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Table of contents :
Cover
Women, Poetry, and Politics in Seventeenth-Century Britain
Copyright
Contents
List of Illustrations
List of Abbreviations
Note on Transcriptions
Introduction: She Thinks Not on the State?
1 ‘The right vse of Poёsie’: Elizabeth Melville’s Religious Verse and Scottish Presbyterian Politics
2 ‘Thou art the nursing father of all pietye’: Sociality, Religion, and Politics in Anne Southwell’s Verse
3 ‘When that shee heard the drumms and cannon play’: Jane Cavendish and Occasional Verse
4 ‘This kingdoms loss’: Hester Pulter’s Elegies and Emblems
5 ‘I see our nere, to be reenterd paradice’: Lucy Hutchinson’s ‘Elegies’ and Order and Disorder
Conclusion: Thinking on the State of Women, Poetry, and Politics
Bibliography
Index
Recommend Papers

Women, Poetry, and Politics in Seventeenth-Century Britain
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WO M E N , P O E T RY, A N D P O L I T I C S I N S E V E N T E E N T H - C E N T U RY B R I TA I N

Women, Poetry, and Politics in Seventeenth-Century Britain S A R A H C .   E . RO S S

1

1 Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, OX2 6DP, United Kingdom Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Oxford is a registered trade mark of Oxford University Press in the UK and in certain other countries © Sarah C. E. Ross 2015 The moral rights of the author‌have been asserted First Edition published in 2015 Impression: 1 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of Oxford University Press, or as expressly permitted by law, by licence or under terms agreed with the appropriate reprographics rights organization. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside the scope of the above should be sent to the Rights Department, Oxford University Press, at the address above You must not circulate this work in any other form and you must impose this same condition on any acquirer Published in the United States of America by Oxford University Press 198 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, United States of America British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data Data available Library of Congress Control Number: 2014950695 ISBN 978–0–19–872420–9 Printed and bound by CPI Group (UK) Ltd, Croydon, CR0 4YY Links to third party websites are provided by Oxford in good faith and for information only. Oxford disclaims any responsibility for the materials contained in any third party website referenced in this work.

Acknowledgements This book had its genesis in a doctoral thesis on women’s religious writing in manuscript, written in Oxford under the exemplary supervision of Nigel Smith, whose guidance, provocations, and assiduous attention taught me how to be a scholar. Elizabeth Clarke’s generosity in reading, advising, and discussing this work, both in Oxford and beyond, has been a sustaining force across a number of years. I received a number of grants that made the initial research on this project possible, and I would like to thank St Hilda’s College, Oxford, the New Zealand Federation of University Women, and the British Federation of Women Graduates for their support. A Fast-Start grant from the Royal Society of New Zealand’s Marsden Fund enabled the revision and reconceptualization of that earlier research, and the completion of the project as it now stands. Research in the UK and North America would not have been possible without Marsden funding, and the support of the School of English and Media Studies at Massey University. I owe particular thanks to two successive heads of Massey’s School of English and Media Studies, Warwick Slinn and John Muirhead, for helping me to carve out the time needed to complete the manuscript—even, in John’s case, as my departure from Massey was imminent. Conversations and exchange with a large number of academic colleagues across the globe have made the evolution of this project enormously pleasurable. Victoria Burke, Marie-Louise Coolahan, Peter Davidson, Alice Eardley, Erica Longfellow, Jane Stevenson, and Gillian Wright have all helped to shape this project in vital ways. Elizabeth Scott-Baumann, Elizabeth Clarke, Christina Luckyj, and Jamie Reid Baxter gave detailed and invaluable commentary on particular chapters, in some cases multiple times. Jamie’s enormous generosity, and his willingness to welcome me into the fold of Scottish literary studies, made possible the work on Elizabeth Melville that is contained in these pages, while Sally Mapstone shared with me her unpublished work on James Melville’s poems. Local geographies are just one facet of reading, writing, and intellectual development that this book has brought into focus. Special mention in this regard is due to Elizabeth Gray, Nikki Hessell, and Ingrid Horrocks, whose insight and counsel are evident throughout these pages; and to Rosalind Smith, Patricia Pender, Paul Salzman, and Kate Lilley, who, along with Michelle O’Callaghan and Susan Wiseman, have made early modern women’s writing in Australasia a truly dynamic phenomenon.

vi Acknowledgements I am delighted and honoured to be part of these communities, and of the local exchanges and stimuli that they provide. Reports from anonymous readers for the Royal Society of New Zealand’s Marsden Fund and for Oxford University Press have made this a much better book, and have been a pleasure to engage with. At Oxford University Press, Jacqueline Baker, Rachel Platt, and Lucy McClune have supported the book at its various stages, and Kim Richardson’s copyediting has improved it. Bonnie Etherington has been an assiduous and invaluable research and editorial assistant at several stages of the project. All remaining errors and infelicities are of course my own: ‘my errours, they are only mine’. Very many friends have offered conversation, delight, and distraction at just the right moments. I would in particular like to thank Sally Couper, for her co-conspiracy and friendship; Imogen Dickie, for all those miles and the conversations that have gone with them; Tim Stephens, who was there at some of the hardest turns; and Hannah Hamad, for the last phases in view of Kapiti Island. Heartfelt thanks are due to Andru Isac, who has been unfailingly supportive and who has always believed in the project and its worth, and to Milly and Henry, who have shared their lives for a number of years with what must have seemed a very esoteric enterprise. To Andru, Milly, and Henry I owe many evenings and weekends, and enormous gratitude and love. This book is for my parents, Sue and Campbell, who first sent me off on this enterprise, and all others, and whose traces are present in every word.

Contents List of Illustrations List of Abbreviations Note on Transcriptions

Introduction: She Thinks Not on the State?

ix xi xiii 1

1. ‘The right vse of Poёsie’: Elizabeth Melville’s Religious Verse and Scottish Presbyterian Politics

26

2. ‘Thou art the nursing father of all pietye’: Sociality, Religion, and Politics in Anne Southwell’s Verse

63

3. ‘When that shee heard the drumms and cannon play’: Jane Cavendish and Occasional Verse

100

4. ‘This kingdoms loss’: Hester Pulter’s Elegies and Emblems

135

5. ‘I see our nere, to be reenterd paradice’: Lucy Hutchinson’s ‘Elegies’ and Order and Disorder

174

Conclusion: Thinking on the State of Women, Poetry, and Politics

211

Bibliography Index

219 241

List of Illustrations 1.1  The first page of Elizabeth Melville’s poems, in a volume of sermons by Robert Bruce. New College Library, University of Edinburgh, MS Bru 2, fol. 170v. (Credit: New College Library, Edinburgh University.)  3.1  Jane Cavendish’s triptych of poems on her brothers, Charles and Henry, and her father, William Cavendish, Marquess of Newcastle. Beinecke, MS Osborn b. 233, p. 4. (Credit: Lady Jane Cavendish, Poems. James Marshall and Marie-Louise Osborn Collection, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.) 3.2 Peeter Clouwet, frontispiece to Margaret Cavendish’s Nature’s Pictures Drawn by Fancies Pencil to the Life (1656). (Credit: With permission of the Huntington Library, San Marino, California.)  4.1  Hester Pulter, ‘Vpon the Death of my deare and lovely Daughter Iane Pulter’, with an ideogram of a pointing finger indicating where new lines are to be added. University of Leeds Library, Brotherton Collection, MS L t q 32, fol. 17r. (Credit: Reproduced with the permission of Leeds University Library.) 4.2  Hester Pulter, lines to be added to ‘Vpon the Death of my deare and lovely Daughter’, indicated with a matching ideogram, added at the end of an elegy on Charles I. University of Leeds Library, Brotherton Collection, MS L t q 32, fol. 16r. (Credit: Reproduced with the permission of Leeds University Library.) 5.1  William Marshall’s frontispiece to Eikon Basilike, cut and pasted into Mary Roper (?), The Sacred Historie. University of Leeds Library, Brotherton Collection, MS L t q 2, p. 187. (Credit: Reproduced with the permission of Leeds University Library.) 

44

116

117

149

150

204

List of Abbreviations CSPI DSL ELR EMS EMWMP HLQ NQ ODNB OEDO RQ SEL TLS

Calendar of State Papers Relating to Ireland Dictionary of the Scots Language, www.dsl.ac.uk English Literary Renaissance English Manuscript Studies, 1100–1700 Jill Seal Millman and Gillian Wright, eds, Early Modern Women’s Manuscript Poetry (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2005) Huntington Library Quarterly Notes and Queries Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004) Oxford English Dictionary Online, www.oed.com Renaissance Quarterly Studies in English Literature Times Literary Supplement

Note on Transcriptions Transcriptions from manuscripts are reproduced without modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. Abbreviations, where expanded, are in italics. ‘ff’ has been transcribed as ‘F’ (with the exception of quotations from Anne Southwell’s poetry, where I have adopted Jean Klene’s transcriptions). Strikethrough covers words that have been crossed out; ⌈half square brackets⌉ enclose additions or insertions in the original manuscript; and indicate textual damage or passages otherwise illegible. [Square brackets] indicate editorial insertions.

Introduction She Thinks Not on the State? I thinke not on the state, nor am concern’d Which way soever the great Helme is turn’d, But as that sonne whose father’s danger nigh Did force his native dumbnesse, and untye The fettred organs: so here is a cause That will excuse the breach of nature’s lawes. Silence were now a Sin: Nay passion now Wise men themselves for merit would allow. Katherine Philips, ‘Upon the double murther of K. Charles, in answer to a libellous rime made by V. P.’1

Katherine Philips’s description in her lines ‘Upon the double murther of K. Charles’ of her eruption into political poetic articulation—the untying of her fettered tongue and the forcing of her native, female, dumbness into defence of her martyred monarch—has become a critically accepted narrative not only of Philips’s own emergence as a female political poet, but of the emergence of political poetry by women in seventeenth-century Britain as a whole. Philips opens the poem with a conventional female declaration that she ‘thinke[s]‌not on the state’, and she construes her political articulation as a ‘breach of nature’s lawes’; however, the times are such that, like a son provoked, she must respond to the sight of the dying monarchical lion, who is ‘kick’d by every asse’ (10). ‘In such a scorching Age as this’, as she elsewhere describes the 1650s, even a woman must 1   Patrick Thomas, ed., The Collected Works of Katherine Philips, The Matchless Orinda, vol. 1, The Poems (Stump Cross, Essex: Stump Cross Books, 1990), pp. 69–70.

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declare her politics.2 She cannot stand silent and watch the desecration of the deceased Charles I’s reputation, the second act in the double murder to which she refers. Our sense that ‘Upon the double murther’ comments on the conditions of its own creation is heightened by its place in a highly charged exchange of political poems in manuscript. The ‘libellous rime made by V. P.’ to which the title refers is a poem by the radical Fifth Monarchist Vavasour Powell, written at Philips’s house while Powell was a guest of her Parliamentarian husband in February 1653/4.3 Philips wrote ‘Upon the double murther’ as a royalist response to Powell and an adversary of James Philips threatened to publish it, provoking her to write a related poem in which she addresses her husband in appalled and apologetic tones: Must then my crimes become thy scandall too? Why sure the Devill hath not much to do. . . . My love and life I must confesse are thine, But not my errours, they are only mine.4

Philips’s first error—her ‘breach of nature’s lawes’ in engaging as a woman in political poetics—is intensified as her expression of royalist sympathies contradicts her Parliamentarian husband, and as an exchange of views contained in a manuscript sphere threatens to enter into the print medium. ‘Upon the double murther’, then, appears to provide a ready emblem of the seventeenth-century woman writer’s entry into public, political, poetic writing: an entry which is forced by political extremity, and which carries profound consequences for the virtue and honour of the outspoken female poet and her associates. The flurry of accusation and recrimination surrounding Jenkin Jones’s threat to publish ‘Upon the double murther’ is echoed in Philips’s reaction a decade later to the actual publication of her Poems (1664)—a milestone print publication of a woman’s poetry in the seventeenth century, a book in which Philips’s political poems were placed 2   ‘A retir’d friendship, to Ardelia’, line 29 (Thomas, ed., The Collected Works of Katherine Philips, Poems, pp. 97–98). 3   Powell’s poem, ‘On the late K. Charles of Blessed Memory’, has been uncovered by Elizabeth Hageman and Andrea Sununu; see their ‘“More Copies of It Abroad than I Could Have Imagin’d”: Further Manuscript Texts of Katherine Philips, the “Matchless Orinda”’, EMS 5 (1995): pp. 127–169. 4   ‘To Antenor, on a paper of mine wch J. Jones threatens to publish to his prejudice’ (Thomas, ed., The Collected Works of Katherine Philips, pp. 116–117). Thomas’s transcription is based on the Dering manuscript of Philips’s verse, but in the posthumously compiled Rosania manuscript these two couplets are contiguous, as lines 1–4 of the poem (see EMWMP, pp. 132–133).



Introduction: She Thinks Not on the State?

3

at the front of her collected works, and which she insisted was unauthorized and injurious to her reputation.5 Katherine Philips is the starting point of this book because she is frequently regarded as ‘Britain’s first female poet of the state’, the first in a cluster of female poets, including Margaret Cavendish and Aphra Behn, who are political and published, ‘avowedly literary’ and ‘publicly known’.6 Substantial scholarship in recent years has generated a more complex understanding of Philips’s manuscript-based poetic strategies; indeed, Peter Beal describes her as ‘the foremost woman writer of the seventeenth century to flourish in the context of a manuscript culture’.7 But her entry into print in the Poems of 1664 and 1667 ensures that she is still widely regarded as a watershed figure, the most frequent starting point for studies of women’s poetry in the seventeenth century. Carol Barash begins with Philips in arguing for the emergence of a female political poetic, enabled by pro-monarchic imagery, in the period from 1649 to 1714, and more recent studies follow suit: Hero Chalmer’s Royalist Women Writers, 1650–1689 explores Philips, Margaret Cavendish, and Aphra Behn; and Sarah Prescott and David E. Shuttleton emphasize a ‘major shift’ between 1660 and 1750 from women’s domestic, devotional, and coterie poetic practice to ‘the emergence of the professional woman poet within an expansive print culture’, with women writers immediately following Philips engaging ‘at every level in the politics of their time’.8 In recent years, the interaction between politics and literature has been a crucial focus for critics of early modern women’s writing, and in the case of poetry in particular, the mid- to late seventeenth century is the historical moment which has been seized upon as providing a body of women’s poetry that is literary, political, published, and public.9 5   Germaine Greer discusses in detail the publication of the Poems and Philips’s response, providing a sceptical view of Philips’s declared innocence, in Slip-Shod Sibyls: Recognition, Rejection and the Woman Poet (London: Viking, 1995), pp. 147–172. 6   Kathryn King, ‘Political Verse and Satire: Monarchy, Party and Female Political Agency’, in Women and Poetry, 1660–1750, edited by Sarah Prescott and David E. Shuttleton (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), pp. 203–222 (p. 204); Hero Chalmers, Royalist Women Writers, 1650–1689 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), pp. 1, 4. 7  Peter Beal, In Praise of Scribes: Manuscripts and their Makers in Seventeenth-Century England, The Lyell Lectures, Oxford, 1995–1996 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998), p. 47. See in particular Elizabeth H. Hageman and Andrea Sununu, ‘New Manuscript Texts of Katherine Philips, the “Matchless Orinda”’, EMS 4 (1993): pp. 174–216; Elizabeth H. Hageman, ‘Making a Good Impression: Early Texts of Poems and Letters by Katherine Philips, the “Matchless Orinda”’, South Central Review 11, no. 2 (1994): pp. 39–65; Hageman and Sununu, ‘“More Copies of It Abroad than I Could Have Imagin’d”’; Catharine Gray, ‘Katherine Philips and the Post-Courtly Coterie’, ELR 32 (2002): pp. 426–451; Marie-Louise Coolahan, ‘“We live by chance, and slip into Events’: Occasionality and the Manuscript Verse of Katherine Philips’, Eighteenth-Century Ireland 18 (2003): pp. 9–23. 8   Prescott and Shuttleton, eds, Women and Poetry, 1660–1750, pp. 1, 8. 9  Carol Barash, English Women’s Poetry, 1649–1714: Politics, Community, and Linguistic Authority (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996); Chalmers, Royalist Women

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This book explores an altogether new corpus of political poetry by women. Since the mid-1990s, the archival turn in early modern women’s writing has revealed a large number of women who wrote extensively in manuscript, including women who wrote political poetry before, during, and after the mid-century.10 This book focuses on the most innovative examples to have emerged from the archive of women who wrote political poetry in manuscript between about 1600 and 1680: Elizabeth Melville, Anne Southwell, Jane Cavendish, Hester Pulter, and Lucy Hutchinson. Each of these poets is receiving extensive attention on an individual basis but it is an inevitable corollary of the ‘time-consuming return to the archives’ that this attention has at first been painstakingly recuperative, often taking the form of the individual microhistory; no critical work has yet interrogated their collective impact on our critical paradigms of women’s politics and poetics.11 This book provides the first extended exploration of women’s political poetry in manuscript in seventeenth-century Britain, examining poetry that is diverse in its political allegiances, but that is comparable on account of its shared—manuscript—material form. Focusing on these manuscript-based poets offers a new critical view of Writers, 1650–1689. Other significant studies include Susan Wiseman, Conspiracy and Virtue: Women, Writing, and Politics in Seventeenth-Century England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006); Hilda Smith, Mihoko Suzuki, and Susan Wiseman, eds, Women’s Political Writings, 1610–1740, 4 vols (London: Pickering & Chatto, 2007); Kate Chedgzoy, Women’s Writing in the British Atlantic World: Memory, Place and History, 1550–1700 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007); Catharine Gray, Women Writers and Public Debate in Seventeenth-Century Britain (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007); Katharine Gillespie, Domesticity and Dissent in the Seventeenth Century: English Women Writers and the Public Sphere (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004); Danielle Clarke, The Politics of Early Modern Women’s Writing (London: Pearson Education, 2001); and articles in collections such as Claude J. Summers and Ted-Larry Pebworth, eds, The English Civil Wars in the Literary Imagination (Columbia and London: University of Missouri Press, 1999); and Thomas Healy and Jonathan Sawday, eds, Literature and the English Civil War (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990). 10   The AHRB-funded Perdita project, based at Nottingham Trent University and then the University of Warwick, catalogued over 500 manuscript texts associated with women between 1500 and 1700, and identified over 300 women who were scribes, compilers, or authors of manuscript texts; see http://web.warwick.ac.uk/english/perdita/html/. 11   On the time-consuming return to the archives, see Juliet Fleming, review of Writing Women in Jacobean England, by Barbara K. Lewalski, HLQ 57 (1994): pp. 199–204 (p. 200); on microhistory, see Elizabeth Clarke and Lynn Robson, ‘Why are we “Still Kissing the Rod”?: The Future for the Study of Early Modern Women’s Writing’, Women’s Writing 14 (2007): pp. 177–193 (p. 180), and Elizabeth Clarke on ‘Beyond Microhistory: The Use of Women’s Manuscripts in a Widening Political Arena’, in Women and Politics in Early Modern England, 1450–1700, edited by James Daybell (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004), pp. 211–227. One significant discussion is Kate Chedgzoy’s chapter ‘“Shedding teares for England’s loss”: Women’s Writing and the Memory of War’, in Women’s Writing in the British Atlantic World, a chapter that undertakes a ‘relatively unusual juxtaposition’ of Anne Bradstreet, Elizabeth Brackley, Jane Cavendish, Hester Pulter, and Lucy Hutchinson (p. 126).



Introduction: She Thinks Not on the State?

5

women’s relationship to poetry and politics in the period: one that is more extensive and various than has previously been realized, one that is less exclusively associated with royalism than has long been the case, and one that spans the long seventeenth century rather than being defined by the revolutionary period and its aftermath.12 In its focus on examples in manuscript culture, this book responds to a growing recognition that manuscript writing is crucial to an expanded understanding of women’s poetic and political activity in seventeenth-century Britain. Mihoko Suzuki cites emergent scholarship on Hester Pulter when she observes that ‘there still remains much work to be accomplished on women’s political writing in seventeenth-century England’; and Susan Wiseman observes that we need urgently to cultivate ‘a fuller sense of both royalist and other women’s relationships to politics and poetry in the Civil War’ than that afforded by the numerous critical studies of Katherine Philips and Margaret Cavendish.13 This book sets out to cultivate just this fuller sense, exploring Melville, Southwell, Jane Cavendish, Pulter, and Hutchinson in their own terms, in relation to each other, and as poets who vitally inform our readings of better-known female political poets such as Philips, Margaret Cavendish, and Anne Bradstreet. There is no question that the enormous upheavals of the British mid-century did bring about profound changes to British women’s lives (as well as men’s), to their politics, and to their poetics, but the texts explored in this book engage in seventeenth-century politics in surprisingly consistent ways, revealing continuities as well as evolutions in political discourses and poetic strategies between about 1600 and 1680, and offering new ways to think about women’s political engagement in the seventeenth century as a whole. In exploring these continuities and evolutions, this book engages with the contested notion of a female poetic tradition in the seventeenth century. Carol Barash expresses doubt that it is possible ‘to talk about a shared sense of women’s poetic production before 1649’, and looks to 1649 as a watershed moment after which (some) women write with a ‘shared sense of political culture and linguistic authority’.14 There is little or no evidence 12  Influential explorations of ‘Tory feminism’ in the seventeenth century include Catherine Gallagher, ‘Embracing the Absolute: The Politics of the Female Subject in Seventeenth-Century England’, Genders 1 (1988): pp. 24–39; and Hilda L. Smith, Reason’s Disciples: Seventeenth-Century English Feminists (Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1982). For the ‘long seventeenth century’ as a period that makes sense for the study of women’s writing, see Mihoko Suzuki, Subordinate Subjects: Gender, the Political Nation, and Literary Form in England, 1588–1688 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003), p. 4. 13  Mihoko Suzuki, ‘What’s Political in Seventeenth-Century Women’s Political Writing?’, Literature Compass 6/4 (2009): pp. 927–941 (pp. 936–7); Wiseman, Conspiracy and Virtue, p. 181. 14  Barash, English Women’s Poetry, pp. 7, 5; engaging with Margaret Ferguson, ‘Moderation and its Discontents: Recent Work on Renaissance Women’, Feminist Studies

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of the women explored in this book writing in conscious response to each other, as women unquestionably did in the wake of Katherine Philips’s Poems.15 Nor is it necessarily desirable to seek such a shared sense of female authorship, a specifically female lineage that disentangles women from their socio-political contexts.16 Melville, Southwell, Jane Cavendish, Pulter, and Hutchinson are all deeply engaged in unique and particular social, ideological, and geopolitical networks defined not by gender but by family, community, and religious and political affiliation. At the same time, however, their texts do suggest a ‘female tradition’ of politicized poetry in manuscript in the sense that clear commonalities can be identified in the poetic tropes, genres, and material forms in which they articulate their politics.17 These commonalities and evolutions warrant sustained exploration, as they provide a new narrative of women’s emergence as political poetic authors, and a new understanding of women’s altering relationship to the literary and to the political in seventeenth-century Britain. POLITICS Central to the focus of this book is the reorienting of feminist criticism since the 1990s away from gender politics and towards a greater interest in women writers’ broader engagements and interventions in social, religious, and political cultures. Earlier consideration of women’s literary voices as ‘oppositional’ has given way to a wider view of women’s participation in literary culture, with women writers defined not just by their gender, but by multiple aspects of their diverse identities.18 Katherine

20, no. 2 (1994): pp. 358–361. Hero Chalmers is less ready to identify a royalist tradition in her exploration of Philips, Margaret Cavendish, and Behn (Royalist Women Writers, p. 6). 15  For ‘self-acknowledged followers’ of Philips, see Hageman and Sununu, ‘“More Copies of it abroad”’, p. 159; quoting Marilyn L. Williamson, Raising Their Voices: British Women Writers, 1650–1750 (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1990), p. 21. 16   Kathryn R. King has mounted an eloquent argument against ‘separate female lineages’ that ‘remove women writers from their own historical contexts’, in ‘Cowley Among the Women: or, Poetry in the Contact Zone’, in Woman and Literary History: ‘For There She Was’, edited by Katherine Binhammer and Jeanne Wood (Newark, DE: University of Delaware Press, 2003), pp. 43–63 (pp. 43–44). 17   Danielle Clarke has suggested that women’s ‘politics might be encoded in generic choices, forms of circulation and exchange, and modes of articulation’ (The Politics of Early Modern Women’s Writing, p. 1), and it is this sense of a female poetic tradition that I seek to explore. 18  Barbara Lewalski uses the term ‘oppositional’ in the Introduction to her Writing Women in Jacobean England (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993), p. 3; and Tina Krontiris uses it in the title to Oppositional Voices: Women as Writers and Translators of Literature in the English Renaissance (London: Routledge, 1992).



Introduction: She Thinks Not on the State?

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Philips is, again, a paradigmatic figure in this regard: her poems were predominantly read in the late twentieth century for their Sapphic qualities and lesbian potentialities, but Carol Barash’s English Women’s Poetry, 1649–1714 (1996) marked a turning point, shifting the focus to Philips’s political poems.19 Barash chose to foreground ‘sectarian or party political’ politics in women’s verse because these politics had to that point ‘received far less attention than what we might call their sexual political works (poems about marriage, women’s education, their lack of equality)’.20 Anne Bradstreet has also been recuperated as a state-political poet in recent years, critical discussion reorienting itself away from her occasional, personal poems and focusing instead on the political valences of ‘A Dialogue between Old England and New’ and The Four Monarchies.21 This re-evaluation of the politics of early modern women’s writing has gone a considerable way towards integrating women’s writing into a broader cultural frame, and recognizing the diverse ways in which it engages in the social, intellectual, and political cultures of early modern Britain. Throughout this re-evaluation, however, the ‘politics’ of early and later seventeenth-century women’s writing has been defined in sharply divergent ways, a divergence that this book sets out to complicate. Explorations of Tudor and early Stuart women’s writing tend to define politics broadly, often focusing on the politics of the domestic, social, and religious spheres, and on the politics of patronage. Barbara Harris’s argument that, for early Tudor women, ‘the world of kinship, the great household, client–patron relations, and the court conflated concerns that we would label as either personal or political’ is echoed in numerous studies of late sixteenthand early seventeenth-century women’s writing.22 James Daybell seeks to ‘reconceptualise the “domestic” as “political”’ in a collection of essays focused heavily on Tudor and early Stuart women’s activities in aristocratic social networks; and Danielle Clarke defines politics broadly, as ‘matters

19  Barash, English Women’s Poetry, p. 61. For Sapphic readings of Philips’s poetry, see Harriette Andreadis, ‘The Sapphic-Platonics of Katherine Philips, 1632–1664’, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 15 (1989): pp. 34–60; and Elaine Hobby, Virtue of Necessity: English Women’s Writing 1649–1740 (London: Virago, 1992). 20  Barash, English Women’s Poetry, p. 1. 21   Adrienne Rich’s foreword to Jeannine Hensley’s edition of The Works of Anne Bradstreet (Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1967) exemplifies celebrations of Bradstreet’s occasional mode. More recent readings of Bradstreet as a political writer include Patricia Pender, ‘Disciplining the Imperial Mother: Anne Bradstreet’s A Dialogue Between Old England and New’, Women Writing 1550–1750, Meridian 18, no. 1 (2001): pp. 115–131; Gillespie, Domesticity and Dissent; Wiseman, Conspiracy and Virtue; Gray, Women Writers and Public Debate; and Suzuki, ‘What’s Political?’ 22   Barbara Harris, ‘Women and Politics in Early Tudor England’, Historical Journal 33, no. 2 (1990): pp. 259–281 (p. 260).

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of state, culture, religion and subjecthood’, as well as ‘our own politics as readers of these writers’, in her exploration of women’s writing to 1640.23 Studies of Anne Clifford, Arbella Stuart, and Bess of Hardwick have illuminated the politics of the aristocratic household; and the politics of the patronage networks in which Aemilia Lanyer operated are well rehearsed.24 Anne Southwell’s poetry, dating from the early 1600s to about 1636, has been recognized as ‘political’ in these broad and social terms, and her use of poetry to seek favour and to establish socio-literary coteries in Ireland and in England has been very fruitfully explored.25 Elizabeth Clarke has suggested that Southwell’s biblical verse comments on Jacobean monarchical politics; however, on the whole, studies of women’s writing in these early decades of the seventeenth century have defined politics in social terms, working to establish the family, the household, the court, and networks of patronage and sociality as vital sites of political engagement, blurring boundaries between the personal and the political, and regarding the political as penetrating most spheres of women’s lives.26 It remains rare for connections to be made between the social and religious politics of Tudor and early Stuart texts and the politics of mid- to late seventeenth-century women’s writing. ‘Politics’ is almost invariably defined in these later cases in an exclusive focus on the politics of state: ‘belonging to Policy, or the Government of the Commonwealth’; to do with the individual’s ‘relationship to government authority’; ‘public culture’; or ‘about monarchs’, and explicitly to do with the ‘ongoing political conflict’ which erupted in the mid-century Civil Wars and the later 23   Daybell, ed., Women and Politics, p. 2; Danielle Clarke, The Politics of Early Modern Women’s Writing, p. 1. 24   See, for example, Lewalski, Writing Women in Jacobean England; and the essays in Daybell, ed., Women and Politics. The extensive critical literature on Lanyer includes the essays gathered in Marshall Grossman, ed., Amelia Lanyer: Gender, Genre and the Canon (Lexington, KY: The University Press of Kentucky, 1998). 25   Elizabeth Clarke, ‘Anne Southwell and the Pamphlet Debate: The Politics of Gender, Class, and Manuscript’, in Debating Gender in the Early Modern World, 1500–1700, edited by Cristina Malcolmson and Mihoko Suzuki (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002), pp. 37–53; Marie-Louise Coolahan, Women, Writing, and Language in Early Modern Ireland (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010); and Marie-Louise Coolahan, ‘Ideal Communities and Planter Women’s Writing in Seventeenth-Century Ireland’, in Early Modern Women and the Apparatus of Authorship, edited by Sarah C. E. Ross, Patricia Pender, and Rosalind Smith, Parergon 29, no. 2 (2012): pp. 69–91. 26   Elizabeth Clarke, ‘Anne, Lady Southwell: Coteries and Culture’, in The Intellectual Culture of Puritan Women, edited by Johanna Harris and Elizabeth Scott-Baumann (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), pp. 57–70. Erica Longfellow contends that privacy has no clear definitional boundaries in early seventeenth-century England, and that ‘the tension between public and private was not part of a grand narrative, as it is for us, until at least the later seventeenth century’ (‘Public, Private, and the Household in Early Seventeenth-Century England’, Journal of British Studies 45 (2006): pp. 313–334 (p. 334)).



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‘glorious revolution’.27 Women’s political writing around the Civil War period is also most frequently considered in relation to women’s entry into print culture and ‘public’ debate. Carol Barash describes ‘the first public construction of the “English woman writer”’ in the years 1649–1714, and celebrations of this kind tend to cluster around a triumvirate of perceived qualities in later seventeenth-century women’s writing: it is political, in the sense of being engaged in high state politics, often to the exclusion of familial and religious politics; it is published, in the sense of appearing in print; and it is public, a quality that tends to be elided with the fact of print publication.28 This is a problematic elision, as we will see: women did publish more in the mid- to late seventeenth century than they previously had, but women’s writing in manuscript also continued to proliferate, and much manuscript writing in the period is highly political.29 Similarly, there is no question that the mid-century’s political upheaval is associated with enormous social, political, and epistemological changes—but at the same time, the celebration of the mid- to late seventeenth century as the time of firsts for women writers tends to elide the sharply drawn politics in earlier domestic, religious, and coterie writing like that of Anne Southwell, and to minimize continuities between older modes of women’s political poetic expression and those of the mid- to late century. Much of this work on politics in mid- to late seventeenth-century women’s writing engages with Habermasian terminologies of public and private spheres, echoing a wider scholarly desire to interrogate the applicability of Habermas’s paradigms to the English revolutionary period— and perhaps, as Erica Longfellow has speculated, attempting to elevate women’s writing to the level of ‘public importance’.30 The most compelling recent explorations of seventeenth-century women’s political writing, however, question the relevance of strict delineations of public and private spheres in relation to women’s political agency and expression, and engage in a critical counternarrative. Catharine Gray shifts her attention to Nancy Fraser’s concept of ‘counterpublics’, and to a sense of plural, fragmented, and heterogeneous politically marked communities in which women

27  Wiseman, Conspiracy and Virtue, p. 1; Gillespie, Domesticity and Dissent, p. 11; Gray, Women Writers and Public Debate, p. 2; Barash, English Women’s Poetry, p. 2. 28  Barash, English Women’s Poetry, p. 1. 29   For the upsurge in women’s print publication in the seventeenth century, see Patricia Crawford, ‘Women’s Published Writings 1600–1700’, in Women in English Society, 1500– 1800, edited by Mary Prior (London: Methuen, 1985), pp. 211–282; and Maureen Bell, ‘Women Writing and Women Written’, in The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain, edited by John Barnard and D. F. McKenzie with Maureen Bell, 4 vols, vol. 4, 1557–1695 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), pp. 431–451. 30   Longfellow, ‘Public, Private, and the Household’, p. 317.

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engaged: ‘the religious meeting, the poetic coterie, the extended family’.31 Susan Wiseman also believes that women’s relationship to politics in the seventeenth century was ‘articulated in the interstices of what then seemed to be private or public’, and she moves towards a definition of the political which is the politics of government, the politics of state, but in which ‘“politics” and “public” are not quite synonymous’. Wiseman reflects that women’s ‘public, printed, interventions in political debate’ are consistently grounded ‘in complicated relationships to family, household, religion, and politics’, and her reflections on the interpenetration of familial and state politics implicitly emphasize the continuities between the political as it has been conceived of in relation to the Tudor and early Stuart period, and the political sphere of the mid- to late century.32 These findings are corroborated and greatly extended in the poetic texts that are the focus of this book, in which religious and familial tropes are preeminent modes of articulating politics, and which occur in manuscripts that circulate in networks and communities that are neither private nor strictly public. These new poetic texts enable to explore women’s poetic engagement in the high politics of state—monarchs, government, and the conflict that engulfed Britain in the mid-century—through the lens of their earlier and ongoing engagements in religious, domestic, and social politics and poetics. Religion, located by Habermas in the private sphere, is deeply political in the hands of Elizabeth Melville and Anne Southwell, as well as the later women explored in this book.33 Familial tropes are also a preeminent means of articulating politics in the poetry of Jane Cavendish, Hester Pulter, and Lucy Hutchinson, all of whom envision the English state through their relationships with fathers and husbands, and through the patriarchal structures of the family. Women’s poetic engagements in state politics, in other words, can be traced from at least the early seventeenth century, if they are recognized as embedded in religious and social discourses; and women throughout the century continued to articulate their politics in the languages of religion, the family, and the household, and in the poetic genres of devotion, occasionality, and biblical paraphrase that proliferated in manuscript culture. It is a political sphere rather than a public one per se which I interrogate here, and unshackling the two terms allows us to recognize state–political engagements in the interstitial spaces of religious and social communities, of aristocratic  Gray, Women Writers and Public Debate, pp. 3–4.  Wiseman, Conspiracy and Virtue, pp. 5, 16–17. 33   David Norbrook notes more generally that ‘the strongly religious agenda of English politics . . . does not exactly fit the Habermasian model’, in ‘Women, the Republic of Letters, and the Public Sphere in the Mid-Seventeenth Century’, Criticism 46 (2004): pp. 223–240 (p. 233). 31 32



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households and their concentric circles, and in networks of manuscript exchange. Focusing on poetic genres that are for the most part religious and social because that is what women predominantly wrote, even into the latter half of the seventeenth century, this book explores the ways in which the earlier expression of domestic, social, and devotional politics inflects mid- to late seventeenth-century women’s poetic engagement with the politics of state, and the ways in which women’s ‘poetry of state’ in the years of the revolution and beyond extends and develops earlier female modes of expression. RELIGION Vital to the chapters which follow is the re-evaluation in recent years of the place of religion in the reading and writing practices of early modern women, in their intellectual culture, and in their sociopolitical engagements. Religious and devotional writing comprises a very large proportion of women’s texts across the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries: most manuscripts associated with women in the period contain religious or devotional pieces, and nearly half of printed texts by women in the seventeenth century are religious in nature.34 Conduct books and treatises on women’s education focused heavily on the reading and repetition of religious texts and sentences, as is well documented, and religion lay at the heart of girls’ and women’s education; in this context, early modern women’s religious writing was for a long time seen as safe, acceptable, and marginal.35 The early feminist critical sense that women were ‘silent but for the word’, an important and influential starting point for the exploration of women’s religious writing, was based on an assumption that religious practice was a domestic and private affair in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and that women’s religious writings were ephemeral to intellectual and sociopolitical cultures.36 34  Arthur Marotti, Manuscript, Print and the English Renaissance Lyric (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1995), p. 52; Crawford, ‘Women’s Published Writings’. 35   Important early discussions of the role of religious texts in the education of early modern girls and women, and in their writing, include Suzanne W. Hull, Chaste, Silent & Obedient: English Books for Women, 1475–1640 (San Marino, CA: Huntington Library, 1982); and Elaine Beilin, Redeeming Eve: Women Writers of the English Renaissance (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1987). On women’s education, see Kenneth Charlton, Women, Religion and Education in Early Modern England (London: Routledge, 1999). 36   Margaret P. Hannay’s early and defining collection of essays describes women as ‘relegated to the margins of discourse’ in their writing of religious and devotional texts (Hannay, ed., Silent But for the Word: Tudor Women as Patrons, Translators, and Writers of Religious Works (Kent, OH: The Kent State University Press, 1985), p. 14).

