This Chronology had its inception in a file I kept to organize information about Andrew Marvell’s works and life, to record allusions to him and his writings, and to assist in finding fresh facts about him. Since Pierre Legouis’s compendious André Marvell (Paris, 1928; revised and much abbreviated in English translation, 1968), there has been no comprehensive biography or allusion-list to compare with those afforded other authors, most conspicuously Marvell’s more famous friend, John Milton. The lack is only partly compensated for by the excellence of the two-volume Poems and Letters of Andrew Marvell, of which the third edition appeared over 30 years ago (Oxford, 1971), edited by H.M. Margoliouth and revised by Pierre Legouis with the collaboration of Elsie Duncan-Jones. Rich as those volumes are and handsome in their presentation of the texts, they are selective in what they present of Marvell’s life-records and of course contain little information about his prose works. Subsequent scholarship has added considerably to our store of knowledge about his life and works. The only counterparts to this Chronology are George deForest Lord’s chronology in the Everyman edition of Marvell’s Complete Poems (1984) and Hilton Kelliher’s informative and richly illustrated Andrew Marvell: Poet and Politician (1978), the catalogue of the tercentenary exhibition at the British Library. There are many further life-records, however, and much related evidence for consideration by the student of Marvell. There is some consensus that Marvell is an enigma. That he may remain — it may be characteristic of a great poet to be so in some part and few persons are without their secrets — but it is hoped that this summary of his life-records may encourage wider reference to the rich store of information about him.
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