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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Religion, he suggests, depends on learning, and historj dreads the days that preceded him when there were English priests who could not write or read Latin. They all had a deep interest in nature, not as a centre of beautiful scenes but as an informing and spiritual influence on life. Foremost among his works is bis great Ecclesi- astical History of the English Race.

So it is with the 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. I shall not be particular in stating His journey, we’ve so many tours of late: It is true that he was an opium addict, but he took the drug first to relieve the acute pain of illness, and ill- health pursued him throughout his life.

The Civil Wars separ- ated men frorn the older ways of Irving, and the religious controversies killed much that had remained lively in the national imagination since the Middle Ages. Homer it may not be, but it is a poem, and one which has given a genuine enjoyment.

A Short History of English Literature

Part literaturd it was a delight in ‘prospects’, in scenes such as a painter might use. It was as if the sensitive mind in that robust age was driven in upon itself into self-laceration and anguish. True ease in writing comes from art, not chance, As those move easiest who have leara’d to dance.

While Pope kept the reader’s attention fixed on society, there was growing up in the eighteenth century an interest in nature for its own sake. The reader may give thanks for the mysterious working on the English spirit in a poem which he has left unread. The Cross appears to the poet in a dream and describes the unwilbng part it played in the Crucifixion. They have also used poetry to tell stories, the comedy, the literahure, and the tragedy of life. A poet cannot write the poetry he wants to write but only the poetry that is within him.

One cannot truly engage and listen. Dm Juan is one of the great poems m our language, a performance of rare artistic skill.

While the Puritan ideal was not easy, still less was it negative. Actually there were more than six centuries of literature before Chaucer was born. If tyranny were removed, and cruelty, and the corruption of man by man through jealousy and the exercise of power, life would be beautiful, and an experience governed by love.

Guillaume had treated woman with adoration, and Jean with mockery, and Chaucer remembered both ways in his own verses. Add a tag Cancel Be the first to add a tag for this edition. This single location in Victoria: Some have sought for a moral in ‘The Ancient Mariner’, and for such as must have these props, Coleridge attached a lesson at the end of the narrative, but the poem shprt is like some Arabian tale, where all moves in a weird and unexpected sequence.

Further, they possess a way of verse, subtle and allusive, which is not to be found elsewhere. Did ye not hear it? As a prophet, and a liberator of the human spirit, Blake is of first importance, but as an artist he is byy by his arbitrary methods, and by an absence of discipline. These personal experiences they all valued to a degree which is difficult to parallel in earlier poets.

A Short History of English Literature by Benjamin Ifor Evans

Later he escaped from Oxford by expulsion, for circulating his views on Atheism to Heads of Colleges and others. He is most widely known for ‘John Gilpin ‘, a good jest, but actually the jest of evanss mind fretful and tormented, fighting in secret for its sanity. Almost contemporary with Blake is Robert Burns He was among the most learned men of Europe in his day, yet his poems are a thin sheaf, a few odes and the ‘Elegy’.

The story would do for a novel, and in some ways Chaucer has made a great novel in verse, with characters intelligible in any age, and with a full movement of life surrounding the main theme.

But they, as others of his works, repre- sent the labours of a dedicated mind resolved to raise the standards of learning and of religion in his time.