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1400 - 1830 English Literature
Transcript of 1400 - 1830 English Literature
Aristocratic landowners lost their dominanace
Mythologies and philosophies served as inspirational materials for a new wave of artistic creation
Rise of nationalism and democracy
Trade and commerce became full enterprises with international and global trade
Travellers brought back influences of different cultures, government, literature and fashion
Gutenburgs prinitng press maximised printing efficiency. Fast and relatively cheap reproduction of work. Literacy rates saw a measurable uptake in the decades following the press's invention.
England gained commercial power and influence
Poetry and Drama were the dominant forms of literature during the renaissance.
Poetry - lyric, elegy , tragedy and pastoral
The court life had huge influence on the arts. To be close to the monarchy was desirable but dangerous. Literature reflects coutiers as clever with language by using double meanings and wit to protect themsleves.
The drama evolved form village festivals to more commercial spaces when the Red Lion was built (the first playhouse).
The ability to pursue the arts in the reanissance is what helped it thrive.
Came to an end when Elizabeth did not produce an heir so when she died Puritanism took hold in a time of uncertainty, cynacism and introversion
1400 - 1830
1457 - 1558
1558 - 1603
1603 - 1649
1649 - 1660
1660 - 1714
1714 - 1830
1660 - 1785
1405 - 1558
1558 - 1603
1603 - 1649
1649 - 1660
1660 - 1714
1714 - 1830
1798 - 1870
1500 - 1669
The Tudor period is the period between in England and Wales. It coincides with the rule of the Tudor dynasty in England whose first monarch was Henry VII (1457–1509). In terms of the entire century, Guy (1988) argues that "England was economically healthier, more expansive, and more optimistic under the Tudors" than at any time in a thousand years.
The term Tudor was seldom used in the 16th century, because the kings and queens did not like being reminded of their origins in the humble Tudor family.
Important writers and poets
John Milton (1608 - 1674)
Wrote the epic poem Paradise Lost
Edmund Spenser (1553 - 1599)
Wrote epic poem The Faerie Queene
Christopher Marlow (1564 - 1593)
Wrote The passionate shepheard to his love
Shakespeare (1564 - 1616)
You know what he wrote!
The Elizabethan era was the epoch in English history of Queen Elizabeth I's reign. Historians often depict it as the golden age in English history. The symbol of Britannia was first used in 1572 and often thereafter to mark the Elizabethan age as a renaissance that inspired national pride through classical ideals, international expansion, and naval triumph over the hated Spanish foe.
It was an age of exploration and expansion abroad, while back at home, the Protestant Reformation became more acceptable to the people, most certainly after the Spanish Armada was repulsed. It was also the end of the period when England was a separate realm before its royal union with Scotland.
The Elizabethan Age is viewed so highly largely because of the periods before and after. It was a brief period of largely internal peace between the English Reformation and the battles between Protestants and Catholics and the battles between parliament and the monarchy that engulfed the seventeenth century. The Protestant/Catholic divide was settled, for a time, by the Elizabethan Religious Settlement, and parliament was not yet strong enough to challenge royal absolutism.
The practical if not formal unification of England and Scotland under one ruler was a development of order of importance for both nations, and would shape their existence to the present day. Another development of crucial significance was the foundation of the first British colonies on the North American continent, at Jamestown, Virginia ,Newfoundland , and at Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts, which laid the foundation for future British settlement and the eventual formation of both Canada and the United States of America.
The most notorious event of James' reign occurred on 5 November 1605. On that date, a group of English Catholics (the most famous, in later generations, being Guy Fawkes) attempted to blow up the King and Parliament in the Palace of Westminster. However, the Gunpowder Plot was exposed and prevented, and the convicted plotters were hanged, drawn, and quartered.
The Commonwealth of England was the period from 1649 onwards when England, along later with Ireland and Scotland, was ruled as a republic following the end of the Second English Civil War and the trial and execution of Charles I. Power in the early Commonwealth was vested primarily in the Parliament and a Council of State. During the period, fighting continued, particularly in Ireland and Scotland, between the parliamentary forces and those opposed to them.
In 1653, after the forcible dissolution of the Rump Parliament, Oliver Cromwell was declared Lord Protector of a united "Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland" under the terms of the Instrument of Government, inaugurating the period now usually known as the Protectorate. After Cromwell's death, and following a brief period of rule under his son, Richard Cromwell, the Protectorate Parliament was dissolved in 1659 and the Rump Parliament recalled, the start of a process that led ultimately to the restoration of the monarchy in 1660.
The Restoration of the English monarchy began in 1660 when the English, Scottish and Irish monarchies were all restored under Charles II after the Interregnum that followed the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. The term Restoration is used to describe both the actual event by which the monarchy was restored, and the period of several years afterwards in which a new political settlement was established.
