Author of plays, love-lyrics, essays and, among other works, The Civil War, the Davideis and the Pindarique Odes, Abraham Cowley made a deep impression on seventeenth-century letters, attested by his extravagant funeral and his burial next to Chaucer and Spenser in Westminster Abbey. Ejected from Cambridge for his politics, he found refuge in royalist Oxford before seeing long service as secretary to Queen Henrietta Maria, and as a Crown agent, on the continent. In the mid-1650s he returned to England, was imprisoned and made an accommodation with the Cromwellian regime. This volume of essays provides the modern critical attention Cowley’s life and writings merit.
Philip Major is the author of Writings of Exile in the English Revolution and Restoration (Routledge, 2013). He has edited collections of essays on the literature of seventeenth-century exile, Thomas Killigrew, John Denham, Clarendon, and (with Andrew Hopper) Thomas Fairfax. He has also written a number of articles and chapters on seventeenth-century literature.