The Raven and the Lark

Barbara L. Estrin

Lost Children in Literature of the English Renaissance

1985
ISBN 0838750753

The Raven and the Lark is the first book to survey the multiple uses of foundling plots and their implications for the English Renaissance. Describing why the period produced so many stories about children without a childhood and how the plots appeal to so many Renaissance writers, Barbara L. Estrin opens this study with three chapters that discuss classical, biblical, and contemporary sources. She then analyzes works by Malory, Spenser, Sidney and Shakespeare.

As a literary formula the theme offers several possible worlds--in the lost interlude an occasion to affirm the mimetic family and praise art; in the necessary finding an opportunity to rejoice in the dynastic future and praise nature. The Raven and the Lark isolates the foundling theme in the major literature of the Renaissance and defines how writers used it both as a frame for narrative direction and a vehicle for poetic exploration.

About the author:

Barbara L. Estrin is Associate Professor of English at Stonehill College.

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