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Реферат “The History of the English Literature”


Nowadays, teenagers read mostly English literature. Although there are a lot of great writers in Russia who have written excellent works, British writers still attract the young more. Recently, I began to read a lot. I started with the books that were offered to me by my friend. All these books have been written in England or somewhere else, but certainly not in Russia. It was at that moment that I began to wonder what is so different between Russian and English writers. And I also was interested if English literature had any influence on the Russian one. I hope I am not the only person interested in the issue, so I decide to make a research on it.

So, the aim of my research was to get general knowledge of the history of the English literature from the end of the VIIth century to the middle of the XXth century as well as to study the issue of influence of the English literature over the Russian one in different historical periods.


In order to reach this aim, I had to accomplish the following objectives:

get to know about different periods of the English literature

get acquainted with the most representative writers of each period.

to observe specific tendencies in the English literature within each period

to observe the influence of the English literature over the Russian one in each historical period.


I`ve used such methods as bibliographical analysis and comparative analysis.


Chapter 1. Old English


The beginning of the English literature is usually attributed to the beginning of Anglo-Saxon period.

The first major monuments of Anglo-Saxon literature - Latin monuments - belong to the representatives of the clergy. Take Aldgelm for instance, who lived in the second half of the VII century and was the author of florid prose and poetry.

Although we do regard the ancient monuments of the Anglo-Saxon language, major poetic works which have been preserved up to modern times were written in the XI century, except for the documents, chronicles, texts of the laws. The writers of the Christian clergy processed some of the pagan poetry ("Vidsid", "Deora Complaint").

The most remarkable monument of ancient English poetry is the poem of Beowulf. It describes the events related to the first half of the VI century, the era of struggle with the Goths francs.

The "Golden Age" of the Anglo-Saxon literature is before the invasion of the Normans, the era of Alfred the Great, the winner against the Danes who have been spoiling Britain for almost two centuries. Alfred did much to restore the destroyed culture, to raise the education, he himself was a writer and a translator (he translated "The Church History" written by Bede in Latin into the Anglo-Saxon language).

In the second half of the XI century England was subjected to a new invasion. It was the one of the Normans, who claimed the supremacy of the Norman dialect of French language and French literature over the Anglo-Saxon one. It started a long period, known as the period of Anglo-Norman literature.

During the first century after the Norman invasion the Anglo-Saxon literature has almost disappeared. And only after a century literature in this language reappears, at first of church maintenance and later secular, as a translation of French works. Due to this confusion of languages Latin was of great importance within the educated society.

The period of French domination has left an important mark on the subsequent history of English literature, which, according to some researchers, is more connected with the artistic techniques and style of French literature of the Norman period than with the ancient Anglo-Saxon literature, from which it was artificially cut off.

In the middle of the XIII century the poetry of political and social protest appears, criticizing vices of the nobility and the clergy, protesting against taxes, against the abuse of the officials and even the King, to disguise their favorites and open by Parliament for that. This satirical literature, arising from the people, finds its culmination in the XIV century Lenglenda in the poem "The Vision of Peter Plowman”, which did not devoid of revolutionary importance despite being written in a spirit of moralizing.

With the aggravation of social control literature in the XIV century is of great public interest.

By the XIV century, a new English language, which combined elements of the Anglo-Saxon and French languages, had formed. The Normans played an important role in the spread of Celtic stories ("Tales of King Arthur") in the entire European poetry. Around 1300 an English priest Layamon was already using these stories to his poem "Brut".

The greatest English writer of the XIV century was Chaucer (1340-1400), the author of the famous "Canterbury Tales". Chaucer ends the Anglo-Norman era and opens a new history of English literature.

He was the first to express all the richness and diversity of thought and feeling, subtlety and complexity of psychic experiences that characterize the preceding period in English, completing the experience of the past and catching the aspirations of the future. Among the English dialects, he adopted the rule of the London dialect, the language spoken in this large shopping center, which was the residence of the king and the two universities.

But he was not the only founder of the new English language. Chaucer made common cause with his famous contemporary, John Wycliffe (1320-1384). Wycliffe is an adjacent to the accusatory literature aimed against the clergy, but he, the predecessor of the Reformation, goes further, to translate the Bible into English, speaks to the people in their struggle with the papacy. Wycliffe and Chaucer are of interest to the Earth's human nature to the individual.

