Carew, Thomas

Carew, Thomas,

1595?–1639?, English author, one of the Cavalier poetsCavalier poets,
a group of English poets associated with Charles I and his exiled son. Most of their work was done between c.1637 and 1660. Their poetry embodied the life and culture of upper-class, pre-Commonwealth England, mixing sophistication with naïveté,
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. Educated at Merton College, Oxford, he had a short diplomatic career on the Continent, then returned to England and became a favorite of Charles I and a court official. He is best known for his courtly, amorous lyrics, such as "Ask me no more where Jove bestows" and "He that loves a rosy cheek," but of equal importance are his "Elegy on the Death of Dr. Donne," and the highly erotic poem, "A Rapture." In his use of metaphysical and classical material, he shows the influence of both John Donne and Ben Jonson.


See ed. of his works by R. Dunlap (1949); study by E. I. Selig (1958, repr. 1970).

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By reading texts by Thomas Carew, Thomas Lodge, Samuel Daniel, Philip Sidney, and William Davenant, Scodel argues that erotic passion or obsession was constructed as a noble or aristocratic mode of behaviour, superior to and distinct from the ideal of moderation in love and marriage which, these writings suggest, the masses were constrained to pursue.