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More recent scholarship has constructed a much more complex picture of women’s reading and writing practices, and of the political implications of women’s religious literacy from the Reformation onwards. The Bible ‘lay at the heart of early modern female reading culture’, as Femke Molekamp describes, and women’s Bible-centric reading practices in turn fostered their engagements in particular modes of writing: translations, theological works, prayers and meditations, psalm versifications, spiritual diaries, and sermon paraphrases.37 It is, however, a mistake to regard these writings as safe, acceptable, or marginal. Reformation religion was inherently the religion of the book, and it is now well recognized that a number of sixteenth-century women became ‘influential agents of religious and political change’ through their textual and interpretative activities.38 Katherine Parr, Anne Askew, Elizabeth Tyrwhit, Anne Lock, and Elizabeth I all exerted considerable interpretative and religio-political authority; and the reading and writing practices of the Cooke sisters and Mary Sidney Herbert, among others, have been redefined as ‘religious and political activism’.39 Not only was religion ‘the cultural matrix for explorations of virtually every topic’ in early modern England, as Debora Shuger describes,40 but the redefinition of the English confessional state hinged on its reformation, and women’s religious writings contributed to this process. In the seventeenth century, bisected by the Civil Wars that have been described as the last European wars of religion, the crucial intersections between women’s religious practice, religious writing, and politics are also now well recognized.41 Erica Longfellow’s exploration of Aemilia Lanyer,

37   Femke Molekamp, Women and the Bible in Early Modern England: Religious Reading and Writing (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), p. 1; and see Micheline White, ed., English Women, Religion, and Textual Production, 1500–1625 (Farnham: Ashgate, 2011), p. 1. Other important recent explorations of women’s reading practices include Edith Snook, Women, Reading, and the Cultural Politics of Early Modern England (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005); and Heidi Brayman Hackel, Reading Material in Early Modern England: Print, Gender, and Literacy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005). 38  Molekamp, Women and the Bible, p. 11. 39   Julie Crawford, ‘Literary Circles and Communities’, in The History of British Women’s Writing, edited by Caroline Bicks and Jennifer Summit (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), pp. 35–60 (p. 35). Important discussions include Kimberly Anne Coles, Religion, Reform, and Women’s Writing in Early Modern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008); and the essays in White, English Women, Religion, and Textual Production. 40   Debora K. Shuger, Habits of Thought in the English Renaissance: Religion, Politics, and the Dominant Culture (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1990), p. 6. 41   See John Morrill, The Nature of the English Revolution (Harlow, Essex: Longman, 1993); David Loewenstein and John Morrill, ‘Literature and Religion’, in The Cambridge History of Early Modern English Literature, edited by David Loewenstein and Janel Mueller (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), pp. 664–713 (p. 664).



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Anne Southwell, ‘Eliza’, Anna Trapnel, and Lucy Hutchinson reveals the interpretative authority of these women and the political and social implications of their writings; and Elizabeth Clarke’s Politics, Religion and the Song of Songs in Seventeenth-Century England traces the ways in which interpretation of the biblical text facilitated women’s entry into political writing.42 (Notably, however, Clarke argues that engagement with the Song of Songs did not facilitate women’s entry into ‘self-consciously literary genres like poetry’, a point to which I will return.43) That women’s religious writing is political in seventeenth-century Britain is clear, although this often poses very real difficulties for modern critics. In her readings of Rachel Speght’s poems and polemics, Christina Luckyj draws attention to the challenges inherent in interpreting the political expressions of the past when they are deeply encoded in languages of devotion and sacred belief that are foreign to the contemporary reader.44 It has become clear that to understand the politics of seventeenth-century women’s poetry, we need to understand the intricacies of their doctrinal, devotional, and social worlds, not just the politics of our feminist critical approaches. These are insights with important implications for the women whose poetry is explored in this book, for whom religious poetry is a prevailing mode of entry into politicized expression and outright political debate. Melville, Southwell, Jane Cavendish, Pulter, and Hutchinson all wrote religious and devotional texts, and all were enabled, to a greater or lesser extent, by a religious sense of ‘the right use of poesy’, in the words of Elizabeth Melville’s friend and poetic associate Alexander Hume.45 Elizabeth Melville and Anne Southwell wrote during the Scottish and English reigns of James VI and I, a self-constructed nursing father of the church whose cultural influence as a religious thinker and religious poet was intimately tied to his position as king.46 Melville’s religious lyrics engage in a Scottish pietist poetic that is indebted to James’s Essayes of a Prentise, in the diuine art of 42  Erica Longfellow, Women and Religious Writing in Early Modern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004); Elizabeth Clarke, Politics, Religion and the Song of Songs in Seventeenth-Century England (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011). Scott-Baumann and Harris, eds, The Intellectual Culture of Puritan Women, also contributes significantly to the re-evaluation of seventeenth-century women’s religious writing. 43  Clarke, Politics, Religion and the Song of Songs, p. 161. 44  Christina Luckyj, ‘Rachel Speght and the “Criticall Reader”’, ELR 36 (2006): pp. 227–249 (esp. pp. 246–247). 45   See Chapter 1. 46  Important recent discussions of James VI and I’s religious writing include James Doelman, King James I and the Religious Culture of England (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2000); Jane Rickard, Authorship and Authority: The Writings of James VI and I (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2007); Astrid Stilma, ‘King James VI and I as a Religious Writer’, in Literature and the Scottish Reformation, edited by Crawford Gribben and David George Mullan (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2009), pp. 127–141.

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poesie (1584) and his subsequent poetic writings, although Melville and her Presbyterian associates took a stance of increasingly fierce opposition to the king’s interventions in the Scottish Kirk from the mid-1590s. Melville’s religious lyrics become expressions not only of a spiritual fight against sin, but of a fight against the king’s persecution of the Scottish Presbyterian godly. Anne Southwell wrote during James VI and I’s English reign, and she may well have been enabled by his model as a poet and religious writer in addressing to him, ‘the nursing father of all pietye’, versions of her own verses on the Decalogue.47 Where Melville’s religious lyrics are expressions of resistance to James’s ecclesiastical policies, Southwell engages more subtly with his religious politics: she takes a sabbatarian stance in contrast to his endorsement of recreations on the sabbath in the Declaration of Sports (1618), but she elsewhere endorses his critique in the Basilikon Doron (1603) of the Family of Love and of extreme Puritans. James VI and I was also instrumental in bringing to Britain the religious poetry of the French Protestant Guillaume de Saluste Du Bartas, whose extended biblical verse paraphrases exerted a powerful influence over women’s politicized religious poetry in seventeenth-century Britain.48 Anne Bradstreet famously celebrates Du Bartas in her poem of 1641, and the political implications of her Bartasian poems The Four Monarchies are now well recognized.49 Anne Southwell’s extended verses on the Decalogue are also deeply influenced by Du Bartas’s compendious religious poetry, and by that of his follower Francis Quarles, who used biblical verse paraphrase to comment on monarchical politics in the 1620s. Du Bartas’s and Quarles’s poetic paraphrases of scripture are also more distant antecedents of Lucy Hutchinson’s Order and Disorder, an extended poetic Genesis narrative that comments on Restoration English politics in analogic and emblematic digressions. Elizabeth Scott-Baumann has explored the political implications of Hutchinson’s biblical marginalia in Order and Disorder in 1679; Southwell’s Decalogue poems and her immersion in a poetic culture of biblical versification, spearheaded by Du Bartas and Quarles, reveal

47  Jean Klene, ed., The Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book: Folger MS V.b.198, Renaissance English Text Society, 7th series, vol. 20 (Tempe, AZ: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1997), p. 125. 48   James VI’s translation of Du Bartas’s L’Uranie was published in his Essayes of a Prentise, in the diuine art of poesie (1584), and he commissioned Thomas Hudson’s translation of Du Bartas’s Judith, published in the same year. Du Bartas visited Edinburgh at James’s invitation for six months in 1579, and again on a diplomatic mission in 1587. 49  ‘In Honour of Du Bartas, 1641’, in Hensley, ed., The Works of Anne Bradstreet, pp. 192–194. For political readings of The Four Monarchies, see Gillespie, Domesticity and Dissent; Wiseman, Conspiracy and Virtue; Gray, Women Writers and Public Debate; and Suzuki, ‘What’s Political?’



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that biblical verse in the hands of women poets was already thoroughly political in the 1620s.50 Even the most avowedly ‘private’ of religious poetic forms, the devotional lyric, has come to be understood as a politically inflected form, in spite of its own rhetoric. Claude J. Summers and others have dismantled the tendency to see the religious lyric as ‘exist[ing] on a plane apart from the mundane and the temporal’, Summers describing it as ‘inevitably (and sometimes triumphantly) rooted in the sociopolitical contexts of its time’.51 Helen Wilcox has explored ‘the politicisation of the language of devotion’ in the Civil War period; she aptly describes devotional poems on political occasions as ‘the religious equivalent of “poems on the affairs of state”’, taking as an example An Collins’s ‘A Song composed in time of Civill Warr, when the wicked did much insult over the godly’.52 Elizabeth Clarke also argues powerfully for the political use of the religious lyric in the Civil War period, noting that by the 1640s the religious lyric had ‘achieved political instrumentality’.53 The work of Wilcox and Clarke, exploring the religious lyric’s politicization in the hands of male and female writers, has been foundational in redefining devotional poetry as political in its ramifications. Such insights into the political valences of religious poetry underpin my explorations—and indeed my definition—of women’s political poetry in this book. Clarke comments trenchantly that ‘the religious lyric as used by women would seem [in the Civil War period] to offer access to the political debate being conducted in religious terms’,54 and women’s emergence into political poetics via religious (as well as social) writing is essential to 50   Elizabeth Scott-Baumann, ‘Lucy Hutchinson, the Bible, and Order and Disorder’, in The Intellectual Culture of Puritan Women, edited by Harris and Scott-Baumann, pp. 176–189 (pp. 181–185). 51   Claude J. Summers, ‘Herrick, Vaughan, and the Poetry of Anglican Survivalism’, in New Perspectives on the Seventeenth-Century English Religious Lyric, edited by John R. Roberts (Columbia and London: University of Missouri Press, 1994), pp. 46–74 (esp. p. 46); and see the other essays in that collection, especially Michael C. Schoenfeldt, ‘The Poetry of Supplication: Toward a Cultural Poetics of the Religious Lyric’, pp. 75–104. 52   Helen Wilcox, ‘Exploring the Language of Devotion in the English Revolution’, in Literature and the English Civil War, edited by Healy and Sawday, pp. 75–88 (pp. 75–76). For An Collins’s poem, see Sidney Gottlieb, ed., Divine Songs and Meditacions, Renaissance English Text Society, 7th series, vol. 19 (Tempe, AZ: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1996), p. 60. 53   Elizabeth Clarke, ‘The Garrisoned Muse: Women’s Use of the Religious Lyric in the Civil War Period’, in The English Civil Wars in the Literary Imagination, edited by Summers and Pebworth, pp. 130–143 (p. 131). 54   Clarke, ‘The Garrisoned Muse’, p. 130; and see Elizabeth Clarke, ‘Ejaculation or Virgin Birth? The Gendering of the Religious Lyric in the Interregnum’, in ‘This Double Voice’: Gendered Writing in Early Modern England, edited by Danielle Clarke and Elizabeth Clarke (London: Macmillan, 2000), pp. 208–229 (pp. 219–220).

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the tradition of seventeenth-century women’s political verse that this book traces. Elizabeth Melville’s lyrics and sonnets are poetic explorations of the relationship between the devotional subject and the divine, but their insistence on endurance of worldly trials and on ‘ending out’ the fight of the godly is distinctly politicized in the context of James VI’s persecution of the Scottish Presbyterian godly. Jane Cavendish’s and Hester Pulter’s devotional lyrics exemplify precisely the politicization of the language of devotion that characterizes the 1640s and 1650s, as they conflate king and Christ, and envision the resurrection of familial and political, as well as religious, hopes. The critical celebration of mid-century women poets as political, literary, and public is very often inflected, or even explicitly associated, with a sense of relief at their increased secularity, but women continued to write prevalently in religious modes.55 In their engagement in political commentary in and through religious poetry, women such as Jane Cavendish and Pulter are the successors to Melville and Southwell, and precursors of very many later, overtly political women writers, including Katherine Philips, Lucy Hutchinson, Mary Astell, and Elizabeth Singer Rowe.56 P O E T RY Nowhere is the centrality of religion to seventeenth-century women’s political poetry more evident than in the question of poetic form, with which this book explicitly engages. It is more than twenty-five years since Germaine Greer asserted women’s exclusion from ‘the highest bastion of the cultural establishment, the citadel of “sacred poetry”’, although Greer’s use of sacred was not in this case a religious one.57 She was, rather, alerting us to seventeenth-century women’s exclusion from the male world of high poetic aspiration and endeavour—an accurate point in itself, reiterated in recent explorations of women’s religious reading and writing, and in Lynette McGrath’s description of early 55   Chalmers, for example, describes Margaret Cavendish as ‘an avowedly literary author moving beyond the notion of religion as a prime motivating force; the birth of the modern woman author’ (Royalist Women Writers, pp. 1–2). 56   In another, timely, refocusing of the critical lens on Katherine Philips, John Kerrigan seeks to foreground the religious aspects of her poetry that have hitherto been neglected (Archipelagic English: Literature, History, and Politics, 1603–1707 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), pp. 195–219). Mary Astell presented a religious ‘Collection of Poems’ in manuscript to William Sancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1689 (Bodleian Library, MS Rawl. poet. 154; and see EMWMP, pp. 182–193); and Elizabeth Singer Rowe’s religious poems articulate her Whiggish loyalties (see Sarah Prescott, ‘Elizabeth Singer Rowe (1674–1737): Politics, Passion and Piety’, in Women and Poetry, 1660–1750, edited by Prescott and Shuttleton, pp. 71–77). 57  Germaine Greer et al., eds, Kissing the Rod: An Anthology of Seventeenth-Century Women’s Verse (New York: The Noonday Press, 1989), p. 1.



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modern women as exiles from the world of high poetry, through education, convention, and imagery such as that of inspiration.58 It is, conversely, women’s relative ease of access to the modes and practices of sacred poetry—that is, the poetry of devotion and religion—that influences the how, what, and when of their entry into political poetics. I argue in the course of this book that religious reading and writing practices, rather than ‘high’ literary traditions, define many seventeenth-century women’s choices of poetic form, and religious poetic genres are enabling for women writers’ political expression. If we are going to understand women’s emergence as published political poets of state in the mid-seventeenth century, we need to read poetic genre differently—or, rather, we need to read different poetic genres. In particular, scholars working with religious writing and with women’s manuscript writing in recent years have alerted us to the importance of devotional and social poetic genres and of the contexts in which they occur. Marie-Louise Coolahan has established the social occasional poem and the devotional occasional meditation as ‘rhetorically-modest’ genres that emerge out of manuscript culture.59 Alice Eardley’s work on Hester Pulter’s emblems emphasizes the genre’s association with quotidian culture; and the biblical poems of Du Bartas and Quarles were enormously popular among women readers and writers.60 Elizabeth Clarke has speculated that women’s interpretative engagement with biblical texts made the step in authorship ‘from non-literary genres such as the spiritual journal to self-consciously literary genres like poetry’ a conflicted one,61 but the genres of popular poetic piety offer a generic ‘space between’ for seventeenth-century women. Quarles’s poetic paraphrases of sacred history in the 1620s are almost ignored in assessments of his poetic career, dismissed as ‘pious light reading’, in large part because they are ‘not . . . the most appealing generic modes to modern readers’,62 but they facilitate a good deal of women’s poetry on occasions of state in seventeenth-century Britain, as this book will show. 58  Lynette McGrath, Subjectivity and Women’s Poetry in Early Modern England (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2002), pp. 3–4. 59  Marie-Louise Coolahan, ‘Occasionality and the Manuscript Verse of Katherine Philips’, p. 13; and Marie-Louise Coolahan, ‘Redeeming Parcels of Time: Aesthetics and Practice of Occasional Meditation’, The Seventeenth Century 22 (2007): pp. 124–143. 60   Alice Eardley, ‘An Edition of Lady Hester Pulter’s Book of “Emblems”’ (PhD dissertation, University of Warwick, 2008); esp. pp. 18–20. Elizabeth Clarke describes Quarles’s Emblemes (1635) as ‘a seventeenth-century best-seller’; and in a discussion of his Divine Poems: Sions Sonnets (1630) and Barnabas and Boanerges (1644), Sharon Achinstein comments that ‘Quarles provided a means for ordinary readers to attempt a spiritual relationship through poetry’ (Clarke, Politics, Religion and the Song of Songs, p. 84; and Achinstein, Literature and Dissent in Milton’s England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), p. 200). 61  Clarke, Politics, Religion and the Song of Songs, p. 161. 62  Adrian Streete, ‘Frances Quarles’ Early Poetry and the Discourses of Jacobean Spenserianism’, Journal of the Northern Renaissance 1 (2009): par. 8, .

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Such pious and avowedly non-literary genres (even if such avowals are in fact disingenuous) are not as appealing to modern readers as their secular and ‘literary’ counterparts: the metaphysical love poem, the ode, or the epic. The authorial distance between them, however, can in fact be small. George Herbert was much loved by the seventeenth-century woman reader, perhaps because of his lyrics’ proximity to secular and popular love traditions; and John Donne’s models of poetic sociality and devotion are imitated by at least three women in this book: Southwell, Jane Cavendish, and Hutchinson. If we look only at women’s engagements with canonical literature, however, we overlook the poetic genres in which a number of women did write, and we risk distorting our critical response to women’s emergence in modes more palatable to the modern reader. Hutchinson’s Order and Disorder, for example, has been persistently read and marketed as a woman’s epic, a reading that I argue is dictated by a narrowly canonical view of seventeenth-century biblical poetry and that obscures Hutchinson’s nuanced engagement in meditational poetics. Women’s writing of poetry at all, their engagements with various poetic modes, and their (re)creations of poetic imagery and form not only constitute their political poetic voice, but allow us to trace their shifting status in relation to literary culture and political articulation. To read for form is not only to read for influence, as Elizabeth Scott-Baumann has recently shown, but also to read for women’s complex and evolving relationship to poetic cultures and to literary and political hegemonies in seventeenth-century Britain.63 The women who are the focus in this book write in a variety of poetic forms that both attest to the accessibility of particular genres to women, and begin to modify Greer’s assertion of women’s exclusion from the poetic citadel: the dream vision, sonnet, contrafactum (or sacred parody), biblical verse paraphrase, devotional lyric, occasional verse, elegy, emblem, and sacred history, to name the most prominent examples. Elizabeth Melville implicitly claims in Ane Godlie Dreame the authority of the prophetic dream that Aemilia Lanyer and Rachel Speght have been seen to exploit in the dream vision prefaces to their printed poems; and the lyric tropes of the Song of Songs and the conventions of the devout contrafactum infuse and authorize her poetic voice in her spiritual sonnets.64 Anne Southwell 63   Elizabeth Scott-Baumann, Forms of Engagement: Women, Poetry, and Culture, 1640– 1680 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), esp. pp. 2–4. 64   Kate Lilley, ‘“Imaginarie in Manner: Reall in Matter”: Rachel Speght’s Dreame and the Female Scholar-poet’, in Reading the Early Modern Dream: The Terrors of the Night, edited by Katherine Hodgkin, Michelle O’Callaghan, and S. J. Wiseman (New York and London: Routledge, 2008), pp. 97–108; Danielle Clarke, The Politics of Early Modern Women’s Writing, p. 148. Melville’s use of the Song of Songs provides a fascinating counterpoint to Elizabeth Clarke’s argument that women’s interpretations of the biblical book did not foster poetic authorship.



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explicitly celebrates the influence of Francis Quarles’s poetry on her own, and her brief lyrics and those of Jane Cavendish evince the availability to women of the social and devotional occasional poem, the epitaph, and the elegy. Elegy, in particular, is already well recognized as a fluid and mobile genre that offers women a particularly powerful position from which to speak. It is ‘a form without a form . . . a genre defined by its occasion’, in Dennis Kay’s words, and the elegiac ‘stance of grief ’ is an enabling one from which women poets move to address a wide range of topics.65 Hester Pulter and Lucy Hutchinson rework elegy to plangent political effect, and in doing so draw on the prominent political and literary cultures of their time: the allusive literary pastoral of Andrew Marvell, the topographical poetry of John Denham, and the poetry of Horatian retreat consolidated by Katherine Philips and Abraham Cowley. Like Hutchinson’s allusions to Virgil and Ovid in her biblical verse meditation on Genesis, Order and Disorder, and her articulation of that poem against Milton’s Paradise Lost, these are increasingly elite literary engagements that begin to rewrite the paradigm of women’s exclusion from the high poetic citadel. To focus on women’s poetic writing, as this book does, is inevitably to focus on a relatively elite class of writers;66 however, close attention to a wide spectrum of poetic genres and forms creates a newly nuanced narrative of women’s engagement with rhetorically modest and high literary forms.67 This book focuses exclusively on poetic texts in order to tease out this complex and evolving relationship between women and elite literary– political culture in the seventeenth century; it also does so because of the unique space that poetry offers for imaginative engagement in state politics. It is perhaps surprising that the relationship between politics and poetry in women’s writing has not been more closely explored, given the length of time since David Norbrook’s foundational examination, Poetry and Politics in the English Renaissance, although there are some important 65  Dennis Kay, Melodious Tears: The English Funeral Elegy from Spenser to Milton (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990), p. 5; Danielle Clarke, The Politics of Early Modern Women’s Writing, pp. 166–167; Kate Lilley, ‘True State Within: Women’s Elegy 1640–1700’, in Women, Writing, History, 1640–1740, edited by Isobel Grundy and Susan Wiseman (London: Batsford, 1992), pp. 72–92. 66   Compare, for example, the women writers explored by Marcus Nevitt in Women and the Pamphlet Culture of Revolutionary England, 1640–1660 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006). 67   Danielle Clarke and Marie-Louise Coolahan reflect on the critical tendency for explorations of women’s writing to evade questions of form, and call for a closer investigation of formal matters: ‘what forms do women poets use, and to what uses do they put them?’ ‘Gender, Reception, and Form: Early Modern Women and the Making of Verse’, in The Work of Form: Poetics and Materiality in Early Modern Culture, edited by Ben Burton and Elizabeth Scott-Baumann (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), pp. 144–161, esp. pp. 149–153.

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and defining statements from which this book steps off. The first of these is Norbrook’s insistence that poetry could ‘“feign” a whole commonwealth’, that the aesthetic was political and the political was aesthetic in the early modern mind, and that poetry has a unique role in ‘giving a powerful emotional colouring to the abstract categories of political theory’.68 Another is Susan Wiseman’s reflection that women’s very exclusion from the public– political sphere makes imaginative and literary texts and production a rich source for understanding their political engagement in the period; as she describes, ‘exclusion makes figural language, myth, narrative, and poetry crucial modes of political expression’.69 Wiseman dedicates only one of eight chapters to poetry in her important study of seventeenth-century women’s political writing; as she makes clear in relation to women, politics, and poetry in particular, much remains to be done.70 The case studies in this book expand our understanding of how women across the political spectrum use the figural language of poetry, as well as poetic form, to imagine the political state and, in some but not all cases, to articulate a sense of political agency or even action. ‘Political poetry’ in this book is not only poetry that overtly engaged in a war of words— satire, elegy, celebration, or the call to arms—and it is not only poetry that gained a successful purchase on the political sphere. It is also poetry that reflects on the political moment in more oblique or less successful ways: the subtly politicized language of devotion and sociality, expressions of loss or failure, and the sometimes-isolated imaginings of ideal states and religio-political resurrections. Tropes of battle run through the lyrics of Elizabeth Melville, her spiritual songs and sonnets exhorting her imprisoned Presbyterian brothers to ‘end out the ficht’; these are politicized articulations in the resistance to James VI and I’s ecclesiastical policies, but they are first and foremost the sacred battle hymns of the godly in the eternal war against sin. Melville also ventriloquizes Christ, who exhorts the godly (in a sacred parody of Marlowe) to ‘Come live with me and be my love’. In the hands of Jane Cavendish, the intertwined languages of secular and spiritual pastoral invitation are both intimately devotional and deeply politicized. Cavendish appeals to her father to ‘Come away’ to Welbeck, and constructs him in doing so as father, king, and Christ-the-lover. Hester Pulter and Lucy Hutchinson also engage in the politicized pastoral, and with mid-century tropes of rural retirement. Pulter’s insistence 68   David Norbrook, Poetry and Politics in the English Renaissance, rev. ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), pp. 1, 45; David Norbrook, Writing the English Republic: Poetry, Rhetoric and Politics, 1627–1660 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), p. 9. 69  Wiseman, Conspiracy and Virtue, p. 9. 70  Wiseman, Conspiracy and Virtue, pp. 229–233, esp. p. 231.



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on her enforced and politicized solitude underpins a lachrymose, voluble, and explicitly female response to the political affairs of state. Pulter and Hutchinson each rewrite the emblematic girl in the garden of male-authored country-house poetry, giving her a plangently political voice; but where Pulter’s engardened girls look to restoration and resurrection, Hutchinson’s female speaker is, after the death of her husband and the loss of the republican cause, a ‘tree That’s dead at roote’.71 Complex figurations of fathers and husbands, families and place recur in diverse and multiple constellations in these poems, lending weight as well as imaginative resonance to recent reflections that women figure their relationship to politics in the seventeenth century through their relationships to family and to household.72 In explicating these tropes and their permutations we learn a great deal about women’s emotional, lived, and textual responses to and engagements in political affairs and ideologies, as well as about their literary sources, influences, and engagements. In demanding that we attend closely to these tropes and figurations in and across the work of individual women, a focus on poetry allows us to gain a better insight into commonalities as well as differences in women’s imaginative engagements in seventeenth-century politics, and in women poets’ relationships to the literary as well as the political sphere. MANUSCRIPT This book, finally, explores manuscript culture as an arena vital to women’s poetry, and to women’s imaginative engagement in politics, in seventeenth-century England, Ireland, and Scotland. The Perdita project revealed for the first time the full extent of women’s writing in manuscript, building on the pioneering work of Margaret J. M. Ezell, Harold Love, and Arthur Marotti, and editions and studies of women’s manuscript texts have proliferated in recent years.73 The Perdita project’s anthology Early Modern Women’s Manuscript Poetry provides access to selected poetry of four of the five women discussed in this book (and selected poetry of the other, Elizabeth Melville, is available in its own edition); several of the women discussed here are the focus of new 71   Elegy 7, line 40, in David Norbrook, ‘Lucy Hutchinson’s “Elegies” and the Situation of the Republican Woman Writer (with text)’, ELR 27 (1997): pp. 468–521. 72  See in particular Wiseman, Conspiracy and Virtue, pp. 18–20; and Su Fang Ng, Literature and the Politics of Family in Seventeenth-Century England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007). 73   Margaret J. M. Ezell, The Patriarch’s Wife: Literary Evidence and the History of the Family (Chapel Hill and London: University of North Carolina Press, 1987); Harold Love, Scribal Publication in Seventeenth-Century England (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993);

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or forthcoming complete editions.74 Ongoing work on a poet such as Elizabeth Melville indicates that important manuscript texts by women may yet remain to be found or attributed, but our knowledge of what women wrote in manuscript in early modern Britain has expanded radically since the mid-1990s. In addition to revealing the extent of women’s writing in the seventeenth century, the retrieval of texts from manuscript and the work of contextualizing these texts have allowed critical attention to focus on the literary circles and networks in which women were active. Claude J. Summers and Ted-Larry Pebworth describe the literary circle as ‘one of the essential material conditions for the production of literature in an era in which patronage relations were crucial and in which manuscripts were frequently circulated among coteries of sympathetic readers’; that is, manuscript culture is a phenomenon crucial to literary production per se in the seventeenth century, and to our understanding of the social and material contingency of literary texts by men as well as women.75 It is in manuscript culture, free from the stigma of print, that women participated most actively in seventeenth-century literary culture, but scholarly emphasis on manuscript culture and on the literary circle has also necessitated a re-evaluation of the status of literary production in manuscript. It has become clear that print publication should not be regarded as the norm—or the apogee of literary achievement—in the period; as George Justice explores, it is not straightforwardly the case that women were ‘relegated to an inferior mode of distribution of their writing by prohibitive Marotti, Manuscript, Print, and the English Renaissance Lyric. Other important studies include George L. Justice and Nathan P. Tinker, eds, Women’s Writing and the Circulation of Ideas: Manuscript Publication in England, 1550–1800 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002); Victoria E. Burke and Jonathan Gibson, eds, Early Modern Women’s Manuscript Writing: Selected Papers of the Trinity-Trent Colloquium (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004); Suzanne Trill, ‘Early Modern Women’s Writing in the Edinburgh Archives: A Preliminary Checklist’, in Writing Women in Medieval and Early Modern Scotland, edited by Sarah Dunnigan et al. (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2004), pp. 201–225. 74   Jill Seal Millman and Gillian Wright, eds, Early Modern Women’s Manuscript Poetry (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2005) (hereafter EMWMP); Jamie Reid Baxter, Poems of Elizabeth Melville, Lady Culross (Edinburgh: Solsequium, 2010), and Dr Reid Baxter is working on a complete edition of Melville’s poetry; Klene, ed., The Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book. Alice Eardley’s Lady Hester Pulter: Poems, Emblems, and The Unfortunate Florinda (Toronto: The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe, 2014) is being published as this book goes to production. David Norbrook is the chief editor of a four-volume edition of Lucy Hutchinson’s works forthcoming with Oxford University Press: ‘The Works of Lucy Hutchinson’, Centre for Early Modern Studies, accessed 24 May 2014, . 75   Claude J. Summers and Ted-Larry Pebworth, ‘Introduction’ to Literary Circles and Cultural Communities in Renaissance England, edited by Summers and Pebworth (Columbia and London: University of Missouri Press, 2000), p. 1.



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social codes’.76 While women as late as Lucy Hutchinson were leery of print publication, the manuscript networks in which they were active participants were vital to seventeenth-century literary production, and were potent literary and socio-political arenas, continuing to flourish into the first half of the eighteenth century.77 The case studies explored in this book extend considerably our understanding of women’s poetic involvement in literary circles, and of those literary circles more broadly. Elizabeth Melville engaged actively and fully in a circle that included leading poetic and political figures of the Scottish Presbyterian movement: Andrew Melville, his nephew James Melville, and their supporter the poet Alexander Hume. Anne Southwell’s poetic networks included the Overbury circle and a considerable number of Irish and English correspondents; and Southwell’s construction of what MarieLouise Coolahan calls an ‘ideal community’ raises important questions about the extent to which literary communities in the period were actual or imagined.78 William Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle’s literary circle has long been recognized as one of the most prominent in mid-century England, but its importance as a necessary condition of his daughter Jane’s poetic writing is explored here for the first time. Hester Pulter provides a particularly intriguing example of a woman writer who may or may not have been regarded as an active participant in her literary culture: her plaints about social and literary isolation notwithstanding, it is clear that she was in close contact with mid-century literary culture, probably including the literary production in manuscript of Andrew Marvell. And in the 1670s, Lucy Hutchinson, whose writing was known in the circle centred on the Earl of Anglesey, entered print publication only partially and anonymously, manuscript culture remaining the primary context for the limited circulation of her poetry. This book attends closely to the manuscript-based literary circles in which each woman’s poetry circulated, and so contributes to our understanding of the geographical and cultural specificities of their writing, whether local, national, or archipelagic. Micheline White’s work on literary-religious circles in the Elizabethan West Country and Paula McQuade’s exploration of Dorothy Burch in Puritan Kent have drawn attention to the importance of locality and local communities to the writing and literary activities of many women; Kate Chedgzoy has called for greater attention to be paid to the ‘local and regional specificities’ of   Justice, ‘Introduction’ to Women’s Writing and the Circulation of Ideas, p. 6.   Kathryn R. King, ‘Elizabeth Singer Rowe’s tactical use of print and manuscript’, in Women’s Writing and the Circulation of Ideas, edited by Justice and Tinker, pp. 158–181. 78   Coolahan, ‘Ideal Communities’. 76 77

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women’s writing, and the ‘social and geographical situatedness of the manuscript miscellany as a form’.79 Anne Southwell’s local Acton community, in which she lived in the early 1630s, is one example of a highly localized network that had a profound effect on her poetic production and intellectual community. So too is the community of Scottish Presbyterians to whom Elizabeth Melville wrote, although the extent to which some of the politicized poetry explored in this book has national, and even archipelagic, scope is striking. Melville’s poetic influences are as diverse as the secular love lyrics of Christopher Marlowe and the Scottish Gude and Godlie Ballatis, and Ane Godlie Dreame enjoyed enormous popularity in England as well as Scotland. The Anglo-Irish reach of Southwell’s poetry—at least on an imaginary level—parallels that of Katherine Philips’s later verse. Other of the networks engaged by women in this book are smaller and more circumscribed. Jane Cavendish’s poetry imagines an audience in her royalist family in exile on the continent, although the extent of her texts’ actual travel is unknown, and I argue that her trope of an ongoing familial poetic circle carries greater political freight by dint of its very dissociation from geographical reality. Hester Pulter imagines an audience of royalist friends but there is no trace of a readership beyond a descendant antiquarian; her engagement in the literary texts of her time is extensive, but the readership for her own verse may have been limited, despite her consolatory address to royalist friends. Lucy Hutchinson’s translation of Lucretius’s De rerum natura and her verse narrative on Genesis circulated in multiple copies; however, the audience for her elegies may have been exclusively familial. If Hutchinson may well have deliberately restricted the transmission of her bleakly politicized elegies, the apparently limited scope of Pulter’s readership may suggest a failure to generate the circle of royalist, poetic friends to whom she so poignantly addresses her poems; if so, however, her verse is no less politicized and no less poetic for its lack of readers. That the transnational reception and reach of Melville’s religious lyrics was as lost to literary history as was Pulter’s single volume is a salutary reminder of the invisibility of the manuscript text to posterity, and of the need to write the diverse texts and contexts in which women’s poetry 79   Micheline White, ‘Women Writers and Literary-Religious Circles in the Elizabethan West Country: Anne Dowriche, Anne Lock Prowse, Anne Lock Moyle, Ursula Fulford, and Elizabeth Rous’, Modern Philology 103, no. 2 (2005): pp. 187–214; Paula McQuade, ‘A Knowing People: Early Modern Motherhood, Female Authorship, and Working-Class Community in Dorothy Burch’s A Catechism of the Several Heads of the Christian Religion’, Prose Studies 32, no. 3 (2010): pp. 167–186; Kate Chedgzoy, ‘The Cultural Geographies of Early Modern Women’s Writing: Journeys across Spaces and Times’, Literature Compass 3 (2006): pp. 1–12, doi: 10.1111/j.1741-4113.2006.00352.x (p. 5).



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occurred into our narrative of women’s relationship to political poetics in the seventeenth century. The chapters in this book are arranged in chronological order, working from the Scottish Presbyterian verse of Elizabeth Melville in the 1590s and beyond, through to Lucy Hutchinson’s Order and Disorder of 1679. Several other synergies, however, also emerge. Elizabeth Melville and Anne Southwell wrote during the Scottish and English reigns, respectively, of James VI and I; and religious poeticization of the kind encouraged by James himself is vital to their sense of ‘the right use of poesy’—a use that is sacred, but which allows for politicized valences. Melville’s Scottish Presbyterianism is complemented by the English Calvinism of Anne Southwell, who writes to the same monarch out of English and Anglo-Irish intellectual, social, and political cultures. Melville and Southwell also contribute to our understanding of the archipelagic dimension of British literature in the terms proposed by John Kerrigan, and extended into women’s writing by Kate Chedgzoy and Marie-Louise Coolahan.80 Jane Cavendish and Hester Pulter provide a new corpus of royalist poems in the 1640s and 1650s: their poetry offers an enriched context in which to understand the published verse of Katherine Philips and Margaret Cavendish, and promises to extend our understanding of women’s engagement in royalist literary culture in the mid-century to an even greater extent than is possible in this book. In the final chapter, I locate Lucy Hutchinson’s elegies and her longer text Order and Disorder in the context of her female predecessors and of her little-known contemporary, manuscript writer Mary Roper. This allows a fresh reading of Order and Disorder less as a woman’s epic—a view based on comparison to Paradise Lost—than as a participation in a distinctly feminine mode of politicized biblical verse paraphrase. Concluding with Hutchinson and the little-known Roper, this book establishes a female tradition of political poetry in manuscript that is essential to our understanding of women’s authorship, and of women’s relationship to canonical poetic culture, in seventeenth-century Britain.

80  Kerrigan, Archipelagic English; Chedgzoy, Women’s Writing in the British Atlantic World; Coolahan, Women, Writing, and Language in Early Modern Ireland.

1 ‘The right vse of Poёsie’ Elizabeth Melville’s Religious Verse and Scottish Presbyterian Politics When I read that Epistle written by the Apostle Iohn, vnto an elect Lady (beloued in the Lord Iesus) I cal to mind the Godly & elect Ladies in this our age, which within this country are knowne vnto mee. Of the which number I count you to be one, euen a Ladie chosen of God to bee one of his saincts . . . It is a rare thing to see a Ladie, a tender youth, sad, solitare, and sanctified, oft sighing & weeping through the conscience of sinne . . . I know ye delite in poesie your selfe; and as I vnfainedly confes, excelles any of your sexe in that art, that euer I hard within this nation. I haue seene your compositiones so copious, so pregnant, so spirituall, that I doubt not but it is the gift of God in you.1

Our earliest notice of the Scottish Presbyterian poet Elizabeth Melville, Lady Culross, is this dedication to her of Alexander Hume, Rector of Logie’s Hymnes, or Sacred Songs, wherein the right vse of Poёsie may be espied (1599). Hume elaborates on what he deems to be ‘the right use of poesy’ in the preface to his volume, lamenting that in the courts of princes and the houses of great men, the young men and women of Scotland ‘sing prophane sonnets, and vaine ballats of loue’. He exhorts them to take their lead instead from biblical poetry: ‘looke [to] the song of songs, of the loue betuixt Christ and his Kirk.. . . Imitat the ald Hebrew Dauid in his Psalmes, as a paterne of all heavinly 1   ‘To the Faithfvll and Vertvovs Ladie, Elizabeth Mal-vill, Ladie Cumrie’, in Alexander Hume, Hymnes, or Sacred Songs, wherein the right vse of Poёsie may be espied (Edinburgh, 1599), sigs 2r–v.



