Marvell's Ambivalence

Marvell's Ambivalence

Religion and the Politics of Imagination in mid-seventeenth century England

Takashi Yoshinaka





A fresh reading of Marvell's most important works, exploring the variety and complexity of his approaches to contemporary religious and political events.
Andrew Marvell's celebrated poetic ambivalence to the philosophical, political and religious controversies of mid-seventeenth century England is the subject of this book, which includes major new historical readings of his most important lyrics and political verse, incorporating material from hitherto unpublished contemporary manuscripts. It places the poetic imagination of Marvell and his contemporaries - such as John Milton, Henry Vaughan, Abraham Cowley, Margaret Cavendish, William Davenant, and Thomas Fairfax - into the context of the turbulent public events of the time; and demonstrates Marvell's hitherto unnoticed connection with the liberal, rational and sceptical thinkers associated with the Great Tew circle. It also argues that Marvell's "middle way" in theology is bound up with his ambivalence towards the Calvinist God.

Takashi Yoshinaka took his D.Phil. at the University of Oxford, and is Professor of English in the Graduate School of Letters, Hiroshima University.


May 2011
5 black and white illustrations
340 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Studies in Renaissance Literature
ISBN: 9781843842651
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Share on Facebook   Share on Twitter   Pin it   Share by Email

Table of Contents

Introduction: Providential Theology and Andrew Marvell
The Political Use and Abuse of 'Providence' in the Mid-Seventeenth Century
Judgment Hard: Andrew Marvell and Seventeenth-Century Scepticism
Destiny and Choice in Marvell's 'An Horatian Ode upon Cromwell's Return from Ireland'
The Meadow and The Woods: Providence, Chance, and Free Will in Marvell's 'Upon Appleton House'
The Sundial and the Bee: A Philosophical and Political Reading of the Final Stanza of Marvell's 'The Garden'
A Dialogue between the Puritan and the Royalist: Who is the Speaker of Marvell's 'To His Coy Mistress'?
'(Perhaps)' in Marvell's 'Bermudas'
Conclusion: Marvell's Silver Wings and the Marvel of Peru
Select Bibliography


Students of Marvell will want to have Marvell's Ambivalence near to hand.its apparatus is magisterial. ANDREW MARVELL NEWSLETTER, vol. 4, no. 2, Winter 2012

Offers a fresh perspective on Andrew Marvell's famous poetic ambiguity. (...) Recommended. CHOICE

Also in Series