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date: 19 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Roundheads and Cavaliers—the categories may have started out as abuse, but they became so embedded in the history of seventeenth-century England that they seemed perfectly suited to organize mid-century politics, religion, and especially literary culture. But who were these royalists and Roundheads? How clearly do their books and their lives belong to one side or the other of civil conflict and revolution and Restoration? This chapter aims to replace a clear picture of mid-seventeenth-century century literature—and especially of its poetry—with a sense of the in-betweenness of its writings and writing lives. Sometimes, wrote Wittgenstein, a fuzzy image is exactly what we need—an image with more contingencies than certainties, an unsteady frame rather than schematic clarity, and notions of affiliation, patronage, and local interest rather than distinctive ideologies. This chapter is an attempt to provide that image.

Keywords: Cavalier, Roundhead, Restoration, civil war literature, patronage, ideology, literary culture

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