stilted language of his thin third volume - laughing until he rolled on the floor. Ford, half Pre-Raphaelite, knew where Pound's medieval stilts had come from. He could now describe his Fifth Queen as "a more or less genuine forgery in inspiration and workmanship, but a farce nonetheless". The English Review was a turning point in its own development. Ford's best novel, The Good Soldier (1915), is a feat of storytelling. He uses indirect disclosure on a subject for which he is particularly suited: the discovery by a seemingly foolish narrator, John Dowell, that his wife Florence, an invalid with a 'bad heart', had cheated on him with her friend Edward Ashburnham, the soldier. of the title; Florence and Edward commit suicide, and Edward's ward goes berserk. Dowell clumsily unwraps a multifaceted horror, in the manner of Henry James, but with less tissue paper.

More attractive, if less economical, is Parade's End (1924-8), a quartet also known as Tietjens' tetralogy, named after its hero Christopher Tietjens, a Yorkshire nobleman rooted in an old idea of ​​England. At the end of the war, Tietjens leaves his treacherous wife Sylvia to the suffragist teacher Valentine Wannop. The volumes inside are based on Ford's own wartime experiences. Also very compelling are Ford's fictional literary reminiscences Return to Yesterday (1931) and It Was the Nightingale (1933), his travelogue Provence, and his wonderful The March of Literature (1938). In all later books, the reader can hear Ford's voice speaking. This is significant, as after a cultural transition, writing needs to regain a vital relationship with the speech of the day, and such a shift began before 1914. The last of Ford's eighty books to appear (in 1988) was A History of Our Own Times, 1 (1875-95), written in 1930.

Poetry Prewar Verse From 1900 onwards, the Romantic impulse became less rhetorical and its themes became simpler. Aside from Hardy and Yeats, the top talent was few and far between. Kipling's "The Way through the Woods" is an example of a successful nostalgic Edwardian poem: They closed the road through the woods Seventy years ago. Time and rain have undid it again, And now you'd never know That there was once a road through the woods Before they planted the trees. It is under the thicket and moor And the fine anemones. Only the keeper sees That where doves brood, And badgers roam at will, There was once a road through the woods. [p. 319] John Masefield, W. H. Davies and Walter de la Mare were Edwardians who also appeared in the first of Edward Marsh's five anthologies of Georgian poetry, published between 1912 and 1922. Successful anthologies establish poetic taste. Palgrave's Golden Treasure (1861), embodying Tennyson's taste, sold well for a century; it was expanded in 1896. Marsh preferred something more modest: Abercrombie, Drinkwater, Gibson. Less obscure names are Rupert Brooke, J. E. Flecker, D. H. Lawrence, James Stephens, Robert Graves, Siegfried Sassoon, Isaac Rosenberg and Harold Monro, whose Bookshop of Poetry in Devonshire Street, London, provided readings (and beds) for many poets. The headlines of literary history sometimes pretend that “Georgian poetry” (hedges, tweed and cider) has deservedly been replaced by “war poetry” or “modernist poetry”. However, war poets and modernist poets appeared in Georgian Poetry, and Ezra Pound in The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse, (1912).

Thomas Hardy Thomas Hardy wrote the most ambitious Edwardian poetry in The Dynasts (1904, 1906, 1908), an epic verse drama about the Napoleonic wars, set in various continental theaters and in Wessex, where Bonaparte was expected to land. There are Choirs of the Spirits of Years and Feathers, as in Greek tragedy and Wagner's opera. It rewards, but rarely gets, a reading. Its epic historical panorama and elevated vantage point suggest comparison with Pound's Corners and Eliot's The Waste Land; from this Hardy emerges with some solid qualities. But, by common consent, his best work is found spread across the six volumes from Wessex Poems (1898) to Winter Words (1928). He wrote nearly a thousand poems. Hardy, Yeats and Eliot, who dominate 20th-century English poetry, differ enormously. Hardy can be read without preface or note. He discouraged theorists with comments such as "there is no new poetry", "misfitting impressions have their value", and "no harmonious philosophy is attempted in these pages - or in any old pages of mine, for that matter" (1928). His unadjusted prints are varied and the collections, except the 1912-13 Poems, are formless. Many were written before 1900, but their style has not changed. Though Hardy delved deeper, no critic could make a career out of explaining his "development". He wrote professional poems, from 'Domicilium' in his teens, to 'During Wind and Rain' in his eighties, hundreds of them excellent. His quality is recognized by subsequent poets as very English. Having no intellectual, political or artistic program, it is easier to anthologize than to write about it. But unpretentiousness should not be misjudged; sketches and watercolors make a strong contribution to English art. In Helen Gardner's New Oxford Book of English Verse (1972), only Shakespeare and Wordsworth had more poems than Hardy; in Philip Larkin's Oxford Book of Twentieth-Century Verse (1973), Hardy had more than anyone. Aside from a few ballads, the poems are apparently personal and occasional, inspired by place, time and mood. The title Moments of Vision (1917) suggests the Hardy tradition of Wordsworth, Shelley and Browning. He owed much to his friend, the Reverend William Barnes (1801-1886), a gifted writer of verse in Standard English and Dorset Dialect. Barnes' example (in poems like 'Woak Hill' and 'Linden Lea') showed how local discourse can ground a lyric in everyday life. For Hardy, no word or thing was itself unpoetic or poetic: poems by him range from small to large. Hardy's interest is not in his attempt at 'philosophy' but in his religious regard for the universe and its inhabitants, a country supernaturalism. Dele [p. 320] landscapes are full of omens and presences, and he wanted to be remembered for the habit of perceiving them, as he says in 'After':

.. . If, on hearing that I am finally quieted, they stand at the door, Watching the star-filled sky that winter sees, That thought will arise in those who will never see my face again: 'Was he one who had an eye for such mysteries? And someone will say when my parting bell is heard in the dark, And a cross breeze breaks their beat, Till they rise again, as if it were the resounding of a new bell, 'He doesn't hear now, but he used to notice such things' ? There's a surprising amount of ascension here, but Hardy is an amazing writer. His strong metered verse melody carries his "misfit" diction well. As Pound put it, Hardy's Poems of 1912-13 "raise him to his height, sixteen poems from "The Going" to "Castle Boterel", all good enough for a lifetime. died suddenly, and for the love that They had in the beginning. Alongside the poems Pound mentions are 'The Voice', 'Beeny Cliff' and 'After a Journey'. I see what you're doing: you're taking me To the places we knew when we we haunted here together, The waterfall, above which the arc of mist shone In the then fair hour of the then fair weather, And the cave just below, with a voice still so hollow That seems to call to me from forty years ago, When you were all bright , And not the thin ghost I now follow frail!('After a Journey')

War Poetry and War Poets In 1915 Hardy published 'In Time of "The Breaking of Nations'": Just a man harrowing clods On a slow silent walk With an old horse that stumbles and shakes its head Half asleep as they stalk . Only thin flameless smoke From the grassy heaps; However, this will remain the same Though dynasties pass. There a maiden and her creature Come whispering: The annals of war will fade into the night Before their history dies. This poem, says Hardy, was inspired by farm workers he saw in Cornwall in 1870 during the Franco-Prussian War, but he "did not write the verses until during the war with Germany in 1914". Hardy was therefore a war poet; as did Kipling, who lost his son and wrote a somber set of war epitaphs. The 1914-18 war is also behind Pound's 1915 poetry and Eliot's The Wasteland. Eliot said that Ford's "Antwerp" was the only good poem he found on the subject of war. [p. 321] Popularly, however, war poetry is about the Front, and by young fighters: typically, Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967), who protested mechanized slaughter from the trenches; supremely, his friend Wilfred Owen (1893-1918), who was killed; as well as Isaac Rosenberg (1890-1918) and Edward Thomas (1878-1917). Accounts that focus on anti-war poems often employ Rupert Brooke (1887-1915) as a foil. Brooke welcomed the war in a spirit of patriotic idealism: 'If I die, think only this of me, / That there's some corner of a foreign field / That's England forever' ('The Soldier'). After his death en route to Gallipoli, the handsome young Brooke was considered a symbolic type of the myriad young officers lost in the war. After the Battle of the Somme in 1916, trench losses ruined the idea of ​​heroic sacrifice. Poems like Sassoon's 'The General', Owen's 'Anthem for Doomed Youth', Rosenberg's 'Break of Day in the Trenches' and Ivor Gurney's 'To His Love' plunge us into that deadlock in the mud for which even professional soldiers cannot they were prepared. . The last battle anywhere near Britain was Waterloo in 1815. Sassoon and Owen's poems surfaced after 1918 and came to express national mourning. The indignant sense that the waste of the trenches must not be forgotten gave symbolic value to Sassoon's savage efficacy protest verse and Owen's pathos. The two men returned to the front, Owen to die; Sassoon survived to write Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man (1928) and Memoirs of an Infantry Officer (1930). In 1914, poetry was still a natural medium for the expression of public sentiment; newspapers published many patriotic poems. Survivors also wrote prose about the war: the novel Death of a Hero by Richard Aldington (1892-1962) and the memoir Goodbye to All That by Robert Graves (1895-1985), both from 1929. A' home front' is commemorated in the popular Testament of Youth (1933) by Vera Brittain (1893-1970). Of the dozens of books on the war, Edmund's account

Blunden's (1896-1974) going forward in Undertones of War (1928) should be read with In Parenthesis (1937) by David Jones (1895-1974) and Ford's No More Parades (1924-8).

