Elizabethan Age

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Elizabeth I (1533-1603) , queen of England and Ireland (1558-1603) is the daughter of Henry VIII, King of England and of his second wife, Anne Boleyn. She was the last of the Tudor rules of England, and she gave her name to an era, Elizabethan England. Later, it was regarded as a golden age of national triumph and cultural brilliance, with a victorious struggle against the Spanish Empire typified by the defeat of the Spanish Armada, and the flowering of the English Renaissance. English Protestants believed that it was important for lay believers to read the Bible, and endowing schools with money considered a moral duty. Many schools were founded between the reign of Elizabeth I s brother, Edward VI at the end of the 16th century. These were mainly grammar schools, and there were two types: public grammar schools, which were given money by a wealthy or even noble patron to teach both rich and poor boys (not girls) ; and private grammar schools which charget the boys parents a fee for education. All grammar schools taught Latin and sometimes Greek. Although education was more widely available by Elizabeth s reign, it was still limited to boys and men; nonetheless, only two out of every ten men were to sign their names in the 1550s. It is quite common to find documents from the 16th century where individuals have made their mark, a sign or symbol written instead of a signature. Education usually depended upon a person s social group. Labourers were illiterate, but merchants were generally better educated. Gentlemen were usually literate, and often had the opportunity of attending one of England s two universities, Oxford and Cambridge, where they could study classical literature, theology, philosophy, medicine, and law. Out of the whole of England s population, perhaps 4, 000 men were studying at Oxford and Cambridge at the end of Elizabeth s reign. The sons of gentlemen could also study law at one of the Inns of Court in London, where the training could prepare them to be a lawyer in one of the law of the courts or, like William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley for a career in royal service. Elizabethan England did not have as many printing presses as some of the European countries, but the industry was a growing business. Chapmen, or wandering pedlars, sold chapbooks of popular stories and ballads to poorer social groups. Gentlemen could afford more expensive books, often the classical authors such as Livy, Tacitus and Aristotle. Religious books were popular and allowed English Protestants to read works by Martin Luther or John Calvin. Elizabethan Style, in English art, is a period between the Gothic and Renaissance style. It reached its apogee in the late 1500s, towards the end of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, and is often considered the last phrase of the long-lasting of Tudor style. Althought the Elizabethan age produced a certain amount of characteristic sculpture ...

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