Andrew Marvell

Andrew Marvell (mär´vəl), 1621–78, one of the English metaphysical poets. 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).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Andrew Marvell: Selected full-text books and articles

Andrew Marvell By V. Sackville-West Faber & Faber, 1929
The Poems & Letters of Andrew Marvell By Andrew Marvell; H. M. Margoliouth Clarendon Press, vol.1, 1927
Librarian’s tip: Includes "To His Coy Mistress" and "An Horation Ode Upon Cromwell's Return From Ireland"
Andrew Marvell, the Critical Heritage By Elizabeth Story Donno Routledge, 1995
Andrew Marvell By John Press Longmans, Green, 1958
John Donne and the Seventeenth-Century Metaphysical Poets By Harold Bloom Chelsea House, 1986
Librarian’s tip: "Marvell's Songs of Innocence and Experience" begins on p. 163
Metaphysical to Augustan: Studies in Tone and Sensibility in the Seventeenth Century By Geoffrey Walton Bowes & Bowes, 1955
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "The Poetry of Andrew Marvell"
English Lyric Poetry: The Early Seventeenth Century By Jonathan F. S. Post Routledge, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 9 "Andrew Marvell: Here at the Fountain¿s Sliding Foot"
The Image of Manhood in Early Modern Literature: Viewing the Male By Andrew P. Williams Greenwood Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Includes "A Garden of Desire, A Meadow of Decay: Masculine Identity Crisis in Marvell's Mower Power"
Puritanism and Revolution: Studies in Interpretation of the English Revolution of the 17th Century By Christopher Hill Secker & Warburg, 1958
Librarian’s tip: Includes "Society and Andrew Marvell"
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