Abstract and Keywords
Patronage helped shape Marvell’s life and writings. He construes even friendships in terms of his service; moreover, his poetry often seems to confirm social ties. Even so, his lyrics especially resist simple identification as pieces offered by client to patron. This follows in part from his fostering such associations only then not too much to impose on them. Marvell in the course of his career at first sought to escape his local obligations, whatever the benefits of such patronage, only then to revert to those as his mainstay later in his life. With eminent Cromwellians he came to enjoy a lasting rapport, owing to his skilful combination of deference to their piety with displays of his own wit. But in the Restoration, his corporate roles meant this ‘humble servant’ might require less favour than he can seem to ask, with personal obligation yielding to more lasting civic service.
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