A SHORT HISTORY OF ENGLISH LITERATURE BY IFOR EVANS PDF

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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While the Puritan ideal was not easy, still less was it negative. Even the most sober judgement cannot miss the spiritual vision and the singing quality, rather like shoft clanging of bells or the sound of trumpets. Often in his verses he returns to the image of a boat upon a moonlit sea; or the crescent moon itself, shaped like a boat, burning in the clear Italian night.

And set to work millions of spinning worms, That in their green shops weave the smooth-hair’d silk To deck her sons; and that no corner might Be vacant of her plenty, in her own loins She hutch ‘d the all-worshipped ore, and precious gems, To store her children with. He was proud of his name, of his power over those who crossed his path, and half-con sciously he deter- mined literaturf live out his life so that it would go easily shprt legend.

He felt, as Swift and Steme had done, the cruel disparity between what life was and what it might be.

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

Andrew has to rescue St Matthew as Beowulf rescued Hrothgar though Andrew is at first unwilling to attempt the task! A number of his contemporaries among the courtiers of Charles II’s reign wrote light amorous lyrics eenglish great charm: A mellow sentiment accompanies his expression.

National Library of Australia. Of the first Caedmon, something is recorded of his life but next to ‘ nothing of his work. Thomson was too diffuse to be a great artist. In the ‘Immortality’ Ode, he recorded a mystical intuition of a life before birth, which dies out in this material world, but which can be recovered in a few fortunate moments in the presence of nature.

These poems are far removed from the gravity and ‘high seriousness’ of Spenser, Milton or Literatire.

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

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

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Behind all of Gowper’s varied moods there lingers the dread that reason might one day retreat, and diis led to the most poignant of Ids poems, ‘The Castaway’, where, more clearly than in any other poem in English, he shows the fear of approaching insanity.

The earliest definite figure is Aldhelm d.

The title promises a simple rustic book but the poems are clever, mock-simple, courtly pieces. He made his monas- tery at J arrow a great centre of religion and study te that troubled century when the Christian civilization evabs Europe was threatened with destruction. Though deep, yet clear; though gentle, yet not dull; Strong without rage; without o’erflowing, i’ulL John Drydenwho discovered so evvans to praise in the new school, was himself one of its chief ex- ponents.

Dryden was praising the lucidity both of subject and treatment, such, as were to be found in Denham’s ‘Cooper’s Hill’. One has to stretch across the years to reach Drayton and Daniel, but John Donne 1 seems often to stand before us as a contemporary. Itwould be only just to recall that the magnificence was only inter- mittent and isolated, but it did exist. He has always been read since by that minority which finds pleasure in poetry as an art. 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.

X interesting thing about Evans is that he had been around for long enough to see poets that were highly thought of in their lifetime, then spend years in obscurity, then in the 50s and 60s have a popularity revival Tennyso Ifor Evans first published his “Short History of English Literature” in and by it had gone through many reprints as well as an end chapter by Bernard Bergonzi bringing it up to date with critiques of new writers such as Phillip Larkin, Anthony Burgess and John Osbourne.

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Books by Benjamin Ifor Evans. There are certainly references to very early popular lyrics. It may have been only an accident that a number of poets in the eighteenth century were afflicted by morbid- ity and insanity.

Contraries exist in his mind, but they are ever moving one into the other He is the young gallant who ends his life as Dean of St Paul’s. University of South Australia.

The book is divided into poetry, drama and prose – English drama, according to Evans, seemed to go downhill after Shakespeare and his contemporaries Thomas Kyd, Christopher Marlowe.

A Short History of English Literature

It is the type of verse which later Pope was to make famous: The ‘man of letters’, whose life was largely controlled by economic exigencies and dependence on the Court, cherished as his first ambition as an artist the making of good verses. The poet, compared with the musician, is faced with the added difficulty that words, in their normal use, convey a meaning.

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So all their praises are but prophecies Of this our ufor, all you prefiguring, And for they look’d but with divining eyes, They had not skill enough your worth to sing: The story of Adam and Eve may have ceased to have much importance for most minds, and this also tells against Milton; but nothing can destroy the picture of Satan’s rebellion, half-heroic, half-evil, or the language which seeks, over human experience and past literature, for parallels to describe this cosmic action.

The drama- tists proved themselves poets outside the drama: The story is told as a tragedy, with the author implying that he wishes the plot could be altered. Often he wrote verses in Latin but he had a great command of the couplet, as appears in his two satires, ‘London’and ‘The Vanity of Human Wishes’ 1 They could only hope to win by telling the histoy biblical stories in the old way.

This is the reason for the neglect of our early literature, though today much of it can be obtained in translation. The career of Alexander Popein many ways Dryden’s successor, has been more hotly and more frequently debated than any other in English hjstory. As a judge, he is tolerant and undogmatic, but never slack in his standards. A single manuscript preserves four poems written in the North- Western dialect.

With Wordsworth, such sensa- tions have a moral value, and are often associated with simple and human objects. Yet it would not be unjust to infer, as has already been suggested, that the movement of rationalism, and the buoyant materialism of the time, drove the artist in upon himself.

Or snorted we in the seven sleepers den? Paperbackpages. My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears, And true plain hearts do in the faces rest, Where can we find two better hemispheres Without sharp North, without declining West? It is in some of these interludes that the poem displays its strength and its beauty of style. From to 1 81 1 he travelled kfor and returned to take his seat in the House of Lords and to publish the first two cantos of Child, Harold 08i 2.

His most interesting followers were religious poets. Even in that Elizabethan age this poem spoke of a past, rapidly fading, but still remembered.