Some contemporaries described the Restoration as "a divinely ordained miracle. The sudden and unexpected deliverance from usurpation and tyranny was interpreted as a restoration of the natural and divine order".
The Church of England was restored as the national Church in England. People reportedly "pranced around May poles as a way of taunting the Presbyterians and Independents" and "burned copies of the Solemn League and Covenant".
The Glorious Revolution ended the Restoration. The Glorious Revolution which overthrew King James II of England was propelled by a union of English Parliamentarians with the Dutch stadtholder William III of Orange-Nassau (William of Orange). William's successful invasion of England with a Dutch fleet and army led to his ascending of the English throne as William III of England jointly with his wife Mary II of England.
The era covers the period from 1714 to 1830, with the sub-period of the Regency defined by the Regency of George IV as Prince of Wales during the illness of his father George III. The definition of the Georgian era is often extended to include the short reign of William IV, which ended with his death in 1837.
Georgian society and its preoccupations were well portrayed in the novels of writers such as Henry Fielding, Mary Shelley and Jane Austen, characterised by the architecture of Robert Adam, John Nash and James Wyatt and the emergence of the Gothic Revival style, which hearkened back to a supposed golden age of building design.
The flowering of the arts was most vividly shown in the emergence of the Romantic poets, principally through Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Wordsworth, Percy Bysshe Shelley, William Blake, John Keats, Lord Byron and Robert Burns. Their work ushered in a new era of poetry, characterized by vivid and colourful language, evocative of elevating ideas and themes.
It was a time of immense social change in Britain, with the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution which began the process of intensifying class divisions, and the emergence of rival political parties like the Whigs and Tories.
In rural areas the Agricultural Revolution saw huge changes to the movement of people and the decline of small communities, the growth of the cities and the beginnings of an integrated transportation system but, nevertheless, as rural towns and villages declined and work became scarce there was a huge increase in emigration to Canada, the North American colonies (which became the United States during the period) and other parts of the British Empire.
Understanding the Neoclassical era helps us better understand its literature. This was a time of comfortableness in England. People would meet at coffee houses to chat about politics, among other topics, and sometimes drink a new, warm beverage made of chocolate! It was also the beginning of the British tradition of drinking afternoon tea. And it was the starting point of the middle class, and because of that, more people were literate. People were very interested in appearances, but not necessarily in being genuine. Men and women commonly wore wigs, and being clever and witty was in vogue. Having good manners and doing the right thing, particularly in public, was essential. It was a time, too, of British political upheaval as eight monarchs took the throne.
Neoclassical literature is characterized by order, accuracy, and structure. In direct opposition to Renaissance attitudes, where man was seen as basically good, the Neoclassical writers portrayed man as inherently flawed. They emphasized restraint, self-control, and common sense. This was a time when conservatism flourished in both politics and literature.
Some popular types of literature included:
Parody, Essays, Satire, Letters, Fables, Melodrama, and Rhyming with couplets
The Enlightenment was a sprawling intellectual, philosophical, cultural, and social movement that spread through England, France, Germany, and other parts of Europe during the 1700s. Enabled by the Scientific Revolution, which had begun as early as 1500, the Enlightenment represented about as big of a departure as possible from the Middle Ages—the period in European history lasting from roughly the fifth century to the fifteenth.
The millennium of the Middle Ages had been marked by unwavering religious devotion and unfathomable cruelty. Rarely before or after did the Church have as much power as it did during those thousand years.
cience, though encouraged in the late Middle Ages as a form of piety and appreciation of God’s creation, was frequently regarded as heresy, and those who tried to explain miracles and other matters of faith faced harsh punishment. Society was highly hierarchical, with serfdom a widespread practice. There were no mandates regarding personal liberties or rights, and many Europeans feared religion—either at the hands of an unmerciful God or at the hands of the sometimes brutal Church itself.
The Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment, however, opened a path for independent thought, and the fields of mathematics, astronomy, physics, politics, economics, philosophy, and medicine were drastically updated and expanded. The amount of new knowledge that emerged was staggering.
These ideas, works, and principles of the Enlightenment would continue to affect Europe and the rest of the Western world for decades and even centuries to come.
Romanticism was an artistic, literary, and intellectual movement that originated in Europe toward the end of the 18th century and in most areas was at its peak in the approximate period from 1800 to 1850. Partly a reaction to the Industrial Revolution, it was also a revolt against the aristocratic social and political norms of the Age of Enlightenment and a reaction against the scientific rationalization of nature. It was embodied most strongly in the visual arts, music, and literature, but had a major impact on historiography,education and the natural sciences. Its effect on politics was considerable and complex.