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poesie.’ Hume models his own exhortation in the lyrics that follow, engaging extensively in a practice of contrafactum or sacred parody, rewriting profane sonnets in sacred terms, and his dedication to Elizabeth Melville defines her and her lyrics according to his own poetic mode. He describes her ‘compositiones so copious, so pregnant, so spirituall, that I doubt not but it is the gift of God in you’. Strikingly, this contemporaneous assessment of Melville’s verse comes four years before the publication of Ane Godlie Dreame (1603), the dream vision poem for which she has long been known. Hume’s dedication must refer to verse circulating in manuscript before 1599. Hume’s intimation of Elizabeth Melville’s extensive poetic activity has recently been corroborated by a radical expansion of her known poetic oeuvre. Jamie Reid Baxter has attributed to her a large cache of poems preserved as a discrete section at the end of New College Library, Edinburgh, MS Bruce 2, a bound volume of sermons by Robert Bruce, the minister and ‘outspoken opponent’ of episcopacy in the Scottish Kirk who was banished from Edinburgh to France in 1600.2 The Bruce manuscript contains twenty-nine lyrics ranging from a dixain to very lengthy verse meditations, including three original devotional sonnet sequences; and Reid Baxter’s discovery of these poems has facilitated the attribution to Melville of several other lyrics in disparate print and manuscript sources. It now seems likely, for example, that she herself authored a brief contrafactum, ‘Away Vaine World’, which appears at the end of some editions of the Dreame (it has been attributed to Alexander Montgomerie); and a second sacred parody at the end of the 1644 and later editions of the Dreame is also likely to be hers. There is a sacred parody of Christopher Marlowe’s ‘The Passionate Shepherd to His Love’ attributed to Melville in an early eighteenth-century miscellany at the Beinecke Library, Yale University; and her lengthy ‘Loves Lament for Christs Absence’, also apparently a contrafactum, is preserved in a Wodrow manuscript in the National Library of Scotland. Her acrostic sonnet written to John Welsh in 1605–6, preserved in manuscript but well known and anthologized, is also now complemented by a comparable acrostic sonnet addressed to the leading Presbyterian theologian Andrew Melville (to whom she was only very distantly related).3 We are now aware of 3500 ‘new’ lines of Melville’s verse in addition to the Dreame, revealing her to be a prolific and accomplished early modern woman poet.4

2   New College Library, University of Edinburgh, MS Bru 2, fols 170v–184r; ODNB, vol. 8, pp. 323–324. 3   See the discussion later in this chapter for further details of the manuscripts in which Melville’s poems occur. 4  Jamie Reid Baxter, ‘Elizabeth Melville, Lady Culross: 3500 New Lines of Verse’, in Women and the Feminine in Medieval and Early Modern Scottish Writing, edited by

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Melville’s newly extended poetic oeuvre has very significant implications for how we think about religion and politics in early modern women’s poetry. Melville’s verse is exclusively religious, in the mode of Hume’s ‘right use of poesy’, but her lyrics and her Dreame emerge out of her devotional, poetic, and political affiliations with radical Scottish Presbyterians who, in the late 1590s and early 1600s, were resisting the episcopalian form of church governance that was being steadily reintroduced to Scotland by James VI.5 Melville’s sonnets link her directly to Andrew Melville, the theologian and leading spokesman of Scottish Presbyterianism, and to his nephew James, the pastor–poet of Anstruther and Kilrenny, scholars and churchmen who engaged in a series of ‘defining confrontations’ with James VI about his ecclesiastical policies from the 1570s to the early 1600s.6 Stephen King describes the two Melvilles as ‘a fierce but loyal opposition’ to the king, who respected their theological and humanist scholarship and engaged in a long-standing dialogue with them despite their differences of ecclesiastical opinion.7 The respect was mutual: as a religious poet along Scottish pietest lines, James Melville was influenced by James VI’s Essayes of a Prentise, in the diuine art of poesie (1584), describing himself as the king’s ‘new prentise in Poësie’ as late as 1598.8 From the mid-1590s, however, tensions between the Melvilles and the Scottish king became more acute, as James VI increased his monarchical authority over the Kirk. Scottish Presbyterians were adamant that the godly and earthly kingdoms were separate, that monarchical power was secondary and incomparable to Christ’s heavenly crown; this doctrine of the two kingdoms was directly counterposed by James VI’s belief that ‘Monarchie is the trew paterne of Diuinitie’.9 Andrew Melville articulated S. M. Dunnigan, C. M. Harker and E. S. Newman (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), pp. 195–200. Selected texts of these manuscript lyrics, and the complete text of Ane Godlie Dreame, are available in Jamie Reid Baxter, Poems of Elizabeth Melville, Lady Culross (Edinburgh: Solsequium, 2010). Dr Reid Baxter is also working on a complete edition of Melville’s works, and I am very grateful to him for sharing with me his work in progress. 5   See Alan R. McDonald, The Jacobean Kirk, 1567–1625: Sovereignty, Polity and Liturgy (Aldershot: Ashgate, 1998), chs 3 and 4. 6   James Melville (1556–1614) is not to be confused with Elizabeth’s father, Sir James Melville of Halhill (1535/6–1617), a courtier and also a memoirist. 7   Stephen King, ‘“Your Best and Maist Faithfull Subjects”: Andrew and James Melville as James VI and I’s “Loyal Opposition”’, Renaissance and Reformation 24, no. 3 (2000): pp. 17–30 (pp. 21, 18). 8  James Melville, ‘To my Graciovs and Dreade Soveraine, Iames The Sext, King of Scottes, and Prince of Poets in his language’, in A Morning Vision: or, Poeme for the Practise of Pietie, in Devotion, Faith, and Repentance (Edinburgh, 1598), p. 52. 9   James VI and I, The Trew Law of Free Monarchies, in King James VI and I: Political Writings, edited by Johann P. Sommerville (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), p. 64.



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the doctrine of the two kingdoms most famously at a convention of the Estates at Falkland Palace in 1596, when he grabbed the king by the sleeve and expostulated: And, thairfor, Sir, as divers tymes befor, sa now again, I mon tell yow, thair is twa Kings and twa Kingdomes in Scotland. Thair is Chryst Jesus the King, and his kingdome the Kirk, whase subject King James the Saxt is, and of whase kingdome [he is] nocht a king, nor a lord, nor a heid, bot a member!10

Tensions between the king and the Melvilles came to a head after James VI suspended meetings of the General Assembly of the Kirk in 1604, and after refusing to accept royal supremacy over ecclesiastical matters at the Second Hampton Court Conference in 1606, Andrew and James Melville were respectively imprisoned and banished. One of Andrew Melville’s most influential students and disciples was Robert Bruce, the Edinburgh minister whose sermons fill most of the volume in which Elizabeth Melville’s lyrics are found. Bruce also preached a sermon in 1596 on ‘the manifest usurpation that is made upon the spirituall kingdome’, in a clear echo of Andrew Melville’s view.11 Alexander Hume, too, was a committed Presbyterian, and had been James Melville’s contemporary as a student at St Andrews.12 The Puritan pietism that flourished in the Scottish Kirk in the 1590s—and of which Elizabeth Melville’s poetry was a part—was a spiritual movement first and foremost but, as David Mullan describes, the anti-episcopalian militancy of Presbyterians like Hume, Elizabeth, and Andrew Melville also equated to a ‘readiness for challenging civil authority, and also of suffering for the cause through flight, imprisonment, and exile’.13 Elizabeth Melville’s verse emerges directly out of this context, and furnishes us with a particularly acute example of religious expression and politics bearing directly on each other, and on the poetry of an early modern British woman. Melville’s Dreame explores the soul’s experience of justification, one of the cornerstones of Calvinist piety; and the dream vision genre enables Melville to extend the relevance of her dream to the community of the elect with a remarkable authority that escapes the constraints of gender. Melville’s spiritual expression also

10  Robert Pitcairn, ed., The Autobiography and Diary of Mr James Melvill (Edinburgh: Wodrow Society, 1842), p. 370. 11   Qtd in ODNB, vol. 8, p. 323. 12   ‘Ane afold admonitioun to the ministerie of Scotland by a deing brother’ exists in manuscript and is reproduced in Alexander Lawson, ed., The Poems of Alexander Hume (Edinburgh: Blackwood, 1902). 13  See the Prologue to David George Mullan, Scottish Puritanism, 1590–1638 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000); here p. 16.

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carries political implications, as her poetic tropes of spiritual militancy against sin take on civil resonances. Her use of the dream vision can and has been compared fruitfully to that of Aemilia Lanyer and Rachel Speght; however, I will argue in this chapter that James Melville is her closest poetic comparator. James’s A Morning Vision of 1598 includes an extended dream vision poem and a series of devotional sonnets directly comparable to Elizabeth’s; and his later dream vision The Black Bastel is an attack on Jacobean ecclesiastical policy. Reading Elizabeth Melville’s dream vision poem alongside those of James enables a new analysis of what political possibilities the genre offered the woman writer, and a fresh understanding of the political implications of the spiritual ‘fecht’ to which Elizabeth exhorts her readers at the end of her exten­ded poem. Elizabeth Melville’s lyrics in manuscript are equally embedded in her Scottish poetic context, including the spiritual lyric poetry of James Melville and Hume. Elizabeth’s manuscript lyrics reveal the close interaction between the tropes of inner spirituality and those of ecclesiastical and civil resistance, as a personalized Calvinist poetic becomes a means of simultaneously inscribing the devotional self into poetry and articulating a political stance of defiance against James VI and I’s incursions on the Presbyterian model of Kirk governance. Melville also circulated manuscript lyrics of spiritual comfort and fortitude to John Welsh (the son-in-law of John Knox) and Andrew Melville on their respective imprisonment for resistance to James VI, extending her poetic tropes of spiritual resistance into politicized acts of authorship and transmission in the most material of ways. Melville’s several and pointed acts of manuscript circulation establish her as one of the most extensive and politicized female circulators of poetry in manuscript before Katherine Philips, as I will explore. Reading Melville’s Dreame and her newly retrieved lyrics in the context of each other, then, extends greatly our understanding of her role in a thriving Scottish pietist poetic culture; reading them in the context of her Scottish religio-political moment also allows us to explore questions that are vital to this book’s broader consideration of political poetry by women in the seventeenth century. What possibilities does religious poetry, in particular, as an imaginative and often meditative mode of writing, offer for women’s political articulation? How do women’s choices and uses of poetic trope, content, and form relate to the expression of religious and political positions? How do specific social, civil, and state politics intersect in the poetry of each woman? And to what extent can the manuscript circulation of poetry by women be read as a series of politicized illocutionary acts?



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ANE GODLIE DREAME Critical discussions of Elizabeth Melville have until recently been limited in number and have focused almost entirely on Ane Godlie Dreame, the 480-line dream vision poem of the soul’s progress ‘compylit in Scottish Meter be M. M. Gentelwoman in Culros, at the requeist of her freindes’.14 Aemilia Lanyer’s Salve Deus Rex Judæorum is often celebrated as the first original poem in English published by a woman in the seventeenth century, but Melville’s Dreame was earlier and far more widely read, in England as well as Scotland: it was first published in Scots at Edinburgh in 1603, and in an anglicized version in 1604, and it was reissued at least thirteen more times up to 1737.15 Lanyer writes explicitly to a very small group of other women, dedicating copies of her poem to specific and well-chosen female recipients, gendering true responses to Christ as feminine, and radically feminizing the genre of the country-house poem; she is therefore readily adopted as a proto-feminist. Melville, in contrast, addresses her Dreame to a much wider audience than the friends who persuaded her to publish it, and as we will see, she adopts a remarkably ungendered poetic voice. While it remains useful to read Melville alongside Lanyer and another English Jacobean woman poet, Rachel Speght, the Dreame demands most clearly to be read in its Scottish Presbyterian devotional and political context. Ane Godlie Dreame advocates a distinctly Calvinist turn from the world that might seem to preclude worldly political resonances. The poem follows a tripartite structure—a lamentation, a dream vision, and an exhortation—and it begins with its speaker loathing her life and lamenting her soul’s embroilment in the ‘wretchit warld’, which ‘did sa molest my mynde’ that ‘Nathing in earth my sorrow could asswage!’ (9, 13).16 The earth is a ‘loathsum lump of clay’ (64), and she appeals to the Lord to ‘cum and saif thy awin Elect, / For Sathan seiks our simpill sauls to slay’ (41); the elect’s time on earth is construed as a ‘painefull pilgramage’ (32) and a time of extreme suffering in which they are constantly assaulted by Satan’s rage. The speaker’s desperation to leave the world behind her dominates the central section of the poem: Christ reassures her that he is ‘thy joy’, ‘thy rest and peace’ (136), and he shows her a vision of heaven. Seeing the delight in store for her, she runs ahead of Christ her guide only to be chastised, Christ reminding her that her vision is one of a 14   Ane Godlie Dreame, title page, 1603. Subsequent editions identified her even more clearly as ‘Lady Culros yonger at the request of a friend’ (1604 onwards). 15   Reid Baxter, Poems, p. 98. 16   Quotations and line numbers are taken from the first edition (Edinburgh, 1603).

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future state: ‘That pleasant place must purchaist be with paine’ (147) and ‘thou yit mon suffer moir, / Gif thou desyres that dwelling place to sie’ (242–243). The extreme contemptus mundi, the preoccupation with salvation, and the trope of the Christian as pilgrim in the wretched world all identify Melville’s verse with the Calvinist and Scottish end of the Puritan spiritual and theological spectrum.17 Melville’s Dreame does a very particular kind of work within this religious culture. Interwoven with the metaphor of pilgrimage is a conviction of justification—the belief that true faith, alone, will bring salvation. Deanna Delmar Evans explores the poem as a poetic dissection of the doctrine of justification (and suggests a specific context in John Knox’s articulation of it), as ‘the dreamer first “hears” of the concept from the mouth of her divine teacher and then discovers it experientially’.18 The third and final section of the poem is a nineteen-stanza exhortation, in which Melville’s autobiographical speaker addresses the elect with a striking degree of authority and assurance: The way to Heaven, I sie is wonderous hard, My Dreame declairs, that we have far to go; Wee mon be stout, for cowards are debarde, Our flesh on force mon suffer paine and wo. Thir grivelie gaits, and many dangers mo Awaits for us, wee can not leive in rest; Bot let us learne, sence we ar wairnit so, To cleave to Christ, for he can help us best. (337–344)

Melville’s newly awakened speaker outlines her vision and its significance to her followers, her pronouns shifting in the second line of the exhortation to render her vision, previously expressed in personal terms, an exemplary narrative for her addressees. She advises the elect, who are implicitly the ‘we’ who ‘mon be stout’, to ‘cleave to Christ’ (344); in the following stanzas they are variously to ‘clim to Christ’ (330), and to ‘call on Christ’ (367). This is a rousing call to a godly community to overcome the pain and woe of the earthly pilgrimage and to focus on the heavenly reward that awaits them. In this final section of the Dreame, Melville takes on the voice of a selfstyled preacher, and her declarative stance embodies a potentially radical position in terms of its gender politics, not least because of the exclusion  Mullan, Scottish Puritanism, p. 4 and his chapter ‘The Pilgrim’s Progress’.  Deanna Delmar Evans, ‘Holy Terror and Love Divine: The Passionate Voice in Elizabeth Melville’s Ane Godlie Dreame’, in Women and the Feminine in Medieval and Early Modern Scottish Writing, edited by Dunnigan et al., pp. 153–161 (p. 155). 17 18



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of women from the Scottish pulpit.19 Melville’s adoption of a preacherly voice, however, is devoid of any acknowledgement of her gender, or justification of it, even though her authorial identity was clearly indicated from the first printed edition of the Dreame onwards. It is this vocal and ungendered engagement in her devotional and religious community that leads David Mullan to describe Melville as one of the ‘manfull women’ of the Scottish Presbyterian movement.20 Scottish divinity viewed the merits of women in hierarchical terms to as great an extent as did the English, as Mullan explores, and women’s role in the church and in prayer in the domestic sphere was—officially—just as circumscribed. Melville is nonetheless one of a number of Scottish women who played a very important role in the lives of Presbyterian ministers, as well as the wider community.21 The surviving evidence of her extensive epistolary correspondence with her son James, the peripatetic preacher John Livingstone, and the banished divine Samuel Rutherford (explored in the last section of this chapter) indicates the possibilities for women to promulgate the faith with a remarkable degree of spiritual confidence and surety. Melville’s choice of the dream vision genre could be read as a negotiation of her authority as a woman to write and to publish on devotional and poetic matters—as Aemilia Lanyer’s and Rachel Speght’s uses of the genre have been. Lanyer prefaces her Salve Deus with (among other poems) ‘The Authors Dreame to the Ladie Marie, the Countesse Dowager of Pembrooke’, and in her afterword, ‘To the doubtfull Reader’, she describes her title as having been ‘delivered unto me in sleepe’; this is a ‘significant token, that I was appointed to performe this Worke’.22 Rachel Speght, similarly, uses the dream vision to negotiate her authority to write, presenting a prefatory dream vision to her long scriptural poem, Mortalities Memorandum with a Dreame Prefixed (1621). Speght explicitly sets out to establish women’s access to knowledge and authority to write poetry, describing Cleobulina, Demophila, and Telesilla who ‘Did all of them in Poetrie excell’.23 Kate Lilley has explored the paratextual dream vision as a means by which these two Jacobean women negotiated their entry into print, but it is notable that while Speght and Lanyer use the dream vision to claim authority to 19  Jamie Reid Baxter describes the exhortation as ‘nothing less than a passionate, full-blown sermon of great power’ (Poems, p. 98); and see Evans, ‘Holy Terror and Love Divine’, pp. 158–159. 20  Mullan, Scottish Puritanism, pp. 157–158. 21   See Mullan, ch. 5, esp. pp. 143, 167–168. 22   Susanne Woods, ed., The Poems of Aemilia Lanyer: Salve Deus Rex Judæorum, Women Writers in English, 1350–1850 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), p. 139. 23   Barbara Kiefer Lewalski, ed., The Polemics and Poems of Rachel Speght (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), p. 53.

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write, Melville claims authority via the dream vision only for the authenticity of her spiritual vision.24 Her right to speak is assumed, based on the authenticity of her prophetic vision or visio, the providential dream vision experience. Danielle Clarke reflects that the dream vision ‘in essence carries its own authority—the medium itself brings a degree of legitimacy to what it contains’.25 Melville adopts that authority to powerful spiritual and exhortative ends. Reading Melville’s Dreame alongside the later, English dream visions of Lanyer and Speght provides one set of insights into her practices as a woman writer; her Scottish context urges a comparison with a dream vision closer to her own in temporal and geographical terms, James Melville’s A Morning Vision. James Melville published A Morning Vision: or, Poeme for the Practise of Pietie, in Devotion, Faith and Repentance in 1598, in the second half of a volume that is headed up by a work of prose, A Spiritvall Propine of a Pastour to his People; the two works were published together as a single volume, although they have separate title pages.26 Elizabeth almost certainly knew A Morning Vision, published by Robert Waldegrave in Edinburgh just a year before the Hume volume, also published by Waldegrave, was dedicated to her. Elizabeth Melville may well have had personal contact with James: her sonnets to Andrew Melville are extant alongside poems likely to be James’s, as I will explore, and like Elizabeth’s poetry, that of James circulated extensively in manuscript, as unpublished research by Sally Mapstone has revealed.27 A Morning Vision uses the dream vision mode to present the principles of devotion, faith, and repentance, and so provides a Scottish Calvinist comparison for Ane Godlie Dreame and its poetic representation of the process and experience of justification. James Melville’s speaker is lying in bed on an April morning when he is visited by Lady Laziness and her sisters; Pietie then pays a call, and introduces her three daughters, Devotion, 24   Kate Lilley, ‘“Imaginarie in Manner: Reall in Matter”: Rachel Speght’s Dreame and the Female Scholar-poet’, in Reading the Early Modern Dream: The Terrors of the Night, edited by Katharine Hodgkin, Michelle O’Callaghan, and S. J. Wiseman (New York and London: Routledge, 2008), pp. 97–108. 25  Danielle Clarke, The Politics of Early Modern Women’s Writing (London: Pearson Education, 2001), p. 148. 26   Only the title page to A Spiritvall Propine bears a date; it is misprinted as 1589 rather than 1598, the latter two numbers having been transposed. Sally Mapstone offers a detailed reading of the poem and its textual history in ‘James Melville’s Revisions to A Spirituall Propine and A Morning Vision’, in James VI and I, Literature and Scotland: Tides of Change, edited by David J. Parkinson (Leuven: Peeters, 2013), pp. 173–193. 27   Personal correspondence. I am grateful to Dr Mapstone for sharing her unpublished work on James Melville with me.



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Faith, and Repentance. Repentance features strongly in the long and diffusely structured series of interconnected verse passages which follows. She delivers an oration and sets out her precepts and ‘A patterne of true Faith and Repentance’, before she engages in ‘Ane ample and plaine paraphrase . . . vppon the Ten Commandments’, in 450 lines of verse.28 Once Repentance concludes her lengthy paraphrase, James Melville’s autobiographical dreamer awakes, and ‘seeing that some nighbors were come hame’, remembers that ‘of their soules I had the cure’. This is his prompt to write down his dream vision, despite some protestation about the inadequacies of his style: I thought I was in conscience far too blame: If tho my stile was rude, I thought it shame. To put the things whilk I hard in writ, And sa my Muse begouth [began] for till indite. (p. 132)

Reading Ane Godlie Dreame alongside A Morning Vision allows for some speculation about the distinct possibilities of the dream vision poem for Elizabeth Melville, as a woman and as a Scottish Presbyterian. A Morning Vision is longer and less tightly structured than Ane Godlie Dreame, and the voice of the autobiographical speaker for the most part gives way to the voices of his guides, who do most of the talking. The poem follows closely the catechism of the Scottish Kirk, as it works its way through the Apostles Creed, in a confession taught to the speaker by Faith, as well as the Ten Commandments; and the poem ends quietly, with the pastor–poet sitting down to write his poem for the benefit of his flock.29 James Melville’s didactic intent has in fact been immediately apparent from the prefatory framing of his poem. The volume of prose that precedes A Morning Vision is The Spiritvall Propine [gift] of a Pastour to his People; and the extended subtitle of A Morning Vision is: Poeme for the Practise of Pietie, in Devotion, Faith and Repentance: Wherein The Lordes Prayer, Beleefe, and Commands, and sa the whole Catechisme, and right vse thereof, is largely exponed. James Melville returns to the catechetical purpose of his poetry in his concluding stanzas to the Vision; he tells us that he has presented the principles of God’s grace and glory ‘coutched into catechetick rime’ (p. 132). A Morning Vision operates according to the catechetical instructional paradigm that James outlines in his titles, and that is implicit in the relationship between the pastor and his people.

28   Looking ahead to the next chapter of this book, this is the only poetic paraphrase of the Ten Commandments that I have been able to identify before Anne Southwell’s Decalogue verses. 29   I am indebted to Jamie Reid Baxter for discussion of this point.

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Elizabeth Melville, in contrast, uses the imaginative space of the dream vision to develop a highly emotional and individual evocation of the experience of justification, and of the earthly pilgrimage of God’s chosen saints. Her speaker, at the poem’s opening, is engulfed in despair and loathing at the wretchedness of the world: ‘Nathing in earth my sorrow could asswage!’ (13). It is her voice that dominates the poem, as her guide—Christ himself—allows her to respond expansively and emotively to the vision of heaven, before redirecting her to the purpose of ending out her worldly pilgrimage. Melville creates in her poem a spiritual imaginary that is both individual and allegorical, her poem becoming an experiential expression of divine love, rather than a catechetical one. Poetry, and in this case the prophetic authority of the visio, also allows her to take on via that spiritual imaginary a voice of authority that is otherwise not readily available to her. The rousingly exhortative voice that dominates the nineteen-stanza conclusion to her Dreame is unmatched in A Morning Vision, whose authority and catechetical purpose are already established by dint of James Melville’s status as pastor to his people. Poetry, and the imaginative evocation of faith that it makes possible, allow Elizabeth Melville for nineteen stanzas to become a quasi-pastor, to assume a vocal and leading role in the spiritual life of her community. Elizabeth Melville’s authoritative speaking voice explicates the spiritual significance of her vision for her elect audience and, in doing so, exhorts her readers to a spiritual fortitude that she describes in highly militaristic terms. She introduces in the first section of the poem the trope of Christ’s ‘puir Sancts’ embattled by Satan (29–30), and of their earthly existence as a fight or battle: Allace! O Lord! quhat pleasour can it be To leif in sinne, that sair dois presse us downe? O give us wings, that wee aloft may flie, And end the fecht, that we may weir the crowne! (69–72)

Melville develops this trope throughout the Dreame’s final section. ‘Your flesh and spreit will be at deidlie stryfe’, she tells her audience, and she meets the threat of Satan’s rage with a series of imperatives: ‘Chainge not your mynde’, ‘Prepair your selves’, and ‘Faint not for feir in your adversitie’ (363, 347–349). Melville enjoins the elect to cry out to Christ, who will ‘help you in your neid’ (367), and she repeatedly commands them to fight: ‘Fecht on your faucht’ and ‘Fecht to the end’ (399, 428). God, she says, ‘sall help and send you sum relief ’ (384), and her final stanzas present a vision of the elect assisted by the heavenly hosts which are ‘armit at his command / To fecht the feild, quhen wee appeir maist waik’ (447–448). This is a powerful trope of spiritual militancy that derives from Ephesians,



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with its extended description of the ‘armour of God’, the ‘breastplate of righteousness’, the ‘sheild of faith’, the ‘helmet of salvation’, and the ‘sword of the Spirit’ (Ephesians 6:11–17). Throughout the Dreame’s final exhortation, Melville develops this trope of the Puritan ‘fecht’ against sin, in which the elect are ‘valiant men of weir’ (465). Melville’s ‘fecht’ is first and foremost a trope for the spiritual fight against sin; but, as Hume’s Hymnes, or Sacred Songs illustrates, the use of the trope to figure a spiritual position merged readily with its use to figure civil resistance or even literal warfare. Hume cites Ephesians 5:17–18 on his title page—‘But be ful filled with the Spirit speaking vnto your selues in Psalmes, and Hymnes, and spirituall songs’—and he applies the trope of the spiritual fight directly to the Spanish Armada in a lyric entitled ‘The triumph of the Lord, after the manner of men. Alluding to the defait of the Spanish nauies in the yeare, 1588’, in which the Spanish are defeated by ‘Christian men of weir’.30 This lyric is followed immediately by ‘The song of the Lords souldiours’, in which biblical incursions against the Israelites are outlined, the ‘God of battels’ sending ‘succours’ and giving victory to his people in war.31 Hume’s lyrics illustrate just how closely the two languages of battle—spiritual, and civil or political—were intertwined in the language of Calvinist poetic devotion. W. Stanford Reid has described the ways in which biblical texts of personal devotion took on a martial aspect for Scottish and continental Calvinists, with the Psalms acting as ‘the battle hymns of the Lord’; a similarly martial aspect is present in the original poetry of piety that burgeoned in Scotland in the 1590s.32 Rebecca Laroche argues that Ane Godlie Dreame can be read as a poem that makes direct political comment—both in its first print iteration in 1603, and in its subsequent dates of publication as the relationship between James VI and Scottish Presbyterians deteriorated further.33 There are three references in the Dreame to a lion which, in the first instance, ‘roares to catch us as his pray’ (47). Here the roaring lion follows a description of zeal being worn away and faith failing, and so it appears to allude primarily to the roaring lion of 1 Peter 5:8, an image of Satan ‘seeking whom he may deuoure’.34 The third lion, which ‘maist cruellie will roir’, represents an intensification of this threat as the elect approach heaven: here, the lion is the ‘last assault’, and ‘tyme is short’ (420–422). But in the  Hume, Hymnes, or Sacred Songs, pp. 34–41.  Hume, Hymnes, or Sacred Songs, pp. 41–45. 32   W. Stanford Reid, ‘The Battle Hymns of the Lord: Calvinist Psalmody of the Sixteenth Century’, Sixteenth Century Journal 2 (1971): pp. 36–54 (pp. 36–37). 33   Rebecca Laroche, ‘Elizabeth Melville and Her Friends: Seeing “Ane Godlie Dreame” through Political Lenses’, Clio 34 (2005): pp. 277–295. 34   Jamie Reid Baxter, Elizabeth Melville, Lady Culross: Complete Writings (in preparation). 30 31

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second use of the image, lions ‘rage and roir’ in the same line as tyrants threaten the elect (386), and Laroche reads here a reference to the lions on both the English royal seal and the Scottish standard. James Melville uses the lion as a figure for the king in his later poem The Black Bastel, an openly political dream vision to which we will soon turn. Laroche also reads Elizabeth Melville’s repeated reference to the ‘King of kings’ (441) as an implicit juxtaposition of Christ with the lesser King James, head only of the commonwealth, and so an allusion to the doctrine of the two kingdoms. Laroche argues pithily that in Melville’s Dreame, ‘The language of political conflict is the language of spiritual challenges and vice versa.’35 It is necessary to exercise caution in reading the Dreame as an outright battle cry against James VI in 1603, when the advance of his ecclesiastical policy to overturn the Presbyterian polity of the Kirk was in its relative infancy. Melville, however, certainly develops in her final stanzas a poetic language that is redolent with political implications. She has referred at the opening of the Dreame to ‘this fals and iron age’ (10), a reference to Ovid’s four ages of man, which are conflated in the Judeo-Christian tradition with the four monarchies of Daniel’s prophecy: the iron age is the last and worst, an age of wickedness and debasement, and was understood apocalyptically as that which would precede Christ’s return. In the Dreame’s culminatory stanzas, the ‘prick of iron’ (389) is one of the elect’s trials, which are presented as intensifying because ‘The tyme is neare’ (469), and an increasingly apocalyptic tone and focus in these last stanzas suggests not only the last days before the judgement of sinners’ souls, but also the last days before the end of false monarchies. Twice in the last five stanzas, Christ is described as ruling both sea and land; he is the ‘King of kings’, the ‘Lord of Lords’, ‘the King that creat all of nocht’ (441, 473–474). Perhaps most pointedly, the fourth-to-last stanza describes: ‘The Lord of Hostes that rings [reigns] on royall throne, / Against your foes your baner will display’ (451–452). And in the final two lines of the stanza, the enemy of the elect is not Satan or sin, but an undefined plural, implicitly the elect’s earthly foes, over whom they will unequivocally triumph: ‘Your enemies sall flie, and be your pray, / Ye sall triumphe, and they sall perish all’ (455–456; my emphasis). Read in this way, the final stanzas of Melville’s Dreame are a spiritual exhortation in which a battle against earthly foes is at least a latent subtext. In considering the oblique ways in which women’s religious poetic expression could encompass political articulation, it is also useful to draw on discussion of Rachel Speght’s Mortalities Memorandum—the poem   Laroche, ‘Elizabeth Melville and Her Friends’, p. 291.

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to which Speght’s dream was prefixed, and which was published during the later English political crisis of 1621, when James VI and I’s campaign against evangelical Calvinism came to a head.36 Mortalities Memorandum is a scripture-laden exploration of death in the world, which Christina Luckyj reads as engaging via scriptural allusion in high state politics. Luckyj sets Speght’s poem in the context of a sermon by her father, James Speght, the Calvinist minister of two London churches, in which he declares that ‘to make precious accompt of the Gospel’ is to open the eyes of the faithful not only to God but to ‘this our day, wherein full many wander in the wayes of darkenes at noone-tide, and that in this Citie of London, the eye of the Land’.37 This is a compelling description of the use of biblical explication and scriptural paraphrase to make statements about contemporary affairs, an authorial practice in Jacobean Scotland and England that is receiving increasing critical attention. Sermons routinely applied scripture to contemporary circumstances, and James VI himself had extended the practice into the explicitly political sphere: his prose paraphrase of Revelation 20 identified the Pope as Antichrist, and his meditations on 1 Chronicles 15 were, like Hume’s lyrics, responses to the Spanish Armada.38 Such practices of scriptural explication and paraphrase ramify into the poetic genre of biblical verse paraphrase, women’s politicized uses of which are discussed in later chapters of this book.39 More particularly at this point, James Speght’s assumption of the gospel’s relevance to immediate political affairs underpins Luckyj’s argument that his daughter comments on James VI and I’s place as the King of England. Rachel Speght asserts the levelling power of death and describes God as the ‘greatest Monarch of earths Monarchie’ (499), images which take on distinct tones of Calvinist polemic.40 Hezekiah, King of Judah, who features in one of the final stanzas of Mortalities Memorandum, needs   For further discussion of the political crisis of 1621, see Chapter 2.  Christina Luckyj, ‘Rachel Speght and the “Criticall Reader”’, ELR 36 (2006): pp. 227–249 (p. 239). 38  For sermons, see Elizabeth Clarke, Politics, Religion and the Song of Songs in Seventeenth-Century England (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), especially ch. 1; and Peter E. McCullough, Sermons at Court: Politics and Religion in Elizabethan and Jacobean Preaching (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998). James VI and I’s paraphrases of scripture are Ane Frvitfvll Meditatioun contening ane Plane and Facill Expositioun. . . of the 20 Chap. of the Reuelatioun (1588), and Ane Meditatioun vpon. . . the xv Chapt. of the first buke of the Chronicles of the Kingis (1589); for critical discussion see Astrid Stilma, ‘King James VI and I as a Religious Writer’, in Literature and the Scottish Reformation, edited by Crawford Gribben and David George Mullan (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2009), pp. 127– 141 (p. 127); and Jane Rickard, Authorship and Authority: The Writings of James VI and I (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2006). 39   See Chapters 2 and 5. 40   Lewalski, ed., The Polemics and Poems of Rachel Speght, p. 79. 36 37

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to be read (Luckyj argues) as Calvin had constructed him, as a monarch corrected by God: ‘The Prophet Esay came to him, and sayd, / Put thou thy house in order, thou must die (741–742).41 Speght’s political articulation, like Melville’s, emerges out of a spiritual poetic, a mode appropriate and acceptable for a woman writer, but as Luckyj shows in relation to Speght, an understanding of that poetic and of its politics is gleaned less by reading her as a woman writer than by locating her in the doctrinal, social, and political milieu out of which she emerged and into which she entered. Luckyj thus reads Speght’s writing in the context of her father’s and husband’s texts, and of ‘a community of writers, preachers, and publishers defined not by gender but by religious politics’.42 This is a reading practice which I echo in exploring Melville’s poetry: Melville’s silence on her own status as a woman, as well as her engagement in her local religio-political community, demands that she be read even more fully in the context of her male Scottish Presbyterian counterparts. A final comparison of Ane Godlie Dreame with James Melville’s later The Black Bastel allows us to consider further Elizabeth Melville’s use of the dream vision poem in its Scottish Presbyterian context—and reveals profound differences between her religious poetic of 1603 and James Melville’s openly political and explicitly allegorical poem of 1611. The Black Bastel engages a polemical voice, in keeping with James Melville’s authorship of the poem ‘when he was confined at Berwick anno 1611’.43 James had been in enforced exile from Scotland since 1606, when James VI and I had objected to the Melvilles’ intransigence on ecclesiastical matters at the Second Hampton Conference in London; he spent his remaining years in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and then Berwick-upon-Tweed, where he died in 1614. The poem opens in ‘The thousand yeare, six hundred & eleven’ (1), and it treats the Glasgow Assembly of 1610, at which presbyteries were effectively abolished and bishops were appointed as moderators. Printed marginalia on the second page make the allegory explicit, identifying an ‘assembly summon’d . . . / Of huble buble sheepheards hir’d and thralled’ as the Glasgow Assembly of 1610, naming a ‘Leopard with aromatick smell’ as the Earl of Dunbar (James VI and I’s chief Scottish advisor), and identifying a ‘Wolfe all clad in silk’ as John Spottiswoode, Archbishop of Glasgow.   Lewalski, ed., The Polemics and Poems of Rachel Speght, p. 88.   Luckyj, ‘Rachel Speght and the “Criticall Reader”’, p. 230; and Luckyj’s continuation of her re-reading of Speght, in ‘A Mouzell for Melastomus in Context: Rereading the Swetnam-Speght Debate’, ELR 40, no. 1 (2010): pp. 113–131 (p. 114). 43   James Melville, The Black Bastel, or, A Lamentation in Name of the Kirk of Scotland, composed by M. Iames Melvil, when he was confined at Berwick anno 1611 (Edinburgh, 1634). All quotations are from this edition. 41 42



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The speaker’s vision is one of the Scottish Kirk, ‘A woman of most comely countenance’ (22), become a whore ‘garish in attire’ (23); she is overpowered by the ‘rampand Lyon red’ of the King (32), around whom dance the ‘thirteen wolues’ (34) of the Scottish bishops (who are ‘Now 14’, according to a marginal note). She is ill dressed and yoked against her will: My crown and solid scepter they haue reft me, And drest me up in bruckle glasse and reed, And reft the rights wherwith my king [God] infest me Without the which my flock I cannot feed As it becometh, with that heavenly bread. They haue upon me laid this heavie yoke Of bite-sheep Bishops, as I were a stocke. (148–154)

The Black Bastel is accompanied in its printed edition by ‘Another Deploring of late the case of our Kirk’, a short poem presumably by James Melville himself, and Andrew Melville’s ‘Epigramme upon the English Altar’ of 1606, in Latin with English translation, in which the English altar is ‘buried in / her filthinesse and drosse’ (7–8). With its embittered and polemical voice, The Black Bastel represents an extreme and explicit use of the dream vision poem for allegorical political articulation. The textual history of The Black Bastel, however, tells us much about the boundaries of acceptable political expression, in male- as well as female-authored dream vision poetry. The Black Bastel was composed in 1611 but not printed until 1634, twenty years after James Melville’s death, and a note on its title page tells us that it is ‘Abridged by N.’ Sally Mapstone identifies ‘N’ as David Calderwood, the divine and author of The Historie of the Kirk of Scotland (1678); she has also uncovered a notice of a ninety-three-stanza version of The Black Bastel, contained in a nineteenth-century manuscript that is now lost.44 The published version of the poem is very significantly shorter, at thirty-six stanzas. What was contained in the unabridged version of the poem must for now remain the subject of speculation, but it is clear that The Black Bastel was too provocative, even for a man and a dedicated supporter of Andrew Melville, to publish in 1611; it reminds us that in texts by men as well as women, pointed political commentary frequently remained in manuscript, and circulated in coteries defined according to doctrinal and political affiliations. Publication in print necessitated a greater degree of referential obliqueness where inflammatory political content was concerned, and this no doubt operated two-fold for women, for whom political referents needed almost always to be subordinated to a primarily spiritual message. 44

  Personal correspondence.

