Lucasta - Volume II
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Om Lucasta - Volume II
Richard Lovelace was born on 9th December 1617 but where is unknown. Some accounts argue for Woolwich in Kent others for Holland. When he was nine, his father died whilst fighting in the war with Spain and the Dutch Republic in the Siege of Groenlo (1627). His mother, Anne Barne Lovelace, remarried on 20th January 1630, to the Very Rev Dr Jonathan Browne. In 1629, when Lovelace was eleven, he went to Sutton's Foundation at Charterhouse School. Best accounts suggest he spent five years there, three of which coincided with those of Richard Crashaw, who would also became a poet. On 5th May 1631, Lovelace was sworn in as a Gentleman Wayter Extraordinary to King Charles I, an honorary position for which one paid a fee. Lovelace moved to Gloucester Hall, Oxford, in 1634. While there he portrayed himself as a Cavalier poet rather than scholar. His poems were to praise a friend or fellow poet, to advise in grief or love, to define a relationship, to articulate the exact attention a man owes a woman, to celebrate beauty, and to love. He was attractive, witty and handsome, the very qualities for a courtier and Cavalier. It was at Oxford that his comedy, 'The Scholar', was performed in 1636.After Oxford he spent a few months at Cambridge Universcity, where he met Lord Goring, who led him into political trouble. But any adversity brought brought pen to paper and poetry. In 1639 Lovelace joined Lord Goring's regiment, serving first as a senior ensign and then as a captain in the Bishops' Wars. This inspired 'Sonnet. To Generall Goring', the poem 'To Lucasta, Going to the Warres' and the tragedy 'The Soldier'. On his return home to Kent in 1640, Lovelace settled in as a country gentleman and a justice of the peace. But England was moving quickly to Ciivil War.In 1641, Lovelace led a group of men to seize and destroy a 15,000 signature petition for the abolition of Episcopal rule. In 1642 he presented the House of Commons with Dering's pro-Royalist petition which was supposed to have been burned. For these actions Lovelace was imprisoned. He was released on bail, under stipulation that he not communicate with the House of Commons without permission. The experience drew from him 'To Althea, from Prison', which includes the famous words: 'Stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage.'Following his release, Lovelace lived briefly in London, and then moved to the Low Countries and France until after King Charles' capture at Oxford in 1646.During the political chaos of 1648 he was imprisoned in October by Parliament to Peterhouse Prison, Aldersgate, this time for nearly a year. On release in April 1649, the king had been executed and Lovelace's Royalist cause seemed lost. But the experience led to further poems-this time in the cause of spiritual freedom, as reflected in the release of his poetry volume; Lucasta.Richard Lovelace was financially ruined by his support of the royalist cause and the end of his life was dependent on charity. He died in poverty at the early age of 40 in 1657 (some accounts say 1658) and was buried in St Bride's Church in Fleet Street in the City of London.