Andrew marvell statue

Statue of Andrew Marvell (1621-1678), Hull, UK, 2007. Photo by Oliver Brown. Licensed under Creative Commons, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Andrew Marvell
Born March 31 1621(1621-Template:MONTHNUMBER-31)
Winestead, England
Died August 16 1678(1678-Template:MONTHNUMBER-16) (aged 57)
London, England
Occupation Poet
Notable work(s) "To His Coy Mistress", "The Garden", "An Horatian Ode"

Andrew Marvell (31 March 1621 - 16 August 1678) was an English poet and politician. He was a colleague and friend of John Milton.

Life Edit


Marvell, son of the rector of Winestead, Yorkshire, where he was born, was educated at Cambridge, and thereafter travelled in various Continental countries. He sat in Parliament for Hull, proving himself an assiduous and incorruptible member, with strong republican leanings. In spite of this he was a favourite of Charles II, who took pleasure in his society, and offered him a place at Court, and a present of £1,000, which were both declined. In his own day he was best known as a powerful and fearless political writer, and for some time from 1657 was assistant to Milton as Latin secretary. After the Restoration he wrote against the Government, his chief work in this kind being on the Growth of Popery and Arbitrary Government in England (1677). He was also the author of an Historical Essay regarding General Councils. His controversial style was lively and vigorous, but sometimes coarse and vituperative. His fame now rests on his poems which, though few, have many of the highest poetical qualities. Among the best known are "The Emigrants in the Bermudas," "The Nymph complaining for the Death of her Fawn," and "Thoughts in a Garden." Of the last Palgrave says that "it may be regarded as a test of any reader's insight into the most poetical aspects of poetry," and his "Horatian Ode on Cromwell's Return from Ireland." The town of Hull voted him a monument, which was, however, forbidden by the Court. His appearance is thus described, "He was of middling stature, pretty strong-set, roundish-faced, cherry-cheeked, hazel-eyed, brown-haired."[1]

Youth and educationEdit

Marvell, son of Anne (Pease) and Andrew Marvell, was born at the rectory house, Winestead, in the Holderness division of Yorkshire, on 31 March 1621. In 1624 his father exchanged the living of Winestead for the mastership of Hull grammar school.[2] He also became lecturer at Holy Trinity Church and master of the Charterhouse in the same town. Thomas Fuller Worthies of England, ed. 1811, i. 165) describes him as “ a most excellent preacher.”[3]

The younger Marvell was educated at Hull grammar school until his 13th year, when he matriculated on 14th December 1633 (according to a doubtful statement in Wood's Athen. oxon.) at Trinity College, Cambridge. It is related by his early biographer, Thomas Cooke, that he was induced by some Jesuit priests to leave the university. After some months he was discovered by his father in a bookseller's shop in London, and returned to Cambridge. He contributed 2 poems to the Musa cantabrigiensis in 1637, and in the following year he received a scholarship at Trinity College, and earned a B.A. in 1639.[3]

His father was drowned in 1640 while crossing the Humber in company with the daughter of a Mrs. Skinner (almost certainly connected with the Cyriack Skinner to whom 2 of Milton's sonnets are addressed). It is said that Mrs. Skinner adopted Marvell and provided for him at her death. The Conclusion Book of Trinity College, Cambridge, registers the decision (September 24, 1641) that he with others should be excluded from further advantages from the college either because they were married, or did not attend their "days" or "acts."[3]

Early careerEdit

He travelled for 4 years on the Continent, visiting Holland, France, Italy and Spain. In Rome he met Richard Flecknoe, whom he satirized in the amusing verses on "Flecnoe, an English priest at Rome.”[3]

Although Marvell ranks as a great Puritan poet his sympathies were originally with Charles I, and in the lines on "Tom May's Death" he found no words too strong to express his scorn for the historian of the Long Parliament. He himself was no partisan, but had a passion for law and order. He acquiesced, accordingly, in the strong rule of Cromwell, but in his famous "Horatian Ode upon Cromwell's Return from Ireland" (1650) he inserts a tribute to the courage and dignity of Charles I, , which forms the best-known section of the poem.[3]

