1. The poets Henry Vaughan and Thomas Traherne both represent childhood as a time when the soul is especially close to God, from whom it has just come.  William Wordsworth would later take up this theme in poems including Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood, covered in “The Romantic Period” (see pages 308-12 in volume D).  A more disturbing view of childhood spirituality occurs in Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s The Cry of the Children, covered in “The Victorian Period” (see pages 1079-82 in volume E).
  2. With its focus on prostitution of every aspect of human life to commercial interests, Ben Jonson's satire on human greed, Volpone, or The Fox, follows in the tradition of other English writers, such as Sir Thomas More, whose Utopia, covered in "The Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth Century" (see pages 521-590 in volume B), contrasts the devastating social and economic problems of early sixteenth-century England with an imaginary ideal society.
  3. Aemilia Lanyer's volume of poems, Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum, incorporates a defense of Eve and of all women in its title poem, a baroque meditation on Christ's Passion. Much later, Mary Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Woman, covered in "The Romantic Period" (see pages 170-195 in volume D), would be regarded as a foundational text of modern feminism.
  4. John Milton's Paradise Lost overlays the political questions at stake in England during the Revolution and Restoration with difficult choices of his central characters — Satan, Beelzebub, Abdiel, Adam, and Eve — under the pressures of powerful desires and sometimes devious temptations. A similar depth of themes concerning civic and religious life is addressed from the perspective of pilgrims on their way to and from Canterbury by Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, covered in "The Middle Ages" (see pages 216–316 in volume A).

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