Robert Herrick (1591-1674) life history major works

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Robert Herrick (1591-1674) life history major works 2

Robert Herrick (1591–1674)

Robert Herrick (1591–1674) was an English poet best known for his lyric poetry and his connections to the Cavalier poets of the 17th century. Here is an overview of Robert Herrick’s life, major works, and contributions to literature:

Life History:

  • Robert Herrick was born in London in 1591, the seventh child of Nicholas Herrick, a prosperous goldsmith.
  • He was educated at Westminster School and later at St John’s College, Cambridge.
  • Herrick was ordained as a clergyman and served as the vicar of Dean Prior in Devon from 1629 to 1647 and again from 1662 until his death in 1674.
  • His time in Devon greatly influenced his poetry, as he celebrated rural life, nature, and the traditions of the English countryside.

Major Works:

  • “Hesperides” (1648): Herrick’s most significant and well-known work is “Hesperides,” a collection of over 1,200 poems published in 1648. The collection also included another smaller work titled “Noble Numbers,” which focused on religious and moral themes.

Poetic Style and Themes:

  • Herrick was associated with the Cavalier poets, a group of 17th-century English poets who supported the monarchy and celebrated the pleasures of life.
  • His poetry is characterized by its lyrical and often witty nature, exploring themes of love, beauty, nature, and the transience of life.
  • Herrick’s poems often employ classical references, blending traditional poetic forms with his own unique voice.

Notable Poems:

  • “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time”: Perhaps his most famous poem, this piece encourages young women to marry and enjoy life’s pleasures while they are still young.
  • “Corinna’s Going a-Maying”: A celebration of the May Day festival, this poem reflects Herrick’s love of nature and country life.
  • “To Daffodils”: In this poem, Herrick addresses daffodils, encouraging them to enjoy their short-lived beauty and to be cheerful.


  • While Herrick’s work was largely overlooked during his lifetime, he gained posthumous recognition, particularly during the 19th century, as scholars and readers rediscovered his poetry.
  • Herrick’s poetry is valued for its charm, wit, and the insight it provides into the cultural and social aspects of 17th-century England.

Robert Herrick’s poetry continues to be studied and appreciated for its unique blend of classical influences, lyrical beauty, and the exploration of themes that resonate across centuries.

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2 comments on “Robert Herrick (1591-1674) life history major works

    Sons of Ben Poets and Principles – Wit Critic

    • February 8, 2024 at 1:31 pm

    […] Robert Herrick (1591–1674): Known for his lyric poetry and his association with the Cavalier poets. […]

    CAROLINE AGE – Wit Critic

    • February 8, 2024 at 1:33 pm

    […] 1. Robert Herrick (1591-1674) […]

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