In 1650 he became tutor to Lord Fairfax's daughter Mary, afterwards duchess of Buckingham, then in her 12th year. During his life with the Fairfaxes at Nun Appleton, Yorkshire, he wrote the poems "Upon the Hill and Grove at Billborow" and "On Appleton House." Doubtless the other poems on country life, and his exquisite "garden poetry" may be referred to this period.[3]

Marvell was acquainted with John Milton probably through their common friends, the Skinners, and in February 1653 Milton sent him with a letter to the lord president of the council, John Bradshaw, recommending him as "a man of singular desert for the state to make use of," and suggesting his appointment as assistant to himself in his duties as foreign secretary. The appointment was, however, given at the time to Philip Meadows.[3]

Marvell became tutor to Cromwell's ward, William Dutton. In 1653 he was established with his pupil at Eton in the house of John Oxenbridge, then a fellow of the college, but formerly a minister in the Bermudas. No doubt the well-known verses, "Bermudas," were inspired by conversation with the Oxenbridges. At Eton he enjoyed the society of John Hales, then living in retirement.[3]

He was employed by Milton in 1654 to convey to Bradshaw a copy of the Defensio secunda, and the letter to Milton in which he describes the reception of the gift is preserved.[3]

When the secretaryship again fell vacant in 1657 Marvell was appointed, and retained the appointment until the accession of Charles II. During this period he wrote many political poems, There is an allusion to this escapade addressed by another anxious parent to the elder Marvell in the Hull Corporation Records (No. 498) [see Grosart, i. xxviii.]. The document is without address or signature, but the identification seems safe. It was first printed, so far as we know, in 1776, and the only external testimony to Marvell's authorship is the statement of Captain Thomson, who had included many poems by other writers in his edition Marvell, that this ode was in poet's own handwriting. The internal evidence in favor of Marvell may, however, be accepted as conclusive. all of them displaying admiration for Cromwell. His "Poem upon the Death of his late Highness the Lord Protector" has been unfavourably compared to Edmund Waller's "Panegyric," but Marvell's poem is inspired with affection.[3]

Member of ParliamentEdit

Marvell's connection with Hull had been strengthened by his sisters' marriages with persons of local importance, and in January 1659 he was elected to represent the borough in parliament.[3] As member for Hull in Richard Cromwell's parliament he voted throughout with the government against the republican opposition. "They have much the odds in speaking," says one of his letters, "but it is to be hoped our justice, our affection, and our number, which is at least two-thirds, will wear them out at the long run" (Aitken, Marvell's Poems, i. xxix).[4]

He was re-elected in 1660, again in 1661, and continued to represent the town until his death. According to Milton's nephew, Edward Phillips, the poet owed his safety at the Restoration largely to the efforts of Marvell, who "made a considerable party for him" in the House of Commons.[3]

From 1663 to 1665 he acted as secretary to Charles Howard, 1st earl of Carlisle, on his difficult and unsuccessful embassy to Muscovy, Sweden, and Denmark; and this is the only official post he filled during the reign of Charles. With the exception of this absence, for which he had leave from his constituents, and of shorter intervals of travel on private business which took him to Holland, Marvell was constant in his parliamentary attendance to the day of his death.[3]

He seldom spoke in the House, but his parliamentary influence is established by other evidence. He was an excellent man of affairs, and looked after the special interests of the port of Hull. He was a member of the corporation of Tninity House, both in London and Hull, and became a younger warden of the London Trinity House.[3]

His correspondence with his constituents, from 1660 to 1678, some 400 letters in all, printed by Grosart (Complete Works, vol. ii.), forms a source of information all the more valuable because by a resolution passed at the Restoration by which the publication of the proceedings of the House without leave was forbidden. He made it a point of duty to write at each post - that is, every 2 or 3 days - both on local interests and on all matters of public interest. The discreet reserve of these letters, natural at a time when the post office was a favorite source of information to the government, contrasts curiously with the freedom of the few private letters which state opinions as well as facts.[3]

