Andrew Marvell: Bermudas (1253 words)

Graham Parry (University of York)
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Why should Marvell write a poem about the Bermudas? The answer must lie in his relationship with John Oxenbridge, a Fellow of Eton College, in whose house Marvell stayed in 1652-3 while he was tutoring a ward of Oliver Cromwell. Oxenbridge was involved in the government of the Bermudas, and had visited the islands twice. He was an Independent (or Congregationalist), who had been persecuted by Archbishop Laud in 1634, when he left England and took refuge in the Bermudas – a victim of “the prelates’ rage” (line 12). The poem is in effect a tribute to Oxenbridge’s involvement with the islands, which are presented as a place where divine providence is especially active. God has prepared the Bermudas as a …

Citation: Parry, Graham. "Bermudas". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 October 2018 [, accessed 19 June 2021.]

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