Andrew Marvell: A Literary Life by Matthew Augustine
This book provides an accessible account of the poet and politician Andrew Marvell's life (1621-1678) and of the great events which found reflection in his work and in which he and his writings eventually played a part. At the same time, considerable space is afforded to reflecting deeply on the modes and meanings of Marvell's art, redressing the balance of recent biography and criticism which has tended to dwell on the public and political aspects of this literary life at the expense of lyric invention and lyric possibility. Moving beyond the familiar terms of imitation and influence, the book aims at reconstructing an embodied history of reading and writing, acts undertaken within a series of complex physical and social environments, from the Hull Charterhouse to the coffee houses and print shops of Restoration London. Care has been taken to cover the whole of Marvell's career, in verse and prose, even as the book places the lyric achievement at the centre of its vision.