Abstract and Keywords
Marvell exploded upon the public stage in 1673 with his coruscating satire The Rehearsal Transpros’d. This, and everything he wrote until his death in 1678, was provocative, and duly elicited angry—and sometimes witty—responses. His enemies were Anglican churchmen, most strenuously Samuel Parker, who were protective of clerical honour and sacerdotal authority, and defensive of the Church of England’s religious and political monopoly. These critics were joined by secular defenders of Charles II’s cause, notably the prodigious propagandist Roger L’Estrange. Marvell’s tracts and their contestation in the public domain are keys to understanding the formation of Whig and Tory sensibilities. His adversaries, their rhetorical strategies, and readers’ absorption in these print duels are guides to the genres and protocols of contemporary controversy, as well as illuminating the politics of memory, under the shadow of the Civil Wars, the theology of Calvinism in retreat, and the ecclesiology of Restoration Anglicanism.
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