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Seventeenth-Century Poetry: An Annotated Anthology

Seventeenth-Century Poetry: An Annotated Anthology

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Robert Cummings's important new anthology offers in-depth annotation to a chronologically arranged selection from more than 50 poets writing between 1600 and 1700. The so-called canonical poets are generously represented (all of Milton's Com us, all of Marvell's Upon Appleton House, all of Denham's Coopers Hill) and sometimes with a novel emphasis on non-lyric kinds often left out of anthologies (more of Donne's epistolary and funerary poetry than usual, selections from Drayton's Poly-Olbion, more of Waller).
The volume is notably catholic, including writers rarely anthologized (Charles Cotton) or only recently brought to critical notice (Mary Wroth, Anne Wharton! or discovered (Martha Moulsworth). It runs from ballads on one hand to selections of the great translators on the other (from Chapman and Sylvester to Dryden). The texts are freshly edited from contemporary sources, with the more important variants recorded. The spelling has been modernized. The annotation is much fuller than is customary in anthologies - it aims, beyond the business of glossing, to make explicit the literary and other historical contexts of the poems printed in the volume. Bibliographical and other aids make this an invaluable book for students engaging with the poetry of the period, whether for the first time or at a more advanced level of appreciation and acquaintance.