Marvell's constituents, in their turn, were not unmindful of their member. He makes frequent references to their presents, usually of Hull ale and of salmon, and he regularly drew from them the wages of a member, 6s.8d. a day during session.[3]

As a humorist, and as a great "parliament man," no name is of more interest to a student of the reign of Charles II than that of Marvell. He had friends among the republican thinkers of the times. Aubrey says that he was intimate with James Harrington, the author of Oceana, and he was probably a member of the “Rota” club. In the heyday of political infamy, he, a needy man, obliged to accept wages from his constituents, kept his political virtue unspotted, and he stood throughout his career as the champion of moderate and tolerant measures.[5]

There is a story that his old schoolfellow, Danby, was sent by the king to offer the incorruptible poet a place at court and a gift of £1000, which Marvell refused with the words: "I live here to serve my constituents: the ministry may seek men for their purpose; I am not one." When self-indulgence was the ordinary habit of town life, Marvell was a temperate man. His personal appearance is described by John Aubrey: "He was of a middling stature, pretty strong set, roundish faced, cherry cheeked, hazel eyed, brown haired. In his conversation he was modest and of very few words." ("Lives of Eminent Persons" in Letters .... in the 17th and 18th Centuries, 1813).[5]

He died on the 16th of August 1678 in consequence of an overdose of an opiate taken during an attack of ague. He was buried in the church of St Giles-in-the Fields, London. Joint administration of his estate was granted to one of his creditors, and to his widow, Mary Marvell, of whom we have no previous mention.[3]



As a poet, Marvell essentially belongs to the pre-Restoration period. The fanciful ingenuity of his early love poems reveals the influence of Cowley and Donne. Afterwards he learnt, as he himself expresses it, to "read in Nature's mystic book," and his poems on country life show a keen love of natural beauty. "All his serious poetry," says Lamb, "is full of a witty delicacy," and sometimes he abandons conceits to rise to the highest strains of passion and imagination.[6] "Clorinda and Damon" and "The Nymph complaining for the Death of her Faun" are good examples of the beauty and simplicity of much of his early verse. But he had affinities with Donne and the metaphysical poets, and could be obscure on occasion.[3]

Though Waller's "Panegyric" gained more contemporary fame, Marvell is the poet of Cromwell and the Protectorate. His greatest achievement is the "Horatian Ode upon Cromwell's Return from Ireland," written in the summer of 1650, 1st published in 1776. In 1653 he composed the Latin verses to be sent with Cromwell's portrait to Christina of Sweden. In 1655 he published, though anonymously, his poem on "The First Anniversary of the Government under his Highness the Lord Protector," which breathes unbounded admiration for Cromwell and complete confidence in his government. In November 1657 he celebrated the marriage of Mary Cromwell and Lord Fauconberg in 2 pastoral songs, in which the bride and bridegroom appear as Cynthia and Endymion,and the Protector as "Jove himself." Another poem written in the same year, describing Blake's victory at Santa Cruz, is throughout addressed to the Protector, and was probably presented to him by the poet himself. This series of Cromwellian poems closes with the elegy, "Upon the Death of his late Highness the Lord Protector," which of all the poems on that subject is the only one distinguished by an accent of sincerity and personal affection. Marvell gave Richard Cromwell the same unwavering support. 'A Cromwell," he observes in the elegy, "in an hour a prince will grow."[4]

The lines to Lovelace printed in 1649, together with the stanzas on the execution of the king in the "Horatian Ode," and the satire on the death of Thomas May, have been taken to prove that Marvell's early sympathies were with the royalist cause. They really show that he judged the civil war as a spectator rather than a partisan, and felt that literature was above parties.[7]

The development of Marvell's political opinions may be traced in the satirical verse he published during the reign of Charles II, and in his private letters. With all his admiration for Cromwell he had retained his sympathies with the royal house, and had loyally accepted the Restoration. [3]

