Andrew Marvell's Latin Poetry: From Text to Context (356pp.)

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David Norbrook, Review of English Studies 56 (Sept. 2005), 675-6.
‘We have waited a long time for a study of Marvell’s Latin poetry; fortunately, Estelle Haan’s monograph generously makes good the loss ... One of her most intriguing suggestions … is that Marvell may have presented paired poems like ‘Ros’ and ‘On a Drop of Dew’, and the poems to the obligingly named Dr Witty, to his student Maria Fairfax as his own patterns for the pedagogical practice of double translation. Perhaps the most original parts of the book, however, move beyond the familiar canon to cover the generic range of the Latin verse. Haan offers a very full contextualization of the early Horatian Ode to Charles I in seventeenth-century exercises in parodia. In a rewarding reading of the poem to Dr Ingelo she shows how Marvell deploys the language of Ovid’s Tristia to present Sweden as a place of shivering exile, only to subvert this model with a neo-Virgilian celebration of Christina as a virtuous, city-building Dido. She draws extensively on historical as well as literary sources to offer very detailed contextualizations of the poem to Maniban and ‘Scaevola Scotto-Britannus’... This monograph opens up many new ways into the Latin verse, not least because it is rounded off with new texts and prose translations of the Latin poems. These make a substantial contribution in their own right. They are the best and most accurate translations to date (those in Smith’s edition having some lapses); they avoid poeticisms but bring out the structure of the poems' wordplay very clearly. This book brings us a lot closer to seeing Marvell whole.'
Original languageEnglish
PublisherPeeters Publishers
Number of pages356
ISBN (Print)2870312164
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2003


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