The Restoration Transposed argues for the importance of the decades from 1660 to 1700 in transforming and diversifying English-language poetry. While traditional perceptions of the literary Restoration typically identify it with the topical concerns of elite London-based men, this narrow stereotype fails to account for such landmark publications of the period as John Milton’s Paradise Lost, Katherine Philips’s Poems, and the English and Latin poetry of Abraham Cowley. By contrast, The Restoration Transposed’s version of the literary Restoration stresses its historical self-awareness and anxieties, its engagement with the world outside London, and its openness to new and previously marginalised voices. Three detailed case studies demonstrate the period’s preoccupation with English literary history (as exemplified by Edmund Spenser), the flourishing of poetry in and about Ireland, and the popularity of trees and plants as poetic subjects for both mainstream and less well-known writers. A concluding chapter argues for the importance of the period in circulating English-language poetry beyond London and normalising poetry by women. It also offers new perspectives on canonical poets such as Dryden, Rochester, Cowley, Milton, Marvell and Behn.
- literary history
- literary geography