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The striking, ungendered authority with which Elizabeth Melville speaks on matters of election in her Dreame clearly does not extend, in a print context at least, to authority to speak openly on matters of civil politics—and civil politics are not her primary concern in the poem. Ane Godlie Dreame reveals a woman unafraid to participate publicly in the written expression of Scottish Puritan spirituality, and her dream vision is one that imagines and explicates the experience of God’s love as one of his elect. Elizabeth Melville’s Dreame is true to Scottish Calvinist pietism’s focus on the spiritual faith on the individual inner person—but it also illustrates what David Mullan describes as the ‘restive’ quality of Scottish Calvinist piety, ‘beginning with the inner person and extending outward into a confrontation with the world’.45 Ane Godlie Dreame establishes, in a print medium, a language of the ‘fecht’ that defines Melville’s spiritual stance, and in the context of Robert Bruce’s banishment from Edinburgh in 1600, the political implications of Elizabeth Melville’s declaration of spiritual fortitude cannot be ignored. To make the political implications of that declaration overt in a print medium would clearly be a step too far, but in her manuscript lyrics, spiritual expression and Presbyterian militarism are yoked in more overt and material ways. ‘ T H AT I   M AY F I C H T M Y B AT T E L L I S TO T H E E N D ’ :  E L I Z A B E T H M E LV I L L E ’ S LY R I C S I N M A N U S C R I P T The potential for political expression that is inherent in the tropes of Ane Godlie Dreame is realized in Elizabeth Melville’s manuscript poetry, in which the inscription of the Calvinist devotional self into the lyric form is intimately connected to the poetic and political articulations of Scottish Presbyterianism. Melville’s shorter manuscript lyrics use the trope of the Puritan soul’s pilgrimage that appears in her Dreame, and they draw extensively on the Song of Songs and on the language and structures of Petrarchism to construct Christ as the heart and soul’s absent but only true lover. Melville is echoing and extending in doing so the devotional poetic expression that is found in the lyrics of Hume, James Melville, and Alexander Montgomerie: she needs to be situated in the context of an ‘emergent literary self-awareness’ in Scottish religious poetry that Deirdre Serjeantson argues was more developed in Scotland than in England in the 1590s.46 Elizabeth’s frame of poetic reference also takes in the English  Mullan, Scottish Puritanism, p. 257.  Deirdre Serjeantson, ‘English Bards and Scotch Poetics: Scotland’s Literary Influence and Sixteenth-century English Religious Verse’, in Literature and the Scottish 45

46



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amatory poetry of Christopher Marlowe and Philip Sidney, which she rewrites in sacred terms.47 Providing a challenge to the traditional view that Calvinism crushed the poetic arts in Renaissance Scotland, Melville’s lyrics in manuscript not only perform the work of devotion in an intimate and intricately poetic way, but in doing so make powerful religio-political statements in keeping with but less oblique than those of Ane Godlie Dreame.48 Melville’s two opening poems in the Bruce manuscript establish a tone that is more meditational than the Dreame, but focus as does the Dreame on the wretchedness of the world and the puritan’s pilgrimage. ‘Ane Anagram: Sob Sille Cor’ is the opening sonnet (see Figure 1.1): Sob sille cor since lyke ane pilgrime pure Thow livis below and can not sie thy love Och wounded hairt quho sall thy seiknes cure Sin hes thee slaine thow braithis to be aboue och sorrowing saull that murnis and wold remove   5 Braik throw those bondis assay thy self and flie That efter paine those pleasuris thou may prove that in his word that prince hes promis’d thee Chryst is thy King, none hes thy hairt bot he He is not heir then lerne for to lament 10 pearce throw those cludis and seik vntill thou sie that sicht so sweit that sall thy saull content Heir is thy hell and sin assaillis thee sore sob sille cor and grone to sie that glore.49 (emphasis added)

Numerous phrases and tropes familiar from the Dreame are present here: the opening line’s ‘sille cor’ (silly heart, with ‘silly’ meaning simple, ignorant, and lowly) echoes the ‘sillie soull’ (21) and ‘sillie Sancts’ (33) of the Dreame, who are also ‘puir’ pilgrims (29, 32) in the hellish world ‘below’. The sonnet is governed by the desire to see Christ who is not only ‘thy King’, but who is constructed, in the tradition of the Psalms and the Song of Songs, as the heart and soul’s only true lover. The speaker’s wounded and sobbing heart ‘can not sie thy love’, and in both this and the following poem, her soul aspires to

Reformation, edited by Gribben and Mullan, pp. 161–189 (p. 177). The poetry of Hume, and James Melville in particular, is itself in need of critical attention. 47   See Sarah C. E. Ross, ‘“Give me thy hairt and I desyre no more”: The Song of Songs, Petrarchism and Elizabeth Melville’s Puritan Poetics’, in The Intellectual Culture of Puritan Women, edited by Johanna Harris and Elizabeth Scott-Baumann (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), pp. 96–107. 48   For a recent re-interrogation of the view that Calvinism blighted the arts in Renaissance Scotland, see Crawford Gribben’s Introduction to Gribben and Mullan, eds, Literature and the Scottish Reformation, pp. 1–18. 49   New College Library, University of Edinburgh, MS Bru 2, fol. 170v.

Fig. 1.1  The first page of Elizabeth Melville’s poems, in a volume of sermons by Robert Bruce. New College Library, University of Edinburgh, MS Bru 2, fol. 170v. (Credit: New College Library, Edinburgh University.)



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‘pearce throw those cludis’ that obscure the ‘sicht so sweit that sall thy saull content’. Melville here engages in and extends a devotional and poetic tradition of using the Song of Songs to express the individual soul’s relationship with Christ: Christ is the lover and bridegroom for whom the bride, the soul of the elect individual, yearns and laments. The absence of the lover and the bride’s search for him, following Canticles 3:1–3 and 5:6, becomes a trope that figures the soul’s desire and long wait for spiritual consummation.50 Christ identifies himself fleetingly as the spouse in Ane Godlie Dreame, but in Melville’s manuscript lyrics the trope of Christ as absent lover receives extended and intimate explication. The third (untitled) poem in the Bruce manuscript, for example, addresses the speaker’s heart and soul in twenty alternating stanzas, its tone set in the opening lines: ‘O Pilgrime pure quhat mervell tho thou murne / Thy deirest spous hes now forsaikin thee’.51 ‘Loves Lament for Christs Absence’, preserved not in the Bruce manuscript but in the papers of Robert Wodrow, is an extraordinary 408-line ‘lovers song’, a ‘pitious plaint’ in which the speaker bewails the absence of Christ: Oh for a fountaine in my head my head In streams of love then bath should I Then should I mourne without remeed: remeed My eyes should dreip and never dry Vntill his presence made me glade Whose absence makes my soull so sad Alace alace how long. (25–31)

Melville’s tropes in this lyric echo those of the opening Bruce manu­ script poems—her ‘soaring soull’ is clogged with the ‘clay’ of the world (161–162; 111)—but her reliance on the Song of Songs is here explicit: O lilie fair o rabbie [ruby] rose o rose That spreids so faire in Sharon feild O flowre of flowers thow art my choise my choise Thy savour sweet doth comfort yeeld O fertile tree whose fruit is fair Whose branches bow most fresh and fair Where apples hings in store Beneath on [one] branch a shad so sweet I long to rest my wearie spirit The sun has scoarched me sore O let me lay beneath yt tree The smell so sweet doth quicken me.52 (193–204)   See Clarke, Politics, Religion, and the Song of Songs, esp. pp. 18, 114, 125.   New College Library, Edinburgh, MS Bru 2, fol. 170v. 52   National Library of Scotland, MS Wod. Qu. XXVII, fols 199v–206r. 50 51

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‘Loves Lament for Christs Absence’ is Melville’s most intimate expression of a desire for Christ, figured through the position of the bride in the Song of Songs, that permeates her expression of personal devotion in her manuscript lyrics. She is engaging in doing so in a biblical trope that had a particular affinity with Calvinist devotion, with its emphasis on the relationship between God and his elect; as Elizabeth Clarke identifies in exploring English Calvinist interpretations of the Song of Songs throughout the seventeenth century, ‘Justification—the remitting of a believer’s sin—and sanctification—his achievement of holiness—were communicated to human beings by their union with Christ’.53 The Song of Songs provided an emotive rhetoric for the expression of that union; however, while union with Christ communicated salvation, Christ and his elect were ‘in reality not yet fully united’. The Song of Songs, with the ‘drama of withdrawal and disclosure’ enacted by the bridegroom’s absences and presences, becomes a powerful narrative not only for the Calvinist expression of the experience of God’s love, but also for the constant deferral of consummation to be expected in the godly life on earth.54 The Song of Songs was also commonly interpreted as representing the relationship between Christ and the true Church: the biblical book had an explicitly public and politico-religious application, as well as its application to the experience of the individual soul. James Melville uses the Song of Songs in this public way in The Black Bastel to figure the Scottish Kirk in its episcopalian trappings as the bride of Christ turned whore against her will: she is a woman ‘of most comely countenance’ but ‘garish in attire’, her clothes ‘colour’d contrare her desires’ (22–25). James Melville varies and extends this allegory in the poem that follows The Black Bastel in the 1634 edition. ‘Another Deploring of late the case of our Kirk’ describes the Kirk as a ‘dearest mother chast’ whose true godly adornments, the gift of ‘the deare Spouse and Lord’, have been taken from her, leaving her ‘quite bereft’. Andrew Melville’s epigram that concludes the volume is even more vehement, describing the English church as a ‘purpled whoore’, ‘buried in / her filthinesse and drosse’. Elizabeth Melville, unlike James and Andrew, does not typically use the Song of Songs to figure the national church as the bride—her bride is the individual soul throughout her lyrics, with one exception discussed below—but the politico-religious application is ever present behind her use of the trope. As Clarke describes, the Song of Songs ‘had always been 53 54

  Elizabeth Clarke, Politics, Religion and the Song of Songs, p. 65.   Elizabeth Clarke, Politics, Religion and the Song of Songs, pp. 114, 125, 155.



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interpreted to be about . . . who constituted the true people of God, and who did not’.55 Identifying the bride with the soul of the elect is itself a means of establishing a spirituality that is specific to the experience of the saints, in Melville’s case the community of the Scottish Presbyterian godly. Melville, moreover, habitually expands her intimate devotional voice to address her readers in the second person, as we will see. Through its articulation of a privileged affinity with Christ, and its frequent turn to address her Presbyterian brothers and sisters, Melville’s use of the Song of Songs establishes a group identity, that of the true ‘church’ of the Scottish Calvinist elect. A second poetic tradition on which Melville draws in her articulation of an intimate relationship with Christ is that of Petrarchan love. Alexander Hume’s call for the Scottish youth to turn from vaine ballats of loue to the song of songs, of the loue betuixt Christ and his Kirk suggests a polarity between the expression of secular and sacred love, but in poetic practice the two are intimately connected, in particular through the technique of sacred parody or contrafactum. The Scottish Calvinist fondness for sacred parody is exemplified in the much-loved Gude and Godlie Ballatis, apparently first published in 1565 and reprinted in 1567, 1578, 1600, and 1621, which includes numerous adaptations of secular songs and ballads for spiritual uses.56 The preface to the Gude and Godlie Ballatis describes its contents in terms that Hume later echoes: it explains that when young people hear the Scriptures sung to sweet melodies, ‘then sal thay lufe thair Lord God with hart and minde, and cause them to put away baudrie & vnclene sangis’.57 Hume’s Scottish contemporaries, including Elizabeth and James Melville and Alexander Montgomerie, engage extensively in sacred parody. Elizabeth Melville, for example, rewrites Christopher Marlowe’s ‘The Passionate Shepherd to his Love’ as ‘A Call to Come to Christ’, in which Christ calls the soul of the beloved to live with him in ‘heaven above’: Come live [with me] and be my love And all these pleasurs thou shalt prove That in my word hath warned thee O loath this life and live with me 55   Elizabeth Clarke, Politics, Religion and the Song of Songs, p. 10. E. Anne Matter also describes the Song of Songs as an ‘insider/outsider’ text in The Voice of My Beloved: The Song of Songs in Western Medieval Christianity (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1990), p. 14. 56   A. F. Mitchell, ed., A Compendious Book of Godly and Spiritual Songs, Commonly known as ‘The Gude and Godlie Ballatis’, The Scottish Text Society (Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood and Sons, 1897). 57   Mitchell, ed., The Gude and Godlie Ballatis, p. 1.

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Women, Poetry, and Politics in Seventeenth-Century Britain This life is but a blast of breath Nothing so sure as dreadfull death And since the time no man can know Sett not thy love on things below For things below will wear away And beutie brave will soon decay Look to that life that last[s]‌for ever And love the love that failes the[e]‌never.58

The lyric continues for fifteen stanzas in all, as Marlowe’s catalogue of pastoral pleasures is replaced with a simple, but elegant and touching, evocation of Calvinist doctrine and the sacred pleasures of adherence to it. Melville’s sacred parodies draw on popular as well as literary texts, and on English as well as Scottish sources, including Philip Sidney’s Astrophel and Stella sonnets.59 Sacred parody, in the devotional lyrics of Melville and her Scottish contemporaries, is a means of redirecting the psychology of secular or carnal love to the divine, in a fusion of secular and spiritual discourses that is also apparent in interpretations of the Song of Songs. Melville’s use of sacred parody extends into the composition of original devotional sonnets, including three devotional sonnet sequences, at a point when the original devotional sonnet was in a state of relative newness in Scotland and England.60 Rosalind Smith, Margaret P. Hannay, and Roland Greene are among those who have explored the interrelated emergence of the Petrarchan sonnet sequence and original devotional poetry—via the Psalm paraphrase—in later sixteenth-century England: both genres construct a newly psychologized lyric subjectivity.61 Hannay describes the ‘praying plaints’ of Psalmic poetry as ‘almost indistinguishable from those of the 58   Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, Boswell Collection, Gen MSS 89, Series XV, Box 105, Folder 1925, item 5. 59   For a more detailed discussion of Melville’s sacred parodies of Marlowe and Sidney, see Ross, ‘“Give me thy hairt”’. 60  See Sarah C. E. Ross, ‘Elizabeth Melville and the Religious Sonnet Sequence in Scotland and England’, in Early Modern Women and the Poem, edited by Susan Wiseman (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2013), pp. 42–59; Serjeantson, ‘English Bards and Scotch Poetics’, pp. 168–169; and Ramie Targoff, Common Prayer: The Language of Public Devotion in Early Modern England (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001), pp. 73–74. 61  Roland Greene, ‘Anne Lock’s Meditation: Invention versus Dilation and the Founding of Puritan Poetics’, in Form and Reform: Essays in Honour of Barbara Kiefer Lewalski, edited by A. Boesky and M. T. Crane (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2000), pp. 153–170; Rosalind Smith, Sonnets and the English Woman Writer: The Politics of Absence (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005); Margaret P. Hannay, ‘Joining the Conversation: David, Astrophil, and the Countess of Pembroke’, in Textual Conversations in the Renaissance: Ethics, Authors, Technologies, edited by Z. Lesser and B. S. Robinson (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006), pp. 113–127.



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disappointed lover’ in the Petrarchan sonnet sequence,62 and in original devotional sonnets like Elizabeth Melville’s, the expression of intimacy with the divine involves a sacralized rewriting of Petrarchan amatory structures. ‘Sob sille cor’ is just one example of Melville using the language of Petrarchism to explore the experience of Christ’s love: her heart is ‘slaine’, ‘wounded’ by the love of Christ, and line eight rewrites the Petrarchan paradox of pleasure and pain. It is not that pleasure will cause Melville pain (in the tradition of Petrarch and Thomas Wyatt), or that secular lovers will with consummation ‘pleasures prove’ (in the tradition of Marlowe); rather, the pain of earthly experience is the necessary pain of the elect, who will after this life experience the pleasure of spiritual consummation with Christ. The opening eight lines are not strictly an octave, as Melville uses the Scottish sonnet form.63 Nonetheless, they operate together as a lament (as she herself describes, in line ten), before she turns in line nine to the declarative statement that ‘Chryst is thy King, none hes thy hairt bot he’. Melville is strikingly innovative in her use of the sonnet—which Roland Greene describes as ‘practically a technology for representing voltas or “turns” of all psychic sorts’—to psychologize the elect’s experience of Christ’s love, an experience which is at once tumultuous and assured.64 She also, at times that are significant, inscribes her own identity into the sonnet’s material form. ‘Sob Sille Cor’ is, as the poem’s full title indicates, an anagram, which can be unscrambled as ISBEL COLROS, that is, Isobel Culross; Isobel was an attested variation on Elizabeth in Scottish texts.65 ‘Sob sille cor’ is accompanied at the opening of the Bruce manuscript by a second poem that also establishes its speaker’s identity: In hope to sie the sicht that thou desyris Some courage tak tho clogged heir wt clay Aboue the cludis thy soaring saull asspyris Bot be content a litill tyme to stay End out thy ficht then sall thou sie that day 5 Long luikit for, then sall thy sorrow ceace Licht, lyfe, and love sall dryve thy dumpis away Chryst sall the[e]‌croun wt gladnes glore and grace  O then be still and clive to chryst thy scheild Rejoyce thy fill for faith sall win the feild.66 10

  Hannay, ‘Joining the Conversation’, p. 116.  For the Scottish sonnet form, see Kate McClune, ‘The “Spenserian Sonnet” in Sixteenth-Century Scotland’, NQ 56, no. 4 (2009): pp. 533–536. 64   Greene, ‘Anne Lock’s Meditation’, p. 166. 65   Reid Baxter, Elizabeth Melville: Complete Works (in preparation). 66   New College Library, University of Edinburgh, MS Bru 2, fol. 170v. 62 63

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This untitled dixain—essentially a sonnet minus one quatrain—operates on the acrostic ISABELL COR, or ‘Isabell heart’, echoing the identifying terminology of the first sonnet. Melville uses the anagram and the acrostic to inscribe herself into the sonnet form and its condensed variant, the clarity with which she does so befitting the prefatory nature of these two poems, at the beginning of her Bruce manuscript poetry. Prefatory or ‘liminary’ sonnets frequently used such techniques of address or self-identification; for example a sonnet of praise prefacing James VI’s Essayes of a Prentise operates on the acrostic IACOBVSSEXTVS.67 But it is also a significantly self-referential intervention in a genre inevitably associated with individual psychology and emotional expression in the period. Anne Lock, in a comparable if not identical self-inscription, puns on her own name in her early religious sonnet sequence, asking ‘Loke on me, Lord: but loke not on my sinne’.68 Helen Wilcox reads this example as a precursor to Donne’s pun on his own name in ‘A Hymne to God the Father’.69 Melville’s anagram and acrostic are techniques of self-identification and self-inscription that she will use again, as we will see, to important devotional as well as political effect. Melville’s untitled dixain, the second poem in the Bruce manuscript, also exemplifies the way in which her devotional turn to Christ encompasses her readers and takes on a militaristic tone. The dixain continues to do the work of personal devotion, and it again inscribes Melville’s own identity in its form; however, the speaker appears to address here not her own heart and soul but a reader whose soul also aspires to Christ. Melville’s speaker offers an encouragement familiar from the last section of the Dreame: ‘Some courage tak’, she exhorts her readers, and ‘be content a litill tyme to stay’. Also reiterated and consolidated here are the militaristic tropes of personal devotion: ‘End out thy ficht’—that is, fight to the end, a phrase that Melville also uses in her sonnet to John Welsh (see later in this section). The second quatrain ends with the image of Christ as king and the ‘gladnes glore and grace’ with which he will crown the elect. This is a pointed echo of the first sonnet’s assertion that ‘Chryst is thy King, none hes thy hairt bot he’, and the final couplet recalls the warlike imagery of Ephesians and the final stanzas of the Dreame. Christ is a ‘scheild’, and 67   James VI, Essayes of a Prentise, in the diuine art of poesie (Edinburgh, 1584), sig. A; see also Jamie Reid Baxter, ‘Liminary Verse: The Paratextual Poetry of Renaissance Scotland’, Journal of the Edinburgh Bibliographical Society 3 (2008): pp. 70–94. 68  ‘A Meditation of a penitent sinner, upon the 51. Psalme’, Sonnet 11; in Susan M. Felch, ed., The Collected Works of Anne Vaughan Lock, Renaissance English Text Society, 7th series, vol. 21 (Tempe, AZ: ACMRS, 1999), pp. 67–68. 69   Helen Wilcox, ‘Sacred Desire, Forms of Belief: The Religious Sonnet in Early Modern Britain’, in The Cambridge Companion to the Sonnet, edited by A. D. Cousins and Peter Howarth (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), pp. 145–165 (p. 156).



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faith in him ‘sall win the feild’. The poem is primarily one of spiritual expression, offering spiritual support and sustenance to the elect whose ‘ficht’ is with sin and despair, but the militaristic trope and the evocation of kingship reminds us that such a turn to Christ implies a resistance to unsympathetic worldly structures of civil and church governance. Of the rich cache of devotional lyrics in the Bruce manuscript, I will discuss in detail here the first sonnet sequence, as it interrogates Melville’s own role as a devout poet at the same time as it expands at length on her recurrent trope of the Puritan ‘fecht’ against sin. The first sonnet in the series of three addresses ‘great Jehovah’ throughout, at first invoking God’s greatness and then making a petition: O great Iehovah michtie King of Kingis thrie persounis joyned in one and one in thrie o loving lord that onlie livis and rignis [reigns] ovir hevin above below ovir land and sea o [God] that is and was and ay sall be 5 that nevir did begin nor yit sall end quhois dwelling place is in the hevinis so hie quhois majestie no hairt can comprehend sum succour to thy simple servand send Mak haist to help me with thy holie spirit 10 direct my pen and lat me not offend In writting of thy worthie word so sweit bot grant thy giftis may still grow more and more  That I ane tripill talent may restore.70

Melville is invoking here her own identity as a writer, asking both that God inspire her sacred writings, and that her writing should not offend. Women writers very frequently articulate desires not to offend in self-deprecating disavowals of literary ambition, but Melville draws on Matthew 25:14–30 and Luke 19:12–18 in her final couplet to claim her writing to be a God-given gift or talent which she has a duty to use. Melville’s use of the parable of talents to frame her act of devotional writing is not unique: both Henry Lok and Barnabe Barnes authored sonnets on the conceit in their pioneering English religious sonnet sequences of the 1590s, as did Francis Hamilton in 1626.71 Anne Southwell and Rachel Speght also use the trope, if not in sonnet form, Southwell articulating the 70   New College Library, University of Edinburgh, MS Bru 2, fol. 172v. Jamie Reid Baxter has discussed this sonnet sequence in a private publication, G. Dorleijn et al., eds, ‘How Many Verses! A Garland of Poetry Offered to Helen Wilcox’ (Groningen, 2006). 71   Lok’s sonnets 1.87 and 2.4 in his Sundry Christian Passions Contained in Two Hundred Sonnets (1593); Barnes’s sonnets 26 and 38 in his Divine Centurie of Spirituall Sonnets (1595); and Francis Hamilton’s opening sonnet in King Iames his Encomium (Edinburgh, 1626), discussed in Jamie Reid Baxter, ‘The Apocalyptic Muse of Francis Hamilton of Silvertonhill

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importance of godly speech and writing in her Landsdowne manuscript lines on the third commandment: ‘Yf god haue putt a secrett in thy brest / it is a talent that must bee employed’.72 Notably, Speght’s use of the trope is again heavily gendered, in contrast to both Melville’s and Southwell’s: her assertion that ‘The talent, God doth give, must be imploy’d’ comes in the middle of her defence of women’s right to knowledge.73 Speght draws on the parable of the talents to engage directly in the rhetoric of gender politics which informs her writings; Melville and, later, Anne Southwell claim God-given authority as religious writers, without evoking directly their status as women. Melville’s second sonnet in the triptych focuses on the godly work that she is able to undertake with her God-given talent: Lat hevin me blis with knowledge frome aboue to meditat vpone thy hevinlie will poure doun on me the spirit of treuth and love that I may learne thy law for to fulfill dantone [overcome] my nature that is bent to ill Subdew my mynd and molifie my hairt and lat the scheild of faith defend me still that I may nevir from thy treuth depairt Lat no afflictioun angwisch greif nor smairt Caus me to fante nor to give ovir the feild bot lat thy word ovirthraw the dreidfull dairt that Sathane schutts thinking to caus me yeild. and grant spirituall weapinis me to defend That I may ficht my battellis to the end.74

5

10

The opening quatrain outlines and develops the previous sonnet’s assertion of the ‘right use of poesy’, to recall Hume’s words. Her desire is to ‘meditat vpone thy hevinlie will’, and in doing so to feel Christ’s ‘treuth and love’ pour down upon her. The second quatrain describes this as a process that will overcome her sinful nature and form a ‘scheild of faith’ that will ‘defend me still’ against the sin of the world. The shield of faith is that from her acrostic dixain, but here it is constructed via meditation (c. 1585–1646)’, Journal of the Northern Renaissance, 4 (2012), . Melville’s, Lok’s, and Hamilton’s uses of the talent trope revise the sense of uniqueness that caused James L. Potter to suggest Barnes’s talent sonnets as the precedent for Milton’s: ‘Milton’s “Talent” Sonnet and Barnabe Barnes’, NQ 202 (1957): p. 447. 72  Jean Klene, ed., The Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book: Folger MS V.b.198, Renaissance English Text Society, 7th series, vol. 20 (Tempe, AZ: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1997), p. 140. 73   Lewalski, ed., The Polemics and Poems of Rachel Speght, p. 53. 74   New College Library, University of Edinburgh, MS Bru 2, fol. 172v.



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on ‘thy word’—the meditation on Christ’s word which Melville has in the first sonnet asked may direct her pen, and so the writing of devout poetry. In the last six lines, God’s word is not just a shield but a spiritual weapon, with which she can overcome the ‘dreidfull dairt’ of Satan, hold the field against him, and ‘ficht my battellis to the end’. Much has been made of the equivalence between writing and fighting, of the pen and the sword, in the later poetry of the Civil War period; here, Elizabeth Melville constructs her devotional poetry as both shield and sword, defending the godly against sin and providing them with a weaponry with which to fight the world. In the triptych’s third sonnet, the new confidence of the previous sonnet’s closing lines becomes a declaration of exemplary fortitude: I will be as ane elme that still doth stand and will not bowe for no kinkynd of blast I will have my affectiounis at command and caus them yeild to reasoun at the lenth. (1–4)75

Melville’s speaker is not without her worldly pain—sighs, sobs, grief, and mourning for the absent Christ continue to feature—but all is offset by ‘the herb of patience’ (6). ‘Rejoyce in god my saull and be content’ (13), she concludes, in a sonnet that is at once meditative and self-directed, and presented as a paradigm for the godly. One notable feature of Melville’s sonnet sequences is that they work as sequences, encompassing a distinct progress, typically from torment and woe to confidence in God’s love. It is a progress that echoes—in a more meditative mode—that in the Dreame from vision to exhortation; and it provides one new answer to the question Roland Greene poses in relation to Anne Lock’s Meditations on a Penitent Sinner, ‘What . . . are the logic and values of a Calvinist sonnet sequence?’76 Melville progresses in her first sonnet sequence from personal invocation, addressed to Jehovah, through a successful act of godly inspiration in the central sonnet, to the presentation of a paradigm for the community of the elect in the third. If Melville’s sonnet sequences offer spiritual sustenance to a readership of the godly, her better-known sonnet to John Welsh of Ayr makes explicit her use of poetic imagery and the devotional sonnet to articulate a position that is simultaneously religious and political. This sonnet, Melville’s only other known poem until 2002, was addressed to Welsh, the son-in law of

75   New College Library, University of Edinburgh, MS Bru 2, fol. 172v. The phrase ‘at the lenth’ (DSL 8b, in the course of time, in the long run) makes sense here, although it breaks the rhyme scheme. Reid Baxter alters the phrase to ‘at the laist’ (Poems, p. 22). 76   Greene, ‘Anne Lock’s Meditation’, p. 165.

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John Knox and himself a radical Presbyterian, whilst he was imprisoned with others in the state prison of Blackness Castle in 1605, after taking part in the abortive General Assembly in Aberdeen, held without royal permission.77 Melville’s sonnet is an acrostic, like her dixain in the Bruce manuscript, but this time it is on Welsh’s name: My Dear Brother wt courage bear ye Crosse Joy shall be joyned wt all thy sorrow here High is thy Hope disdain this earthly Drosse once shall yow see the wished day appear Now it is dark thy sky cannot be clear after the clouds it shall be calm anone wait on his will whoos Blood hath Bo’t [bought] ye dear extoll his name tho outward joyes be gone. Look to ye Lord thou art not left alone since he is thine qt [quhat, what] pleasure canst thow take He is at hand and hears thy heavy groan End out thy faught and suffer for his sake

5

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A Sight most Bright thy soul shall shortly see when Store of C’s lore thy Rich Reward shall be:78

It is Welsh who is here inscribed into the verse’s form, and the sonnet is an expression of support and sustenance for him, in his immediate need to ‘bear ye crosse’ with courage. Melville’s imagery of darkness and light (4–7 and 13–14) not only figures Welsh’s emotional and spiritual state, but also puns on the state prison’s name: this is Welsh’s time of and in Blackness. The sestet again becomes an exhortation that draws on a familiar phrase and image: ‘end out thy faught and suffer for his sake.’ Melville offers to Welsh the spiritual weapon that is her own poetic engagement with God’s word, and the enjoinder to ‘end out thy faught’ has in this case very particular resonances with Welsh’s personal and embattled circumstances. Melville responds to Welsh’s imprisonment by encouraging him to eschew the world—‘disdain this earthly Drosse’—but such a turn to the Lord, the ‘King of kings’ in the words of the Dreame and her other sonnets, also entails in Welsh’s case a resistance to the Scottish king’s authority. Inscribing Welsh and his circumstances into her sonnet in formal and imagistic terms, Melville creates a sonnet which responds to a specific, identifiable religious and political crisis, and which performs in that crisis the dual function of offering spiritual succour and of exhorting her Scottish Presbyterian brother to stand firm in his civil resistance to James VI. 77   ODNB, vol. 58, pp. 87–88. Welsh’s sentence was commuted to exile in October 1606, providing a terminus ad quem for the composition of this poem. 78   National Library of Scotland, MS Wod. Qu. XXIX (iv), fol. 11r.



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A pair of comparable sonnets, uncovered by Janet Hadley Williams in 2005, show Elizabeth Melville offering spiritual support and exhortation to Andrew Melville, indicating that her sonnet to John Welsh was not a one-off act of poetic political engagement. Andrew Melville was arrested after the Second Hampton Court Conference in 1606 and committed to the Tower in April 1607; he remained there until 1611, but the clear similarities between Elizabeth Melville’s two sonnets to him and her sonnet to John Welsh suggest that they all date from a similar period, around 1606–1607.79 Melville’s first sonnet to him employs both an anagram and a loose acrostic on a variant of his name, ‘Andrew Melvin’: Meik men ar wexed Iust saullis ar taine avay And weill war myne to flit among the rest Now lord mak haist and call me frome this clay Deir Iesus cum how long sall troubill lest Resave my spreit wt paine it is opprest 5 Evill is this aige the faithfull now dois faill Wp lord how long thy sancttis ar soir distressed Mainteine thy treuth let not ye proud prevaill End out my fecht, how can this hart be haill Lord sall I leive to sie thy spous in paine 10 Vuhy sleipis thow so, thow seis thy secreit seill In the[e]‌we trust althocht we sould be slaine Now soullis do schyne quho luik vnto thy licht And weill var myne to sie yat blissed sicht.80 (emphasis added)

Melville does not in this case address her inscribed subject; rather, she ventriloquizes him, addressing God in the voice of the oppressed and imprisoned Andrew. Her frequent image of earthly existence as an imprisonment in clay (the body) takes on a particular potency in the context of the ventriloquized Andrew’s additional, political, incarceration, as he dwells on his spirit’s pain and the distress of the saints in an evil age. From his persecuted position, he appeals to Christ to ‘End out my fecht’, to bring his worldly imprisonment to an end—as those of meek men and just souls have been in line one, and as he asks for his own to be in line two, in a particularly pointed use of the anagram of his name. Given Andrew Melville’s centrality to the Scottish Presbyterian movement, and the political crisis of his imprisonment in 1606, it is in these sonnets that we feel most keenly the civil political implications of Elizabeth 79  Jamie Reid Baxter, Elizabeth Melville: Complete Works (in preparation); ODNB, vol. 37, p. 770. 80  National Library of Scotland, Crawford Collections, Acc. 9769, Personal Papers 84/1/1, p. 174. The poem is marked ‘My lady culros to mr andro Meluill’ in the margin of the manuscript.

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Melville’s spiritual language—language that echoes the real Andrew Melville’s religio-political writing. Melville’s ventriloquized Andrew describes an evil age in which the faithful fall (6), in an echo of the ‘fals and iron age’ of the Dreame’s tenth line. Here, too, Elizabeth employs the trope of the spouse of Christ in the manner of James and Andrew Melville’s own explicitly political verse. Rather than figuring the soul of the individual believer, as it does in her other devotional lyrics, the spouse of Christ is here the Scottish Kirk ‘in paine’ (10). Melville’s second sonnet to Andrew Melville is a partner to the first, and the speaking voice is now her own, answering the ventriloquized Andrew’s distress: Cast cair on chryst wt courage bair his cross And heir his woyce, quho for thy sin was slaine Pance [ponder] not for paine, defy this dunge and dross Licht is thy loss, quhen god sall be thy gaine frome feir refraine, his trueth sall still remaine 5 do not complaine, to suffer heir a space A schour of grace vnto thy saullis sall raine This vorld in vaine sall seik to spoill thy pace [peace] blissed is thy caice, sweit is that plesand place fair is that face yat schortlie thow sall sie 10 Thy howp is hie quho sall thy soull embrace end out thy raice and blissed sall thow be reioyce and sing thocht sathan sift ye soir fecht for thy king and gaine ane crowne of glor.81

Elizabeth’s exhortation here begins in the very first line, meeting the distress voiced in the first sonnet with a call to bear Christ’s cross with courage, and to defy the ‘dunge and dross’ of this world. Andrew’s plea to Christ is met with this sonnet’s stout denial of the value of complaint (6), and a reminder that worldly woe and loss are of no consequence, ‘quhen god sall be thy gaine’. Andrew’s call to Christ in the previous sonnet to ‘End out my fecht’ modifies the sense of fortitude usually present in Melville’s use of that phrase, and in this sonnet it is met with a specific rejoinder: ‘end out thy raice and blissed sall thow be’ (my emphasis). The king for whom Andrew is to fight is a monarch clearly differentiated from the king on earth: Melville’s poetic terminology here is steeped in the doctrine of the two kingdoms, articulated by Andrew Melville, and in the politicized language of devotion that marks her extended poetic oeuvre.

81  National Library of Scotland, Crawford Collections, Acc. 9769, Personal Papers 84/1/1, p. 174.



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In addressing her sonnets to John Welsh and Andrew Melville, Elizabeth Melville renders the political resonances of her devotional language explicit and specific, as she does her use of the sonnet form to individuate and psychologize the speaking subject’s relationship with the divine. She engages throughout her manuscript lyrics in the tropes and psychologized structures of intimate and individual devotion; at the same time, however, she uses her speaking voice, the sonnet structure, and the materiality of the sonnet form to address her fellow saints, to enact a dialogical relationship with Christ and with the embattled community of the Scottish Presbyterian godly. Through their address and circulation to imprisoned Presbyterian leaders, these sonnets recast Melville’s devotional lyric voice, ensuring that the devout Calvinist fight against sin and the Scottish Presbyterian civil stand against monarchical and episcopalian oppression are thoroughly and poetically conflated. E L I Z A B E T H M E LV I L L E A N D M A N U S C R I P T C I RC U L AT I O N Melville’s sonnets to John Welsh and Andrew Melville bring into sharp focus her use of the sonnet and its form for religio-political ends; more than this, they reveal the potential for the circulation of manuscript poetry to function as a very deliberate and specific kind of political act or illocution.82 Melville’s address to each man, inscribed into the sonnets’ forms, appear to have been born out in material terms: the sonnets are preserved independently of each other and of Melville’s other verse, indicating their status as artefacts of textual transmission. Of all the poets treated in this book, Melville appears to have circulated her manuscript verse most actively and widely; she may be unique as a British woman poet before Katherine Philips in the extent to which she cultivated the circulation of her poetry in politicized manuscript networks. The specific networks and communities in which her verse was circulated and read are emerging only as her texts are traced, but it is already possible to draw an extensive—and highly politicized—map of her manuscript lyrics’ circulation. Ane Godlie Dreame was circulated and read in manuscript before 1603, if we are to believe its title page inscription, which describes the poem as published ‘at the requeist of her freindes’. It is reasonable to assume 82   David Norbrook places valuable emphasis on ‘the simple, and yet easily overlooked, distinction between the overt content of a text and the illocutionary act or acts involved in composing or circulating it’, in Writing the English Republic: Poetry, Rhetoric, and Politics, 1627–1660 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), p. 10.

