The Literary Underground in the 1660s: Andrew Marvell, George Wither, Ralph Wallis, and the World of Restoration Satire and Pamphleteering

ISBN : 9780199660858

Stephen Bardle
208 Pages
152 x 220 mm
Pub date
Oct 2012
Oxford English Monographs
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The restoration of the monarchy in 1660 has commonly been thought to represent a return to political stability and religious consensus following the tumultuous civil wars and the Commonwealth period. However, by analysing underground texts from 1660 to 1670, Stephen Bardle provides a new literary historical narrative of what was in fact one of the most tumultuous periods in English history. This new study contributes to an on-going historical re-evaluation of the Restoration period, a time when terrible plague, the Great Fire of London, and a brutal war against the Dutch quickly undermined the popularity of the new government. The Literary Underground in the 1660s tells the story of three writers who fuelled the flames of opposition by contributing illicit texts to a small yet intense public sphere via the literary underground. Key texts by Andrew Marvell, including The Garden, are set in the context of under-explored works by the poet and pamphleteer George Wither, and the indomitable satirist Ralph Wallis. This book draws upon extensive archival research and features neglected manuscript and print sources. As an original study of the literary underground, which sheds light on the vibrancy of political opposition in the 1660s, this book should be of interest to students of radicalism as well as seventeenth-century historians and literary scholars.


1. Resisting Uniformity 1660-1664
2. The Second Anglo Dutch War 1664-1667
3. The Second Conventicle Act 1667-1670

About the author: 

Stephen Bardle completed a doctorate in English Literature at the University of Oxford in 2008. This is his first book.

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