England's Amorous Angels, 1813-1823

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University Press of America, 1990 - Literary Criticism - 507 pages
Between 1813-1823, five major poems appeared in England exploring the subject of sexual union between "sons of God" (usually depicted as angels) and "daughters of men" (usually depicted as Cain's female descendants). James Montgomery's The World Before the Flood (1813), George Croly's The Angel of the World (1820), Thomas Dale's Irad and Adah, A Tale of the Flood (1821), Thomas Moore's The Loves of the Angels (1822), and Byron's Heaven and Earth (1823) all take inspiration from Genesis 6.1-4, or from its Qur'anic, Pseudepigraphic, or New Testament derivatives. Why angels were suddenly conscripted into active service to serious poetry, by poets who expectedóand yet who really did not expectóthat these embodied, male angels would be taken seriously, is the question this text seeks to answer. The appendix presents for the first time since 1823 the unrevised version of Moore's Loves of the Angels, and Croly's Angel of the World.

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