REVIVAL OF THE ANCIENT
Updated: Oct 21, 2020
Just after the Age of Chaucer i.e. from 1300 AD to 1400 AD approximately, started the age of revival from around 1400 AD. This period was called age of revival as the literary writers started reading and imitating the works of Greek and Roman writers like Horace, Plato, Aristotle etc. They even used to depict Greek mythology in their works. It’s noteworthy that the Greek civilization collapsed around 400 AD. Hence, the revival of ancient text brought out the Age of Renaissance.
During this period, people started thinking logically and not totally relied on the texts which they were spoon feeded by their elder since birth. This brought Renaissance of the mind too. People started questioning the church and the philosophies it taught. The sect which emerged from thinking rationally were called protestants.
Apart from the Protestant Revolution which happened there were few other historic events too that took place. Few among them are :
1) War of Roses
England had two houses of parliament, Houses of York (represented White Rose) and House of Lancaster (represented Red Rose). They fought for control of the Throne of England.
2) Arrival of Printing Press
William Caxton was the one to bring printing press to England.
3) Henry VIII and his six wives
King Henry VIII who also started the Anglican church married six times just in want of a male heir. However, fate had other plans and his daughters. Mary and Elizabeth proved to be a better heir to his throne than his son.
Queen Elizabeth was the one to start a series of voyages after Europe came to know that there exists a world apart from Europe. These voyages proved to be remarkable in the emergence of England as a world power as they started colonizing the discovered land. There were many voyages which took place. However, two significant ones are:
i) Discovery of America by Columbus in 1492 AD, and
ii) Discovery of India by Vasco Da Gama in 1497 AD
Having talked about the historical background of the Renaissance century i.e. roughly between 1400 AD to 1500 AD, let’s talk about the noteworthy writers of the period. Some of them were :
1) Thomas Malory
Sir Thomas Malory was one of the prisoner of wars of War of Roses supporting both the parties at different times. He was the writer of the legendary “ Le Morte D’ Arthur” where he described the life of an ideal ruler, King Arthur and his knights and their quest for the holy grail.
2) Christine De Pizan
The era when women were just confined to the four walls of their houses, she was the one who pioneered female writing. She was a poet in King Charles IV’s court and wrote commendable works like “ The Book of City Ladies” and “ The Treasure of the City of Ladies”.
3) Margery Kampe
Again, a lady writer in the Renaissance era. She wrote “ The Book of Margery Kampe” and described her life in that. Hence, it is also considered as a first autobiography ever written.
Though being a busy homemaker with fourteen children to look after, she paved her way as one of the rare female writers in England.
4) Julian of Norwich
Julian of Norwich ‘or’ Dame Julian as she is well known after having dedicated her life to God, wrote a book called “Revelations of Divine love” which happen to be few among the surviving scripts written by a woman of middle ages.
Hence, the Age of Revival not only had the male writers but their female counterparts also started making their way though with much difficulty. This period surely started making the way for some rational works as people started questioning things. Also, with the onset of colonization, many other cultures started influencing the literary works. They shall be soon discussed in the articles to come.