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that Alexander Hume was among these friends, given the admiration he expresses of Melville’s verse in 1599, but it is also clear that his assessment of her poetic abilities in his dedication to her is based on other ‘compositiones so copious’—most likely, some of those lyrics that are collected in the Bruce manuscript. The main contents of the Bruce manuscript are a series of twenty-nine unpublished sermons on Hebrews XI, which Robert Bruce had preached at St Giles, Edinburgh, in late 1590 and spring 1591; these are copied into the manuscript in a clear secretary hand—the same hand that has transcribed Elizabeth Melville’s poetry into the end of the volume. Jamie Reid Baxter believes that the sermons are marked up for printing, with the appropriate signatures appearing on relevant folios.83 The poems are not marked up in this way, but they are presented in neat double columns, in clear presentation form (see Figure 1.1). While the Bruce manuscript’s date of compilation is uncertain, it cannot be regarded as a politically neutral location for the preservation of Melville’s verses. David Mullan describes Bruce’s sermons as ‘prized and preserved’ in manuscript circulation following his banishment from Edinburgh in 1600.84 Bruce had studied for the ministry under Andrew and James Melville at St Andrews, and Reid Baxter describes him as ‘one of the king’s bêtes noires’, his theology ‘Calvinist in the extreme’; in Mullan’s view, ‘none have a greater claim to be known as father to the [covenanting] movement than Robert Bruce’.85 The association of Elizabeth Melville’s verse with his sermons in the Bruce manuscript codifies her theological and political sympathy with Bruce and other die-hard supporters of Presbyterian polity in the Scottish Kirk, and suggests a direct association in the minds—and in the manuscript books—of her contemporary readers. Her sonnets to Andrew Melville are preserved in an even more explicitly political context: as part of a manuscript collection of five poems and a Latin epigram attacking Scottish bishops.86 The first of the three unascribed poems opens with a vicious attack on ‘balaamis band’, a reference to Balaam, the biblical prophet who ‘loved the wages of unrighteousness’ and who is here a figure for the Scottish bishops.87 The second unascribed 83   Jamie Reid Baxter, ‘Elizabeth Melville, Calvinism and the Lyric Voice’, in James VI and I, Literature and Scotland: Tides of Change, 1567–1625, edited by D. J. Parkinson (Leuven: Peeters, 2013), pp. 151–172 (p. 154 and n. 12). 84   John Livingstone, the radical minister to whom Melville addressed letters in the 1620s, possessed Bruce’s sermons in print and in manuscript; Mullan, Scottish Puritanism, p. 14. 85   Reid Baxter, ‘Elizabeth Melville, Calvinism and the Lyric Voice’, p. 154; Mullan, Scottish Puritanism, p. 17. 86  National Library of Scotland, Crawford Collections, Acc. 9769, Personal Papers 84/1/1, pp. 174–5. 87   2 Peter 2:15; Numbers 22; Revelation 2:14 are also reprinted on the title page to the posthumous printed edition of James Melville’s The Black Bastel (1634).



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sonnet, entitled ‘Ane Sonnet on ’ but with its subject deliberately blacked out, asserts that God shall laugh at the ruin of those whose ‘supremasie’ is approved by princes; and it foresees for them in its final line ‘ane filthie fall at last’. It is between these sonnets that Elizabeth Melville’s two to Andrew are preserved, with the marginal ascription ‘My lady culros to mr andro Meluill’. Jamie Reid Baxter believes the three unascribed sonnets to be the work of James Melville, and their bitterly political content is certainly evocative of the tone of The Black Bastel. The accompanying Latin epigram, by Andrew Melville, also attacks Scottish bishops via the trope of Balaam’s band.88 Mullan, again, describes the importance of manuscript circulation among radical Scottish Presbyterians, commenting that ‘handwritten materials were not uncommon and served an important function in furthering the ideas of the brotherhood’, and the location of Elizabeth’s sonnets to Andrew Melville confirms the dissemination of her poetry among this community.89 Her sonnets of spiritual succour and exhortation to Andrew are preserved alongside some of the sharpest politicized poetic articulations of the Scottish Presbyterian movement. Several of Melville’s other poems are preserved individually in diverse manuscript sources, evincing her poetry’s wide circulation, as well as suggesting histories of reading and reception. Her sonnet to John Welsh is preserved only in an eighteenth-century copy in the hand of the ecclesiastical historian Robert Wodrow, who gathered extensive papers relating to the persecution of Scottish Presbyterians, and published The History of the Sufferings of the Church of Scotland in 1721–1722.90 Wodrow’s papers are also the location of ‘Loves Lament for Christs Absence’, which occurs in a very poor text, in a late seventeenth-century hand.91 The seventeenth-century copyist does not explicitly identify Melville as its author, although he does provide a couplet that is cryptically suggestive of her published work: ‘Who are acquant wt Christ this peace esteeme / Who know him not, will looke on’t as adreame’. He prefaces ‘Loves Lament’ with his own lines, ‘The transcribere to the Reader his freinds’: My friends to yow I wish a meace, a meace [serving, portion] of that choise chear this ⌈peene⌉ Implyes that so your soules may swime in peace in peace And soare in praise above the skyes The subiect of this short sweet song

88  Reid Baxter, Poems, personal correspondence. The epigram was printed in Viri Clarissimi A. Melvini Mvsae (1620), p. 28. 89  Mullan, Scottish Puritanism, p. 15. 90   National Library of Scotland, MS Wod. Qu. XXIX (iv), fols 10–11. 91   National Library of Scotland, MS Wod. Qu. XXVII, fols 199v–206r.

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The transcriber freely applies the acute spiritual yearning of ‘Loves Lament’ to the souls of his friends, extending further our understanding of how the trope of Christ as the soul’s bridegroom was applied and experienced in late seventeenth-century spirituality. In this example of a copyist disseminating Melville’s poetry, we can see her most intimate tropes of personal devotion taking on the broader applicability to the souls of the godly that she clearly intended them to have. The intimate devotional lyric was circulated and read as part of the establishment of a communal religious identity. Also preserved only in a later hand is Melville’s ‘Call to Come to Christ’, which is extant in an early eighteenth-century miscellany of devotional papers in the hand of Elizabeth Bruce Boswell (1673–1734), the grandmother of Samuel Johnson’s biographer.92 Boswell attributes the poem to Melville as ‘a Poem by ye Lady Culross’. She also includes in her miscellany material relating to two other godly women of their ages: Margaret More Roper, to whom she ascribes a poem, and the mid-seventeenth-century millenarian Sarah Wight, from whose life (written by Henry Jessey) she excerpts. This latter manuscript is the only repository of Melville’s verse in which her gender may be a factor in her poem’s preservation, although Boswell also includes material with familial connections, and Elizabeth Melville was known to her father.93 The Boswell manuscript, and the ongoing discovery of verses by Melville in disparate print and manuscript sources, suggests an extensive readership for her manuscript poetry, in contrast to the very many women’s texts—printed and unprinted—which are met with silence in extant seventeenth-century records. Melville’s Dreame was well known in the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries, but it is also reasonable to assume that her manuscript lyrics were well read and may have influenced the devotional poetry of James Melville and other contemporaries; the relationship of her lyrics to later Scottish devotional poetry also demands further exploration.94 92   Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, Boswell Collection, Gen MSS 89, Series XV, Box 105, Folder 1925. 93   See Sarah C. E. Ross, ‘A Poem by Margaret More Roper?’, NQ 56, no. 4 (December 2009): pp. 502–507. 94   Critical discussion of the Dreame in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries is summarized in Carolyn R. Swift, ‘Elizabeth Melville, Lady Culross’, in Sixteenth-Century British



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Elizabeth Melville herself did not fall silent as the seventeenth century progressed. There is at this point no datable evidence of poetic composition or circulation after her sonnets to Andrew Melville, but it is clear that manuscript poetry represents only one part of Melville’s religious activity: numerous extant letters attest to ongoing epistolary engagements with leading Scottish Presbyterians. There are nine surviving letters from Melville to the radical minister John Livingstone, who led a peripatetic existence in the 1620s and 1630s, supported by sympathetic members of the Scottish aristocracy. Her letters date from 1629 to 1631 and reveal a familiar spiritual relationship with the minister, whom she addresses unfailingly as ‘My werry worthy and deir brother’.95 Livingstone’s Memorable Characteristics, and Remarkable Passages of Divine Providence, exemplified in the Lives of some of the most eminent Ministers and Professors in the Church of Scotland, which he composed in exile in Rotterdam in the 1660s, also contains an entry on Melville. He describes her as ‘most unwearied in religious exercises’, and recalls her leading an extended devotional meeting from her bed, with a large audience, in Shotts in June 1630.96 And in 1636 and 1637, Melville wrote letters to the preeminent covenanting spiritual leader, Samuel Rutherford, who was well known for his ‘rhapsodic’ and extravagant enthusiasm, and who was banished in July 1636 from his parish of Anwoth in Galloway to the strongly episcopalian, conformist Aberdeen.97 Melville’s letters to him are lost, but four replies from Rutherford to Melville are extant; it is evident from these that Melville’s letters were missives of spiritual support and sustenance to Rutherford, much as her earlier sonnets to John Welsh and Andrew Melville had been to them. Rutherford describes himself in his letters to Melville as ‘now a prisoner of Christ, and in bonds for the Gospel’: he gains spiritual ‘refresh[ment]’ from Melville’s letters, and he enjoins her in the language of the Song of Songs to pray both for him and for ‘This poor persecuted Kirk—this lily amongst the thorns’.98 These epistolary correspondences Nondramatic Writers, Dictionary of Literary Biography, vol. 172, edited by David A. Richards (Detroit, Washington D.C., and London: Gale Research, 1996), pp. 168–172. Jamie Reid Baxter explores the echoes of Melville’s manuscript sonnets in the later sonnets of Francis Hamilton in ‘The Apocalyptic Muse of Francis Hamilton of Silvertonhill’. 95   There are nine letters to Livingstone, along with two letters from Melville to her son James (not the theologian and poet), and one to Livingstone’s patron, the Countess of Wigton (University of Edinburgh Library, MS La. III. 347). W. K. Tweedie published eight of the nine letters to Livingstone, and none of the other three, in Select Biographies. 2 vols, vol. 1 (Edinburgh: for the Wodrow Society, 1845), pp. 349–370. 96  Tweedie, Select Biographies, vol. 1, pp. 346–347. 97   See David Reid, ‘Rutherford as Enthusiast’, in Bryght Lanternis: Essays on the Language and Literature of Medieval and Renaissance Scotland, edited by J. Derrick McClure and Michael R. G. Spiller (Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press, 1989), pp. 337–351. 98   A. A. Bonar, ed., Letters of the Rev. Samuel Rutherford (Edinburgh: William Whyte, 1848), pp. 107–110, 130–132, 335–338, and 435–438 (pp. 108; 130 and 435; 131).

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are partial artefacts of Melville’s ongoing commitment to sustaining the community of the Scottish Puritan faithful in ever-increasingly acute times of trial. Scottish Puritanism was a theological and devotional movement first and foremost, and Elizabeth Melville never deviates from ‘the right use of poesy’: her poetry is always religious, as she assumes the authority to write as ‘a Ladie chosen of God to bee one of his saincts’ (in the words of the epigraph to this chapter). James VI’s moves to reintroduce bishops to the Scottish Kirk from the mid-1590s, however, precipitated ecclesiastical and civil resistance among Scottish Presbyterians, most acutely from 1606 onwards. Melville is, as we have seen, closely associated with several of the leading radical ministers who suffered for their adherence to the Presbyterian model of the Scottish Kirk: Robert Bruce, John Welsh, James and Andrew Melville, John Livingstone, and Samuel Rutherford. Her poetry in print and manuscript engages in the poetic and political discourses of Scottish Presbyterianism, revealing the potential for religious poetic texts to create a spiritual imaginary which has political implications, and for these texts to constitute real and recognized political illocutions. Manuscript circulation enacts Melville’s metaphors of the spiritual shield and spiritual weapon, as her sonnets of sustenance and exhortation are sent to leading Presbyterian figures imprisoned for their religious opposition to the king. Melville’s lyrics in manuscript force us to reconsider women’s religious poetry as political engagement, and provide a striking and early example of women’s religio-political poetry circulating in manuscript. Ane Godlie Dreame was widely read in England as well as Scotland, and her sacred parodies draw extensively on English as well as Scottish sources; there is at present no evidence of her manuscript lyrics circulating outside Scotland, but her example adds to the recognized need to explore more fully the exchange of poetry across the national borders, as well as in its specific national contexts.99 Melville’s newly extended body of verse, and the ongoing process of exploring its influences and circulation, can only offer further insight into her spiritual and political engagement in early seventeenth-century Scottish Puritanism, and into the political implications of women’s religious poetics in seventeenth-century Britain as a whole.

  See, for example, Serjeantson, ‘English Bards and Scotch Poetics’.

99

2 ‘Thou art the nursing father of all pietye’ Sociality, Religion, and Politics in Anne Southwell’s Verse will you behold Poesye in perfect beautye. Then, see the kingly Prophett, that sweete singer of Israell, explicating the glorye of our god, his power in creating, his mercye in redeeming, his wisedome in preseruing; making these three, as it were the Comma, Colon, & Period to euery stanzae. Who would not say, the musicall spheares did yeeld a cadencye to his songe, & in admiration crye out; Ô neuer enough to bee admired, devine Poesye. It is the subiect, that commends or condemnes the art.1

This celebration of ‘devine Poesye’ comes to us in the words of the English poet Anne, Lady Southwell (1574–1636), written as a letter to her friend Cicely, Lady Ridgeway, Countess of Londonderry, at some point before the summer of 1628. Southwell’s letter is a response to an expression of enmity towards poetry on Ridgeway’s part, which Southwell counters with the declaration that poetry is ‘The worldes True vocall Harmonye, of wch all other artes are but partes’, and that ‘Poesye seemes to doe more for nature, then shee is able to doe for her selfe’. Southwell echoes Alexander Hume’s sense of ‘the right use of poesy’—the sense that so defines Elizabeth Melville’s lyrics—as she goes on to suggest that Ridgeway’s view 1  Jean Klene, ed., The Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book: Folger MS V.b.198, Renaissance English Text Society, 7th series, vol. 20 (Tempe, AZ: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1997), pp. 4–5. All quotations are taken from Klene’s edition of Southwell’s works, and referenced by Klene’s page numbers; some textual markings included in Klene’s diplomatic transcriptions are silently omitted. Folio references are given where the physical location of items in Southwell’s manuscripts is material to the discussion.

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has been poisoned by ‘some wanton Venus or Adonis [which] hath bene cast before your chast eares’; she then moves into the rousing defence quoted above, before directing Ridgeway, as Hume does his audience, to the Psalms of David, ‘that sweete singer of Israell’. The declared poetic values of Southwell, a mainstream English Calvinist, thus echo those of her Scottish Presbyterian contemporaries, Hume and Melville—although her textual influences are almost certainly Sir Philip Sidney, and also the divine poetic manifesto of Robert Southwell, S.J., her husband’s uncle, whose Saint Peter’s Complaint occurs in her booklist.2 Southwell also iterates her sentiments on divine poetry in her lengthy verses on the Decalogue (the Ten Commandments), her major poetic work. She describes poetry here in terms which suggest a personal progression away from composing courtly and amorous verse towards writing godly poetry. Court wits, she writes, ‘speake not to instruct, nor read to learne, / but are like fencers making a brauadoe’. She is now, she claims, ‘affected vnto rime / but as it is a help to memorye’, and because it ‘giues wittes fire more fuell / & from an Ingott formes a curious Iewell’—descriptions that are suggestive of meditational poetics.3 Southwell’s rhetoric of worldly abnegation and her celebration of divine poetry notwithstanding, however, her own oeuvre reveals a complex and integrated relationship between divine poetry and the social and political worlds of its writer. Unlike Elizabeth Melville, who wrote only religious poetry, Southwell wrote extensively in secular social modes; and her claims to a trajectory away from the courtly and towards the divine are at least partially disingenuous. Her defence of poetry must predate Ridgeway’s death in June 1628, and while she was clearly writing religious verse in the early 1620s, she continued to write social verse well into the 1630s. The very framing of Southwell’s defence of poetry as a letter to an aristocratic friend testifies to, a co-mingling of social and religious modes of poetic expression which is evident throughout the artefacts of her courtly and literary life, and which is the focus of this chapter. There are two extant manuscripts containing her works. Folger MS V.b.198, entitled ‘The workes of the Lady Ann Sothwell: / December 2 1626’, is a compendious miscellany of her writings, dating in fact from the early seventeenth century until after 1632, and probably compiled at least in part by her second husband after her death.4 Southwell was resident in Ireland from 2   Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, pp. 98–101. Jean C. Cavanaugh, ‘Lady Southwell’s Defense of Poetry’, ELR 14 (1984): unpaginated insert. 3   Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, pp. 130, 152. 4   For detailed descriptions of the manuscript, see Jonathan Gibson, ‘Anne Southwell’s Poetry’, in EMWMP, pp. 57–61; and Jonathan Gibson, ‘Synchrony and Process: Editing Manuscript Miscellanies’, SEL 52, no. 1 (2012): pp. 85–100.



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around 1602 until at least mid-1629, and the Folger manuscript’s lyrics and letters draw on and are addressed to prominent English and Irish figures; it is in this volume that the letter to Ridgeway is found.5 Tipped into the Folger manuscript are thirty folios of lengthy verse meditations on the Decalogue; these focus on ‘holy conversation’ with ‘gods precepts’, but it is also clear that Southwell was circulating these and her other religious verses among friends and associates.6 She addresses a biblical verse to Bishop Adams of Limerick, and later rewrites and addresses it to Roger Cox, a poet and curate in the parish of Acton, where she settled with her second husband in 1631. Southwell’s second extant manuscript, a section of British Library, Lansdowne MS 740, contains variant and extended versions of two Decalogue verses that also testify to her use of devout verse for social exchange. She seeks patronage at the highest level, addressing the Lansdowne manuscript poems to the English king (either James I or Charles I), whom she addresses as ‘the nursing father of all pietye’.7 Readings of Southwell’s verse have differed in the extent to which they have seen Southwell as participating in genuine or imagined circles of literary exchange.8 I argue in this chapter that Southwell engaged actively in networks of poetic sociality throughout her writing life, and that her poetic sociality enacts her religio-political allegiances. This chapter focuses on the relationship between the social and religious poetic genres in which Southwell writes, and on her engagement via these in the social and high political culture of Stuart Ireland and England. Victoria Burke describes Southwell as treading ‘a precarious line between private devotional poet and politic flatterer’, indicating a level of critical discomfiture with Southwell’s use of her religious poetics.9 MarieLouise Coolahan is a little less cynical, reading Southwell’s circulation of her devotional verse in Ireland and England as an attempt to forge a small, like-minded ‘coterie of devotional poets’; in Coolahan’s view, the 5   Southwell’s last recorded activity in Ireland is her visit to the Earl of Cork in June 1629. See discussion below; and Marie-Louise Coolahan, Women, Writing, and Language in Early Modern Ireland (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), p. 182. 6   Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, p. 129. 7   Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, p. 124. 8   Marie-Louise Coolahan reads Southwell as actively constructing networks of devotional poets in Munster and Acton, while Gillian Wright believes ‘there is no reason to believe that [the Folger manuscript] was read by anyone at all other than Southwell herself . . . her husband and their scribes’. Wright regards many of Southwell’s poetic addresses as ‘merely complimentary pleasantries’ (Producing Women’s Poetry, 1600–1730: Text and Paratext, Manuscript and Print (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), p. 44). 9   Victoria E. Burke, ‘Medium and Meaning in the Manuscripts of Anne, Lady Southwell’, in Women’s Writing and the Circulation of Ideas: Manuscript Publication in England, 1550– 1800, edited by George L. Justice and Nathan Tinker (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), pp. 94–120 (p. 103).

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devotional (‘right’) use of poetry is central to the ideal nature of the community that Southwell seeks to forge.10 Burke and Coolahan are both grappling with the evident sociality of Southwell’s religious verse, its rewriting and circulation, and its implication in networks of social and political exchange. Their variant conclusions, however, are indicative of the need to re-examine the relationship of social and religious poetry, and of religious poetry and politics, in Stuart Ireland and England. In this chapter, I explore the ways in which Southwell harnesses the tropes, forms, and conventions of social authorship to devotional and religious poetic forms, and the possibilities that these religious poetic forms offer her for the expression of social, religious, and even high state politics. Southwell can easily be dismissed as a woman not yet writing political poetry, particularly given that she valorizes a lack of female interest in affairs of state in lines following a defence of Eve: Want wee the witt for strategems of state those are but Anticks vnto time and fate Or wante wee skill to purchase Crownes and thrones to ordaine lawes, vnite deuissions Theise are but guades that makes men proude and iollie damm’d in their skill prooues all but emptie follie.11

Her disavowal of the wit to engage in the strategems of state, however, cannot be taken at face value: social ingratiation and the expression of political allegiance are fundamentally entwined in her brief social lyrics, as she moves from the praise and memorialization of friends and associates to claiming the authority to eulogize the Protestant kings of Bohemia and Sweden. Southwell’s precise political allegiances are at times elusive: against the rapidly shifting religious politics of the 1620s and 1630s, she has been read as anything from ‘not very’ Puritan to more pressingly so.12 That her social and religious verse engages in the factional religious politics of these decades, however, is clear, and close reading of her religious verse against that of her poetic models reveals a moderate—but not uncritical—Calvinist monarchical loyalism. 10  Coolahan, Women, Writing, and Language in Early Modern Ireland, p. 193; and Marie-Louise Coolahan, ‘Ideal Communities and Planter Women’s Writing in Seventeenth-Century Ireland’, in Early Modern Women and the Apparatus of Authorship, edited by Sarah C. E. Ross, Patricia Pender, and Rosalind Smith, Parergon, 29, no. 2 (2012): pp. 69–91 (p. 84). 11   Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, p. 43. 12   Elizabeth Clarke sees Southwell as ‘not very’ Puritan (‘Anne, Lady Southwell: Coteries and Culture’, in The Intellectual Culture of Puritan Women, edited by Johanna Harris and Elizabeth Scott-Baumann (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), pp. 57–70 (p. 58)). Jonathan Gibson describes her as ‘strongly Calvinist’ (EMWMP, p. 57).



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It is in particular a mistake to class the genre of biblical verse paraphrase in which she writes so extensively as a private devotional genre: the precedents of Guillaume de Saluste Du Bartas, Francis Quarles, and Roger Cox, on all of whom Southwell drew, require us to redefine biblical verse paraphrase as a mode in which poets male and female could—and did—speak on wide-ranging moral, social, and political issues. Southwell’s Decalogue verses in the Folger and Lansdowne manuscripts operate as her brief social lyrics do, as malleable materials of exchange in politicized religious and social communities; in addition, they exploit the apparatus of the biblical verse paraphrase to make pointed and specific comment on religious and high state politics, comment that is compounded in the dedication of the Lansdowne manuscript versions to the king. Not only is biblical verse paraphrase under-examined as a poetic genre, but Southwell’s use of it is a generically defining test case which can inform readings of later, more prominent, women’s biblical verse such as Anne Bradstreet’s The Four Monarchies and Lucy Hutchinson’s Order and Disorder. To prefigure here the final chapter of this book: only in understanding Anne Southwell’s use of elegy and of biblical verse paraphrase can we fully understand Lucy Hutchinson’s generic choices, aims, and achievements in Order and Disorder. ‘ S P E A K E I N G E TO A D E A D , A S E N C E L E S S E L A D Y ’ :   S O U T H W E L L’ S LY R I C S A N D S O C I A L AU T H O R S H I P Southwell’s literary manuscripts and historical records relating to her reveal her to be a witty and audacious speaker and writer, interacting throughout her writing life with a wide network of men and women in England and in Ireland, the two countries of her residence. She was born in 1574 into a gentle family with social, literary, and political connections in Cornworthy, Devon; Sir Walter Raleigh was a near-neighbour, and a version of his lyric ‘The Lie’ appears in her Folger manuscript miscellany. She married Thomas Southwell in 1594, and he and her father were both knighted at Whitehall by King James upon his coronation in 1603. Southwell may have served as maid of honour to Queen Elizabeth in the 1590s, as did Cicely, Lady Ridgeway, and she may have travelled north to Berwick to greet the new queen in 1603; certainly, she and her first husband moved to Ireland, probably in the early years of James’s reign, where they settled at Castle Poulnelong in County Cork and had two daughters.13 The details of their residence and dates of movement for the 1590s and first decades of the 1600s are sketchy, but literary evidence  Southwell’s biography is detailed in Burke, ‘Medium and Meaning’, pp. 97–98;

13

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and the historical record indicates ongoing connections in both England and Ireland. Southwell married her second husband, Henry Sibthorpe, very shortly after her first husband’s death in 1626; and they returned to England at some point after mid-1629, settling in Acton in 1631.14 Early in her writing career, Southwell is likely to have participated in the exchange of witty, aphoristic news pieces in the news games associated with the literary circle of Sir Thomas Overbury, whose death in 1613— rumoured to be murder at the hands of Frances Howard, Countess of Somerset—rocked the Jacobean court. Two pieces of ‘conceited Newes’ published in the 1614 edition of Overbury’s poem ‘A Wife’ are signed by ‘A.S.’, and the sixth edition of Overbury’s book also includes ‘Certaine Edicts from a Parliament in Eutopia; Written by the Lady Sovthwell’ (1615).15 John Considine has questioned whether the news pieces, ‘characters’, and other ephemera which appeared in successive editions of Overbury’s poem represent a real literary circle, and indeed whether the initials following each piece actually indicate authorship by real people, but Southwell’s connections to Overbury’s literary circle are clear.16 ‘A.S.’ replies to pieces by Overbury and John Donne respectively, and Southwell’s manuscripts are strongly associated with the writings of these two. Her version of Raleigh’s ‘The Lie’ includes variations which are likely to be her own (her autograph hand is present in corrections and a signature), and the same variants occur in a Dalhousie manuscript of poems by Donne and others.17 The Dalhousie manuscript in question is also closely related to the Lansdowne manuscript, which contains Overbury’s ‘A Wife’ and a significant Donne collection alongside the two Southwell Decalogue poems. Variants suggest that the Donne transcriptions in the Dalhousie and Lansdowne manuscripts derive from the same source.18 and in Erica Longfellow, Women and Religious Writing in Early Modern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), pp. 94–100. 14   See Coolahan, Women, Writing, and Language in Early Modern Ireland, p. 182. 15   The pieces were probably composed several years before their publication. James E. Savage posits a terminus ad quem of 1609, the year of participant Cecily Bulstrode’s death, in Savage, ed., The ‘Conceited Newes’ of Sir Thomas Overbury and his Friends (Gainesville, FL: Scholars’ Facsimiles and Reprints, 1968), p. xxiv. 16  John Considine, ‘The Invention of the Literary Circle of Sir Thomas Overbury’, in Literary Circles and Cultural Communities in Renaissance England, edited by Claude J. Summers and Ted-Larry Pebworth (Columbia and London: University of Missouri Press, 2000), pp. 59–74 (pp. 73, 69). For debate over the identity of ‘A.S.’ prior to Considine’s article, see Savage, ed., The ‘Conceited Newes’ (pp. xxxviii, xl); Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, pp. xxviii–xxx; and Louise Schleiner, Tudor and Stuart Women Writers (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1984), p. 266. 17   Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, p. 188. 18  The Lansdowne manuscript is described by Peter Beal, Index of English Literary Manuscripts, 4 vols, vol. 1, part 1 (London: Bowker and Mansell, 1980), pp. 25–51. See also



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Such bibliographical evidence suggests that Considine should not be surprised by the inclusion of the ‘Edicts . . . Written by the Lady Sovthwell’ in the sixth edition of ‘The Wife’, and that the news pieces are likely to be the product of a real literary circle to a greater extent than he allows.19 If Southwell’s participation in the news games suggests an allegiance with Sir Thomas Overbury’s ‘Friends’, later evidence suggests an ongoing association with the woman accused of his murder. Her Folger manuscript contains an elegy on the death of Frances Howard, who was arraigned for Overbury’s murder along with her lover and second husband Robert Carr, Earl of Somerset, and who died in 1632. Southwell also crops up in June 1629 in the autobiographical notes of Sir Richard Boyle, the first Earl of Cork, negotiating with Boyle for the marriage of his son to the Somersets’ daughter: [T]‌his day the lady Sowthwell renewed her mocon twise before by her made vnto me for thearle of Somersets onely daughter & heir to be married to my dick, with offer from thearle (as she saieth) to give with her 40000li at their day of marriadge, and other 40000li at a yeares end; and all he hath at his death.20

Southwell’s identity is certain, as her companion is named as her granddaughter Elizabeth Waller,21 and two other extant letters of petition confirm Southwell’s connection to Boyle. She wrote to him in 1623, this time on behalf of Sir Richard Edgecombe, a friend of her deceased father, asking ‘for the recoverie of certaine writings of Bodrugans landes detained by one Powre of Kilmeden’; and one month later, in November 1623, she made the same request to Sir Thomas Browne, Boyle’s cousin (not the English writer).22 The Boyle anecdote confirms Southwell’s ongoing Ernest W. Sullivan, II, The First and Second Dalhousie Manuscripts: Poems and Prose by John Donne and Others, a Facsimile Edition (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1988), pp. 1–12. 19   Considine, ‘The Literary Circle of Sir Thomas Overbury’, p. 65. His argument that Southwell would have included the pieces in the Folger manuscript if she had written them is spurious, given the Folger manuscript’s haphazard nature and the possibility that at least one other Southwell manuscript is now lost (Erica Longfellow, ‘Lady Anne Southwell’s Indictment of Adam’, in Early Modern Women’s Manuscript Writing: Selected Papers from the Trinity/Trent Colloquium, edited by Victoria E. Burke and Jonathan Gibson (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004), pp. 111–133 (n. p. 130); Burke, ‘Medium and Meaning’, p. 97). 20  Alexander B. Grosart, ed., The Lismore Papers (First Series), viz. Autobiographical Notes, Remembrances and Diaries of Sir Richard Boyle, First and ‘Great’ Earl of Cork, 5 vols (London: for private circulation, 1886), p. 329. 21  Elizabeth, daughter of Elizabeth Southwell and Sir John Dowdall, married Sir Hardress Waller of Castleton in the county of Limerick ‘before 1630’ (Mervyn Archdall, The Peerage of Ireland, vol. 7 (Dublin: James Moore, 1789), p. 16). 22   Jean Klene, ‘Recreating the Letters of Lady Anne Southwell’, in New Ways of Looking at Old Texts: Papers of the Renaissance English Text Society, 1985–1991, edited by W. Speed

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acquaintance with the extended Overbury circle, suggesting a fluidity of factional allegiance, and revealing Southwell in a position to negotiate on behalf of her aristocratic friends. The compendious Folger manuscript of Anne Southwell’s ‘workes’ confirms and very much extends our sense of her comfortable familiarity with a wide social network among the English and Anglo-Irish elite. She writes a prose letter to Henry Cary, Viscount Falkland, Lord Deputy of Ireland, who had been relieved of his office in April 1629, taking issue with an image of the Sun ‘bereft of his beames’ that Falkland has used in a letter to her. She then proceeds deftly to chide, commiserate, and flatter. ‘What, though you hould not the sword & Scepter of a Kingdome still! rather a losse to the nation then to yow,’ she tells him, before concluding that ‘It is yor goodnes noble Lord, that hath made mee honnor yow, not yor fortunes’, and ‘this is the plus vltra of my request, that yow wilbee pleased to inrolle Captaine Sibthorpe and mee in the nomber of yor seruants’.23 Henry Sibthorpe was Southwell’s second husband, and Klene notes that Falkland had asked Charles I in 1627 that Sibthorpe ‘be allowed the command of one of the substitute companies sent over’ to Ireland—so giving an indication of what form Falkland’s ‘perseuerant fauour’ might have taken.24 Southwell’s social standing and that of her Anglo-Irish associates has been the subject of some discussion. Marie-Louise Coolahan describes Southwell’s interactions with the Anglo-Irish Protestant elite as ‘not aspirational’, as she ‘moved confidently in circles of power within the crown administration’,25 and Southwell’s connections to the Somersets, Boyle, and Falkland were clearly reasonably close. Erica Longfellow suggests that Southwell ‘enjoyed some influence, but also that its reach was limited’. Falkland and the Somersets had suffered serious political setbacks, and Longfellow sees Southwell as a marginal figure, addressing her poetry to a coterie of readers with a similarly limited level of influence, ‘on the fringes of the court’ or of influence in Ireland.26 Southwell may be confident and her addressees’ influence may be tempered by fluctuations in their political fortunes, but her interactions are Hill (Binghamton, NY: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies in conjunction with Renaissance English Text Society, 1993), pp. 239–252 (pp. 247–248). 23   Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, pp. 5–6. Klene transcribes the date at the bottom of the letter as 1628, and describes the date as ‘probably a mistake’ (p. 189). I believe the manuscript actually reads 1629, and therefore makes sense in relation to Falkland’s removal from office in April of that year (Folger, MS V. b. 198, fol. 4r). 24   Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, p. 189. 25  Coolahan, Women, Writing, and Language in Early Modern Ireland, p. 193. 26  Longfellow, Women and Religious Writing in Early Modern England, pp. 98–99.



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nonetheless marked by petition and negotiation, revealing an ongoing assertion of allegiance that lies at the heart of elite familiarity and that perpetuates it. The very preservation of her letter to Falkland in the Folger manuscript attests to its significance in forging and maintaining her socio-political connections, as well as to a sense of pride (perhaps her second husband’s rather than her own) in her rhetorical skill in doing so. The letters to Cicely, Lady Ridgeway (in defence of poetry) and to Falkland are preserved one after the other in the Folger manuscript, denoted as ‘vera Copia’ and ‘The coppie of a lettre writt by the Anne Southwell, to the Lord deputye ffalkland of Ireland’ respectively.27 While the Folger manuscript contains diverse letters and documents relating to Southwell’s life, it is primarily a poetic miscellany, containing a wide range of brief poems that reveal the use and reuse of lyric verse in a number of politicized social contexts. There is a mock elegy and a real epitaph on Cicely, Lady Ridgeway; and a piece entitled ‘A letter to ye Duches of Lineox’, which is in fact an eight-line verse praising Elizabeth of Bohemia—all poems to which I will return. Pieces of Southwell’s own authorship rub up against those by others, including versions of airs which appeared in seventeenth-century song books.28 Henry King’s elegy on the Swedish King Gustavus Adolphus appears, untitled and unattributed; and his elegy on his wife appears with an attribution to a ‘Mr Barnard’, on his sister ‘Mres Jernegan yt dyed at Acton’—exemplifying the appropriation of verses common in manuscript culture.29 Several of the Folger manuscript’s brief lyrics must date from Southwell’s residence in Acton in the 1630s. Gustavus Adolphus, on whom Southwell also writes her own epitaph, was killed in the Swedish phase of the Thirty Years War in 1632; and Southwell writes an epitaph on Frederick V, Prince-Elector Palatine and King of Bohemia, another Protestant hero who died in the same year. Each of these poems elucidates social and political networks either close or distant, and attests to the constitutive role of poetic exchange in the formation and sustenance of these networks. Southwell’s own poetic practice is deeply embedded in Jacobean and early Caroline cultures of lyric sociality, as her multiple interactions with Sir Arthur Gorges’s ‘Like to a lampe wherein the light is dead’ illustrate. Gorges’s poem had enjoyed a long life in manuscript circulation since its 27   Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, pp. 5–6. For the posthumous compilation of the Folger manuscript, see further discussion, below. 28   Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, pp. 1–2; Burke, ‘Medium and Meaning’, p. 95. 29   Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, pp. 36–38, 28–31.

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origins in the 1580s, and it appears in the Folger manuscript entitled simply as ‘Sonnet’: Like to a lampe wherein the light is dead Or as a Ring whose Ruby out is falne Or as the nest from whence the byrds are fled Or as a Shryne where is no Saynt at all Or as a well when Dried is the Spring Or as a Hiue the Honey hyd away Or as the Cage wherein no Bird doth sing Or as the world depriued of the day Or as the Limbes when life hath taken flight Or as the Spray when as the Rose is Reft Or as the Moone Eclipzed of her light. Or as the Hart wherein no Ioy is left Such to my sence all worldly Pleasures be When bitter Absence reaues thy selfe from me.30

Victoria Burke has demonstrated that Southwell’s final three lines do not appear in the two authoritative versions of Gorges’s verse, indicating Southwell’s own original interaction with the received poem, of the kind that Arthur Marotti has shown to be typical of lyrics in manuscript culture at this time.31 Marotti’s influential exploration of lyric exchange in English manuscript culture emphasizes the social contexts in which lyrics were composed and transmitted, and illuminates the brief lyric genres that proliferated in these exchanges. He describes a culture of ‘social authorship’ in which the lyric is a pliable and plastic literary entity, authors ‘claim[ing] to care little about the textual stability or historical durability of their socially contingent productions’.32 Southwell’s reworking of Gorges’s lyric exemplifies the ways in which the formal properties of the lyric itself and the contextual conditions of its composition and recomposition are entwined in the social practice of authorship. Southwell adapts and reworks Gorges’s sonnet on the level of trope and form, using and reusing a poetic text that she treats as malleable in order to enact a kind of social authorship that is contextual and constitutive of community. It is through the adaptation of the poetic text at the formal level that she inscribes socio-literary networks and asserts social, poetic, and political allegiances.

  Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, pp. 14–15.   Victoria Burke, ‘Women and Seventeenth-Century Manuscript Culture: Miscellanies, Commonplace Books, and Song Books Compiled by English and Scottish Women, 1600– 1660’ (PhD dissertation, University of Oxford, 1996), pp. 86–87. 32   Arthur F. Marotti, Manuscript, Print, and the English Renaissance Lyric (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1995), p. 2. 30 31



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Southwell adapts and borrows from Gorges’s lyric twice more to construct epitaphs for two female friends. The first of these is Cicely, Lady Ridgeway, for whom she composes a sixteen-line epitaph that touches lightly on Gorges’s lyric: I wondred, that the world did looke, of late, like an vnbayted hooke Or as a well whose springe was dead I knew not, yt her soule was fledd. (3–6)33

Southwell here evokes the image of the dried spring from Gorges’s fifth line, before moving on to describe Ridgeway as ‘this deare lost pearle’ (8), a possible echo of Gorges’s ring ‘whose Ruby out is falne’. Southwell’s epitaph, in its allusion to Gorges and its well-wrought lyric structure, contrasts strikingly with an anonymous, extended elegy on Ridgeway recently uncovered by Andrea Brady.34 ‘A Funerall Eligy’, contained in the Winstanley family papers in Leicester, is a rambling declaration of Ridgeway’s exemplarity of over 300 lines that provides extensive details of Ridgeway’s life and character (including her cause of death), but is markedly un-literary; it purports to be a ‘playne, true and summary description of her life and death’, and as Brady reflects, it ‘is not a polished poem’.35 Southwell’s brief epitaph, in contrast, eulogizes its subject not according to idealized details of her life, but according to the prefabricated linguistic structures of socio-poetic exchange.36 Southwell’s poetic language, strikingly, celebrates the death of her friend more intimately than does the exemplary biography offered in the Winstanley elegy: where that outlines Ridgeway’s ‘good labours’ at length, Southwell’s poem achieves a genuine pathos, the world ‘like an vnbayted hooke’ figuring her own bereftness and that of Ridgeway’s mourning earl.37 Unconcerned with Ridgeway’s 33   Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, p. 27. The epitaph is incorrectly entitled in the Folger manuscript, ‘An: Epitaph vppon Cassandra MackWilliams wife to r S Thomas Ridgway Earle of London Derry. by ye Lady A: S:’, confusing Cicely, Lady Ridgeway (Sir Thomas Ridgeway’s wife) with Cassandra MacWilliams (the name of her daughter and sister); see Burke, ‘Medium and Meaning’, pp. 99–100. Coolahan points out that this is likely to be the error of Sibthorpe, who inserted the title into the posthumously compiled manuscript and who married Southwell only in 1626, so would not have known the family as well as she did (‘Ideal Communities’, p. 86). 34  Andrea Brady, ‘“Without welt, gard, or embroidery”: A Funeral Elegy for Cicely Ridgeway, Countess of Londonderry (1628)’, HLQ 72, no. 3 (2009): pp. 373–395. Coolahan makes the connection with Southwell’s elegy on the same subject in ‘Ideal Communities’, pp. 86–88. 35  Ridgeway died of dropsy on 14 June 1628, a date that revises Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, p. 188. Brady, ‘A Funeral Elegy’, pp. 374, 382. 36   Ridgeway is also praised as ‘Wife to a worthy’ in a four-line epigram in John Taylor’s The Nipping or Snipping of Abuses (1614), sig. H1v. 37   Brady, ‘A Funeral Elegy’, p. 387.

