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Some uncollected letters of Andrew Marvell

J. D. Alsop


EARLIER this year the British Library acquired an unpublished letter of Marvell to Sir Henry Thompson of Escrick, dated i6 December 1675.' Sir Henry (c. 1627-84), the second of the five sons of Richard Thompson of Kilham and his wife Anne Thompson, nee Nelthorpe, was a successful wine merchant, knighted in 1665 and serving as Member of Parhament for York from 1673 until 1681, in succession to Thomas Osborne, Earl of Danby.- With him and with his youngest brother Edward (c. 1637-1701), whose political views coincided largely with his own, Marvell corresponded over the last eight years of his life in a friendly and even playful fashion, thanking them for favours to himself and to his nephew William Popple when the latter was setting up in the w ine trade at Bordeaux, and retailing current news and gossip. This new letter, which brings the total so far known of the series to eighteen, that is, to no less than two-fifths of Marvell's miscellaneous correspondence in the standard edition, fits neatly between two that were written on 9 and 28 December to Sir Henry and Edward Thompson respectively.'

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