Some uses of pastoral: from Marvell to Wordsworth

Martinez, Aurora Faye ORCID: 0000-0001-8524-4837 (2021). Some uses of pastoral: from Marvell to Wordsworth. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Accounts of English literary history which have drawn upon the Neoclassical pastoral theory of Rene Rapin and Bernard le Bouvier Fontenelle have often excluded the poetry of Andrew Marvell. Marvell’s lyrics were not considered to be pastoral because of the wit with which his courtly swains uttered philosophical insights as compared with Neoclassicists’ concept of pastoral as the depiction of the simplicity of the Ancient shepherd which was conveyed through his actions and perceptions. This thesis attends to that omission in accounts of English pastoral and begins with Marvell’s satiric renderings of it. It then turns to similar renderings of Alexander Pope, James Thomson, and Joseph and Thomas Warton, and the later Romantic responses of William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge in manuscript and print. Through these texts, this thesis examines how the habits of mind which each successive poet forms because of the habits of writing he develops through imitating earlier models in literary history then shapes his understanding and accounts of it, creative and critical. This thesis thus studies the verse and prose of the noted authors to examine the concept of pastoral which may be formed from it. It considers how pastoral serves as a mode in which the images and underlying ideals of Ancient examples of this kind of writing allowed later poets to examine the succession of poetic responses to it. It concludes with a discussion of what ideas may then be formed of genre and literary history.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and Creative Studies, Department of English Literature
Funders: Other
Other Funders: College of Arts and Law Graduate School
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature


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