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Marvell’s public and private writings, 1649– 65
Keith McDonald

This chapter examines Andrew Marvell’s transition from Republic to restored monarchy through his approach to manuscript circulation and print culture during this period. Mapping his output against Harold Love’s gradient of publication (where ‘strong’ implies a published text, and ‘weak’ implies anything less than private) presents a poet who took great care to limit the disclosure of his works. But Marvell’s ‘The Character of Holland’ presents a distinctive problem. Assumed to have been written in 1653 as part of a bid for preferment during the first Anglo-Dutch War, it may have remained completely private until an abridged version appeared anonymously in print in 1665. This chapter questions whether Marvell’s oft-disputed involvement with the abridged edition marks a carefully calculated return to print in a move of strategic opportunism.

in From Republic to Restoration