Edward Taylor

Edward Taylor, c.1642–1729, American poet and clergyman, b. England, considered America's foremost colonial poet. He emigrated 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© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Edward Taylor: Selected full-text books and articles

Edward Taylor
Norman S. Grabo.
Twayne Publishers, 1961
The Poetical Works of Edward Taylor
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
Oscar Williams; Edwin Honig; Edwin Honig; Edwin Honig.
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
Randall A. Clack.
Greenwood Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 2 "Edward Taylor and the Transmutation of the Soul"
Puritanism in America, 1620-1750
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
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
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
Herbert Spencer Robinson.
The H.W. Wilson Company, 1932
Librarian’s tip: "Edward Taylor" begins on p. 194
The Columbia History of American Poetry
Jay Parini; Brett C. Millier.
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
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
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
Frank N. Magill; Dayton Kohler.
Harper & Row, 1958
Librarian’s tip: "Edward Taylor" begins on p. 165
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