A History of British Irish and American Literature by Hans-Peter Wagner

By Hans-Peter Wagner

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But he soon finds out about the true character of his daughters when Goneril and Regan refuse to maintain the old king and turn him out of doors in a storm. Meanwhile, Cordelia has become the wife of the king of France. The earl of Gloucester takes pity on Lear and is blinded by his enemies. Gloucester's son Edgar, who has been cheated by his bastard brother Edmund, tends his blind father until the latter's death. Lear, now insane with rage and ill treatment, has been conveyed to Dover, where he finds Cordelia.

Originality in form was not asked for, rather the masterful use of prescribed literary genres, such as the epic, the ode, the verse satire, and the numerous imitations of classic authors. In the poetry of the first part of the eighteenth century reason and emotion no longer work together. In fact, emotion is almost despised as inferior. Hence it is understandable that after 1760 emotion began to displace reason. In many ways, sentimentality, the Gothic, and Romanticism can be explained as a reaction against the intellectual rigour of Neoclassicism, as the individual rebelling against society and conventional artistic forms.

First published in the late sixteenth century, Hakluyt's books were reprinted over several centuries (a Hakluyt society was founded in 1846) and eagerly read, imitated, satirized (see Swift) and exploited by writers. His works include Divers Voyages Touching the Discoverie of America (1582); Principall Navigations, Voiages, and Discoveries of the English Nation (1589), which was enlarged and re-issued in three volumes between 1598-1600 and contained accounts of the voyages of the Cabots, Sir Hugh Willoughby to the Near East, Sir John Hawkins's journeys to Guinea and the West Indies, Sir Francis Drake's travels and circumnavigation, and the voyages of Sir Humphrey Gilbert, Martin Frobisher, John Davy, Sir Walter Ralegh, and many others.

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