The next century was marked with a great interest in the living folk poetry, which has existed since the XIII century. But in the XV century this poetry has been particularly active, and the most ancient examples of it, which have survived to our time, belongs to this century. Ballads about Robin Hood were very popular too.


 Chapter 2. Renaissance


In the XVI century capitalism was developing rapidly. Landowners prefer the wool industry cultivation. This leads to the landlessness the peasants. The discovery of America, the growth of industry and cities all over Britain are pushing for the fight for supremacy on the seas and soon will provide an opportunity to Shakespeare to speak of the rich-merchant ships which carried out products worldwide (in “The Merchant of Venice”).

At the beginning of the XVI and XVII centuries there are two great books: "Utopia" by Sir Thomas More and «Novum Organum» by Francis Bacon.

   Thomas More is a typical representative of English humanism. His "Utopia" is a public organization, built accourding to the ideals of humanism. Its goal is the happiness of each man as well as the welfare of the entire community. It is an alien to the medieval spiritualism, those consolations which Catholic Church offered happiness after the death instead of the earthly suffering. He wants happiness here, on earth. Therefore, in his community without property, dominated by compulsory work for all its members, alternate work in the city and the countryside, the complete religious tolerance is installed, thanks to the ideal organization of society where there are no crimes, etc.

The work of Bacon is a book which encourages you to develop a positive thought. The author considers observation and experience sources of knowledge of the truth and believes; he did not know what lies beyond them.

XVI century is the heyday of the English humanism, which arose here later than in Italy, met with the Reformation. Classical literature and Italian poetry had a great influence on the English literature.

Blossoming of the sonnet form was introduced by Thomas Wyatt and followed by Earl of Surrey and the other poets.

John Lilly wrote the novel "Evfues", which marked the beginning Euphuism. The best novel in this style is "Rosalinda" by Thomas Lodge.

The characteristic of the Renaissance pastoral novel gets a great distribution in England. One of the most famous novels of this kind, "Arcadia", was written by Philip Sidney. The glory in Sydney, who has been imitated by dozens of poets for a century, was shared by Edmund Spenser, the author of the famous "Fairy Queen", a poem, which has attracted his contemporaries a depth of content and quaint simplicity and bright colors, intricate and complicated intrigue, unusual fantastic plot, the magnificence of the paintings and images.


Theatrical works

But the most brilliant aspect of the English literature of the Renaissance is the theater. In the XV century medieval mystery becomes sort of a frozen form and shows no tendency to further development, thanks to the Reformation, which replaces it, promoting the development of other dramatic genres.

Especially popular are:

- "Moralities", used to struggle with the papacy, and exposing the gentry and merchants ("Satire" by Lindsay)

- Plays based on the episodes of the of the sacred history. Well-known author of such works is Belle

- "Interludes", humorous presentations progressively eliminating the mystery and Moralities, especially known as interludes by John Geyvud

- "Mask" a very nice, very sophisticated reporting, joining the mythology, allegory and fairy tale, accompanied by symbolic dances and music, the forerunner of ballet and opera ( "mask" talent, written by Samuel Daniel).

The formation of the English theater begins to influence the classic comedy and tragedy. This influence reaches through schools and universities, where plays in classical forms, especially in imitation of Plautus and Seneca, were written and played by teachers and students. The first original classic tragedy from afar was written by Thomas Sackville and Thomas Norton in 1562 ("Gorboduk or Ferreks and Porreks").

Thus, the English National Theater has incorporated a variety of forms, ranging from mysteries to the classical forms, developed in Italy and France. In England, the theater was really popular form of art opened for everyone; it was both a newspaper and a club.

At the same time there were professional actors. They were prosecuted by the city authorities, who regarded actors as homeless vagrants, fearing disruption and accumulation of the crowd. Persecution especially intensified under the influence of Puritan preachers, and agitates against the "sinful" entertainment. Actors, who played in taverns, looked for the protection from the noble and attributed to one of the aristocrats. Yard and taverns, where people were going to the lower strata, were the main consumers of the theater.

The first royal charter was issued troupe Earl of Leicester in 1574, the first theater was built in London in 1576.

