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History of British Literature-

English Translation

Mary Dillon

on 3 August 2013

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Transcript of History of British Literature-

Old-English Literature
circa 670: First preserved text - Cædmon's Hymn
Early British culture:

- Oral tradition
- Epic poems (Beowulf)
- Norwegian / Icelandic influences
- Changes from war poems
(Vikings / Teutons)

Germanic: alliteration / repeating consonants
(easier to remember)
1066 - Battle of Hastings

-Edward the Confessor dies
-Would transferring power to Duke William II of Normandy (Fr)
-Harold II (Eng) took power
-William did not accept that
-Harold II had to go to the north (York) to defeat the Vikings
-William landed without setback in the south (Pevensy)
-Eventually Battle of Hastings (Battle)
End-Anglo-Saxon England
"Dream of the Rood" - Ruthwell Cross
- Judith (opgenomen in de bijbel)

Krist wæs on rodi. Hweþræ'
þer fusæ fearran kwomu
æþþilæ til anum.

"Christ was on the cross. Yet
the brave came there from afar
to their lord."
Epic poem: Beowulf
- The most famous work in Old English.
- Beowulf, Grendel, Grendel's mother, dragon
- Nowell Codex (ca. 1000) Lawrence Nowell (owner in 16th century)
- Including Beowulf, Letters from Alexander to Aristotle, Judith, Wonders of the Far East, The Life of Saint Christopher.
Franks' Casket

-August Franks (discovered in 19th century
-Christian (wise men)
Roman history (Emperor Titus)
-Roman mythology (Romulus & Remus)
Germanic mythology (Wieland the Smith)
History of British Literature
After 1066 ...

- Great diversity in literature. (Wales: Gerald of Wales)
- Influence from France - Chanson de Geste (also epic)
- First chronicle in rhyme - Geoffrey Gaimar
- First eyewitness account of history - Jordan Fantosme
- First scientific literature - Philippe de Thaun
- Hagiography remained popular
- Arthurian Romance ...
King Arthur

- - Really Exist?
- King in the 5th and 6th centuries
- Y Gododdin - Aneirin
- Geoffrey of Monmouth's 'Historia Regum Britanniae'
- Welsh: bellorum dux (leader of the fight)
- Medieval: amerauder (ruler)
- The story ...
Merlin + Uther
Round table + Lancelot
Middle English

- 1066 to the end of 15th century
- Basis for English from now

- Statement other than writing (old English was spoken)

- Main writer of that period: Geoffrey Chaucer

St. Erkenwald Manuscript, lines 257-264:
Geoffrey Chaucer (ca. 1343 - 1400)

"Father of English literature '
- Author, poet, soldier, courtier, diplomat and civil servant
- Confidant of Edward III, Richard II and Henry IV
- Put Middle English on the map opposite Latin and French
- Wrote on philosophy, love (for each other and for God) and:
- Canterbury Tales, frame story about character (trait) s.
- Tomb in Westminster Abbey - Poet's Corner ... not then!
Canterbury Tales

- Frame story - but no fixed theme
- Genres: fable, romance
- 83 manuscripts (25 ever complete)
- Monastery mother (prioress), monk (monk), trader in indulgences (pardoner) sailor (Shipman), Miller (Miller), carpenter (carpenter), bailiff (reeve), squire (squire), forester (yeoman) and a knight (knight)
- Harry Bailey - innkeeper - contest
- Not on ...
1475 - Flen Flyys (anonymous)

- satirisch gedicht
- code
- "fuccant"?
(Engels + Latijn)
Flen, flyys, and freris
- Fleas, flies and friars

Non sunt in cœli quia
- they [the friars] are not in heaven, since
gxddbov xxkxzt pg ifmk.
- fvccant [a fake Latin form] vvivys of heli

They are not in heaven because they fuck wives of Ely.
Early Modern English

- James VI - King of Scots
- Union of Crowns in 1603
- English Renaissance
- Thomas Wyatt - sonnet
- Edmund Spenser - The Faerie Queene (6 books, allegory)
- Spenserian stanza - 9 lines, 8 iambic pentameter, 1 Alexandrine (6-footed iamb)
- Philip Sidney - Thy necessity is yet greater than mine
English Renaissance Theatre

