Andrew Marvell is one of the greatest English lyric poets of the seventeenth century and one of its leading polemicists. This Companion brings a set of fresh questions and perspectives to bear on the varied career and diverse writings of a remarkable writer and elusive man. Drawing on important new editions of Marvell's poetry and of his prose, scholars of both history and literature examine Marvell's work in the contexts of Restoration politics and religion, and of the seventeenth-century publishing world in both manuscript and print. The essays, individually and collectively, address Marvell within his literary and cultural traditions and communities; his almost prescient sense of the economy and ecology of the country; his interest in visual arts and architecture; his opaque political and spiritual identities; his manners in controversy and polemic; the character of his erotic and transgressive imagination and his biography, still full of intriguing gaps.
This volume offers an account of English literary culture in one of its most volatile and politically engaged moments. From the work of Milton and Marvell in the 1650s and 1660s through the brilliant careers of Dryden, Rochester, and Behn, Locke and Astell, Swift and Defoe, Pope and Montagu, the pressures and extremes of social, political, and sexual experience are everywhere reflected in literary texts: in the daring lyrics and intricate political allegories of this age, in the vitriol and bristling topicality of its satires as well as in the imaginative flight of its mock epics, fictions, and heroic verse. The volume's chronologies and select bibliographies will guide the reader through texts and events, while the fourteen essays commissioned for this Companion will allow us to read the period anew.
John Dryden, Poet Laureate to Charles II and James II, was one of the great literary figures of the late seventeenth century. This Companion provides a fresh look at Dryden's tactics and triumphs in negotiating the extraordinary political and cultural revolutions of his time. The newly commissioned essays introduce readers to the full range of his work as a poet, as a writer of innovative plays and operas, as a purveyor of contemporary notions of empire, and most of all as a man intimate with the opportunities of aristocratic patronage as well as the emerging market for literary gossip, slander and polemic. Dryden's works are examined in the context of seventeenth-century politics, publishing and ideas of authorship. A valuable resource for students and scholars, the Companion includes a full chronology of Dryden's life and times and a detailed guide to further reading.
John Wilmot, second Earl of Rochester (1647-1680), the notorious and brilliant libertine poet of King Charles II's court, has long been considered an embodiment of the Restoration era. This interdisciplinary collection of essays by leading scholars focuses new attention on, and brings fresh perspectives to, the writings of Lord Rochester. Particular consideration is given to the political force and social identity of Rochester's work, to the worlds - courtly and theatrical, urban and suburban - from which Rochester's poetry emerged and which it discloses, and not least to the unsettling aesthetic power of Rochester's writing. The singularity of Rochester's voice - his 'matchless wit' - has been widely recognised; this book encourages the continued appreciation of all the ways in which Rochester reveals the layered and promiscuous character of literary projects throughout the whole of a brilliant, abrasive, and miscellaneous age.