Edmund Waller

Edmund Waller, 1606–87, English poet. He studied at Eton and Cambridge and became a prominent speaker in Parliament at a young age. He married twice (1631 and 1644), but his early poems are addressed to "Sacharissa," Lady Dorothy Sidney, who refused to marry him. Although at first an antiroyalist, he later supported Charles I against Parliament and conceived "Waller's plot" (1643) to secure the city of London for the king. The plot was discovered, and Waller was fined and banished. He was pardoned in 1651 and after the Restoration was again in Parliament, where he served until his death. His verse is noted for its smoothness and polish, but aside from a few amatory poems his importance rests on his contributions in style, most notably the development of the heroic couplet. The first collection of his works appeared in 1645 and immediately went through several editions. His best-known lyrics are "Go, Lovely Rose" and "On a Girdle."

See his poems ed. by G. T. Drury (1893, repr. 1968); A. W. Allison, Toward an Augustan Poetic (1962).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Edmund Waller: Selected full-text books and articles

Toward an Augustan Poetic: Edmund Waller's 'Reform' of English Poetry By Alexander Ward Allison University of Kentucky Press, 1962
Humor in British Literature, from the Middle Ages to the Restoration: A Reference Guide By Don L. E. Nilsen Greenwood Press, 1997
Librarian’s tip: "Edmund Waller (1606-1687)" begins on p. 176
A History of English Literature By Emile Legouis; Louis Cazamian; Helen Douglas-Irvine Macmillan, vol.1, 1926
Librarian’s tip: "Edmund Waller" begins on p. 362
The English Renaissance, 1510-1688 By V. de Sola Pinto Cresset Press, 1938
Librarian’s tip: "Edmund Waller" begins on p. 332
FREE! The Lives of the English Poets By Samuel Johnson Jones, 1825
Librarian’s tip: "Waller" begins on p. 67
Edmund Waller, English Precieux By Kaminski, Thomas Philological Quarterly, Vol. 79, No. 1, Winter 2000
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Poetry and Revolution: An Anthology of British and Irish Verse, 1625-1660 By Peter Davidson Clarendon Press, 1998
Librarian’s tip: "Edmund Waller" begins on p. 30 and "Edmund Waller" begins on p. 489
Restoration Verse, 1660-1715 By William Kerr MacMillan, 1930
Librarian’s tip: "Edmund Waller (1606-87)" begins on p. 1
FREE! English Poetry (1170-1892) By John Matthews Manly Ginn, 1907
Librarian’s tip: "Edmund Waller (1606-1687)" begins on p. 174
The Bronze Treasury: An Anthology of 81 Obscure English Poets Together with Their Biographical Portraits By Harry Kemp The Macaulay Company, 1927
Librarian’s tip: "Edmund Waller 1605-1687" begins on p. 122
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