'Over the top': British troops step out of a trench towards barbed wire, 1916.

[p. 322] The best poet to come to the fore in, and fall from, the war is the Anglo-Welshman Edward Thomas (1878-1917). Thomas lived writing 'country' prose and revising verse until, encouraged by the American poet Robert Frost, he became a poet in late 1914. Poems such as 'Adlestrop', 'The Owl' and 'As the Team's Head Brass' address the war indirectly through rural life in peacetime England, in contrast to the shock tactics of the protest poems. They have the effect of Homer's similes, which compare times of war to landscapes or activities in times of peace. Natural observation adds an understated symbolic hint in a poem like 'Lights Out', which, like another beautiful poem, 'Old Man', makes no reference to war but embraces death. Later English poets saw Hardy and Edward Thomas as a continuation of an English tradition. Yeats dismissed Owen with the words "Passive suffering is not a subject for poetry"; his own poems on the Dublin Easter Rising of 1916 strike a more heroic note. Though Owen's pathos can be cloying, his poems speak immediately and are set for school exams. The Owen-Sassoon story was often later recycled, but the literary merit of the poems was exaggerated. Precious witnesses to a traumatic national experience, they are not great modern poems, although their simple emotions are easier to respond to than the adult poetry of the modernists.

Further Reading Bergonzi, B. Heroes' Twilight: A Steady of the Literature of the Great War, 2nd edn (London: Constable, 1980). Fussell, P. The Great War and Modern Memory (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1975).

[p. 323]

13. From Post-War to Post-War: An Overview of 1920-55. Two texts published in 1922, Ulysses by James Joyce and The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot, differed in form from the novels and poems that preceded them. This was the height of a new wave in English literature, from Ezra Pound's Lustra and Joyce's Dubliners in 1914 to Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse in 1927. The modern writing of Joyce, Pound, Eliot and D. H. Lawrence emerged when Hardy, Conrad , Shaw, Kipling and Ford were still writing, and Yeats was becoming a powerful poet. This writing, new and old, makes the period 1914-27 the richest in twentieth-century English literature. It may be the richest since the Romantics, and certainly since the 1850s, when many novelists and poets flourished.

‘Modernism’: 1914-27 These modern writers are often called modernists. The word “modernism” is a convenient term, as the “-ism” of the new is difficult to define; therefore, it appears in this text without a capital letter. Although the present had begun - before 1914 - to look more different than the past, there were no agreed principles for an artistic program. Rather, the old methods would no longer do. Behind this cultural shift were changes in society, politics, and technology, and the loosening of family, local, and religious ties. As the value of the human person promoted by Christianity and continued in liberal humanism weakened, Marx, Freud and Nietzsche, the fathers of modern atheism, were read. But these general factors do not point to an obvious formulation that fits these writers as a group. Ambitious, they broke with the formal conventions in force. ‘Modern Art’, meaning Picasso’s painting, Stravinsky’s music and Eliot’s poetry, soon became a historical label. After a war won at terrible cost in blood, spirit and money, London was no longer the center Pound and Eliot had arrived at in the footsteps of Henry James. Younger Americans went to Paris. Pound left for Paris and Italy, Ford for Paris and America, Lawrence for wilder shores, leaving Virginia Woolf as the only remaining wholly English Anglo-Modernist. Modernist literature was not very English, and

Table of Contents 'Modernism': 1914-27 D. H. Lawrence The Rainbow James Joyce Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Ulysses Ezra Pound: The London Years T. S. Eliot The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock The Waste Land Four Quartets Eliot Review W. B. Yeats Hugh MacDiarmid and David Jones Virginia Woolf To the Lighthouse Katherine Mansfield Non-Modernism: The 1920s and 30s Modernism Doesn't Catch Poetry of the 1930s Political Fields W. H. Auden The Novel Evelyn Waugh Grahame Greene Anthony Powell George Orwell Elizabeth Bowen Fairy Tales C. S. Lewis J. R. R. Tolkien Poetry World War II Dylan Thomas Drama Sean O'Casey Additional Reading

[p. 324] Events 1920-39 1920 1921 1922 1923 1926 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939

The League of Nations is founded. Civil War in Ireland. The University of Oxford admits women on its degrees. The Irish Free State is established. Liberals are succeeded by conservatives. The BBC starts broadcasting. Stanley Baldwin (Conservative Party) becomes Prime Minister. The General Strike. General strikes are made illegal. The vote is given to women. The New York Stock Exchange collapses. The Labor government of Ramsay Macdonald takes office. 107 Nazis are elected to the Reichstag. Josef Stalin oppresses Kulaks. Great Britain leaves the Gold Standard; the pound is devalued. Nearly three million are unemployed. MacDonald forms a "National Government". Independence is granted to Domains. Hunger March from Jarrow to London. Stalin purges the Communist Party, the intelligentsia and the army. The Nazis become the largest party in the Reichstag. Adolf Hitler becomes chancellor. F. D. Roosevelt offers the US a 'New Deal'. Hitler purges the Nazi Party in 'The Night of the Long Knives'. Baldwin forms a national government. Italy invades Abyssinia. George V dies. Edward VIII accedes, then abdicates. George VI reigns (until 1952). Spanish Civil War. Purges of the Soviet Union. Neville Chamberlain becomes Prime Minister. Hitler annexes Austria. Chamberlain signs the Munich Agreement with Hitler. A Nazi-Soviet pact is made. Hitler invades Czechoslovakia and Poland. General Franco wins the Spanish Civil War. Great Britain declares war in support of Poland.

it was largely written by exiles. Exiles is the name of a play by James Joyce which avoided England. When the Irish Free State was created in 1921, Joyce had been a British citizen for thirty-nine years. Yeats, then fifty-seven, continued to spend much of his time in England. Samuel Beckett (1906-89), sometimes called the last modernist, left Ireland in 1937 for Paris. (Yeats and Pound have less space here than they would in histories of Irish or American literature.)

D. H. Lawrence D(avid) H(erbert) Lawrence (1885-1930) had a prophet's lack of interest in aesthetics. His first mature work, Sons and Lovers (1913), like his play The Widowing of Mrs Holroyd (1914), is based on the 19th century - a slice of domestic life - and purpose: to make a strong emotional impact. When the Son (Paul Morel) has escaped his mother's suffocating love and two love affairs - one spiritual, one carnal - the narrative stops. It's autobiographical: Lawrence grew up in a Nottinghamshire village; at home, his high-minded nonconformist mother cherished him; his father, a miner, felt out of place. Though Lawrence would later repudiate his mother's ideals and sympathize with his father, he retained a true-or-false evangelical model of what is good, a moral intelligence, and a St. Paul's temper. His writing is fueled by [p. 325] Publications of the Modernist Period 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928

D. H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers; Compton Mackenzie, Sinistra Street. James Joyce, Dubliners; W. B. Yeats, Responsibilities; Ezra Pound (ed.), Des Imagistes; Thomas Hardy, Satires of Circumstances; George Moore, Hail and Farewell; George Bernard Shaw, Pygmalion. Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier, Lawrence, The Rainbow; Richard Aldington, Images; Rupert Brooke, 1914 and Other Poems; Ezra Pound, Lustra, Cathay. James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. T. S. Eliot, Prufrock and other observations; Norman Douglas, South Wind. Gerard Hopkins, Poems (ed. Robert Bridges); D. G. Wyndham Lewis, Tarr, Lytton Strachey, Eminent Victorians; Siegfried Sassoon, counterattack. Eliot, Poems; W. B. Yeats, The Wild Swans at Coole; Pound, Homage to Sextus Propertius. Ezra Pound, Hugh Selwyn Mauberley, Lawrence, Women in Love; Eliot, Poems, 1920, The Sacred Grove; Wilfred Owen, Poems (ed. Siegried Sassoon); Shaw, House of the Broken Heart. Aldous Huxley, Chrome Yellow; Lawrence, Women in Love. Eliot, The Wasteland; A. E. Housman, Last Poems; John Galsworthy, The Forsyte Saga; Isaac Rosenberg, Poems (ed. Bottomley); Joyce, Ulysses; Katherine Mansfield, The Garden Party. Lawrence, Kangaroo; Huxley, Antic Hay. Ford, some don't; E.M. Forster, A Passage to India; Sean O'Casey, Juno and Paycock. Ford, No More Parades; Lawrence, St Mawr, Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway; W. B. Yeats, A Vision; Hugh MacDiarmid, Sangschaw. MacDiarmid, A drunken man looks at the thistle; Ford, A Man Could Stand; T. E. Lawrence, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom; Yeats, Autobiographies. Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse; Wyndham Lewis, Time and Western Man; Elizabeth Bowen, The Hotel; T. F. Powys, Mr. Weston. Yeats, The Tower, Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover, Sassoon, Memoirs of a Foxhunter; Edmund Blunden, Undertones of War, Huxley, Point Counter Point; Evelyn Waugh, Decline and Fall.

