The European Marvell
in Texts and readers in the Age of Marvell
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One way forward with English literature in the period is to understand its relationship with the other vernacular literatures of western and central Europe and the colonies of the polities. Many English poets were aware of the politics and sociology of the continental poets, the contexts in which they wrote. Most of the poetry written by Andrew Marvell about the sea is his poetry about the Anglo-Dutch Wars, the three somewhat religious but mostly political and mercantile conflicts of 1651-54, 1664-67, and 1672-74. Not only is Marvell to be considered as a kind of poet in an international context, also his public poetry is part of an international and sometimes highly contested literary arena. To dignify vernacular English by imitating the best examples in antiquity and in Renaissance Italy was no longer the preoccupation for Marvell's generation, or a poet like Marvell, however much it remained a potent force.


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