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English Literature in Context

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Overview

Supporting the study of English literature from the Middle Ages to the present, this book is designed as an introductory text AND a helpful reference tool for an entire English Literature degree. Its key mission is to help students understand the link between the historical context in which the literature developed, how this has influenced the literature of the period and how subsequent periods in literature have been influenced by those that precede them. The book is carefully structured for undergraduate use, with a rich range of illustrations and textboxes that enhance and summarise vital background material. The seven chronological chapters are written by a team of expert contributors who are also highly experienced teachers with a clear sense of the requirements of the undergraduate English curriculum. Each analyses a major historical period, surveying and documenting the cultural contexts that have shaped English literature, and focusing on key texts. In addition to the narrative survey, each chapter includes a detailed chronology, providing a quick-reference guide to the period; contextual readings of select literary texts; and annotated suggestions for further reading.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"It is difficult, indeed, to imagine a more expansive and authoritative introduction to the study of English literature than English Literature in Context."
Kenneth Womack, The Pennsylvania State University, Altoona

" … an excellent and invaluable guide, sure to enhance the student’s encounter with major works and authors on an English degree course. If there’s one book students should have alongside them as they study the primary sources, this is it."
Elaine Treharne, Florida State University

" … a brilliantly designed textbook, thoughtfully conceived and appealingly presented, clearly showing how literature is vibrantly alive in and to the world in which it was written. Both students and teachers will find this book of great use and genuine interest."
David Scott Kastan, Columbia University

"A fine survey course text or supplementary reading."
American Reference Books Annual

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521839921
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 11/30/2007
  • Pages: 686
  • Product dimensions: 6.85 (w) x 9.72 (h) x 1.77 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Poplawski is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Leicester.

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Cambridge University Press
9780521839921 - English Literature in Context - by Paul Poplawski
Excerpt


1   Medieval English, 500–1500

VALERIE ALLEN

What should we call this period of ‘medieval literature’ that straddles nearly a millennium and two languages? The ‘Dark’ and ‘Middle Ages’ (of which ‘medieval’ is simply the Latinate form), were terms applied retrospectively and pejoratively by writers in the seventeenth century to describe the period between classical and Renaissance learning; the ‘medievals’ generally perceived themselves as modern, sometimes even corruptly sophisticated in comparison to earlier, simpler days. ‘Literature’ is equally problematic, not existing as a word in English until the fourteenth century. For most of the period, that body of writing containing what we now call ‘literature’ encompassed without division texts that today we categorise as religious, historical, legal and medical. Poets were certainly popular figures, but their business was often primarily to commemorate historical events. Their poems, even if they contained marvels, had little to do with ‘fiction’ as we understand it; and even if they were well crafted, had little to do with any abstract notion of the aesthetic. ‘Medieval’ ‘literary’ art had no theory of itself but rather entailed verbal skill used in the service of a person (queen, bishop, overlord, patron), institution (monastery, the Church,the Crown) or for an occasion (coronation, feast, holy day, battle). Such art did not exist for its own sake but to serve the purpose in hand and to fill a belly.

Furthermore, how do we name a period that so lacks internal coherence? It moves from a Germanic tribal economy to late Old English feudalism, to the ‘high’ feudalism of the Normans, to the emergence of the state bureaucracy, centralisation of power, and urban economy that brought England to the eve of its precociously early capitalism. It starts at a moment when the essentially urbanised experience of theatre is inconceivable, and ends at a time when Old English heroic poetry is largely unintelligible both culturally and linguistically. We can indeed explain each historically formative event in terms of the conditions created by previous events, and thereby construct the past as a linear sequence of cause and effect that stretches both before the medieval era and after it. Yet taking this medieval period as a discrete historical epoch in its own right, we must ask what its literature distinctively meant. History and literature are divided in modern disciplinary parlance and then united in an artificial synthesis imposed on a body of medieval writing that recognised no such distinction in the first place. Literature is not some constant that progresses unchanged through the eras; its very meaning changes according to the epoch in which it occurs. We must ask what made its dominant genres – heroic poetry, romance, saint’s life, mystery play – assume the form they did when they did. We must consider the possibility that literature as we understand it today simply does not map on to the medieval landscape of poetic and scribal production. To read medieval literature well is thus to read medieval literature historically. The history of medieval literature is less an adjunct to the study of medieval literature, by way of explanation of obscure terms and quaint manners, than its very foundation.

