Wit, Conversation and Literary Transmission in Mid-Seventeenth-Century France and England: How Andrew Marvell Heard his Rabelais
University of Chicago Press
Reason for embargo
References to Rabelais in Andrew Marvell’s prose satires against religious intolerance, The Rehearsal Transpros’d (1672–73), offer insights into the Restoration reception of Rabelaisian satire in the universities and the coffeehouses as a specifically anticlerical form of wit. But these references are either misattributed or incorrect, suggesting that Marvell may never actually have read Gargantua and Pantagruel, but rather picked up Rabelaisian anecdotes when conversing in intellectual circles in France in the mid-1650s. Critical focus on the history of reading tends to neglect the inevitable role of such conversation in literary transmission, both within a national culture and across national borders.
This article was completed during the tenure of a research fellowship awarded by the Leverhulme Trust in 2014–15 for a project on “The English Rabelais, 1580–1780.” An initial version was delivered as a paper on a panel convened by the Andrew Marvell Society at the 2011 RSA conference in Montreal, and I thank the audience for their comments. I also thank Hugh Roberts, my colleague at Exeter, for commenting on an earlier draft.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from University of Chicago Press via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 69 (3), pp. 940 - 965