Andrew Marvell

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Winestead, England
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Winestead, England

Andrew Marvell, one of the great English poets of the seventeenth century, was a metaphysical poet renowned for his passionate, sensuous, and elegant lyrics. The fact that his works continue to be praised and admired in the contemporary period demonstrates his greatness as a poet. He was profoundly influenced by John Donne and the metaphysical school, but his works also exhibit the cavalier school’s characteristic elegance. Thus, Andrew Marvell can be described as a seminal figure of transition, whose works effortlessly bridged the metaphysical and cavalier schools. He was a protégé and friend of John Milton, and he, like Milton, wrote several poems about contemporary political issues; indeed, many postmodern theorists have emphasized Marvell’s status as a political writer. Marvell was also a politician, serving in the House of Commons as a member. As a poet, he began writing at a young age, though his first poems were published in Greek and Latin while he was still in college. Ironically, much of his sarcastic political satires were never published during his lifetime, and he was only recognized as a major poet following his death. Due to the paucity of information about this enigmatic poet’s personal life, historians have always been fascinated by his life.

Childhood & Adolescence

He was born on 31 March 1621 to Reverend Andrew Marvell and his wife Anne Pease Marvell, a Church of England clergyman. When Andrew was three years old, his father was appointed as a lecturer at Holy Trinity Church.
He attended Hull Grammar School for his primary education. He was sent to Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1633, at the age of 12, where he eventually earned a B.A. degree in 1639.
He began writing poems in college and had two of his poems published in an anthology of Cambridge poets, one in Latin and one in Greek.
He desired to continue his studies and earn a master’s degree, but his father’s accidental death in 1642 and the outbreak of the civil war forced him to discontinue his studies.

Career of Andrew Marvell

Due to the writer’s paucity of information, it is speculated that he may have worked briefly in his brother-in-shipping law’s business following his departure from Cambridge.
He traveled extensively throughout Europe in the 1640s, completing a four-year tour of the continent. According to some sources, he worked as a tutor to support himself during his travels.

By touring throughout Holland, France, Italy, and Spain, he was able to completely avoid England’s civil war. His extensive travels enabled him to expand his linguistic repertoire to include Dutch, French, Spanish, and Italian.
Between 1645 and 1649, he wrote several poems with a Royalist tone, establishing him as a Royalist sympathizer.
He was greatly influenced by Oliver Cromwell’s personality and wrote “An Horatian Ode upon Cromwell’s Return from Ireland” in 1650. The poem drew widespread attention for its deft lyrics and also sparked debate over the poet’s admiration for the military general.

He tutored Mary Fairfax, daughter of Lord General Thomas Fairfax, a retired Commonwealth general who lived at Nun Appleton, in the early 1650s. Marvell wrote several of his most famous poems here, including ‘Music’s Empire’, ‘Upon Appleton House, to My Lord Fairfax’, and ‘To His Coy Mistress’.
In 1653, Andrew Marvell was recommended for a position in the same department by John Milton, a friend who worked in Oliver Cromwell’s government. Marvell declined this position and instead tutored William Dutton, a Cromwell ward.

He resided at the house of John Oxenbridge in Eton while tutoring Dutton. He visited Bermuda twice while he was there and was inspired to write the poem ‘Bermudas’. In 1656, he traveled to France with Dutton and paid a visit to the Protestant Academy of Saumur.
Marvell joined Milton’s Council of State in 1657 as a Latin secretary. He maintained his political poetry writing.

In 1659, he was elected to the Third Protectorate Parliament as a Member of Parliament for Kingston-upon-Hull, and was re-elected in 1660 to the Convention Parliament.
He devoted the remainder of his years to government service and continued writing political satires, some of which were deemed too sensitive to publish under his own name and were therefore published anonymously.
He was serving as the London agent for the Hull Trinity House, a shipmasters’ guild, at the time of his untimely death, a position he had taken up in 1659.

Significant Works of Andrew Marvell

‘To His Coy Mistress’ is one of his most well-known works; it is a metaphysical poem in which the poet addresses a woman who is slow to respond to his advances and laments that he does not have enough time to admire and love her.
Another of his well-known poems is ‘Upon Appleton House.’ The poem, written for Thomas Fairfax, describes the Nun Appleton estate while reflecting on contemporary political issues.

Personal History and Legacies

The poet’s personal life remains a mystery. Despite the fact that he was a bachelor at the time of his death, his housekeeper Mary Palmer claimed they had secretly married in 1667. However, her claims were deemed dubious, though they added to the poet’s mystique.

He died of a fever on 16 August 1678. His untimely death at the age of 57 sparked rumors that he had been poisoned by the Jesuits.

During his lifetime, only a few of his poems were published. In 1681, three years after his death, the vast majority of his works were published posthumously.

Estimated Net Worth

Andrew is one of the wealthiest poets and is listed on the list of most popular poets. Andrew Marvell’s net worth is estimated to be around $1.5 million, based on our analysis of Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.