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History of the English People, Volume V Puritan England, 1603-1660   By: (1837-1883)

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First Page:

HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH PEOPLE

by

JOHN RICHARD GREEN, M.A. Honorary Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford

VOLUME V

PURITAN ENGLAND, 1603 1644

London MacMillan and Co., Ltd. New York: MacMillan & Co. 1896

First Edition 1879; Reprinted 1882, 1886, 1891. Eversley Edition, 1896.

CONTENTS

BOOK VI

CHAPTER VII PAGE THE ENGLAND OF SHAKSPERE. 1593 1603 1

BOOK VII

PURITAN ENGLAND. 1603 1660

CHAPTER I

ENGLAND AND PURITANISM. 1603 1660 75

CHAPTER II

THE KING OF SCOTS. 120

CHAPTER III

THE BREAK WITH THE PARLIAMENT. 1603 1611 146

CHAPTER IV

THE FAVOURITES. 1611 1625 183

CHAPTER V

CHARLES I. AND THE PARLIAMENT. 1625 1629 242

CHAPTER VI

THE PERSONAL GOVERNMENT. 1629 1635 272

CHAPTER VII

THE RISING OF THE SCOTS. 1635 1640 315

CHAPTER VIII

THE LONG PARLIAMENT. 1640 1644 344

CHAPTER VII

THE ENGLAND OF SHAKSPERE

1593 1603

[Sidenote: English Literature.]

The defeat of the Armada, the deliverance from Catholicism and Spain, marked the critical moment in our political developement. From that hour England's destiny was fixed. She was to be a Protestant power. Her sphere of action was to be upon the seas. She was to claim her part in the New World of the West. But the moment was as critical in her intellectual developement. As yet English literature had lagged behind the literature of the rest of Western Christendom. It was now to take its place among the greatest literatures of the world. The general awakening of national life, the increase of wealth, of refinement, and leisure that characterized the reign of Elizabeth, was accompanied by a quickening of intelligence. The Renascence had done little for English letters. The overpowering influence of the new models both of thought and style which it gave to the world in the writers of Greece and Rome was at first felt only as a fresh check to the revival of English poetry or prose. Though England shared more than any European country in the political and ecclesiastical results of the New Learning, its literary results were far less than in the rest of Europe, in Italy, or Germany, or France. More alone ranks among the great classical scholars of the sixteenth century. Classical learning indeed all but perished at the Universities in the storm of the Reformation, nor did it revive there till the close of Elizabeth's reign. Insensibly however the influences of the Renascence fertilized the intellectual soil of England for the rich harvest that was to come. The court poetry which clustered round Wyatt and Surrey, exotic and imitative as it was, promised a new life for English verse. The growth of grammar schools realized the dream of Sir Thomas More, and brought the middle classes, from the squire to the petty tradesman, into contact with the masters of Greece and Rome. The love of travel, which became so remarkable a characteristic of Elizabeth's age, quickened the temper of the wealthier nobles. "Home keeping youths," says Shakspere in words that mark the time, "have ever homely wits"; and a tour over the Continent became part of the education of a gentleman. Fairfax's version of Tasso, Harrington's version of Ariosto, were signs of the influence which the literature of Italy, the land to which travel led most frequently, exerted on English minds. The classical writers told upon England at large when they were popularized by a crowd of translations. Chapman's noble version of Homer stands high above its fellows, but all the greater poets and historians of the ancient world were turned into English before the close of the sixteenth century.

[Sidenote: Historic Literature.]

It is characteristic of England that the first kind of literature to rise from its long death was the literature of history... Continue reading book >>


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