Chronology

Key

IF Insular French, referring to the predominantly Norman-influenced dialect of French that developed in England after 1066. Also refers broadly to any French written in England.
AS Anglo-Saxon, the collective term for the inhabitants of England after the immigration of the Germanic tribes from the fifth century. The name comes from the two most populous tribes, the Angles and the Saxons. Used more precisely, the term is distinguished from the native Britons, inhabiting the island prior to invasion, and from the Danes, who invaded from the eighth to eleventh centuries.
fl. flourished
L. Latin, the language of learning and of the Church; in use continuously throughout the medieval period and accross western Europe.
ME Middle English, referring to the English language from the thirteenth to late fifteenth centuries. English from the twelfth and late eleventh centuries is transitional, and can be understood as either late OE or early ME.
OE Old English, referring to the conglomeration of dialects used in England from the earliest written vernacular (roughly early seventh century) until the Norman invasion. Most OE writing is in the West Saxon dialect.
OF Old French, language of continental France, as distinct from its insular counterpart, Insular French.

Unless designated otherwise, all texts are in English (whether Old or Middle).

Note

There is often a lag between the date in which a work was composed and the earliest surviving manuscript of it. Anglo-Saxon poetry is particularly vulnerable to this kind of delayed date of record. The Dream of the Rood, for example, is known to have existed in some form by the late seventh century, but the manuscript in which it exists dates from some three hundred years later.

HISTORY AND CULTURE LITERATURE
449 Bede’s date for arrival of Germanic mercenaries. King Arthur possibly a British resistance leader fighting the invaders
Late C. 5th / early C. 6th Gildas, The Ruin of Britain (L.), source for Bede
597 St Augustine brings Roman Christianity (and script) to Kent
c. 602–3 Æthelbert, King of Kent, first Anglo-Saxon ruler to convert Æthelbert establishes written law, first known OE writing (preserved only in later manuscripts)
616 Edwin (− 633), King of Northumbria, converts to Christianity
c. 625 Sutton Hoo ship burial
c. 632 Penda (− 655), pagan King of Mercia
635 Cynegisl, first West Saxon king baptised
642 Oswald, King of Northumbria, killed by Penda
643 Earliest original date for Widsith and Deor (in Exeter Book, c. 950), also Battle of Finnsburgh and Waldere
656 Mercia converts to Christianity
657 (− 680) ‘Cædmon’s Hymn’, and possibly Genesis A, Exodus and Daniel (in Junius manuscript, c. 950)
664 Synod of Whitby establishes supremacy of Roman Christianity
c. 678 English Christian missions to the Continent Earliest original date for Beowulf, latest ninth century
688 Ine (− 726), King of Wessex, establishes law code
c. 698 Lindisfarne Gospels (L.); Dream of the Rood
730 (− 750) Ruthwell Cross
731 Bede, Ecclesiastical History of the English People (L.)
757 Offa (− 96), King of Mercia
c. 782 Poetic elegies, including: Wanderer, Seafarer, Wife’s Lament and Ruin (all in Exeter Book, c. 950)
793 First Danish invasions. Monastery at Lindisfarne sacked
796 fl. Nennius, History of the Britons (L.); early reference to historical Arthur
c. 800 Four remaining kingdoms: Northumbria, Mercia, East Anglia, Wessex ‘Cynewulf’ poems (from runic signature): Juliana, Christ II (in Exeter Book, c. 950), Fates of the Apostles, Elene (in Vercelli Book, c. 950) OE riddles
c. 851 Genesis B
869 Danes kill Edmund, King of East Anglia Edmund venerated as saint
871 Alfred the Great, King of Wessex, then of Anglo-Saxons Possible date of Andreas
875 York becomes separate Scandinavian kingdom
878 Defeat of Danish leader Guthrum at Edington (Wilts.). Treaty of Wedmore. Guthrum baptised
c. 880 Kingdom of the Anglo-Saxons. Boundaries of Danelaw established: Dane and Englishman given equal legal value (or wergild) Alfredian law-code and translations. Anglo-Saxon Chronicle begun
899 Edward the Elder, son of Alfred, King of Anglo-Saxons
924 Æthelstan, son of Edward, King of Anglo-Saxons, then of English (927)
937 Battle of Brunanburh: Æthelstan defeats Norsemen and Scots Battle of Brunanburh recorded as poem in Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
939 Edmund, first king to succeed to all England
946 King Eadred, brother of Edmund
c. 950 Exeter Book (–c. 1000), Vercelli Book (containing earliest homilies), Junius manuscript. Beowulf manuscript probably late tenth or early eleventh century
955 King Eadwig, son of Edmund
959

