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Editor: Susan Wiseman

In examining early modern women and the poem, this book explores how women use poetry, and how poems use women, in England and Scotland in the period 1550–1680. Several decades of critical writing on 'women's poetry', 'gender and poetry', and the representation of women, or gender, in poetry have produced a rich and complex critical and scholarly field. The book looks at the primary and secondary evidence concerning two key elements in the analysis of early modern women's writing, namely, women and the poem. It first explores the way women understood the poem in terms of the reception, influence and adaptation of past models and examples, working from the reception of classical texts. It focuses on the resources women writing poetry knew and encountered in chapters on classical inheritance, the religious sonnet sequence and the secular sonnet sequence. The book then examines the world of reading and readers, and looks at poems in terms of friendships, quarrels, competitions, coteries, networks and critical reception, both then and later. It also emphasises the tales that poems tell, and how those stories both register and shape the understanding of women and the poem in the world of potential readers. In examining women and the poem, the use of women as signifiers and bearers of meaning in poetry is as significant as women's literary production.

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Researching early modern women and the poem
Susan Wiseman

, Cottegnies, Wright). Essays focus on the resources women writing poetry knew and encountered in chapters on classical inheritance, the religious sonnet sequence and the secular sonnet sequence. Using the work of Lucy Hutchinson, Elizabeth Melville, Lady Mary Wroth and Katherine Philips, these chapters explore the way these poets use both inherited texts and traditions and inherited poetic forms and conventions. Each of the chapters uses a specific example in order to ask us to reconsider the resources used in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century women’s poetry and the

in Early modern women and the poem
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Reading early modern women and the poem
Patricia Pender and Rosalind Smith

attributed to early modern women’s engagement with literary precedent, whether in terms of the classical inheritances of humanism or more contemporary models in the vernacular. This expectation of difference, maintaining a complex and historically nuanced idea of gendered intervention into genre, represents the very reconciliation of historicism and formalism through genre that Alice Eardley called for in her essay in Women’s Writing in 2007.4 Engagement with genre is a rhetorical engagement with a material literary history, and in this the volume participates very

in Early modern women and the poem
Lucy Hutchinson and the classicisation of scripture
Edward Paleit

Augustinian template of Christian conversion/adulthood. One might nonetheless feel that even with Augustine, and certainly with Milton, much that was openly disavowed survives in the shape of linguistic and imaginative patterns. A hermeneutics making use of notions such as an 35 EMWP.indb 35 10/15/2013 12:52:44 PM edward paleit ‘unconscious’ – recognising its status as only a heuristic device – might succeed better than a rationalistic commitment to the coherence of stated doctrines in explaining why Christian humanist writers rejected the classical inheritance which

in Early modern women and the poem
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James Doelman

sold by a pedlar – ­like the ballad-­seller epitomized by Autolycus in The Winter’s Tale. Such sullying threatens the classical inheritance, eroding the epigrammatist’s connection to Martial and the Greek Anthology. Ephemerality and fashionability In addition to the down-­market associations of the genre, the epigrammatist also struggled with its seeming ephemerality or topicality. In a repeated conceit epigrams are compared to clothes that are soon dated by changes in fashion. Thus, a heading to a manuscript collection of Sir John Davies’s epigrams compares them to

in The epigram in England, 1590–1640
Lee Spinks

workers silent. Then Arthur Goss the city photographer packs up his tripod and glass plates, unhooks the cord of lights that creates a vista of open tunnel behind the two men, walks with his equipment the fifty yards to the ladder, and climbs out into sunlight. ( ISL , 105) For a moment, while the film receives the image, everything is still, the other tunnel workers silent: somewhere in this proliferation of subordinate clauses a defining image of the modern city comes into focus. This image derives elements of grandeur from its classical

in Michael Ondaatje
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Mark Robson

can also be seen as a threat, since it may be penetrated for good or ill, as the comment from Iago cited above suggests. This perhaps leads to the rhyming of ‘ear’ and ‘fear’. Rhetoric is persuasion but also force, and the unease that this recognition causes is part of the classical inheritance. As we have seen, the platonic warnings concerning the pliability of a crowd are

in The sense of early modern writing
Mark Robson

another way of saying that there is only metalanguage. 30 Of course, in constituting this reflexivity, much of this material reflects a classical inheritance, which often follows and disrupts the ‘Aristotelian’ division between poetics and rhetoric. As has already been suggested, the question of poetics is opened up in Aristotle’s work through an emphasis on

in The sense of early modern writing
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Gillian Rudd

we first encountered when Palamoun hid in the bushes in line . Now, however, the trees really do have ears and are therefore actually sentient beings, even if the only way we dare approach such an extension of our concept of a sentient being is through the distancing devices of mythology. This sudden reach into classical inheritance may be taken as simply raising the rhetorical level a further notch, thus increasing the sense of grandeur and pathos, but it also removes this very real destruction into the safer realms of epic. Conceivably, this carries with it

in Greenery
Syrithe Pugh

Instrumental Aesthetics in the 1590 Faerie Queene’, ELR (2006), 194–226. Given the Irish setting of Spenser’s late pastoral, and its gestures towards drawing on a native culture as an alternative to the classical inheritance, Sidney’s reference at the end of the Apologie for Poesy to the tradition that Irish bards can ‘rhyme to death’ those who fail to patronize them seems also relevant. (See Highley, Shakespeare, Spenser, and the Crisis in Ireland, p. 30, also calling Colin ‘an Irish Orpheus’.) MUP_Pugh_SpencerandVIrgil_Printer2.indd 291 19/07/2016 18:31 292 Spenser and

in Spenser and Virgil