The Elizabethan era

In the era of Elizabeth I Theater reaches the peak. It satisfies the tastes of all classes of society, depicting the tragic moments of English history, tragedies of the kings and aristocrats, family dramas of the bourgeoisie rough manners of the urban poor by introducing jokes and humor, which are equally enthralling for the aristocracy and the urban crowd. Most of the Elizabethan playwrights have originality and talent; reflect the prevailing tastes of one or the other groups. Here are some of the names:

Lily [1554-1606]

Robert Greene [1560-1592]

Christopher Marlowe [1563-1593]

Ben Johnson [1574-1637]

Webster [1575-1624]

But all of these names were blacked out by the name of Shakespeare. Shakespeare expressed the main trends of the Renaissance, his interest in the earth's human nature, the human personality, to its passions and feelings, the individual initiative, resourceful, fighting for a better place in life. Shakespeare is a poet of the aristocracy in the period beginning shaking its power, her psyche, in the period when it is subjected to the pressure of aggressive trading bourgeoisie ("The Merchant of Venice"). He reflected almost all human passions. Let’s see:

love ( "Romeo and Juliet")

jealousy (“Othello”, "Winter's Tale "),

ambitiousness ("Macbeth")

vindictiveness and greed ("The Merchant of Venice")



remorse ("King Lear")


- thirst for justice ("Hamlet")

All these were illuminated by a brilliant playwright so deeply that Shakespeare Theater still remains a source of unsurpassed material for acting.

Shakespeare`s opponent, Ben Johnson, paid tribute to the classical theater, which arose under the influence of the humanist movement, interest in antiquity. Classical theater has been circulated among the educated and scientific circles, but he could not satisfy the mass audience that Shakespeare was fascinated by the diversity of its theater, walking from the popular drama, but did not avoid the influence of classicism. “Julius Caesar”, “Antony and Cleopatra”, “Coriolanus” are all tragedies based on the episodes of the ancient history, but they were skipped through the prism of Shakespeare's time, placing the problem of the greatest importance.


Chapter 3. Romanticism


Romanticism did not exist in England in a form of a literary school as in the other countries. There was not a group of writers, united to the romantic platform, as it was in France and Germany. Nevertheless, the English literature distinguished a number of typical signs of romanticism in the early XIX century. It allows us to talk about the Romantic Movement in England. These features were: protest against classical rationalism, particularly against the classical rules, contrasting them to the individual poetic liberty; further interest in the nation and its history, to the middle ages - as opposed to antiquity, which was the main content of classicism; interest in exotics, which has attracted attention of the British Romantics to Scotland, a country of ancient folk songs and legends. Nature was broad stream flowing into the English romantic poetry. Finally, revolutionary sentiments, passion for the French Revolution, political radicalism played an important role in the romantic period of the English poetry.

Robert Burns [1759-1796], for instance, was a singer of the countryside, a Republican and an admirer of the French Revolution.

Godwin [1756-1836] in his novel "The Adventures of Caleb Williams" and other writings defends the most revolutionary ideas of his time not only in politics but also in the field of education and marriage, goes ahead then the British revolutionary thought.

The so-called "Lake School" (the name comes from the place of residence around the lakes) includes a number of poets. Wordsworth [1770-1850] was the head of the school. Dreamy, nature-loving poet of small events, which he could make the lofty and touching with his friend Coleridge [1772-1834], was the representative of the flow in Romanticism, which contributed, along with the love of nature, a simple homely language, the images of patriarchal past contemplation and reverie. The third poet of the Lake school, Souto [1774-1843],expressed similar moods, incorporating fantastic pictures of exotic countries, Mexico, India and Arabia to the idyllic image of the lake poetry. The poets of the lake school were fascinated by the revolution, but not for long. Wordsworth and Coleridge visited Germany, where they were influenced by German romantic idealism and finished their way in contemplation.

