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(The Renaissance takes place in the late 15th, 16th, and early 17th century in Britain, but somewhat earlier in Italy and southern Europe, somewhat later in northern Europe.) I. Early Tudor Period (1485-1558): The War of the Roses ends in England with Henry Tudor (Henry VII) claiming the throne. Martin Luther’s split with Rome marks the emergence of Protestantism, followed by Henry VIII’s Anglican schism, which creates the first Protestant church in England. Edmund Spenser is a sample poet. II. Elizabethan Period (1558-1603): Queen Elizabeth saves England from both Spanish invasion and internal squabbles at home. The early works of Shakespeare, Marlowe, Kydd, and Sidney mark Elizabeth’s reign. III. Jacobean Period (1603-1625): Shakespeare’s later work, Aemilia Lanyer, Ben Jonson, and John Donne. IV. Caroline Age (1625-1649): John Milton, George Herbert, Robert Herrick, the “Sons of Ben” and others write during the reign of Charles I and his Cavaliers. V. Commonwealth Period or Puritan Interregnum (1649-1660): Under Cromwell’s Puritan dictatorship, John Milton continues to write, but we also find writers like Andrew Marvell and Sir Thomas Browne.

 Major Renaissance Writers

Frencesco Petrarch

Nicolo Machiavelli

William Shakespeare

Christopher Marlowe

John Donne

Edmund Spencer

Philip Sydney

Geoffrey Chaucer


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