The period of late enlightenment

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The period of late enlightenment


This period is prominent for the works of Semuel Richardson (1689-1761). Apart from being employed as a printer to the hous of commons he acridly participated in development of didactic literature of that time. In 1740 appeare his work devoted to "how to think and act justly and prudently in the common concernes of human life" - "Pamela". This book was followed by his greatest novel "Clarissa" or "The history of a young lady"(1747). The last work was "Sir Charles Grandison"(1753) which symbolized an ideal gentleman of high character and fine appearance supposed to be the embodiment of musculine character of that time.

"Pamela" - is a daughter of poor parents working as a maid. She is put into care of the son of the woman she works for. He falls in love with her but has no intension to marry. Pamela resists his advances and finally he understand's that he can never win her without marriage and makes her his wife.

"Clarissa" - this story is told by means of letters between Clarissa, a young lady of a good family" and her friend miss Howe. Clarissa meets a wonderful and charming gentleman Robert Lovelace who is attractive and at the same time unscrupulous. Clarissa's family opposes the match because of his doubtful reputation and Clarissa resists for a time. But finally he succedes in sedducing her. Clarissa dies of shame. Lovelace is killed on a duel by her cousin.

Henry Fielding (1707-1754) got good education in Eathen after leaving school he went to London where he published his first satirical poem "The Masquerade" and a comedy "Love in several masques". After this brief writing experience he moved to Holland to study classical languages. After his return 18 months later he dedicated himself to the theatre and produced over 20 separate plays. The most famous of which is Tom Thumb. His first novel "Shamela" was published anonymously in 1741. Shamela is an attack on Richardson's high morals which disgusted Fielding and he produced a scheming heroine (интриганка) of burlesque proportions that is opposed to Richardson's virtuous Pamela. He tries to seducces her neighbor chases him all the time and finally succeeds and the neighbor dies of shame.

The next book was "Joseph Andrews". The story tells about the travelings of a poor servant who has been dismissed from his service because he refuses to yield to advances of his lady (Lady Boobie) and her friend mrs. Slipslop. Mr. Joseph Andrews has a sweetheart and he decides to go her. On his way he is stripped by the robbers and generally meets a lot of ridiculuous adventures.

The last story of his is "The history of Tom Jones, the foundling"(1749). Tom Jones is an ordinary young man with the manners and morals of his age but with a sincere admiration for virtue when he sees it. Tom is brought up in a house of Squire Allworthy along with his cousin Blifil. Tom is open hearted and always falls into trouble taking the blame to protect his cousin. Blifil is hypocrite who constantly tells on Tom and poisons his uncle's mind against Tom. After one of such occasions Tom has to leave the house and he sets on his travels accomponied by his school master. He meets a lot of adventures on the road and finally succeeds in his life.

The last representative of this period is Laurence Stern (1713-1768). He was educated at Cambridge and started his career as a church minister in York. In his leisure he dedicated himself to music painting and writing. His first publishEd work is a political romance (1759) followed by the first two volumes of his famous novel "the life and opinions of Tristram Shandy". After that he published "a sentimental journey through France and Italy" under the pseudonym of Yorick Stern.

“Tristram Shandy” has no plot and gives very little of the life and nothing of the opinions of the nominal hero who gets born only in vol.4. Many of the formal devices of plot are missing. No progression of events. No chronology. Instead there is a group of humorous figures: Walter Shandy ( the father) whose obsession with the names of things and pedantic education have isolated him from responding to others. Uncle Toby whose hobby is the science of attacking fortified towns. Among other characters of the novel Corporal Trim, Toby's servant, Yorick the parson, mrs Shandy, the widow Wadman can be mentioned. The narration is just a series of reflections made by the character Tristram on his conception(зачатие), parturition (роды), christening, growth, education, his family and the family friends.