Byron, the greatest poet of the era, [1788-1824] was the representative of the romantic revolutionary aristocracy. Although he originated from the aristocratic society, he despised it. He considered the representatives of the capital to be just greedy and corrupt hucksters. As a young man Byron burst into fiery speech in defense of workers, but never brought up the subject later. In his life he remained a declassed aristocrat, a revolutionary rebel, a maverick, a singer of unmet disillusioned natures, beginning with a mysterious demonic wanderers and robbers ("Gyaur", "Lara", etc.). The same image was deepened in “Childe Harold”, which was widely emulated in Europe. This book graduated from Byron protest against the universe and the world order in the God-fighting tragedies ("Manfred" and "Cain"). By the end of his life of Byron came close to political and social satire ("Don Juan", "The Bronze Age"). The extreme individualism, a sense of dissatisfaction, drive to the East and the exotic country, love of nature and solitude, the dreams of the past, ruins and monuments - this is what makes the English Romantic poet Lord Byron. His incriminating angry protests against all forms of violence and exploitation, and its relationship with the Italian Carbonari and the struggle for the liberation of Greece made him be considered a singer of freedom by the European intelligentsia.

His friend Percy Bysshe Shelley [1792-1822], a brilliant lyrical poet, was an aristocrat too. He combines his poetry with the world of a fantastic romance of revolutionary protest against the emerging bourgeois-capitalist society. In his poem "Queen Mab", he depicts a society where everything can be sold at a public market, where the boss drives his slaves under the yoke of wage labor with the help of severe hunger. Shelley acts in a similar revolutionary-romantic way in his other poems ("Laon and Tsitna", "Prometheus unbound", etc.) too.

His wife, Mary Shelley, the author of "Frankenstein" (which was written as a part of a funny competition announced by Lord Byron to entertain the company while they were having rest in the countryside) was the first writer to bring up the question of the scientist’s responsibility.

Walter Scott [1771-1831] praised antiquity very much. He created the genre of the historical novel (consider "Ivanhoe", "Rob-Roy", "Quentin Durward," "Knights Templar", etc.), which could connect the credibility and realism with a rich romantic fiction, His novels portray the most dramatic moments of the Scottish and English national history.

Struggle against the Corn Laws, Chartism, and of the working class, authoritatively asserting their claims, overshadow the romance of feudal and patriarchal dreamy poetry. City with its practical interest, the growing bourgeoisie, the social struggle between bourgeoisie and the working class becomes the main content of the English literature, and realism is its dominant form at that time. Medieval castle is replaced by a factory town, seething modern industrial life gradually pushed out the distant antiquity, there is a precise, almost photographic, image of reality instead of fantastic unreal images.

Bulwer-Lytton [1803-1873], still continuing the tradition of Romanticism, an aristocrat by birth, fills his novels with conversions, miracles and crime, but he leaves us a number of literary documents that have social value because they represent a process of impoverishment and disintegration of the nobility (novels "Pelga" , "Night and morning," etc.).


Chapter 4. Realism and the turn of the century


Dickens [1812-1870], the most famous writer of this era, deploys a broad picture of the life of the bourgeois-capitalist society in his famous novels: "Tough times", "David Copperfield," "Dombey and his Son", "Pickwick Papers", “Nicholas Nikkleby” and others. He creates a gallery of types of capitalists. Dickens` petty-bourgeois, humane an intellectual point of view prevents him from joining the revolutionary part of the working class. He shows capitalists` greed, cruelty, ignorance and selfishness amazingly brightly, but his aim was edification of the exploiters and he didn’t even think about organizing forces of the exploited. His goal was to touch human hearts with the sight of suffering, and not to wake up hatred. Thackeray [1811-1863], the author of the novels "Vanity Fair", "Pendennis" and others, is more sarcastic and harsh in his criticism of the aristocratic-bourgeois society. His books are filled with pessimism and irritation. The author sees no way out. He, like Dickens, is unable to understand the liberating role of incipient revolutionary labor movement. Kingsley [1819-1875] depicts the horrors of exploitation and need in his novels«Yeast» and «Alton Locke», but he sees the salvation of the Christian in socialism, in repentance of the rich, who would put aside more money for charity. Disraeli [1805-1881], later known as famous Lord Beaconsfield, was the leader of the Tories (novel "Sybil" and others), depicting the vices of the bourgeois-aristocratic society and the scourge of farmers and workers in vivid colors. But he disapproves the revolution as well and considers the person to be a key to success. To his mind, energetic and active aristocrats, who would feel themselves responsible for public welfare, would save the world. He wrote lyrical poetry inspired by the social issues as well as novels. The main issue, highlighted by the era - the issue of exploitation of the working class capital - authorized, in the spirit of humanity and vague moral improvement.

