Showing posts from October, 2017

Raid on Chatham 1667 Andrew Marvell v. Rudyard Kipling


It is interesting to compare the similarities between two poets dealing with the 1667 Dutch raid on the Medway centuries apart.

The three Anglo-Dutch wars from 1653 -1673 saw fourteen battles or major raids in Western European waters. Clashes between the English and the Dutch in West Africa and the American colonies also occurred.

The Battle of Lowestoft 3rd June 1665, is generally regarded as an English victory, with the loss of at least 30 Dutch ships and James Duke of York excelling himself as an admiral .

The Four Day battle from 1st June 1666- 4th June 1666, was one of the longest ever sea battles. The English and the Dutch fleets managed to exhaust each other, though English losses were far higher.

Pieter Cornelisz van Soest [Public domain], via Wikimedia Common
On 10th -12th August 1666, an English fleet under Robert Holmes had raided the Dutch town of West Terschelling, which was set on fire alon…

John Dryden and Restoration War Poetry -Introduction

John Dryden's War Poetry- 'Annus Mirabilis' part one

                                             Courtesy of  Wikimedia Commons
                                             Portrait of John Dryden painted by James Maubert 1695

 John Dryden (1631- 1700) was a renowned  poet, satirist, dramatist, translator ,classical scholar,  and his contribution to war poetry needs to be highlighted.  Poet Laureate  from 1668-1688, Dryden was dismissed from the supposedly life time post for refusing to swear an oath of allegiance to William and Mary.  Studying his influence  is a mammoth task indeed due to sheer volume of work produced. 

The great Dryden scholar James Anderson Winn maintains that Dryden 'painted history' and cites his epic poem 'Annus Mirabilis' to this effect about the events of 1665-1666.. Indeed, if one reads 'Annus Mirabilis' as a historical record, then problems emerge. It's almost like trying to learn  about the French Revolution and Napol…

Introduction to A Burnt Ship

A consequence of studying 20th century war poetry was that it  stimulated my new interest in seventeenth century poetry. And from that 'A Burnt Ship' blog was born.  An earlier version of this first article was published on the Great War at Sea Poetry blog.

If anyone who is looking for World War 2 poetry , feel free to visit the  World War 2 Poetry blog.

If anyone is interested in 20th century War at Sea poetry, feel free to visit the Great War at Sea Poetry blog

John Donne 

 Hendrick Cornelisz Vroom 'Battle between England and Spain 
                                                      1601-[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

                               The Burnt Ship 

Fighting at sea can be particularly ferocious, simply because there is so little chance to retreat let alone desert ; as the medieval chronicler Froissart observed  concerning the 1340 Battle of Sluys;

“It was indeed a bloody and murderous battle. Sea-fights are always fiercer than figh…