A History of English Literature (Foundations) by Michael Alexander

By Michael Alexander

A historical past of English Literature presents a complete survey of 1 of the richest and oldest literatures on the planet. offered 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 by means of reading the scope of this type of 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 proposal of classical prestige itself is explored. The textual content is unrivalled in its use of pedagogical positive aspects and indicates, supplying precious insights into specific works, authors' biographies, and literary sessions.

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The mouth now tells Gawain to keep his bargain at the Green Chapel on New Year’s Day, or be a coward. By the following Christmas, Gawain has made his way through the wilderness. He fights bulls, bears, boars and giants (all in one line), but finds the cold worse: ‘Near slain with the sleet, he slept in his irons’. The running water ‘hanged high over his head in hard iisseikkles’. He prays to Mary, and a wonderful [p. 53] castle appears, so battlemented and pinnacled ‘That pared out of paper purely [exactly] it semed’.

I it am that thou longest. I it am that thou desyryst. I it am that thou menyste. ’ These brief extracts indicate Julian’s focus on central Christian teachings and the purity of her style; but not the richness of the Showings, nor of her meditations in the mystical tradition of the Bible from Augustine to Bernard. Among other women mystics of the 14th century was St Bridget of Sweden (1303-73). 1330-84) translated all the Bible into English, but no extant English text is now ascribed to this Oxford theologian.

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). Chrètien was the first to turn the matière de Bretagne, the matter of Britain, from legend into literature; his couplets have a French economy and a light touch.

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