The Prose Works of Andrew Marvell

Volume 1, 1672-1673

Andrew Marvell; Edited by Annabel Patterson; With Martin Dzelzainis, Nicholas von Maltzahn, and N.H. Keeble

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Andrew Marvell (1621–78) is best known today as the author of a handful of exquisite lyrics and provocative political poems. In his own time, however, Marvell was famous for his brilliant prose interventions in the major issues of the Restoration, religious toleration, and what he called “arbitrary” as distinct from parliamentary government. This is the first modern edition of all Marvell’s prose pamphlets, complete with introductions and annotation explaining the historical context. Four major scholars of the Restoration era have collaborated to produce this truly Anglo-American edition.
From the Rehearsal Transpros’d, a serio-comic best-seller which appeared with tacit permission from Charles II himself, through the documentary Account of the Growth of Popery and Arbitrary Government, Marvell established himself not only as a model of liberal thought for the eighteenth century but also as an irresistible new voice in political polemic, wittier, more literary, and hence more readable than his contemporaries.

Annabel Patterson is Sterling Professor of English at Yale University and the author of Nobody’s Perfect: A New Whig Interpretation of History published by Yale University Press. Martin Dzelzainis is senior lecturer in English, Royal Holloway College, University of London. Nicholas Von Maltzahn is professor of English at the University of Ottawa. N.H. Keeble is professor of English at the University of Stirling.

“This book provides a much needed properly edited, extensively and expertly annotated edition that has been wanting in literary and historical studies for more than a hundred years. An extremely important scholarly achievement.”—Nigel Smith, Princeton University

“Executed according to the highest editorial standards, these two volumes magisterially recount Marvell’s involvement in the sociohistorical and political controversies of Restoration England. Essential.”—Choice

"Handsomely produced. . . . Rich annotations and exemplary introductions contextualize each pamphlet, discuss its printing history, evidences of censorship and evasion, and its afterlife and reception.  Such information, and particularly the contextualizing, is invaluable, since Marvell's pamphlets are so topical, historically rooted in particular circumstances and debates long forgotten.  A great deal of learning is here brought to bear on these pamphlets.  Patterson's succinct "Introduction" placing Marvell in the Restoration is immensely useful, as is the "Chronology: Marvell in the Restoration," printed at the beginning of both volumes.  Clearly a labor of intellect and love, this edition performs a unique service to the profession in making Marvell's splendid prose defending liberty and toleration finally accessible." —Studies in English Literature

“Andrew Marvell’s prose did indeed make its contribution to civilization, and this superb edition shows us how.”—David Norbrook, Times Literary Supplement

"Impressive . . . the whole body of Marvell's writings has become available in well-prepared texts, helpfully introduced and comprehensively annotated for today's reader."—A.H. De Quehen, University of Toronto Quarterly

"[This is] the first edition for well over a century of Andrew Marvell's prose. It is badly needed. It is also as splendid a production as we have come to expect from the presses in New Haven, and leaves the Anglo-American scholarly community deeply indebted."—Derek Hirst, Albion

"Exhaustive, shrewd, wary new biography."—Robert Polito, Bookforum
ISBN: 9780300099355
Publication Date: December 11, 2003
544 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
The Prose Works of Andrew Marvell

Volume II, 1676-1678

Andrew Marvell; Edited by Annabel Patterson; With Martin Dz

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Nobody’s Perfect

A New Whig Interpretation of History

Annabel Patterson

View details