The John M. Wallace Award for 2021 goes to Ruby Lowe, graduate student, NYU. The Wallace prize honors the best paper by an early career researcher presented at the annual meeting of the Marvell Society. Guest judge Professor Anita Sherman:
In her wide-ranging essay, ‘”A World Within”: Inside Wither, Milton, and Marvell as Dialectic Voice’, Ruby Lowe troubles the boundaries between oral and print culture, arguing that the multi-vocality of Marvell’s polemical prose comes from a Civil War propensity to stage public debate at the literal and figurative door of Parliament. Lowe examines George Wither’s A Speech without Doore (1644) as a precedent for Milton’s Areopagitica as well as Wither’s Vox Pacifica (1645) to show how the creation of a “space within” for contending voices not only influences Paradise Lost but also Marvell’s prose pamphlets. As she puts it, “Marvell’s project was to create a public space for debate by absorbing the qualities of dialogic print culture into his person and then spitting them out back into print … Marvell utilized the space inside the subject that Wither had created, and Milton defined.” For her persuasive contextual reading of Andrew Marvell’s advocacy of toleration and dissent, Ruby Lowe is the 2021 recipient of the Marvell Society’s John M. Wallace Prize.
Congratulations to Ruby!