Early modern women and the poem

Edited by Susan Wiseman

Early modern women and the poem


  • Paperback
  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9072-1
  • Pages: 272
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: February 2014
  • BIC Category: Early Modern Literature, Literature, Literary studies: poetry & poets, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Women's Studies, LITERARY CRITICISM / Poetry, Society & social sciences / Gender studies: women, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: poetry & poets


Viewing the poem as a social agent and product in women's lives, the essays in this collection examine factors influencing the relationships between writers and readers of poetry in seventeenth-century England and Scotland. The archival and theoretical research on literary authorship, textual transmission and socio-literary networks invites a re-examination of the production and reception of poetry, and alters our understanding of the way poetry participated in social, literary and political life.

The volume takes account of the expansion and changes to the canon of women's poetry and emerging research on key aspects of literary production and reception. It builds on and responds to both recent critical emphasis on literary form and on archival scholarship in women's writing, understanding the two emphases to be mutually informative.

This book explores the way women understood the poem, examines how the poem was shared, circulated and rewritten, and traces its path through wider social relations. It will appeal to any scholar of literature and gender working in Renaissance and seventeenth century studies.


'Susan Wiseman's edited collection Early Modern Women and the Poem, recently reissued in paperback, draws together twelve cohesive essays which ask in exciting ways 'how women use poetry, and how poems use women'.'
Dianne Mitchell, Renaissance Studies


Introduction: Researching early modern women and the poem - Susan Wiseman
Part I: Inheritance
1. Women's poetry and classical authors: Lucy Hutchinson and the classicisation of scripture - Edward Paleit
2. Elizabeth Melville and the religious sonnet sequence in Scotland and England - Sarah CE Ross
3. The Sapphic sontext of Lady Mary Wroth's Pamphilia to Amphilanthus - Line Cottegnies
4. Women poets and men's sentences: genre and literary tradition in Katherine Philips's early poetry - Gillian Wright
Part II: Circulation
5. 'We thy Sydnean Psalmes shall celebrate': collaborative authorship, Sidney's Sister and the English devotional lyric - Suzanne Trill
6. 'Mary Wroth and hermaphroditic circulation' - Paul Salzman
7. Sisterhood and female friendship in Constance Aston Fowler's verse miscellany - Helen Hackett
8. Late seventeenth-century women poets and the anxiety of attribution - Margaret JM Ezell
Part III: Narrative
9. Rethinking authorial reluctance in the paratexts to Anne Bradstreet's poetry - Patricia Pender
10. A 'goodly sample': exemplarity, female complaint and early modern women's poetry - Ros Smith
11. 'The nine-liv'd Sex': women and justice in seventeenth-century popular poetry - Judith Hudson
12. 'The contemplative woman's recreation? Kaherine Austen ad the estate poem - Susan Wiseman
Afterword: Reading and early modern women and the poem - Patricia Pender and Rosalind Smith


Susan Wiseman is Professor of Seventeenth-Century Literature at Birkbeck, University of London

Early modern women and the poem

Edited by Susan Wiseman

Hardcover £85.00 / $130.00

Paperback £20.99 / $30.95

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