tensions between class or sex or mind and body or, more apocalyptically, between natural life and a civilization of death. His best books represent these struggles, which are reduced to a simple formula in his last novel, Lady Chatterley's Lover, in which Sir Clifford Chatterley, paralyzed below the waist by a war wound, is in a wheelchair; her gamekeeper, Mellors, satisfies Lady Constance's needs in clearly described sexual scenes, sacred in intent. She is the woman who admires and needs the man. Lawrence's mission to make the word "fuck" sacred meant that this intensely serious book was banned. His obscenity trial in 1960 capped off a history of misunderstandings between Lawrence and official England. The “permissive” consequences of the “not guilty” verdict were not what Lawrence would have wanted. Lady Chatterley's Lover is a fable without the rich density of her main novels, The Rainbow (1915) and Women in Love (1921), and their prophetic charge. In some nineteenth-century French novels, the test of integrity is the lovers' willingness to act upon their (extramarital) love. Not so in Nottingham in 1912, when Lawrence eloped with Frieda, the German wife of his former tutor at University College. She left Professor Ernest Weekley with their three children, went to Germany with Lawrence and returned to England and married him in 1914; shortly afterwards, her cousin became the leading fighter pilot, Baron von Richthofen. Lawrence was a pacifist, and when the police set their sights on his Cornish cottage, he felt persecuted. He

[p. 326]

David Herbert Lawrence, in 1908, at Nottingham University College, aged 23.

he was already alienated - by his family's education, by the marriage of his friends at home, by the intransigence of friends in London. His novels and paintings were often banned for indecency. He traveled incessantly from 1919 until his death - to Italy, Australia, Mexico, New Mexico, Italy and France - churning out travel books, essays and sketches, as well as Kangaroo (1923), The Plumed Serpent (1926) and other novels and soap operas and seeking a natural life untainted by modern consciousness. Travel made his alienation and his views more extreme, so that those who were not for him were against him. As some of his ideas were accepted (and others rejected: "The root of sanity is in the balls", for example, or Dostoevsky as "a rat crawling on hate"), partisanship cooled. His writing is brisk, jagged: the new precision of Sydney's first impression of Kangaroo turns into turgidity and an incredible plot. His talent shines through in his poems and travel books, but he often couldn't get out alone. So successful were his efforts to raise awareness of sexuality that his theories and symbols can now seem overly insistent. (The modern disease was "sex in the head", he said; however, he didn't want children.) His preaching is restrained in his short stories and often absent from his informal sketches of free verse, which are autobiographical and of birds, animals and flowers; these will last. In such glimpses and in some later essays he is more playful and self-conscious than he is in his long fictions.

The Rainbow His best novel is The Rainbow (1915), a saga of three generations of a farming family, the Brangwens. Social life gives way to individual personality; sexual relations are made to express historical and emotional developments; and there is a lot of symbolism. Three of its modes - realism, symbolic projection and an exploratory expressionism - are shown in the following passage. Anna Brangwen learns that she is expecting a child but cannot tell her husband, even though she loves him. She will tell her parents. Her husband enters: Tom Brangwen, blue-eyed and warm, sat down opposite the young man. 'How long are you going to stop?' asked the young husband of his wife. "Not long," she said. [p. 327] ‘Get your tea, lad,’ said Tom Brangwen. “Are you anxious to leave the moment you enter?” They talked about trivial things. Through the open door the flat rays of the setting sun streamed in, shimmering on the floor. A gray hen came scurrying through the door, pecking, and the light through her comb and her wattles made a halo flutter here and there, as she passed, her gray body like a ghost. Anna, watching, threw pieces of bread and felt the child burn inside her. She seemed to remember again forgotten things, burning and far away. 'Where was I born, mother?' she asked. (The 'oriflamme' was a pennant on a spear, in the shape of a golden flame.) After the antagonism of men, the sun shining through the old hen's crest awakens in Anna a flickering trace of her own birth, and she does your question. This almost subconscious symbolism, readable today, was subtle in 1915.

The Rainbow lies between the realism of Sons and Lovers and the symbolism of Women in Love, itself a continuation of The Rainbow but more ambitious and intellectually schematic. It is also typically modernist in its alienation, antipathy to modern life, and satire of literary, social, and intellectual elites. The rainbow makes structural use of rainbow symbolism after the flood in Genesis. Lawrence made several efforts to replace the Christian story.

James Joyce James Joyce (1882-1941) is a central figure in modernist prose, just as Eliot is in modernist poetry. He makes a contrast with Lawrence: both were rebels, exiles and victims of censorship, but they had little else in common. Joyce is an artist who is deeply interested in the medium and form of his art. Each of his major works—Dubliners (1914), Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916), Ulysses (1922), and Finnegans Wake (1939)—differs in language and approach from its predecessor. Joyce's aim was to leave an impersonal, objective work of art for the reader to interpret, an aim he shared with Eliot, James, and Flaubert, but not with Lawrence. 'The artist', pronounced Stephen Dedalus in Portrait of the Artist, 'like the God of creation, stands within or behind or beyond or above his work, invisible, refined out of existence, indifferent, clipping his fingernails.'

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Joyce was well educated at Jesuit schools and at University College, Dublin. He became an ex-Catholic (as Lawrence became an ex-Protestant) and an exile, but not an ex-Irishman. He stayed away from Dublin, in Trieste and Paris to remember him more clearly in his art. Joyce's family was formerly middle class. In Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Stephen Dedalus (the Artist) is asked what fathered him. Stephen began to loquaciously enumerate his father's attributes. - A medical student, a rower, a tenor, an amateur actor, a noisy politician, a smallholder, a small investor, a drinker, a good fellow, a storyteller, someone's secretary, something in a still, a tax collector, a bankrupt and currently a praiser of his own past. Cranly laughed, tightening his grip on Stephen's arm, and said: — The still is very good. It is characteristic of the appreciation of the Dublin speech that Cranly pays attention to the phrase "something in a still" rather than to what Stephen said. Joyce himself, by adopting the French convention of dashes instead of quotation marks to introduce direct speech, blurred the distinction between words and things. When Joyce told his father that he was getting married, his father asked the woman's name. In [p. 328] hearing that she was Nora Barnacle, he replied: 'She will stay with you, then.' Such a father had his educational side. Stephen's intelligence is appreciated by Cranly, but both are quite serious young men. "It's curious, you know, Cranly said dispassionately, how your mind is oversaturated with the religion you say you don't believe in." Joyce studied languages, learning enough Norwegian to write for Ibsen. Although he read Yeats and others, much of his modern reading was European. He left Dublin aged 21, returning to his mother's death and departing shortly afterwards with Nora, a Galway girl who remained faithful to him but never read his "dirty books". Stephen gives Cranly his reasons for leaving: - I will not serve what I no longer believe in, whether it be called my home, my country or my church: and I will try to express myself in some way of life or art as freely as I can and as fully as I can. I can, using for my defense the only weapons I allow myself to use - silence, exile and cunning. Joyce lived obscurely, teaching English, eventually helped by various patrons. Although the first Dubliners story was written in 1904, publication was delayed, so that Joyce's three masterpieces appeared within eight years. Dubliners consists of realistic sketches of the lives of ordinary, largely lower-middle-class Dubliners. Each fails to break out of habitual routines, and the cumulative effect is depressing, as in Maupassant's tales of small urban lives and in George Moore's The Untilled Field (1903). Dubliners deals first with children, then gradually with older people; in Joyce's plan, twelve stories in the style of "scrupulous meanness" would show a Dublin paralyzed by family, poverty, bigotry and provincial meanness. Each story is organized using thematic symbols. All of Joyce's works have this multidimensionality. Such systematic artistry, common in Renaissance verse, is previously touched upon in English fiction only by Austen (who best conceals it) and the late James; and Joyce works in a wider world than theirs. Like Flaubert, he wears gloves of antiseptic irony, but some warmth comes from stories like 'A Little Cloud' and 'A Painful Case', where human feelings are more valued. When his omission of Dublin hospitality was pointed out to him, Joyce added a longer final story, 'The Dead'. This richly crafted story takes place at a Christmas party, where Gabriel Conroy presides over the table of his old musical aunts. The unheroic Gabriel, a well-wearer who takes a vacation in Belgium, feels culturally above the company. At the end of the night, he hears from his wife that she was once loved by a boy from the West who died out of love for her. Generous tears filled Gabriel's eyes. He had never felt this way about any woman before, but he knew that feeling must be love. Tears gathered thicker in his eyes and in the partial darkness he imagined he saw the shape of a young man standing under a dripping tree. Other shapes were nearby. His soul had approached that region where the vast hosts of the dead dwell. He was aware of, but could not apprehend, his rebellious, wavering existence. His own identity was disappearing into an impalpable gray world: the very solid world these dead once created and lived in was dissolving and diminishing.

