Abstract and Keywords
This article explores the funeral elegy in early modern British literary history with an emphasis on the mid-seventeenth to the mid-eighteenth centuries. It also reports that the English funeral elegy often evoked the religious sublime by attending to three related concerns: lament, praise, and consolation. Examples of funeral elegy are presented, which range from an occasional, partisan, and anonymous Restoration broadside on the death of a public figure; to two poignant early eighteenth-century lyrics by women on the death of infants, miniature in focus; and finally to the most extended funeral elegy of the early modern period, a vast mid-century Christian apologetic. The history of the early modern British funeral elegy vividly shows some of the complexities and paradoxes involved in making art out of mortality created from perplexing issues raised by the traumatic, often grotesque subjects of death, decay, separation, and change.
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