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Early Modern English
Early Modern English or Early New English (sometimes abbreviated EModE, EMnE, or EME) is the stage of the English language from the beginning of the Tudor period to the English Interregnum and Restoration, or from the transition from Middle English, in the late 15th century, to the transition to Modern English, in the mid-to-late 17th century. Before and after the accession of James I to the English throne in 1603, the emerging English standard began to influence the spoken and written Middle Scots of Scotland. The grammatical and orthographical conventions of literary English in the late 16th century and the 17th century are still very influential on modern Standard English. Most modern readers of English can understand texts written in the late phase of Early Modern English, such as the King James Bible and the works of William Shakespeare, and they have greatly influenced Modern English. Texts from the earlier phase of Early Modern English, such as the late-15th century ''Le ...
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William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare (bapt. 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English playwright, poet, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and one of the world's greatest dramatists. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "the Bard"). His extant works, including collaborations, consist of some 39 plays, 154 sonnets, three long narrative poems, and a few other verses, some of uncertain authorship. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. They also continue to be studied and reinterpreted. Shakespeare was born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire. At the age of 18, he married Anne Hathaway, with whom he had three children: Susanna and twins Hamnet and Judith. Sometime between 1585 and 1592, he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part-owner of a playing company called the Lord Chamberlain' ...
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English Language
English is a West Germanic language first spoken in early medieval England, which has eventually become the leading language of international discourse in the 21st century. It is named after the Angles, one of the ancient Germanic peoples that migrated to the area of Great Britain that later took their name, England. Both names derive from Anglia, a peninsula on the Baltic Sea. English is most closely related to Frisian and Low Saxon, while its vocabulary has been significantly influenced by other Germanic languages, particularly Old Norse (a North Germanic language), as well as Latin and French. English has developed over the course of more than 1,400 years. The earliest forms of English, a group of West Germanic (Ingvaeonic) dialects brought to Great Britain by Anglo-Saxon settlers in the 5th century, are collectively called Old English. Middle English began in the late 11th century with the Norman conquest of England; this was a period in which English was influenced by Old ...
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Thomas Malory
Sir Thomas Malory (c. 1415 – 14 March 1471) was an English writer, the author or compiler of ''Le Morte d'Arthur'', the classic English-language chronicle of the Arthurian legend, published by William Caxton in 1485. Malory's identity has never been confirmed, but the likeliest candidate is Sir Thomas Malory of Newbold Revel in Warwickshire. Much of his life history is obscure, but Caxton classifies him as a 'knight prisoner', apparently reflecting a criminal career, for which there is ample evidence, though he was also a prisoner-of-war during the Wars of the Roses, in which he supported both sides at different times. Identity Most of what is known about Malory stems from the accounts describing him in the prayers found in the Winchester Manuscript of ''Le Morte d'Arthur''. He is described as a "", distinguishing him from six other candidates also bearing the name Thomas Malory in the 15th century when ''Le Morte d'Arthur'' was written.Bryan, Elizabeth J. (1999/1994). "Sir Tho ...
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Westminster
Westminster is a district in central London, part of the wider City of Westminster. The area, which extends from the River Thames to Oxford Street has many visitor attractions and historic landmarks, including the Palace of Westminster, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral and much of the West End shopping and entertainment district. The name ''Westminster'' ( ang|Westmynstre) originated from the informal description of the abbey church and royal peculiar of St Peter's (Westminster Abbey), located west of the City of London (until the Reformation there was also an ''Eastminster'', near the Tower of London, in the East End of London). The abbey's origins date from between the 7th and 10th centuries, but it rose to national prominence when rebuilt by Edward the Confessor in the 11th. It has been the home of the permanent institutions of England's government continuously since about 1200, and from 1707 the British Government. In a government context, ''West ...
