A. J. (Alfred John) Wyatt.

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Ex Libris
C. K. OGDEN 1




THE LIBRARY
OF

THE UNIVERSITY

OF CALIFORNIA

LOS ANGELES



XTbe XHniversit^ XTutorial Series



WILLIAM BRIGGS, LL.D., D.C.L., M.A., B.Sc.

Principal of University Correspondenck Colij:gk



THE TUTORIAL HISTORY



OF



ENGLISH LITERATURE



Bnolisb Classics

WITH Notes and Introduction.



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^be tlntvcr^tt^ ^Tutorial 53erte0
— ♦ —

THE TUTORIAL HISTORY

OF

ENGLISH LITERATURE



BY

A. J. WTATT, M.A. Lond. and Camb.

EXAMINER IN ENGLISH IN THE UNIVERSITY OF LONDON

EDITOR OF "BEOWULF," CHAUOER'S " KNIOHT'S TALE," ETC., MILTON'i

"paradise REGAINED," " SAMSON AGONISTES "



Seventh Impression (Third Edition)



__^




London: W. B. CLIVE

(Uniperfiitg 2^uforiaf (|)re60 £^.



DRURY LANE, W.C.
1910



PR

&5
W97t



PREFACE.



The common complaint against smaller text-books of
literature is that they include too much, and fail to pre-
serve due proportion between the greater and the lesser
writers. In this book the lesser writers are mentioned,
if at all, only incidentally ; and the attempt has been
made, in passing from one great writer to another, to
give the history, as distinguished from the mere story, of
English literature — to lay bare some of the more important
aspects of the work of each author selected, while tracing
the lines of development from writer to writer — in a word,
to make an elementary book scientific, as far as the
methods of science are applicable. In this task I have
had no model before me to improve upon, and am more
painfully aware, than any friendly reader or critic can be,
of shortcomings in its execu.tion. In pai'ticular I have
felt the difiiculty of being consistent in difficulty : of
avoiding the opposite dangers of ' talking over people's
heads ' and childish simplicity. The former danger may
be largely obviated if the student, before perusing each
chapter, will read the English Classics recommended on
pp. ix-xi.

h

i02S3C'?



VI PKEFACE.

I take to myself, without liis leave or knowledge, the
satisfaction of associating with this little work the name of
the living critic and historian of literature to whom it and
I owe most in the way of suggestion and stimulus, that of
Professor Herford of Aberystwyth.

A. J. W.

Cambridue,

July 1900.



PREFACE TO THE THIRD EDITION.



To this edition a chapter by Mr. H. Clay, B.A. Oxon.,
on the literature of the Victorian era has been added.
Thanks are due to Messrs. Macmillan and Co. for their
kind permission to quote from Matthew Arnold's Preface
to Ward's English Poets the passage given on page 267.

Cambkidge,

Sept. 1909.



CONTENTS.



CHAPTER I.

PAGB

Before the Conquest (1066 a.d.) 1

CHAPTER 11.

Fkom the Conquest to Chaucer (1066-1400 a.d.) . . 8

CHAPTER III.
From Medieval to Modern (1400-1579 a.d.) . . 26

CHAPTER IV.
The English Drama 38

CHAPTER V,
From Spenser to Milton (1579-1660 a.d.). . • . 72

CHAPTER VI.
The Age of Dkvden (1660-1700 a.d.) - • . 102

CHAPTER VII.
The Age of Poi-e (1700-1740 a.d.) 112

CHAPTER VIII.
The Age of Johnson (1740-1798 a.d.) . . . ,145

CHAPTER IX.

The Age of Wordsworth (1798-1832 a.d.) . , . 183

CHAPTER X.
The Age of Tennyson (1832-1892 a.d.) . . . . 220

Index 269

vii



TO THE READER.



ENGLISH CLASSICS.

For the full benefit derivable from the study of this
book it must be preceded by the reading of one work
by each of the authors dealt with. If that is not possible,
at least one complete work representative of each period
must be read. Tor this purpose the following classics
are recommended.

Ch. i. Beowulf.

„ ii. Chaucer's Prologue and Kniglifs Tale.

Laugland's Piers Ploivman (B. Prologue and
Passus v.).

,, iii. Malory's Morte DartJmr (selection).

,, iv. Marlowe's Dr. Faustas.

Shakespeai*e's Love's Labour's Lost, Romeo and
Juliet, Henry V., As You Like It, Julius
Caesar, Hamlet, and Tempest.
Jonson's Epicene.

„ V. Spenser's Faery Queene I.

