By Michael Alexander
A historical past of English Literature presents a entire survey of 1 of the richest and oldest literatures on the planet. offered as a story, and usable as a piece of reference, this article bargains an account of literature from the beginnings of English till the current day. the writer starts off through studying the scope of this sort of background by way of time, position, and the that means of "English". The classical prestige of any specific paintings is open to problem, and the inspiration of classical prestige itself is explored. The textual content is unrivalled in its use of pedagogical gains and shows, delivering important insights into specific works, authors' biographies, and literary classes.
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Additional info for A History of English Literature (Foundations)
Chaucer mixes genres and attitudes: he is a bookworm seeking enlightenment about love, an owl who will never be a nightingale. Boethius, Dante, Langland and the poet of Pearl dream to seek enlightenment, but Chaucer’s comical self-presentation is disarmingly different. A learner in love requires not a book but a beloved. If we re-run the dream backwards, the formel calls the bluff of her noble suitors the eagles, who will not die. She keeps them waiting until she chooses. The farmyard birds know that love is physical; but humans should do better than birds.
William I’s minstrel Taillefer is said to have led the Normans originally from stories written in ashore at Hastings declaiming the Chanson de Roland. This chanson de geste (‘song romauns, or vernacular French; ‘romance’ is the adjective for of deeds’) relates the deeds of Roland and Oliver, two of the twelve peers of the languages deriving from Latin. As a emperor Charlemagne, who die resisting a Saracen ambush in the Pyrenees. Roland genre term, it means ‘marvellous scorns to summon the aid of Charlemagne until all his foes are dead.
Wyclif’s attacks on Church abuses won support, but his denial of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist was heresy; his followers, known as Lollards, were repressed, and his own polemics suppressed. Wyclif was a reformer, not a writer of English. The Bible his followers produced lacks the qualities which made Luther’s version the exemplar of modern German. Secular prose Since the end of the Peterborough Chronicle in 1154, English secular prose – non-religious prose - had been used for practical matters, but in Richard II’s reign English came into general use.
A History of English Literature (Foundations) by Michael Alexander