The other reviewer here, Katherine Radcliff, is too generous.
The kindest (true) thing one can say about Murray's biography is that it is scrupulous in admitting that not very much of narrative interest is known of Marvell's life. This is, however, billed as a biography. To pad out the enormous gaps, he indulges in some fairly tepid lit crit - a reasonable approach had it been done better - and in some rather wooden, or perhaps leaden, speculation about what could have been going on at various points.
It's worth adding that, as far as one can tell from this book, Marvell's life outside the poems seems not to have been hugely interesting, despite the fact that he was among… Read more