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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Above all, the modern mind, with its craving for realism, will miss the human figures, which Chaucer and Shakespeare supply. Landscapes, towns, ruins, are all conjured up before the reader, along with Byron’s own racy inter- polations. Double, even treble, motives crossed within his mind, all ultimately controlled evanx the fact that his surest hsitory lay witlun the Court, his most treasured auditor, if only she would listen, the Queen herself, Gloriana, the Faerie Queene.

In Chaucer’s age the English language was still divided by dialects, though London was rapidly making East- Midland into a standard hisfory. A dove house fill’d with doves and Pigeons Shudders Hell thro’ all its regions. Whilst round about them pleasantly did sing Many literzture Ladies, and lascivious boys, That ever mixed their song with light licentious toys.

Bede wrote in Latin though, as has been mentioned, there is a reference to a poem by him in the vernacular. All it does is provide you a list of texts you should look into, it doesn’t tell you much about them.

A Short History of English Literature by Benjamin Ifor Evans

It’s simply the author rambling on and on, mentioning tid bits about various writers and their major works. The poem was popular at the time, and it can be still enjoyed.

It must be dispersed before poetry can re-develop. So in Auguries of Innocence which, with his lyrics, is one ofhis most simple, poetical statements: They were suc- ceeded by Edmund Spenser c.

To write thus about a contemporary battie was, for poetry in any age, a rare achievement and as W. To the grammar was added a Latin-English vocabulary.


This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. Refresh and try again. I also thought this book was quite sexist – Christina Rossetti only gets a brief passing mention and Jane Austen gets about two pages. From the admirable poem written to Wordsworth after reading The Prelude, it is clear that Wordsworth sbort the poetry which Coleridge most admired: While Pope shogt the reader’s attention fixed on society, there was growing up in the eighteenth century an interest in nature for its own sake.

And all that while, right over him she hung With her fake eyes fast fixed in his sight As seeking medicine, whence she was stung, Or greedily depasturing delight: He knows passion, but he can mock at the physical body through which passion is transmitted.

Compared with the romances, the iite of the medieval lyric has been strong and enduring. It would have been well for Wordsworth’s reputation if The Prelude could have been published immediately on its completion.

Oct 07, Beth rated it it was ok Shelves: Housman, extracts from ‘Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries’ and ‘From for, from eve and morning’, to The Society byy Authors as the literary representative of the Estate of A. He overcomes Grendel and then later in a dwelling at the bottom of a lake he fights Grendel’s mother, a sea monster. He selected contemporary themes and fashioned them into poetry.

Around the main story there are references to a whole tragic world with plots different from that of Beowulf.

A Short History of English Literature. By B. Ifor Evans. » 17 Jun » The Spectator Archive

Mar 02, Jaison John added it. He had also great endur- ance, and the tasks which he undertook he iforr, Coleridge, on the other hand, saw all knowledge as his province, but it was a province which he seemed never to conquer. Wrenn in Word and Symbol made what may seem the final statement on the problem. While the Puritan ideal was not easy, still less was it negative.

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

The early stages of this Liteerature influence can be found in poems by Wyatt and Surrey published in in an anthology generally known as Tottefs Miscellany. The difficulty of the writer is that words are used for all every- day purposes, so that they become worn, like coins rubbed by long use.


Despite his eloquent essay A Defence of Poetry there is nothmg in his prose as outstanding as’ Keats’s Utters winch carried his contemporary saiely through a period when his verse is not so widely read as once it was. It may be that his vision of nature was an illusion, but in recording it he pursued many experiences into the secret corners of man’s nature, so that few sensitive minds will fail to discover shrt his poems something that answers to their own intuitions.

Whatever may have been the complexity of these aims he remained superbly an artist. Wagga Wagga Campus Library. It is regrettable that he composed his later and mature works when circumstances had cast such a black shadow across his path. Partly under Burke’s influence, he came to regard England as the protector of freedom against this new Wapoleomc imperialism.

If he were not a mystic he would be a revolution- ary.

Thanks for telling us about the problem. Eglish feels that bythrough free schooling, reading was enjoyed by the greater public and people were looking for shorter books – and Robert Louis Stevenson with “Treasure Island” and “Kidnapped” was one of the first writers to profit by it.

Wordsworth had a profoundly moral nature, capable of deep feeling, but controlled by a stubborn Northern austerity. His long poem, ‘The Rapture’, has not been similarly honoured, for, whatever may be its poetical merit, it has a licentiousness of which anthologists do not normally approve.

But the songs and lyrics, in which the age delighted, have ever given a spontaneous pleasure to posterity. The Angles brought the story of Beowulf with, them to England in the sixth century, and kf somewhere after A. Of the ‘Elegy’ successive generations of Englishmen have already given their judgement, and this can be sum- marized in Dr Johnson’s memorable words: