A prolific poet, Cowley had a profound impact upon later seventeenth-century poetry. His reputation was short-lived however and had waned by the mid-eighteenth century.Educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, his first volume of verse, Poetical Blossoms, was published in 1633 when he was fifteen and included poems written from the age of ten.As a Royalist during the English civil wars he was deprived of his Cambridge fellowship in 1643. He joined King Charles I at Oxford before following Queen Henrietta Maria to France as her secretary. On the Restoration she granted him land. He studied medicine and became an MD in 1657, thereafter living in retirement, studying botany and writing essays.
Where to see this painting?
National Portrait Gallery, London
St Martin’s Place, London, Greater London, England, WC2H 0HE
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