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Understand the Early Modern Period

A guide by Tony Gasparian Frame (McLean VA)

Products sampled from this guide:
I consider the Early Modern Period (my dates: 1494-1821 C.E.) a creative period akin to the confident reaction unleashed during the Classical Period. I track the language and political assumptions to help me understand the present modern outlook. To me, the written record of the early period reveals a thought process keen on awakening and helps explain how the mind expanded its horizons across space and dared to uncover nature's secrets; these books showcase the enduring ability of language to orient the spirit toward individuation with strength and wisdom. In my subjective assessment, assimilating such writing promotes creative response.

Julius Caesar (Folger Shakespeare Library)
The seductive language of Cassius and muscular tone of Anthony overwhelms completely. Can language be more potent?

The Book of Common Prayer, 1559: The Elizabethan Prayer Book
I wanted to read the book read by Elizabeth and Shakespeare. The last chapter gives a good history of this very important book which shaped so much of English literature. For me, it's interesting to read the preliminaries and appreciate how the pioneers of that period reconciled change with tradition to seek reasonable conduct. Bravo.

The Stories of English
For people who prefer some background: One good book which describes the dynamic development to English. By assimilating German, French, Latin and a few more, English turned into a formidable medium of expression and classification.

Common Sense, The Rights of Man and Other Essential Writings of Thomas Paine
The beauty and resonance of Paine's writing are unmistakably rational.

HOLY LIVING AND DYING: With Prayers Containing the Whole Duty of a Christian
There are passages by J. Taylor which permeate the frontal lobe and indefinitely retain their authority.

The Book of Common Prayer - Parish Ecomony Edition Black I assume this is the 1789 version. I bought mine as a teenager when I visited the Christ Church where Benjamin Franklin worshiped. This version represents to me America's universal appeal ratified at the same time as the Constitution. I tend to read the pages on "Prayers and Thanksgiving;" that section alone compels an attitude of respectful confidence - not overreaching.

Tyndale's New Testament
Tyndale's motivation to bring the New Testament within reach of the common man expresses the translator's motivation in beautiful excerpts. The language is intimate and trusts the individual. The introduction alone captures the essence of original Christians in a way that can surprise the modern reader, but the stresses and rhythm define competence devoted to accomplishment.

Products mentioned include:
1.  Julius Caesar (Folger Shakespeare Library)  by William Shakespeare
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2.  The Book of Common Prayer, 1559: The Elizabethan Prayer Book  by John E. Booty
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3.  The Stories of English  by David Crystal
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4.  Common Sense, The Rights of Man and Other Essential Writings of Thomas Paine  by Thomas Paine
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5.  HOLY LIVING AND DYING: With Prayers Containing the Whole Duty of a Christian  by Jeremy Taylor
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6.  The Book of Common Prayer - Parish Ecomony Edition Black  by BCP7200
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7.  Tyndale's New Testament  by David Daniell
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About this Guide

 

Author

Tony Gasparian Frame (McLean VA)
Qualifications: Bachelor's of Science, Johns Hopkins University
Last updated: 6/1/11
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