Introduction: Herrick’s Communities of Manuscript and Print
This introduction draws on new research carried out for the forthcoming edition of his poems to recount Herrick's biography, the early history of his poetic career and the printing history of Herrick's volume, Hesperides. It argues that Earl Miner's influential description of Herrick as a ‘Cavalier poet’ is too narrow a label to encompass a poet whose earliest datable poem is from 1611. However, the lenses of ‘community’ and ‘conviviality’, which draw on the current interest in early modern sociability and the socio-literary contexts in which poetry is produced, offer greater scope for critical investigations of Herrick's work beginning with the relationship of Hesperides to the manuscript verse miscellanies in which Herrick's poetry first circulated and its resonances both for its readers and for the partisan royalist publishers, printers, and booksellers who produced Herrick's volume.
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