It is connected with the first half if the 19th century. The period of enlightenment was eventually succeeded by romanticism. The writers of the period turned away from the values and ideas of the "age of reason"(разум) toward what they perceived as a more individual and imaginative approach to both literature and life. In general the romantic writers placed the individual rather than society at the centre of their vision. They tended to be optimistic about the possibility of progress of humanity. Thus supporting the development of democratic values. Whereas the writers of the age of reason tended to regard evil as a basic part of human nature, the romantic writers generally saw humanity as naturally good, but corrupted by the institutions of religion, education and government. The literature of this period has the sense of uniqueness of any human being and inerest in mysterious and mystical laws by which the inner world of a human being is organized.

Romanticism as a literary current can be regarded as a result of two historical events: The Industrial Revolution, the French Bourgous Revolution (1789). Romanticists were dissatisfied with the present state of things. Some of the writers were really revolutionary ( George Gordon Bayron, P.B. Shelly) they denied the existing order forced upon people to struggle for a better future. These writers shared the people's desire for liberty and personal freedom. They also supported the national liberation wars on the continent.


Revolutionary romanticsits


G. G. Bayron (1788-1824) was born London and inherrited the title of lord. He studied at Cambridge but left it because he was dissatisfied with his studies. His first book of poems "Hours of idleness" was severely criticized and as a reaction he wrote a verse satire "English bards and scotch reviewers" and dropped writing for a time. From 1809 to 1811 he travelled through Southern Europe. In 1812 he published the first two parts of his famous " Childe Harold's pilgrimage". Between 1813 and 1816 he mostly composed his "Oriental tales" which embody his romantic individualism. The hero is usually a rebel against society, a man of strong will and passionate. He is also proud and conceited, that is why he rises against tyranny and injustice to gain his personal freedom and happiness. This revault is too individualistic and therefore it is doomed to failure. In 1815 Bayron had to leave England for ever. He went Switzerland where he finished his "pilgrimage" (the book) and lyrical drama "Manfred". In 1817 he went to Italy to take part in a civil war there. Italian period is greatly influenced by revolutionary ideas. The most prominent work of the period is the poem "Don Juan". In 1823 Bayron went to Greece to join the struggle for national independence and died there of fever.

Percy Bysshe биш Shelly (1792-1822) was born in Sussex in a wealthy family. He was educated in Iton from which he was expelled for writing a pamphlet "the necessaty of atheism". Shelly was interested in relationship between England and her parts (Ireland and Wales) he believed that the Irish were oppressed by the English rulers and tried to rouse the Irish to rebel against England. He wrote "Queen Mab" (1813) - a revolutionary poem which attacked both political tyranny and christianity. After 1818 Shelly into permanent exile in Italy where he wrote his most important works of which "Prometheus Unbound" is the most prominent. Shelly's poems are emotionally direct but difficult to understand intellectually. His spiritual attitudes were intensely personal and tended to oppose traditional Christian views. Shelly felt that's spiritual truth was not based on either supernatural revelation (откровение) or natural experience, instead he thought the truth could be understood by the imagination only.


Term 2

Peaceful romanticsits


Other writers of the period of romanticism represented quite a different approach to the situation. Though they had welcomed the French Bourgous revolution and the slogan of "liberty, fraternity, equality" they eventually abandoned revolutionary ideas. Their turned their attention to nature and to simple problems of life. They turned to ideas of the feudal past by way of protest of capitalist reality. Among these writers the most prominent were: Robert Burns, William Wordsworth Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Robert Southey, Walter Scott, John Keats. Legends, tales, songs and ballads became crucial of the creative method of the romanticists.




Robert Burns (1759-1796) was of scottish origin his father was a farmer. He spend all his life in a deep solitude. The farmer's hard way of life taught Burns to take joy in all small pleasures and to be skeptical of the moral codes of the wel-to-do. These attitudes along with his capacity for love, friendship and hearty tavern fellowship provide the chief themes of his poetry. Burns had only few years of formal education and educated himself mostly by reading. In 1796 he published his first volume which became popular with the society. In1788 his literary success helped him to get an appointment as a tax official which helped him to get a steady income for the rest of his life. In 1791 he moved into a small village to completely devote himself to his literary work. His health was already undermined by hard labor and he died at the age of 37.