In 1667 the Dutch fleet sailed up the Thames, and Marvell expressed his wrath at the gross mismanagement of public affairs in "Last Instructions to a Painter," a satire which was published as a.broadside and of course remained anonymous. Edmund Waller had published in 1665 a gratulatory poem on the duke of York's victory in that year over the Dutch as "Instructions to a Painter for the drawing up and posture of his Majesty's forces at sea." . A similar form was adopted in Sir John Denham's 4 satirical "Directions to a Painter, ” and Marvell writes on the same model. His indignation was well grounded, but he had no scruples in the choice of the weapons he employed, in his warfare against the corruption of the court, which he paints even blacker than do contemporary memoir writers; and his satire often descends to the level of the lampoon.[3]

The most inexcusable of his scandalous verses are perhaps those on the duchess of York. In the same year he attacked Lord Clarendon, evidently hoping that with the removal of the "betrayer of England and Flanders" matters would improve. But in 1672 when he wrote his "Poem on the Statue in the Stocks-Market" he had no illusions left about Charles, whom he describes as too often "purchased and sold," though he concludes with "Yet we'd rather have him than his bigoted brother."[3]

"An Historical Poem," "Advice to a Painter," and "Britannia and Raleigh" urge the same advice in grave language. In the last-named poem, probably written early in 1674, Raleigh pleads that "'tis god-like good to save a fallen king," but Britannia has at length decided that the tyrant cannot be divided from the Stuart,[3] and proposes to reform the state on the republican model of Venice. These and other equally bold satires were probably handed round in MS., or secretly printed, and it was not until after the Revolution that they were collected with those of other writers in Poems on Affairs of State (3 parts., 1689; 4 parts, 1703-1707).[5]

Marvell's satires were no doubt first printed as broadsides, but very few are still extant in that form. Such of his poems as were printed during his lifetime appeared in collections of other men's works. The earliest edition of his non-political verse is Miscellaneous Poems (1681), edited by his wife, Mary Marvell. The political satires were printed as A Collection of Poems on Affairs of State, by A— M—l, Esq. and other eminent wits (1689), with 2nd and 3rd parts in the same year. The works of Andrew Marvell contained in these 2 publications were also edited by Thomas Cooke (2 volumes, 1726), who added some letters. Cooke's edition was reprinted by Thomas Davies in 1772.[5]

Marvell's next editor was Captain Thompson of Hull, who was connected with the poet's family, and made further additions from a commonplace book since lost. Other editions followed, but were superseded by A.B. Grosart's laborious work, which, in spite of many defects of style, remains indispensable to the student. The Complete Works in Verse and Prose of Andrew Marvell, M.P. (4 volumes, 1872-1875) forms part of his Fuller Worthies Library. See also the admirable edition of the Poems and Satires of Andrew Marvell (2 volumes, 1892) in the Muses' Library, where a full bibliography of his works and of the commentaries on them is provided; also The Poems and some Satires of Andrew Marvell (edited by Edward Wright, 1904), and Andrew Marvell (1905), by Augustine Birrell in the English Men of Letters series.,[5]


Marvell's controversial prose writings are wittier than his verse satires, and are free from the scurrility which defaces the “Last Instructions to a Painter.” A short and brilliant example of his irony is "His'Majesty's Most Gracious Speech to both Houses of Parliament" (printed in Grosart, ii. 431 seq), in which Charles is made to take the house into the friendliest confidence on his domestic affairs.[5]

Marvell was among the masters of Jonathan Swift, who, in the "Apology" prefixed to the Tale of a Tub, wrote that his answer to Samuel Parker could be still read with pleasure, although the pamphlets that provoked it were long since forgotten. Parker had written a Discourse of Ecclesiastical Politye (1670) and other polemics against Dissenters, to which Marvell replied in The Rehearsal Transposed (2 parts, 1672 and 1673). The book contains some passages of dignified eloquence, and some coarse vituperation, but the prevailing tone is that of grave and ironical banter of Parker as “Mr Bayes.” Parker was attacked, says Bishop Burnet (Hist. of His Own Time, ed. 1823, i. 451), “by the liveliest droll of the age, who Writ in a burlesque strain, but with so peculiar and entertaining a conduct, that, from the king down to the tradesman, his books were read with great pleasure.”[5]