The poets like Thomas Hood [1799-1845] or Ebinezer Elliot [1781-1849] depict the workers` poverty, make up a song against the Corn Laws, and create the images of the workers in their poems.

As we approach the end of the XIX century in Europe, particularly in the English literature, social realist trend begins to yield to the resurgent ideas of individualism and aestheticism. Instead, the militant capitalist forces its way to struggle, creating a company. The literature begins to portray the representatives of the bourgeoisie, who have inherited their money and did not experience any real difficulty in their life, who can enjoy the legacy of their fathers, who are passionate lovers and connoisseurs of art, the buyers of expensive paintings and elegant little volumes of poetry. Blossoming shows literature subtle emotions and fleeting impressions. Individualism, pure art, the cult of sentiment are the distinctive features of literature throughout the century. However, the main issue of the era, which is the organization of society, the abolition of exploitation of the working class plays an important role in literature as well. In the end of the century socialism becomes important too. John Ruskin [1819-1900] praised the ideal of a beautiful life, encouraging the society to the old patriarchal craft forms of production and rise up against industrialism and capitalism. He inspires a school of artists known as Pre-Raphaelites. Two famous representatives of the group are Rossetti [1828-1882] and William Morris [1834-1896] (the author of the novels "A Dream of John Boll" and “Proceedings of nowhere”, a defender of socialism and a passionate aesthetic at the same time), who were both looking for the ideals of beauty in the past centuries and wanted cause a social revolution by the aesthetic education of the workers. Tennyson [1809-1892], a poet of pure art, was free from motives of social struggle. Robert Browning [1812-1889] and his wife, Elizabeth Barrett-Browning [1806-1861], Svinbern [1835-1909], whose poetry unclearly intertwined ideals of eternal beauty and protection of the exploited were close to the Pre-Raphaelites.

Perhaps the most popular poet of this trend is Oscar Wilde [1856-1900], "the King aesthetes", who has created a "religion of beauty" and the cult of liberating invention (which declared works of art to be the only true), who claimed that art created life, and not vice versa.

Continuing industrial growth introduces a new issue in the literature - urbanism, machinism. Literature becomes dynamic, evolving satire against the capitalist way of life. Bernard Shaw [1856-1950] is perhaps the most brilliant and paradoxical of the writers, satirists, sophisms virtuoso, a witty hoax author and a moderate socialist.

H.G. Wells [1868-1946] is an author of fiction novels, who steeped in pathos technique, which portrays the wonders of the industry, magically transforming lives, connecting the world, allowing people to move in the past and the future. This process of simultaneous growth of socialist and conservative tendencies of individualistic and aesthetic aspirations is accompanied by a number of different literary phenomena. Imperialism and chauvinism, which has a representative on behalf of Chamberlain, Boer War, the cult of Kitchener - all this finds its reflection in the literary works of Rudyard Kipling [1865-1936], one of the most talented writers of the nationalists, the colonial author of short stories and poems, which elevates the colonial England's policy, where the oppression of the backward peoples is glorified as the implementation of the great civilizing mission.

Another phenomenon is a reaction against machinism causing a renaissance in literature, religious movements, impulses to the underworld, theosophy, spiritualism, occultism, etc. Even Samuel Beutler [1835-1902] and George Meredith [1828-1909], so dissimilar to one another in other aspects, however, make common cause, paving the path of spiritualism, trying to construct a new religion based on modern, making use of experience and research. We can find features of romantic symbolism in the works of Yeats [1865-1939], the representative of the so-called "Celtic Revival". Another of its representatives, the Irish, Singh [1871-1909], is more prone to realism and naturalism. Another form of protest against machinism was nietzscheanism, the cult of power, and hypertrophied aestheticism, all those modernist ideas which influence is not difficultly grasped in the works of Robert Louis Stevenson [1850-1894], a refined model of the author's adventurous novels, as well as George Moore [1852-1933], who spoke about the language of Zarathustra (in “Confessions of a Young Man”), about his contempt for compassion and Christian morality, the beauty of cruelty, power and the beauty of crime.

