1st Edition

Seventeenth - Century Poetry The Social Context

By Graham Parry Copyright 1985
    258 Pages
    by Routledge

    First published in 1985, Seventeenth-Century Poetry considers the way the poetry of the major seventeenth-century writers functioned in a social context: how it grew out of the poets’ social circumstances and ambitions, enhance their relationships with friends and patrons, how it proposed ideals of conduct and the good life. In the case of religious verse, the poetry is read within its devotional context, which in turn is related to the fortunes of the Church of England in Stuart and Commonwealth times. The book also pays serious attention to the millenarian strain which ran through religious poetry at this time.

    Graham Parry has selected nine poets, both well and lesser known: Jonson, Donne, Herrick, Milton, Herbert, Crashaw, Vaughan, Traherne and Marvell. For each, he considers individual volumes of poetry as they originally appeared and by analysing their structure and layout, as well as the content of the poems, he shows us what effects the poets aim to produce on their audience. In bypassing conventional groupings of seventeenth-century poets, and in emphasising the historical and social context in which they wrote, the author provides students with a fresh and illuminating perspective on their work. This is a must read for students and scholars of English literature.

    Introduction A Note on the Texts 1. Ben Johnson: Britain’s Roman Poet 2. John Donne: Patronage, Friendship and Love 3. George Herbert and the Temple of Anglicanism 4. Henry Vaughan: Social Darkness, Spiritual Light 5. Thomas Traherne: The Accessible Eden 6. The Devotional Adventures of Richard Crashaw 7. Robert Herrick and the Ceremonies of Innocence 8. The Caroline Milton 9. Andrew Marvell and Providential History Recommended Reading Index




    Professor Graham Parry is with Department of English and Related Literature, University of York.