1. Assumptions about "human" vices and virtues take on very different tenors according to the religious, political, and philosophical preoccupations of the time. Medieval morality plays, for example, stand in striking contrast to Samuel Johnson's "The Vanity of Human Wishes," covered in "The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century" (see volume 1C, pages 2662–2670).
  2. A distinctly female perspective of life in Britain, spanning its history, may be found by comparing Margery Kempe's concerns in The Book of Margery Kempe with Virginia Woolf's concerns in "A Room of One's Own," covered in "The Twentieth Century" (see volume 2C, pages 2153–2214).
  3. The adaptation of classical poetry to express contemporary concerns is evident in both Old English and Renaissance poetry. Compare Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales with Edmund Spencer's The Faerie Queene, covered in "The Sixteenth Century and Early Seventeenth Century" (see volume 1B, pages 624–863).
  4. Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales includes many stories narrated by women, such as "The Wife of Bath's Tale." Elizabeth Gaskell's "The Old Nurse's Story," covered in "The Victorian Age" (see volume 2B, pages 1319–1333), presents an updated version of a storytelling from a female point of view.

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