The Civil War

By Abraham Cowley Edited by Allan Pritchard

© 1973

The Civil War is a poem which Abraham Cowley (1618-67) did not complete, for political and historical reasons, and of which only the first volume was published; the other two volumes have been considered irrecoverably lost since Cowley's death. Professor Pritchard recently found two copies of the complete poem in a collection of family papers at the Hertfordshire County Record Office and here presents a corrected edition of the first and previously published book, and the text of the hitherto unpublished books two and three.

The poem is a major addition to the body of Cowley's poetry; it has close and sometimes surprising connections with much of his other work. It is not only the most extended and important of his political poems but a significant addition to the genre of the political poem. It is also unique as the attempt by a poet of stature to give epic treatment to the events of the English Civil War.

Professor Pritchard provides a discussion of the personal, historical, and literary contexts of the poem in the introduction, as well as of textual problems and methods, showing the way in which the poem is shaped both by contemporary history and polemics and by classical and later literary tradition. 

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Product Details

  • Series: Heritage
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 206 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.5in x 9.0in
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SKU# SP004603

  • PUBLISHED DEC 1973

    From: $23.96

    Regular Price: $31.95

    ISBN 9781442639430
  • PUBLISHED DEC 1973

    From: $42.75

    Regular Price: $57.00

Quick Overview

Professor Pritchard provides a discussion of the personal,

historical, and literary contexts of the poem The Civil War in the

introduction, as well as of textual problems and methods, showing the way in which

the poem is shaped both by contemporary history and polemics and by classical and

later literary tradition.

The Civil War

By Abraham Cowley Edited by Allan Pritchard

© 1973

The Civil War is a poem which Abraham Cowley (1618-67) did not complete, for political and historical reasons, and of which only the first volume was published; the other two volumes have been considered irrecoverably lost since Cowley's death. Professor Pritchard recently found two copies of the complete poem in a collection of family papers at the Hertfordshire County Record Office and here presents a corrected edition of the first and previously published book, and the text of the hitherto unpublished books two and three.

The poem is a major addition to the body of Cowley's poetry; it has close and sometimes surprising connections with much of his other work. It is not only the most extended and important of his political poems but a significant addition to the genre of the political poem. It is also unique as the attempt by a poet of stature to give epic treatment to the events of the English Civil War.

Professor Pritchard provides a discussion of the personal, historical, and literary contexts of the poem in the introduction, as well as of textual problems and methods, showing the way in which the poem is shaped both by contemporary history and polemics and by classical and later literary tradition. 

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Heritage
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 206 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.5in x 9.0in
  • Author Information

    Abraham Cowley (1618-1667) was an English poet born in the City of London late in 1618. He was one of the leading English poets of the 17th century, with 14 printings of his Works published between 1668 and 1721.



    Allan Pritchard is a professor emeritus in the Department of English at the University of Toronto.

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