Edward Taylor

Edward Taylor, c.1642–1729, American poet and clergyman, b. England, considered America's foremost colonial poet. He immigrated to America in 1668 and graduated from Harvard in 1671. From then until his death, he served as Congregational minister for Westfield, Mass. An ardent Puritan, Taylor agreed completely with the Calvinistic beliefs of his time. His best poems, "God's Determinations" and "Preparatory Meditations," show a strong similarity to the English devotional metaphysical poets. Since he did not publish his poems in his lifetime, his poetry remained in manuscript until 1937. In 1939, T. H. Johnson published a selection of his poems. The best edition of Taylor's works was edited by D. E. Stanford in 1960.

See studies by N. S. Grabo (1962), D. Stanford (1965), and W. J. Scheik (1974).

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

Edward Taylor: Selected full-text books and articles

Edward Taylor By Norman S. Grabo Twayne Publishers, 1961
The Poetical Works of Edward Taylor By Edward Taylor; Thomas H. Johnson Rockland, 1939
Librarian’s tip: Includes "Huswifery" and "Upon a Spider Catching a Fly"
The Mentor Book of Major American Poets: From Edward Taylor and Walt Whitman to Hart Crane and W. H. Auden By Edwin Honig; Oscar Williams New American Library, 1962
Librarian’s tip: "Edward Taylor (1645-1729)" begins on p. 27
The Marriage of Heaven and Earth: Alchemical Regeneration in the Works of Taylor, Poe, Hawthorne, and Fuller By Randall A. Clack Greenwood Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 2 "Edward Taylor and the Transmutation of the Soul"
Puritanism in America, 1620-1750 By Everett Emerson Twayne Publishers, 1977
Librarian’s tip: "Edward Taylor: Poet of Passionate Wit" begins on p. 112
Older Masters: Essays and Reflections on English and American Literature By Donald Davie Carcanet, 1992
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "Edward Taylor and Isaac Watts"
The Practice of Piety: Puritan Devotional Disciplines in Seventeenth-Century New England By Charles E. Hambrick-Stowe University of North Carolina Press, 1982
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 7 "Pilgrimage as Preparation"
English Shakesperian Criticism in the Eighteenth Century By Herbert Spencer Robinson The H.W. Wilson Company, 1932
Librarian’s tip: "Edward Taylor" begins on p. 194
The Columbia History of American Poetry By Brett C. Millier; Jay Parini Columbia University Press, 1993
Librarian’s tip: "Anne Bradstreet and Edward Taylor" begins on p. 1
Green Thoughts, Green Shades: Essays by Contemporary Poets on the Early Modern Lyric By Jonathan F. S. Post University of California Press, 2002
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Twelve "Edward Taylor: What Was He Up To?"
The American Puritans: Their Prose and Poetry By Perry Miller Doubleday, 1956
Librarian’s tip: "Edward Taylor, God's Determinations Touching His Elect" begins on p. 301 and "Edward Taylor, Poems and Sacramental Meditations" begins on 309
Cyclopedia of World Authors By Dayton Kohler; Frank N. Magill Harper & Row, 1958
Librarian’s tip: "Edward Taylor" begins on p. 165
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