He certainly humbled Parker, but whether this effect extended, as Burnet asserts, to the whole party, is doubtful. Parker had intimated that Milton had a share in the first part of Marvell's reply. This Marvell emphatically denied (Grosart, iii. 498). He points out that Parker had, like Milton, profited by the royal clemency, and that he had originally met him at Milton's house. He takes the opportunity to praise Milton's "great learning and sharpness of wit," and to the 2nd edition of Paradise Lost (1674) he contributed some verses of just and eloquent praise.[5]

His Mr Smirke; or, The divine in mode (1676) was a defense of Herbert Croft, bishop of Hereford, against the criticisms of Dr Francis Turner, master of St John's College, Cambridge. A far more important work was An Account of the Growth of Popery and Arbitrary Government in England; more particularly from the Long Prorogation of Parliament (1677). This pamphlet was written in the same outspoken tone as the verse satires, and brought against the court the indictment of nursing designs to establish absolute monarchy and the Roman Catholic religion at the same time:[5]

There has now for diverse Years, a design been carried on, to change the Lawfull Government of England into an Absolute Tyranny, and to convert the established Protestant Religion into down-right Popery...[8]

John Phillipps Kenyon described it as "one of the most influential pamphlets of the decade"[9] and G.M. Trevelyan called it: "A fine pamphlet, which throws light on causes provocative of the formation of the Whig party]]".[10] A reward was offered for the author, whose identity was evidently suspected, and it is said that Marvell was in danger of assassination.[5]

Among Marvell's works is also a Defence of John Howe on God's Prescience (1678), and among the spurious works fathered on him are: A Seasonable Argument for a new Parliament (1677), A Seasonable Question and a Useful Answer (1676), A Letter from a Parliament Man (1675), and a translation of Suetonius (1672).[5]

Andrew Marvell

Andrew Marvell circa 1660. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Critical introductionEdit

by Goldwin Smith

Andrew Marvell was not only a public man of mark and the top pamphleteer of his day, but a lyric and satiric poet. As a lyric poet he still ranks high. His range of subjects and styles is wide. He touches at different points Herbert, Cowley, Waller, Dryden, and the group of Lovelace and Suckling. But his most interesting connection is with Milton. Of that intellectual lustre which was produced by the union of classical culture and ancient love of liberty with Puritan enthusiasm, Milton was the central orb, Marvell a satellite, paler yet bright.

Like Milton, Marvell was at Cambridge, and there, after making himself an excellent Latinist, he graduated, as Milton had before him, in rebellious Liberalism by a quarrel with the authorities of his college. During his student days he was nearly drawn into the toils of the Jesuits; but he broke loose with an energy of reaction which has left its trace in Fleckno, his earliest satire. He afterwards spent four years on the Continent, living for some time at Rome, where, like Milton, he steeped his mind in Latin literature and inflamed his hatred of the Papacy.

In 1650 Marvell became tutor to Mary the daughter of Fairfax, the general of the Parliament, who had laid down his command and was spending his quiet days in literature, gardening and collecting books and medals at his manor house of Nun Appleton in Yorkshire. Here Marvell was in a special home of the Protestant chivalry of which Spenser was the poet. Spenser accordingly appears in his satires as the spokesman of English patriotism. The Hill and Grove at Billborow and Appleton House are memorials of the sojourn in the shades of Nun Appleton, and they bear no small resemblance to the compositions of Lord Fairfax.

In 1657 Marvell was recommended to Bradshaw as Assistant Latin Secretary of the Council of State by Milton, who describes him in his letter as a man of singular descent, acquainted with the French, Italian, Spanish and Dutch languages, well read in the Greek and Latin authors, and one whom if he had any feeling of rivalry or jealousy he might hesitate to bring in as a coadjutor. Marvell did not at that time receive the appointment; but he was employed as tutor to young Dutton, Cromwell’s intended son-in-law, at Eton, where he boarded with his pupil in the house of Oxenbridge, a zealous Puritan who had been driven into exile, with his wife, by prelatical persecution, and had preached in the Bermudas.

By Cromwell as protector, Marvell was made joint Secretary with Milton. The connection has left memorials in several poems, including that on the Death of the Protector, in which we find a little picture, vivid and true, of the great man’s look and bearing, by one who had often seen them.

