Literature and Politics in Cromwellian England: John Milton, Andrew Marvell, Marchamont Nedham / Edition 2

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Overview


In this book a pre-eminent historian of Cromwellian England takes a fresh approach to the literary biography of the two great poets of the Puritan Revolution, John Milton and Andrew Marvell. Blair Worden reconstructs the political contexts within which Milton and Marvell wrote, and reassesses their writings against the background of volatile and dramatic changes of public mood and circumstance. Two figures are shown to have been prominent in their minds. First there is Oliver Cromwell, on whose character and decisions the future of the Puritan Revolution and of the nation rested, and whose ascent the two writers traced and assessed, in both cases with an acute ambivalence. The second is Marchamont Nedham, the pioneering journalist of the civil wars, a close friend of Milton and a man whose writings prove to be intimately linked to Marvell's. The high achievements of Milton and Marvell are shown to belong to world of pressing political debate which Nedham's ephemeral publications helped to shape. The book follows Marvell's transition from royalism to Cromwellianism. In Milton's case we explore the profound effect on his outlook brought by the execution of King Charles I in 1649; his difficult and disillusioning relationship with the successive regimes of the Interregnum; and his attempt to come to terms, in his immortal poetry of the Restoration, with the failure of Puritan rule.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Our understanding of Milton, Marvell and Nedham is quite simply transformed by Worden's brilliance as a reader of their texts and by his extraordinary ability to use their connections and divergences one with another and with a wider group of kindred spirits.... The cover hails Worden as 'the pre-eminent historian of Crowellian England'. This book secures that reputation."--John Morrill, BBC History Magazine

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199230822
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/15/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 456
  • Sales rank: 962,815
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents


List of Illustrations     xiii
Abbreviations     xiv
Introduction     1
Nedham     14
Milton and Nedham     31
Marvell and Nedham     54
Marvell in 1650     82
Marvell and the Ambassadors     116
Marvell and the First Anniversary     137
Milton and the Civil Wars     154
Milton and the New Order     180
Milton in Journalism     195
Milton and the Commonwealth     218
Milton and Cromwell     241
Milton's Second Defence     262
Milton and the Protectorate     289
Milton and the Good Old Cause     326
Milton and Samson Agonistes     358
Milton and the Fall of England     384
Marvell and the Embassy of 1651     399
Milton and Cromwell's Advisers     405
The Composition of Milton's History of Britain     410
List of Works Cited     427
Index     443
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