Edward Taylor (1642-1729) was one of the most influential ministers in Puritan New England. He was also a prolific but unpublished poet. With the discovery of his poetry in 1936 and the publication of a nearly complete volume in 1960, his reputation as the premiere early American poet has grown immensely. His widely anthologized work is taught in most introductory American literature courses and nearly all courses on early American literature. This reference is a convenient guide to his poetry, including a summarization of the current state of scholarship on his work.
Beginning with an overview of his life and times, this reference analyzes Taylor's Preparatory Meditations and Gods DeterminationS≪/i>, along with his other poems, in light of Puritan doctrine and his thoughts about poetry. The book traces the genesis of his works, their editorial and publication history, and the complex cultural and historical background of his writings. Later chapters discuss his themes, his poetic art, and the reception of his works. A brief bibliographical essay completes the volume.