Although Marvell became a Parliamentarian, he was not a Puritan. He had flirted briefly with Catholicism as a youth, and was described in his thirties (on the Saumur visit) as "a notable English Italo-Machiavellian". During his lifetime, his prose satires were much better known than his verse.
Vincent Palmieri noted that Marvell is sometimes known as the "British Aristides" for his incorruptible integrity in life and poverty at death. Many of his poems were not published until 1681, three years after his death, from a collection owned by Mary Palmer, his housekeeper. After Marvell's death she laid dubious claim to having been his wife, from the time of a secret marriage in 1667.