Gabriel is sympathetic but remains a bystander. In the next, final paragraph, Joyce allows herself to write lyrically and imaginatively about the island she was leaving. In A Portrait of the Artist, initially drafted as Stephen Hero, Stephen Dedalus recounts his maturation, always in language and in the range of sensations appropriate to each phase of childhood, boyhood, adolescence and student life. He is sensitive and short-sighted, [p. 329] and their experiences are negative: family, nationalist and clerical politics; school tyrannies; sexual experience and ascetic reaction; an invitation to the priesthood; fruitless romantic love; family impoverishment. His intelligence and learning earn him some respect from his peers. He has an exalted vision of a girl swimming in the sea, whom he sees in the form of a seabird: 'A wild angel appeared to him, the angel of youth and mortal beauty, an envoy from the fair courts of life, to open before him from him in an instant of ecstasy the gates of all paths of error and glory.” This is an “epiphany”, a revelation. After that, Stephen climbed to the top of the sand hill and looked around. Night had fallen. An edge of the young moon split the pale expanse of the horizon, the edge of a silver arch set in the gray sand; and the tide was rushing towards land with a low whisper of its waves, isolating a few last figures in distant pools. 5 He emptied his third cup of watery tea to the bottom and began to chew on the crumbs of fried bread that were scattered near him, looking into the dark puddle of the pitcher. The yellow drip has been dug up like a swamp... The transposition of its 'high' into a low register weakens Stephen, who is less heroic than in Stephen Hero; the artist revised the portrayal of his younger self. Private Stephen is less sure than in the epigrams he fires at his comrades. The book ends in the form of a diary, concluding: Welcome, O life! I will find for the millionth time the reality of experience and forge in the forge of my soul the uncreated consciousness of my race. April 27th. Old father, old craftsman, put me now and always in good standing. Stephen is about to fly to Dublin; his 'old father' is Dedalus, the blacksmith who with his son Icarus flew away from the island of Crete on wings he had made. But Icarus has fallen, and although Stephen hopes to forge a conscience for his race, the suitcases his mother has packed for him contain 'new hand-me-down clothes'. How to lead this aspiring artist is not clear, but there is an ambiguity in the “forge” that he is unaware of. It is the portrait of a self-centered young man.

Ulysses The case changes in Ulysses, in which Stephen Dedalus plays second fiddle to Leopold Bloom, a Jewish publicity agent, who acts as a father figure to him. Much of the book consists of Bloom's mixed impressions and musings as he wanders around Dublin, visiting a funeral, a pub, a newspaper office and other locations. He meets Stephen, whose stream of consciousness is higher, and helps him. The unity of place and time is observed in this unclassical book, which takes place in Dublin on 16 June 1904. Ulysses ends with Molly Bloom's soliloquy in bed saying 'Yes', and begins in the Martello Tower, south of Dublin , where Stephen is staying. The majestic, fat Buck Mulligan came down the stairs, carrying a bowl of foam on which lay a crossed mirror and razor. A yellow, beltless robe was held softly behind him in the balmy morning air. He lifted the bowl and intoned: - Introibo ad altare Dei. Mulligan plays the priest who begins the mass in Latin, a comic blasphemy that must be accompanied by a final parody. Well, Mrs. Bloom, who is speaking at the end of the book, is a comic inversion of the Penelope to whom Odysseus returns at the end of Homer [p. 330] Odyssey. Unlike faithful Penelope, Molly (a singer) awaits a lover, 'Blazes' Boylan. Bloom is not heroic, indecent, and unlike Odysseus; and Stephen is different from Telemachus, faithful son of Odysseus. 'Ulysses' (pronounced 'Oo-liss-ays' by Joyce) is the modern form of 'Odysseus' in later Western literature; Ulysses parodies much of this tradition. This encyclopedic bent makes it an epic (of a heroic-comic sort) as much as a novel. Its chapters shadow episodes from the Odyssey, and Joyce used 'Proteus', 'Nausicaa' etc. as working titles for the chapters and traced the correspondences with Homer's history. These names do not appear in the text - which can be read without Homer, although some of the jokes are lost. Mulligan looks out to sea. - God, he said softly. Is not the sea what Algy calls it: a sweet gray mother? The snot-green sea. The sea squeezing the scrotum. Epi oinopa ponton. Ah, Dedalus, the Greeks. I must teach you. You must read them in the original... 'Algy' is Algernon Charles Swinburne, who wrote 'I will return to the great [not grey] sweet mother'. The Greek phrase means "on the wine-red sea". Mulligan (based on the humor of Oliver St John Gogarty) coin new Homeric compound epithets, indecent in their naturalism. Dedalus reads Greek. Joyce takes revenge on Mulligan when an old woman asks him, 'Are you a medical student, sir?'

To read Ulysses it is not necessary to know Homer, the biography of Shakespeare, the history of the English language, the geography of Dublin or the history of Ireland, although these are all part of your subject, as are newspapers, dirty postcards and a nightmare. in the brothel area. . But Ulysses cannot be read without a taste for words, a sense of humor and a tolerance for jokes, including once-clear but now obscure allusions. The Latin Mass, for example, was abandoned in the 1960s by the Second Vatican Council, and its opening can no longer be effectively parodied. Readers cannot look for steady progress in a single mode and an orderly syntax. Nor can Ulysses be read for history, for the texture of many of its 933 pages is so intricate or discontinuous that the text becomes a world of its own. Today it is read in universities, often in selection. Parts of it are brilliantly and outrageously comic. All of this is smart, most are worth rereading, a lot needs deciphering, some are simply displayed. Ulysses is difficult, but not intellectual. The main conductor of his “stream of consciousness” is Leopold Bloom, who is not magnanimous. M'Coy asks him about Paddy Dignam's funeral, just when Bloom expected to catch a glimpse of a lady's legs entering a carriage opposite. To attend! To attend! White silk flash rich stockings. To attend! A heavy tram honking with its dewy gong in the middle. I lost. Curse your noisy pugnose. Feel blocked for this. Paradise and Peri. Always happening like this. The moment. Girl in Eustace Street hallway. Monday was his league adjustment. His friend covering the display of. Body spirit. Well, what are you gaping at? —Yes, yes, said Mr Bloom, after a muffled sigh. Another one is gone. - One of the best, said M'Coy. The tram passed. They drove toward the Loop Line bridge, his rich gloved hand on the steel cable. Trembles, trembles: the lace of her hat in the sun: trembles, trembles. - Wife well, I suppose? M'Coy's altered voice said. —Oh yes, said Mr Bloom. Tiptop, thank you. He idly unrolled the newspaper stick and read idly: What's a home without Plumtree pot meat? Incomplete. With him an abode of bliss. - My mistress just had an engagement. At least, it's still not resolved. [p. 331] Eliot hailed Ulysses as a masterpiece, Forster and Virginia Woolf turned up their noses. Though he has a medical student's sense of humor - blunt, smelly, even disgusting - he lacks a disdain for contemporary everyday life. The unedifying Bloom also has more refined feelings, particularly for her family, and is kind to Stephen. Regarding his wife's adultery, he feels "the futility of triumph, protest, or vindication". Posterity agreed with Eliot. Finnegans Wake, a seventeen-year-old work, extends the half-asleep monologue into a phantasmagoria of names and initials that change identity. Much of this is dreamed up by a drunken Dublin tavern keeper named H. C. Earwicker (HCE, 'Here Comes Everyone'). Another character is Anna Livia Plurabelle (ALP), who is also the River Liffey. A long interlingual pun on world literature, it's more good writing than good reading. The right book for those who believe that there is no right reading, it is also a long joke played on its readers.

