The wittiest and yet most accessible writing in mid-seventeeth-century England, Andrew Marvell's poetry is both passionate and brillant, erotic and comic, cool courtly and seductive. The friend. admirer and supporter of Milton, Marvell was also a very great poet in his own right. Described by a contemporary as 'of middling stature, pretty strong-set, of roundish face, cherry-cheeked, hazel-eyed, brown-haired he was a man of the people and a brillant intellectual. The fact that he was both a republican and the admired favourite of Charles II indicates the breadth of his sympathies.