Abstract: “Upon the Hurricane” is one of relatively few poems by Anne Finch to survive in several states of authorial revision. A response to the Great Storm of November 1703, it is also one of the first poems she is known to have written following the death of James II in September 1701. This article compares the early manuscript and print versions of the poem, reading them for evidence both of Finch’s practice as a poet and a reviser and of her complex political and emotional response to James’s death. “Upon the Hurricane” follows Jacobite orthodoxy in seeing the widespread destruction caused by the storm as confirmation of the nation’s perfidy in rebelling against its rightful king. It also indicates the limits of Finch’s Jacobitism through its failure to look to James’s son and heir for political redemption and its insistence that safety can only be found in God.
Studies in Philology – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Jul 3, 2014