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exemplarity, Southwell reworks the tropes and forms of the social lyric to incorporate her friend into a communal poetic language, building a ‘pretty room’ for her in the adapted language of Gorges’s sonnet.38 Southwell’s flexible approach to Gorges’s lyric is confirmed in her later epitaph on the Countess of Somerset, which relies more heavily on Gorges as well as on her own rewriting in her epitaph for Ridgeway. Southwell begins with an adaptation of Gorges’s fourth line, foregrounding the image of the saintless shrine, and working in the image of the unbaited hook from her lines on Ridgeway: To tell the shrine that its faire saint is gone alass tis Deff & deaths Compannion Since shee fled hence see how ye world doth looke naked, and poore, like an unbayted hoocke. (1–4)39

The central section of Southwell’s epitaph on the countess follows Gorges’s anaphoric structure at length, although she replaces his abab rhyming structure with her own characteristic rhyming couplets, rearranging his lines to effect the rhyme scheme, and inserting similes of her own: ‘Or as an euidence, whose lines are crost’ and ‘Or Quiuer where, there is noe arrowe lefft’ (6, 16). An extended, eighteen-line conclusion serves to elevate the deceased countess at the same time as it emphasizes Southwell’s personal connection with her: ‘Such is the world, such to my sences bee / all worldly gaudes since she was refft from me’, she writes of a woman whom she affectionately terms ‘my deere’ (17–18, 33). Southwell’s epitaph, notably, does not mention the scandal surrounding the Howard–Carr marriage, an omission which Victoria Burke describes as ‘a political statement in itself’, indicative of a factional allegiance that underpins the women’s evident intimacy.40 Southwell’s Folger manuscript is particularly revealing of the possibilities that lyric poetry and social authorship offer for socio-political engagement, particularly for the woman writer. Marotti defines ‘social verse’ as occasional, ephemeral, and frequently casual, and he divides the social poems that recur in manuscript collections into three rough categories, the first of which is ‘model epitaphs and elegies for either social superiors, equals, or inferiors’.41 Southwell’s social verse is predominantly of 38   John Donne, ‘The Canonization’: ‘We’ll build in sonnets pretty roomes; / As well a well wrought urne becomes / The greatest ashes, as half-acre tombes’ (lines 32–34). C. A. Patrides, ed., John Donne: The Complete English Poems (London: David Campbell Publishers, 1991), pp. 57–59. 39   Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, pp. 34–35. 40   Burke, ‘Medium and Meaning’, p. 110. Schleiner names Donne, Jonson, and Lady Mary Wroth as other court figures who retained sympathy for the Earl and Countess of Somerset rather than the murdered Overbury (Tudor and Stuart Women Writers, p. 108, n. p. 266). 41  Marotti, Manuscript, Print, and the English Renaissance Lyric, pp. 3–4, 10, 129.



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this kind, elegies and epitaphs on friends and associates intertwined with and occurring alongside lyrics and poems of praise for those whom she might, on their deaths, eulogize. Danielle Clarke has reflected on the large number of elegies, epitaphs, and poems of mourning among the writings of early modern women, including Southwell, noting that ‘[t]‌he stance of grief was a well-established basis for public speech’ and that ‘elegies enabled women to reiterate the social bonds which gave them their status, and ultimately their authority’.42 Southwell claims precisely the authority of grief to speak or write in the epitaph on the Countess of Somerset, but she also implicitly claims the authority of a number of other speaker positions offered in social verse: personal intimacy or connection; the spur of occasion; the precedent of words and structures readily available in a pre-existing lyric text; and, particularly prevalently, the virtues of the addressee, which themselves demand celebration. The Countess of Somerset is ‘Francis the faire, Spouse to Earle sommersett / to whose true worth all penns doe ly in dett’.43 These social verses cluster around the virtues of the subject who is eulogized or elegized rather like liminary verses to a written text: they derive authority from the subject’s virtues at the same time as they enact the writer’s allegiance with those virtues. ‘Like verse letters to social superiors’, writes Marotti, ‘many elegies were designed to affirm or attempted to establish ties of social, political, or economic patronage; others were composed to declare in-group allegiances of various sorts—to family, to a network of friends or colleagues, to a political faction or program’.44 Southwell’s social verse enacts just these sorts of allegiances, and it may well be that the Folger manuscript has been compiled as a testament to her activities of this kind. Two divergent but coexisting generic traits are manifest as Southwell uses brief lyric forms to engage in socio-political expression. On the one hand, she at times renders the social genres in which she writes capacious and flexible, extending their parameters to engage in metaphysical speculation on a wide range of topics. Danielle Clarke has reflected that Southwell ‘frequently deploys elegy and epitaph as a framework for confronting a variety of topics and ideas’, and she reads one twenty-eight-line elegy on an unnamed military captain as ‘wheel[ing] away from the particular to the general, pursuing a series of meditations on life and death itself ’.45 42  Danielle Clarke, The Politics of Early Modern Women’s Writing (London: Pearson Education, 2001), pp. 166–167. 43   Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, p. 35. 44  Marotti, Manuscript, Print, and the English Renaissance Lyric, p. 129. 45   Danielle Clarke, The Politics of Early Modern Women’s Writing, pp. 172–174.

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Southwell uses the occasion of the captain’s death to articulate a Calvinist sense of the living flesh as the soul’s true grave, from which he is now set free, acknowledging ‘those teares his reuerend Parents shedd’ at the same time as she describes his lifeless body as ‘The truest Mapp, of mans ffelicitie’ (15, 18). Her concluding image is as follows: So will the fond world leaue this foolish trick Of writeing Epitaffs vpon the dead But rather write them one the Quick Whose Soules, Ingraues of fflesh ly buried ffor in this graue, you only see But his Soules graue twoe graues well turnd to one Now doth he liue, ffrom fflesh made ffree Trust mee good ffreinds he is not dead but gone. (19–26)46

Southwell may well be echoing Donne’s ‘Hymn to God My God, in My Sickness’ (c.1623) in her image of the captain’s body as a map and Donne, I suggest, is a defining and previously unrecognized influence in the poem. Southwell certainly echoes in her final lines the conclusion of Donne’s First Anniversary, in which ‘The grave keepes bodies’, and the soul is ‘borne but than / When man doth die’, and in which Donne plays on the potential of verse to preserve the subject’s fame.47 Donne’s Anniversaries provide a precedent within a culture of literary sociality for poems which are purportedly elegiac, but are in fact socially ambitious and metaphysically speculative. Barbara Lewalski and Arthur Marotti associate the Anniversaries with epideictic and ‘patronage verse’, and Marea Mitchell pertinently explores the tension between genre and content in these poems, describing Donne’s subject Elizabeth Drury as a ‘vehicle for an anatomy or reflection about the world and human activity’.48 Southwell, it seems, takes the authority to write that is offered by the elegiac occasion and moves into a wide-ranging, metaphysical mode of 46   Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, p. 95. (Klene’s numbering of this poem’s line does not account for two lines interpolated after the opening couplet.) 47  Donne, The First Anniversary: An Anatomy of the World, lines 474, 452–453 (Patrides, ed., John Donne: The Complete English Poems, pp. 327–345). The poem appeared in print in 1611, and Southwell’s engagement in the news games indicates a knowledge of Donne before this; she also owned his book of poems after its publication in 1633 (see her booklist, Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, p. 99). 48  B. K. Lewalski, Donne’s Anniversaries and the Poetry of Praise: The Creation of a Symbolic Mode (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1973); Arthur Marotti, John Donne: Coterie Poet, (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1986), pp. 235–236. Marea Mitchell, ‘Gender, Genre, and the Idea of John Donne in the Anniversaries’, in Donne and the Resources of Kind, edited by A. D. Cousins and Damian Grace (Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2002), pp. 106–119 (p. 107). See also Paul Salzman, Literary Culture in Jacobean England: Reading 1621 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002), pp. 136–137, 231.



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speculation upon the world, perhaps with a social benefit in mind. Klene suggests that the captain may be Southwell’s brother Christopher, who died in 1604, but the imagistic and generic influences of Donne make it more likely that the poem dates from the 1620s or 1630s.49 It is just possible that Southwell is also seeking patronage through the writing of this metaphysical elegy on an unknown captain, as Donne does in his Anniversaries on Drury, and as it is clear that Southwell does elsewhere. One further, striking example of Southwell’s metaphysical extension of the parameters of elegy, and of her use of the poem as an item of socioliterary exchange, is her mock elegy on Cicely, Lady Ridgeway, written as a playful piece of poetic correspondence before Southwell knew of Ridgeway’s actual death from dropsy.50 ‘Supposeinge hir to be dead by hir longe silence’, a little unfortunately in the circumstances, Southwell takes the occasion and runs with it, composing a mock elegy that runs to 120 lines of reflection and commentary on diverse topics. Ridgeway’s assumed ascent to heaven allows Southwell to ask with witty levity, ‘fayre soule, let me know / what things thou saw’st in riseinge from below?’ (19– 20). Astrological matters are Southwell’s first concern: do the twelve signs of the Zodiac ‘serue the Sun for state?’ Are the stars ‘Knobbs uppon the spheres?’ Is the air like ‘a cloudy siue?’ (23, 29, 31). Southwell’s playful speculation, again reminiscent of Donne, moves through theories of creation, to matters of devotion (‘tell what yow know, whether th’Saynts adoration? / will stoope, to thinke on dusty procreation’), and from there to a facetious comparison between poets and Papists, ‘both makers . . . of Gods’ (63–64, 78).51 Only after line 116, having ranged widely, does Southwell pull herself in: ‘But stay my wandringe thoughts? alas, where wade I? / In speakeinge to a dead, a sencelesse Lady’ (117–118).52 This is a witty, knotty verse, tongue-in-cheek throughout and dilatory, diversionary, and speculative. Its content is philosophical and moral rather than political; it is the generic liberties Southwell takes that are most relevant to this discussion. Elegy in Southwell’s hands is thoroughly informed by the culture of lyric sociality to which her Folger manuscript attests, and is influenced specifically by Donne’s metaphysical mode. It is a genre full of speculative 49   Klene suggests that the subject may be Southwell’s brother Christopher, who died in the siege of Ostend, in or before 1604 (n. p. 204). A further piece of evidence for a later dating for this poem is that it occurs on the verso of the inventory of Southwell’s household goods, compiled in 1631 (Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, pp. 93–95). 50   A well-annotated edition of this poem appears in Andrew Carpenter, ed., Verse in English from Tudor and Stuart Ireland (Cork: Cork University Press, 2003). 51   Gillian Wright notes that the ascent of Ridgeway’s soul into heaven recalls that of Elizabeth Drury in Donne’s Second Anniversary (Producing Women’s Poetry, p. 43). 52   Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, pp. 25–27.

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potential and a means to engage with and comment on the world around her, as well as to address her associates in friendship and praise. On the limited number of occasions when Southwell engages explicitly with high political culture in her lyric verse, she utilizes more circumspect and circumscribed verse forms, characterized by brevity, pattern, and recurring rhetorics of praise and valorization. ‘A letter to ye Duches of Lineox’, her poem of praise for Elizabeth of Bohemia, is a neat eight-line lozenge, opening and closing with the interwoven languages of praise, self-elevation, and the seeking of patronage: ‘Vouchsafe this fauor; as to tell me how; / your princes fares; to whom all hartes doe bow’ (1–2). The potentially transgressive act of the woman writing is legitimated by her insistence on Elizabeth’s ‘humble Sweetness’ which demands praise; and the elevation of the subject through praise also offsets the self-promotion that is clearly the purpose of this poem. ‘Nor shall I faile; to let the world to knowe / How much vnto; her gracefull grace; I owe’, Southwell concludes, at once expressing gratitude and ingratiating herself to both the subject of the poem and its addressee (7–8).53 Southwell also mitigates the precocity of her approach to Elizabeth of Bohemia through her frame of address: Elizabeth is described in the third person throughout, Southwell addressing her through the intermediary of the duchess. Princess Elizabeth had been attended by Ludovick Stuart, the second Duke of Lennox, in her journey to the Palatinate upon her marriage in 1613; and Southwell is likely to have known Lennox through his activities in the plantation of Ulster, as part of the ‘ex-patriot English cultural milieu operating in Ireland’ in which she was active.54 Southwell seems most likely to be addressing his third wife, Frances (d. 1639), perhaps on the occasion of the King of Bohemia’s death, memorialized in the poem below.55 Southwell, then, appears to be seeking patronage, or giving thanks for it, through a known intermediary in this poem, exploiting a closer personal association that she apparently has with the duchess than she has with the princess herself. The poem is an ‘elaborate compliment’, as Victoria Burke describes,56 and its compliment is dual, encompassing both the royal subject of the poem and the intermediary to whom it is addressed. Southwell’s poem to Lennox is followed directly on the same folio by two brief epitaphs, apparently her own: one on Princess Elizabeth’s   Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, p. 32.   Elizabeth Clarke, ‘Coteries and Culture’, p. 64. 55   Burke argues that the duchess is most likely to be Catherine Clifton, who married the third Duke of Lennox, Esmé Stuart, in 1607, although there is no personal connection between the third duke and Princess Elizabeth (‘Medium and Meaning’, pp. 103–104). 56   Burke, ‘Medium and Meaning’, p. 104. 53 54



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husband, the King of Bohemia, and one on the King of Sweden (fol. 22r). Both men were Protestant heroes and both died in 1632, during the Swedish phase of the Thirty Years War; Burke describes them as ‘linked in the popular imagination’, with Frederick later being remembered as ‘the prince for whom Gustavus fell’.57 Southwell’s two epitaphs align her with the continental Protestant cause in the early 1630s, as she celebrates a militant Protestantism that was, as Gillian Wright observes, ‘largely out of fashion amid the Arminian ascendancy of the 1630s’.58 Southwell’s desire to praise the princess in the preceding poem, then, also becomes a religiopolitical statement of allegiance, one that places her at odds with Charles I’s anti-militant stance: Princess Elizabeth’s plea to her brother to enter into an alliance with Sweden in 1631 had been unsuccessful.59 This praise of Princess Elizabeth and celebration of Bohemia and Sweden in the 1630s indicates that the relationship of Southwell’s religious politics to those of the monarch had shifted since the 1620s. The two epitaphs on the kings of Bohemia and Sweden are the closest Southwell comes to writing lyrics focused exclusively on high state politics, and two notable features of them mitigate any potential transgression. Henry King’s elegy on the Swedish King Gustavus Adophus is transcribed into the Folger manuscript, providing a socially transmitted precedent for Southwell’s own verses. Unlike King’s elegy, Southwell’s two epitaphs are also brief, eight and eighteen lines respectively, containing her commentary on state politics into conventional closed couplets: ‘Here lyes a king, and gods anoynted / by fate a Pilgrim poore appoynted’ (1–2).60 Such containment notwithstanding, it seems that social verse and Southwell’s engagement in it is a distinct pathway via which she segues into high state poetry, a substantive political connection linking her poem to the Duchess of Lennox with those on the Protestant heroes. This is, as I will argue, a pathway well trodden by later women writers such as Jane Cavendish, Hester Pulter, and even Katherine Philips; indeed, Southwell’s trio of poems on folio 22r of the Folger manuscript are a direct parallel to the political poetic triptychs of Jane Cavendish, discussed in the following chapter. Sociality, with all that it implies, enables Southwell’s lyric engagement, albeit limited, in the religious politics of the 1630s. Marotti’s work on social authorship describes the plasticity of the poetic text as well as the   Burke, ‘Medium and Meaning’, p. 104. 59  Wright, Producing Women’s Poetry, p. 45.   ODNB, vol. 18, p. 89. 60   Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, p. 32. Burke notes the outpouring of literary tributes to the Swedish king as a context for Southwell’s own epitaph, and also points out that Southwell must have received King’s elegy via manuscript transmission (‘Medium and Meaning’, pp. 104, 102). 57 58

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social contexts of its composition and transmission, and Southwell’s lyrics exemplify the integral interrelationship of both kinds of lyric socialities: the textual and the contextual—the communality of images, tropes, and poetic lines and forms; and the operation of communal lyrics as literary tokens and artefacts in a context of socio-poetic exchange. ‘Social authorship’ is a generic and formal phenomenon, as well as a social and contextual practice, and Southwell’s treatment of the lyric as a pliable textual entity underpins her use of poetry simultaneously to forge networks and to assert her socio-political affiliations in both England and Ireland. Lyric sociality enables her to approach associates and to write on state political figures as well as friends, the status of her addressees and their social distance or otherwise from her inscribed into the poetic forms that she adopts in each case: the freewheeling metaphysical elegy is addressed to her friend Cicely, Lady Ridgeway, while she tackles her more aspirational subjects in brief, lapidary forms. As I will now explore, this malleable approach to social poetics that runs through the brief lyrics in her Folger manuscript also, more surprisingly, marks her use of devotional and religious poetry as an item of social exchange and as a mode of engaging explicitly in moral, social, and state-political commentary. W R I T I N G F O R T H E K I N G :  S O U T H W E L L A N D B I B L I C A L V E R S E PA R A P H R A S E Thou art the nursing father of all pietye, the mightye champion for the Deitye. Tis of the high Iehouah I doe singe. to whome doth this belonge but to the kinge. great God of heauen, thankes for thy gracious fauours great king on earth, accept the poore endeauors,   of your matyes most humble    & faythfull subiect. Anne Southwell61

Southwell’s Decalogue verse occupies thirty-two of the Folger manuscript’s seventy-four leaves, all of these being leaves that are tipped into the binding of the original manuscript. The bulk of the Decalogue poems are contained in a single section, which includes poems ranging widely from polished and complete verses to very rough drafts. There are three poems on the first commandment, ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before me’; one   Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, p. 125.

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each on the second, third, fourth, seventh, and eighth; and two sections of barely readable autograph drafts that Southwell’s modern editor Jean Klene entitles ‘Southwell drafts, #1 and #2’.62 There is also a poem on the fifth commandment, ‘Honour thy mother and father’, tipped in separately as folios 12–13. Southwell’s biblical verse paraphrase in the Folger manuscript is rounded out by two further poems that are similar in kind: lines addressed to Bishop Adams of Limerick are based on Adam’s creation and Fall as told in Genesis, and a rewritten version of these lines is addressed to the Acton curate Roger Cox.63 The section of Southwell’s verse in the Lansdowne manuscript consists of two framing poems and expanded versions of her verses on the third and fourth commandments: ‘Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain’ and ‘Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy’.64 Victoria Burke has noted, accurately, that the Decalogue is ‘not a common topic for poetry’—she identifies only An Collins’s later treatment in ‘The Discourse’ (1653)—but there is a broader generic precedent for Southwell’s longest poetic works.65 Biblical verse paraphrase is little discussed today and is frequently ill defined, but it was enormously popular, deriving its impetus in very large part from the writings of the French Protestant Guillaume de Saluste Du Bartas.66 James VI translated L’Uranie, one of three poems in Du Bartas’s La Muse Chrestiene, and published it in The Essayes of a Prentise, in the diuine art of poesie (1584), and Josuah Sylvester translated La Semaine ou Création du monde (1578) and La Seconde Semaine (1584) as Bartas: His Deuine Weekes and Workes in 1605, taking the text to a wide English audience.67 James VI and I wrote his own biblical paraphrases (albeit in prose), and in England, Francis Quarles and Roger Cox engaged in biblical verse paraphrase with a traceable influence on Southwell.68 I will argue here that biblical verse paraphrase was an enabling and highly politicized poetic genre 62   Folger, MS V. b. 198, fols 28–58; Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, pp. 44–93. 63   Folger, MS V. b. 198, fols 18r–19r, fol. 26. 64   BL, Lansdowne MS 740, fols 143 and 156 ff. Southwell gives some but not other of her Decalogue verses titles, and her precise titles vary. I will refer to each poem by the commandment it explicates, as set out in Exodus 20.1–17. 65   Burke, ‘Medium and Meaning’, p. 102. 66   A foundational study is Lily B. Campbell, Divine Poetry and Drama in SixteenthCentury England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1959). Campbell examines ‘divine poetry’ in several sub-genres. 67   La Muse Chrestiene comprised L’Uranie, La Judit, and Le Triomfe de la Foi (Bordeaux, 1574). Philip Sidney translated La Première Semaine in manuscript in the 1580s, but the translation is lost (Alan Sinfield, ‘Sidney and Du Bartas’, Comparative Literature 27, no. 1 (1975): pp. 8–20). See also Peter Auger, ‘The Semaines’ Dissemination in England and Scotland until 1641’, Renaissance Studies 26 (2011): pp. 625–640. 68   For James VI and I’s biblical paraphrases, see Chapter 1.

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for women writers such as Southwell, who uses it to moralize widely, to make specific comment on religious and high state politics, and to address a range of correspondents, including the king. Southwell’s debt to the French Protestant poet Guillaume de Saluste Du Bartas warrants close examination, for the sake of understanding not only her verse but that of later women writers—including Lucy Hutchinson. Du Bartas’s Deuvine Weekes retell in verse the creation of the world and the history of mankind, and while these poems are most often cited as a source for Milton’s Paradise Lost, such a teleological focus on the emergence of our twenty-first century literary canon obscures the variety of Du Bartas’s influence in the first half of the century. Campbell describes La Muse Chrestiene as ‘epochal in Christian poetry’, and L’Uranie sets out a manifesto for the writing of divine poetry.69 Du Bartas sets aside the Muses of secular arts, and numerous and elaborated modes of secular writing— ‘Princes flattry’, the ‘honnie’ of Pindar, Virgil’s efforts as Homer’s disciple, and ‘verse prophane’—declaring that ‘man from man must wholly parted be, / If with his age, his verse do well agree’.70 He invokes instead Urania, the Muse of divine poetry, and in the first of his Weeks he also sets out his poetic enterprise with a declared focus on the divine: My heedfull Muse, trayned in true Religion, Devinely-humane keepes the middle Region: Least, if she should too-high a pitch presume, Heav’ns glowing flame should melt her waxen plume. (1.1.135–138)71

Du Bartas’s divine poetry is, in fact, not without ambition, and the Diuine Weekes and Workes has been variously regarded as a ‘hexameron (creation epic)’, a ‘Christian epic’ and a ‘Bartasian epic’. Milton relied on its model in Paradise Lost, Books 11 and 12.72 Du Bartas, however, claims neither the epic tradition nor the language of extreme poetic ambition that marks Paradise Lost, and his insistence on keeping the ‘middle region’ is representative of a more democratic and demotic poetic. Du Bartas’s invocatory descriptions of his verse demarcate what Alastair Fowler describes as  Campbell, Divine Poetry and Drama, p. 75.   James VI and I, ‘The Vranie or heauenly Muse translated’, in The Essayes of a Prentise, in the diuine art of poesie (Edinburgh, 1584), sigs D. iiii. and E. 71   Susan Snyder, ed., The Divine Weeks and Works of Guillaume De Saluste, Sieur du Bartas, Translated by Josuah Sylvester, 2 vols, vol. 1 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1979), p. 115. 72   Barbara Kiefer Lewalski, ‘The Genres of Paradise Lost’, in The Cambridge Companion to Milton, 2nd edn, edited by Dennis Danielson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), pp. 113–129 (p. 114). Campbell describes Du Bartas’s ‘La Judit’ as a ‘divine epic’ (Divine Poetry and Drama, p. 96). Alistair Fowler notes Milton’s reliance on ‘Bartasian epic’ in Books 11–12 of Paradise Lost, a point to which I return in Chapter 5 (Fowler, Kinds of Literature: An Introduction to the Theory of Genres and Modes (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1982), p. 175). 69 70



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an ‘antigenre’, an antithesis to the ambitious, literary, and overwhelmingly male genre of classical epic poetry, and it is in this antithesis that a creative space for the woman writer such as Southwell can be seen to emerge.73 Du Bartas’s poetic may be less attractive to modern readers than the poetically canonical works of Milton (indeed, Du Bartas rapidly fell out of fashion as the seventeenth century progressed),74 but it was clearly enabling for women writers, enjoined to be ‘silent but for the word’ and relatively uneducated in classical rhetoric or literature.75 Southwell’s Decalogue verses evoke precisely the language of Du Bartas, whose Deuine Weekes and Workes in Sylvester’s translation is named (as ‘Salust his history in English’) in her booklist.76 She opens her most coherent and polished verse on the first commandment, ‘Thou shalt have no other Gods before me’, with an invocation of an exclusively sacred Muse: Raise vp thy ffacultyes my Soule ti’s time to Wake ffrom Idleness the Childe of death Mount to the heauens, and ther thy wings subblime wheare bodies liue, not bound to hassard breath And being dipt in heauens Selestiall Springes My penn shall portrait Supernaturall thinges. (1–6)

Southwell is fervent in her disavowal of secular poeticization, which she describes as ‘A sicknes to, to much infecting paper’: wee leaue the sunne and wander by a taper forsake gods worde and on vaine fables dwell Trye Seneca and Paule with one touchstone Way Aristotle with wise Solomon. (27–30)

She, rather, ‘with reuerence shall ascend gods bower / fayth, hope, loue, zeale, assist my limber winges / you climax terræ to the kinge of kinges’, and she is eager to insist that the attempt of heavenly flight is not an ambitious one: Presumptuous knowledge was the angells fall presumptuous knowledge wrought poore Adams woe O sacred wisdome, iudge and guide of all true limiter, how farre ech witt should goe with mediocritye asist my flight as free from fogges, as farre from winges to light. (43–48)77   Fowler defines an ‘antigenre’ in Kinds of Literature, p. 175.   Anne Lake Prescott, ‘The Reception of Du Bartas in England’, Studies in the Renaissance 15 (1968): pp. 144–173. 75   For further discussion, see Chapter 5. 76   Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, p. 99. 77   Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, pp. 44–46. 73 74

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Southwell’s insistence on ‘mediocritye’ can be read as a conventional statement of female modesty (later, she refers to the ‘waxen plewmes’ of the ‘weake female’), but here it explicitly echoes Du Bartas’s sense of ‘keep[ing] the middle Region’.78 Her invocation then moves into an image of her subject matter which again derives from the opening of Du Bartas’s long verse: for Du Bartas, the world is ‘A paire of Staires, whereby our mounting Soule / Ascends by steps above the Arched Pole’ (1.1.159–160); for Southwell, the Decalogue, the ‘tenne precepts by Iehouah spoken’, are ‘tenne steppes to this high throne’, the throne of heaven (89, 85).79 Du Bartas’s subject matter is the creation of the world, and Southwell delimits hers, in theory at least, to the Decalogue, but a vital Bartasian influence and commonality of mode is intimated in Southwell’s opening stanzas. Southwell’s rhetoric of exclusive piousness notwithstanding, her Decalogue verses habitually ‘wheel away from the particular to the general’, as Danielle Clarke has noted of her elegies on friends and loved ones. Her stanzas in the Folger manuscript on the fourth commandment, ‘Thou shalt keep holy the sabbath day’, move into a lengthy moralizing diversion which, at face value, has little to do with the biblical precept. Reflecting that ‘thou art bound to bring thy famyly’, ‘thy children and thy servants’ together on the sabbath (68–71), not an original point, Southwell enters into a long section of advice on the raising of children, young and older. ‘Thy children modelize thyselfe’ (91), she declares, before proffering advice across twenty-two stanzas on keeping sons from drink and the court, daughters from dancing, cosmetics, and ‘the stamp of fashions’ (142), and advising that one (and one’s children) should instead be God’s soldiers. This precipitates a further, fifteen-stanza section on the arts—metaphysics, philosophy, music, astronomy, poetry—which are the accomplishments and weapons of God’s soldier, who ‘governe[s]‌like a heauen on earth’ (321).80 These are extraordinary, meandering poetic structures, in which Southwell’s Decalogue verses diverge sharply from those of the Scottish pastor–poet James Melville, the only example of Decalogue verses that I have been able to trace before hers.81 Melville’s ‘Ample and Plaine Paraphrase . . . Vpon the ten Commands’ consists of ten short, focused, and   Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, p. 72.  Snyder, ed., The Divine Weeks and Works, vol. 1, pp. 115–116; Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, p. 47. 80   Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, pp. 62–69. 81   There is no particular reason to think that Southwell might have read James Melville, although her booklist does contain a printed volume of sermons by Robert Bruce, the minister with whose manuscript sermons the poetry of Elizabeth Melville is bound. Southwell’s 78 79



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catechetical poems. These are presented in the second part of A Spiritvall Propine of a Pastour to his People (a ‘propine’ being a gift), and the full title of this second part sets out clearly and at length its didactic purpose: A Morning Vision: or, Poeme for the Practise of Pietie, in Devotion, Faith, and Repentance: Wherein the Lordes Prayer, Beleefe, and Commands, and sa the whole Catechisme, and right vse thereof, is largely exponed.82 Southwell’s reflections on the Decalogue, it seems, offer her a greater degree of meditational and poetic freedom than do the Scottish pastor’s poetic gifts to his people: in this case, being a woman writer can be seen as a liberating and enabling situation. Southwell’s meandering meditative structures take their lead in part from Du Bartas himself, for whom ‘The World’s a Schoole, where (in a generall Storie) / God alwayes reades dumbe Lectures of his Glorie’.83 Her closest influence, however, is likely to have been another biblical poet for whom she wrote an acrostic poem of admiration: Francis Quarles, who published several biblical verse paraphrases in the 1620s. A Feast for Wormes: Set Forth in a Poeme of the History of Jonah (1620), Hadassa: or, The History of Qveene Ester: With Meditations thereupon, Diuine and Morall (1621), Iob Militant: With Meditations Divine and Morall (1624), and The Historie of Samson (1630) are almost entirely overlooked in critical explorations of Quarles himself, let alone the writers he influenced— no doubt because they extend Du Bartas’s model in a pious and popular, rather than an avowedly literary way.84 Quarles describes the poems as ‘periphrases’ of ‘sacred history’, the ‘sacred history’ designation reflecting his focus on a broad sweep of biblical history rather than on one

‘Robt. Bruce, his 16 sermons’ (Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, p. 101) is The vvay to true peace and rest Deliuered at Edinborough in xvi. sermons: on the Lords Supper: Hezechiahs sicknesse: and other select Scriptures, an anglicized version of Bruce’s sermons published in 1617. 82   James Melville, A Spiritvall Propine of a Pastour to his People and A Morning Vision: or, Poeme for the Practise of Pietie, in Devotion, Faith, and Repentance (Edinburgh, 1598). 83   Snyder, ed., The Divine Weeks and Works, vol. 1, p. 115. 84   The only extended treatment of Quarles’s scriptural paraphrases is Adrian Streete, ‘Frances Quarles’ Early Poetry and the Discourses of Jacobean Spenserianism’, Journal of the Northern Renaissance 1 (2009), . Karl Höltgen describes these poems, in passing, as ‘pious light reading in the vernacular’, for which there was ‘a real demand’ (ODNB, vol. 45, p. 660). Robert Wilcher has recently argued that Quarles’s scriptural paraphrases, ‘in which verse paraphrases of scripture generated theological or moral reveries’, are a generic precedent for Lucy Hutchinson’s Order and Disorder (‘“Adventurous song” or “presumptuous folly”: The Problem of “utterance” in John Milton’s Paradise Lost and Lucy Hutchinson’s Order and Disorder’, The Seventeenth Century 21 (2006): pp. 304–314 (p. 312, n. p. 314); and ‘Lucy Hutchinson and Genesis: Paraphrase, Epic, Romance’, English 59 (2010): pp. 25–42 (pp. 29–30)). I will return to this argument in Chapter 5.

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particular hero with Christian epic potential, and they are digressive, meditative, and outspokenly political.85 Quarles evokes Urania as his sacred Muse, but he sets out in his prefaces to his readers a new poetic ‘manner’ (or method) ‘consisting in the Periphrase, the adiournment of the Story, and interposition of Meditations’.86 Quarles’s meditations evolve out of and interrupt the sacred history being retold: each meditation is explicitly demarcated from the poem’s main text by a decorative band, and generalities are extrapolated from the thrust of the main text. It is a ‘manner’ in which sacred history becomes an analogue for contemporary British society, and Quarles divides his moral meditations into three kinds: ethical (‘the Manners of a priuate man’), political (‘Publike Society’, including ‘the behauiour of a Prince, to his Subiect’ and of ‘the Subiect to his Prince’), and ‘Oeconomicall’, in the sense of household management (‘Priuate Society’, including ‘the carriage of the Wife, to her Husband’, and ‘of the Husband, to his Wife, in ruling’).87 Quarles insists on direct parallels between the sacred and the contemporary, instructing: ‘I haue gleaned some few Meditations, obuious to the History; Let me aduise thee to keepe the Taste of the History, whilest thou readest the Meditations, and that will make thee Rellish both, the better’.88 Quarles uses his method to moralize on diverse social points (including the obedience of Jacobean wives, as I will discuss below); he also uses it to sound clarion political notes, particularly in Hadassa: or, The History of Qveene Ester, entered in the Stationer’s Register in the same month that James recalled parliament in the political crisis of January 1621.89 Quarles’s nineteen interpolated meditations return again and again to principles of good and just kingship—at times with an arbitrariness which tests our ability to ‘keepe the Taste of the History’ in mind. For example, when Esther is brought before King Assuerus, who will choose her as his new wife, Quarles enters into a meditation on the importance of wise and mature counsel, beginning: The strongest Arcteries that knit and tye The members of a mixed Monarchy, Are learned Councels, timely Consultations,

85   See Quarles’s prefaces to the reader, Hadassa: or, the History of Qveene Ester and Iob Militant. Quarles’s sacred histories can be distinguished in their lack of focus on a single protagonist from Drayton’s ‘legends’, poems on the lives of ‘some one or other eminent Person’ which he describes as ‘a Species of an Epick or Heroick Poeme’ (see Campbell, Divine Poetry and Drama, p. 94). For further discussion, see Chapter 5. 86   See Quarles’s prefaces to the reader, A Feast For Wormes (1620), Hadassa: or, the History of Qveene Ester (1621), and Iob Militant (1624). 87  Quarles, Hadassa: or, the History of Qveene Ester, ‘A Preface to the Reader’, sigs A3r–v. 88  Quarles, A Feast for Wormes, ‘To the Reader’, ¶2r. 89   Streete, ‘Frances Quarles’ Early Poetry’, par. 18.



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Rip’ned Aduice, and sage Deliberations; And if those Kingdomes be but ill be-blest, Whose Rule’s committed to a young mans brest; Then such Estates are more vnhappy farre, Whose choycest Councellors but Children are: How many Kingdomes blest with high renowne, (In all things happy else) haue plac’d their Crowne Vpon the temples of a childish head, Vntill with ruine, King, or State be sped!