Burns was interested in authentic folk songs. He wrote many poems to be sung to Scottish folk tunes.( Auld Lang Syne ). He also wrote brilliant narrative poems such as Tam O'shanter and clever satires, e.g. Address to the devil and Holly Willy's prayer. Burns wrote in both the Scotts dialect and standard English. He wrote in English when he wanted to express respectable ideas as in "a prayer in the prospect of death". When he wished to express ideas that conflicted with custom or less respectable aspects he adopted the language of an uneducated Scottish pasens "the joly beggers".


William Wordsworth (1770-1850) was born and bred in Wales went to a good school and to Cambridge university, he left it after about three years because he began to write poetry under the Influence of French Boergouous Revolution and even spent a few months in France. Eventually Ww became disappointed in its theory and practice and sought consolation in country life and nature. Ww's first poems were published in 1793 and were considered indictment (accusation) of the whole social order in his joint publication with Coleridge (lyrical ballads) he was more active and wrote numerous poems about village life and wild beautiful nature. He was also the author of several philosophical poems "the excurtion" (1814), "the prelude" (1814). Ww is at his best in descriptions of natural scenery in conveying delight with all that is part of nature and analyzing nature's influence upon the shaping of the mind of men. Heis common effort was to bring the language of poetry into close proximity (близость) with the colloquial speech this effort was greatly criticized by his contemporaries but I spite of this influenced to great extent a 19th cent English poets.


Walter Scott (1771-1832) was born in the family of a lawyer after passing through the university of Edinburg he was apprenticed to his father and in 1792 was called to bar (to pass a special examination in jurisdiction). Apart from his professional work he found time for wide miscellaneous reading and for long rembles in the highlands thus storing his mind (packing) with ancient knowledge and legendary folklore. His literary career began in 1796 when he published translations of German ballads by Bürger and Goethe in 1802 he prepared a collection of ballads under the title "the minstrel sy of the Scottish border". In 1804 he gave up the law entirely in hunting for ballads he also hit upon "the goblin story" out of which he developed his first verse tale "the day of the last minstrel". It was followed by 7 other tales of which "the lady of the lake" is the most famous. They are full of battle scenes, vivid images of chevalry of feudal times and nature. By blending historical facts with romantic fancies Walter Scott created anew genre "the historical novel".Walter Scott realized that it was the ordinary people who were the makers of history and he also thought that the past was not cut off from the present but influenced it. The romantic love of the past made him create rich historical canvases with landscape and nature descriptions as well as picturesque details of passed ages. Scott was the first author to depict personalities typical of the period and the country described.


Jane Austen (1775-1817) was born in a small village in Hampshire where her father was a rector (the local clergyman) her formal education began at home but in 1792 she and two other sisters Austen were sent to Oxford. In 1784 they were sent to Abbey school in reading where they remained until 1787. After that their education continued at home again. Jane began to write early but it was only for her family entertainment. Interesting that she started writing short parodies on contemporary authors. Her days were usually quiet and the area she lived in was not full of new people and various types of entertainments, but she was able to catch enough knowledge about middle class provincial society and local morals. She also was honest enough to gave a truthful representation of the life she knew best. Austen's earliest writings date back to 1797 and after that she wrote a large body of material that was collected in 3 manuscript notebooks. In all these there are twenty one items of different genres:

Plays, verses, short novels and parodies. In 1793 she wrote a short novel "Lady Susan". The novel was written in letters. "sence and sensibillity" was began in 1795 as a novel in letters as well. Epistole genre. It contrasted two sisters Elinore who is rational and self-controlled. And Mary-Anne who is more emotional. In October 1796 she started the first version of "Pride and Prejudice". Two of the major late works were "Northanger Abbey" (1799) and "Mansfield Park" (1811). Her novels were brilliant studies of the world notable for the authors deep insight into human phsychology. Her interest was in commonplace perplexities of emotion and conduct. Throughout of the novels her gaze was steadily humorous and ironical to other gifts of a prose writer she added a perfect sence of dramatic progression and an admirably transparent style of writing. Austen's analyses of her characters motives, thir silliness and shallowness are sharp and sensitive. She depicts the incongruity between generally admitted high social values and standards and the people who do not display these standards.she makes fun of those people who look down upon their neighbors for no better reason than comparative lack of money or rank.


