Late seventeenth-century women poets and the anxiety of attribution
in Early modern women and the poem
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Women who wrote and circulated their verse in manuscript sought and stayed within a congenial circle. Carol Barash describes the general profile of late seventeenth- century women who preferred to publish in manuscript rather than with a bookseller as 'usually elite and well educate. Kathryn King studied of the life and complicated literary career of another late seventeenth-century woman poet, Jane Barker. Anne Killigrew's poem 'Upon the saying that my Verses were made by another' has been used as evidence of her involvement in a literary exchange circle and also her indictment of the masculine court culture's ridicule of female ambition. Anne Killigrew was no novice in the world of coterie, courtier and commercial theatrical culture, with its intrigues and rivalries. Her decision to seek 'Fame' led her not to seek publication but to entrust her verses to 'some few hands'.

Editor: Susan Wiseman

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