Through close reading of the work of Sidney, Donne, Herbert, Crashaw, Carew and Milton, Anthony Low argues that cultural, economic and political change transformed the way poets from Sidney to Milton thought and wrote about love. He shows how poets struggled to invent a form of love in harmony with the changing world. Sacred love, cut off from old traditions under cultural change, took on surprising new forms. Mutual or married love carried increasingly difficult burdens for lovers seeking shelter from loneliness or accomodation with a threatening world.
"...an exemplary work of literary scholarship, occupying precisely the point of convergence between historical knowledge and critical insight into a specific poetic text." The Ben Jonson Journal "...by an established scholar...it pushes the envelope of our knowledge..." Studies in English Literature "...erudite and informative essay is a valuable contribution to our understanding of the 'female' gothic novel and its place in the romantic canon...A very fine collection of essays." Leslie Tannenbaum, Studies in Romanticism "This perceptive and profoundly humane book offers a fresh and original perspective on the lines of development in Early Modern love poetry as well as a timely reassessment of the views of earlier critics...provides helpful insights into the thought of Milton and Donne in particular and a basis for qualifying and revaluing some of the major emphases of recent critical theory..." John M. Steadman, International Journal of the Classical Tradition