Studium anglistiky na KAA UPOL

Background to Literature between 1745 and 1790


- codification of the English language: Samuel Johnson's influential Dictionary (1755)

- faith in common sense: the conservative Edmund Burke, the radical Thomas Paine, Samuel Johnson's faith in the common reader


- develops in several different genres parallelly

- the Graveyard School: preoccupied with images of decay, with medieval ruins and tombs

> Thomas Gray's Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard (1751), Oliver Goldsmith's The Deserted Village (1770)

- medieval revival: cultivates archaic language and antique forms

> Thomas Percy's Reliques of Ancient English Poetry (1765), James McPherson's Ossianic poems (1760s), Thomas Chatterton's Rowley poems (1770s)

- personal poetry: uses a down-to-earth, humble and intimate tone

> William Cowper's poetry resembles the accents of friendly conversation

> George Crabbe's The Village (1783) seeks to make poetry from and for the lives of common people


- replaces poetry as the dominating genre to set the standards of literature

> intellectual prose: Samuel Johnson's literary criticism, David Hume's philosophy, Edmund Burke's politics

> informal prose: Frances Burney's memories

> letters: Horace Walpole, Thomas Gray, William Cowper, Frances Burney


- for the first time develops as a major genre on its own

- the earliest types of prose fiction include courtly romance (Sir Philip Sidney's Arcadia, 1590), Christian allegory (John Bunyan's The Pilgrim Progress, 1678), or fictional history (Aphra Behn's Oroonoko, 1688)

- Daniel Defoe: shows his readers a world they know and introduces the characters of unheroic people who try to cope with practical problems

- Samuel Richardson: perfects the technique of a minute analysis of his characters' mind (Pamela, 1740)

- Henry Fielding: seeks to compose a comic epic-poem in prose (The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling, 1749)

- Tobias Smollett: produces picaresque novels full of coarse practical jokes (Roderick Random, 1748)

- Laurence Sterne: experiments with temporal and narrative perspectives (Tristram Shandy, 1760 - 1767)

- sentimental novel: demanded by the popular taste

> Jean Jacques Rousseau's The New Heloise (1761)

- Gothic romance: emerges as a new genre in response to the medieval revival in poetry

> Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto (1764), William Godwin's Caleb Williams (1794), Matthew Gregory Lewis's The Monk (1796)

Základní údaje

  • Předmět

    Britská literatura 3.
  • Semestr

    Zimní semestr 2008/09.
  • Přednášející

    Ema Jelínková.
  • Status

    Povinná přednáška pro III. blok.


Abrams, M. H., ed. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. 7th ed. Vol. 1. New York: Norton, 1999.

Sanders, Andrew. The Short Oxford History of English Literature. New York: Clarendon Press, 1994.


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