Andrew Marwell (1621-1678) and Europe


Université de Haute-Alsace (Mulhouse)
23-25 juin 2016
Université de Strasbourg

With the support of the Andrew Marvell Society, ILLE (Institut de Recherche en Langues et Littératures Européennes, EA 4363, Université de Haute Alsace Mulhouse) and SEARCH (Savoirs dans l’espace anglophone: représentations, culture, histoire, EA 2325, Université de Strasbourg).



A full understanding of Andrew Marvell’s verse and prose writings requires an appreciation of their European context. Marvell himself travelled to the European Continent repeatedly: between 1642/3 and 1647 he visited Holland, France, Italy and Spain; in 1655-1656 he stayed at the Protestant Academy at Saumur, France, with Oliver Cromwell’s ward, William Dutton, and where he must have encountered figures such as Moyse Amyraut; in 1662 to 1663 he was in Holland on state business the nature of which has yet to be established; and between 1663 and 1665 he was part of the Earl of Carlisle’s embassy to Muscovy, Sweden, and Denmark. He thus had considerable technical expertise in all aspects of diplomacy, statecraft and maritime affairs. After all, from 1657 Marvell was Latin Secretary to John Thurloe, Cromwell’s spymaster, and must have had inside knowledge of the Protectorate’s dealings with other European nations. Contemporary events, such as the three Anglo-Dutch wars of the mid-century, afforded him ample material for his satires and prose polemics. His An Account of the Growth of Popery and Arbitrary Government (1677) was translated into French under the title Relation de l’accroissement de la papauté et du gouvernement absolu en Angleterre and published in Hamburg in 1680, extending his readership to the Continent. And Early-modern European literature more widely – such as the work of the libertins érudits – deeply informed his poems and prose.


This conference will explore these topics:

  • Marvell’s travels in Europe
  • Marvell and diplomacy
  • Marvell and France
  • Marvell and the Netherlands
  • Marvell and European politics
  • Marvell and religious debates in Europe
  • Marvell and European thought
  • Marvell and European art and literature

Advisory Committee:

  • Matthew C. AUGUSTINE, University of St Andrews
  • Jean-Jacques CHARDIN, Université de Strasbourg
  • Laurent CURELLY, Université de Haute Alsace – Mulhouse
  • Martin DZELZAINIS, University of Leicester
  • Alex GARGANIGO, Austin College
  • Nicholas von MALTZAHN, University of Ottawa
  • Timothy RAYLOR, Carleton College
  • Nigel SMITH, Princeton University

Organisation :

Laurent CURELLY (Université de Haute-Alsace) :

View the program