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The Making of Restoration Poetry

The Making of Restoration Poetry

Paul Hammond
Copyright Date: 2006
Edition: NED - New edition
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 256
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  • Book Info
    The Making of Restoration Poetry
    Book Description:

    This book explores the complex ways in which authors, publishers, and readers contributed to the making of Restoration poetry. The essays in Part I map some principal aspects of Restoration poetic culture: how poetic canons were established through both print and manuscript; how censorship operated within the manuscript transmission of erotic and politically sensitive poems; the poetic functions of authorial anonymity; the work of allusion and intertextual reference; the translation and adaptation of classical poetry; and the poetic representations of Charles II. Part II turns to individual poets, and charts the making of Dryden's canon; the ways in which Mac Flecknoe operates through intertextual allusions; the relationship of the variant texts of Marvell's "To his Coy Mistress"; and the treatment of Rochester's canon and text by his modern editors. The discussions are complemented by illustrations drawn from both printed books and manuscripts. PAUL HAMMOND is Professor of Seventeenth-Century Literature at the University of Leeds.

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-487-4
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-x)
    (pp. xi-xii)
    (pp. xiii-xxiv)

    Like many binary oppositions, the antithesis between the ‘public’ and the ‘private’ is conceptually crude, and tends to obscure more than it illuminates. Yet if we keep in view the instability of these terms, they can be useful in identifying the ways in which Restoration poetry shapes complex forms of public discourse and of private reflection. When the restored Charles II saw the crowds which greeted him in May 1660 as he rode into London, he remarked that it was evidently his own fault that he had been away so long, since he had not met anyone who did not...

  7. Part I: The Making of Restoration Poetic Culture

    • 1 The Restoration Poetic Canon
      (pp. 3-27)

      When our great monarch into exile went,

      Wit and religion suffered banishment …

      At length the Muses stand restored again

      To that great charge which Nature did ordain.¹

      THE IDEA, expressed here by Dryden, that the arts were restored in 1660 along with the Stuart monarchy was a commonplace of the day, and formed part of the mythological and ideological fashioning of this historical moment. The desire to represent the new king as a second Augustus, patron of poetry as well as bringer of peace and social order, was part of a movement by which this turning point in the...

    • 2 Censorship and the Manuscript Transmission of Restoration Poetry
      (pp. 28-48)

      Tory. But ha’ye noManuscripts?

      Whig. Yes I have Three cases there beyond the Chimny, that I wou’d not change forBodlies Librarythree times over.

      To. What do they treat of?

      Wh. Two of’em are altogether upon theArt of Government, and theThirdis Cramm’d withLampoonandSatyr. You sha’not name me any one Copy that has scap’d me; nor any Exigent of State; but I’le furnish ye out of these Papers with an Expedient for’t.¹

      IN THIS episode from Sir Roger L’Estrange’s Tory propaganda sheetThe Observator, ‘Whig’ is showing ‘Tory’ around his library. The very...

    • 3 Anonymity in Restoration Poetry
      (pp. 49-72)

      IN 1963 David M. Vieth published his magisterial bookAttribution in Restoration Poetry,¹ in which he investigated the tangled web of attribution, misattribution, and anonymity in the works associated with the Earl of Rochester. Vieth saw anonymity and dubious attribution as problems to be solved, and his aim was to establish as far as possible the answer to the question, ‘What did Rochester actually write?’, and to the secondary question, ‘Who then actually wrote the poems which were wrongly attributed to Rochester?’ These are important questions, and Vieth’s book laid secure foundations for the scholarship and criticism of Restoration poetry...

    • 4 Intertextuality in Restoration Poetry
      (pp. 73-88)

      ALL POETRY in some degree works intertextually, aware if only implicitly of the traditions within which it locates itself, using a vocabulary which is shaped by its predecessors and shared by its contemporaries; but the poetry of the Restoration is self-conscious and self-referential to an unusual degree. There are several reasons for this. The political upheavals of the period were profound, for the thirty years from 1658 to 1688 brought the death of England’s first republican ruler, the restoration of the monarchy, an attempt to change the hereditary principle of succession, the accession of a Catholic king who was widely...

