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Page 50

CHAPTER II
TWELFTH AND THIRTEENTH CENTURIES - THE NORMAN-ENGLISH PERIOD

his adventures are the free, bold expression of the sincere feelings of the Englishman in the early years of his forced submission to Norman rule.
Value of the Norman-English writings. The writings of the first two centuries after the Norman conquest are, as a whole, of small worth. With the increasing number of translations, such a world of literature was thrown open to the English that they were dazzled with excess of light. Daringly, but half timidly, they ventured to step forward, to try one thing after another. No one could expect finish and completeness ; the most that could be looked for was some beginning of poetry that should show imagination, of prose that should show power. So ended the thirteenth century, in a kind of morning twilight of literature. The fourteenth was the time of the dawning, the century of Chaucer.

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