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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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Marvell and the End of Court Culture, 1648–1649

Marvell and the End of Court Culture, 1648–1649

(p.155) 4 Marvell and the End of Court Culture, 1648–1649
Poetry and Allegiance in the English Civil Wars

Nicholas Mcdowell

Oxford University Press

This chapter sets Marvell's two of published occasional poems of 1648–9 in the context of the literary community around Stanley in London. The first section examines John Hall's career as a Parliamentarian propagandist and shows how he followed Milton in seeking to convince his literary friends to support a royalist–Independent alliance against the Presbyterians. The second section reads Marvell's An Elegy Upon the Death of My Lord Francis Villiers as concerned with similar themes of Lovelace's post-war verse––the destruction of court culture and the future for poetry and wit in a Puritan society. The third section is the most extensive interpretation to date of Marvell's verse epistle ‘To His Noble Friend Mr Richard Lovelace’, a poem which brings together central themes of the previous chapters and reveals Marvell's allegiance to the cause of wit above the defeated cause of the king.

Keywords:   Marvell, Richard Lovelace, John Hall, court culture, wit, poetry, Presbyterians, Puritanism, literary community

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