E. M. W. Tillyard

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Eustace Mandeville Wetenhall Tillyard (1889–1962) was a British classical scholar and literary scholar. He was a Fellow in English (1926–1959) at Jesus College, later becoming Master (1945–1959). He is known mainly for his book The Elizabethan World Picture (1942), as background to Elizabethan literature, particularly Shakespeare, and for his works on John Milton. He is credited with having put forward the view that Elizabethan literature is not representative of "a brief period of humanism between two outbreaks of Protestantism" (viz., the English Reformation and the Thirty Years' War), but rather representative of a theological bond in England that allowed for a continuation of the medieval view of World Order. His historical scholarship and contextual analysis informed the study of sixteenth-century literature and became the foundation for much of what Cambridge undergraduates would study in preparation for their examinations.


  • The Athenian empire and the great illusion (1914)
  • The Hope vases: a catalogue and a discussion of the Hope collection of Greek vases with an introduction on the history of the collection and on late Attic and south Italian vases (1923)
  • Lamb's Criticism. A Selection from the Literary Criticism of Charles Lamb (1923)
  • The Personal Heresy: A Controversy (1939) with C. S. Lewis
  • The Elizabethan World Picture: A Study of the Idea of Order in the age of Shakespeare, Donne & Milton (1942)
  • Published by Pelican Book: The Elizabethan World Picture, 1972 and later prints.
  • Shakespeare's history plays (1944)
  • Milton (1946)
  • The Miltonic Setting: Past and Present (1947)
  • Poetry and Its background: Illustrated By Five Poems 1470-1870 (1948)
  • Shakespeare's problem plays. Chatto and Windus, London 1949.
  • The English Renaissance, Fact Or Fiction? (1952)
  • The Nature of Comedy and Shakespeare (1958)
  • The Epic Strain in the English Novel (1958)
  • Poetry Direct and Oblique (1959) Chatto & Windus
  • The Muse Unchained: An Intimate Account of the Revolution in English Studies at Cambridge (1958)
  • Myth and the English Mind (originally Some Mythical Elements in English Literature) The Clark Lectures (1959-1960)
  • Essays Literary & Educational (1962)
  • Comus & Some Shorter Poems Of Milton (1967) with Phyllis B. Tillyard
  • Shakespeare's Early Comedies

See also[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Wynfrid Laurence Henry Duckworth
Master of Jesus College, Cambridge
1945 - 1959
Succeeded by
Sir Denys Page