SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

Little in the way of politics has ever been detected in Thomas Browne’s The Garden of Cyrus (1658). The following essay, however, reconsiders Cyrus in relation to the politically sensitive May Day celebrations of the mid-seventeenth century, and to the host of orchard and planting manuals which were appearing at the same time, a genre able to contain the ideological, economic and spiritual aspirations of Anglicans and Puritans, Royalists and radicals alike. Like most of Browne’s other major works, Cyrus avoids direct political or pragmatic interventions and instead enacts, structurally and rhetorically, the competing ideas of order which animated the public antagonisms of the late 1650s.