Edgar, brother of Eadwig, King of England

Dunstan (− 988), Archbishop of Canterbury

Monastic Benedictine Revival
961 Oswald (− 992), Bishop of Worcester, Archbishop of York from 971 Oswald major figure in Benedictine Revival
963 Æthelwold (− 984), Bishop of Winchester, teacher of Wulfstan and Ælfric, translates Rule of St Benedict (L.) into OE; writes Regularis Concordia (L.), standardising monastic, liturgical observance
c. 971 Blickling Homilies, anonymous
975 King Edward ‘the Martyr’, son of Edgar Edward venerated as saint; murder lamented by Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Byrhtferth of Ramsey and Wulfstan (1014)
978 Æthelræd II, ‘the Unready’, half-brother of Edward the Martyr
c. 980 Second wave of Viking invasion (− 1066)
985–7 Abbo of Fleury at Ramsey; commemorates death of Edmund (d. 869)
c. 991 Apollonius of Tyre, only OE romance, in manuscript with Wulfstan’s homilies
990–2 Ælfric, Catholic Homilies
991 Battle of Maldon. Danegeld first paid Battle of Maldon composed within twenty years
c. 996 Ælfric, Lives of the Saints
997 Byrhtferth of Ramsey, Life of St Oswald (L.) (Archbishop of York, d. 992)
c. 998 Ælfric, Latin Grammar in OE, Colloquy (L.), and Old Testament translations and paraphrases
1013–14 Swein Forkbeard, King of Denmark, deposes Æthelræd
1014 Æthelræd reinstated Wulfstan, Archbishop of York, ‘“Wolf’s” Sermon to the English’ Sermo Lupi ad Anglos
1016 King Edmund Ironside, son of Æthelræd and Ælfgifu; defeated by (Danish) Cnut; murdered same year King Cnut; King of Denmark from 1018
1035–7 Kingdom divided between Harold Harefoot and Harthacnut, sons of Cnut by different mothers
1037 King Harold Harefoot
1040 King Harthacnut
1042 King Edward the Confessor, son of Æthelræd II and Emma of Normandy
1066 Harold II
1066 Battle of Hastings: William of Normandy defeats Harold Song of Roland (OF) allegedly sung to the Normans before battle. Earliest record of poem dates from twelfth-century IF version
1066 William I
1068–70 William eliminates resistance throughout England
1070–1 Hereward the Wake, rebellion in East Anglia
1086 Domesday land survey completed. Oath of Salisbury: main landowners swear fealty to William
1087 William II, son of William I
1096–9 First Crusade. William II attends. Jerusalem stormed 1099
1100 Henry I, son of William I (− 1125) Gesta Herewardi, L. translation of (lost) English account of outlaw Hereward the Wake
1125 William of Malmesbury, L. writings, including History of the Kings of the English and Life of St Dunstan
1128 First Cistercian abbey in England (order founded 1098 in reaction to Benedictine opulence)
c. 1133 Henry of Huntingdon, History of the English (L.)
1135

Stephen, Henry I’s nephew, claims throne from Matilda, Henry’s daughter.