    • 5 Classical Texts: Translations and Transformations
      (pp. 89-106)

      IN WHAT respects is Andrew Marvell’s ‘Horatian Ode’ an Horatian ode?¹ Marvell and his contemporaries gathered their ideas of Horace and of Horatian odes from a variety of sources. They would have read the Latin text of Horace’s poetry in editions which surrounded it with glosses, notes, parallel passages, and perhaps a prose paraphrase;² they would have practised translating and imitating Horace’s poetry at school; they would have read English translations and imitations of Horace by writers such as Jonson or Milton. Horace, therefore, was already a complex text for readers of Marvell’s poem, a text which they fashioned for...

    • 6 The King’s Two Bodies: Representations of Charles II
      (pp. 107-136)

      WHEN THE English republic finally crumbled, and Charles Stuart returned to England in 1660 as king, great efforts were made to represent this as a restoration, the return to their rightful place of the people, the institutions and the habits of thought which had prevailed before the flood. And yet, however much the dominant rhetoric insisted upon this as a return to normality, the old customs and images could not be used in quite the same way again, for the whole basis of English sovereignty had been debated and remodelled. The language in which power is represented, and through which...

  8. Part II: The Making of Authors and Texts

    • 7 The Circulation of Dryden’s Poetry
      (pp. 139-167)

      WHEN WE read the poems of Dryden in a collected edition, it is easy to forget that this is not how his contemporaries would have encountered his work. Even if an edition arranges the poetry in the chronological order of its publication, and provides ample details about its bibliographical history, it is still difficult to make an imaginative leap back to a period before the canon was completed and ordered, before the occasional and fugitive pieces were bound up with the major public masterpieces. Modern editors cannot avoid creating an anachronistic canon by reason of their very fidelity in collecting...

    • 8 Flecknoe and Mac Flecknoe
      (pp. 168-179)

      WHY DID Dryden select Richard Flecknoe as the man whose poetic kingdom Shadwell was to inherit? Although scholars have refined our understanding of the circumstances in whichMac Flecknoewas composed,¹ the precise point of choosing Flecknoe rather than anyone else remains obscure. It is often asserted that Flecknoe was for Dryden’s contemporaries the epitome of the bad poet, and as evidence for this assumption one is referred to Marvell’s satire ‘Flecknoe, an English Priest at Rome’; yet this poem was not printed until 1681, five years after the composition ofMac Flecknoe, and seems not to have circulated in...

    • 9 Marvell’s Coy Mistresses
      (pp. 180-189)

      THE CONTEMPORARY reputation of seventeenth-century poets depended much upon the mode of publication which was used for their work. In Donne’s lifetime, hisSongs and Sonetscirculated in manuscript amongst a relatively privileged readership: only after his death were the erotic poems penned by the Dean of St Paul’s revealed in print to a wider public. Rochester’s poetry was also passed around primarily in manuscript form, becoming increasingly degenerate (textually if not morally), and with his name also being attached to all manner of illegitimate offspring. His licentious life and ostensibly pious death ensured a ready market for the printed...

    • 10 Rochester and his Editors
      (pp. 190-212)

      IN THIS passage Rochester recounts the experience of being accosted by an admirer who has come across an anonymous satire and recognized it as his by its style. Though Rochester denies authorship, the admirer refuses to believe him, and circulates the poem through the town with this erroneous attribution. It is a vivid example of the way poetry circulated in the period, and of the hazards of attribution, especially when a major name like Rochester’s is speculatively attached to all manner of verses. Except that this is not Rochester speaking: it is the persona of Timon in a satire modelled...

    (pp. 213-224)
  10. INDEX
    (pp. 225-230)
  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 231-233)