- Early Modern Theatre
- London
- From: 1567 "The Red Lion"
- To: September 2, 1642: Close to the theaters (Puritans)
- Closed 18 years! Until the 'Restoration'
- Few in writing (600 total)
- Genres: historical, tragedy, comedy (city-comedy)
tragi-comedy and masquerade
- Ben Johnson, Christopher Marlowe, Thomas Kyd
Shakespeare (Stratford-upon-Avon, April 23, 1564 - April 23, 1616 (OS))

- Anne Hathaway (Suzanne, Hamnet (11), Judith)
- Lord Chamberlain's Men -> King's Men
- The Theatre, The Curtain, The Swan, THE GLOBE
- Comedies, tragedies, historical works, romances
- Tragedies: Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth
- Does not take sides (eg, King Lear, Hamlet)
- Monologues with (now cliche) one-liners
- Romances: not so much, but: Romeo & Juliet

- Titus Andronicus
- "upstart crow beautified with our feathers"
- "Tygers hart wrapt in a Players hyde" (Henry VI pt.3)
- "Shake-scene"
1550 - 1625

- The King James Bible (1604-1611)
- Sir Francis Bacon - New Atlantis - "Knowledge is Power".
- Francis Godwin - The Man in the Moone (sf)
- Thomas Middleton - The Revenger's Tragedy - 'illegitimacy in fiction'
- John Milton - paradise Lost - Adam & Eve in 10,000 lines rhyme
- And: Areopagitica: A speech of Mr.. John Milton for the Liberty of
Unlicensed Printing to the Parliament of England
Post Modernism
as it hath beene sundry times acted by the Kings Majesties servants
Neo-Classical Period - Restoration (1625-1689)

- Diarists -> John Evelyn (about)
-> Samuel Pepys (in secret from 1660 to 1609)
- A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the most notorious Pyrates - Captain Charles Johnson (Daniel Defoe?)
With: Blackbeard, Calico Jack Rackham -> Jolly Rodger

- Alexander Pope - Formal - Heroic Couplet - Masculine Rhyme
- John Dryden - tragic drama - heroic plays! (The Conquest of Granada)
- William Hogarth
1750-1798 - Roots of Romantic Period

- Jonathan Swift - Gulliver's Travels
- Daniel Defoe - Robinson Crusoe

- Edward Cave - The Gentleman's Magazine

- John Newbery - The History of the Little Goody Two-Shoes
(Margery Meanwell)

- Horace Walpole - The Castle of Otranto
- Ann Radcliffe - The Mysteries of Udolpho
1798-1837 - Romantic Period

- Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice Sense & Sensibility)

- Walter Scott - Ivanhoe
- Mary Shelley - Frankenstein
- William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge - Lyrical Ballads
"Lake Poets"
- John Keats - only after his death praised - view of poetry
- George Gordon Byron - politics
- Percy Shelley (man) - Atheist - banished from Oxford

- Reading: Poetry for the lower classes
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed - and gazed - but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
"There is hardly one statement of Keats' about poetry which ... will not be found to be true, and what is more, true for greater and more mature poetry than anything Keats ever wrote"
A thing of beauty is a joy forever,
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness.
uit: Endymion: A Poetic Romance

Beauty is truth, truth beauty, that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
uit: Ode on a Grecian Urn

Bright Star, would I were steadfast as thou art,
not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
Uit: Bright Star
Victorian Age (1837-1901)

- Social novel / industrial novel
- London <-> countryside
- Trilogies, but also series (eg Pickwick Papers)
- Charles Dickens (Oliver Twist, Christmas Carol, Great Expectations)
- Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell (Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights)
- William Makepeace Thackeray - Vanity Fair
- Elizabeth Gaskell - North and South
Victorian Age (1837-1901)