Intermittent civil war

c. 1137 Geoffrey of Monmouth, History of the Kings of Britain (L.); first sustained account of King Arthur
c. 1140 Geoffrey Gaimar, Estoire des Engleis (IF), includes account of Havelock the Dane
1147–9 Second Crusade
1147 Ælred (− 1167), Abbot of Rievaulx, later canonised. L. spiritual and historical works, including life of Edward the Confessor
c. 1150 Play Mystère d’Adam (IF) probably composed in England
1153 Treaty of Winchester (or Wallingford): Stephen retains throne, Matilda’s son Henry heir
1154 Henry II, son of Henry I OE Peterborough Chronicle ends
1155 Pope allegedly grants Henry lordship of Ireland Wace, Roman de Brut (IF), based on Geoffrey of Monmouth; Roman de Rou (c. 1160)
1159 fl. John of Salisbury; L. treatises on political theory (Policraticus) and logical arts (Metalogicon)
1164 Constitutions of Clarendon: Henry seeks control over Church
1166 Assize of Clarendon: Henry lays foundation of trial by jury of English common law
c. 1167 (− 1170) Oxford halls of residence for English scholars founded; scholars previously had studied at University of Paris Cnut’s Song, Poema morale, Proverbs of Alfred, verses of St Godric, Paternoster poem (first use of extended rhyming couplets in English)
1169–71 Invasion of Ireland led by Richard of Clare (‘Strongbow’)
1170 Thomas Becket murdered after years of conflict with Henry over jurisdiction of Church and state; (canonised 1173) Approximate date for Vie d’Edouard le Confesseur (IF) by the Nun of Barking
1174 Treaty of Falaise; William I of Scotland pays homage to Henry
1176 Assize of Northampton further increases administration of centralised royal justice
c. 1177 Richard FitzNigel, Dialogus de Scaccario (L.), on methods of government. Nigel Wireker, Mirror of Fools (L.), satire on manners and clerical vices
c. 1180 William Fitzstephen (L.). Life of Thomas Becket (includes account of London). Marie de France at English court; writes Fables and Lais (IF). Drama, La Seinte Resureccion (IF)
1180–6 John of Ford, Life of St Wulfric of Haselbury (L.) (d. 1154)
1181–92 Walter Map, Trifles of Courtiers (L.), satire of court life
1187 Jerusalem retaken by Saladin
1189–92 Third Crusade
1189 Richard I, son of Henry II; leads Crusade to Holy Land (1190) Approximate date for Owl and the Nightingale
c. 1190

(− 1225) Katherine Group (alliterative prose): Seinte Marherete, Seinte Iuliene, Seinte Katerine, Sawles Warde and Hali Meiðhad (MS. Bodley 34)

LaȜamon’s Brut, derived from Bede and Wace

c. 1196–8 William of Newburgh, History of English Matters (L.)
1199 John I, brother of Richard
c. 1200 Marian lyrics. Ælfric’s Grammar transcribed Religious elegies: The Grave and Soul’s Address to the Body. Geoffrey of Vinsauf, Poetria Nova (L.)
1202–4 Fourth Crusade
1204–6 Philip Augustus of France retakes Normandy, Anjou and other territories
c. 1205 Ormulum, metrical paraphrase of gospels; develops unique phonetic spelling system
1209 Cambridge halls of residence established
1210 Roman de Waldef (IF), apparently based on an English source
1215 Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council: requires annual confession for Christians, and distinctive garb for Jews; clarifies doctrine of transubstantiation; establishes marriage as sacrament; increases penalties against heretics

John signs Magna Carta, grants concessions to barons, liberties to towns

Civil war; Prince Louis of France besieges Rochester

1216 Henry III, son of John, nine years old
1217 Jews to wear yellow badges marking alien status
c. 1220 Ancrene Riwle (or Ancrene Wisse)
1221 Dominican (Blackfriars) order established in England. Founded 1216 to combat heresy
1224 Franciscan friars (Greyfriars) in England
c. 1225 ‘Wooing Group’, prose prayers to Christ: Wohung of Ure Lauerd, On Lofsong of ure Louerde, On Ureisun of ure Louerde
1227 Order of St Clare founded – female mendicantsHenry III achieves majority
1228–9 Fifth Crusade
1230–1 Genesis and Exodus (metrical paraphrase of Old Testament books). Vices and Virtues (prose dialogue)
1235 fl. Matthew Paris, monk of St Albans, illustrated Chronicles (L.)
1237 Treaty of York, Anglo-Scottish borders fixed
c. 1240 Curia Regis (King’s Grand Council of barons and prelates) as embryonic Parlement Walter Bibbesworth, Tretiz (IF.). Roman de Gui de Warewic (IF)
c. 1242 fl. Bartholomaeus Anglicus, De Proprietatibus Rerum (L.) (encyclopaedic treatise)
1248–54 Sixth Crusade
c. 1250 First English (metrical) romances: King Horn, Floris and Blauncheflur. Physiologus (L.), allegorical interpretation of animal natures
1258 Provisions of Oxford, Simon de Montfort attempts regulation of King’s finances
1259 Treaty of Paris. Henry III acknowledges French claim to territories in France
c. 1260 (− 1300) Robert of Gloucester, metrical chronicle of England
1264 Feast of Corpus Christi instituted
1265 Battle of Evesham, Simon de Montfort killed
c. 1265 Duns Scotus (− 1308), Scots philosopher of logic
1270 Seventh Crusade. Prince Edward attends
1272 Edward I, son of Henry III Approximate date for Havelock the Dane
1275 First formal meeting of Parliament Approximate date for English fabliaux, Dame Sirith, Fox and the Wolf
1279 Statute of Mortmain: limits Church’s right to inherit land held by knight’s fee
c. 1280 South English Legendary, versified saints’ lives and miracles
1282–3 Edward invades Wales, establishes himself as ruler, proclaims son Edward Prince of Wales (1301)
c. 1285 Hereford Mappa Mundi
1290