  ‘Where we (so once we used) shall now no more
To fetch day press about his chamber door,
From which he issued with that awful state,
It seemed Mars broke through Janus’ double gate,
Yet always tempered with an air so mild,
As April suns that e’er so gentle smiled.’

On the return of the Stuarts, Milton, the defender of regicide, was driven into retirement, where he had leisure to prove that a great man may throw himself thoroughly into the struggles, the feelings, even the passions of his time, and yet keep Art, serene and unimpaired, in the sanctuary of his mind. Marvell, far less compromised and by no means regicidal, remained in public life, and as member for Hull sat, a Roman patriot incorruptible and inflexible, in the corrupt and servile parliaments of Charles II. The poems of his later days were not epics or lyrics, but satires, levelled, like his renowned pamphlets, against tyranny and wickedness in Church and State; and he died in the midst of a fierce literary affray with Parker, the most odious of the Restoration prelates, not without suspicion of poison. To Milton he remained bravely true, and his lines on Paradise Lost are about the earliest salutation of that sun as it rose amidst the clouds of the evil days.

As a poet Marvell is very unequal. He has depth of feeling, descriptive power, melody; his study of the classics could not fail to teach him form; sometimes we find in him an airy and tender grace which remind us of the lighter manner of Milton: but art with him was only an occasional recreation, not a regular pursuit; he is often slovenly, sometimes intolerably diffuse, especially when he is seduced by the facility of the octosyllabic couplet. He was also eminently afflicted with the gift of ‘wit’ or ingenuity, much prized in his day. His conceits vie with those of Donne or Cowley. He is capable of saying of the Halcyon:—

  ‘The viscous air where’er she fly
Follows and sucks her azure dye;
The jellying stream compacts below,
    If it might fix her shadow so.’
And of Maria—
  ‘Maria such and so doth hush
The world and through the evening rush.
No new-born comet such a train
Draws through the sky nor star new-slain.
For straight those giddy rockets fail
Which from the putrid earth exhale,
But by her flames in heaven tried
Nature is wholly vitrified.’

"The Garden" is an English version of a poem written in Latin by Marvell himself. It may have gained by being cast originally in a classical mould, which would repel prolixity and extravagant conceits. In it Marvell has been said to approach Shelley: assuredly he shows a depth of poetic feeling wonderful in a political gladiator. The thoughts that dwell in ‘a green shade’ have never been more charmingly expressed.

"A Drop of Dew", like "The Garden", was composed first in Latin. It is a conceit, but a pretty conceit, gracefully as well as ingeniously worked out, and forms a good example of the contrast between the philosophic poetry of those days, a play of intellectual fancy, and its more spiritual and emotional counterpart in our own time. The concluding lines, with their stroke of ‘wit’ about the manna are a sad fall.

"The Bermudas" was no doubt suggested by the history of the Oxenbridges. It is the ‘holy and cheerful note’ of a little band of exiles for conscience sake wafted by Providence in their ‘small boat’ to a home in a land of beauty.

"Young Love" is well known, and its merits speak for themselves. It is marred by the intrusion in the third and fourth stanzas of the fiercer and coarser passion.

The "Horatian Ode on Cromwell’s Return from Ireland" cannot be positively proved to be the work of Marvell. Yet we can hardly doubt that he was its author. The point of view and the sentiment, combining admiration of Cromwell with respect and pity for Charles, are exactly his: the classical form would be natural to him; and so would the philosophical conceit which disfigures the eleventh stanza. The epithet indefatigable applied to Cromwell recurs in a poem which is undoubtedly his; and so does the emphatic expression of belief that the hero could have been happier in private life, and that he sacrificed himself to the State in taking the supreme command. The compression and severity of style are not characteristic of Marvell; but they would be imposed on him in this case by his model. If the ode is really his, to take it from him would be to do him great wrong. It is one of the noblest in the English language, and worthily presents the figures and events of the great tragedy as they would impress themselves on the mind of an ideal spectator, at once feeling and dispassionate. The spirit of Revolution is described with a touch in the lines

  ‘Though Justice against Fate complain
And plead the ancient rights in vain
    (But those do hold or break
    As men are strong or weak).’
Better than anything else in our language this poem gives an idea of a grand Horatian measure, as well as of the diction and spirit of an Horatian ode.

