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Milton's AngelsThe Early-Modern Imagination$
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Joad Raymond

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199560509

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199560509.001.0001

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Look Homeward Angel: Angelic Guardianship and Nationhood

Look Homeward Angel: Angelic Guardianship and Nationhood

Chapter:
(p.229) 9 Look Homeward Angel: Angelic Guardianship and Nationhood
Source:
Milton's Angels
Author(s):

Raymond Joad

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199560509.003.0009

The poems presented here by Abraham Cowley, John Milton, Andrew Marvell, and George Wither are all state-of-the-nation poems that invoke the presence of national angels. Milton and Wither raise questions about the relationship between the islands and the kingdom. Cowley's Cromwell, driven by an evil angel, retorts to Marvell's ‘Angelic Cromwell’. Marvell may have known Wither's poem, and also Wither's later poem on Cromwell's riding accident, which construes a complex and qualified mode of praise. All of these writings are rooted in an account of the nature and offices of angels that was common in early modern Britain. And all engage in a dialogue that is founded upon a sense of the imaginative possibilities of angels.

Keywords:   Angelic guardianship, Christian angel, St Michael's mount, Abraham Cowley, Marvell, George Wither, Andrew Marvell

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