Page:A short history of social life in England.djvu/155

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CHAPTER XI

Circa 1509 — 1547

LIFE UNDER HENRY VIII

"Let me review the scene,
 And summon from the shadowy Past 
 The forms that once have been."

WE turn from the period of the Middle Ages, with its tyrannies and trammels, its bondage and blindness, its mental stagnation and spirit of superstition, with feelings akin to those which ushered in the new era of the wondrous sixteenth century. It is like turning from the darkness of night to the morning sunshine, if we allow the period under Henry VII. as the breaking of the dawn and the Elizabethan era as the noontide of triumphant glory. This is not the place to repeat the charming story of the Renaissance, that movement which marks the

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