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The New Oxford Book of Seventeenth-Century Verse [Anglais] [Broché]

Alastair Fowler

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

Review from previous edition The best thing about this stimulating and enjoyable book is the serendipity of coming across previously unknown delights. (The Economist)

Fowler has cast his net widely, more widely than his predecessors, and to good effect. (London Review of Books)

well worth putting on your Christmas list, for the sake of the many fine and otherwise neglected poets he has chosen (The Independent Weekend)

Présentation de l'éditeur

The seventeenth century was a period of remarkable achievement in the field of English poetry: it was the age of Shakespeare, Donne, Marvell, Jonson, Drayton, Herbert, Dryden, and Rochester among others. Alastair Fowler's celebrated anthology maps the terrain afresh, including innumerable and generous selections from all of the century's masterpieces as well as fascinating work by less familiar names. It strikes a balance between Metaphysical wit and intellect and Jonsonian simplicity, while also accommodating hitherto neglected popular verse. The result is a truer, more Catholic representation of seventeenth-century verse than any previous anthology.

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3.0 étoiles sur 5 Some Odd Selections 26 août 2004
Par Sarang Gopalakrishnan - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
There's lots of excellent poetry from the seventeenth century, and a lot of it has got into this book. But I think the editors could have done a lot better. One expected but still irritating omission is the great dramatic blank verse of the seventeenth century. As a result, pretty much the only blank verse included from that form's Golden Age is its least representative: i.e. that of Milton. Since the editors were willing to include masques, the omission of dramatic verse is really very silly.

Admittedly there were constraints of space, but surely some of the best scenes and speeches from The Duchess of Malfi, The Revenger's Tragedy, The Changeling, Volpone etc. should have been let in. As it is, a poet of Webster's stature is represented by two songs (inexplicably the editors have dropped "Hark, now everything is still") -- one page to 20-odd for William Drummond of Hawthornden. Similarly with Dekker and Ford; Middleton is represented only by one poem, and that of doubtful authorship. Naturally, this leads to a rather skewed picture of early seventeenth century verse.

There are several other odd decisions. Shirley's famous "Death the Leveller" poem ("The glories of our blood and state / Are shadows ...") is omitted, as is Drayton's ode on the history of English poetry. Beaumont's marvellous songs from The Maid's Tragedy (e.g. "Lay a garland on my hearse") are not included. Campion is underrepresented with just four songs -- though that might be to avoid duplication with the sixteenth-century anthology. There are too many selections from Paradise Lost, an understandable temptation but one that should have been resisted. The famous Richard Flecknoe is represented with two poems -- rather mysteriously, since "Mac Flecknoe" is excerpted and Marvell's satire on R.F. left out.

Which brings me to my chief complaint: Dryden is badly mistreated. He gets much less space than Donne, Jonson and Herrick -- less space even than Drayton and Herbert -- and that little space is misused. Mac Flecknoe, easily the most influential poem of the later seventeenth century, is represented by a tiny excerpt. Absalom and Achitophel does only slightly better. Annus Mirabilis is completely unrepresented, although the editors find space for D'Avenant's Gondibert. The plays are of course left out, though three prologues are included. Now, admittedly the prologues are good poetry, but to put them in at the expense of Mac Flecknoe is absurd. Alexander's Feast and the Killigrew Ode are left out, as is The Medal; the previous St. Cecilia ode gets in. Fables Ancient and Modern is represented by "Baucis and Philemon" and a little piece of "Theodore and Honoria". Why these choices? The only evident reason is that they are short. The Medal and the translations from Virgil, Horace, Lucretius and Juvenal are also unrepresented. If the editors weren't too keen on Dryden at least they could have represented him by what are generally considered his best poems.

All those complaints aside, though, this is still a pretty good anthology. Especially for the price.
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