Ezra Pound: The London Years In his London years, 1908-20, Ezra Pound (1885-1972) collaborated with W. B. Yeats, published Joyce, "discovered" T. S. Eliot, and edited The Waste Land. In gratitude, Eliot dedicated the poem to him in a line from Dante, il miglior fabbro ('the best worker'). In praise of his Cathay translations, Eliot called Pound "the inventor of Chinese poetry for our time." Pound also invented the influential poetic movement he called "Imagism". “In a very short time,” wrote Ford of Pound, recalling the prosperous days of The English Review, “he had me, the magazine, and finally London in charge.” "Most Important Influence Since Wordsworth" was the paper's headline. London Observer on Pound's death. However, in 1965, at Eliot's memorial service in Westminster Abbey, few recognized Pound. In the following years he had returned to London only in the memoirs recorded in the Pisan Cantos (1948). But his years in London are part of that story. Pound's Imagism demanded verbal concentration, direct treatment of the object and expressive rhythm - as opposed to the long-winded rhetoric and metrical regularity of the Victorians, the style in which he himself had grown up. Other Imagists were the American poet H. D. (Hilda Doolittle) and her husband Richard Aldington; echoes can be heard in the poems of T. E. Hulme and in Eliot's Preludes. Pound's critical thrust is more recognized than the poetry he wrote in England: Personae (1909), Ripostes (1912), Lustra and Cathay (1914), Homage to Sextus Properties (1917), Hugh Selwyn Mauberley (1920). An Imagist fragment in the Lustra volume is 'Fan-Piece, for her Imperial Lord', written by a courtesan of the Chinese emperor: O white silk fan, clear as frost on the blade of grass, You too were cast aside. The eloquence of this comparison lies in what is not stated but implied. To temper the emotion, Pound often uses remote literary masks or modes, from Provençal, Latin or Chinese, or from the Anglo-Saxon 'Seafarer'. Translations of it were to be imitated, but the new poetry was pushed aside by the war, as can be felt in the background of the 'Letter of Exile' in Cathay and in the defense of love in Propertius:

[p. 332] Dried wreaths drop their petals, their stems are woven into baskets, Today we take the great breath of lovers, tomorrow fate closes us. Though you give all your kisses, you give few. Mauberley traces the mindless treatment of art and poetry in Victorian England, which produced the marginal imaginary poet Mauberley. The English reaction to Pound's Propertius appears as 'Better mendacities/ Than the classics in paraphrase'. The English advice for Pound appears as 'Accept the opinion. The 'nineties' tried their game/And died, there's nothing in it.' Pound took his Epics elsewhere. He described them as a mystery story trying to solve the historic crime of World War I. The Cantos provided a model for The Waste Land, but the splendors and illusions of Pound's later work are outside of English literature.

T. S. Eliot T(homas) S(tearns) Eliot (1887-1965) was born in St Louis, Missouri, where his grandfather founded the university. The family came from New England, where an English ancestor emigrated in the 17th century. After school in Boston and Harvard University, he studied philosophy in Marburg, Paris and Oxford. In London, when the war broke out, he married an Englishwoman and stayed. After the success of The Waste Land and its reviews, he edited The Criterion, a review, and joined Faber publishing. In 1927, the modern daring became a British subject and proclaimed himself "classic in literature, royalist in politics and Anglo-Catholic in religion". Eliot's pre-eminence was both critical and poetic. In the discipline of English, new to Cambridge in the 1920s, there was no god but Eliot, and the critics I. A. Richards and F. R. Leavis were his prophets. Disciples spread the word to the world of English studies. In 1948, Eliot received the Nobel Prize and the Order of Merit. The Waste Land was “modern poetry”; his four wartime quartets were revered; plays of it ran in the West End. Cats (1981), a musical based on Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats

From left, Ford Madox Ford, James Joyce, Ezra Pound and John Quinn (1923). Quinn, a New York attorney, purchased the manuscript of The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot. [p. 333] (1939), made millions, with lyrics rewritten to turn Eliot's nonsense for smart kids into singable whimsy for weary parents.

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock The poetry Eliot chose to publish is perfected; he grouped some of the works in his Collected Poems as 'Minor Poems'. His undramatic work has fewer weak poems than that of any nineteenth-century poet. Most notable are The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (written in 1911 and published by Pound in The Egoist, 1915); The Waste Land (1922); and Four Quartets (completed in 1942). Between the first two came baffling but hauntingly polished quartet poems such as 'Sweeney Among the Nightingales' (1918); between the second, a series of poems recording a painful progress towards a somewhat ghostly reality.

Christianity, notably Ash Wednesday. (At this time, Eliot's wife became mentally ill; he and her brother signed the order to place her in an asylum in 1938; she died in 1947. A second marriage in 1957 was a happy one.) Come on then, you and me , when the night stretches against the sky Like a patient etherized on a table; We roamed, through certain half-deserted streets, The retreating murmurs Of restless nights in cheap hotels And sawdust restaurants with oyster shells; Streets that follow like a tedious argument Of insidious intent To lead you to an overwhelming question... Oh, don't ask, 'What is this?' Let's make our visit. So begins Prufrock's love song. The distortion of meaning in "spread out" is characteristic of Eliot's duplicity: the romantic evening is staged as for surgery. The resemblance of night clouds to a supine patient is more than visual, for the passive sufferer never pays his visit or asks "the overwhelming question." The images of heroic martyrdom suggest that the issue may have been “To be or not to be”; images of distant sexual attraction, “Could you love me?” Absurd rhymes make it clear that Prufrock is not capable of love or sacrifice; insistent rhythms suggest a ritual approach to a climax that syntax always postpones. Accepting that the visit “wouldn't be worth it after all,” Prufrock faces the future: Should I part my hair back? Do I dare eat a peach? I'll wear white flannel pants and walk along the beach. I heard the mermaids singing, one to the other. I don't think they'll sing for me.

The Waste Land Dramatic monologues are multiplied in The Waste Land, an earlier title for which it was 'He plays the police in different voices' (words found in Dickens' Our Mutual Friend). The poem brings together modern voices and ancient beauty and wisdom; their lives are incoherent, miserable, incomplete, loveless, lost. But not everything is lost. O city of city, I can sometimes hear Beside a pub in Lower Thames Street, The pleasant wail of a mandolin [p. 334] And a clatter and chatter from within Where the fish-men rest at noon: where the walls Of Magnus Martyr keep Inexplicable splendor of white and Ionian gold. The men finished the job, bringing fish from the Thames to Billingsgate Market. Magnus Martyr, near which Eliot worked at Lloyd's Bank, is one of Christopher Wren's churches in the City of London. After the war, it was proposed that nineteen of them should be scrapped as redundant. 'St Magnus Martyr', says Eliot's note, has 'in my opinion one of the finest of Wren's interiors'. Its columns are Ionic, which Eliot varies to evoke the Ionian Sea. Whatever its interior, the church is dedicated to a hero who preferred death to bloodshed. 'Martyr' and 'Ionian' contribute inexplicable qualities. Words, Eliot said, have "tentacling roots . . . reaching into our deepest fears and desires." It is easier to write about The Waste Land's themes than its words, images, sounds and rhythms. However, Eliot's favorite line in the poem was "drip drop drop drop drop drop drop". He insisted that "a poem must be experienced before it is understood". His is a poem of pictures placed side by side, a multiplex version of an imagist poem like Pound's 'Fan-Piece'. The ending is prefaced by "these fragments I have propped against my ruins". Fragments have long been potentially sublime in poetry, but recently less romantic fragments have been in the air. What is that sound high in the air Murmur of a mother's lament Who are these hooded hordes that swarm Over endless plains, stumbling the cracked earth Surrounded only by the flat horizon What is the city over the mountains Cracks and reforms and explosions in the violet air Towers falling Jerusalem Athens Alexandria Vienna London Unreal.

