Walter Ralegh: Ocean to Cynthia

(2637 words)
  • Victoria Bancroft (Oxford University)

The Ocean to Cynthia is a love poem to Elizabeth I, written by the explorer and courtier Sir Walter Ralegh. It is a work surrounded by uncertainty; discovered in manuscript form at Hatfield House by C.J. Stewart in the mid nineteenth-century, it was never formally published by Ralegh, and only a fragment of the manuscript exists; the twenty-first book, and a fragment of the twenty-second. It is not clear whether the previous twenty books were ever written, or whether they merely existed in outline form as part of a hugely ambitious project on Ralegh’s part. Indeed some scholars suggest that the numbering of books is incorrect; Agnes Latham, followed by Walter Oakeshott, argues that they are in fact the eleventh and …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Citation:
Bancroft, Victoria. "Ocean to Cynthia". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 January 2013
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=34671, accessed 21 September 2014.]