Edmund Waller: Instructions to a Painter

(422 words)
  • Glyn Pursglove (University of Wales, Swansea)

Waller's Instructions to a Painter has an importance in the history of English poetry rather greater than the one its own relatively modest qualities might suggest. The poem's full title was Instructions to a painter, for the drawing of a picture of the state and posture of the English forces at sea, under the command of His Royal Highness in the conclusion of the year 1664. Its first publication was as a broadside. An expanded second edition (1666) added to essentially the same title a clause to explain that the poem dealt with the battel & victory obtained over the Dutch, June 3, 1665. In 1658 Waller contributed commendatory verses to a translation, by his friend Sir Thomas Higgons, of the Italian poet …

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Pursglove, Glyn. "Instructions to a Painter". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 October 2000
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=4463, accessed 27 November 2015.]