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William Caxton
William Caxton (c. 1422 – c. 1491) was an English merchant, diplomat, and writer. He is thought to be the first person to introduce a printing press into England, in 1476, and as a printer was the first English retailer of printed books. Neither his parentage nor date of birth is known for certain, but he may have been born between 1415 and 1424, perhaps in the Weald or wood land of Kent, perhaps in Hadlow or Tenterden. In 1438 he was apprenticed to Robert Large, a wealthy London silk mercer. Shortly after Large's death, Caxton moved to Bruges, Belgium, a wealthy cultured city, where he was settled by 1450. Successful in business, he became governor of the Company of Merchant Adventurers of London; on his business travels, he observed the new printing industry in Cologne, which led him to start a printing press in Bruges in collaboration with Colard Mansion. When Margaret of York, sister of Edward IV, married the Duke of Burgundy, they moved to Bruges and befriended Caxton. It ...
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Geoffrey Chaucer
Geoffrey Chaucer (; – 25 October 1400) was an English poet and author. Widely considered the greatest English poet of the Middle Ages, he is best known for ''The Canterbury Tales''. He has been called the "father of English literature", or, alternatively, the "father of English poetry". He was the first writer to be buried in what has since come to be called Poets' Corner, in Westminster Abbey. Chaucer also gained fame as a philosopher and astronomer, composing the scientific ''A Treatise on the Astrolabe'' for his 10-year-old son Lewis. He maintained a career in the civil service as a bureaucrat, courtier, diplomat, and member of parliament. Among Chaucer's many other works are ''The Book of the Duchess'', ''The House of Fame'', ''The Legend of Good Women'', and ''Troilus and Criseyde''. He is seen as crucial in legitimising the literary use of Middle English when the dominant literary languages in England were still French and Latin. Origin Chaucer was born in London ...
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Gorboduc (play)
''The Tragedie of Gorboduc'', also titled ''Ferrex and Porrex'', is an English play from 1561. It was first performed at the Christmas celebration given by the Inner Temple in 1561, and performed at Whitehall before Queen Elizabeth I on 18 January 1561, by the Gentlemen of the Inner Temple. The authors were Thomas Norton and Thomas Sackville, said to be responsible for the first three Acts, and the final two, respectively. The first quarto, published by the bookseller William Griffith, was published 22 September 1565. A second authorized quarto corrected by the authors followed in 1570 printed by John Day with the title ''The Tragedie of Ferrex and Porrex''. A third edition was published in 1590 by Edward Allde. The play is notable for several reasons: as the first verse drama in English to employ blank verse; for its political subject matter (the realm of Gorboduc is disputed by his sons Ferrex and Porrex), which was still a touchy area in the early years of Elizabeth's reign, wh ...
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King James Bible
The King James Version (KJV), also known as the King James Bible (KJB), sometimes as the English version of 1611, or simply the Version (AV), is an English translation of the Christian Bible for the Church of England, commissioned in 1604 and completed as well as published in 1611 under the sponsorship of James VI and I. The books of the King James Version include the 39 books of the Old Testament, an intertestamental section containing 14 books of the Apocrypha, and the 27 books of the New Testament. Noted for its "majesty of style", the King James Version has been described as one of the most important books in English culture and a driving force in the shaping of the English-speaking world. It was first printed by John Norton and Robert Barker, both holding the post of the King's Printer, and was the third translation into English approved by the English Church authorities: The first had been the Great Bible, commissioned in the reign of King Henry VIII (1535), and the sec ...
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Standard English
In an English-speaking country, Standard English (SE) is the variety of English that has undergone substantial regularisation and is associated with formal schooling, language assessment, and official print publications, such as public service announcements and newspapers of record, etc. It is local to nowhere: its grammatical and lexical components are no longer regionally marked, although many of them originated in different, non-adjacent dialects, and it has very little of the variation found in spoken or earlier written varieties of English.  According to Trudgill, Standard English is a dialect pre-eminently used in writing that is largely distinguishable from other English dialects by means of its grammar. The term "Standard" refers to the regularisation of the grammar, spelling, usages of the language, and not to minimal desirability or interchangeability (e.g. a standard measure). All linguistic features are relevant to standardisation, including morphology, phonology, syntax ...
