Marvell’s Marriage Songs and Poetic Patronage in the Court of Cromwell

in Explorations in Renaissance Culture
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This paper examines the marriage songs that Andrew Marvell produced in 1657 for the wedding masque of Mary Cromwell, specifically, how they express Marvell’s long-time pursuit of patronage, and more broadly, how they showcase the increasingly courtly predilections of the Protectoral household and government. Marvell represents the politics and personalities behind the marriage in ways that suggest an acute awareness of Cromwell’s growing aristocratic and dynastic ambitions. As a newly appointed civil servant, Marvell also uses the occasion to reflect upon his experience as the beneficiary of the Protector’s largesse. Marvell is a silent but active player in the masque, using it to negotiate his position as a poet in the Cromwellian court.

Marvell’s Marriage Songs and Poetic Patronage in the Court of Cromwell

in Explorations in Renaissance Culture

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DonneEpithalamions 11; lines 21–4. Further references to Donne’s poem are cited by line number.

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