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War, Liberty, and CaesarResponses to Lucan's Bellum Ciuile, ca. 1580 - 1650$
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Edward Paleit

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199602988

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199602988.001.0001

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Ending Lucan

Ending Lucan

(p.255) 7 Ending Lucan
War, Liberty, and Caesar

Edward Paleit

Oxford University Press

Chapter Seven closes the study by examining the responses of three writers – Samuel Daniel, Thomas May and Abraham Cowley – to the question of Lucan’s ending. It shows that each were concerned as much with the theme of endlessness raised within Lucan’s text, as with the notoriously unfinished state of his narrative. Moving from Daniel’s own unfinished Lucanian text, The Civil Wars, to May’s Continuation of 1630 and later Supplementum of 1640 and then Cowley’s The Civil War (early 1640s), another unfinished work, I argue that a shared concern about how to end their narratives reflected anxieties about the shape and indeed design of history, especially English history, and a recognition of the inadequacy or mendaciousness of the formal structures of literary narrative.

Keywords:   Lucan, endings, narrative, Abraham Cowley, Thomas May, Samuel Daniel, English civil war, historical uncertainty, providentialism

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