The same hostility to the industrial century has generated a stream of pessimism in the English literature among those writers who could not reconcile machinism with equanimity. James Thomson [1834-1882] is one of the great poets of the movement. The life of flour, gloomy grandeur of despair passes as a leitmotif, as the main theme through all the poetry. The most popular and perhaps the most profound of the pessimists is Thomas Hardy [1848-1928], the creator of the grandiose epic drama "Dynasty" and several novels, chiefly portraying the life of the village and province. To his mind, dark, angry and impenetrable destiny, the brutal inevitability rules the fate of a man. Prejudice is the main enemy, and modern marriage, borne the yoke of a woman, an enemy of civilization in the spirit of Rousseau or Tolstoy. Hardy does not find a way out of the festering thoughts. The same pessimism was pervaded by George Robert Gissing [1857-1903] who described the everyday life of average London's lower class people. He was the student of Dickens, but without his humor, philanthropy and his faith.

Pessimism was the basic mood of Joseph Conrad [1856-1913]. Conrad is one of the most powerful and complex writers of our time, striking richness and diversity of language. He seeks to penetrate into the depths of human nature and uses every possibility to convey the impression of reality to our consciousness: "the brightness of painting, sculpture and plasticity of magical music." He shows all kinds of human suffering; he does not idealize people, because he is convinced that ineradicable egoism makes a man a wolf to another person.

Arnold Bennett [1867 -], the portrayer of the lower strata of provincial mores of the bourgeoisie, tends to show more “healthy realism”; and there is more true social instinct in the works of Galsworthy [1867-1933].

Chesterton [1874-1936] is the enemy of sagging, a preacher of activism (but the activism of medieval corporations), a zealous Catholic, convinced that the development of industry is the source of social slavery.

James Barry [1860-1937] portrayed Scottish farmers` everyday life; Conan Doyle [1859-1930] was a renowned author of historical novels and police; Robert Hichens [1864 -] was a satirist and a romantic; Israel Zangvill [1864 -], the author of "Ghetto Children", chiefly deploying the life of the Jewish poor, and several other less significant authors complete the activity of the senior group of contemporary writers.

Ways of the new generation have not yet been clarified. In most cases they are realistic, but not averse to raise the question of occult powers of the soul as well. After striving for clarity, which originates from the French tradition of the English literature, it has experienced a period of strong Russian influence,e.g. Dostoevsky. This effect corresponds to the amorphous in the literature, a reaction against the French plasticity. Walpole [1884 -], one of the most fashionable novelists, can easily follow the fashion. His Oliver Onions, which describes the Bohemian, a model, typists, poor artists, etc. became a famous trilogy; Gilbert Kannan [1884 -], Compton Mackenzie [1883 -], Lawrence [1887 -] and a number of other young writers, who are now attracting the attention of the English readers, involve a variety of topics, depict the various classes of society, critics of social values, but their own worldview often reduced to vague humanitarianism. They are stronger in criticizing it than in finding its positive ideas, and none of them could beat the great "old", as Shaw, Wells, or Hardy so far.


Chapter 5. World War II and the later


One of the influential movements of the time was the “Angry young men” movement, which included Graham Greene, Iris Murdoch, William N Golding, Ian McEwan, Julian Barnes, Melvin Burgess, Vidiadhar Suradzhprasad N Naipaul, Harold Pinter, Doris Lessing and some of the others. A new genre was born, called “anti-utopia”, which main aim was to warn people about the dangers of totalitarianism and everything connected with it. Aldous Huxley in “The Beautiful New World” and George Orwell in “1984” (as well as in “the Farm”) try to explore the way human soul develops in the totalitarian society either struggling to preserve his/her personality or betraying his/her own moral principles and obeying all the demands. Detective turned out to be quite a successful genre (consider Agatha Christie, for instance) as well as science fiction (represented by Arthur C. Clarke and Douglas Adams). John Ronald Ruel Tolkien, whose books (not just “the Lord of the Rings”, but some less famous ones too) marked the birth of another new genre - fantasy – had a lot of followers all over the world, but none of them reached the founder’s level, perhaps simply owing to their worse education or weaker ability to feel the language.