This is from the last part, 'What the Thunder Said', where (Eliot observes) 'three themes are employed: the journey to Emmaus, the approach to the Chapel Perilous (see Miss Weston's book), and the present decay of Eastern Europe' . (Emmaus is the city to which the disciples walked after Jesus' death; Jessie L. Weston's book is From Ritual to Romance; and the 'current decay' is the dissolution of Austria-Hungary.) Themes are not stated , but 'employees', as motifs in the song. The “maternal lamentation” of mothers in Vienna and London is intertwined with that of the women in Jerusalem whom Christ told to weep not for him but for themselves and their children. Their city would be destroyed, but reformed above the mountains: blown up to heaven and rebuilt as a heavenly Jerusalem. When editing the poem, Pound cut half of it, increasing fragmentation and intensity. He wrote to the author that, at nineteen pages, it was now "the longest poem in the English language". But the editor wanted something for the blank pages on the back, and Eliot supplied notes explaining that the title and layout of the poem were suggested by Miss Weston's book on the Grail legend. A devastated world is presented as a Wasteland where there are no crops, no children are born and sex is unpleasant. Eliot's fragments illustrate this theme, finally looking for answers in religious texts, [p. 335]

T(homas) S(tears) Eliot (1887-1965), a studio portrait. This was the man Arthur Waugh compared to "a drunken helot" (see page 345). Christian and Hindu: 'Prison and palace and reverberation/Of spring thunder over distant mountains'. Is the thunder at Christ's death the thunder that brings rain to the holy river Ganges? Eliot uses many languages ​​to pose unanswered questions in inclusive mythological ways with multiple meanings. In his essay 'The Metaphysical Poets' (1921), Eliot credited Donne with a 'unified sensibility' in which thoughts and feelings were not dissociated, as they should have become. In 'Tradition and the Individual Talent' (1919) he separated the man who suffers from the mind that creates, recommending impersonal art over romantic self-expression. Like Joyce, T. E. Hulme, Pound, and Wyndham Lewis, and unlike Lawrence, Eliot opposed the idea that good poetry is the spontaneous outpouring of powerful feeling. Poetry, he says, can arise from emotion and can arouse emotion, but its composition is an art guided by intelligence. This fits your own work. The Waste Land is an agonizing poem, written after a nervous breakdown brought on by overwork and marital unhappiness. The lines can be linked to places Eliot visited – 'At Margate Sands/I can connect/Nothing with nothing' and 'On the waters of Leman I sat and wept' – but that says little about a poem that transcends its occasions, and whose apparent inconsistency is composed with care. It is intended as a musical drama for male and female voices in a depicted world to which a reasonable reaction would be agony. Later, Eliot dismissed the idea that The Waste Land had articulated postwar disillusionment, describing it as "a fit of rhythmic mumbling". But by the late 1920s he had become central to English literary culture. Graduates happily quoted lines expressive of a modern void: “This is how the world ends/Not with a bang, but with a groan” (“The Hollow Men”); 'birth and copulation and death', and 'Any man has to, needs, wants / Once in his life to make a girl' (Sweeney Agonistes). But Eliot turned away from Sweeney - a modern savage, the opposite of Prufrock - towards something more serious. He came to believe that the comparative anthropology underlying The Waste Land, which relativized higher religions and seemed to explain them away as sophistication of nature cults and vegetation ceremonies, was wrong, and that the truth was in the opposite direction. After his Anglican conversion, Dante replaced Donne as his model. His later poetry is less agonizing and dramatic. His play Murder in the Cathedral (1935), commissioned by Canterbury, is a success; Becket's martyrdom in defense of Christian claims was close to Eliot's new position.

[p. 336] position. The Family Reunion (1939) was the first of four mystery dramas, masquerading as brilliant West End comedies in less and less noticeable lines. The implied themes, dedication, sacrifice, transfiguration, healing, are at an odd angle to the "fun" environments of the living room.

Four Quartets 'Burnt Norton' (1936), an unused fragment in Murder in the Cathedral, was followed by 'East Coker' (1940), 'The Dry Salvages' (1941) and 'Little Gidding' (1942), collected as Four Quartets. The title suggests chamber music played by four musicians. Each quartet has five parts, of which the first establishes a personal theme and the fourth is short and lyrical; Waste Land also has this form. Four Quartets is less intense and dramatic, more meditative, repeating and varying themes in different 'instruments' or quietly self-communing voices, one of which is pedantically clear: 'There are three conditions that often seem the same / Yet differ completely, flourish in the same hedgerow:/Attachment to oneself and things and people, detachment/From oneself and things and people; and, growing among them, indifference / Which resembles others as death resembles life...' - a self-mocking but seriously didactic manner. In 'Little Gidding', Eliot bids farewell to his poetic gift and meditates on the value of his life. 'Let me reveal the gifts reserved for age, And put a crown on your life's effort. First, the cold friction of expiring sense...' So speaks a 'familiar compound ghost/Both intimate and unidentifiable', echoing Dante, Shakespeare, Yeats and Swift, and also the ancestors of a poet haunted by familiar ghosts . Eliot's family were Unitarians - believing, as he said, that there was "at most one God" - but he came to a more incarnational and sacrificial, immanent and mystical faith. His married life made romantic disappointment and "detachment ... from people" a painful reality, which he defined in terms of the Buddhist and Brahmin philosophy he studied for two years at Harvard. Detachment does not grab all readers. Nor did the return to England from the execution of Charles I and "the tattered arms woven with a silent motto" (inverting the motto of the executed Mary Queen of Scots): "In my end is my beginning". However, each Quartet opens with a directly personal experience in a named place, and the thought is consecutive, although it concerns the “intersection of the timeless moment with time”, the presence of the divine in experience and history. The mood is intimate: 'My words echo/Thus in your mind' ('Burnt Norton'). The language is ascetic, ever returning to the perfection and limits of poetic language: 'As the Chinese vase still/Turns perpetually in its stillness', so 'the communication/Of the dead is tongue of fire beyond the language of the living'. in The Waste Land, Eliot achieved what he admired in Dante, a depth of language yielding levels of meaning. A simple example is: 'If I think of a king at nightfall, / Of three men, and more, on the scaffold / And some who died forgotten / Elsewhere, here and abroad, / And of one who died blind and quiet/Why should we celebrate/These dead men more than the dying?” The men are Charles I, his supporters Laud and Strafford, and the blind John Milton; but also Jesus, the thieves, the apostles and Saint John the Divine. Eliot's allegory is often less referential. History and experience are open to a realm where language stops but meaning continues, to [p. 337] domain to which language can only point. Less impressive than The Waste Land, Four Quartets is an even more ambitious poem. As the subject is more difficult, the style is simpler.

Eliot's critique Eliot's early critiques of Renaissance drama and metaphysics are highly intelligent, incisive, elegant, and subtle. Although learned, it is pre-academic and more personal than its manner suggests. It is also strategic, creating the taste for which your own poetry would be appreciated. What Eliot later called "brazenness" wrought a velvet revolution, earning him an authority comparable to that of Matthew Arnold. As he aged, his literary criticism became less penetrating and more general. He also wrote social critiques in support of a restored Christian society in England, a hope that lived on in Four Quartets. Eliot's critical mastery has passed, but his poetry still echoes. When Lawrence died in 1930, high modernism was over, its practitioners dispersed or absorbed into projects marginal to the English public. God's Apes, Wyndham Lewis' 1930 attack on 'Bloomsbury' and the cult of youth, is distinctly retrospective. Modernism had conquered the peaks, at the cost of excluding middlebrows from a minority culture and alienating non-modernist writers. The poet Robert Graves attacked Pound and Eliot in 'These are your gods, O Israel!' Eliot was indeed a god to some of the new English generation of Evelyn Waugh (1903-66), George Orwell (1903-50) and W. H. Auden (1907-73), but he was not to W. B. Yeats, as is clear from the Oxford Yeats' Book of Modern English Verse, 1936. The old man, however, became a living master for Eliot and for Auden.

W. B. Yeats W(illiam) B(utler) Yeats (1865-1939) is introduced late, as it was after 1920 that he made his greatest impact on English poetry. Pound liked the Pre-Raphaelite Yeats' 1910 Collected Poems. The forests of Arcadia are dead, And their former joy is gone; In the past, the world fed on dreams; Gray Truth is now her painted toy.

The dreams that fed this myopic and vague-looking man were about the wisdom of the East, the heroes and heroines of Ireland's past, and the peasants of the West. Early poems like 'The Lake Isle of Innisfree', 'Down by the Salley Gardens', 'The Stolen Child', 'The Song of Wandering Aengus', 'The Man Who Dreamed of Faeryland', though beautifully done, did not alter the impression of a dreamer; nor love poems intertwining "pale brows, motionless hands, and dull hair." Wilde and Shaw were not taken very seriously, and Yeats' prewar concerns – folklore, the Abbey Theater in Dublin, Irish nationalism – were dismissed in London. After a transit of the metropolitan sky, his star set in the west. But the dreamer had worked hard, 'All his twenty years full of toil'. J. B. Yeats, an excellent painter, left his son a beautiful example of how not to lead a career, and also taught him to believe only in art. Chesterton once said that "a man who does not believe in God believes in nothing: he believes in anything". The need to believe and worship fueled Yeats' devotions: to Blake, Irish mythology and folklore, the [p. 338]

Willam ButIerYeats (1865-1939).

