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Flashcards in Old Classics Extra Deck (52):

Benjamin Jonson by Abraham van Blyenberch.jpg

Ben Jonson (1572-1637)


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Edmund Spenser (1553-1599)


What is the journey in the Canterbury Tales


What is generally considered the first tale


What is the name of the Inn where the pilgrims first meet on their journey



Southwark to Thomas of Beckett Shrine in Canterbury Cathedrale


Knight's Tale (Its about Arcite and Palamon) - remember your Shakespeare (its the story of Two Noble Kinsmen)


The Tabard Inn (in Borough High Street, it was demolished in 1850)



Where does the term Anecdote come from

The word 'anecdote' (in Greek: ἀνέκδοτον "unpublished", literally "not given out") comes from Procopius of Caesarea, the biographer of Justinian I, who produced a work entitled Ἀνέκδοτα (Anekdota, variously translated as Unpublished Memoirs or Secret History), which is primarily a collection of short incidents from the private life of the Byzantine court. Gradually, the term anecdote came to be applied[5] to any short tale utilized to emphasize or illustrate whatever point the author wished to make


Who wrote the Spanish Tragedy

Between What Years did he live

Thomas Kyd (1558-1594)


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John Dryden (1631-1700)

Glorius John as Walter Scott called him

Restoration England is also known as the Age of Dryden



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Geoffrey Chaucer (1343-1400)



In the New Testament (and Milton) who is Mammon

Wealth or Greed, personified as a deity


What was the Augustan age in English Literature and who were its principal exponents


Writers at this time "greatly admired their Roman counterparts, imitated their works and frequently drew parallels between" contemporary world and the age of the 

Some of the major writers in this period were John Dryden (1631-1700), Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), William Congreve, (1670-1729), Joseph Addison (1672-1719), Richard Steele (1672-1729), Alexander Pope (1688-1744), Henry Fielding (1707–54), Samuel Johnson (1709-84).




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Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)



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John Arbuthnot (1667-1735)


What was Milton's handicap when writing Paradise Lost


What is the Captial of Hell in Paradise Lost

He was blind (and impoverished)




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Samuel Pepys (1633-1703)


What is the name of Thomas Hobbes' masterpiece


It championed absolutism for the soveriegn


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John Bunyan (1628-1688)



Who cooperated with Shakespeare on Titus Andronicus, and between what years did he live

George Peele (1556-1596)



Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593)


What was Henry Fielding's pen name, and what was his interesting Welsh tribute

Scriblerus Secundus

The Welsh Opera was a presented as a tribute to the Scriblerians


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Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375)

Writer of the Decameron


Who wrote the Pilgrim's Progress

John Bunyan

It introduced Vanity Fair, where Thakeray took the name



John Milton (1608-1674)


Who wrote the first collection of biographies of women in Western literature

Giovanni Boccaccio, in his work [On or Of] Famous Women




William Shakespeare (1564-1616)



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John Fletcher (1579-1625)


Who invented the figure John Bull

John Arbuthnot (satirist and polymath) in 1712 in his pamphlet Law is a Bottomless Pit

He also inspired book III of Gulliver's Travels


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James Boswell (1740-1795) from Edinburugh

Companion of Samuel Johnson

writer of Life of Johnson (sometimes described as the greatest biography ever written)


Thomas Middleton (1580-1627)


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Joseph Spence (1699-1768)

Famous for his collection of anecdotes


Laurence Sterne by Sir Joshua Reynolds.jpg

What was his big work

Laurence Sterne (1713-1768)

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy


Samuel Richardson by Joseph Highmore.jpg

What was his super long novel

Samuel Richardson (1689-1761)

Clarissa: Or the History of Young Lady


Who wrote A New Way to Pay Old Debts (1626)

Philip Massinger

The most frequently revived non-Shakespearean play in the 18-19th centuries


Who was the villain in A New Way to Pay Old Debts

Sir Giles Overreach


What was considered the last masterpiece of the picaresque genre written from 1715-1735 (and who was it written by?)

