From the Beginnings to the Age of Henry VIII

From the Beginnings to the Age of Henry VIII

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1906 edition. Excerpt: ... position in our literary history is, in one respect, ambiguous; he does and he does not make an era. No great author is more utterly dissimilar to his predecessors among his own countrymen. His position is perfectly unique in his absolute unindebtedness to any preceding English poet. All his innovations, in so far as they are not suggested by his own genius, are importations from foreign literatures. So far he is, indeed, an epoch-making poet. But, whereas the new era introduced by authors of his significance is in general signalised by crowds of imitators and disciples, silence, broken only by the feeble accents of Lydgate and Hoccleve, gathers around Chaucer. The antiquated styles of poetry which he has superseded die out. VVe hear little of ram, mm, rufin the fifteenth century, and though chivalric fiction stood at the threshold of a marvellous development in prose, metrical romances of chivalry after the pattern which he parodied in Sir Thojms are few and far between. But the new forms of poetry seem as dead as the old, or are cultivated with dismaying inefficiency. One elegant poet, indeed, the anonymous author of The Flower and the Leaf, might have continued Chaucer's work on the fanciful and romantic side, and probably would have done so if he had been a professed man of letters. He most likely belonged to the patrician class and wrote merely for amusement. But even he makes no approach to the greater and more truly national qualities of Chaucer, his humour, his perception of character, and his skill in depicting the life around him. Reversing the Apostolic truism, it might almost seem that, having first of Englishmen brought these qualities into the world with him, he had also carried them out. Tennyson, who justly calls him...show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 134 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 7mm | 254g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236879899
  • 9781236879899