Elizabethan Prose

          The Elizabethan age was the most creative age in the history of English literature. The age is called The Golden Age of English poetry in remembrance of such great sonneteers and song writers as Sidney, Spenser, Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Constable and others. The age is also called the Golden Age of English drama; for this age was raised to the height of glory by such playwrights as Christopher Marlowe, Shakespeare, Kyd and others. This age should also be regarded as a Golden Age of English prose, for in this age English prose was set on the track of glory by such great prose writers as Lyly, Greene, Lodge, Nashe, Deloney and Dekker with Sir Philip Sidney on the forefront.
                We should note that the age reaped the full harvest of the Renaissance. The Renaissance spirit of humanism, liberalism and romanticism found full play in the growth and development of English prose in the Elizabethan Age. We should note that at the outset, the Elizabethan prose turned to translation of foreign books, especially the Italian Novella or Short romantic stories. The Elizabethan in general had developed a natural craze for reading stories. Caxton’s printing press could bring books of stories to the doorsteps of the readers. Indeed there was a great demand for books of various disciplines among the enlightened Elizabethans. For want of native material books of continental literature were translated, the Palace of Pleasure, written by William Painter in 1566 was a great book. But it contained foreign tales. Tragical Discourses by Geoffrey Fenton was published in 1567. This book was also a collection of foreign tales. Petite Palace by George Pettie, published in 1576 was a collection of legendary tales. However this book was the only book which was not a translation, but an original writing. The most interesting of the early Elizabethan prose friction was The Adventures of Master FJ by George...