1st Edition

Royalists and Royalism in 17th-Century Literature Exploring Abraham Cowley

By Philip Major Copyright 2020
    294 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    294 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    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


    1 Abraham Cowley and Print: Paratexts and Contexts

    Robert Wilcher


    2 Laurels for the Conquered: Cowley, Epic, and History

    Warren Chernaik


    3 Generic Dialogue and the Sublime in Cowley: Epic, Didactic, Pindaric

    Philip Hardie


    4 Cowley’s Epic Experiments

    Maggie Kilgour


    5 Abraham Cowley and the English literary canon

    Gail Mobley

    6 Abraham Cowley’s 1656 Poems: Form and Context

    Victoria Moul


    7 The Fruits of Retirement: Political Engagement in the Plantarum Libri Sex

    Caroline Spearing


    8 Sacred and Secular in Cowley’s Essays

    Philip Major


    9 ‘An Old and unfashionable building’: Cowley’s dramatic writing and rewriting

    Stephania Crowther


    10 ‘The Pindarick Way’: Cowley’s Pindarics and the English Libretto

    Isaac Harrison Louth


    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.