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Middle Scots
Middle Scots was the Anglic language of Lowland Scotland in the period from 1450 to 1700. By the end of the 15th century, its phonology, orthography, accidence, syntax and vocabulary had diverged markedly from Early Scots, which was virtually indistinguishable from early Northumbrian Middle English. Subsequently, the orthography of Middle Scots differed from that of the emerging Early Modern English standard. Middle Scots was fairly uniform throughout its many texts, albeit with some variation due to the use of Romance forms in translations from Latin or French, turns of phrases and grammar in recensions of southern texts influenced by southern forms, misunderstandings and mistakes made by foreign printers. History The now established Stewart identification with the lowland language had finally secured the division of Scotland into two parts, the Gaelic Highlands and the Anglic Lowlands. The adherence of many Highlanders to the Catholic faith during the Reformation led to the 160 ...
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James VI And I
James VI and I (James Charles Stuart; 19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625) was King of Scotland as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the Scottish and English crowns on 24 March 1603 until his death in 1625. The kingdoms of Scotland and England were individual sovereign states, with their own parliaments, judiciaries, and laws, though both were ruled by James in personal union. James was the son of Mary, Queen of Scots, and a great-great-grandson of Henry VII, King of England and Lord of Ireland, and thus a potential successor to all three thrones. He succeeded to the Scottish throne at the age of thirteen months, after his mother was compelled to abdicate in his favour. Four different regents governed during his minority, which ended officially in 1578, though he did not gain full control of his government until 1583. In 1603, he succeeded the last Tudor monarch of England and Ireland, Elizabeth I, who died childless. He conti ...
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Restoration (England)
The Restoration of the Stuart monarchy in the kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland took place in 1660 when King Charles II returned from exile in Europe. The preceding period of the Protectorate and the civil wars came to be known as the Interregnum (1649–1660). The term ''Restoration'' is also used to describe the period of several years after, in which a new political settlement was established. It is very often used to cover the whole reign of King Charles II (1660–1685) and often the brief reign of his younger brother King James II (1685–1688). In certain contexts it may be used to cover the whole period of the later Stuart monarchs as far as the death of Queen Anne and the accession of the Hanoverian King George I in 1714. For example, Restoration comedy typically encompasses works written as late as 1710. The Protectorate After Richard Cromwell, Lord Protector from 1658-9, ceded power to the Rump Parliament, Charles Fleetwood and John Lambert then dominated ...
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Interregnum (England)
The Interregnum was the period between the execution of Charles I on 30 January 1649 and the arrival of his son Charles II in London on 29 May 1660 which marked the start of the Restoration. During the Interregnum, England was under various forms of republican government (see Commonwealth of England; this article describes other facets of the Interregnum). Politics The politics of the period were dominated by the wishes of the ''Grandees'' (Senior Officers) of the New Model Army and their civilian supporters. They encouraged (or at least tolerated) several republican regimes. From 1649 until 1653 executive powers lay with Council of State, while legislative functions were carried out by the Rump Parliament. In 1653 the Grandees, with Oliver Cromwell in the lead, dismissed the Rump, and replaced it with a Nominated Assembly (nicknamed the Parliament of Saints and Barebone's Parliament) made up of 140 nominees, 129 from England and Wales, five from Scotland and six from Ireland. I ...
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Tudor Period
The Tudor period occurred between 1485 and 1603 in England and Wales and includes the Elizabethan period during the reign of Elizabeth I until 1603. The Tudor period coincides with the dynasty of the House of Tudor in England whose first monarch was Henry VII (b.1457, r.14851509). Historian John Guy (1988) argued that "England was economically healthier, more expansive, and more optimistic under the Tudors" than at any time in a hundred years. Population and economy Following the Black Death and the agricultural depression of the late 15th century, the population began to increase. It was less than 2 million in 1600. The growing population stimulated economic growth, accelerated the commercialisation of agriculture, increased the production and export of wool, encouraged trade, and promoted the growth of London. The high wages and abundance of available land seen in the late 15th century and early 16th century were replaced with low wages and a land shortage. Various inflationar ...
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