Chapter 6. The influence of English literature over Russian


The influence of English literature over the Russian one was strong enough in the XVIII century but reached its apogee in the Age of Romanticism, when Byron, Walter Scott and other British writers of the time claimed their works a literary movement in Europe, against the French false classicism. Ideas, provided by the English literature of the XVIII century were reflected in the Russian one, mainly in two directions, or, rather, in the two branches of literary activity: in journalism and theater. At the beginning of this century, some time between 1709 and 1714., Addison began publishing satirical weeklies "Chatter", "Spectator" and "Guardian". They first started fighting the false-classical direction in the literature, and preached a decisive turn towards the purely national and local elements of the plot and form. Between 1769 and 1774 similar satirical journals in began to be issued in Russia. These logs are as follows: "Miscellaneous" (1769-1770), "And then behold" (1769), "Neither one nor the other" (1769), "Journey-work" (1769), "Miscellany" (1769), "Drone" (1769-1770), "Hell-mail" (1769), "Business and Pleasure" (1769), "Parnassian schepetilnik" (1770), "gasser" (1770), "The industrious ant" (1778), " Olden and novelty "(1772-1773)," Evening "(1772)," Painter "(1772)," Hodgepodge "(1773)," Purse "(1774). The program of these magazines was close to the English program, as they were generally aimed at criticizing the old superstitions and prejudices; some even translated articles directly from some British magazines. These magazines, like their English models, were published not by a higher education class, but for the average urban society, represented by the images of daily home life, not the subject of the former employees of high plot of false classicism movement representatives. That is why the higher strata of society and the classical writers disregarded the first of these writings, giving them the meaning of a popular book, read for the "despicable people" (See "Journal").

Much more developed was another kind of Russian literature, which goes back to the influence of English writers, so-called middle-class drama, which came to England and France, the product of socio-political upheaval. In Russia in the XVIII century the noble were not exposed to the risk of losing some of their rights in favor of the urban population. However, bourgeois drama had great success in Moscow and soon reached the broad development. The reason for this is likely to be found in the fact that these dramas, like the English model, draw a scene of people closer to Russian society than the heroes of the false-classical tragedy and international types of French comedy. Time of occurrence of petty-bourgeois dramas in our literature coincided with the time of the periodicals issued (1769-1774). Even before this time, some of the English literature has been translated into Russian: Dmitrevsky, for example, directed French remake of the Moore's" play The Gambler" and "Beverly" as well as other French and German drama. Detusha, Marivaux, Lessing, were transfered into original imitative comedy by Naryshkin, ("The real find in it"), Verevkina, ("as it should be" (1773)), Kheraskov ("other accidents" (1774), "Blown" (1775)) and many others. First attempts to translate Shakespeare’s works were made at this time as well. Different Russian interpreters called him Shakespear, Shekespir or Cheksper. “Richard III” was transferred to Nizhny Novgorod in 1783, published in 1787, "Julius Caesar" was translated by Karamzin in Moscow in 1786, published in 1787. Sumarokov, in some places of his works, imitated Shakespeare, whom he knew by false-classical alterations.

Some of the XVIII century Russian writers reflected the influence of English literature in their works: for example, Petrov revealed strong influence of Addison and Locke at a fairly; Kostrov imitated Ossian equally as well as a little later I. Dmitriev, who presented the battle between the Ermakov and Mehmet Kul quite alike Ossian, describing the combat Swaran with blue eyes in his ode "Ermak". The direct influence of English literature can also be seen at Michael Muraviev (1767-1807), teacher of Emperor Alexander I and the Grand Duke Konstantin Pavlovich. For his lessons, the contents of which is contained in the "experience of history, writing and moralistic" (1796), he took the leadership of the works of Scottish scientists: Adam Smith, Getcheson, Ferguson, Reid, Lord and Kemps. But the enormous influence of English literature at the Russian was in the era of romanticism, as see Romanticism, Byron, Walter Scott, Pushkin, Lermontov and others


It was my first research work, so, of course, it was a kind of some shock for me. When I began writing the work seemed to me that I would do it quickly enough, for 2 or 4 days, for instance, but I was wrong. After a week of hard work I realized that everything was not as easy as it had seemed. Most of all books at homes are just literary works, and it seems that you can find any information about how these works were written and who wrote them only in special textbooks on literature. Through this work I learned a lot about English literature and its influence on the Russian writers. It was quite interesting to have a look at the history of development of literature.

Concerning the ways to carry on with the research, I think it would be a good idea to have a look at one of the periods or one of the genres or even one of the literary movements more closely.






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