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‘Ile bring thee <i>Herrick</i> to <i>Anacreon</i>’: Robert Herrick’s Anacreontics and the Politics of Conviviality in <i>Hesperides</i>

Stella Achilleos

in ‘Lords of Wine and Oile’

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199604777
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191729355 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199604777.003.0009
‘Ile bring thee Herrick to Anacreon’: Robert Herrick’s Anacreontics and the Politics of Conviviality in Hesperides

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This chapter examines Robert Herrick’s translations and imitations of the Anacreontea, concentrating in particular on his appropriation of the concept of the anacreontic symposium in Hesperides. For Herrick, this provides the model for an elite and refined form of sociability and conviviality that is often associated with Ben Jonson and those convivial drinking sessions held by Jonson and his ‘sons’ at various London taverns in the 1620s. A number of Herrick’s anacreontics might have been composed during this period, registering an aspect of his literary exchange within this select community of poets. However, as it is argued, these poems gain a politically sharpened set of connotations in Hesperides in 1648, as, within the context of the political and ideological controversies of the Civil War period, the element of communal drinking in the genre comes to project a notion of royalist bonding and solidarity.

Keywords: Robert Herrick; anacreontic; elite sociability; conviviality; drinking verses; communal drinking; literary exchange; Ben Jonson; Jonson’s ‘sons’; royalism

Chapter.  11155 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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