Richard II, he declares, was undone by ‘greene aduisements’, and the meditation concludes with a rousing address to ‘My sacred Sou’raigne, in whose onely brest, /A wise Assembl’ of Priuy Councels rest’.90 In January 1621, tension flared between James and the parliament he was forced to recall over the question of military intervention in Europe, and in this context, Quarles’s meditations are strong endorsements of the king’s ultimate authority in the model of mixed monarchy to which he refers. Quarles dedicates Hadassa to James and he was firmly in the king’s anti-militant camp, but as Adrian Streete explores, he does not desist from a very pointed critique of young and unwise counsellors, almost certainly directed at the king’s young favourite George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham.91 Quarles’s loyalty to the concept of royal prerogative is clear: in his twenty-ninth and penultimate meditation, he concludes that moral law ‘lyes in Kings’, and ‘A lawfull King / Is God’s Lieu-tenant; in his sacred eare / God whispers oft, and keepes his Presence there’.92 Karl Höltgen has pointed out that this meditation echoes James’s own claims for the divine right of kings, with which Quarles had an active ideological sympathy.93 Streete’s nuanced exploration of Quarles’s politics and poetry in the 1620s, however, makes it clear that Quarles’s loyalty to James and his endorsement of his anti-militant stance does not mean that he adopts an uncritical voice; to the contrary, it ‘demonstrates that moderate Protestant opinion was often no less vociferous in its criticisms of policy and social ills than other more obviously “radical” writers’.94 Quarles’s Hadassa, then, illustrates the potential for a biblical verse

 Quarles, Hadassa, sigs E2r–v.   Streete, ‘Frances Quarles’ Early Poetry’, par. 22.   Alexander B. Grosart, ed., The Complete Works in Prose and Verse of Francis Quarles, 3 vols, vol. 2 (New York: AMS Press, 1967), p. 66 (this page is missing on EEBO). 93   ODNB, vol. 45, p. 660. Quarles presented The Workes of King James (1616) to Christ’s College, Cambridge, in about 1625. For the evolution of his political views and allegiances, see Robert Wilcher, The Writing of Royalism, 1628–1660 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001). 94   Street, ‘Frances Quarles’ Early Poetry’, par. 31. 90 91 92

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paraphrase to make pointed and nuanced comment on contemporary politics, expressing loyalty to the king and warning of the dangers of ‘greene aduisements’. Southwell’s admiration for Francis Quarles is declared in an ingenious, interlinking acrostic poem in the Folger manuscript, where she describes him as ‘Quaintest of all the Heliconian traine’ and declares ‘Fayne would I dye whil’st thy braue muse doth liue’.95 Linda L. Dove has noted that Quarles himself utilized alphabetized verse forms in his Sion’s Elegies (1624) and in his tribute to John Aylmer, An Alphabet of Elegies (1625), and it is correct to link Southwell’s admiration to Quarles’s early works: his Emblemes were not published until 1635, the year before Southwell’s death.96 I contend, however, that she is responding most specifically to the verse paraphrases. Southwell’s acrostic, as the Folger manuscript has been compiled, occurs on folio 17, interposed between her first scriptural paraphrase on the Decalogue and a brief and witty lyric on the creation of Adam (fols 12–16), and ‘A Letter to Doctor Adam Bpp of Limerick by the Lady A:S:’, which is in fact a longer poem on the creation of Adam, of 122 lines (fols 18–19r). Her acrostic is therefore positioned amidst her own biblical verse paraphrases—and even the witty lyric on the creation of Adam later reappears, integrated into a rewritten version of her longer Adam poem, this time addressed to her neighbour and parish curate in Acton, Roger Cox. Southwell’s poem to Bishop Adams must date before the death of its addressee, Bernard Adams, Bishop of Limerick, in 1626, indicating that she was already writing biblical verse paraphrase in the earlier 1620s.97 Southwell’s willingness to rewrite and readdress biblical poetry to social affiliates also makes it very clear that her biblical verse paraphrases, like Quarles’s, are not a mode of private devotion: they address diverse and specific audiences, and are modulated and rendered specific to their audience in each particular case.98 Southwell’s ‘Letter to Doctor Adam’ fuses religious and social discourses in its title formula: the biblical Adam, her poem’s subject, is presented

  Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, p. 20.   Linda L. Dove, ‘Composing (to) a Man of Letters: Lady Anne Southwell’s Acrostic to Francis Quarles’, American Notes and Queries 11, no. 1 (1998): pp. 12–17 (p. 13). 97   Burke, ‘Medium and Meaning’, pp. 98, 116–117. Intriguingly, Adams published three tracts on the union of the crowns of England and Scotland, printed in 1604, 1605, and 1641 (Burke). 98   My argument here differs from that of Gillian Wright, who believes that the direction of literary traffic in Southwell’s poetry is ‘typically inwards’, and that the king is ‘the one reader, outside her own family, she seems to have seriously considered’ (Producing Women’s Poetry, pp. 46, 56). 95 96



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as a type for the Adam whom she addresses in a socio-poetic capacity. Southwell turns at line 13 to address the bishop: If this extent of paper could suffice to show how Adam fell how hee might rise Good reuerend Father I will doe my best and where I fayle doe yow supply the rest. (13–16)

The lines which follow elaborate the ‘greife, calamitye dispayre’ to which the fallen Adam and all his sons are subject, before Southwell addresses her poetic Adam and the bishop, simultaneously, in a rousing exhortation: ‘But Adam rise, virtue consists in action / Open those euerlastinge gates whose Center / leades to thy heart & lett Iehouah enter’ (27, 86–88). She asserts here the power of listening to God’s precepts, or indeed of setting them out in poetic paraphrase, as a kind of devout action, the opening of the gates which will lead the listener to ‘three thrones directinge thy ascension’: faith, hope, and love (93). It is a coherent and well-formed poetic performance, belying her conventional protestations of her ‘feeble Muse’ and attesting rather to the ‘true harmony’ that she hopes her pen will be granted by ‘heauens mighty Kinge’ (18–19).99 The poetic coherence of the ‘Letter’ to Bishop Adams makes it all the more intriguing that Southwell later rewrites the verse for another addressee: long passages of the poem to Adams are rehashed in a 114-line poem that runs from folio 26v to 26r of the Folger manuscript. (As Jonathan Gibson has demonstrated, this leaf has been tipped in to the Folger manuscript the wrong way around, meaning that the poem needs to be read from verso to recto.100) This version of the poem reuses the formula of address to Adams, this time to ask, ‘My noble Neighbour I will doe my best / and wheare I faile, please you supplye the rest.’ Southwell is almost certainly addressing Roger Cox, the curate at Acton, as she also asks that ‘If you haue lost your fflowinge sweete humiddities / and in a dust disdaine theise quantities / Pass it to oure beloued Docter Featlye’, a reference to Daniel Featley, the absentee rector of St Mary’s church in Acton, to whom Cox acted as deputy.101 Southwell’s two poems on Genesis are representative of the densely palimpsestic texture of her biblical verse paraphrase across her manuscripts, and reveal her use of divine poetry in a continuum with her social elegies and epitaphs: as a pliable, malleable poetic form that can be rewritten, reworked, and readdressed to forge and foster

  Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, pp. 21–24.   Gibson, ‘Synchrony and Process’, pp. 90–93. Gibson points out that the poem is incomplete, probably because the second leaf of a bifolium is missing. 101   Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, pp. 40–43. 99

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social and political networks, as well as to address social and state political issues. Southwell’s friendship with Cox is well evidenced in the Folger manuscript, but we have no sense of whether she knew Bishop Adams personally, and Burke suggests it is unlikely that she ever met Daniel Featley.102 There are at least two possible connections with Quarles: like the Duchess of Lennox’s husband, he had accompanied Princess Elizabeth to the Palatinate in 1613; and he served as secretary to James Ussher, Bishop of Armagh in Ireland, between 1626 and 1630.103 Southwell’s poem on the creation of Adam to Roger Cox opens in a starkly polemical fashion, remonstrating with her addressee on his ‘resolved’ and wilfully heretical views on the place of women: Sr. giue mee leaue to plead my Grandams cause. and prooue her Charter from Iehouæs Lawes. Whereby I hope to drawe you ere you dye. From a ⌈resolu’d⌉ and wilfull herresye. In thinkinge ffemales haue so little witt as but to serue men they are only fitt. (1–6)

Southwell’s defence of Eve continues in the lines that follow: [God] brought her vnto Adam as a bride the text saith shee was taken from his syde A symbolle of that syde from whence did flowe Christ’s spouse (the Church) as all wise men doe knowe But Adam slept, as saith the historie, vncapable of such a mistarie And they sleepe still that doe not vnderstand the curiouse ffabrick of th’almighties hand. (15–22)104

These lines are a version of the brief, witty lyric that is self-standing on folio 16r, where the concluding lines are an acerbic inditement of the original Adam: ‘This is a misterie, perhaps too deepe. / for blockish Adam that was falen a sleepe’ (9–10). Southwell appears to soften her critique in her poem to Cox, as the specific and pithy condemnation of ‘blockish Adam’ is expanded into a more general description of ‘they [who] sleepe’.105 If   Burke, ‘Medium and Meaning’, p. 100.   Dove’s suggestion that ‘Southwell would not have crossed paths with Quarles’ in Ireland is based on an incorrect dating of her return to England as taking place in 1626. The last recorded payment to Henry Sibthorpe from the Corporation of Cork is on 12 December 1627, making it likely that Southwell and Sibthorpe left Ireland around that time. (Dove, ‘Composing (to) a Man of Letters’, p. 14; CSPI, 1625–32, p. 220; Burke, ‘Medium and Meaning’, p. 98). 104   Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, p. 42. 105   Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, pp. 20, 42. Erica Longfellow discusses the witty self-standing verse, Women and Religious Writing, pp. 1–2 and 119–121. 102 103



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anything, however, this less pithy version deepens and extends the lines’ trenchant social critique. The closing address is expanded explicitly to take in any and every man who ‘sleeps’ like Adam, and these sleeping Adams miss not only the significance of the creation of Eve and, by extension, the church, but all sacred mysteries: the most intricate and expansive workings of God, ‘the curiouse ffabrick of th’almighties hand’. Southwell’s defence of Eve is in keeping with combative texts of the querelles des femmes, and her willingness to engage in contemporary social questions through biblical verse paraphrase and its modification is manifest. Quite what she is responding to is less obvious. Cox’s own biblical paraphrase contains no clear provocation but, curiously, Quarles’s Hadassa does: a meditation on the creation of Eve, prompted by Queen Vashti’s disobedience, in which Quarles (via King Assuerus’s vice-regent Memucan) at length ‘propound[s]‌the height of her offence’. Memucan pronouces, ‘Since of a Rib first framed was a Wife, / Let Ribs be Hi’rogliphicks of their life’, and he extracts numerous misogynist morals from the hieroglyph; for example, ‘Ribs are firmely fixt, and seldome moue: / Women (like Ribs) must keepe their wonted home, / And not (like Dinah that was rauish’t) rome.’106 The passage ends with a lengthy insistence that husbands must command and wives obey, the very principle to which Southwell turns in argument after her lines on Eve’s creation out of Adam’s rib: ‘God made a helper meete and can you think / a foole a help, vnless a help to sink.’107 There seems to be little question that the lines on folio 26 are addressed to Cox—the reference to their ‘noble neighbour’ Featley appears to tie it to the Acton community—but it is tempting to believe that Southwell has Quarles in mind as she presents her defence of Eve, a direct riposte to the views that Quarles (or at least his Memucan) expresses on the ‘oeconomicall’ arrangements between husbands and wives. Certainly, a generic debt to Quarles is evident in her rewritten lines on the creation of Adam, which harness ‘the historie’ as Quarles’s meditations do to make explicit social comment and, indeed, to enter into controversy with the ‘oeconomicall’ views that Quarles presents. Southwell’s use of biblical verse paraphrase as a pliable, socially relevant, and politicized poetic genre is most evident in her Decalogue verses on the third and fourth commandments, which appear in the Folger manuscript and, in extended and variant versions, in the Lansdowne manuscript. Her Folger lines on the fourth commandment, ‘Thou shalt keep holy the sabbath day’, are those which meditate on the education of children, and  Quarles, Hadassa, sigs D3r–v.   Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, p. 42. Memucan’s disquisition is an expansion of Esther 1:16–17. 106 107

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Southwell wraps up this long moral diversion with an echo of Quarles, delineating the ‘Ethicks’, ‘polyticks’, and ‘Economicks’ that comprise God’s soldier, ‘he [who] governe[s]‌like a heauen on earth’ (315–317, 321). Three stanzas follow which clearly describe James VI and I, lauded for ‘his books, his woorks, his pyety’, and Southwell upholds the absolute authority of ‘that blest Augustus’, ‘whose powerfull sperit speaking from the lord / makes admyration wayte on every woorde’ (333, 328, 331–332). She is very likely to be articulating an anti-militant stance, like Quarles’s, on the events of the early 1620s, as she describes an ‘all peacefull king’ who ‘pulls noe neyboure princese by the ears / but Immytates that threefolde deytye / and governes gratiusly in his owne sphears’ (328, 334–336). The final of the three stanzas exhorts ‘Long liue this faythfull steward to the lord / his champyon of trew fayth myrror of kings’, although she pulls back at this point, repeating her injunction at the end of her mock elegy on Ridgeway to ‘stay my thoughts’, this time in case she is lost in seeking ‘vayne glory of historyan phame’ (339–340, 345, 351). She then inserts a version of her Bartasian lines on the first commandment, again describing secular writing as a ‘sicknesse tooe tooe much infecting paper’, and repeating her criticism of trying Seneca and Paul ‘with one tutchstone’ and weighing Aristotle with ‘wise Salomon’ (353, 357–358).108 Southwell here stages a rhetorical retreat from political advisement into conventional statements disavowing a public political voice. Southwell’s retreat from offering political advice is at least partially disingenuous—her Decalogue poems opine at numerous points on the nature of ideal kingship—but evaluation of her precise religio-political allegiances is complicated by questions of the poems’ dating. Southwell’s Folger verses on the Decalogue almost certainly date from James VI and I’s reign; those in the Lansdowne manuscript are dedicated to the king, either James or Charles I, and it is frustratingly difficult to identify the precise political moments addressed in them. The Lansdowne verses on the fourth precept no longer contain the three stanzas which clearly describe and celebrate James—perhaps because a specific political crisis, such as that of 1621, had passed; because Southwell had become disenchanted with James’s religious attitudes as the 1620s progressed; or, less likely, because the Lansdowne verses address Charles I. Southwell’s lines on the third precept do acknowledge that kings can ‘proue cruell, gripple or vnkind’, but this is balanced by subjects who can ‘proue false’, and never amounts to a critique of monarchical authority.109 To the contrary, a long passage in the Lansdowne verses on the third precept focuses, as does Quarles in his   Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, pp. 60–72.   Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, p. 136.

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Hadassa, on the role of poor advisors, in what appears to be a particularly pointed critique. Subjects who are false to ‘the Lordes anoynted’ are likened to Achitophel and Judas, and Southwell reflects that ‘I cannott chuse but smile to see these bladders / grow only bigg wth a pestiferous wind, / like naked Iackdawes tumbling from theyr ladders’ (379, 397–399). She concludes these several stanzas with a prayer that ‘all Catelines may perish’—a reference to the Roman politician Catiline, whose conspiracy to overthrow the Roman Republic was the subject of Ben Jonson’s Catiline His Conspiracy (1611)—and that, in contrast, ‘our Augustus happily may florish’ (413–414). The following stanza colloquizes, ‘Thou most almightye, powerfull & immense / thou that makest kinges, & rulest on sea & land / bee thou his tower, his fortresse, & defence’ (415–417).110 James VI and I certainly seems to be the imaginative presence in these meditations on monarchical politics as, twelve stanzas later, she makes passing reference to his Daemonologie (1597). Southwell’s repeated criticism of malign counsellors and her endorsement of the king’s prerogative echoes Quarles and, intriguingly, contrasts with the position of Roger Cox, the Acton curate, in his Hebdomada Sacra (1630). Southwell must have read Cox’s poem well after she embarked on her writing of biblical verse paraphrase, but his poem is also generically indebted to Quarles, presenting the history of the birth of Christ in a series of dilatory moral meditations. Southwell celebrates Cox in her Folger manuscript in a brief poem ‘Written in commendations of Mr Coxe (the Lecturer of Acton) his booke of the birth of Christ’, even though his position on monarchical power is quite different from hers.111 Prompted by Herod’s actions in the wake of Christ’s birth, Cox asks, ‘But here a doubt is mou’d, Must Subiects still / Conforme their manners to their soueraignes will?’ Cox’s conclusion? ‘Not so, Kings are but men, and so may erre, / The King of Kings Edict we must preferre / Before a mortals.’ He goes on to praise Herod’s actions in summoning a parliament, commenting that ‘In this, though else full of impietie, / Herod to Kings a President may be.’112 Elizabeth Clarke points out that this commendation of Herod has a ‘telling resonance’ in the wake of Charles’s dissolution of parliament in 1629, Cox aligning himself with those critical of Charles’s growing absolutism.113 Cox’s position on monarchical absolutism thus appears quite different from Southwell’s, at least as it is expressed in her Lansdowne   Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, pp. 136–137.   Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, p. 28.   Roger Cocks, Hebdomada Sacra: A Weekes Devotion: or, Seven Poeticall Meditations, Vpon the Second Chapter of St. Matthewes Gospell (1630), pp. 28–29. 113   Elizabeth Clarke, ‘Coteries and Culture’, p. 61. 110 111 112

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verses, but the dating of her poems again becomes crucial in the evaluation of her religio-political allegiances. 1629 is a very different political moment to 1621, and Southwell may also have found herself out of step with Caroline religious policies, as her elegies on Gustavus Adolphus and Frederick of Bohemia in 1632 suggest. If Southwell’s Decalogue verses suggest a strong foundation of loyalty to James’s monarchical authority, her association, personal or otherwise, with Daniel Featley, the absentee Rector of Acton, reveals likely elements of religio-political dissent. Featley held extremely Puritan views on the keeping of the sabbath, which brought him into conflict with James VI and I long before he became known as an anti-Arminian controversialist in the 1630s. James VI and I’s Declaration of Sports (1618) endorsed sporting recreations on the sabbath, and Featley got into trouble in 1625 for licensing books advocating sabbatarianism, the Puritan belief that the sabbath should be reserved for exclusively devotional activities.114 Southwell is likely to be echoing Featley’s sabbatarianism in lines on the fourth precept in both the Folger and Lansdowne manuscript, in which she insists ‘Nor art thou bid to sleepe out this high day / to singe, daunce, game or guzzell out thy time. / but in gods vineyard thou art willed to stay’.115 Southwell’s loyalist, moderate Calvinism could clearly contain elements of religio-political critique, as did that of Francis Quarles, as Adrian Streete has shown. Southwell is certainly vehement in her condemnation elsewhere of extreme Puritanism, her lines on the fourth precept in the Lansdowne manuscript condemning those who ‘stripp the [biblical] text as naked as they please’ (542). She describes ‘these deformd reformers of the word’ who ‘scandale the church & hurte the publick peace / more then the popish bulles or Romane sword’ (566–568); and she has no time for ‘sectes & schismes & fowlest heresyes’ which malign the ‘true church’ (582, 578).116 Elizabeth Clarke points out that Southwell critiques here the Family of Love, whose practices were revealed in an anonymous tract, The discovery of the abhominable delusions of those, who call themselves the Family of love (1622), and that Southwell then moves directly to condemnation of Puritans. Clarke suggests that Southwell may be relying on James VI and I’s Basilikon Doron, which condemns those two groups in the same order.117 Southwell’s directly polemical stanzas are scored out but annotated ‘These verses & those that follow though crossed out are fitt to   Elizabeth Clarke, ‘Coteries and Culture’, p. 61; Gibson, EMWMP, p. 60.   Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, pp. 62, 144. 116   Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, pp. 159–160. 117   Elizabeth Clarke, ‘Coteries and Culture’, p. 59. 114 115



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stand’, and the likeness of her own writing to that of James VI and I himself may have emboldened her to include such vehement pronouncement on contemporary religious practice.118 While Southwell aligned herself with Featley on sabbatarianism, she seems otherwise to occupy a position of relatively moderate Calvinism in the 1620s, albeit against a landscape in which ‘mainstream’ religious politics were very rapidly shifing. Nowhere is Southwell’s loyalty to the earthly as well as the heavenly king more complete than in her dedication ‘To the kinges most excellent Matye’ in the Lansdowne manuscript, a dedication that reinforces the sociality of Southwell’s religious verse and indicates the highly aspirational potential of that sociality. Southwell reuses here lines from the Bartasian invocation to her Folger poem on the first commandment: her daring (but avowedly unpresumptuous) attempt to ‘Mount to the heavens’ in her initial invocation in the Folger manuscript is transmuted into her Muse’s daring attempt to ‘present thy Battlike winge, / before the eyes of Brittanes mighty kinge’ in the dedication to the Lansdowne poems (2–3).119 Most strikingly, the very lines in which she proclaims her inadequacy to describe God in the initial invocation are written upside down on the back of her dedication in the Lansdowne manuscript, apparently intending to form part of her address to the king: wth feet of clay to enter the most hollye or watrye balles to stare against ye Sunne alas it is but blinde presumptuous follie a parchase sought, by wch wee are vndonne if off thy court I am, there will I rest leaue secret councell to thy sacred brest.

The tension potentially inherent in Southwell’s alteration of her lines on the ‘sun’ of God to take in her earthly king is defused before it presents itself, because her heavenly and earthly monarch are essentially one and the same. The king ‘all other states exceedes as farre / as doth the sunne a litle glimmering starre’ (3–4), and she concludes her dedication with a parallelism which pithily articulates her view of God and king as one: Thou art the nursing father of all pietye, the mightye champion for the Deitye. Tis of the high Iehouah I doe singe. To whome doth this belonge but to the kinge. great God of heauen, thankes for thy gracious fauours   Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, p. 159.   Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, pp. 124–125.

118 119

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Southwell’s description of the king as ‘the nursing father of all pietye’ sits in stark contrast to Elizabeth Melville’s view of the same monarch; it iterates James’s image of himself, which he used in his treatises on kingship, as the nutritus or nursing father of the church, and it ties back to Southwell’s description of his works, books, and piety in the Folger manuscript.120 Southwell must also have been encouraged in dedicating biblical verse paraphrase to James by his known admiration for Du Bartas and for divine poeticization—and, indeed, by his own publication of politicized paraphrases of scripture. James had published paraphrases of 1 Chronicles 15 and Revelation 20 in 1588 and 1589 respectively, in direct response to the Armada, asserting himself as a stalwart Protestant king and the Pope as the Antichrist, and using biblical paraphrase to self-fashion his kingship in the public eye.121 Even if Southwell’s Decalogue verses were later adapted for presentation to Charles I, they are deeply embedded in a Jacobean culture of politicized biblical verse paraphrase. In her multiple rewritings of her biblical verses for Adams, Cox, and the king, Southwell uses biblical verse not only as a means of personal devotion, but to address friends, associates, and more aspirational subjects, and to make ethical, ‘oeconomicall’ and political comment on the world around her. ‘ T H E WO R K E S O F T H E L A D Y A N N S OT H W E L L’ A N D M A N U S C R I P T C I RC U L AT I O N The Folger and Lansdowne manuscripts evince a wide socio-political circle in which Southwell actively and confidently circulated her letters, lyrics, and biblical verse paraphrases, ever alert to the advantages and advances 120   For James VI and I’s self-construction as the nursing father of the church, see James Doelman, King James and the Religious Culture of England (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2000), pp. 1–2. 121   James VI and I, Ane Frvitfvll Meditatioun contening ane Plane and Facill Expositioun of ye 7.8.9 and 10 versis of the 20 Chap. of the Reuelatioun in forme of ane sermone (Edinburgh, 1588) and Ane Meditatioun vpon the xxv, xxvi, xxvii, xxviii, and xxix verses of the xv Chapt. of the first buke of the Chronicles of the Kingis (Edinburgh, 1589). These were reprinted in anglicized versions in 1603, and in the king’s Works (1616). See Astrid Stilma, ‘James VI and I as a Religious Writer’, in Literature and the Scottish Reformation, edited by Crawford Gribben and David George Mullan (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2009), pp. 127–141; and Jane Rickard, Authorship and Authority: The Writings of James VI and I (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2007). See Chapter 1.



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that her elite social networks might afford. Her career as a composer of textual ephemera and as a participant in the news games of the Jacobean court is likely to have begun early in the seventeenth century, and her authorship of social verses to Cicely, Lady Ridgeway throughout Ridgeway’s life (and after her death) almost certainly attests to a long-standing friendship that had begun as maids of honour to Queen Elizabeth in the 1590s. Southwell’s brief lyrics and her biblical verse paraphrases alike attest to a wide range of poetic influences and suggest the travel of poetic texts both inwards and outwards.122 Networks of readers and writers in Ireland and in England can be traced not only through the names of those to whom she writes and whose poetry is collected in her manuscripts, but through the plasticity of her poems themselves, as she rewrites them for specific addressees. Marie-Louise Coolahan has written compellingly of Southwell’s importation of ‘the mechanisms of English manuscript culture’ to Ireland when she settled there in the early seventeenth century, and of her use of verse to consolidate social connections in Munster.123 Coolahan sees the poetic network that Southwell sought to forge in Ireland in ideal terms, as a literary community that would concur with a sharpened vision of devout, Protestant poetry, although it is clear that Southwell’s disavowal of secular poetry, in her defence of poetry and in her Decalogue verses, is at least partially disingenuous. She continued, into the 1630s, to compose social ephemera such as the poem to the Duchess of Lennox and the elegies on the kings of Sweden and Bohemia; and her religious verses are as plastic and as social as her brief lyrics, malleable texts that are reworked and reframed for address to her contemporaries. The Lansdowne versions of the Decalogue poems addressed to the king not only evince Southwell attempting to forge socio-poetic connections at the highest level, but illustrate her bold willingness to incorporate into those poems clear commentary on monarchical politics. The Folger manuscript, indeed, may well have been compiled specifically to preserve the record of Southwell’s socio-literary activities, and even to preserve and consolidate the social capital generated by them. Its dating of 1626 on its first folio belies its contents, which date from the early 1600s until Southwell’s death, and the manuscript concludes with an epitaph on Southwell herself, written by her second husband, Henry Sibthorpe. Sibthorpe’s epitaph praises a number of exemplary qualities in his wife: she   This view differs from Gillian Wright’s in Producing Women’s Poetry, p. 46.  Coolahan, Women, Writing, and Language in Early Modern Ireland, p. 193. Coolahan’s study draws a parallel between Southwell’s construction of poetic networks in Ireland and that of Katherine Philips during her years in Dublin. 122 123

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was ‘The Paterne of / Conjugall loue / and obedience’ (striking, given her own less conventional pronouncements on wifely obedience) and ‘the compleate character of female perfection’. Sibthorpe’s epitaph is flanked on folio 73r by two further memorializing poems, one by Sibthorpe and the other by Roger Cox, ‘a true louer & admirer’ of Southwell’s virtues.124 This manuscript memorial to Southwell once had a genuine lapidary parallel: a monument to Southwell in St Mary’s church, Acton originally mimicked the layout of folio 73r in the Folger manuscript, with Sibthorpe’s epitaph on a black stone tablet and two boards to the left and right bearing the Cox and Sibthorpe memorial poems.125 The construction of Anne Southwell’s literary legacy by these two men has attracted a good deal of modern attention. Burke suggests that Sibthorpe compiled the Folger manuscript as ‘a kind of testament to his wife’s poetic skills’, while Longfellow suggests that he may have presented it to his wealthy in-laws, in an attempt to curry favour with them (it turned up in the nineteenth century in the Southwell library).126 Whether or not Sibthorpe had a specific financial goal in mind, harking back to a time in which his wife’s poetic and rhetorical skills ensured their place among the Anglo-Irish elite, literary and socio-political motivations are inherently intertwined in the preservation of Southwell’s works: the compilation of the Folger manuscript serves to collect, preserve, and thereby to consolidate and extend, the links with associates and superiors that her social verse itself effects. Biblical verse paraphrase is preserved in this context as a social as well as a religious artefact: it is evidence of Southwell’s exemplary womanhood, of her social and intellectual standing, and of her construction through religio-political verse of a community of friends and associates. Southwell’s verses in the Lansdowne manuscript are also followed by a verse by her second husband: a poem of recommendation, insisting that ‘her chiefest studye is / to know god’, and that ‘these graue & holy meditations / were not her worke but her sweet recreations’.127 Henry Sibthorpe’s insistence on his wife’s conformity to cultural injunctions that women be silent but for the word is less interesting and less accurate than Southwell’s evident and traceable engagement in a culture of socially engaged and politicized biblical verse paraphrase. It is also clear that Sibthorpe’s insistence is disingenuous: the wide range of addressees and associates delineated in her manuscripts tells a different story, and Sibthorpe himself describes   Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, pp. 113–116.   John Bowack, The Second Part, of the Antiquities of Middlesex (London: S. Keble, D. Brown, A. Roper, R. Smith, and F. Coggan, 1706), pp. 51–52. 126   Burke, ‘Women and Seventeenth-Century Manuscript Culture’, p. 62; Longfellow, Women and Religious Writing, p. 104. 127   Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, pp. 162–163. 124 125



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Southwell as ‘Publicklye honered by her Soveraigne’.128 Tantalizingly, two of several half-line fragments at the opening of Sibthorpe’s poem (it is damaged in the Lansdowne manuscript) refer to ‘this divine poem’ and ‘[t]‌hese moderne times’, and it is precisely in the harnessing of divine paraphrase and reflection on modern times that Southwell participates in the culture of politicized biblical verse paraphrase that Quarles represents. In Sibthorpe’s now fragmentary description, in their multiple textual variants, and in the evidence of their dedication and circulation, Southwell’s biblical poems reveal a practice of devout poetics that is starkly politicized, extending recent critical insights that devout poetics and socio-political engagement were far from mutually exclusive. Christina Luckyj has focused on the political implications of religious expression in Rachel Speght’s Mortalities Memorandum, insisting that we read the long biblical poem as a contribution to the radical Calvinist cause, and in terms of ‘a community of writers, preachers, and publishers defined not by gender but by religious politics’;129 and her reading of A Mouzell for Melastomus extends this view. Rachel Speght’s poetics, like those of Anne Southwell, radically overturn any sense that women’s biblical poetry is a quiet mode of personal devotion; to the contrary, we are increasingly aware that biblical verse paraphrase could operate as a pointedly political genre in the period, even though its densely biblical language and tropes may obscure its political valences to the modern reader. For a woman like Southwell, the religious and rhetorically modest nature of biblical verse paraphrase made it a uniquely accessible and appropriable mode for socio-political engagement, and in this regard, the influence of Du Bartas and Quarles is felt in women’s poetic writing long into the seventeenth century. I will return in the final chapter of this book to explore the little-recognized afterlives of these writers in Lucy Hutchinson’s extended poem on Genesis, Order and Disorder.

  Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, p. 114.   Christina Luckyj, ‘Rachel Speght and the “Criticall Reader”’, ELR 36 (2006): 227– 249; Christina Luckyj, ‘A Mouzell for Melastomus in Context: Rereading the Swetnam– Speght Debate’, ELR 40, no. 1 (2010): pp. 113–131. 128 129

3 ‘When that shee heard the drumms and cannon play’ Jane Cavendish and Occasional Verse Vpon the right honourable the Lady Jane Cauendish her booke of uerses Madame at first I scarsely could belieue That you soe wittyly could tyme deceiue Or that in garrison your muse durst stay When that shee heard the drumms and cannon play.1

Jane Cavendish and her book of verses plunge us directly into the open political conflict of the English Civil Wars, and into a coterie poetic environment intimately connected with the embattled culture of royalism in the 1640s. Jane was of impeccable royalist pedigree: the eldest daughter of William Cavendish, first Duke of Newcastle and his first wife, Elizabeth Basset Howard, she grew up at the family seat of Welbeck Abbey in Nottinghamshire, which was in the 1630s the centre of a royalist coterie literary culture. Newcastle entertained Charles I at Welbeck in May 1633, and he did so even more lavishly when Charles visited Welbeck and Bolsover (the family’s estate in Derbyshire) with the queen in 1634, a visit at which Jane, aged twelve, would have been present.2 Newcastle became directly attached to the royal household as tutor to Prince Charles in 1638, a post he held for three years; he 1   Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, MS Osborn b. 233, p. 77. 2   ODNB, vol. 10, p. 656; Victoria E. Burke and Marie-Louise Coolahan, ‘The Literary Contexts of William Cavendish and his Family’, in Religion, Culture and Society in Early



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then commanded the royalist forces in the north of England during the first Civil War. Following the catastrophic defeat of royalist forces at Marston Moor in July 1644, Newcastle and his sons, brother, and extensive entourage fled to the continent where they remained until the Restoration, and where Newcastle married his second wife, the poet Margaret Lucas Cavendish, in late 1645.3 Jane Cavendish took charge of Welbeck and of Bolsover Castle, the family’s Derbyshire estate, in mid-1644, in her father’s and brothers’ absence and with her mother very recently deceased.4 Parliamentary forces took Welbeck and Bolsover in August, with Jane and her younger sisters Elizabeth and Frances living at Welbeck under house arrest; the house came briefly under royalist control in July 1645, but it was finally retaken by Parliamentarian forces in November 1645. By then, at the latest, the three sisters had departed: Coolahan believes that Jane and Frances ‘must have decamped to Bolsover’, although Travitsky believes that they may have gone with their middle sister Elizabeth to Ashridge, the home of John Egerton, Lord Brackley (later second Earl of Bridgewater).5 Elizabeth was married to Egerton in 1641, but she stayed at Welbeck until late 1645, being ‘too young to be bedded’ at the time of her marriage, in her stepmother Margaret’s words.6 Jane’s poetry, certainly, locates all three sisters at Welbeck together in 1644 and part of 1645. Cavendish’s poetry is preserved in two manuscripts, Beinecke Library, MS Osborn b. 233 (the Yale manuscript) and Bodleian Library, MS Rawl. poet. 16 (the Oxford manuscript), both of which contain over eighty poems by her, as well as a pastoral play written in collaboration with her sister Elizabeth. The Oxford manuscript is apparently a later compilation, and contains a further eight poems and a second collaborative play, The

Modern Nottinghamshire, edited by Martyn Bennett (Lewiston: Edwin Mellen Press, 2005), pp. 115–141 (p. 139). 3   ODNB, vol. 10, p. 660. 4   Elizabeth Bassett Cavendish died in April 1643. 5  Marie-Louise Coolahan, ‘Presentation Volume of Jane Cavendish’s Poetry: Yale University, Beinecke Library Osborn MS b. 233’, in EMWMP, pp. 87–96 (p. 88); Betty S. Travitsky, Subordination and Authorship in Early Modern England: The Case of Elizabeth Cavendish Egerton and Her ‘Loose Papers’ (Tempe, AZ: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1999), pp. 64–65. 6   Margaret Cavendish, The Life of William Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle, to which is added the True Relation of my Birth, Breeding and Life, ed. C. H. Firth (London: John C. Nimmo, 1886), p. 141. Suggesting that Jane and Frances went to Ashridge with their sister, Travitsky notes Jane’s description in a later document of ‘2 pare of holland sheets which I used to lie in at Welbeck, I brought with mee to Ashridge, & from thens to Chellsey’ (p. 65). Chelsea was Jane’s home after her marriage in 1654.

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Concealed Fansyes.7 The poetry is overwhelmingly occasional in nature and the Yale manuscript explicitly contextualizes its composition: it is prefaced by a dedication to Jane’s father, signed by her, and it concludes, after a number of blank pages, with an anonymous commendatory verse that emphasizes the conditions of political extremity under which Jane wrote, ‘When that shee heard the drumms and cannon play’. Cavendish’s situation as a garrisoned woman writer in charge of her house and household in the absence of male family members was not unique. Ann, Lady Fanshawe took charge of her father’s house in the 1640s, and Anne, Lady Halkett took a stand against Cromwell’s men in Fyvie, Scotland in 1651–1652; on the other side of the conflict, the ardently Protestant Brilliana Harley stood fast at her house at Brampton Bryan when it was besieged by royalists in July 1643, defending her position in part through a series of ‘carefully phrased’ letters.8 Susan Wiseman has noted of Harley that ‘within the discourses that have been understood as removing women from politics—family, household, kinship—that very relationship [to politics] can be traced’.9 Cavendish’s occasional verse, similarly, evinces the intertwining of familial and kinship loyalties and political ideologies, and the emergence of female political articulation out of the discourses of the familial relationship. If Harley is an ‘exemplary wife’ whose ‘authority . . . derived from her husband’s status and property’, the authorizing figure of Jane Cavendish’s politicized occasional verse is, in every way, her absent father.10 The centrality of Newcastle to Jane’s and her sister Elizabeth’s writing has been much noted, but discussion to date has focused almost exclusively on the Cavendish family’s dramatic texts, generating a sense of what Marion Wynne-Davies calls a ‘shared commitment’ to dramatic writing in the Cavendish family circle. Wynne-Davies describes a ‘Cavendish family discourse’, but very little attention has been paid to the place in that familial discourse of occasional poetics, and of a culture of elite poetic 7   Burke and Coolahan, ‘The Literary Contexts of William Cavendish’, p. 128. Alexandra G. Bennett discusses the relationship between the Yale and Oxford manuscripts in ‘“Now let my language speake”: The Authorship, Rewriting, and Audience(s) of Jane Cavendish and Elizabeth Brackley’, Early Modern Literary Studies 11 (2005): pp. 3.1–13, . 8   For Halkett and Fanshawe, see John Loftis, ed., The Memoirs of Anne, Lady Halkett and Ann, Lady Fanshawe (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1979). For Harley, see Johanna Harris, ‘“Scruples and Ceremonies”: Lady Brilliana Harley’s Epistolary Combat’, Early Modern Women and the Apparatus of Authorship, edited by Sarah C. E. Ross, Patricia Pender, and Rosalind Smith, Parergon 29, no. 2 (2012): pp. 93–112 (p. 93). 9   Susan Wiseman, Conspiracy and Virtue: Women, Writing, and Politics in SeventeenthCentury England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), p. 78. 10  Wiseman, Conspiracy and Virtue, p. 78.



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sociality.11 Newcastle was not only a dramatist and a dramatic patron: he was also a prolific writer of poetry, and manuscript volumes at the Hallward Library, University of Nottingham collect together poetry written by him, spanning decades between the 1630s and the 1670s. These manuscripts—in particular Portland MS PwV 25, a composite volume of occasional verse—provide a direct precedent for his daughter’s poetry, as we shall see. Newcastle’s poetry is addressed to the royal family, to his own family, and to an extended network of prominent friends and associates; it manifestly does coterie work, fostering the socially embedded poetic writing that constituted one of the many intellectual and literary activities cultivated in his elite and royalist circle of patronage and authorship.12 Jane Cavendish’s literary practice is deeply embedded in her father’s culture of the occasional verse, with all of the ‘specificity and circumstantiality’ that typifies the social mode,13 and his poetic example adds a vital—and specifically textual—layer to the extent to which she can be seen as articulating her politics through the discourses of family, household, and kinship. Newcastle’s poetic example also makes clear another gap in scholarship on the Cavendish sisters’ writing: previous discussion has drawn attention to the significance of Newcastle as a central trope, but he also represents a poetic model for Jane in ways that are to date little 11  The exceptions are Margaret J. M. Ezell’s foundational discussion, ‘“To Be Your Daughter in Your Pen”: The Social Functions of Literature in the Writings of Lady Elizabeth Brackley and Lady Jane Cavendish’, HLQ 51 (1988): pp. 281–296; and Burke and Coolahan, ‘The Literary Contexts of William Cavendish’. Marion Wynne-Davies focuses on Jane and Elizabeth’s collaborative dramatic works in her Women Writers and Familial Discourse in the English Renaissance: Relative Values (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007); as does Kate Chedgzoy in Women’s Writing in the British Atlantic World: Memory, Place and History, 1550–1700 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007); and Alison Findlay, ‘Sisterly Feelings in Cavendish and Brackley’s Drama’, in Sibling Relations and Gender in the Early Modern World: Sisters, Brothers and Others, edited by Naomi J. Miller and Naomi Yavneh (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006), pp. 195–205. Lynne Hulse edits only Newcastle’s ‘dramatic works and fragments’ in Dramatic Works by William Cavendish (Oxford: The Malone Society, 1996), omitting the occasional poems in the Portland manuscripts. Katherine R. Larson discusses Cavendish’s poems in Early Modern Women in Conversation (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), although she reads them through the lens of ‘epistolary and dramatic’ conversation, rather than through that of the conventions of poetic occasionality (p. 116). 12   Timothy Raylor describes Welbeck, Newcastle, and his brother Charles Cavendish as the centre of a ‘complex solar system’ of intellectual activity in the 1630s, in an article that focuses on scientific enquiry rather than poetic writing (‘Newcastle’s Ghosts: Robert Payne, Ben Jonson, and the “Cavendish Circle”’, in Literary Circles and Cultural Communities in Renaissance England, edited by Claude J. Summers and Ted-Larry Pebworth (Columbia and London: University of Missouri Press, 2000), pp. 92–114 (p. 96)). 13   Thomas N. Corns, ‘Thomas Carew, Sir John Suckling, and Richard Lovelace’, in The Cambridge Companion to English Poetry, Donne to Marvell, edited by Thomas N. Corns (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), pp. 200–220 (p. 209).

