The Second Anglo-Dutch War 1664–1667

Stephen Bardle

in The Literary Underground in the 1660s

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199660858
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191749001 | DOI:

Series: Oxford English Monographs

The Second Anglo-Dutch War 1664–1667

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Following the passing of Uniformity, the public sphere temporarily declined but the literary underground was quickly reanimated by the build-up to war with the Dutch from 1664. The first section surveys George Wither's anti-war poetry. Wither's opposition to the war was based on an anti-imperial politics which saw the war as a threat to Protestant political and religious liberties, both in England and the United Provinces. The second section argues that Marvell initially supported the war, as evidenced by his likely contribution of ‘The Character of Holland’ to the pro-war propaganda campaign, but that numerous examples of naval incompetence and a general lack of leadership within government quickly pushed Marvell into an anti-war position by the start of 1666. Unlike Wither, Marvell retained an imperial vision and his anti-war satires include reformative strategies based around memorial as well as satire to the end of encouraging widespread naval and military regeneration for future national state-building.

Keywords: Second Anglo-Dutch War; advice satires; anti-imperialism; state-building; memorial culture; Wither; Marvell; public sphere

Chapter.  18041 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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