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Richard Lovelace

Lovelace, Richard, 1618–1657?, one of the English Cavalier poets. He was the son of a Kentish knight and was educated at Oxford. In 1642 he was briefly imprisoned for having presented to Parliament a petition for the restoration of the bishops. An ardent royalist, he served with the French army during the English civil war. On his return to England in 1648, he was imprisoned by the Commonwealth. His royalist sympathies lost him his entire fortune, and he died in extreme poverty. He is remembered almost solely for two extremely graceful, melodic, and much-quoted lyrics, "To Althea, from Prison" and "To Lucasta, Going to the Wars." The first volume of his poems, Lucasta: Epodes, Odes, Sonnets, Songs, &c., appeared in 1649; the companion volume, Lucasta: Posthume Poems, in 1660.

See edition of his poems ed. by C. H. Wilkinson (1930); biography by M. Weidhorn (1970).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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