Gil Blas

by Alain-Rene Lesage



What is the name of Don Quixote's horse

What is Quixote's real name.  Where does the other name come from

Who is his side kick


Alonso Quixano, a hidalgo (member of Spanish/Portuguese nobility but who lacks a title) who reads so many chivalric novels that he decides to set out to revive chivalry, under the name Don Quixote.

Sancho Panza






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Francesco Petrarca [aka Petrach]



Petrarch is often called the "Father of Humanism"

Petrarch's rediscovery of Cicero's letters is often credited for initiating the 14th-century Renaissance.


head-and-chest side portrait of Dante in red and white coat and cowl

Dante Alighieri (Italian)




What famous phrase / description was coined by Petrarch

'The Dark Ages'

By which he meant that between the ancient world of Rome and his own time, nothing much had happened.


What was Dante's divine comedy called during his time.

What was a comedy then

In Dante's time a comedy was a story in which difficulties faced by the protagonist were resolved in a happy ending

It was originally called the Commedia (or comedy), the Divine bit was added by Boccaccio


Where is Dante's hell situated

Where does the story begin

What separates Upper Hell from Lower Hell

Under Jerusalem

In a Dark Forest (a symbol of sinful life on earth)

The Wall of Dis (below which are sins of violence and malice)


Who guides Dante through Hell and Pergatory

Who guides him through Heaven

Why does he have two guides


Beatrice (the love he never had.  He was betrothed to another, and Beatrice died young)

Virgil was born before Christ so can't get into heaven.


Who many chapters (or cantos) are there in the Divine Comedy

3 x 33

+ 1 introduction

= 100


In Chaucer's tales,

How many pilgrims are there?

How many tales are they supposed to tell?

29 pilgrims

Each to tell 4 tales, 2 on the way out, 2 on the way back

In fact only 24 pilgrims tell tales, probably meaning the book was never finished.


What is arguably the best known of the Canterbury Tales

How many husbands are involved

What is the theme


The Wife of Bath


The theme is woman's mastery over men


In Boccaccio's epic, what are the people fleeing

100 stories of people fleeing the plague


His surprising day job?

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John Donne (1572 - 1631)

He was a cleric

In 1615, he became an Anglican priest, although he did not want to take Anglican orders. He did so because King James I persistently ordered it. In 1621, he was appointed the Dean of St Paul's Cathedral in London.


Who was the main figure of Samuel Johnson's cointed 'Metaphysical poets'

Who were the two other big names

Who wrote a 1921 essay on The Metaphysical poets

John Donne

George Herbert and Andrew Marvell

It is an oblique refererrence to their (particularly Donne's wit)

T.S. Elliot


What famous sermon, later described as the author's own funeral sermon (it was addressed to the king, but the author died only a month later), portrays life as a slow descent into sickness and death, but points to redemption and salvation.

Death's Duel sermon by John Donne


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Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, known by his stage name Molière

(1622 - 1673)

French - unsurprisingly


Who is famous for the comedy of manners 'The Misanthrope'

What is the name of the lead protagonist

Who, for kudos, were the other two leaders of French neoclassical literature and comedy



Pierre Corneille (write of El Cid), and Philippe Quinault (who write The Rivals - of course, he wasn't the only person do use this a book title)


Which book begins with the words

"I was born in the year 1632"

and was progenitor of the fictional autobiography

What word means "the appearance of being true or real"

Robinson Crusoe




What was Daniel Defoe's birth name

How many times was he bankrupt

When did he take up writing

Daniel Foe (he added the De later)

Bankrupt twice! He'd been a businessman and merchant - > B1, then he wrote a political pamphlet that got him into trouble and led to B2.

He didn't take up writing until his late 50s (hope for us all then)


Who is considered by many to be Germany's greatest classical playwright, and what brief movement was he associated with

What was his seminal play

In what way was other most famous composition work

Frederick Schiller (1759 - 1805)

A member of the Storm and Stress (or Storm and Urge) movement, known for their energy and physical and emotional violence

His great work was The Robbers (1781)

He also wrote Ode the Joy (1786) which Beethoven used in his S no.9 (albeit, he didn't use the entire poem and he did reorder bits)