Andrew Marvell and Education

Emma Annette Wilson

in The Oxford Handbook of Andrew Marvell

Published in print March 2019 | ISBN: 9780198736400
Published online March 2019 | e-ISBN: 9780191873645 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Andrew Marvell and Education

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  • Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)
  • Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)


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This chapter examines Marvell’s education, from his boyhood in Hull through to his student days at Trinity College, Cambridge, to consider how these learning experiences informed the discursive tactics that he used as a poet, politician, and polemicist. Marvell’s father’s manuscript sermonbook (c.1603) bears witness to the poet’s early exposure to Ramist reasoning and discourse, both in his family home and in Hull’s Holy Trinity Church. Logic formed the backbone of early modern discursive training, and in c.1633, Marvell’s education in this field continued at Trinity College, Cambridge. The chapter draws on a range of discursive logic textbooks used by Marvell and his Cantabrigian contemporaries, applying their methods as a new way of understanding Marvell’s style and tactics in his writings, from his polemics in Mr. Smirke to his pastoral poetry.

Keywords: early modern education; logic; pastoral poetry; Petrus Ramus; Ramism

Article.  8392 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800) ; Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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