by Randy Robertson Thou art a mailéd warrior in youth and strength complete Armed cap-a-pie Full fair to see; Unknowing fear, Undreading loss, A gallant cavalier, Sans peur et sans reproche, In sunlight and in shadow, The Bayard of the meadow. --Alfred Tennyson, ``The Grasshopper,'' 1830 HE middle of the seventeenth century saw England rent asunder by civil war; beleaguered, the Cavalier poet Richard Lovelace sought with his exquisite lyrics to brace the tottering royalist cause. His work has a quietly polemical thrust--its smooth surface is deceptive, a product of the censorship that fell athwart royalist writers of the period. In this article, I will canvass the ways in which Lovelace's curved style in Lucasta (1649), as well as his strategic alliance with select parliamentarians, allowed him to circumvent the Puritan censorship that stood in his way. The text and context of Lucasta illustrate the methods that early modern writers used to negotiate censorship and to forge political consensus in times of crisis.1 1 Gerald Hammond's ``Richard Lovelace and the Uses of Obscurity'' also addresses the intentional obscurity of Lovelace's work (Proceedings of the British Academy [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986], 20334). The essay contains some useful insights, but
Studies in Philology – University of North Carolina Press
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