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ERA OF EXPANSION, 1750--1850.

ITS CHARACTERISTICS AND INFLUENCES, AND THE
POETRY OF ITS PERIOD OF PREPARATION,

1750–1800.

WITH BIOGRAPHICAL APPENDIX.

BY

J. MACMILLAN BROWN, M.A.,

Professor of English Literature, Canterbury College.

LIBRARY

OF-4
UNIVER:.

OF

CALIFOR

CHRISTCHURCH AND DUNEDIN, N.Z.

AND

I COUSIN LANE, DOWGATE, LONDON :

WHITCOMBE AND TOMBS LIMITED

1894

7,24

B87

The addition of Anglo-Saxon and Early English to the work in English for the Pass Degree by the Senate of the University of New Zealand at its 1893 session has necessitated the writing of this manual. Each of the periods of literature set for 1894 and 1895, viz. from 1750 to 1800 and from 1800 to 1850, is so full of authors and books and so worthy of detailed study, and yet has so little upon it in any of the available textbooks, that it needs two hours' lecture a week during the session. One of these hours has now, I found, to be devoted to the teaching of Old English. And I have had to spend my long vacation in attempting a manual that would supply the deficiency. After I had written the general chapters on the characteristics and influences of the two periods, I saw that the vacation would be too short for the detailed study of the literature of both. I have now found it to be too short for the completion of even the first period ; and the approach of the beginning of the session has compelled me to print only the general chapters and the chapter on its poetry. The other chapters will be delivered as lectures during the session.

Yet what is printed forms a natural unity. It sketches in the first three chapters the features of the great era of the rise of modern literature, and then, taking poetry, the form that has hitherto been the most essentially literary and the most sensitive to coming change, describes its development, and illustrates in detail the application of the general conclusions of the earlier chapters. Nor would a correct view of the evolution of the poetry of the period of preparation (1750 to 1800) have been gained, unless by throwing it into perspective, by seeing its relation to the period of fulfilment (1800 to 1850), for which it was a preparation. Hence not merely is the era of expansion (1750 to 1850) described as a whole, but each of the two stages or periods is described separately.

The biographical tables in the appendix have been prepared by Mr. James Hight, B.A. They include the life and works of all the authors who wrote poetry during the period (1750 to 1800).

J. MACMILLAN BROWN.

March 19th, 1894.

20996?

CONTENTS

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS AND INFLUENCES OF THE ERA

OF EXPANSION,

of topics, (2) and especially in the annexation of middle
class life, lowly life, (3) and provincial life. (4) The
insularity of English literature disappeared ; (5) and foreign
countries were ransacked by fiction for its themes, (6) and
past ages too. (7) The inclusion of the new leisured classes
in the audience of literature made the modern novel a

necessity, (8) as the portal into other spheres of literature. 8-12
especially Elizabethan literature began to predominate.

(2) The publication of Percy's Reliques, as well as the new

study of the Elizabethan drama, was an evidence of the

reintroduction of the people into the realm of cultured

literature. (3) The popularity of Ossian was a sign of the

new birth of national instinct in literature. (4) The great

antiquarian movement in literature pointed in the same

direction. (5) English scholarship and English national life

came together for the first time. (6) The nationalism of

the audience attracted the genius and talent of the nation

into literature. (7) But the French Revolution divided the

era into a period of preparation and a period of fulfilment. 24-30

CHAPTER II.

SPECIAL CHARACTERISTICS AND INFLUENCES. THE PERIOD

OF PREPARATION.

1750-1800.

Section 1.-(1) Reaction is to some extent implied in develop.

ment in that there is criticism and, as a consequence,
antiquation of the old. (2) Pope's influence lingered on,

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