1. Lucy Hutchinson's Memories of Colonel Hutchinson reconstructs a dramatic scene in Nottingham in April 1642, as parliamentary and royalist adherents, on the brink of war, maneuvered for military support in the countryside. Although England emerged from its civil wars, it still had to face the wars for independence among its overseas colonies. E. M. Forester's A Passage to India, covered in "The Twentieth Century" (see pages 2133–2141 in volume 2C), addresses the question of the legitimacy of England's right to govern India as the "Quit India" movement gained momentum toward independence nearly three hundred years after the civil unrest described by Hutchinson.
  2. With its focus on prostitution of every aspect of human life to commercial interests, Ben Jonson's satire on human greed, Valpone, 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 506–523 in volume 1B), represents the reality of everyday London with devastating social and economic problems.
  3. Aemilia Lanyer's volume of poems, Salve Dues 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 prose A Vindication of the Rights of Women, covered in "The Romantic Period" (see pages 166–192 in volume 2A), would formalize a defense of her sex as historically underprivileged.
  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 by Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, covered in "The Middle Ages" (see pages 213–316 in volume 1A), from the perspective of pilgrims on their way to and from Canterbury.

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