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LANDMARKS IN THE HISTORY OF THE
1. The Beowulf, an old English epic, "written on the mainland" 2. Christianity introduced by St Augustine (and with it many Latin and a few Greek words)
3. Caedmon--' Paraphrase of the Scriptures,'-first English poem 4. Baeda "The Venerable Bede "-translated into English part of St John's Gospel .
5. King Alfred translated several Latin works into English, among others, Bede's 'Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation'.
6. Aelfric, Archbishop of York, turned into English most of the historical books of the Old Testament
7. The Norman Conquest, which introduced Norman French words
8. Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, said to have been begun by King Alfred, and brought to a close in
9. Orm or Orrmin's Ormulum, a poem written in the East Mid-
more and more
11. Layamon translates the 'Brut' from the French of Robert Wace. This is the first English book (written in Southern English) after the stoppage of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle . 12. The Ancren Riwle ("Rules for Anchorites ") written in the Dorsetshire dialect. "It is the forerunner of a wondrous change in our speech." "It swarms with French words"
13. First Royal Proclamation in English, issued by Henry III. . 14. Robert of Gloucester's Chronicle (swarms with foreign terms)
15. Robert Manning, “Robert of Brunn," compiles the 'Handlyng Synne.' "It contains a most copious proportion of French words "
16. Ayenbite of Inwit (="Remorse of Conscience")
17. The Great Plague. After this it becomes less and less the fashion to speak French
18. Sir John Mandeville, first writer of the newer English Prosein his 'Travels,' which contained a large admixture of French words. "His English is the speech spoken at Court in the latter days of King Edward III.”
19. English becomes the language of the Law Courts
20. Wickliffe's Bible
21. Geoffrey Chaucer, the first great English poet, author of the ‘Canterbury Tales'; born in 1340, died
22. William Caxton, the first English printer, brings out (in the Low Countries) the first English book ever printed, the
Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye,'-"not written with pen and ink, as other books are, to the end that every man may have them at once"
23. First English Book printed in England (by Caxton) the 'Game and Playe of the Chesse'
24. Lord Berners' translation of Froissart's Chronicles
27. Our English Bible, based chiefly on Tyndale's translation. "Those who revised the English Bible in 1611 were bidden to keep as near as they could to the old versions, such as Tyndale's".
29. John Milton, "the most learned of English poets,” publishes his' Paradise Lost,' a poem in which Latin words are introduced with great skill "
25. William Tyndale, by his translation of the Bible tongue once for all." "His New Testament has become the standard of our tongue: the first ten verses of the Fourth Gospel are a good sample of his manly Teutonic pith” 1526-30
26. Edmund Spenser publishes his 'Faerie Queene.' "Now began the golden age of England's literature; and this age was to last for about fourscore years"
28. William Shakespeare carried the use of the English language to the greatest height of which it was capable. He employed 15,000 words. "The last act of 'Othello' is a rare specimen of Shakespeare's diction: of every five nouns, verbs, and adverbs, four are Teutonic " (Born 1564) 1616
30. The Prayer-Book revised and issued in its final form.
31. John Bunyan writes his 'Pilgrim's Progress '—a book full of pithy English idiom. "The common folk had the wit at once to see the worth of Bunyan's masterpiece, and the learned long afterwards followed in the wake of the common folk" (Born 1628) 1688
32. Sir Thomas Browne, the author of 'Urn-Burial' and other works written in a highly Latinised diction, such as the 'Religio Medici,' written
33. Dr Samuel Johnson was the chief supporter of the use of "long-tailed words in osity and ation," such as his novel called 'Rasselas,' published
34. Tennyson, Poet-Laureate, a writer of the best English—“ a countryman of Robert Manning's, and a careful student of old Malory, has done much for the revival of pure English among us