Abstract and Keywords
Literary history has had a mixed history among the readers and the writers of the European traditions. For William Warburton, an eighteenth-century ecclesiast and critic, literary history was “the most agreeable subject in the world.” However, the early nineteenth-century German poet Heinrich Heine describes literary history as a “morgue where each seeks out the friend he most loved.” The complex connotation of literary history stems in part from the modern European understanding of the place of literature in the formation of national identity. This article examines how the history of medieval literature was received during the Renaissance. It first looks at the regulations of late Henrician reading, particularly the 1543 Act for the Advancement of True Religion, before focusing on Miles Hogarde and his poetry. It then discusses Richard Tottel’s Miscellany in the context of English literature and its past, along with the poetry of love and loss that follows Tottel.
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