Helen Hackett
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Sisterhood and female friendship in Constance Aston Fowler’s verse miscellany
in Early modern women and the poem
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In the case of the 'coterie' poems compiled by Constance Aston Fowler, sisterhood and female friendship function both as subject matter and as social bonds created and affirmed by poems. Constance, brought artistic talents to her letter writing, and her miscellany compilation was also a creative act, deploying personal and aesthetic choices to produce a distinctive and self-expressive literary artefact. Aesthetics and affection intertwined in Constance's principles of selection to invest special value in Herbert's own compositions. Herbert who appears in Constance's letters and miscellany is a devoted brother intimately bound into the family circle. Among the eight poems by Herbert that Constance transcribed into her own anthology are 'To the Lady Mary Aston' and 'To My Honer'd sister G A', a eulogy to their sister Gertrude.

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