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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
Mark Robson

similarly metapoetic and metarhetorical elements to be found in verse and prose.28 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. The question of poetics is opened up in Aristotle’s work through an emphasis on mimesis, and all of the poetic forms that he discusses are treated as ‘modes of imitation’, including not just poetry (in the linguistic sense) but also music (flute-playing and lyre-playing).29 In this, Aristotle is

in The new aestheticism
Ancient Egypt in the aesthetic and decadent imaginary
Giles Whiteley

, 2011). On the reception of classical Rome in particular, see Richard Jenkyns, Dignity and Decadence: Victorian Art and the Classical Inheritance (London: Harper Collins, 1992) and Stefano Evangelista, ‘Rome and the Romantic Heritage in Walter Pater's Marius the Epicurean ’, in Timothy Saunders et al. (eds), Romans and Romantics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), pp. 305–26. 6 In this chapter I capitalise the term

in Victorian literary culture and ancient Egypt
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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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
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The mingled yarn of Elizabethan tragedy
Jonathan Bate

classical inheritances. Hybridisation is apparent as early as 1567, when John Pyckering’s Horestes brings ‘The Vice’ and ‘Counsel’ together with Clytemnestra and Orestes – and, for good measure, throws in some very English clowns, Hodge and Rusticus. 11 By the time we reach Marlowe and Shakespeare, the main character himself may be a historicised and individualised version of the Vice

in Doing Kyd
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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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