The critical realism


Critical realism flourished in the 40-50s of the 19th century. The cr realists set themselves at a task of criticizing capitalist society exposing the crying social contradictions. Their strong point was their true reflection of life andthier sharp disregard for the existing injustice. The merit of English realism lies in its profound humanism its sympathy for the working people is boundless and earnest. The greatest english realist of the time was Charles Dickens with striking force and truthfulness he described the sufferings of common people another critical realist prominent for his creative activity was William Makepeace Thackery. His novels contain a satirical portrayal of the upper straighter of society. Here also belong Charlotte and Emily Brontë. Elisabeth Gaskell and George Eliot. All these writers showed a realistic picture of their contemporary written. Their portrayed every day life with a little man as a central character.


Charles Dickens (1812-1870) was born at Landport where his father held clerkship in the navi pay office. He spent his youth at Chatham and London where he had to submit to alive of great hardship. His father being imprisoned for debt. The boy worked as a packer in a warehouse. Later he was placed in a solicitor's office where he acquired the knowledge of legal affairs afterwards displayed in his novels. Dickens' education was mainly achieved by extensive reading and keen observation of people and things around him. In 1831 Dickens obtained an engagement as parliamentary reporter. His literary career began in 1833. First he wrote short descriptive essays on the London scenes familiar to him as a worker under the general title "Scetches by Boz". His next publication "Posthumous (посмертный) Papers of the Pickwick club" (1837) spread his fame all over Europe. The "Papers" is a humorous description of funny adventures and misadventures of the members of the Pickwick club which was founded by mister Pickwick. The purpose of the club was "to observe characters and manners". Dickens created a series of novels notable for critical and comic talent.

The first is "Oliver Twist" (1838). This novel deals with social problems. It is a history of a little boy born in a workhouse and left an orphan. The kind and honest boy by nature finds himself in the environment of thieves, liars and has to live through terrible hardships as Dickens still believes in the inevitable (неизбежный) of good over evil, it is natural that a greater part o Dickens' worked d's happily so "Oliver Twist" does.

His next novel was "Nicholas Nickelby" (1839). This book deals with burning question: education of children in private schools. NN becomes a teacher of a typical english boarding school where half starved children are used by the master of the school and his wife for domestic work.




Then came “The old Curiosity Shop” (лавка древности) (1841). It is a story of sufferings and hardships of an old man called Trent and his grandaughter Neil who lived in London. They have to overcome a lot of difficulties because of their having lack of money, along with high moral standards.

In 1844 Charles Dickens spend some time in the USA and published his famous satire on the American way of life called Chuzzlewit. Between 1843-1848 he published a series of Christmas Tales called “Christmas Books” and in 1846 he began one of his last novels the most prominent for its deep social ground Dombey and Son. The autobiographical novel “David Copperfield” (1850) based on a story of a young man who lives through hardships . Dickens tried to express all his reflexions on the general social situation in England and the ways of obtaining personal happiness in difficult life situations. Through this book how compassionate the author is to the hardships of common people and how strongly he believes in the necessity, and virtues of social justice and financial security.

Dickens is also interested for his attention to the development of human character (especially child's one) when it faces some kinds of problems. “Little Dorrit” (1857) is the most interesting. It is a story of a little girl whose parents are thrown into the debtors prison.

Dickens also tried his hand in historical novels which were also talented and literary perfect. The most important are “Barnaby Rudge” (1841) and “The Tale of Two Cities”.

Dickens is mostly bent on correcting public grievances like the defects of the new outrageous Poor Law and the workhouse system. Dickens was also infuriated by the clumsiness and deep injustice of the governmental and legal systems.


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