The Renaissance in England may be divided in to three parts: the rise of the Renaissance under the early Tudor monarch (1500-1558) the height of the Renaissance underElizabeth (1558-1603) and decline of the Renaissance under the Stuart monarch (1603-1649), under the reign of his son, Henry VIII (1509-1547) England was ripe for the intellectual ferment of theRenaissance.
The invention of the printing press, together with improved methods of manufacturing paper made possible the rapid spread of knowledge. In 1476, during the Wars of the Roses, William Caxton hadset up England first printing press at Westminster a part of London by 1640, that press and others had printed more than 26000 different works and editions. It estimated that by 1530 more than halfthe population of England was literate.
The first major impact of the Renaissance on English literature is observable in the poetry of Wyatt and Surrey, who introduced and Anglicized the sonnet, anItalian verse from that has proved to be popular in English. Surrey is credited also with inventing English blank verse. Other verse forms, borrowed from the Italian and the French, had lesser impact.Elaborate Renaissance conventions of love poetry were also transplanted finding their outlet chiefly in sonnets and sonnet sequences, the native drama continued to develop and gain popularity, while newdramatic form, the interlude was a short play designed to be presented between the courses of a banquet.
The second event was brought about by the desire of Henry VIII for male heir and his wish todivorce Catherine of Aragon, who had borne only one child, Mary. When the Pope refused to end the Marriage, Henry, with an eye also to seizing the vast holdings of the church, overthrew papaljurisdiction, married Anne Boleyn and was declared, with Parliament help, head of the church of England, sometimes called the Anglican church. Thus England became a Protestant nation.
The problem of...