Introduction
in Women poets of the English Civil War
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This chapter focuses on the relationship between religious conflict and poetry, and the networks and communities within which the women situated themselves. It also focuses on the transformative scientific and philosophical culture of the seventeenth century; the genres in which the poets wrote; and the physical forms taken by their poetry, in print and manuscript. The chapter presents some key concepts discussed in the book. The book provides extensive selections of poetry by the five most prolific and prominent women poets of the English Civil War: Anne Bradstreet, Hester Pulter, Margaret Cavendish, Katherine Philips, and Lucy Hutchinson. It presents a complex and rewarding poetic culture that is both uniquely women-centred and integrally connected to the male canonical poetry for which the era is justifiably famous.

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