- realism
- George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans) - Middlemarch
- Thomas Hardy (Vicorian realist) - Far from the Madding Crowd
- Victor Hugo (fr) - banned 18 years to Channel Islands - Les Miserables
(best British novel, written in French)

and: tragedies! but: prose, not poetry. Fiction, not drama
- Short stories / literary magazines

- Fiction -> fantasy (George MacDonald, The Princess and the Goblin)
-> Detective (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)
-> Sensational (Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White)
- H. G. Wells (War of the Worlds, The Time Machine, The Invisible Man)
- Penny dreadful, horrible-,-awful,-number,-blood (Sweeney Todd!)
Precursor of modernist literature: Joseph Conrad (Polish immigrant) -
Heart of Darkness Lord Jim + - 'fixed narrator' - Charles Marlow
Victorian Age (1837-1901)

- Known?
- Bram Stoker - Dracula
(inspired by Varney the Vampire (James Malcolm Rymer)
- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - Sherlock Holmes

- Literature for children
- Robert Louis Stevenson - Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
and: Treasure Island
- Lewis Carroll - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (surrealism)
- Beatrix Potter - The Tale of Peter Rabbit
- Anna Sewell - Black Beauty

-Victorian Poetry
- Lord Tennyson - greatest master of metrics + melancholia
- Robert Browning - dramatic monologue - My last Duchess

- Symbolism + aestheticism
- Oscar Wilde
Modernism - 1901-1939

- Breaking with tradition
- Precursor of absurdity (and post-modernism)
- James Joyce
- Vorticism - BLAST magazine
First World War - 1914-1918

- war poets
- Wilfred Owen, Rupert Brooke, Isaac Rosenberg, Edmund Blunden and Siegfried Sassoon
Does It Matter?

Does it matter?-losing your legs?
For people will always be kind,
And you need not show that you mind
When others come in after hunting
To gobble their muffins and eggs.
Does it matter?-losing you sight?
There’s such splendid work for the blind;
And people will always be kind,
As you sit on the terrace remembering
And turning your face to the light.
Do they matter-those dreams in the pit?
You can drink and forget and be gald,
And people won't say that you’re mad;
For they know that you've fought for your country,
And no one will worry a bit.

- Siegfried Sassoon
How to Die

Dark clouds are smouldering into red
While down the craters morning burns.
The dying soldier shifts his head
To watch the glory that returns;
He lifts his fingers toward the skies
Where holy brightness breaks in flame;
Radiance reflected in his eyes,
And on his lips a whispered name.

You'd think, to hear some people talk,
That lads go West with sobs and curses,
And sullen faces white as chalk,
Hankering for wreaths and tombs and hearses.
But they've been taught the way to do it
Like Christian soldiers; not with haste
And shuddering groans; but passing through it
With due regard for decent taste.

- Siegfried Sassoon

- Thomas Hardy (19th c novels, poems 20th c.).
- Gerald Manley Hopkins (released by Robert Bridges)
sprung rhythm + new phrases
- William Butler Yeats - Nobel Prize for Literature (1923)
traditional style with lots of symbolism and realism
- Free fresh
- T. S. Eliot - Nobel Prize for Literature (1948) (The Waste Land)

- Georgian Poetry
victorian vs. modernism
romanticism, sentimentality and hedonism vs. dislike them
- Rupert Brooke, John Masefield
- Edward Thomas (Poet's Corner)

- D. H. Lawrence - Sons and Lovers
- E. M. Forster - Room with a view / Howards End
socially critical
- James Joyce (Ireland) - Ulysses (and Fynnegans Wake, dream / special steel)
Homer - Odysseus
'One of the 100 best books of history' (1998 - Modern Library)
- Virginia Woolf - The Waves / A Room of ones own

- Stream of consciousness (Joyce / Woolf) (Dorothy Richardson)
- Bloomsbury Group (Forster / Woolf)

- George Orwell - Animal Farm (1945) (satirical)
- Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited (1945) (theological)
- Aldous Huxley - Brave New World (dystopia)
Early 20th century literature

