Tag Archives: Christopher Marlowe

On the KJV’s impact on the English language, post #2–Lynne Long

Rebuilt Globe Theatre, London

Continued from “On the KJV’s impact on the English language, post #1

Lynne Long, Translating the Bible, from the 7th to the 17th Century

Long’s thesis seems to be that when the King James Version came along, there had been a century of dull literary production in English (C S Lewis’s “drab age”), and that the King James Version was itself part of a major literary revival.

During the 1500s, says Long, “Biblical scholarship improved” in the English language, as versions such as Tyndale’s, the Geneva, and the Rheims New Testament emerged. However, up until the last quarter of the century, “creativity in the English language was not so evident.” “Prose written in what has been termed ‘the drab age’ was ‘clumsy, monotonous, garrulous’, C. S. Lewis tells us; ‘all the authors write like elderly men.” (185) But suddenly, with the onset of the 1580s, a literary revival burst upon the English scene. Continue reading