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Reference: Griffin, Julia., (1993). Studies in the literary life of Edward, Lord Herbert of Cherbury. DPhil. University of Oxford.Citable link to this page:


Studies in the literary life of Edward, Lord Herbert of Cherbury

Abstract: This is a sequence of interlinked studies in the writing and intellectual milieu of EdwardHerbert (1582-1648). Both Herbert's work and his acquaintance were impressively diverse:he wrote poetry, and was a friend of John Donne; he wrote philosophy, and correspondedwith Descartes - producing the first translation of Cartesian philosophy into English; as atheological writer, he came into contact with the leading scholars of religion, and used theirwork to create something very different of his own. For Edward Herbert, the brother of theRev. George, came to be seen as the originator of a new and dangerous movement inreligious thought.The thesis considers his work in roughly chronological order, combining a biographicaloutline with detailed discussion of his major works, their origins and their influence. Thefirst, on the poetry, takes as a starting-point his relationship with Donne, their exchange ofideas, and Herbert's commemoration of his friend in an unpublished, probably autographvolume of verse. The second takes his major philosophical work, De Veritate. and exploresits development from the first manuscript (1619) to the last edition (1645), its divergencesfrom the scholastic teaching he received at Oxford, and the response to the work among someof the leading European thinkers of the day. The third is concerned with Herbert's twoworks on historical subjects, one near-contemporary, the other on the previous century - thecentury of the English Reformation: his distinctive views on religion emerge - and hints ofa cautious attempt to alert the King to the dangers of his unpopularity. The fourth and fifthchapters consider Herbert's two theological treatises. As with the historical works, one ofthese is addressed directly to a contemporary readership which is supposed to follow hisprecepts; the other is rooted in the past, less direct in its polemic, revealing a more profoundand complex attitude to the problems he saw in organized religion. The last chapter is moretextual than literary: it examines a much-disputed work, the Dialogue, with its manuscripts,with the aim of preparing the ground for a better edition than has yet been produced. Theconclusion attempts to sum up Herbert's place in the life of the time, and his legacy to hisintellectual nepotes.

Type of Award:DPhil Level of Award:Doctoral Awarding Institution: University of Oxford Notes:The digital copy of this thesis has been made available thanks to the generosity of Dr Leonard Polonsky

Bibliographic Details

Issue Date: 1993Identifiers

Urn: uuid:d29ff5bd-8c7b-404e-91de-237954b1c55d

Source identifier: 602325034 Item Description

Type: Thesis;

Language: eng Subjects: Tiny URL: td:602325034


Author: Griffin, Julia. - institutionUniversity of Oxford facultyFaculty of English Language and Literature - - - - Bibliographic Details



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