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date: 29 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter takes a fresh look at the formal and rhetorical techniques of a text that played a key role in Marvell’s reputation, An Account of the Growth of Popery and Arbitrary Government. Re-examining Marvell’s engagement with and contribution to political print culture, the chapter considers the Account’s connections with an earlier product of this culture—the ‘Parliamentarian’ history of John Rushworth—and how, in satirizing the Cavalier Parliament as an agent of ‘arbitrary government’, the Account made contact with a genre of ‘election literature’ which also exposed ‘affairs of state’ to wider scrutiny. Moving on to reconsider Marvell’s treatment of Catholicism, the chapter reviews new evidence for the Account’s afterlife in officially ‘anti-Catholic’ England, and suggests that this ‘anti-popery’ work offers a window onto a society in which different discourses about ‘the Catholic’ circulated openly, and could be adopted in response to particular political conditions.

Keywords: political print culture, ‘Parliamentarian’ writing, election literature, satiric writing, Restoration politics, anti-popery, representations of Catholics and Catholicism

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