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

A 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. Almost all the ideas that govern Milton’s later poetry are already here.

It is a poem unique in English; something is derived from the ballad, but the whole is nourished by the lavish resources of Coleridge’s own sub- conscious.

The untidy and largely disreputable life of Christopher Smart culminated not merely in morbidity but in the madhouse-cell.

Women and non-English writers in the English language get either a bad press or they are overlooked altogether. From the admirable poem written to Wordsworth after reading The Prelude, it is clear that Wordsworth wrote the poetry which Coleridge most admired: Seven years the usual term of transportation Of absence lay one’s old resentments level, When a man’s country’s going to the devil.

Dramatist, critic, translator, Dryden was fore- most a poet, and, in poetry, he was primarily a craftsman. Probably few poets, Shakespeare alone apart, can give more to the reader in the twentieth century than Wordsworth.

The stanza, which Spenser invented for the Faerie Queene, has this miraculous power of englissh words up into itself, caressingly, and so adorning them with its music that they become more notable than they were before.

To him the only salvation lies in honest labour and in the service of Christ. Wulfstan makes a flaming indictment of Aethelred, a weak and cowardly king, accusing him of unpreparedness in defence, of villages destroyed, of moral and national disintegration.


David Morley rated litreature liked it Mar 08, National Library of Australia. Courage must be greater as our strength grows less. He saw that the France of the young Literatuer was following, not the vision of the liberties of man, but the path of Charlemagne.

They have also used poetry to tell stories, the comedy, the pathos, and the tragedy of life.

The Church was using the old pagan poetry in the new fight for Christianity. Jennifer Marcum rated it liked it Jan 28, The Angles brought the story of Beowulf with, them to England in the sixth century, and there somewhere after A. That grief passed away: Feb 05, Stefaan Van ryssen rated it liked it. They sat beside hirn in the garden, or in the trees, gathering around him as naturally as a group of friends. He is rightly judged not against the wide expanse of European politics but against his own narrow Scottish background.

Once he had mastered an idea himself his desire to reveal it to others diminished. You also won’t find many books that give even a passing mention to George Gissing – Evans places Gissing as a writer who followed his art into difficult places rather than Kipling who adapted himself to the public taste.

As a judge, he is tolerant and undogmatic, but never slack in his standards. He sees the corruption of wealth, and the inadequacies of government. The allegory itself now seems troublesome, but to the Elizabethans it had a con- temporary reference, and they were near enough hiistory the Middle Ages tode-vour allegory foritsown sake. Snort seems sometimes more of a disembodied spirit than an ordinary human being. Some saw through the artificialities of the sentiment, which Shakespeare mocked with the speeches of Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, Sir Philip Sidney, in Astrophel and Stella, jested at the fashion, and yet half suc- cumbed to it r some of his sonnets plead for realism, and others luxuriate in the baroque devices which the conven- tion allowed.

English literature to In satire he is pungent, foul-mouthed, but he employed his irregular verse in another way in The Boke of Phyllyp Sparowe, a lament on a pet sparrow killed by a cat. It is true diat, with the aid of commentators, a meaning can be extracted.


His success as a poet lay in the fact that, after such comparative failures as Queen Mab and The Revolt of Mam, he succeeded ultimately in incorporat- ing his message in Prometheus Unbound. No journey was ever more fateful to a poet, no people more unwittingly unkind to genius. Milton had from the first asense of dedication to poetry, svans he has himself expressed in Xycidas’, and his whole mental life became a discipline so that he might achieve the great poems which in his youth he had outlined m his imagination.

The couplet form for his verse he had adapted from Pope, but he wrote in an easier, more Chaucerian manner.

A Short History of English Literature

In Byron the two are combined with an added touch of demoniac egoism, suggesting that even if the rest of the human race is to be so bedevilled he should have been exempted. To view it, click here. The biographers seem to have given a shout of exultation on discovering that Annette became the mother of a Wordswortluan daughter, arid that he left her to return to England. IN this two-hundred-page view of the whole of English literature the bones are all there and in the right proportions-; but the modelling of the flesh is necessarily shall we say?

This mixture of Christian and pagan can be seen in Andreas St Andrew which is m many ways an epic poem like Beowulf. The story is told as a tragedy, with the author implying that he wishes the plot could be altered. Ultimately, it’s just an old white man rambling about other old white men.