An English Garner

An English Garner

NOOK Book(eBook)


Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
WANT A NOOK?  Explore Now
LEND ME® See Details


An excerpt from the:


The miscellaneous pieces comprised in this volume are of interest and value, as illustrating the history of English literature and of an important side of English social life, namely, the character and status of the clergy in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. They have been arranged chronologically under the subjects with which they are respectively concerned. The first three—the excerpt from Wilson's Art of Rhetoric, Sir Philip Sidney's Letter to his brother Robert, and the dissertation from Meres's Palladis Tamia—are, if minor, certainly characteristic examples of pre-Elizabethan and Elizabethan literary criticism. The next three—the Dedicatory Epistle to the Rival Ladies, Howard's Preface to Four New Plays, and the Essay of Dramatic Poesy—not only introduce us to one of the most interesting critical controversies of the seventeenth century, but present us, in the last work, with an epoch-marking masterpiece, both in English criticism and in English prose composition. Bishop Copleston's brochure brings us to the early days of the Edinburgh Review, and to the dawn of the criticism with which we are, unhappily, only too familiar in our own time. From criticism we pass, in the extract from Ellwood's life of himself, to biography and social history, to the most vivid account we have of Milton as a personality and in private life. Next comes a series of pamphlets illustrating social and literary history in the reigns of Anne and George I., opening with the pamphlets bearing on Swift's inimitable Partridge hoax, now for the first time collected and reprinted, and preceding Gay's Present State of Wit, which gives a lively account of the periodic literature current in 1711. Next comes Tickell's valuable memoir of his friend Addison, prefixed, as preface, to his edition of Addison's works, published in 1721, with Steele's singularly interesting strictures on the memoir, being the dedication of the second edition of the Drummer to Congreve. The reprint of Eachard's Grounds and Occasions of the Contempt of the Clergy and Religion Enquired into, with the preceding extract from Chamberlayne's Angliae Notitia and the succeeding papers of Steele's in the Tatler and Guardian, throws light on a question which is not only of great interest in itself, but which has been brought into prominence through the controversies excited by Macaulay's famous picture of the clergy of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Last comes what is by general consent acknowledged to be one of the most valuable contributions ever made to the literature of proverbs, Franklin's summary of the maxims in Poor Richard's Almanack.

Our first excerpt is the preface to a work which is entitled to the distinction of being the first systematic contribution to literary criticism written in the English language. It appeared in 1553, and was entitled The Art of Rhetorique, for the use of all suche as are studious of eloquence, sette foorthe in Englishe by Thomas Wilson, and it was dedicated to John Dudley, Earl of Warwick. Thomas Wilson—erroneously designated Sir Thomas Wilson, presumably because he has been confounded with a knight of that name—was born about 1525, educated at Eton and subsequently at King's College, Cambridge, whence he graduated B.A. in 1549. In life he played many parts, as tutor to distinguished pupils, notably Henry and Charles Brandon, afterwards Dukes of Suffolk, as diplomatist and ambassador to various countries, as a Secretary of State and a Privy Councillor, as one of the Masters of Requests, and as Master of St. Catherine's Hospital at the Tower, at which place and in which capacity he terminated a very full and busy life on June 16th, 1581. The pupil of Sir John Cheke and of Sir Thomas Smith, and the intimate friend of Roger Ascham, Wilson was one of the most accomplished scholars in England, being especially distinguished by his knowledge of Greek. He is the author of a translation, of a singularly vigorous translation, of the Olynthiacs and Philippics of Demosthenes, published in 1570. His most popular work, judging at least from the quickly succeeding editions, appears to have been his first, The Rule of Reason, conteinynge the Art of Logique set forth in Englishe, published by Grafton in 1551, and dedicated to Edward VI. The Art of Rhetorique is said to have been published at the same time, but the earliest known copy is dated January 1553. The interest of this Art of Rhetoric is threefold. It is the work of a writer intelligently familiar with the Greek and Roman classics, and it thus stands beside Elyot's Governour, which appeared two years before, as one of the earliest illustrations of the influence of the Renaissance on our vernacular literature. It is one of the earliest examples, not only of the employment of the English language in the treatment of scholastic subjects...

Related collections and offers

Product Details

BN ID: 2940014819282
Publisher: OGB
Publication date: 08/21/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 446 KB

Customer Reviews