A TO Z Literary Principles from History of English Literature: Note 28



  1. Two English lawyers, Norton and Sackville produced the first English tragedy on Seneca model in blank verse, Gorboduc.
  1. English prose first made its appearance in Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, even before the advent of King Alfred.
  1. The first Folio of Shakespeare was published in 1623. The two editors were Heminge and Condell.
  1. Four poets associated with the ‘Decadent Movement’ are Oscar Wilde, Lionel Johnson, Ernest Dowson and Arthur Symons.
  1. The Roman playwright who influenced Elizabethan Revenge Tragedy is Seneca who is famous for Medea.
  1. Pearl is a religious allegory in alliterative verse of the Middle English period, usually attributed to the unknown poet of Sir Gawain and the Green knight, Patience and Cleanness.
  1. Edmund Burke is generally regarded as the ‘Demosthenes of England’. His masterpieces include ‘on the Impeachment of Warren Hastings’ and ‘A Vindication of Natural Society’.
  1. Deor’s Lament has the constant refrain ‘That was lived through, so can this be’ or other words, ‘His sorrow passed away, so will mine’.
  1. Swift’s greatest satire is Gulliver’s Travels.
  1. Marlowe could not complete his poem Hero and Leander which was later completed by George Chapman.
  1. Plays written by Shakespeare in his last period include The Tempest, Cymbeline and Winter’s Tale.
  1. Editors of Shakespeare’s First Folio (1623) were Heminge and condell.
  1. The Latin text, Cura Pastoralis was written by Pope Gregory and translated by King Alfred.
  1. The bird phoenix in the poem phoenix symbolizes Christ and his resurrection.
  1. More’s Utopia is based on Plato’s The Republic.
  1. Wycliffe earned the title of the father of English prose for his translation of the Bible.
  1. Spenser’s The Shepherd’s Calendar, a pastoral poem, is in the form of dialogues.
  1. Scottish Chaucerian- king James I, Dunbar, Henryson.
  1. Butler’s satire Hudibras, a mock romance, is derived from Don Quixote.
  1. The poems of Wyatt and Surrey were anthologized in Tottel’s Miscellany(1557).
  1. Cynewelf was the first English poet to have signed his works.
  1. Shakespeare’s poem Venus and Adonis and The Rape of lucrece were dedicated to Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton.
  1. Shakespeare’s The Rape of Lucrece tells the story of Tarquix.
  1. Robert Buchanan’s work, The Fleshly School of Poetry.
Pseudonyms                                                       Author’s actual name
Elia                                                                      Charles Lamb
Boz                                                                      Charles Dickens
Currer Bell                                                           Charlotte Bronte
Ellis Bell                                                              Emily Bronte
Acton Bell                                                           Anne Bronte
Mark Twain                                                         Samuel Clemens
George Eliot                                                        Mary Ann Evans
Saki                                                                      Hector Munro.

  1. Annus Mirabilis of Dryden means ‘year of miracles’.
  1. Wycherley’s The Plain Dealer is modeled on Moliere’s The misanthrope.

Ref: 1. History of English Literature- Albert, 
      2. The Concise Cambridge History of English Literature

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