Marvell was a quiet and sensible man with Puritan leanings who became devoted to Cromwell's cause. Yet he was so extremely tolerant of other's opinions that as a student at Cambridge he allowed a Jesuit to persuade him to quit his studies. (The senior Marvell, an Anglican minister, found his son in a London bookshop and convinced him to return to the university) After earning his degree, he travelled abroad for several years and then became a tutor to the daughter of Sir Thomas Fairfax, Lord-General of the Parliamentary Forces.
In 1657 Marvell was appointed assistant to Milton, who was then Latin Secretary. Two years later Marvell was elected to the House of Commons, where he served his constituents conscientiously, refusing all bribes and writing frequent newsletters. These newsletters, together with some satires and religious tracts, made up most of the writings for which he was known during his lifetime. Three years after his death a volume of his poetry was published by a woman who claimed to be his widow, but who later turned out to be his housekeeper.
contributed by Gifford, Katya
15 March 2002