Swansongs
in The sense of early modern writing
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This chapter focuses on an unknown voice, that of the seventeenth-century royalist woman poet Hester Pulter. The female voice has become a common concept in early modern and feminist studies, and is central to many discussions of the relationships between writing and subjectivity. The manuscript that constitutes the only extant version of Pulter's work contains almost one hundred and twenty poems. The compilation of a manuscript such as Pulter's implies a potential readership, even if that readership cannot be identified with any certainty. In a very different poem to be found in the Pulter manuscript, it is possible to read a far less secure operation of voice. While the Essex poem can be read as an attempt to avoid monumentalising its subject, 'On the same' is an elegiac lament for the death of one of Pulter's daughters, Jane.

The sense of early modern writing

Rhetoric, poetics, aesthetics

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