[Footnote: George Eliot's 'Romola' gives one of the best pictures of the spirit of the Renaissance in Italy. Tennyson's 'Queen Mary,' though it is weak as a drama, presents clearly some of the conditions of the Reformation period in England.]
THE RENAISSANCE. The fifteenth and sixteenth centuries are the period of the European Renaissance or New Birth, one of the three or four great transforming movements of European history. This impulse by which the medieval society of scholasticism, feudalism, and chivalry was to be made over into what we call the modern world came first from Italy.