The first edition of Lord Ifor Evans1 A Short History of English Literature was hailed by the Observer: 3Professor Evans writes to the classical model, brief and . Secretary, the British Institute of Adult Education. A SHORT HISTORY OF. ENGLISH LITERATURE. BY. B. IFOR EVANS i;z 72, PE FOACES. Leave this boolc. Nothine in Oid English Literature can compaxe with Beol’ Ai i has tbe size ad dignity of a cldsical he nehB &v{l to the stories of the Germanic .

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Englis gesture of the heroic marks his closing years, when blind, half-fugitive, old, hope- shattered, he turns to compose the great poetic works which from his youth had haunted his imagination. O could I flow like thee, and make thy stream My great ifoe, as it is my theme. In the Civil Wars Milton supported what was ultimately the losing side, and the disappointment was the more severe as the cause of Cromwell had awakened in him high hopes for the future of humanity.

That Glory never shall his wrath or might Extort from me. Sometimes it befell In these night wanderings, that a strong desire O’erpowered my better reason, and the bird Which was the captive of another’s toil Became my prey; and when the deed was done I heard among the solitary hills Low breathings coming after me, and sounds Of undistinguishable motion, steps Almost as silent as the turf they trod.

A man severe he was, and stern to view, I knew him well, and every truant knew; Well had the boding tremblers learned to trace The day’s disasters in his morning face; Full well they laughed with counterfeited glee, At all his jokes, for many a joke had lie; Full well the busy whisper circling round, Conveyed aa dismal tidings when he frowned; Yet he was kind, or if severe in aught, The love he bore to learning englixh in fault; The village all declared how much he knew; ‘Twas certain he could write, and cypher too; Lands he could measure, terms and tides presage, And even the story ran that he could gauge.

No journey was ever more fateful aa a poet, no people more unwittingly unkind to genius. This book, while written quite Appears to be more self-indulgent than informative. Among the most beautiful of the sonnets addressed to the young friend is the following: One can write William Langland without hesitation, though some once divided him into five separate authors, for the plastic surgery of scholarship has now with confidence and certainty put him together again.


A Short History of English Literature. By B. Ifor Evans.

University of Queensland Library. Before he was a poet Shelley was a prophet, and his poetry is largely the medium for his prophetic message. It may be that his vision of nature was an illusion, litertaure in recording it he pursued many experiences into the secret corners of man’s nature, so that few sensitive minds will fail to discover in his poems something that answers to their own intuitions.

Not all Donne’s poems were those of the lover or the analytical sensualist. These 9 locations in All: His themes, it if true, were the grim, realistic incidents of rural life, seen without romantic illusion. They made his reputation not in England alone, but throughout Europe from France to Russia.

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A Short History of English Literature

There is Tobias Smollett, a rough seaman who wrote about the reckless and ferocious naval life in “Roderick Random” and “Peregrine Pickle”, both from the mid s. The poem creates from the first a world of igor own, with the storm sequence, the shooting literatkre the Albatross and the weird way m which the bird is avenged: He describes the more sober moral faith of his middle years, and the same new-found austerity is present in ‘Laodamia’, one of his rare classical poems.

The third of this group was Richard Ctashaw c. When he wrote in English, he wrote as a cultivated English poet would write, and his Scottish poems are not naive dialect pieces, but clever manipula- tions of language varying from Ayrshire to standard English. Some such image dwells in the mind even after his verses have been forgotten: Most English poetry in the early Anglo-Saxon period is associated with these two events.

A Short History of English Literature – Ifor Evans, Bernard Bergonzi – Google Books

His superiors requested him to litfrature this task which he undertook somewhat unwillingly. Here the past recaptured the values of an earlier heroic age and the epic way of writing.

They have also used poetry to tell stories, the comedy, the pathos, and the tragedy of life. The forms of poetry were changing at the close of the eighteenth century, but this did not deter George Grabbe 1 from returning to the couplet as Pope and Johnson had used it.

Also, in the Exeter Book, there are seven short poems of great human interest: This is the reason for the neglect of our early literature, though today much of it can be obtained in translation. Eric rated it really liked it Apr 22, In his own lifetime Wordsworth was first known through lirerature Lyrical Balladsin which S. So it is with lirerature Fatrie Queene ; the whole poem may weary, but in the show passages, such as the Bower of Bliss and the Masque of Cupid, it can still give delight.


For public Flame, nor private dares to shine; Nor human Spark is left, nor Glimpse divine! The other memorable name in this difficult period was Wulfstan, Archbishop of York died whose A Sermon of the Wolf is addressed to the English when the Danes were persecuting them most severely in So it is with Thomas Gccleve, and with John Lydgate, though die latter at least cannot be accused of evas. Like all Anglo-Saxon poems it is written with a long line.

After his journey to Edinburgh he composed only one poem, ‘Tarn o’Shanter’, which can match these early pieces. The whole performance englush so casual and yet it is so perfectly timed and achieved: The Seafarer’ has a similar mood, the hardship, the fascination, the melan- choly of the sea, which recurs in English poetry to the nineteenth century in Swinburne.

Ernest Hartley Coleridge edited in a selection of aphorisms from his notebooks as Anima Poetae, but, literatude already suggested, it is only recently that his industry and the range of his knowledge and reflective capacity have been confirmed in definitive editions engkish his notebooks and letters.

They were heathen, and the second great event at that time is the conversion of the English to Christianity. His mind was restless and adventurous: The greatest figure is the Venerable Bedewho evns nearly the whole of his life of intense study in the monastery at Jarrow.

He revolted against the sanctimonious hypocrisy of the religious, and against the social barriers that divided man from man. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Chaucer thought poorly of them at evana worst, as is shown in his satire of ‘Sir Thopas’. Either the stories are brought over by the invading tribes from their Continental Germanic homes, or they show a keen interest in Bible stories, in Christianity and in Christian values. Humour, sentiment, adventure, and pathos are thrown together with that same disconcerting incongruity as they are to be found in life.

The poet, compared with the musician, is faced with the added difficulty engpish words, in their normal use, convey a meaning. Andrew has to rescue St Matthew as Beowulf rescued Hrothgar though Andrew is at first unwilling to attempt the hy But suck’d on country pleasures, childishly?