This is the first book-length history of the range of seventeenth-century English prose writing. Roger Pooley's study begins with narrative, ranging from the fiction of Bunyan and Aphra Behn to the biographical and autobiographical work of Aubrey and Pepys. Further sections consider religious prose from the hugely influential Authorised Version to Donne's sermons, the political writing of figures as diverse as Milton, Hobbes, Locke and Marvell, cornucopian texts and the writings of the new scientists from Bacon to Newton. At a time when the boundaries of the `canon' are being increasingly revised, this is not only a major survey of a series of great works of literature, but also a fascinating social history and a guide to understanding the literature of the period as a whole.
Part 1: the character of Jacobean kingship, 1603-25. Part 2: the scientific milieu; biography - Sir Kenelm Digby. Postscript Chronology General bibliographies Individual authors. Notes on biography, major works and criticism. Index.