Andrew Marvell

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Marvell, Andrew

(mär`vəl), 1621–78, one of the English metaphysical poetsmetaphysical poets,
name given to a group of English lyric poets of the 17th cent. The term was first used by Samuel Johnson (1744). The hallmark of their poetry is the metaphysical conceit (a figure of speech that employs unusual and paradoxical images), a reliance on
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. Educated at Cambridge, he worked as a clerk, traveled abroad, and returned to serve as tutor to Lord Fairfax's daughter in Yorkshire. In 1657 he was appointed John Milton's assistant in the Latin secretaryship, and in 1659 he was elected to Parliament, where he served until his death. He was one of the chief wits and satirists of his time as well as being a Puritan and a public defender of individual liberty. Today, however, he is known chiefly for his brilliant lyric poetry, which includes "The Garden," "The Definition of Love," "Bermudas," and "To His Coy Mistress," and for his "Horatian Ode" to Cromwell.


See his poems and letters edited by H. M. Margoliouth (2d ed. 1952); biographies by V. Sackville-West (1929, repr. 1971), J. D. Hunt (1978), N. Murray (2000), and N. Smith (2011); studies by H. E. Toliver (1965), P. Legouis (rev. ed. 1966), J. M. Wallace (1969), D. M. Friedman (1970), R. L. Colie (1971), K. Friedenreich, ed. (1977), E. S. Donno, ed. (1978).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Marvell, Andrew


Born Mar. 31, 1621, in Winestead, Yorkshire; died Aug. 16, 1678, in London. English poet.

During the English civil war, Marvell was a supporter of O. Cromwell. He was a friend and admirer of J. Milton. Initially influenced by the metaphysical school, Marvell later became one of the best English lyric poets. He eventually adopted the classical style. The poet’s republican odes and caustic satires attacking Charles II and his ministers during the Restoration are particularly well known.


Complete Works, vols. 1-4. 1872-75.
Poems and Letters, vols. 1-2. Oxford, 1952.
The Poems. London [1963].


Istoriia angliiskoi literatury, vol. 1, issue 2. Moscow, 1945. Pages 171-73.
Eliot, T. S. “Andrew Marvell.” In Selected Essays, 3rd ed. London, 1958.
Marvell: Modern Judgements. Edited by M. Wilding [London, 1969]. (Bibliography on pp. 285-88.)
Andrew Marvell: A Critical Anthology. Harmondsworth [1969]. (Bibliography on pp. 329-30.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
"My Ecchoing Song:" Andrew Marvell's Poetry of Criticism.
The Life and Lyrics of Andrew Marvell. London: Macmillan, 1979.
"'Speculatory Ingenuity': Painting, Writing, and Andrew Marvell's 'Last Instructions to a Painter'" traces how the fashionable arts of painting and drawing manuals in the seventeenth century were the natural "result of manual dexterity enabled and extended by precision instruments common to mathematics, navigation, mensuration, military strategy, architecture, empirical science--and drawing" (101).
As its title forecasts, Acheson's first chapter, "SPACE: 'The description of the worlde': Military, Horticultural, and Technical Illustration and Andrew Marvell's Gardens," brings together a set of illustrations that would seem to be unrelated.
L'Estrange's justified fears of subversive scribal publications, in particular the potency of the polemical sting generated by the literary opposition centred around Andrew Marvell, is demonstrated in Martin Dzelzainis's re-contextualisation of a Bodleian manuscript (MS Gough 14) version of the satirical Directions to a Painter.
faces of six volunteers from the English department and six from the Science department who all read Bright Star by John Keats and To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell.
With Professor Ellrodt's gracious permission, we reproduce Eliot's letter, followed by the imitations of John Donne, George Herbert, Henry Vaughan, John Milton, a Cavalier poet writing in a "metaphysical vein," and Andrew Marvell. Finally, we add a number of original poems, recently composed in English, beginning with "Mont Blanc 2008" and culminating with a recent poem to his wife Suzanne, which provide a sense of Robert Ellrodt's inspiration personnelle as a poet.
The Stuart court, of course, spawned varieties of royalism, and Malcolm Smuts expertly explores these, while Blair Worden looks at royalism in the writings of Andrew Marvell. The volume also incorporates the twin pillars of royalist study, Barbara Donagan and Ian Roy, on the varieties of royalism and royalist reputations, respectively.
Equally interesting (and culturally fascinating) is Rosenblatt's chapter on the fiercely antagonistic book war between Andrew Marvell and Samuel Parker, in which the conservative Parker makes (unacknowledged) use of Selden's opinions on Christ as a Jewish zealot, a position infuriating to Marvell, who is ignorant of rabbinic traditions.
One of the oldest unsolved problems of literary and revolutionary history is defining the subtle but undeniable gap between John Milton's and Andrew Marvell's politics.
Ranging through Andrew Marvell, Ann Finch's 'Upon the Hurricane' (1703), James Thomson's The Seasons (1726-30), and culminating in Erasmus Darwin's The Botanic Garden (1791), the essay documents and anticipates changing sensibilities in a wide-ranging survey that reveals much on the poetics of scientific discovery.