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CHAPTER IV. THE LITERATURE OF ELIZABETH'S REIGN, 1559?1603.
Sackville's Mirror of Magistrates, 1559.?Lyly's Euphues.? Spenser's
Shepheardes Calender, 1579-?Sidney's Arcadia, 1580?Hooker's
Ecclesiastical Polity, 1594. ? Bacon's Essays, 1597, Spenser born,
1552; Faerie Queen, 1590- 1595 5 died, 1598.?VV. Warner's, S.
Daniel's, M. Dray- ton's historical poems, 1595-1598.?Sir J.
Davies's and Lord Brooke's philosophical poems, 1599-1620. The
Drama.?First Miracle Play, 1110.?Interludes of J. Heywood,
1530-?First English Comedy, 1540 First English Tragedy, 1562.?First
English Theatre, 1576-? Marlowe's Tamburlaine, 1587.?Shakspcre
born, 1564; Love's Labour's Last, 1588 ! Merchant of Venice, 1596,
Hamlet, 1602; Cymbeline, 1610; Henry V11I., 1613; died, 1616- ? Ben
Jonson begins work, 1596; dies, 1637-?Beaumont and Fletcher in
James I.'s reign. Webster's first Play, 1612-?Massinger begins,
1620; dies, 1639-?John Ford's first Play, 1629.?James Shirley, last
Elizabethan Dramatist, lives to 1666 Theatre closed, 1642; opens
again, 1656. 56. Elizabethan Literature, as a literature, may be
said to begin with Surrey and Wyatt. But as their poems were
published shortly before Elizabeth came to the throne, we date the
beginning of the early period of Elizabethan literature from the
year of her accession, 1559. That period lasted till 1579, and was
followed by the great literary outburst of the days of Spenser and
Shakspere. The apparent suddenness of this outburst has been an
object of wonder. Men have searched for its causes, chiefly in the
causes which led to the revival of learning, and no doubt these
bore on England as they did on the whole of Europe. But we shall
best seek its nearest causes in the work doneduring the early years
of Elizabeth, and in doing so we shall find th...
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Stopford Augustus Brooke
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