• Robert R. Rusk


From the composition of Quintilian’s Institutes in A.D. 92–95 to the rediscovery of the complete text in 1416 during the later phase of the renaissance it was the Church that kept learning alive. There was a minor renaissance in the twelfth century, and thereafter the universities — the offspring of the Church — assumed the main burden of preserving and advancing culture. The renaissance itself was a gradual movement, not a sudden rebirth, as the traditional view assumed.2 Originating in Northern Italy it was assimilated, as it advanced northwards, to the climate — physical, cultural, social and political — of the countries affected by it. While in Italy it took a literary and aesthetic turn; in Northern Europe it was ethical and religious; in England it was partly political, but mainly educational, as we find in More’s Utopia, Elyot’s Governour and Ascham’s The Scholemaster.


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  1. 2.
    Cf. L. E. Elliot-Binns, England and the New Learning (London: The Lutterworth Press, 1937), p. 10.Google Scholar
  2. E. M. W. Tillyard, The English Renaissance: Fact or Fiction (London: The Hogarth Press, 1952).Google Scholar
  3. 1.
    W. H. Woodward, Studies in Education during the Age of the Renaissance (Cambridge University Press, 1906), p. 272.Google Scholar
  4. 2.
    The Boke named The Governour, devised by Sir Thomas Elyot, Knight. Edited from the first edition of 1531 by Henry Herbert Stephen Croft. Also Everyman’s Library (London, J. M. Dent & Co., 1907), with an Introduction by Foster Watson, and new edition, 1963 — the only edition with modernised spelling and punctuation. All references in this chapter not otherwise indicated are to the earlier Everyman edition.Google Scholar
  5. 1.
    Roger Ascham, The Scholemaster, edited by Edward Arber (Westminster: A. Constable & Co., 1903). (Written 1563–8 and posthumously published in 1570.)Google Scholar
  6. 1.
    Sir Thomas Elyot’s The Defence of Good Women. Edited by Edwin Johnston Howard (Oxford, Ohio: The Anchor Press, 1940).Google Scholar

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© R. R. Rusk 1969

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