Cultivating Peace: The Virgilian Georgic in English, 
1650-1750

Title

Cultivating Peace: The Virgilian Georgic in English, 1650-1750

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Description

During the decades following the English civil wars, British poets seeking to make sense of lingering political instabilities turned to Virgil’s Georgics. This ancient poem betrays deep ambivalences about war, political power, and empire, and such poets as Andrew Marvell, John Dryden, and Anne Finch found in these attitudes valuable ways of responding to the uncertainties of their own time. Composed during a period of brutal conflict in Rome, Virgil’s agricultural poem distrusts easy stability, urging its readers to understand that lasting peace must be sowed, tended, reaped, and replanted, year after year. Like the ancient poet, who famously depicted a farmer’s scythe suddenly recast as a sword, the poets discussed in Cultivating Peace imagine states of peace and war to be fundamentally and materially linked. In distinct ways, they dismantle the dream of the golden age renewed, proposing instead that peace must be sustained by constant labor.

ISBN

ISBN-13: 9781684480470; ISBN-10: 1684480477

Publication Date

2019

Publisher

Bucknell University Press

City

Lewisburg, Pennsylvania

Keywords

English poetry -- Early modern, 1500-1700 -- History and criticism; English poetry -- 18th century -- History and criticism; Peace in literature; Criticism, interpretation, etc; faculty

Disciplines

Literature in English, British Isles

Cultivating Peace: The Virgilian Georgic in English, 
1650-1750

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