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Derek HirstNorbrook's central premise is that what we call 'literature' cannot be segregated from the political conexts in which it is embedded and with which it is always in some way engaged.
— London Review of Books
This magisterial new history of seventeenth-century republican political culture sets key texts by Marvell and Milton in a richly detailed context, showing how writers reimagined English literary culture without kingship. The book draws on extensive archival research, bringing to light exciting and neglected manuscript and printed sources. Offering a bold new narrative of the whole period, and a timely reminder that England has a republican as well as a royalist heritage, it will be of compelling interest to historians as well as literary scholars.
Introduction; 1. Lucan and the poetry of civil war; 2. The King's peace and the people's war, 1630–43; 3. Rhetoric, Republicanism and the public sphere: Marten, Waller, and Milton, 1641–44; 4. Uncivil peace: politics and literary culture 1645–49; 5. Poetry and the Commonwealth, 1649–53; 6. Double names: Marvell and the Commonwealth; 7. King Oliver? Protectoral Augustanism and its critics, 1653–58; 8. Republicanizing Cromwell; 9. Culture and anarchy? The revival and eclipse of Republicanism, 1658–60; 10. Paradise Lost and English Republicanism; Appendix.