Introduction
in Texts and readers in the Age of Marvell
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This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book considers novel ways in which readers, both early modern and contemporary, have conceived of texts and their position in the public world of print consumption and critical practice. It addresses the potential pitfalls and opportunities of different forms of contextualisation, in the process offering provisional solutions to the difficult problem of locating emergent or ephemeral experiences in early modern texts. The book explores issues of literary relations between prominent authors of the century, either locating new echoes and thus new meanings in important texts, or else asking to revise familiar narratives of rivalries and pressures. It explores the significance of Andrew Marvell's registering Oliver Cromwell's death through an allusion to Prince Hal's remark upon realising that Falstaff lives: 'I saw him dead'.

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