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A History of English Literature (Foundations) - download pdf or read online

By Michael Alexander

ISBN-10: 0333672267

ISBN-13: 9780333672266

ISBN-10: 0333913973

ISBN-13: 9780333913970

A heritage of English Literature presents a entire survey of 1 of the richest and oldest literatures on this planet. provided as a story, and usable as a piece of reference, this article bargains an account of literature from the beginnings of English till the current day. the writer starts off by way of interpreting the scope of any such heritage when it comes to time, position, and the which means of "English". The classical prestige of any specific paintings is open to problem, and the inspiration of classical prestige itself is explored. The textual content is unrivalled in its use of pedagogical positive factors and indicates, providing beneficial insights into specific works, authors' biographies, and literary classes.

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After Wace came Marie de France, the first known French woman poet, who lived in England in the late 12th century and wrote a number of lais - a lai is a Breton minstrel’s tale. Marie turns these songs into verse stories, brief and mysterious Celtic fairytales. An English example of this genre is Sir Orfeo, a romance of Orpheus. Marie de France should be distinguished from Marie de Champagne, daughter of Eleanor of Aquitaine. It was for Marie de Champagne that Chrètien de Troyes wrote the French Arthurian romances, Erec et Enide, Cligès, Yvain, Lancelot, and Perceval, the first vernacular story of the quest for the Grail (the legendary vessel used by Christ at the Last Supper).

It includes lives of St Margaret and St Juliana, and the Ancrene Riwle, a Rule for Anchoresses, later rewritten for general use as the Ancrene Wisse, or Anchoresses’ Guide. These are the first substantial works in early Middle English prose. The Riwle is addressed to three well-born sisters ‘of one father and one mother in the blossom of your youth’, choosing to withdraw from the world to a life of prayer and contemplation. It prescribes regular reading and meditation, directed to the inner life and the love of Christ.

The Scholastics dealt with the problems of theology and philosophy, of ontology and epistemology, of mind and language. They enquired into and debated truths by methods of proposition and logical testing still used in philosophy today. The more humane Christianity of the 12th century, in which the incarnation of Christ made the physical universe speak of its divine origin, encouraged a further development of all the arts beyond what had been seen in 10th-century Winchester. What the Church did is largely still visible in the 10,000 medieval churches which survive in England.

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A History of English Literature (Foundations) by Michael Alexander


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