Milton's L' Allegro, II Penseroso, Comus, Para-

dise Lost I. and II.
Bacon's Essays.

„ vi. Dryden's Absalom and Achitophel.
Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress.



I TO THE READER.

Cli. vii. Pole's Essay on Griticism, Ejjistle to ArhutJuioi,
Epistle to Augustus.
Swift's Gulliver s Travels.
Defoe's Robinson Crusoe.
Addison's Sir Roger de Goverley.-

„ viii. Thomson's Winter.

Richardson's Clarissa (abridged).

Fielding's Tom Jones.

ColHus's Poems.

Gray's Poems.

Boswell's Life of Johnson (selection).

Goldsmith's Deserted Village and Vicar of

Wakefield.
Burke's Two Speeches on America.
Cowper's Poems and Letters (Grolden Treasury).

„ ix. Wordsworth's Poems (G-olden Treasury),
Coleridge's Ancient Mariner.
Byron's Poems (Grolden Treasury).
Shelley's Poems (Grolden Treasury).
Scott's Legend of Montrose, Ivanhoe, Quentin

Dnrward.
Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare and Essays
(selection) .

„ X. Tennyson's Ulysses, Locksley Hall, English

Idylls, In Memoriam, Idylls of the King

(Macmillan, Griobe).
Bi'owning's Dramatic Lyrics, Pippa Passes,

Men and Women, The Ring and the Book

(Oxford Poets).
Arnold's Poems, Essays in Griticism.
Swinburne's Atalanta in Caledon, Poems and

Ballads.

' Macmillan, Js.net.



TO THE READER. XI

Ch. X. Morris's Defence of Guenevere, Earthly Para-
dise.
-^ Dickens' David Cojyperjield, Tale of Two Cities,
Pickwick Papers, Domhey and Son.

Thackeray's Vanity Fadr, The Newcomes,Esmond.

Gr. Eliot's Mill on the Floss, Adam Bede,
Middlemarch.

C. Bronte's Jane Eyre, Shirley.

Ruskin's Sesame and Lilies, Frondes Agrestes,
Stones of Venice.

Carlyle's Sartor Resartus, History of the French
Revolution.

Macaulay's Essays, History of England.



TUTORIAL PIISTORY OF ENGLISH
LITERATURE.

CHAPTEE I.

BEFORE THE CONQUEST (1066 A.D.).

English literature is the greatest that the world has
I tr d t ^^^^ seen, and the language in which it is
written bids fair to be some day the universal
language. Such facts as these make it right to approach
its history in a spirit of reverence. It is hardly possible
to exaggerate or overestimate the greatness of this litera-
ture of ours. It is not merely that in every kind of
writing it challenges comparison with the best of any and
every other country ; but that, whereas almost every other
literature has had one or two great epochs, ours has had
at the very least five, and shows a lasting vitality that is
quite without parallel. If the last of these great literary
epochs may be said to have closed somewhere about 1870,
the first came to an end somewhere about 870 — not less
than one thousand years before. There are some people
who have lately been kind enough to recognise the
existence of Chaucer and his poetry, but to whom the
unfortunate term ' Anglo-Saxon ' suggests only the
curious, the hulicroiis, not to say the contemptible. What
is in reality our glory becomes their shame. The half-
amused, half -contemptuous ignorance of the whole of our
literature before Chaucer on the part of the great majority
of readers renders it necessary to make a few plain state-
ments of undeniable facts : that the earliest English

ENG. LIT. I



2 BEFORE THE CONQUEST.

poetry and the earliest English prose alike belong to a
time when no other nation of modern Europe had either a
vernacular poetry or a vernacular prose ; that the best of
this poetry and the best of this prose have some qualities
of real greatness, and cannot fail to interest every earnest
reader ; and that English literature, like the English
language, is from the earliest to the latest times one and
indivisible. It has been stated by one recent historian
tliat ' the poetry of Chaucer has no connection vrith the
poetry of the Anglo-Saxons.' It would be equally true
to say that the waters of the Thames have no connection
with the waters of the Isis. But insistence on the essential
oneness of the stream of English literature need not render
us blind to the importance of the contributory streams,
nor to the fact that in particular the poetry of old
English needed to be blended with that of a more
advanced civilisation, and finally emerged aU the stronger
and better therefor.

The transcription of a few lines (translated on p. 6)
Language and of pootry will furnish the text for a few
Versification, remarks on our language and versification
before the Conquest.

Aiitev }tem «



Online LibraryA. J. (Alfred John) WyattThe tutorial history of English literature → online text (page 1 of 26)