The Arthur of the English Poets

By Howard Maynadier | Go to book overview

XX
THE HIGH TIDE OF MEDIÆVALISM

GROWING familiarity with the Arthurian stories and ever-growing antiquarian interest brought into existence the one Arthurian prose romance1 of the nineteenth century, by Thomas Love Peacock, a novelist, in his peculiar humor, unlike any other who has written in our tongue. Irregular in his schooling, and not a university man, Peacock, nevertheless, being naturally studious, got a good education. Since business was not to his taste, he was at first inclined to live on his slender fortune, devoting himself to literature. When about thirty-four, however, he entered the employ of the East India Company, with which he was connected till his retirement from business late in life. He died in 1866, nearly eighty-one years old. In 1816 appeared his first satirical romance, Headlong Hall, which he followed with several others. The last came out in 1860, after almost thirty years of silence, of virtually the same nature as the first. Of all these, the only one which concerns us is The Misfortunes of Elphin, published in 1829.

His marriage to a Welsh lady no doubt stimulated Peacock's interest in the history and the literature of Wales, so evident throughout The Misfortunes ofElphin

____________________
At least it is the only one now remembered.

-344-

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The Arthur of the English Poets
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • The Arthur of English Poets I the Vigor of the Arthurian Legends 1
  • Iii the Arthur of Popular Story 32
  • Iv the Chronicles and the Lais 50
  • Vi Merlin 79
  • Vii Lancelot 84
  • Viii the Holy Grail 106
  • Ix the Grail and the Swan-Knight 143
  • X Tristram and Iseult 153
  • Xi the Moulding of the Legends 175
  • Xiii Sir Thomas Malory 197
  • Xiv Caxton and the Transition 247
  • Xvi from Spenser to Milton 278
  • Xvii the Age of Prose and Reason 295
  • Xviii the Later Eighteenth Century 314
  • Xix the Early Nineteenth Century 335
  • Xx the High Tide of MediÆvalism 344
  • Xxi the Newer Spirit 378
  • Xxii Tennyson 410
  • Index 439
  • Index 441
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