Andrew Marvell (1621-78) produced a comparatively small but quite exceptional body of verse. Marvell was little known as a poet in his own time, and was best known as a patriotic politician and champion of religious toleration. Marvells reputation as a perennially interesting poet has grown consistently over the last century, as readers have acclaimed not only his technical excellence, but also the appeal of his verse to a number of themes, such as poetry and politics, ecology and alternative sexualities.
This new edition presents an authoritative text of Marvells poetry together with the fullest account yet published of matters of dating, publication, historical context, sources and critical reception, contained in a headnote for each poem. The annotations record in unprecedented detail word definitions, literary, philosophical and theological analogues and allusions, and address local points of interpretation, making use of the many hundreds of publications devoted to Marvells life and works. Marvells canon is reappraised: some poems considered dubious hitherto are added, and others excluded. Nigel Smiths edition is the first complete, annotated edition of Andrew Marvells verse for thirty years and as such is an indispensable guide to the study of Marvells poetry.
Nigel Smith is a Professor of English at Princeton University. He is the author of Perfection Proclaimed: Language and Literature in English Radical Religion, 1640-1660 (OUP, 1989) and Literature and Revolution in England, 1640-1660 (Yale UP, 1994).
Note by the General EditorsIntroductionAcknowledgementsList of IllustrationsAbbreviationsJournal AbbreviationsChronological Table of Marvell's Life and Chief PublicationsPoemsPoems Published in Print Before 1650Miscellaneous Poems (1681)The Mower PoemsAmbassador from the Protector to the Queen of SwedenThe Advice-to-a-Painter and Associated PoemsVerse Satires from the 1670sAppendicesBibliography of References CitedIndex of Titles and First Lines
Professor Nigel Smith is Head of English at Princeton University and regularly writes and broadcasts about 17th century literature.
' (Nigel Smith's) substantial commentary combines an alertness to the patterns of Marvell's language and style with some incisive observations on the relationship of the process to their historical context... for anyone wanting to know the poems well, this book will be, for decades to come, the one to use. ' "Blair Worden, The Sunday Telegraph, August 31st 2003." '...everywhere here [the student] will discover possible arguments, disagreements and refinements. They...will be properly grateful to an editor who has devoted years of careful and learned labour to this edition.' "London Review of Books 23 October 2003." '...detailed notes and careful annotations are of high order and form a scholarship fo which any editor and publisher can be justly proud.' "Contemporary Review Volume 285 July 2004" 'His commentary is in many ways the best available on Marvell.' 'On sources, Smith is highly informative...' "TLS December 12 2003"