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date: 20 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter argues that Marvell’s ‘Upon Appleton House’ (1651) responds to the reassessment of public and private life in England following the elimination of the court. Whereas for earlier poets the private household had provided a powerful analogy for political rule, for Marvell, writing at the conclusion of the civil wars, domesticity stands in stark opposition to public affairs. Yet Marvell’s vision of a new national landscape raises insistent problems for his own verse, for it is not obvious that poets have a place within its topography. At the centre of the poem, in his descriptions of Nun Appleton’s meadows and woods, he considers this problem in detail in scenes that imagine the vanished court, demonstrating the aesthetic consequences of political change.

Keywords: Andrew Marvell, Cavalier poetry, country house poems, domesticity, the court, ‘Upon Appleton House’

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