Jews expelled from England

Statute (Quia Emptores) bars granting of new feudal rights (sub-infeudation), except by the Crown, and makes land held in ‘fee simple’ (fully ‘owned’) freely transferable

1292 Inns of Court established for training English lawyers
c. 1290s?

Of Arthour and of Merlin (in Auchinleck Ms.), non-alliterative romance

Harrowing of Hell, semi-dramatic verse dialogue

Metrical romances: Havelok the Dane, Arthour and Merlin, Kyng Alisaunder, Sir Tristrem, Amis and Amiloun

1297 Battle of Stirling Bridge, William Wallace defeats Edward; Wallace defeated at Falkirk (1298), executed 1305
c. 1300

Cursor Mundi, biblical poem

Lay Folks’ Catechism

Land of Cockaigne

Richard Rolle (− 1349), devotional writing (L. and vernacular)

1303 Robert Mannyng of Brunne, Handlyng Synne (verse translation of IF penitential treatise)
1307 Edward II, son of Edward I
c. 1310? William of Palerne, early romance of Alliterative Revival
1314 Battle of Bannockburn, Robert Bruce defeats English; ends English control in Scotland
1315–17 Great famine
1320 Declaration of Arbroath: letter to Pope from Scottish barons, declaring right to self-rule
1326–7 Edward II deposed and murdered
1327 Edward III, son of Edward II
c. 1330

Auchinleck manuscript (London): large miscellany of religious and didactic poetry, including A Pennyworth of Wit; romances, including: Sir Orfeo, Kyng Alisaunder, Floris and Blaunchefleur, Degare, Arthour and Merlin, Horn Childe and Maiden Rimnild

Harley lyrics, large collection of lyrics, religious, amatory, satiric, political

1333 fl. Laurence Minot, political (particularly anti-Scots) verse
1337 Hundred Years’ War begins
1338 Robert Mannyng, Chronicle (translation of Peter of Langtoft’s IF Chronicle)
1340 Dan Michel of Northgate, Ayenbite of Inwit (Remorse of Conscience), Kentish prose translation of French confessional treatise
1340 (− 1370) fl. Dafydd ap Gwilym, Welsh poet
1344 Richard of Bury, Philobiblon: L. treatise in praise of books
1346 Battle of Crécy
1348 Order of the Garter established
1348–50 Black Death, estimated population loss at one-third to one-half
c. 1350 First paper-mill built in England

Pride of Life, morality play

Romances: Tale of Gamelyn, Athelston, William of Palerne, Stanzaic Morte Arthur, Sir Isumbras, Sir Eglamour of Artois, Octavian, Sir Amadace

Richard Ledred, L. account of witch trial of Alice Kyteler, Kilkenny, Ireland

1350–1400 Romances, including Sege of Melayne, Emaré, Sir Gowther, Sir Firumbras, Sir Degrevant, Gest Historyale of the Destruction of Troy
1351 Statute of Labourers fixes wages
c. 1352 Winner and Waster, alliterative poem
1356 Battle of Poitiers
1360 Treaty of Brétigny, nine-year peace between England and France Pricke of Conscience, long devotional poem in rhyming couplets
1361

Black Death

Jean Froissart in England (− 1367)

1362 English declared official language of law courts Approximate date, Piers Plowman, A-text
c. 1370 (− 1387) Geoffrey Chaucer, early writings: dream visions, translations, Troilus and Criseyde
c. 1373 (− 1388) Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love (short and long versions)
c. 1374–9 John Gower, Mirour de l’Omme (IF)
c. 1375 Northern Homily Cycle being expanded from early C14 version
1376

‘Good’ Parliament attempts reform of court corruption

John Wycliffe preaches disendowment of clergy

Black Prince dies

Earliest record of York mystery plays

John Barbour’s (Scots) poem, The Bruce

1377

‘Bad’ Parliament, flat-rate poll tax

Richard II, grandson of Edward III

Approximate date of Piers Plowman, B-text
1378 Great Schism (− 1417), rival popes in Rome and Avignon
1379 Income-differentiated poll tax John Wycliffe, De Eucharistia (L.) (on transubstantiation)
1380 Flat-rate poll tax
c. 1380

Cloud of Unknowing

Romances: Apollonius of Tyre; Thomas Chestre, Sir Launfal

1381

Peasants’ Revolt

University of Oxford condemns Wycliffe’s teachings

1382 Wycliffite complete translation of Bible
1384 ME Speculum Vitae investigated for heresy
c. 1385

Thomas Usk (d. 1388), Testament of Love

John Gower, Vox Clamantis (L.)

