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The use of natural details in English poetry: 1645-1668

Wilcher, Robert (1972)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

This dissertation examines the use made of details from the natural world by English poets of the mid-seventeenth century. It is concerned with two main aspects of the subjects the function of natural imagery; and the rhetorical methods by which details from nature are exploited in poetry. It also seeks to demonstrate that the way a poet manipulates his material is influenced both by inherited literary tradition, and also by his age's changing conception of the nature of the universe and of man's relationship to it.
Part One of the thesis explores the implications of the title in the light of some early critical treatments of the subject of Nature in poetry and of more recent theories of seventeenth-century imagery and rhetoric, and surveys those changes in the thought and sensibility of the period which seem to have had a bearing on the poetic handling of natural imagery. Part Two investigates the various ways in which details from nature were employed by poets during the years 1645-1668. The material has been organised under three general headings, dictated by the function of the images in the poems in which they occur. Part Three examines the work of seven poets whose contribution is deemed to be of particular interest. Their poetry is related to the wider cultural setting discussed in Part One and to the literary background provided in Part Two. Part Four furnishes a brief survey of some of the major lines of development in the use of natural details in the poetry of the period immediately following the years studied in the main body of the thesis.
The study concludes with three appendices and a bibliography of books and articles cited and consulted in the course of its composition.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
School/Faculty:Faculties (to 1997) > Faculty of Arts
Department:Shakespeare Institute
Subjects:PN0441 Literary History
PR English literature
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:3174
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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