Abstract

This essay explores the innovative significance of Anne Finch's poem, A Nocturnal Reverie (1713): as a gender inflected revision of Virgil's tropes of pastoral retirement and twilight closure in the Eclogues; and as an imaginative engagement with Milton's scenes of epithalamium, sleep, and nocturnal vagrancy in Paradise Lost. The essay argues that by enacting a mental state of reverie, Finch mediates between two models of Miltonic night wandering—the Penseroso's vocational deliberation and Eve's involuntary dream of Satanic transgression. It concludes by showing how the poem anticipates the rise of a later-eighteenth-century poetics of evening.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1522-9270
Print ISSN
0039-3657
Pages
pp. 603-623
Launched on MUSE
2005-08-04
Open Access
No
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