theatre, national causes, the Rhymers' Club, poetry readings, committee meetings, public meetings, journalism, her own plays and poetry - and to the beautiful Irish nationalist Maud Gonne. He invested almost as much time in occultism and esoteric seances, spiritual beats, theosophy, reincarnation, automatic writing - and especially in visions. The Vision (1925) describes a system in which human history follows a cycle linked (among other things) to the phases of the moon. He played and almost believed in these ideas, but he needed them. After working hard for an Irish literary revival and the Irish National Theatre, he returned to London in disgust. In 1890 Catholic sentiment overthrew Parnell, and in 1907 Dublin protested Synge's The Playboy of the Western World at Yeats' Abbey Theater for showing the Irish people as imperfect. Then, in 1913, the Dublin City Gallery rejected impressionist paintings left to it by Hugh Lane, nephew of Yeats' ally Lady Gregory. In Sussex in 1914 and 1915 Yeats worked with Ezra Pound in translating Japanese plays. Then, in 1916, "a terrible beauty was born," as Yeats would say, in the Easter Rising, Britain's mismanagement: executions, martyrs, fighting, and, in 1921, the Irish Free State. Yeats became a senator in a Catholic-dominated Ireland, but he had to pay new attention to Anglo-Irish ancestors and historical heroes. From 1913 onwards, his poetry broadened its range: from themes, to politics; from diction to colloquial; from humours, to realism and even to bitterness. He began to address others besides himself. He always maintained his devotion to form, which for him (unlike Pound) meant "a complete coincidence of phrase and stanza". But now he had more ways to say and more to say. In 1917 he stopped worshiping Maud Gonne and got married; he had children. His poetry becomes more powerful and declarative, filled with his own voice, captivating and provoking a wide audience. Romantic poets and their heirs, with rare exceptions like Browning and Hardy, tended to dry up after thirty-five. When Yeats was "close to forty-nine", he began to write his greatest poetry. He has thirty or forty outstanding poems, more than any other poet of the 20th century, most notably in The Tower (1928) and The Winding Stair (1933). Eliot was stunned, Auden and Dylan Thomas stunned. In the next generation, Philip Larkin (1922-85) began by trying to write like Yeats. In prose, some of Yeats' views, spiritual and political, today seem very strange. In poems, they are presented as dramatized ideas, often in dialogue within a volume. In style and form, his poems dramatize the tradition of the romantic ode. Some of those set in Lady Gregory's house at Coole, and 'Among School Children', are comparable to Keats' odes and the most splendid poems of the twentieth century. His paradox of soul and body finds classic expression in “Sailing to Byzantium”: This is not a country for old people. The young In each other's arms, the birds in the trees - Those dying generations - in their song, The salmon falls, the seas full of mackerel, Fish, meat or fowl, recommend all summer

Everything that is generated, is born and dies. Trapped in that sensual music, everyone overlooks Monuments of intellect that doesn't age. “We were the last romantics,” he told his friends in the Irish Literary Revival. He has since been considered a modernist as well, in part on the strength of later extremist poems which express, often with epigrammatic force, his sense that his soul was [p. 339] growing younger as his body aged: 'Love has pitched her mansion in/The place of excrement.' he: 'it was the dream itself that enchanted me.' Those masterful images because complete They grew in the pure mind, but what did they start from? A heap of rubbish or the rubbish of a street, Old kettles, old bottles and a broken can, Old iron, old bones, old rags, that raving whore Who tends the till. Now my ladder is gone, I must lie down where all ladders begin, In the dirty shop of rags and heart bones. As filthy rags and bones are boiled to fine paper, and as the physical assimilation of food feeds the mind, so the spirit is fed by gross appetite. Some critics find the rhetoric of the larger poems strained. Others insist on how modernist poets were drawn to authoritarian attitudes. While this is not true of European modernists generally, it is evident that Yeats, Pound and Eliot doubted the future of high art in a popular democracy in which, to quote Pound in Mauberley, "the age demanded / An image of its grim acceleration ' made 'to sell, and sell fast'.

Hugh MacDiarmid and David Jones This is also true of two other modernists, C. M. Grieve ('Hugh MacDiarmid', 1892-1978) and David Jones (1895-1974). MacDiarmid, a Scottish nationalist who rejoined the Communist party after the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956, would not want a room in a Sassenach literary history: not for its beautiful opening letters in a lowland dialect enriched by words from the old Scots language. ; nor for A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle (1926), a Tam O'Shanter dostoevsky (although Burns did not model for him); nor for his later “poetry of fact” in English. Jones, a Londoner whose mother was Welsh, took another route. An artist who converted to Catholicism after the war, he only took up his pen when, in 1931, he did not know how to paint, writing a rhythmic prose that uses poetic techniques found in Hopkins, Joyce and Eliot. In Parenthesis (1937), the only modernist book on the war, was too late and considered too late to attract many readers. Eliot considered it a work of genius, Auden the best long poem of the twentieth century. It has a narrative thrust lacking in The Anathemata (1956), a richly imagined Catholic myth of Britain, from prehistory and archeology to Arthur and (more subtly) the present. Jones' humility is unique, but his work has the long historical perspective and universal ambition of great modernist poetry. This is also true of the nuggets of Basil Bunting (1900-85), a disciple of Pound who gained late recognition with Briggflatts (1966). This sequence applied modernist techniques to its Northumbrian subjects with fierce economics. Modernist poetry asks for and gives more than many readers want. His ambitions live on in the verses of Donald Davie (1922-95), Charles Tomlinson (1927-) and Geoffrey Hill (1931-).

Virginia Woolf Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) was the daughter of Sir Leslie Stephen, critic, rationalist, academic, and founder of the Dictionary of National Biography. Her pages contain other [p. 340]

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941), in 1936.

Stephens, as well as Huxleys, Darwins, Stracheys and Trevelyans: noble families, evangelical or professional, who abolished the slave trade, pioneered science, reformed the civil service and climbed mountains. Having managed Britain and its Empire and written its history, they would now question its logic. After her father's death in 1904, Virginia lived with her sister and brothers in Bloomsbury Square, London, north of the British Museum, the neighborhood that gave its name to the Bloomsbury Group, a group of intellectuals, critics and artists: Lytton Strachey, the biographer; John Maynard Keynes, the economist; Roger Fry and Clive Bell, art critics; E.M. Forster and others. All the men had been to Cambridge. Virginia's sister Vanessa, a painter, married Bell and settled nearby. Virginia Stephen - or Woolf, for in 1912 she married Leonard Woolf, civil servant and author - became central to the Group. Bloomsbury's memoirs, letters and diaries show wit and intelligence, and an unusual candor about sexual, homosexual, bisexual, adulterous or incestuous behaviour. The enduring interest her lifestyle holds for Sunday journalists may be unfair to the Group's intellectual, critical and artistic achievements. Keynes's economy would have worldwide influence. In art, the Bloomsbury critics introduced post-impressionism and a new formalist critique. In literature, Strachey pioneered a new kind of biography in Eminent Victorians (1918), inverting Victorian priorities by ridiculing morally energetic public figures through innuendo. If no man is a hero to his valet, Strachey might be said to have created a school of biographies - who have now found plenty to choose from in Bloomsbury. Strachey was a conspicuous conscientious objector, and Bloomsbury became generally associated in the public mind with the attitude later expressed by E. M. Forster: 'If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I have the courage to betray mine Although their techniques are different, Virginia Woolf's postwar novels share a credo with Forster's prewar novels: the good is to be found in pleasurable, transient states, for death is final, to be found in private life. : love, friendship and art. These ideas, put forward by the Cambridge philosopher G. E. Moore, did not lead to any interest in God, history, public policy, or conventional morality. Reason, clarity, [p. 341] exclusivity and a certain refined sensibility trumped moral rules - but could not be expected from most people. Virginia Woolf wrote of Clive Bell's Civilization (1928) that "in the end, civilization is lunch at 50 Gordon Square." Virginia Woolf's novels ignore external social reality, except when it constitutes the phenomenon of personal consciousness. She attacked Galsworthy's and Bennett's "materialism": their piling up of facts designed to lend credibility to a theatrical plot with characters and an action leading to a resolution. "We want to get rid of realism, to penetrate without its help into the regions below it," she wrote in 1919 in a review of one of the thirteen stream-of-consciousness novels by Dorothy Richardson (1873-1957), finally collated as Pilgrimage in 1938. Woolf explored a world of finely registered prints - an inner, domestic, feminine world - prints often worked into patterns, as in the paintings of Pierre Bonnard and his sister Vanessa. Alongside the examples of Richardson and Joyce, she had Marcel Proust's A la recherche du temps perdu (1913-27). His first "impressionist" novel (to borrow Ford's term) was Mrs Dalloway (1925), dedicated to a day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway, wife of an MP, as she prepares for a party where her old passions would reappear. . Her inner monologue is opposed by others, including that of a shell-shocked war survivor.

