This new study raises fundamental questions about the nature of imaginative writing in the age of 'England's troubles'. Drawing energy from recent debates in Stuart history, this book looks past the traditional watersheds of Restoration and Revolution, plotting the responsiveness of seventeenth-century writers to the tremors of civil conflict and to the enduring crises and contradictions of Stuart governance. Augustine draws freely from the insights and strategies of contextual analysis, close reading, and critical theory in a bid to defamiliarise major texts of the period, from the poetry of young Milton to the brilliant works of adaptation, translation, and bricolage that characterised Dryden's last decade. Muting the antagonisms and conflicts that have dominated previous accounts, Aesthetics of contingency thus proposes to write the literary history of this period anew. -- .
Matthew C. Augustine is a Lecturer in the School of English at the University of St Andrews -- .
Introduction: remapping early modern literature 1. 'He saw a greater Sun appear': waiting for the apocalypse in Milton's Poems 1645 2. 'We goe to heaven against each others wills': revising Religio Medici in the English Revolution 3. 'But Iconoclastes drawn in little': making and unmaking a Whig Marvell 4. 'It had an odde promiscuous tone': Lord Rochester and Restoration modernity 5. 'Transprosing and Transversing': religion, revolution, and the end of history in Dryden's late works 6. Coda Index -- .