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

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This book, by the pre-eminent historian of Cromwellian England, offers a fresh approach to the political lives of the two great poets of the Puritan Revolution, John Milton and Andrew Marvell. Blair Worden shows how differently their writing reads when its involvement in epochal events is historically reconstructed. We trace the responses of the two men to the execution of King Charles I; to the experience, unique in English history, of republican government; to the failure of that experiment; and to the rule of Oliver Cromwell, whose ascent, at the expense of king and parliament alike, inspired ambivalent sentiment in Milton and Marvell. Both authors underwent intensely felt changes of allegiance between the regicide and the Restoration. First we follow Marvell's gradual and painful transition from royalism to Cromwellianism. Then we examine Milton's entry into politics under the Commonwealth and the revisions of his perspective that followed it. We watch his difficult and disillusioning relationships with the successive regimes of the Interregnum, and view his engagement, in immortal poetry, with the collapse of Puritan rule. Our third author is Marvell's and Milton's common literary partner, and their colleague in government service at Whitehall, the political thinker and pioneering journalist Marchamont Nedham, whose writing shares and illuminates the preoccupation of the two more famous writers with the debates and dilemmas of that volatile era.

About the Author:
Blair Worden is Professor of History at Royal Holloway College London

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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
  • 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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