The Works of Lucy Hutchinson: Volume I: The Translation of Lucretius

ISBN : 9780199247363

Reid Barbour; David Norbrook
960 Pages
Multiple Copy Pack
149 x 224 mm
Pub date
Dec 2011
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This is the first volume in the four-volume edition of The Works of Lucy Hutchinson, the first-ever collected edition of the writings of the pioneering author and translator. Hutchinson (1620-81) had a remarkable range of her interests, from Latin poetry to Civil War politics and theology. This edition of her translation of Lucretius's De rerum natura offers new biographical material, demonstrating the changes and unexpected continuities in Hutchinson's life between the work's composition in the 1650s and its dedication in 1675. Hers is the first complete surviving English translation of one of the great philosophical poems , a challenging text at the borderlines of poetry and philosophy. For the first time, the Lucretius translation is made available alongside the Latin text Hutchinson used, which differs in innumerable ways from versions known today. The commentary provides multiple ways into further understanding of the translation and its contexts. Written at a momentous period in political and literary history, Hutchinson's Lucretius throws light on the complex transition between 'ancient' and 'modern' conceptions of the classical canon and of natural philosophy. It offers a case study in the history of reading, and more specifically of reading by a woman. Through close comparison with three contemporary translations, this edition situates Hutchinson's version in the context of the shifting poetic languages of the seventeenth century, and facilitates an approach to Lucretius' often rebarbative Latin. It further demonstrates the remarkable ways in which Hutchinson's engagement with this 'atheistical' poem leaves deep traces on her later, militantly Calvinist prose and verse.


Acknowledgements and permissions
List of illustrations
Abbreviations and conventions
Lucretius, De rerum natura: the Latin text, books 1-6
Hutchinson's Lucretius, books 1-6
Bibliography and Abbreviations List

About the author: 

Reid Barbour is Professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has published widely in the field of early modern studies, including books on classical reception, religion, prose fiction, and John Selden. He is the editor of Studies in Philology. ; David Norbrook has taught at Magdalen College, Oxford and the University of Maryland and is currently Merton Professor of English Literature, University of Oxford. He has published widely on Renaissance literature and history.

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