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. (Staples 7s. 6d.) 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.

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These false critics may have set many readers against the poet, but anyone who acquires his poems and reads them has at hand an enjoyment more varied and profound than any anticipation could conceive.

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

In the West there lived on, or came to life, a poetry eenglish has little in com- mon with that of Chaucer, and which he seems to have actively disliked.

The two most important events in the history of Eng- land took place before the Norman Conquest. He suggested that 1 poets had ‘continued unin- terrupted by the vicissitudes of reform and revolution to express themselves’ and that this continued from the poet of Beowulf through Chaucer or Langland, Milton or Wordsworth.

He defined the nature of Wordsworth’s poetry. But now, become aggressors in their turn, Frenchmen had changed a war of self-defence For one of conquest, losing sight of ah Which they had struggled for.

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

Jen rated it liked it Sep 07, But this talk is just sohrt, a talk. Through half the night, Scudding away from snare to snare, I plied That anxious visitation; – moon and stars Were shining o’er my head.

View all 3 comments. For Milton this struggle is never easy, for his mind is aware of the attractions of the earth and the pleasures of histiry body; shott Comus he gives a magnificent plea histkry all the pleasures of the earth should be enjoyed: They made his reputation not in England alone, but throughout Europe from France to Russia. Superficially his teaching may seem optimistic, but beneath the surface can be seen the alert mind, perceiving the pride of man, his high-vaunting ambidons, and, in contrast, the inade- quacy of his faculties.


Once he had mastered an idea himself his desire to reveal it to others diminished. A Diary of a Private School Kid. Zara Rizwan rated it it was amazing Jul 19, William Blake’s work stands alone in our literature, for no one saw life quite in the same way as he did.

With the lyrics may be remembered the ballads, for the ballads were lyrics in which a story was told in one par- ticular way.

At his best, in The Rape of the Lock, he was able to mock at the whole of the fashionable society of the eighteenth century, while showing that he had some passionate attachment to its elegance. He keeps the whole poem alive by inter- spersing the tales themselves with the talk, the quarrels, and the opinions of the pilgrims, and here the Wife of Bath, with her detailed comments on marriage and the treatment of the male sex, is supreme.

He had the ambition to write, in English, poems which would be great and revered, as the classical epics of Homer and Vergil had been, or the new ambitious romantic poetry of Ariosto and Tasso. In his literary criticism, particularly in Biograpkia Literariahe has anticipated the modern philosophical and psychological criticism of the aits.

In this lost Anglo-Saxon and medieval literature there was, to quote a single instance, Bede’s vernacular lyric. Chaucer as a poet is so good that he makes the fifteenth century appear dull.

His spirit might have nourished better in some world other than the heavy Georgian society in which he grew up. Amazon Inspire Digital Educational Resources. As far as medieval literature is concerned this is well illus- trated in R. In the ‘Ode to Duty’ he composed in a mood of more classical severity than was customary with him.

A Short History of English Literature

Of these, the most ambitious as a complete work is Troilus and Criseyde. Next page of related Sponsored Products.

Thus at her felt approach, and secret might, Art after Art goes out, and all is Night. The label is only an attempt to show how their work differed from that of their predecessors. As a judge he is tolerant and undogmatic, but never slack in his standards. 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 the dismal tidings when he frowned; Yet he was kind, or if severe in aught, The love he bore to learning was 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.


So it is with the Fatrie Queene ; the whole poem may weary, but in the show passages, such ifir the Bower of Bliss and the Masque of Cupid, it can still give delight. Such Cowper had, and it makes his Letters among the most delightful in the language.

Especially with Bergonzi, who wrote the last chapter. But his long years were spent in the enervating life of an eighteenth-century don in Cambridge, Some sadness of spirit within him paralysed action, and made creative work almost impossible. The poem creates from the first a world of its own, with the storm sequence, the shooting of the Albatross and the weird way m which the bird is avenged: The author was probably a priest of one of the lowest orders, and his poem may have circulated among clerical or semi -clerical audiences.

He used the sonnet, as Milton had done, to arouse England to a sense other responsibility in inter- national affairs, and to express poignant moments in his own experience.

The first generation of romantic poets took into themselves, seeking in their own lives for strange sensations. In Absalom and Achitophel 1he exposed the politics of Shaftesbury’s intrigues, and Monmouth’s disloyalty, and produced the best of his satires. His early, rash marriage to Harriet Westbrook can be blamed upon neither of them. The Angles brought the shortt of Beowulf with, them to England in the sixth century, and there fnglish after A. Nothing shows Alfred’s inquiring mind more clearly than his desire to have these accounts of contemporary travel lei’s inserted into Orosius’s dull chronicle of calamities.