New in paperback. Hardcover was published in 1993.
In The Reinvention of Love Anthony Low argues that cultural, economic and political change transformed the way poets from Sidney to Milton thought and wrote about love. Examining the interface between social, political and economic practices and individual psyches, as reflected in literary texts, Professor Low illuminates the connections between material circumstances, perceptions, and ideals. Through detailed readings of the work of Sidney, Donne, Herbert, Crashaw, Carew, and Milton, he shows how from the late sixteenth century poets struggled to replace the older Petrarchan tradition with a form of love in harmony with a changing world, and to reconcile human love and sacred devotion. Donne fled the social world; Carew made new accommodations with it; Milton revised it. For Milton, sacred love, cut off from communal norms, verges on hatred, while married love takes on the burden of assuaging loneliness in a threatening world.
Preface; Introduction; 1. Sir Philip Sidney: 'Huge desyre'; 2. John Donne: 'Defects of lonelinesse'; 3. John Donne: 'The Holy Ghost is amorous in his metaphors'; 4. George Herbert: 'The best love'; 5. Richard Crashaw: 'Love's delicious fire'; 6. Thomas Carew: 'Fresh invention'; 7. John Milton: 'Because we freely love'; 8. John Milton: 'Haile wedded love'; Conclusion.