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Special Collection

Marvell and Europe

Collection launched: 18 Aug 2017

A full understanding of Andrew Marvell’s verse and prose writings requires an appreciation of their European context. Marvell himself travelled to the European Continent repeatedly: between 1642-3 and 1647 he visited Holland, France, Italy and Spain; in 1655-6 he stayed at the Protestant Academy at Saumur, France, with Oliver Cromwell’s ward, William Dutton; in 1662 to 1663 he was in Holland on state business; and between 1663 and 1665 he was part of the Earl of Carlisle’s embassy to Muscovy, Sweden, and Denmark. Contemporary events, such as the three Anglo-Dutch wars of the mid-century, afforded him ample material for his satires and prose polemics, and early modern European literature more widely – such as the work of the libertins érudits – deeply informed his poems and prose. The first issue, ‘Marvell, Europe and Cultural Negotiations’, will look at the way literary exchanges and cultural transfers in Europe impacted on Marvell’s poetry and prose. The second issue, ‘Marvell, Europe and Social Negotiations’, will discuss Marvell’s involvement in political and social interactions on the European continent.