The Arthur of the English Poets

By Howard Maynadier | Go to book overview
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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

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At least it is the only one now remembered.

-344-

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