Sir John Clanvowe, Boke of Cupide

c. 1386–90 John Gower, Confessio Amantis (ME)
1387 fl. John Trevisa, translates Polychronicon and On the Properties of Things
c. 1387 Geoffrey Chaucer (− 1400), Canterbury Tales
1388 ‘Merciless’ Parliament impeaches Richard’s advisers
c. 1390

Piers Plowman, C-text

Alliterative Parlement of the Thre Ages and St Erkenwald

Alliterative Morte Arthure

1390s

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, Patience, Cleanness

Vernon manuscript, compilation of earlier vernacular religious works: Ancrene Riwle, Speculum Vitae, Walter Hilton’s Scale of Perfection, Piers Plowman A-text, Northern Homily Cycle, South English Legendary

c. 1392 Earliest mention of Coventry plays
c. 1395 Pierce the Ploughman’s Crede
1399 Richard deposed and murdered. Henry IV, cousin of Richard II (− 1406) Richard the Redeless and Mum and the SoÞsegger
c. 1400 fl. John Mirk, Festial (sermons); verse treatise, Instructions for Parish Priests
Early 1400s A Tretis of Miraclis Pleyinge, a Wycliffite tract criticising devotional drama
1400–9 Welsh rebellion led by Owain Glyndwr
1401 Thomas Arundel, Archbishop of Canterbury, establishes Lollard heresy inquisitions
1402 Thomas Hoccleve (− 1421): Letter of Cupid, Regiment of Princes, ‘Lament for Chaucer’
c. 1404–5 Christine de Pisan, OF works, including Cité des Dames
c. 1405–10 Dives and Pauper, long prose dialogue on Ten Commandments
c. 1408 fl. John Lydgate (–c. 1428): Troy Book, Life of Our Lady, Siege of Thebes, Fall of Princes, Pilgrimage of the Life of Man
c. 1410

Edward, Duke of York, The Master of Game, hunting treatise

Nicholas Love, Mirrour of the Blessed Lyf of Jesu Christ

1413 Henry V, son of Henry IV
c. 1413 Margery Kempe (–c. 1439), religious experiences and writings
1414 Sir John Oldcastle, Lollard revolt; executed 1417
1415 Battle of Agincourt
1418 (–c. 1509) Paston letters
1420 Treaty of Troyes. Henry acknowledged Duke of Normany and heir to French throne
c. 1422 Earliest record of Chester plays
1422 Henry VI, son of Henry V (nine months old)
c. 1424 James I of Scotland, Kingis Quair

© Cambridge University Press

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Table of Contents

Preface Paul Poplawski; 1. Medieval English, 500–1500: Chronology; I. Historical overview; II. Literary overview; III. Texts and issues; IV. Readings; V. Reference Valerie Allen; 2. The Renaissance, 1485–1660: Chronology; I. Historical overview; II. Literary overview; III. Texts and issues; IV. Readings; V. Reference Andrew Hiscock; 3. The Restoration and 18th Century, 1660–1780: Chronology; I. Historical overview; II. Literary overview; III. Texts and issues; IV. Readings; V. Reference Lee Morrissey; 4. The Romantic Period, 1780–1832: Chronology; I. Historical overview; II. Literary overview; III. Texts and Issues; IV. Readings; V. Reference Peter J. Kitson; 5. The Victorian Age, 1837–1901: Chronology; I. Historical overview; II. Literary overview; III. Texts and issues; IV. Readings; V. Reference Maria Frawley; 6. The twentieth century, 1901–1939: Chronology; I. Historical overview; II. Literary overview; III. Texts and issues; IV. Readings; V. Reference Paul Poplawski; 7. The twentieth century, 1939–2004: Chronology; I. Historical overview; II. Literary overview; III. Texts and issues; IV. Readings; V. Reference John Brannigan.

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