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A prose romance by Lyly, of which the first part, Euphues: The Anatomy of Wit, was published in 1578, and the second, Euphues and His England, 1580. The plot of each is very slender and little but a peg on which to hang discourses, conversations, and letters, mainly on the subject of love. The work is largely based on North's Diall of Princes.

Euphues is famous for its peculiar style, to which it has given the name ‘Euphuism’. Its principal characteristics are the excessive use of antithesis, which is pursued regardless of sense, and emphasized by alliteration and other devices; and of allusions to historical and mythological personages and to natural history drawn from such writers as Plutarch, Pliny, and Erasmus. Sir W. Scott satirized Euphuism in the character of Sir Piercie Shafton in The Monastery and C. Kingsley defended Euphues in Westward Ho!

Subjects: Literature.

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John Lyly (c. 1554—1606) writer and playwright