Publication Date

1971

DOI (Digital Object Identifier)

10.26716/redlands/doctor/1971.3

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Committee or Advisor Chair

F.S. Bromberger

Committee Members

William Main, University of Redlands

Gordon Atkins, University of Redlands

Ralph Hone, University of Redlands

French Fogle, Claremont Graduate School

Keywords

literature, poetry, Edward Taylor, religion, Puritanism, literary criticism

Disciplines

Christian Denominations and Sects | Comparative Literature | English Language and Literature | Poetry | Religion

Abstract

Persistent critical attention has been directed to the poetry of Edward Taylor since Thomas H. Johnson's publication of The Poetical Works of Edward Taylor in 1939. However, even after scrupulous efforts by literary scholars, the life and works of Taylor continue to provoke questions. The same, obviously, can be said for the lives and literary achievements of numerous figures; after all, the work of the biographer and literary critic is theoretically never done. But Edward Taylor, owing to scant biographical data and perhaps the shortness of time since the publication of his work, poses confounding questions (e.g., the reason for Taylor's leaving England as a young man and the reason for his injunction against the publication of his writings). Central to this study, however, is a more intriguing question. Given the narrow religious setting of Colonial New England, a milieu which Willie T. Weathers correctly characterizes as not a very good school for poets, how does one account for poetry of the nature of the Preparatory Meditations, poetry celebrating man while taking note of his limitations and poetry focusing on a loving Christ rather than a militant Christ? The question appears to have gone largely unanswered.

Comments

Department: Comparative Literature

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