A Short History of English Literature by Harry Blamires

By Harry Blamires

`It is sweet to determine a reprint and entire updating of this recognized historic travel de strength, with its proof of tremendous analyzing and actually hundreds of thousands of worthy facts.' - instances academic complement

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    Lyly’s later plays, Midas (1592) and Endimion (1591), are based on classical legend, the former on the story of the king who was granted his wish that everything he touched should turn to gold—and had to beg release from the boon when he found that even the food he tried to eat became gold—, the latter on the story of Endimion’s passion for the moon, Cynthia, a story which was later to be told by Keats. In both plays Lyly allegorizes the material shrewdly so as to point to contemporary affairs.

    The work is not a bare translation, for it includes passages of commentary and prologues to individual books: these sometimes have a personal flavour and discuss the task of interpretation or describe the passing season. The vigour and versatility of Douglas’s version are indisputable, though it is medieval in rendering and in presuppositional outlook. 1408–71). Malory lived through the Wars of the Roses and spent some time in prison, where Le Morte Darthur was composed. He has been conjecturally identified with a Sir Thomas Malory whose recorded career of violence, theft and even rape seems incongruous for the exponent of chivalrous idealism, and the identification has been disputed.

    Battles on the Scottish border, like the doings in Sherwood Forest, provided a lively impetus to balladry, which did not quickly die. Percy, the Earl of Northumberland, goes hunting in the borderland with ‘fifteen hundred bowmen bold’ in Chevy Chase and is confronted by Earl Douglas with a muster of ‘twenty hundred Scottish speres’. 2 Alongside the anonymous ballad there flourished the largely anonymous lyric. Of the lyrics that have survived many date from the fourteenth century, but most from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

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