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Title: Minor poets and the game of authorship : the poetry of Thomas Randolph, Katherine Philips and Edmund Waller
Author: Llewellyn, M. E.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2005
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This thesis explores the nature of ‘minor poetry’ of the seventeenth century. I argue that Thomas Randolph, Katherine Philips and Edmund Waller are actively engaged in a deliberate strategy of poetic limitation that might be termed a ‘game’; that they play with the very idea of authorship in their work. Part One looks at the work of Randolph, with the first chapter focusing on his relationship with his ‘father’ Ben Jonson and Randolph’ position within the group known as the ‘Tribe’ or ‘Sons’ of Ben. I then offer a reading of Randolph’s private and social poetry, suggesting that he consciously formulates poetry as a private realm for the poet, a place of imagination which is distinctly non-public. The second part of this thesis looks at the work of Katherine Philips, outlining the philosophical nature of friendship discourse in the period and suggesting that Philip’s poetry ad Orinda problematises the nature of publication or dissemination of poetry by setting up a society which must, if it is to follow its own Platonic doctrine, remain secret and unspoken. Publication and issues surrounding print are the focus of continued questions in Philips scholarship and in chapter four I offer some suggestions about how, in the light of the discussion of friendship in the preceding chapter, we might read Philips as a reluctant, though playful, author. The final part looks at the work of Edmund Waller, examining specifically his approach to poetry and to art in more general terms. Waller’s intertextuality, his metapoeticism and his multiple aesthetic interests can be read as facets of the playful nature of his poetry. Writing about art itself, even when offering panegyrics to Charles I, Cromwell or Charles II, is I suggest, a deliberate strategy on Waller’s part to turn the aesthetic into the central interest of his work.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available