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Poetry and Allegiance in the English Civil WarsMarvell and the Cause of Wit$
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Nicholas McDowell

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199278008

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199278008.001.0001

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Richard Lovelace and the End of Court Culture, 1647–1649

Richard Lovelace and the End of Court Culture, 1647–1649

(p.112) 3 Richard Lovelace and the End of Court Culture, 1647–1649
Poetry and Allegiance in the English Civil Wars

Nicholas Mcdowell

Oxford University Press

Richard Lovelace is the best-known ‘Cavalier’ poet. He was a relative and close friend of Thomas Stanley; he was friends with both John Hall and Marvell. This chapter offers a revisionist interpretation of several of his most acclaimed lyric poems, including ‘The Grasshopper’, by placing them in the context of royalist disillusionment in the aftermath of the king's defeat but also of the cultural activities of the Stanley circle. These readings of Lovelace's verse show how his post-war lyrics dwell on the collapse of Stuart court culture and patronage. Lovelace looks rather to a recreation of the sort of literary circle over which Ben Jonson presided in pre-war London for the preservation of literary values against what he perceives as Puritan philistinism.

Keywords:   Richard Lovelace, John Hall, Ben Jonson, Cavaliers, royalism, court culture, drink, friendship, patronage

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