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Portrait of Chaucer
Portrait of Spenser, with facsimile of autograph
349 360 365 383
425 Greta Hall.
437 Portrait of Shelley, with facsimile of autograph
442 Portrait of De Quincey, with facsimile of autograph
459 Portrait of Macaulay, with facsimile of autograph Portrait of Bronté, with facsimile of autograph
504 Portrait of Thackeray, with facsimile of autograph
519 Portrait of Dickens, with facsimile of autograph
535 Gadshill - Home of Dickens
601 Portrait of Tennyson, with facsimile of autograph
603 Tennyson's Walk at Farringford .
617 Portrait of Carlyle, with facsimile of autograph
622 Carlyle's Monument
636 Portrait of Arnold, with facsimile of autograph
639 Fox How – the Arnold Home
640 Portrait of Ruskin, with facsimile of autograph
656 Brantwood - Ruskin's Home
669 Literary map with index
Between 670 and 671
HISTORY OF ENGLISH LITERATURE
Literature in its largest sense — – National literature - English litera
ture — Its excellence – Moulding influences Race – Epoch Environment - Personal elements – Literature in a narrower sense - Importance of literature — As a social force — Literary taste Periods of English literature.
In its largest sense, literature includes all the written records of man. It presents the thoughts, emotions, and achievements of the human family. Its vast extent renders it absolutely impossible for any person to become acquainted with more than a very small part of it. The greatest libraries of the world now contain more than a million volumes, to which thousands are added every year.
This general or universal literature is made up of national literatures. A national literature is composed of the literary productions of a particular nation. After reaching a state of civilization, every nation accumulates a body of writings that express the thoughts, feelings, and achievements of its people. Thus we have the literature of Greece, of Rome, of Germany, of England, and of other nations, both ancient and modern.
English literature embraces the writings of the people of Great Britain. It covers a period of about twelve hundred years; and five hundred years ago it had in Chaucer one of the world's great writers. It shares in the greatness of the English people. It combines French vivacity with German depth; and in its scope, variety, and excellence it is second to no other. No department of literature has been left uncultivated. Poets have sung in sweet and lofty strains; novelists have portrayed every phase of society; orators have convinced the judgment and moved the heart; scientists have revealed the laws of the physical world; historians have eloquently told of the past; and philosophers have deeply pondered the mysteries of existence.
This literature is a heritage in which all English-speaking people may feel a just pride. It is a subject to which they should give careful study. It embodies the best thought and the noblest feeling of the English people ; and an acquaintance with it leads not only to greater breadth of culture, but also to a profounder insight into English history and English character. Standing in close relation to us, it naturally possesses a deeper interest than the literature of any other country.
Literature is influenced or determined by whatever affects the thought and feeling of a people. Among the most potent influences that determine the character of a literature are race, epoch, and surroundings.
This fact should be clearly understood, for it renders a philosophy of literature possible. We cannot fully understand any work of literature, nor justly estimate its excellence, without an acquaintance with the national traits of the writer,