Unlocking The Cabinet of Love: Rochester, Reputation and the Eighteenth-Century Miscellany

van Hensbergen, Claudine (2017) Unlocking The Cabinet of Love: Rochester, Reputation and the Eighteenth-Century Miscellany. Eighteenth-Century Life, 41 (1). pp. 56-75. ISSN 0098-2601

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1215/00982601-3695936


The Works of the Earls of Rochester and Roscommon was one of the most popular poetic miscellanies of the eighteenth century, with more than twenty editions published. Rochester’s verse filled the entire first volume, a prominence that proclaimed his importance as the foremost court poet of the Restoration. The Rochester the volume presented–as well as the poems it attributed to him—evolved across the early editions of The Works, and it was in the hands of the notorious bookseller Edmund Curll that its vision of Rochester took its most influential turn. Inserting a collection of pornographic poems at the close of the second volume under the title The Cabinet of Love, Curll subtly created a false association between Rochester and its content. Providing a bibliographical analysis of The Works, this essay traces the shifting ways in which Rochester and his poems were presented to readers of this enduringly popular miscellany before considering what the inclusion of its pornographic “cabinet” reveals about Rochester’s complicated reception history.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Rochester, Curll, miscellany, cabinet, pornography
Subjects: Q300 English studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Humanities
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2016 12:02
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2019 19:25
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/28686

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