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date: 03 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the ambiguities of Marvell’s life from his return to England in 1647 to his service as MP for Hull in 1659‒60. It charts Marvell’s negotiation of the shifting political and patronage contexts of the period, as Marvell moved from royalist networks in the later 1640s to hesitant accommodation with post-regicidal regimes; and discusses his service in the household of Thomas, Lord Fairfax, his appointment as assistant to Milton in the office of John Thurloe, Secretary of State under the Protectorate, and his selection as MP. Marvell’s financial dependency, as well as the broader political context, encouraged a troubled engagement with the problems of patriarchal authority. Marvell’s elusive poetic responses thus illuminate these unsettled and unsettling times, as seen particularly in the ‘First Anniversary’ and ‘A Poem on the Death of his Late Highness’.

Keywords: John Milton, Lord Fairfax, Oliver Cromwell, Parliament, patriarchy, patronage, Protectorate, regicide, religious liberty, Restoration, Thomas

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