Ao Farol Woolf's subjective apprehension of time is imposed through the tripartite structure of Ao Farol (1927), in which two long days are separated by ten short years. In the first act, the Ramsay family are at their vacation home on Skye. This is the opening of Part I, 'The Window': 'Yes, of course, if it's good tomorrow,' said Mrs. Ramsay. 'But you'll have to agree with the lark,' she added. To his son these words conveyed an extraordinary joy, as if he had decided that the expedition was about to take place, and the wonder he had been waiting for, for years and years it seemed, was, after a night of darkness and a day of sailing. , within reach. Since he belonged, even at the age of six, to that great clan who cannot separate this feeling from that one, but must let future prospects, with their joys and sorrows, obscure what is really at hand, for to these people, even in early childhood any turn of the wheel of sensation has the power to crystallize and transfix the moment on which its melancholy or splendor rests, James Ramsay, sitting on the floor clipping pictures from the illustrated catalog of the Army and Navy Stores, endowed the photo from a refrigerator while her mother spoke with heavenly happiness. I was full of joy. The wheelbarrow, the lawnmower, the sound of the poplars, the leaves clearing before the rain, rooks cawing, brooms beating, dresses rustling - all this was so colorful and distinctive in his mind that he already had its own particular code, its own secret language, though he looked the picture of absolute, uncompromising sternness, with his high forehead and fierce blue eyes, impeccably candid and pure, frowning slightly at the sight of human frailty, so that his mother, watching him guide his scissors carefully around the fridge, I pictured him all red and ermine at the bank or directing a severe and important undertaking in some crisis of public affairs. "But," said his father, stopping in front of the living room window, "it won't look good." If there had been an axe, a poker or any weapon that could have punched a hole through his father's chest and killed him, right there, James would have apprehended it.

The length and forward pace of the long sentences on both sides of 'Was Surrounded by Joy' pull the reader into the consciousness of six-year-old James. We also see the fridge fringes of joy, smiling at the adjective and the picture his mother took of him in [p. 342] the future. There is wit in the words of James' extreme reaction to his father's devotion to the truth. Mrs. Ramsay, we know, will try to protect James against this disappointment. Woolf's writing is often as carefully crafted as this one, informal yet composed, judiciously adding a detail—much as, at the end of the book, the painter Lily Briscoe adds a brushstroke to consummate her painting, just as Mr. Ramsay arrives at the lighthouse with James and his sister. Reality (for this is, in a sense, what is conveyed to readers of a novel) is aesthetic in form. Woolf is not a crude realist - the scenes and people in To the Lighthouse are not those of the Isle of Skye. But the Ramsays are based on their mother and father and are more real than their other characters - if not than the conscience of their own conscience. People who are not members of the Ramsay family are real only as strangers; Charles Tansley, for example, is witnessed by Mrs. Ramsay with gentle condescension. But her goodness is lost when she is gone. Part II, 'Time Passes', is very short. The house grows old: nothing moved in the living room, in the dining room or on the stairs. Only through the rusty hinges and the joinery swollen and dampened by the sea did certain airs, detached from the body of the wind (after all, the house was in ruins) insinuated around the corners and ventured inside. A little later we read: [Mr. Ramsay stumbling in a passageway stretched out his arms on a dark morning, but having Mrs. Ramsay died suddenly the night before, he held out his arms. They remained empty.] There's the plot, left out in parentheses, but indispensable. The absence of Mrs. Ramsay fills in for Part III, 'The Lighthouse', in which the lighthouse is reached. Lily and her photo symbolize the role of art and verbal composition as solace. The void in the form of Mrs. Ramsay in their lives is a characteristic pain of this writer, who suffered sudden losses in her life; which she ended by suicide in 1941. Ao Farol rewards attention: it is a moving book. However, it requires a high degree of attention, like a modernist poem. In The Waves (1931), Woolf's most schematic experimental novel, six consciousnesses become conscious at intervals throughout their lives. Like most modernists, Woolf was appreciated, admired and loved rather than highly appreciated. Since its subject is what is left out of other novels, novel readers miss things they like, some of which (with much they may not like) can be found in Ulysses. Excellent writer as Woolf is, her work may not seem very substantial, and she wasn't ranked as one of the greatest modernists until the 1970s. Her revived status has to do with the rise of literary and academic feminism, on which her theory and practice were influential for good reason. Her fiction has a mode of sensibility that she found distinctly feminine, although her intense self-awareness can also be found in Eliot and Joyce. Your Mrs. Ramsay, as Mrs. Wilcox and Mrs. Forster's Moore, is a new kind of character—maternal, wise, detached, superior, and protective of the childlike men around her. They are tributes to authors' mothers - a class quite taken for granted in utilitarian Britain. Woolf's literary criticism too, in The Common Reader and other essays, is quick, informal, sensitive in conveying impressions, always personal and in his own voice (qualities Woolf considered feminine); they are often more revealing of herself than of her work, like some of Pater's appreciations. Her polemic, A Room of One's Own (1928), traces the history of women's contributions to English literature with common sense. He set a course for [p. 343] academic literary feminism, and can be recommended to all students of English for its constant irony. A more ambiguous feminism informs Orlando: a biography (1928). As his hero changes sex and has lived for nearly four hundred years, the subtitle is a parody. It also parodies the obituary, external style of the National Biography Dictionary. However, the key to Orlando is his dedication to Vita Sackville-West, with whom Woolf was in love (see Portrait of a Marriage (1973) by Nigel Nicolson, Vita's son). Orlando is a fanciful love letter to his devoted aristocrat and his former home. He put a new 'bi-' in the biography.

Katherine Mansfield The Woolfs' Hogarth Press, founded in 1917, also published Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923) and other new writers, often in translation, especially Russian and Eastern Europeans. Mansfield's notable tales, many set in her native New Zealand, are more steadfast than Woolf's, who found Mansfield's tales "difficult" and "superficial". The work of Lawrence, Woolf and Mansfield must be compared to that of the master of the short story, the human Anton Chekhov.

Nonmodernism: The 1920s and 1930s A caveat. Most of the authors to be treated now (and some already discussed) lived well in the life of the writer of this story. Your judgments will be most affected by the biases of your author and the concerns of the day. Such judgments are provisional. An observer of reputations rising and falling over twelve centuries becomes cautious in predicting future fame. Time severely etches contemporary reputations: the star playwright of the postwar years, Christopher Fry (1907-), is now in total eclipse, and the poetry of Dylan Thomas, the popular poet of that period, is no better valued. Many thousands of books are now published annually. Which will last? The way chosen here is to say something of the probables, instead of giving each of the possibles a sentence.

A second caution. The national criterion which, as the Introduction explains, has become inevitable (see page 5), excludes foreign writers who are widely read in Britain. Foreign language writers have always been read in Britain as European and Biblical literature since the earliest English writings. But non-native English writers were first read in England in Victorian times, when the American Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-82) was almost as popular a poet as Tennyson. From the 1930s onwards, when the US began to dominate the world's media, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, William Faulkner, Eugene O'Neill, Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller were read in England - and studied. In the 1960s, novelists such as Saul Bellow, Norman Mailer, Joseph Heller, Philip Roth and John Updike, and the poet Robert Lowell, were as popular in the UK as any native writer. The literary influence of the United States waned. But many of the leading Anglo-American writers are not British: the Caribbeans V. S. Naipaul and Derek Walcott; Seamus Heaney, an Ulster man with an Irish passport, professor of poetry at Oxford, succeeded in that chair another Ulster poet, Paul Muldoon; the Les Murray Australian Nobel Prize in Literature, winner of the Queen's Medal for English language winners: 1907 Rudyard Kipling [p. 344] 1923 Poetry by W. B. Yeats in 1999. Transatlantic novelists Margaret Atwood and Toni Morrison were 1925 George Bernard Shaw read with enthusiasm in Britain. As the American business empire succeeded the Sinclair Lewis British Empire of the 1930s, writing in English (like so much else in the world economy) is now global. 1932 John Galsworthy Most Nobel Prize winners for literature written in English were not 1936 British Eugene O'Neill. Other writings in English will continue to enrich English culture and literature. It's 1938 Pearl S. Buck comes from former colonies, from political and cultural exiles in Britain and, increasingly, 1948 T. S. Eliot from the descendants of more recent immigrants. 1949 William Faulkner The years of economic difficulty that followed 1927 saw great modernist examples ignored in 1950 Bertrand Russell more often than assimilated, except for Auden, the greatest talent to emerge in Eliot's shadow of Winston Churchill in 1953. The distinctive achievements of the domestic novel have been modest and conservative. 1954 Ernest Hemingway Little in English drama was of interest to literary history. Nonfiction was increasingly John Steinbeck of 1962 dominated by politics. 1969 Samuel Beckett Although winning the Great War, Britain lost in it. This is shown in both Patrick White's happy twenties of 1973 and the somber '30s. The post-war cri