The Modest Ambition of Andrew Marvell: A Study of Marvell and His Relation to Lovelace, Fairfax, Cromwell, and Milton

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University of Delaware Press, 1995 - Biography & Autobiography - 216 pages
The Modest Ambition of Andrew Marvell deals with the specific historical presences and pressures that led Marvell to devise his defenses of Richard Lovelace, Oliver Cromwell, Thomas Fairfax, and John Milton. It also focuses on the poetic or formal response that Marvell makes to historical fact, not only in the strategies of his language, but also in the perceptible adjustments such strategies signal for his self-appointed role as poet-apologist.
Marvell's evolving notion of his own role as poet is exhibited through his "reformation" of certain images in which an ultimate consistent development emerges that culminates in not just his rejection of what may be called the Edenic impulse, but a denial of its authenticity as such and an endorsement of destined progression. Both his occasional and thematic poetry may be seen for the most part as a response to the regicide, to the Interregnum, and perhaps most important, to his associations with four major figures of the time - Lovelace, Fairfax, Cromwell, and Milton.
 

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Contents

Our times are much degenerate Marvells Early Life his Friendship with Lovelace and his Allegiances
18
I have a Garden of my own Marvells Poetic Direction
42
Twas no Religious House till now Marvell and the Retired Life with Fairfax
56
Mine own Precipice I go Marvell and the Active Life
75
Cromwell alone Marvell as Cromwells Poet
92
Angelique Cromwell Angel of our Commonweal the Raised Leader and the Fallen Populace
108
Spectators vain the Death of Cromwell
138
That Majesty which through thy Work doth Reign Marvell and Milton
159
Notes
184
Bibliography
206
Index
213
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About the author (1995)

Patsy Griffin is an assistant professor of English at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Ga.

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