Of the lines "On Milton’s Paradise Lost" some are vigorous; but they are chiefly interesting from having been written by one who had anxiously watched Milton’s genius at work.

Marvell’s amatory poems are cold; probably he was passionless. His pastorals are in the false classical style, and of little value. Clorinda and Damon is about the best of them, and about the best of that is

‘Near this a fountain’s liquid bell
Tinkles within the concave shell.’

The "Satires" in their day were much admired and feared: they are now for the most part unreadable. The subjects of satire as a rule are ephemeral; but a great satirist like Juvenal or Dryden preserves his flies in the amber of his general sentiment. In Marvell’s satires there is no amber: they are mere heaps of dead flies. Honest indignation against iniquity and lewdness in high places no doubt is there; but so are the meanness of Restoration politics and the dirtiness of Restoration thought. The curious may look at "The Character of Holland", the jokes in which are as good or as bad as ever, though the cannon of "Monk and De Ruyter" have ceased to roar; and in "Britannia and Raleigh" the passage of which giving ironical advice to Charles II is a specimen of the banter which was deemed Marvell’s peculiar gift, and in which Swift and Junius were his pupils.

Like Milton, Marvell wrote a number of Latin poems. One of them had the honour of being ascribed to Milton.[11]

Recognition Edit

A secondary school in Hull is now named after him.

7 of his poems ("An Horatian Ode," "A Garden," "To His Coy Mistress," "The Picture of Little T.C. in a Prospect of Flowers," "Thoughts in a Garden," "Bermudas," and "An Epitaph") were included in the Oxford Book of English Verse, 1250-1900.[12]

In popular cultureEdit

Will Davenport features Andrew Marvell as a character in his novel about Rembrandt, The Painter (HarperCollins) ISBN 0-00-651460-X

Publications Edit


  • "To his Noble Friend Mr. Richard Lovelace, upon his Poems," in Richard Lovelace, Lucasta. London: Printed by Tho. Harper & sold by Tho. Ewster, 1649.
  • "Upon the death of Lord Hastings," in Lachrymæ Musarum; The Tears of the Muses.... Collected and set forth by R.B. London: Printed by Tho. Newcomb, 1649.
  • Miscellaneous Poems (edited by Mary Marvell). London: Robert Boulter, 1681; London: Nonesuch Press, 1923.
    • facsimile edition, Menton, UK: Scolar Press, 1969.[13]
  • Poetical Works. Boston: Little, Brown / Cincinnati, OH: Moore, Wilstach, Keys, 1857.[14]
  • Complete Poems (edited by Alexander Balloch Grosart). privately published (Fuller Worthies Library), 1872.
  • Satires. London: Lawrence& Bullen; New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1892.[15]
  • Complete Poetry (edited by George deF. Lord). London: Dent, 1968; New York: Random House, 1968.
  • Complete Poems (edited by Elizabeth Story Donno). Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin, 1972.


  • The First Anniversary of the Government Under His Highness the Lord Protector. London: Printed by Thomas Newcomb & sold by Samuel Gellibrand, 1655.
  • The Rehearsal Transpros'd: Or, Animadversions Upon a late Book, Intituled, A Preface Shewing What Grounds there are of Fears and Jealousies of Popery. London: Printed by A. B. for the assigns of John Calvin & Theodore Beza, 1672.
  • The Rehearsal Transpros'd: The Second Part. London: Printed for Nathaniel Ponder, 1673.
  • "On Mr. Milton's Paradise lost," in John Milton, Paradise Lost, second edition London: Printed by S. Simmons, 1674.
  • Mr. Smirke; or The Divine in Mode. N.p., 1676.
  • An Account of the Growth of Popery, and Arbitrary Government in England. Amsterdam, 1677.
  • Remarks Upon a Late Disingenuous Discourse, Writ by one T.D. Under the pretense De Causa Dei. London: Printed & sold by Christopher Hussey, 1678.
  • The Rehearsal Transpros'd and The Rehearsal Transpros'd: The Second Part (edited by D.I.B. Smith). Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971.

