Poetry and the Cromwellian Protectorate: Culture, Politics, and Institutions by Edward Holberton

Poetry and the Cromwellian Protectorate: Culture, Politics, and Institutions

byEdward Holberton

Hardcover | July 8, 2008

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The Cromwellian Protectorate was a period of innovation in poetry and drama, as well as constitutional debate. This new account of the period focuses on key cultural institutions - Parliament, an embassy to Sweden, Oxford University, Cromwell's state funeral - to examine this poetry'srelationship with a culture in transformation and crisis. Edward Holberton shows that the Protectorate's instabilities helped to generate lively and innovative poetry. Protectorate verse explores the fault-lines of a culture which ceaselessly contested the authority of its own institutions, including the office of Protector itself. Poetry by AndrewMarvell, Edmund Waller, William Davenant, and John Dryden, contributed to a vibrant poetic culture which embraced diverse forms and occasions: masques for the weddings of Cromwell's daughters, diplomatic poems to Queen Christina of Sweden, naval victories, civic pageants, and university anthologiesin celebration of a peace treaty. Many of these texts prove difficult to align with established ideas of the political and cultural contests of the age, because they become entangled with cultural institutions which could no longer be taken for granted, and were in many cases transforming rapidly,with far-reaching historical consequences. Poetry and the Cromwellian Protectorate asks how poetry confronted questions that were complicated by institutional practices, how poets tried to square their wider cultural sympathies with their interests in a particular parliamentary or university crisis, and how changes in institutions affordedpoets critical insights into their society's problems and its place in the world. The readings of this book challenge previous representations of Protectorate culture as a phase of conservative backsliding, or pragmatic compromise, under a quasi-monarchical order. Protectorate verse emerges asnuanced and vital writing, which looks beyond the personality of Oliver Cromwell to the tensions that shaped his power. Poetry and the Cromwellian Protectorate argues that it is precisely through being contingent and compromised that these poems achieve their vitality, and become sorevealing.

About The Author

Edward Holberton is a Junior Research Fellow at St John's College, Cambridge. He completed his PhD at Trinity College, Cambridge and his interests include poetry, drama and art of the seventeenth century, as well as late modernist art and literature.

Details & Specs

Title:Poetry and the Cromwellian Protectorate: Culture, Politics, and InstitutionsFormat:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.81 inPublished:July 8, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199544581

ISBN - 13:9780199544585

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Bulstrode Whitelocke's Embassy to Sweden2. iLondon's Triumphs/i and Civic Culture3. The Oxford Muses in the Protectorate4. The First Protectoral Parliament, Waller's iA Panegyrick to my Lord Protector/i and Marvell's iThe First Anniversary/i5. The Western Design6. 'Soe Honny from the Lyon came': Wedding Entertainments for the Protector's Daughters7. Oliver Cromwell's Legacy: Elegies, Funerals and the Succession8. Epilogue