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THE LAND OF BRITAIN, ITS NATURE AND LITERATURE Трякина Светлана Анатольевна,учитель английского языка ГОУ СОШ №1232,г. Москва Lecture 1 The factors that influenced English literature and culture: the geographical position; the climate; the history of Great Britain. Geographical position The British Isles were formed about 8,000 years ago when the sea level rose and separated these lands from the continent of Europe. The most important division is between lowlands and highlands. The lowland country has always been influenced by the continent of Europe, while in the highlands old languages and old ways of life survived. The influence of the climate The climate of Great Britain also influenced its literature and culture. Misty, foggy and rainy atmosphere might explain the strong poetic element of the British character and literature. In English poetry and fiction the greenness of the English countryside, its flowers, streams, lakes and moors become part and parcel of the narration. The influence of Britain’s history Great Britain has survived the following invasions: 1)the Celtic; 2) The Roman; 3) the Anglo-Saxon; 4) the Danish; 5) the Norman. They had a great impact on the formation of the nation. The English are immensely aware of themselves. Besides, they are islanders who are cut off by the sea from many European influences. That also accounts for a great number of odd characters, both among real people and personages of fiction: Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister Mr. Pickwick, the character of a famous novel by Charles Dickens One of the most prominent features of English literature is its humour. Humour is based partly on sympathy and has much affection in it. Humour should be distinguished from wit and satire. Wit and satire work outside sympathy and affection. When dealing with any national literature , we should answer two most important questions: What does this literature owe to other literatures? ( What are the debts of this literature to other literatures?) What do other literatures owe to this literature? ( What are the credits of this literature to other literatures?) The debts of English literature to other literatures of the world All early influences on English literature came from France and Italy which headed medieval European culture. Spanish influences came later. German literature influenced English literature during the Romantic Age (the end of the 18th- the beginning of the 19th century). Russian influence ( the end of the 19th- the beginning of the 20th century). American literature influenced English literature after World War II. The credits of English literature: One of the greatest authors of the world is William Shakespeare ( 1564 – 1616).The English novelists of the 18th century ( Henry Fielding, Samuel Richardson, Laurence Sterne) were imitated everywhere.The most influential masters of the Romantic Age were George Gordon Byron in poetry and Walter Scott in fiction.In the middle of the 19th century Charles Dickens was one of the most popular authors of the world.In the 20th century George Bernard Shaw conquered theatre practically everywhere. Indeed, books by English authors found their way into libraries, theatres and homes all over the world. Источник: Кукурян И.Л.,”An Outline of English Literature”, М., изд-во МГУ, 1997г.