- Erskine Childers - The Riddle of the Sands 1903 - spy novel
- Emma Orczy - armchair detective (The old man in the corner)
- John Buchan / Leslie Charteris - adventure novels (gentlemen) - The Saint
- M.R James - Ghost stories

- Kenneth Grahame - Wind in the Willows
- Lord Baden Powell - Scouting for Boys
- A.A. Milne - Winnie-the-Pooh
- Mary Norton - The Borrowers
- Hugh Lofting - Dr Dolittle (character)
- Dodie Smith - 101 Dalmatians

- Agatha Christie (Golden Age of Detective Fiction) (twist ending)
- Inklings - fantasy
- J.R.R. Tolkien
- C.S. Lewis

- "Where are the war poets?"
- Keith Douglas (1920-1944) - Alamein to Zemzem (biography)
- Alun Lewis (Welsh) (1915-1944) - All day it has rained (war poem)
- Sidney Keyes (1922-1943) - important poet! (110 poems)
- David Gascoyne (1916-2001) - surrealist (Requiem)
- Edith Sitwell (1887-1964) - Still Falls the Rain (London Blitz)
- Denton Welch (1915-1948) - Portraits of rural (sick)

- H.E. Bates (1905-1974) - Fair Stood the Wind for France (pop)
- Evelyn Waugh - Pull out more flags - Phoney War
After WWII

- kitchen sink realism (drama) 1950-1960
angry young men
social realism (+criticism)
John Osborne (playwright), Kingsley Amis (novelist, poet)
A Patriot For Me (1965) controverse
Kenneth Tynan (critic & writer)
- radio plays (adaptions & originals)
- modernisme --> van persoonlijk naar intellectueel, the bigger picture
dichtkunst is niet vrij (free verse) maar staat in dienst van de datgene dat
duidelijk gemaakt dient te worden objectiviteit is belangrijk
- nog steeds: T.S. Eliot, W.H. Auden, Dylan Thomas
- nieuw: Philip Larkin, Ted Hughes, Seamus Heaney
The Hawk in the Rain (bundel)
- Kleine beweging: Martian Poetry (absurdisme) 1960-1970
Craig Raine, Christopher Reid, Martin Amis
- "The Movement" - 1945-1955 (anti-Romantic, non-experimental)
Kingsley Amis, Philip Larkin
- The British Poetry Revival - 1960-1970 (reactie op the Movement)
Roy Fisher, Gael Turnbull
- Geoffrey Hill - 'being difficult is the most democratic, you are doing the audience
the honour of supposing they are intelligent human beings
Literature in the late 20th Century(1/3)

- Spy novel:
Ian Fleming - James Bond 007
John le Carré - The Spy Who Came in from the Cold
- Thriller novel:
Frederick Forsyth - The Day of the Jackal
Cold war thriller: Peter George - Red Alert
- Adventure story:
Elleston Trevor - The Flight of the Phoenix
- War novel:
Alistair MacLean - The Guns of Navarone
nautical war novel: Patrick O'Brian - Master and Commander
- Crime novel:
Ruth Rendell
P.D. James
- Historical novel:
Nigel Tranter - The Bruce Trilogy & The Wallace
Literature in the late 20th Century(2/3))

- science fiction novel:
Arthur C. Clarke - 2001: A Space Odyssey
(based on short stories; The Sentinel)
- New Wave SF-novelists: literary merit
Michael Moorcock, J.G. Ballard

- Children's Literature
* fantasy
Roald Dahl: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964)
The Witches (1983)
Matilda (1988)
J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter
* boarding school
Ronald Searle - St Trinian's
Jill Murphy - The Worst Witch
* fairy tales
Ruth Manning-Sanders - A Book of Giants

Literature in the late 20th Century (3/3)

- fantasy & horror
Terry Pratchett - The Colour of Magic (1983)
Night Watch (2002)
Alan Moore - Watchmen
V for Vendetta
The League of XO Gentlemen
Douglas Adams - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency
Clive Barker - The Hellbound Heart
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