By Edward Albert
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Extra resources for A History of English Literature
A noble hart may haiff nane ess, Na ellys nocht that may him pless Gyffe fredome failzhe: for fre liking Is zharnyt2 our all othir thing. Na he, that ay hass levyt fre May nocht knaw weill the propyrte, The angyr, na the wrechyt dome, That is couplyt to foule thyrldome. PROSE-WRITERS 1. Sir John Mandeville is the English form of the name of Jehan de Mandeville, who compiled and published a French book of travels between 1357 and 1371. The English version has a preface, in which it is stated that the author was a Sir John Mandeville, a knight, bom at St Albans, who crossed the sea in 1322 and travelled in many strange regions.
He was born in London, entered the household of the wife of the Duke of Clarence (1357), and saw military service abroad, where he was captured. Next he seems to have entered the royal household, for he is frequently mentioned as the recipient of royal pensions and bounties. When Richard II succeeded to the crown (1377) Chaucer was confirmed in his offices and pensions, and shortly afterwards (1378) he was sent to Italy on one of his several diplomatic missions. More pecuniary blessings followed; then ensued a period of depression, due probably to the departure to Spain (1386) of his patron John of Gaunt; but his life closed with a revival of his prosperity.
He writes ably and clearly, but with no great distinction of manner. He is the first writer of the middle style. THE DEVELOPMENT OF LITERARY FORMS 1. Poetry.
A History of English Literature by Edward Albert