« ZurückWeiter »
addition, so much more general literary criticism will be incorporated as may seem to be needed to supplement the biographical material, and to exhibit both the essential qualities and the historical importance of his work.
It is believed that the plan thus pursued is substantially in the nature of a new departure, and that the volumes of this series, constituting as they will an introduction to the study of some of our greatest poets, will be found useful to teachers and students of literature, and no less to the general lover of English poetry.
WILLIAM HENRY HUDSON
THE work of the Reformation in England
was carried out by men of markedly
conservative temper, who desired to move cautiously, and who, while recognising the urgent need of change, were averse from any violent rupture with the past. While rejecting the Papacy and correcting various abuses in the organisation and ritual of the national Church, they thus made it one of their principal objects to preserve so far as possible the continuity of religious tradition. In this moderate policy they had the support of the great body of English religious opinion. But as on the one side there were those who opposed any change, so on the other there were a few dissentients who early began to complain of their leaders' timidity and want of thoroughness. To these more radical reformers, whose inspiration and ideals were largely drawn from the teachings of the famous John Calvin of Geneva, the episcopacy was itself a curse, and many of the ceremonial forms of public worship only so many rags and remnants of the Popery they abhorred. Their aim was, therefore, the repudiation root and branch of Papal Christianity, an entire break with longestablished tradition, and a return to the absolute simplicity of the primitive Church. These men were the forerunners of the Puritan party-the