ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Abraham Cowley

(1618-1667)


Abraham Cowley was a literary prodigy, composing a romance at ten and a book of poems while a student at Westminster. He attended Trinity College Cambridge (B.A. 1640, M.A. 1643); after he was ejected from the University in 1644 he followed the court to Paris. Returning to England in 1654 Cowley was imprisoned as a secret agent. Upon his release he studied medicine ( M.D. 1655). Cowley was not rewarded as he felt he deserved and spent his last years in retirement, where he wrote the Essays which proved to be his most enduring work.


TEXT RECORDS:

1650The Guardian; a Comedie.
1650To Sir William D'Avenant, upon his two first Books of Gondibert, finish'd before his Voyage to America.
1656Davideis, a Sacred Poem of the Troubles of David. In Four Books.
1664 ca.Of Myself.

PUBLICATIONS:

Poeticall blossomes. 1633, 1636.
Loves riddle: a pastoral comaedie. 1638.
Naufragium joculare: comedia. 1638.
Prologue and epilogue [from Guardian]. 1642.
A satyre against separatists. 1642.
A satyre: the puritan and the papist. 1643.
The mistress: or several copies of love-verses. 1647.
The foure ages of England. 1648.
The guardian: a comedie. 1650.
Poems. 1656.
Ode, upon the blessed restoration and returne of his sacred Majestie Charles the Second. 1660.
A proposition for the advancement of experimental philosophy. 1661.
Visions and prophecies. 1661.
A. Couleii plantarum libri duo. 1662.
Verses lately written upon several occasions. 1663.
Cutter of Coleman street: a comedy. 1663.
Verses, written upon several occasions. 1663.
Works. 3 vols, 1668-89.
A poem on the late civil war. 1679.
Select works, ed. Bishop Hurd. 3 vols, 1772-77.
Prose works. 1826.
English writings, ed. A. R. Waller. 2 vols, 1905, 1906.
Poetry and prose, ed. L. C. Martin. 1949.
The civil War, ed. Allan Pritchard. 1973.
Collected works, ed. Thomas O. Calhoun, Laurence Heyworth, Allan Pritchard. 1989- .