Collected editionsEdit

  • Complete Works in Prose and Verse (edited by Alexander B. Grosart). (4 volumes), London: Robson, 1872-1875. Volume I, Volume II, Volume III
  • Poems and Letters (edited by H.M. Margoliouth). (2 volumes), Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press, 1927
    • 3rd edition (revised by Pierre Legouis with E.E. Duncan-Jones). Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press, 1971.
  • Andrew Marvell (edited by Frank Kermode & Keith Walker). Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press (Oxford Authors Series), 1990.



  • Volume 2 of Complete Works in Prose and Verse (edited by Alexander B. Grosart. (4 volumes), London: Robson, 1872-1875.
  • Volume 2 of Poems and Letters (edited by H.M. Margoliouth, revised by Pierre Legouis with E.E. Duncan-Jones). (2 volumes), 3rd edition, Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press, 1971.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy the Poetry Foundation.[16]

Poems by Andrew Marvell Edit

The Definition of Love by Andrew Marvell

The Definition of Love by Andrew Marvell

  1. "On a Drop of Dew"
  2. "To His Coy Mistress"
  3. "The Garden"

See alsoEdit


  • PD-icon.svg Chisholm, Hugh, ed (1911). "Marvell, Andrew". Encyclopædia Britannica. 17 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 805-807. . Wikisource, Web, Feb. 12, 2018.
  • PD-icon.svg Firth, Charles Harding (1893) "Marvell, Andrew (1621-1678)" in Lee, Sidney Dictionary of National Biography 36 London: Smith, Elder, pp. 324-332 . Wikisource, Web, Feb. 12, 2018.
  • Kenneth R. Friedenreich (ed), Tercentenary Essays in Honor of Andrew Marvell (Hamden CT, 1978).
  • A. B. Chambers, Andrew Marvell and Edmund Waller: Seventeenth-Century Praise and Restoration Satire (University Park, PA, 1991).
  • Nicholas McDowell, Poetry and Allegiance in the English Civil Wars: Marvell and the Cause of Wit (Oxford, OUP, 2008).
  • Nigel Smith, Andrew Marvell: The Chameleon (New Haven, CT, 2010) ISBN 978-0300112214.
  • Warren L. Chernaik, The poet's time: politics and religion in the work of Andrew Marvell. Cambridge University Press 1983.


  1. John William Cousin, "Marvell, Andrew," A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature. London: Dent / New York: Dutton, 1910, 262. Wikisource, Web, Feb. 11, 2018.
  2. Britannica 1911, 805.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 Britannica 1911, 806.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Firth, 326.
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 Britannica 1911, 807.
  6. Firth, 330.
  7. Firth, 325.
  8. Andrew Marvell, An Account of the Growth of Popery and Arbitrary Government in England (Gregg International Publishers Limited, 1971), 3.
  9. John Kenyon, The Popish Plot (Phoenix, 2000), 24. Print.
  10. G.M. Trevelyan, England under the Stuarts (Routledge, 2002), 513. Print.
  11. from Goldwin Smith, "Critical Introduction: Andrew Marvell (1621–1678)," The English Poets: Selections with critical introductions (edited by Thomas Humphry Ward). New York & London: Macmillan, 1880-1918. Web, Apr. 14, 2016.
  12. Alphabetical list of authors: Jago, Richard to Milton, John, Oxford Book of English Verse 1250-1900 (edited by Arthur Quiller-Couch). Oxford, UK: Clarendon, 1919)., Web, May 19, 2012.
  13. Poem Info, The Fair Singer, Representative Poetry Online, University of Toronto,, Web, Apr. 7, 2012.
  14. The Poetical Works of Andrew Marvell, Internet Archive, Web, Apr. 7, 2012.
  15. Satires of Andrew Marvell, Internet Archive, Web, Apr. 7, 2012.
  16. Andrew Marvell 1621-1678, Poetry Foundation, Web, Nov. 5, 2012.

External linksEdit