Parry, Graham 1940-
PARRY, Graham 1940-
PERSONAL: Born January 5, 1940, in Sutton, Coldfield, England; son of Herbert and Ida (Jones) Parry; married Barbara Henry, November 4, 1967. Ethnicity: "White." Education: Pembroke College, Cambridge, B.A. 1961, M.A., 1965; Columbia University, Ph.D., 1965.
ADDRESSES: Home—28 Micklefield Lane, Rawdon, Leeds, England. Office—Department of English and Literature, University of York, Heslington, York Y01 5DD, England; fax: 01904-433372. E-mail—[email protected].
CAREER: Columbia University, New York, NY, preceptor, 1962-65; University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, assistant professor, 1965-67; University of Leeds, Leeds, England, lecturer in English, 1967-76; University of York, Heslington, York, England, lecturer in English, beginning 1977, became Professor of Renaissance Literature. University of Toulouse, visiting professor, 1972-73; City College of the City University of New York, visiting professor, 1975-76; Doshisha University, visiting professor, 1981-82, 1997-98; University of British Columbia, visiting professor, 1993-94.
MEMBER: Society of Antiquaries (fellow), York Bibliographical Society (chair, 1988—).
Lady Mary Wroth's Urania, Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society (Leeds, England), 1975.
The Pre-Raphaelite Image: Style and Subject, 1848-1856, University of Leeds Press (Leeds, England), 1978.
Hollar's England: A Mid-Seventeenth Century View, Michael Russell (Salisbury, England), 1980.
"The Golden Age Restor'd": The Culture of the Stuart Court, 1603-1642, Manchester University Press (Manchester, England), 1981.
Seventeenth-Century Poetry: The Social Context, Hutchinson (Dover, NH), 1985.
The Seventeenth Century: The Intellectual and Cultural Context of English Literature, 1603-1700, Longman (London, England), 1989.
The Trophies of Time: English Antiquarians of the Seventeenth Century, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1995.
The Life and Letters of John Talman, Walpole Society (London, England), 1997.
(Editor, with Joad Raymond) Milton and the Terms of Liberty, Boydell & Brewer (Woodbridge, England), 2002.
Contributor to periodicals, including British Journal of Aesthetics, Notes and Queries, and Cambridge Quarterly.
WORK IN PROGRESS: A book about the Arts of the Church in the time of William Laud.
SIDELIGHTS: Trained as a literary scholar, Graham Parry is considered an expert on the cultural history of the seventeenth century; his emphasis is on the first half of the century and, in particular, on that region of Jacobean culture where its arts met its politics through royal and aristocratic patronage. While Parry's The Pre-Raphaelite Image: Style and Subject, 1848-1856 examines the nineteenth-century British Pre-Raphaelite movement in painting and poetry, it is his subsequent volume, Hollar's England: A Mid-Seventeenth Century View, in which the author demonstrates his area of expertise. Hollar's England focuses on the life and work of Bohemian-born etcher Vaclav Hollar (1607-1677), who settled in England during much of his career and painted well-known pictures of London before the great fire.
With his next book, "The Golden Age Restor'd": The Culture of the Stuart Court, 1603-1642, Parry takes on a more central subject: the cultural life of the court of James I. He deals with the masques, or stylized stage entertainments, that were produced by Ben Jonson and Inigo Jones, investigating their contents and their backgrounds to show how the development of the court's taste paralleled its belief in the divine right of kings, while making comparisons between Britain and imperial Rome. (The title of Parry's book was also the title of one of Jonson's masques, hence the archaic apostrophe.) Parry devotes one of his "most illuminating chapters," in the view of Times Literary Supplement reviewer Blair Worden, to the Earl of Arundel, a noted art collector. Worden, who called Parry "a courteous and exceptionally helpful guide" through this subject matter, described the book as "a distinguished and eloquent survey" of a corner of the seventeenth century: "Parry crosses disciplinary frontiers with unconventional enthusiasm, and controls a wide range of material with notable lucidity and economy. His book has long been needed."
The Shakespearean scholar A. L. Rowse, who reviewed "The Golden Age Restor'd" for the Spectator, remarked that it is "good on the literary side, informative with regard to the arts, less good on the historical and social background to it all." Rowse pointed out the relative absence of material on the music of the court of James I, a court which was notable for its contributions to that art. He did, however, note that Parry is "illuminating on the literature of the masques." Kevin Sharpe in the New York Review of Books felt that Parry's treatment oversimplifies the life and politics of the court, underestimates the degree of dissent allowable in such environments, and sympathizes too little with the king; however, he appreciated "The Golden Age Restor'd" as "a broad landscape: the details are hazy, but the picture is clear enough to encourage exploration."
Parry subsequently published Seventeenth-Century Poetry: The Social Context. The target audience for the volume is university students who need background for their readings of literature. As Julia Briggs pointed out in the Times Literary Supplement, Parry confines his subject to the first half of the seventeenth century and specifically to nine poets: Jonson, early Milton, and seven metaphysical poets. Briggs judged that the narrowing of range helps make Seventeenth-Century Poetry a "successful" work. The social context of the poetry is "sketche[d] in capably when appropriate," she stated, and the author makes "subtle recommendations" on the literature, such as a positive recommendation for metaphysical poet Richard Crashaw. "Parry's account is consistently temperate, lucid, and thoughtful," Briggs commented.
Parry then published The Trophies of Time: English Antiquarians of the Seventeenth Century. This volume follows a theme also visible in "The Golden Age Restor'd": Parry's perception of art collecting and antiquarianism as a key to the culture of a historical period.
Parry told CA: "The Life and Letters of John Talman is about an early eighteenth-century antiquary and collector of prints and drawings. He lived in Rome for twenty years and was a focal point for travelers and collectors who were interested in the Italian art market.
"Interconnections between the arts have always been at the center of my interests, and this curiosity drives my current research, which is concerned with the architectural styles appropriate to the Church of England in the seventeenth century, and the return of the arts—painting, stained glass, sacred music, devotional poetry—to the service of the church after ninety years of austerity and iconophobia."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
New York Review of Books, December 2, 1982, Kevin Sharpe, review of "The Golden Age Restor'd": The Culture of the Stuart Court, 1603-1642, pp. 43-45.
Spectator, December 19, 1981, A. L. Rowse, review of "The Golden Age Restor'd," pp. 28-29.
Times Educational Supplement, June 13, 1986, p. 28; September 26, 1986, p. 29.
Times Literary Supplement, February 5, 1982, Blair Worden, review of "The Golden Age Restor'd," p. 123; December 13, 1985, Julia Briggs, review of Seventeenth-Century Poetry: The Social Context, p. 1436.