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Restoration Literature An Anthology

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ISBN-10: 0199555192

ISBN-13: 9780199555192

Edition: N/A

Authors: Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell, Paul Hammond

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Description:

When our great monarch into exile went,Wit and religion suffered banishment...At length the Muses stand restored againTo that great charge which Nature did ordain.In these lines Dryden represents the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 as the restoration, too, of literary culture. If wit had been banished along with the exiled Charles, his return marked a flowering of a rich variety of genres after the turbulent years of the civil war and republic. This anthology brings together a stimulating and entertaining collection of works from this confident and creative period - a literature which is by turns refined, poignant, and brash. Alongside major workssuch as Dryden's Absalom and Achitophel and Mac Flecknoe, printed in their entirety, is a substantial group of lyrics by Rochester, while Milton's Paradise Lost provides a running commentary on the Restoration scene. Scurrilous satires and pamphlets, diaries, theatrical prologues, translations andstriking work by women poets and autobiographers illustrate the period in politics, religion, philosophy and in attitudes to town and country, love and friendship.Anonymous works sit side by side with the great names - Marvell, Wycherley, Margaret Cavendish, Aphra Behn, John Evelyn and Samuel Pepys - while several poems are printed from manuscript sources for the first time, allowing us to hear new voices from a period famous for producing a thoroughly uninhibited literature.
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Book details

Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 6/25/2009
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 480
Size: 5.08" wide x 7.72" long x 0.91" tall
Weight: 0.682
Language: English

Elizabeth Gaskell was the daughter of a Unitarian clergyman, who was also a civil servant and journalist. Her mother died when she was young, and she was brought up by her aunt in Knutsford, a small village that was the prototype for Cranford, Hollingford and the setting for numerous other short stories. In 1832, she married William Gaskell, a Unitarian clergyman in Manchester. She participated in his ministry and collaborated with him to write the poem "Sketches Among the Poor" in 1837. "Our Society at Cranford" was the first two chapters of "Cranford" and it appeared in Dickens' Household Words in 1851. Dickens liked it so much that he pressed Gaskell for more episodes, and she produced eight more of them between 1852 and 1853. She also wrote, mainly for Dickens, "My Lady Ludlow" and "Lois the Witch," a novella that concerns the Salem witch trials. "Wives and Daughters: An Every-day Story" ran in Cornhill from August 1864 to January 1866. The final installment was never written but the ending was known and the novel exists now virtually complete. The story centers on a series of relationships between family groups in Hollingford. Most critics agree that her greatest achievement is the short novel "Cousin Phillis." Gaskell was also followed by controversy. In 1853, she offended many readers with "Ruth," which explored seduction and illegitimacy that led the "fallen woman" into ostracism and inevitable prostitution. The novel presents the social conduct in a small community when tolerance and morality clash. Critics praised the novel's moral lessons but Gaskell's own congregation burned the book and it was banned in many libraries. In 1857, "The Life of Charlotte Bronte" was published. The biography was initially praised but angry protests came from some of the people it dealt with. Gaskell wrote of Bronte's version on his dismissal from his tutoring position. He blamed it on his refusal to be seduced by his employer's wife. She was threatened with legal action but, with the help of her husband, the problems were resolved. Gaskell was against any biographical notice of her being written during her lifetime. After her death in 1865, her family refused to make family letters or biographical data available.