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explored.14 Directing her occasional verse back to the ‘great Example’ of her father, she draws on the rhetoric and forms of his own verse in order to trope him as a familial patriarch fused with the national one, the king; and she exploits the generic fluidity of the occasional verse to fuse the social, devotional, and political moment, and to identify her father with the divine. Writing to and through her father, Cavendish adopts and adapts the apparently modest genres of occasional and coterie poetic culture, and the sociality integral to those lyric modes, in order to articulate her allegiance to the royalist cause. J A N E A N D T H E C AV E N D I S H FA M I LY D I S C O U R S E :  O C C A S I O N A L V E R S E A N D C OT E R I E P O E T I C S The centrality of her father to Jane Cavendish’s literary practice and to her sense of herself as a poet is immediately apparent in her dedication to him in the Yale manuscript: My Lord, As nature ownes my creation from you, & my selfe my Education; soe deuty inuites mee to dedicate my workes to you, as the onely Patterne of Judgement, that can make mee happy, if these fanceys may owne sense, they wayte vpon your Lordshipp as the Center[;]‌if witt, I humbly thanke your Lordshipp; & if a distinction of Judgement, God reward your Lordshipp. For in a word, what I haue of good, is wholly deriued from you, as the soule of bounty and this booke desires no other purchas, then a smyle from your Lordshipp or a word of like, wch will glorifie your creature. (p. 1)15

Cavendish attributes to her father all sense, wit, and distinction of judgement that is to be found in her poetry, and she follows the dedication with a poem reiterating the terms of the dedication. Newcastle is the ‘great Example’: you are the Accademy of all trueth, And our next worlds great Example, that’s youth Good natures quintessence you are all knowes, And by your happy sword conquer’d your foes, 14   Burke and Coolahan’s ‘The Literary Contexts of William Cavendish and his Family’ is the exception to this, containing essential preliminary work on the contents of Cavendish’s poetic miscellanies. 15   Transcriptions in this chapter are taken from the Yale manuscript (unless otherwise specified), and follow its pagination. Excerpts of the Yale manuscript are published in Coolahan, EMWMP, although my transcriptions differ in some places from Coolahan’s in minor ways.



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For Courage, witt, and Judgement, this is true, With natures perfect frame, tis’ only you, This Carrecter of Trueth, none can butt see Tis’ Newcastles Excellence, none but hee. (p. 3)

Courage, wit, and judgement here combine to render Newcastle the essence of goodness, the character of truth—and military prowess, his ‘happy sword’, is but one of his quintessential qualities. Jane has gleaned her best qualities from her father’s ‘great Example’, and she presents her poetry back to him as ‘the onely Patterne of Judgement, that can make mee happy’. These are terms of praise that are much reiterated throughout the poetry in the remainder of the manuscript, repeatedly constructing Newcastle as the centre of his daughter’s verse on every level. In presenting her own poetry back to her father, Cavendish is writing herself into a family culture of elite poetic sociality over which her father presided, at least as important as the ‘shared commitment’ to dramatic writing that has already received extensive attention. Newcastle was a prominent literary patron—dubbed ‘our English Mecoenas’ by Gerard Langbaine—and his compendious ‘Newcastle manuscript’ at the British Library includes key witnesses to a number of Ben Jonson’s dramatic texts, including three Jonson masques performed in Newcastle’s households; it is a preeminent collection of Jonson’s works.16 But the Newcastle manuscript is also an important poetic collection: it includes an extensive collection of Donne’s poetry, including the Holy Sonnets, which Newcastle’s and Cavendish’s own poems echo, and a wide range of social verse by Richard Andrews, Thomas Carew, and others. It maps out an extensive socio-poetic network, collecting, for example, Ben Jonson’s elegies on members of the Cavendish and Ogle families (William’s mother was Catherine, Baroness Ogle), Richard Andrews’ epithalamium on Gervase Clifton’s marriage to Penelope Rich, and a poem on the Castlehaven scandal—as well as a poem written to Jane in August 1629, when she would have been eight years old.17 Newcastle also actively encouraged and promoted the writing of women in his family. One volume among the collection of his manuscripts at the Hallward Library, University of Nottingham includes a series of epigrammatic addresses from Newcastle to his young children, and their responses in their own hands. To ‘Sweet Jane’ he writes, ‘I knowe you are a rare Inditer. / And hath the Pen of a redye writer’; to her younger and 16   ODNB, vol. 10, p. 662; British Library, Harleian MS 4955; Burke and Coolahan, ‘The Literary Contexts of William Cavendish’, p. 116. 17   The poem, signed ‘Franc: Andrilla’, is on fols 86v–87r.

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apparently more reluctant sister Elizabeth (who later collaborated with Jane on A Pastorall and The Concealed Fansyes) he entreats, ‘Bess, you muste write to, write butt what you thinke.’18 The manuscript also contains Newcastle’s poem of praise to his second wife, ‘To the Lady Newcastle of Her Booke of Poems’, which was published in the prefatory material to her Poems, and Fancies (1653). Margaret Cavendish’s desire for fame as a published poet is boldly articulated in her own preface to that volume, and it is actively encouraged by Newcastle, who compares her in his poem to Spenser, Jonson, Fletcher and Beaumont, Shakespeare, and Chaucer.19 Newcastle’s poem operates, as Burke and Coolahan describe, to place Margaret in a ‘very specific literary genealogy . . . which participates in the print professionalization of the writer’, a definition of Margaret as a professional poet that is ‘entirely absent . . . from his own (or his daughters’) self-positioning in manuscript culture’.20 Jane Cavendish’s own ‘fancies’ are overtly indebted to the less ambitious language, style, and genres of literary sociality in manuscript in which her father participated: her poems owe far more to William Cavendish’s model than to that of Margaret, and her eccentric stepmother’s verse owes very little to the models provided by either of them. Newcastle’s own poems collected in the Portland manuscripts provide the most vital context and precedent for Jane Cavendish’s social and occasional verse. Portland MS PwV25, in particular, is a volume of Newcastle’s miscellaneous poetry, on single sheets and bifolios, dating between the 1630s and the end of his life in the 1670s, and bound together in the nineteenth century.21 It opens with a series of poems in praise of the royal family that date from the 1630s, and it proceeds through a succession of character poems, elegies, and epitaphs on a wide range of associates, including Jonson, Sir Kenelm Digby, and the Ogle relatives. Immediately striking is the extent to which Newcastle’s poems of social praise utilize the same descriptive palette as his daughter’s: a ‘worthy Ladie’ is ‘our wonder, great example’; Endymion Porter is ‘A Patterne of true Frendship’; and Jonson, in an epitaph, is he ‘who brought us language, learning, Iudgment, Witt’.22 Newcastle, that is, hails Ben Jonson in exactly the same 18   Portland MS PwV 25, fols 18r–v. Newcastle’s addresses and his children’s responses are reproduced in Travitsky, Subordination and Authorship, pp. 26–30. 19  In her prefatory letter ‘TO ALL NOBLE, AND WORTHY LADIES’, Margaret declares ‘all I desire, is Fame, and Fame is nothing but a great noise, and noise lives most in a Multitude; wherefore I wish my Book may set a worke every Tongue’ (sig. A3). 20   Burke and Coolahan, ‘The Literary Contexts of William Cavendish’, p. 130. 21  Hulse, Dramatic Works by William Cavendish, pp. xvii–xix. 22   Portland MS PwV 25, fols 29r, 9v, 27v; another poem, ‘To Ben Ionson’s Ghost’, opens, ‘I would write of Thee, Ben, not to approue / My witt or Learneing; but my Iudgment, Loue’ (fol. 25r).



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terms as Cavendish hails Newcastle himself. Newcastle’s poems also provide generic precedents for his daughter’s, ranging from formal panegyrics to epitaphs and brief, less ornate, poems of praise, and a number of short poems simply entitled ‘A Songe’. Newcastle’s manuscript provides a direct parallel with Jane’s own collections of poetry: it is a compendious and wide-ranging collection of social occasional verse, exemplifying the occasional verses, epitaphs, elegies, and brief poems of praise that characterize the manuscript culture of elite literary sociality. Cavendish’s poems, like her father’s, are overwhelmingly in the social occasional mode, and are deeply embedded in an elite coterie that is centred on, but extends beyond, the aristocratic household. Her focus is more domestic than her father’s, and by far the largest number of her verses describe or are addressed to her family members: Newcastle primarily, but also her siblings, uncle, and nephews. A very large number of poems are addressed to her sister and dramatic co-author, Elizabeth, who is celebrated as the epitome of beauty, youth, and wit, and as a vital support and consolation for Jane in the absence of their father and brothers. Cavendish delineates a domestic and social setting for the composition of her verse. A poem entitled ‘The Carecter’, for example, is a gently satiric poetic catalogue of all the servants in her household, its final couplet describing a poetic game: ‘Now for the Ladyes in good fayth they sitt / All day to giue their Carecters of witt’ (p. 25). A brief poem on a chambermaid named Bess also, intriguingly, suggests that Jane tried out her verses on her: ‘Then soe to you, our seuerall Poems send, / And if soe like’d, wee thinke them then well pend’ (p. 18). The focus of these poems may be domestic, but the genre of ‘The Carecter’ is not. Alexandra G. Bennett notes the ‘positive mania’ for composing characters of influential figures at court in the 1630s,23 and the Newcastle manuscript contains a number of character poems. In fact, the genre dates back at least to Sir Thomas Overbury’s The Wife (1614), and so provides a link to Anne Southwell and the socio-literary games in which she participated earlier in the century. Cavendish’s poetic circle, moreover, is not confined to the household; it extended more widely than has previously been understood. Cavendish writes ‘An answeare to the Verses Mr Carey made to the Lady Carlile’, a response to a poem which Burke and Coolahan identify as Thomas Carew’s ‘To the New-yeare, for the Countesse of Carlile’. Lucy Hay, the beautiful and flirtatious Countess of Carlisle, was the subject of more than one poem of praise by Carew, who addressed her as ‘Lucinda’—and ‘To the 23  Alexandra G. Bennett, ‘Filling in the Picture: Contexts and Contacts of Jane Cavendish’, Literature Compass 5, no. 2 (2008): pp. 342–352, doi: 10.1111/j.1741-4113. 2008.00524.x, p. 350.

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New-yeare’ is transcribed in William Cavendish’s Newcastle manuscript, suggesting it is the text to which Jane responds.24 Carew’s lyric elevates the Countess in a language of conventionally excessive praise: ‘Give Lucinda Pearle, nor Stone, / Lend them light who else have none, / Let her beauties shine alone’, the poem begins, going on to describe her as she who ‘adornes all ornament’. Cavendish’s answer poem rejects such flattery as a disingenuous ploy, describing ‘that Language, iust to bee, / Onely a Summons to gaine loue of mee’, and she refuses in the lyric’s final couplet to take on the name of her interlocutor’s love object: ‘For I’m resolu’d that none shall hope to fynd, / Mee, for to stile, a lady for his mind’ (p. 16). Cavendish’s declaration here is echoed in a number of lyrics that respond to conventional love speak, as she repeatedly asserts a determination to maintain a self-contained fortitude, a posture that she associates with loyalty to her role as custodian of her father’s house and name. Cavendish also writes an answer poem to an enormously popular lyric deeply implicated in royalist coterie circulation, ‘I prethee send me back my heart’, likely to have been authored by Henry Hughes. Hughes’s lyric was published in a musical setting by Henry Lawes in the third book of his Ayres and Dialogues, For One, Two, and Three Voyces (1658), but Cavendish’s response is entitled ‘An Answeare to my Lady Alice Egertons Songe of I prethy send mee back my hart’ (p. 18), her title indicating not the author of the song but, presumably, the source of her encounter with it.25 Lady Alice Egerton was directly connected to Cavendish, as the sister of John Egerton and so the sister-in-law of Jane’s married but unbedded sister Elizabeth. Jane’s direct contemporary (both were born in 1620), Alice was a figure of some note in court literary and musical circles: she performed the role of the Lady in Milton’s masque Comus at the age of fifteen in 1634, and she studied music under Henry Lawes, who dedicated the first book of the Ayres and Dialogues (1653) to her and her sister Mary. It seems possible, then, that Lawes’s musical setting of the lyric in question, and even perhaps a performance of it, was the source to which Jane responds, the lyric evoking the connection between the Egerton and Cavendish women in the embattled years of the 1640s. 24   Burke and Coolahan, ‘The Literary Contexts of William Cavendish’, pp. 135–136. British Library, Harleian MS 4955, fols 214v–215r. The poem appeared in print in Carew’s Poems (1640), pp. 155–156. 25   The lyric was also published in The Last Remains of Sir John Suckling (1656), but the attribution to Suckling has been discounted (Robert Wilcher, The Discontented Cavalier: The Work of Sir John Suckling in its Social, Religious, Political, and Literary Contexts (Newark, NJ: University of Delaware Press, 2007), p. 27; and Peter Beal, Index of English Literary Manuscripts II, Part 2 (London: Mansell, 1993), pp. 459–461).



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Cavendish’s answer poems to love lyrics circulating in royalist poetic culture are consistent in their rejection of pastoral and Petrarchan languages of love, and in their association of this poetic stance with a politicized need to maintain what she calls ‘Selfe Garrisons’ in her father’s absence (p. 15). ‘I prethee send me back my heart’ rehearses the Petrarchan trope of the exchange of hearts: I prethee send me back my heart, Since I cannot have thine: For if from yours you will not part, Why then should you keep mine?26

Cavendish’s answer rejects the trope outright, replacing it with one of her own heart as a solitary, watchful sentry: I cannot send you back my hart For I haue but my owne And that as Centry stands apart Soe Watch-man is alone.

She continues her military conceit throughout the lyric, issuing a challenge to any suitor: Then if you challenge mee the feild And would mee Battle sett I then as Maister of the feild Perhaps may proue your nett.

Cavendish’s answer to ‘I prethee send me back my heart’ is a militaristic statement of self-sufficiency, figuring herself as master of the field, and its language is echoed throughout her secular and devotional verses. ‘Passions Contemplation’ expresses her grief at her father’s absence, and her determination not to yield to that grief ‘without controll’; in this poem, ‘Thoughts Centryes keepes out teares in each Eyes doore’ (p. 5). In one of many lyrics entitled ‘A Songe’, she identifies herself exclusively and firmly as a Newcastle, her father’s daughter: ‘Mayde, wife, or widow, wch beares the graue stile, / Newcastle, but name him, I know then, shee’l smyle’ (p. 15). Newcastle himself is the only object to whom she—and any other woman—can yield, in a poetic figuration that blends the qualities of lover, husband, and father. Cavendish’s poem to Alice Egerton also provides a direct and illuminating comparison for Katherine Philips’s better-known poem to the same addressee, a poem that participates in royalist coterie culture in a very 26   Henry Lawes, Ayres and Dialogues, For One, Two, and Three Voyces, the third book (1658), p. 48.

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different way. Philips wrote ‘To the Right Honourable Alice, Countess of Carberry, on her enriching Wales with her presence’ when Egerton came to live in Wales after her marriage in July 1652, and she figures Egerton via an elaborate and extended three-stanza conceit, as a sun whose beams dazzle the obscurity and ‘neglected chaos’ of Wales. Philips’s conceit constructs Egerton as divine, the object of devotion from Welsh country pilgrims who approach her shrine, and its elaborate rhetoric suggests that Philips did not know Egerton well, even though there were connections between the two women. Philips and Henry Lawes were closely associated in the early 1650s, Philips providing a prefatory verse for Lawes’ second book of Ayres (1655), and Lawes setting three Philips poems to music—songs that Catharine Gray suggests ‘may have been performed at the Royalist gatherings at Lawes’s London house that occurred during the Interregnum’.27 Egerton is likely to have continued to study with Lawes until her marriage, according to Gray, making it possible that the women met. Philips’s poem to Egerton, however, is not an expression of intimacy, as many of her poems to women are: Egerton possesses no coterie name, and the poem is encomiastic, its conceits of praise working as an elaborate overture of friendship.28 In her important work on Katherine Philips’s circulation of her poetry in manuscript in the 1650s, Catharine Gray has compellingly described Philips as ‘a centering force’ in ‘transforming a loose group of affiliated poets into a politicized coterie’.29 Hero Chalmers and Hilary Menges have also explored Philips’s use of the discourse of friendship to political ends, in particular her ‘politically charged textual practice of collecting together royalist “friends”’ via her poetry of invitation, address, and answer.30 Philips’s use of the poetry of friendship to create a like-minded 27   Catharine Gray, ‘Katherine Philips and the Post-Courtly Coterie’, ELR 32 (2002): pp. 426–451 (p. 430). 28   Philips’s poem to Alice Egerton, interestingly, made it into the papers of Egerton’s and Jane Cavendish’s mutual nephew, John Egerton, third Earl of Bridgewater (Gray, ‘Katherine Philips and the Post-Courtly Coterie’, p. 438; Elizabeth H. Hageman and Andrea Sununu, ‘New Manuscript Texts of Katherine Philips, the “Matchless Orinda”’, EMS 4 (1993): pp. 174–219 (pp. 180–181)). In the copy contained in Bridgewater’s papers, the title has been altered in Philips’s hand from ‘To the Right Honourable Alice’ to ‘On the Right Honourable Alice’, suggesting an awareness on Philips’s part that she was addressing the copy to a reader other than Alice Egerton herself (Hageman and Sununu, ‘New Manuscript Texts’, pp. 180–181; and Elizabeth H. Hageman, ‘Making a Good Impression: Early Texts of Poems and Letters by Katherine Philips, the “Matchless Orinda”’, South Central Review 11 (1994): pp. 39–65 (p. 40)). 29   Gray, ‘Katherine Philips and the Post-Courtly Coterie’, p. 438. 30  Hero Chalmers, Royalist Women Writers, 1650–1689 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), p. 62; Hilary Menges, ‘Authorship, Friendship, and Forms of Publication in Katherine Philips’, SEL 52 (2012): pp. 517–541, esp. p. 521.



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literary coterie, and what Gray calls a royalist and elitist ‘counterpublic’, is nowhere more evident than in her poem to Egerton, which aspires to forge a poetic, social, and political connection with the new countess. Philips adapts the royalist language of retirement, denying the pleasures of isolation celebrated in a poem such as ‘A retir’d friendship, to Ardelia’, in order to flatter Egerton and to celebrate her arrival in Cardiganshire. Jane Cavendish’s poem to Egerton can be read in broadly comparable terms; as Chalmers suggests, Cavendish’s manuscript poetry also ‘assert[s]‌ royalist bonds by symbolically gathering together “friends” in the space of one text’.31 But Cavendish’s social starting point, and her poetic strategies, are very different from Philips’s. Cavendish’s poem operates on the pre-existing authority of the elite inter-familial coterie, and it is rhetorically unambitious; only in its title does it refer to Egerton, a familiarity with her being already assumed, and its three brief stanzas overturn the conceit of Hughes’s original poem in simple and self-referential terms. In its tacit assumption of the value of the brief, social poetic exchange, and in its position within a flourishing coterie culture, Cavendish’s poem can be seen be seen as embodying that which Philips, in her more visible and ambitious lyric activity, endeavours to create. Cavendish’s acts of lyric composition and circulation are no less political than those of Philips, but while Philips, a relative outsider, works to forge a politicized coterie of friends, Cavendish works to sustain and continue a pre-existing coterie poetic culture of the kind to which Philips aspires.32 For while the more unassuming examples of Cavendish’s poetry have attracted some critical disparagement, Margaret Ezell has quite rightly insisted that ‘the very conventionality’ of many of her social lyrics is indicative of their social importance. Ezell describes Cavendish’s poetry of praise as ‘tend[ing] to be of a generic, not a personal, nature’, with subjects being ‘held up as absolutes, the perfection of the virtues they embody. “Quintessence” is thus the favorite modifier.’33 Ezell reflects on the emblematic sense of the subject which is created, the subject becoming ‘the emblem of the virtues praised’, but she quite correctly suggests that these apparently unoriginal and generic poems do vital work in the situation of extremity in which they were composed.34 In the context  Chalmers, Royalist Women Writers, p. 61.   Timothy Raylor insists on social rank and status as vital modifiers of our metaphor of the literary ‘circle’, a metaphor which artificially flattens out these ‘most important determinants of a person’s social existence’; and he suggests the need for ‘thorough three-dimensional analysis’ of socio-literary activity and networks of correspondents (‘Newcastle’s Ghosts’, pp. 92–93). 33   Ezell, ‘“To Be Your Daughter”’, pp. 281, 285. 34   Ezell, ‘“To Be Your Daughter”’, p. 286. 31 32

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of Jane Cavendish’s personal and political crisis, alone with her sisters at Welbeck in the 1640s, these poems on family members, noble ladies, and friends and associates are ‘establishing living patterns of abstract values’.35 This is a version of the celebration of good and the discrimination from bad identified by Earl Miner in the poetry of male Cavalier poets, in which ‘the poetry of friendship sustains and continues the little society of the good few’.36 Ezell’s argument as to the political work undertaken in Cavendish’s generic poetry can only be strengthened by a new recognition that Cavendish’s terms of praise echo her father’s in his own manuscript poetry, and by our expanding understanding of the scope of her literary sources and networks. The way in which Cavendish’s occasional poems articulate the political allegiances of her family is particularly clear in a series of brief poems on the royal family which, again, directly echo poems in her father’s Hallward manuscripts. Newcastle’s poetic miscellany, PwV 25, begins with a series of five poems on the royal family which are likely to date from the 1630s: there are two on Charles I, one on Henrietta Maria, and two on Prince Charles, Newcastle’s pupil.37 The first four poems offer praise in relatively formal, panegyric terms: each is composed of four stanzas, rhyming aaabb, and into this stanzaic structure are inserted elevatory tropes. Newcastle’s first poem on the king opens with a search ‘amongste mankinde’ to find ‘Vertewse Perfections, both of Bodye, & mind’; these are of course embodied in the king, and Newcastle later declares ‘Thou’rte our Example, to keepe use [i.e. us] still from Sin’, before scoring out the line and amending it to ‘Presedente Royall, for vse less to Sin’. Newcastle’s poem to Henrietta Maria is entitled ‘On the Patterne of all Beauty’, and describes the queen as a goddess incarnate in a human body; and he describes the prince in his first poem to him as possessing the visage of a conqueror. The last of the poems, however, is more intimate on multiple levels, of address, tone, and form. It is only eight lines long, in simple couplets, and it addresses the prince directly, ‘not as you are Prince / Or my Lou’d Master’, but to thank him for his presence on an occasion when Newcastle was sick. This is a significant modulation of the previous poems’ formal panegyric rhetoric, effecting a transition through public poems of praise on the highest of state political figures, to a less elaborate and more intimate poem emphasizing Newcastle’s own close and personal   Ezell, ‘“To Be Your Daughter”’, p. 286.  Earl Miner, The Cavalier Mode from Jonson to Cotton (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1971), p. 275; qtd in Ezell, ‘“To Be Your Daughter”’, p. 287. 37   Fols 1r–7r. Burke and Coolahan date these poems to the 1630s (‘The Literary Contexts of William Cavendish’, pp. 139–140). 35 36



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relationship with the prince in particular, but with the royal family as a whole. If Newcastle’s poems on the royal family have been placed together at the opening of his manuscript by a nineteenth-century binder, Cavendish’s manuscripts contain three poems on the royal family whose arrangement as a poetic tryptych has been authorized by her, or at least by her scribe. Three succinct poems are presented on a single page, one each on Charles I, Henrietta Maria, and the Prince of Wales (p. 11). Cavendish describes the king here in a phrase that she elsewhere uses to describe her own father—he is the ‘greate Example’—but the terms she uses are also those that Newcastle has used to describe the monarch in his verses. Cavendish describes Charles I not only as a ‘greate Example’ but also as ‘a iust president, for kings’, meaning that her poem takes in the terms of both versions of Newcastle’s amended line in his first poem. Cavendish’s poem also opens with a description of the king as the ‘best of humane race’, a phrase that seems to echo Newcastle’s more elaborate trope of searching ‘amongste mankinde’ for ‘Vertewse Perfections’. Cavendish describes Henrietta Maria as the ‘Quintycens of beauty’, an echo of her father’s title in his poem to the queen; and her poem on Prince Charles, like her father’s first poem on him, describes a young man with the face of a conqueror.38 Such close verbal echoes seem to suggest a specific relationship between Cavendish’s poems on the royal family and Newcastle’s, and if her father turns in his final poem to Prince Charles from formal panegyric to a more intimate character poem, it is this latter mode that Cavendish adopts, writing in the brief form that is more modest and gives a stronger sense of intimacy. Where her father writes of proximity to the prince, Cavendish claims a familiarity with Henrietta Maria’s physical presence: ‘when I’m with you I’m loath to goe’, she writes. Not only does Cavendish adopt the more intimate mode of poetic address to the royal family, but we read her poems on them through the lens of a parallel triptych on the men in her own family. Three short poems on a single page early in the manuscript provide succinct praise for her two brothers and then her father (p. 4). Cavendish describes her brother Charles’s face as ‘the quintysence of modesty’; Henry is ‘the onely peece of natures pride’; and her father is ‘fitt for greate Authority’. The poem reiterates the other central qualities on which she has already expounded: wit, courage, and judgement. The poems on her brothers, in particular, could 38   Burke and Coolahan emphasize the differences between the two suites of poems, noting overt political tropes in Cavendish’s, in contrast to Newcastle’s; they explain the differences in part in terms of dating, Newcastle’s being from the 1630s and Cavendish’s from the 1640s (‘The Literary Contexts of William Cavendish’, pp. 139–140).

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easily be dismissed as affective familial pieces of little note, sentimental poems on children, but in the 1640s these brothers were young adults in exile on the continent with Newcastle: Charles was aged seventeen and Henry fourteen at the time of exile in mid-1644.39 Cavendish continues on the very next page with a poem ‘On my Noble vncle Sr Charles Cauendish Knight’, her father’s brother, also in exile with William. Cavendish does not use any overtly political tropes in these poems, but they assert her exiled family’s noble qualities in a poetic portrait of familial honour and valour set in the face of political inclemency—and boldly parallelling her poetic treatment of the royal family itself. No overt statement of politics in the lines themselves is necessary as this cluster of lyrics does defiant political work, upholding Cavendish family values and enacting a material link between Jane and her absent patriarch and brothers.40 In considering women’s entry into poetry on the politics of state, Cavendish’s politicized poems on the royal family compare not only with her father’s, but also with Anne Southwell’s epitaphs on the kings of Sweden and of Bohemia, Southwell’s only lyrics on high state political subjects. Southwell’s two epitaphs, like Jane’s poetic characters, are rhetorically unambitious: they are brief—the poem to Bohemia is eight lines long, that on Sweden just a little longer—and generic commentary on state politics is contained within conventional closed couplets.41 Southwell also segues into these epitaphs via social verses on subjects closer to her, in a move that parallels Cavendish’s poems on her own and the royal family. Southwell’s poems on Bohemia and Sweden are framed in the Folger manuscript by the verse to the Duchess of Lennox, to whom she had a personal connection, and who was also known to Princess Elizabeth, wife to Bohemia. Southwell addresses Lennox first, asking after Elizabeth’s welfare. Cavendish had almost certainly never heard of Southwell, but in the cases of both women, the entry into writing on high state political subjects is effected through the frame of writing less aspirational verse on close acquaintances. The transition is also eased and naturalized by the physical position of the poems on the manuscript page, Southwell’s poems framed

39   ODNB, vol. 10, p. 656. The title of the poem to her father dates the poems to October 1643 or later, as that was when Newcastle was elevated by Charles to the title of marquis. For a fascinating discussion of Newcastle’s title, and of the two sons’ lives after the exile in 1644, see Ann Hughes and Julie Sanders, ‘Disruptions and Evocations of Family amongst Royalist Exiles’, in Literatures of Exile in the English Revolution and its Aftermath, 1640–1690, edited by Philip Major (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2010), pp. 45–63. 40   My reading here differs from that of Bennett, who sees Cavendish’s poem on her uncle Sir Charles Cavendish as a straightforward example of a familial (and implicitly limited) focus in much of her verse (‘Filling in the Picture’, p. 343). 41   See Chapter 2.



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by her address to the Duchess of Lennox, and Cavendish’s by the triptych of poems on the men of her own family. Cavendish’s two triptychs work to link her family to the royalist political cause at the highest level, undertaking a dual politicized portraiture of her own and the royal family. And portraiture is an apt metaphor because it runs throughout her verse: several poems are written on the occasion of looking on portraits of family members, including her absent father.42 ‘The trueth of Pensell’, for example, opens: ‘My lord your Picture speakes you this to bee, / A Courtier, and a souldier each may see.’ The picture, she writes, is ‘noe fiction, but a trueth of thee’ (p. 6). What she calls ‘the truth of pencil’ here is matched by a sense of the truth of the portraiture that her poetry undertakes; what she describes in one poem addressed to an artist as ‘Pensells fanceys’ are matched by her own poetic ones, creating an idealized, almost emblematic, image of her dispersed family.43 Resonant in this context is her stepmother Margaret Cavendish’s frontispiece to her Nature’s Pictures Drawn by Fancies Pencil to the Life (1656). Margaret, in exile in the 1650s, imagines herself at the centre of a family group, including the stepchildren whom she may never have met, the frontispiece enacting what Hughes and Sanders call the ‘trope of fantasizing the family unit’.44 Jane’s verses, I argue, provide a poetic familial portraiture—one that imagines her own family as fused with the royal one at the deepest level (see Figures 3.1 and 3.2). Cavendish’s fusion of her own family with that of the monarch reaches its apogee in a poem ‘On my honourable Grandmother Elizabeth Countess of Shrewsbury’, the redoubtable Bess of Hardwick, actually her great-grandmother on her father’s paternal side (p. 35). Bess is presented as the epitome, the quintessence, of spiritual, moral, and wifely goodness, ‘the very Magazine of rich’, the ‘onely patterne of a wise, good, wife’.45 Jane Stevenson and Peter Davidson point out that Cavendish completely elides Bess’s attempt to put Cavendish blood (in the person of her granddaughter Arbella Stuart) on the English throne.46 Such a selective view of familial lineage is an inevitable, and indeed defining, element of retrospective poems of praise. Diana Primrose’s and Anne Bradstreet’s retrospective   For Lucy Hutchinson’s elegiac portrait poems on her husband, see Chapter 5.   ‘On my worthy friend Mr Haslewood’, Oxford manuscript only, p. 44. For discussion of the use of the term ‘fancies’ in the poetry of Newcastle, his daughters, and Margaret Cavendish, see Travitsky, Subordination and Authorship, p. 60; and Burke and Coolahan, ‘The Literary Contexts of William Cavendish’, p. 130. 44   See Hughes and Sanders, ‘Disruptions and Evocations of Family’, pp. 50–52. 45   ‘Magazine’ here denotes a storehouse or repository (OEDO 1). 46   Jane Stevenson and Peter Davidson, Early Modern Women Poets (1520–1700): An Anthology (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), p. 290. 42 43

Fig. 3.1  Jane Cavendish’s triptych of poems on her brothers, Charles and Henry, and her father, William Cavendish, Marquess of Newcastle. Beinecke, MS Osborn b. 233, p. 4. (Credit: Lady Jane Cavendish, Poems. James Marshall and Marie-Louise Osborn Collection, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.)

Fig. 3.2  Peeter Clouwet, frontispiece to Margaret Cavendish’s Nature’s Pictures Drawn by Fancies Pencil to the Life (1656). (Credit: With permission of the Huntington Library, San Marino, California.)

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panegyrics on Elizabeth I do similar work, their political differences to Cavendish notwithstanding, evoking an era of stability and wisdom pointedly in contrast to the time of writing.47 Cavendish, however, is unique in entwining her own lineage here with that of the royal family: based on her father’s descent from Bess’s third son, Charles, she declares her own family to be ‘The howse of Charles’. The primary distinction she seeks to make is from the house of William, the descendents of Bess’s second son, but the political pun implicit in her triumphant declaration is emphasized in the poem’s concluding four lines, in which the royalist and military prowess of her father is celebrated: For Charles his William hath it thus soe chang’d As William Conqueror hee may well bee named And it is true his sword hath made him great Thus his wise acts will euer him full speak.

Cavendish not only expunges with ease any traitorous predilections on the part of her paternal great-grandmother, but she uses her grandfather’s name to double him with the king. Through the phrase ‘Charles his William’, she creates her father as her grandfather’s William and as the king’s William— and so creates a single genealogy for the families of her own father and of the deposed and exiled monarch in whose service he fights.48 It is this family patriarch, ‘William Conqueror’, on and through whom the majority of Jane’s political poems revolve as she undertakes a kind of politicized portraiture of the family, the absent father at its centre. Such articulation of political experience and ideology through the rubric of familial relationship is a powerful strain in seventeenthcentury political writing, by women as well as men, as several recent studies have revealed. Su Fang Ng has explored the family–state analogy as a political language used to express affiliations and senses of community on both sides of the political divide; and Erin Murphy sees the family as providing ‘a crucial epistemological lens for apprehending both political authority and political temporality in the period’.49 47   A Chaine of Pearle, or, A memoriall of the peerles Graces, and Heroick Vertues of Queene Elizabeth of Glorious Memory. Composed by the Noble Lady, Diana Primrose (1630); ‘In Honour of Queen Elizabeth’, in The Works of Anne Bradstreet, edited by Jeannine Hensley (Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1967), pp. 195–198. 48   Coolahan notes that ‘William the Conqueror’ was the ‘Parliamentarian sobriquet’ for major-general William Waller (EMWMP, p. 246), a point that adds further political emphasis to Cavendish’s ‘Charles his William’ phrase. 49  Su Fang Ng, Literature and the Politics of Family in Seventeenth-Century England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007); Erin Murphy, Familial Forms: Politics and Genealogy in Seventeenth-Century English Literature (Newark, DE: University of Delaware Press, 2011), p. 12.



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Exploring women’s political writing in particular, Susan Wiseman notes the identification of political and paternal rule and the ‘deep grounding of women’s claims to political intervention in thought concerning family and property’—a grounding that is no doubt due in part to women’s exclusion from wider public spheres in the period.50 Cavendish’s lived and poetic situation, as her absent father’s custodian in the garrison of Welbeck, reveals the extraordinary responsibilities that conditions of political extremity could force upon a young woman, and her deep engagement in politics through her familial role and through a discourse of family and property. Jane Cavendish’s Welbeck is a garrison empty except for her imprisoned female self, who is alone there with her sisters and with painted and verbal portraits of a father who— almost always—is equivalent to England’s exiled monarch. Welbeck was at the time a real garrison, full of real portraits that Jane helped to preserve.51 It is also of course a figurative garrison, in which Jane suffers the isolation and responsibility of stepping into her father’s shoes. Cavendish’s occasional poetry, moreover, allows the exploration of women’s political engagement through the discourses of family to take a particularly poetic and formal turn. Erin Murphy’s exploration of political writing in the seventeenth century works with a broad framework of ‘familial forms’, in which she uses form as ‘a broad and multivalent term, which can refer to the structure of a government, a mode of organizing knowledge or temporality, as well as both the shape and style of texts’.52 This broad application is productive in recognizing the potency of genealogical tropes and ideologies in the literature of the period, but it does not do justice to the formal peculiarities and specificities of women’s poetry that are at issue in this book. Women, as I have explored, write in poetic genres that are frequently different from—and more modest than—those of elite and now-canonical male writers, and it is only in grappling with the very specific questions of women’s poetic forms—that is, the genres, rhetoric, tropes, and material conditions of their verse—that we can achieve a fuller understanding of their political poetics in the period. Cavendish’s poetry is a ‘familial form’ in the sharpest sense of the phrase. Not only does it trope her father as the ‘great Example’—one who is equal to the king— but it actively echoes and perpetuates the rhetoric, tropes, genres, and materiality of her father’s elite coterie poetics. Cavendish’s poems imagine a familial and political state through the figure of her father, in an act of

 Wiseman, Conspiracy and Virtue, pp. 17–18.   Hughes and Sanders, ‘Disruptions and Evocations of Family’, p. 53. 52  Murphy, Familial Forms, p. 15. 50 51

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writing back to the absent patriarch and asserting her dedication to her father’s and to her country’s royalist cause. ‘ N OW I ’ M P R E PA R E D A G A I N S T M Y L O R D D OT H C O M E ’ :  D E VOT I O N A L A N D POLITICAL OCCASIONS If Jane Cavendish’s poetry emerges out of and participates in her father’s mode of literary sociality, the occasional verse is the defining and multifaceted genre in which she enters into political articulation. Margaret Cavendish’s Poems, and Fancies (1653) are deliberately ‘philosophical’, full of rhetorical and poetic ambition, but her stepdaughter’s poems adhere to the generic conventions of the occasional verse, in both its social and devotional incarnations. Marie-Louise Coolahan identifies the composition and presentation of poems on social occasions as a manuscript-based literary strategy that was favoured by royalist women, ‘who positioned themselves as occasional manuscript practitioners of verse, rather than as competing for a transcendent literary laurel’; and Coolahan’s work on devotional occasional verse emphasizes its ‘rhetorically modest’ quality and its availability, as a genre, to women.53 Coolahan has also explored the fluidity between the social, devotional, and political occasion; as she describes, ‘The specified occasion provides the focus for spiritual contemplation in the devotional genre of the occasional meditation; it is the means of commemorating the social event, the provocation for a political poem.’54 These insights into the occasional poem as a multivalent genre with unique potential for the woman writer underpin the discussion which follows here, in which I move to explore Cavendish’s devotional lyrics as a vital extension of her secular lyrics’ political articulation. Not only do Cavendish’s poems on devotional occasions reveal the authority to write that the devotional meditation carries for women, they also highlight the close proximity of rhetorically modest occasional poetics to the ‘literary’ language of Donne’s and Herbert’s poetic devotions, on which she also—via her father—draws. Elizabeth Clarke has described Cavendish as ‘self-consciously exploiting the conventions of the religious lyric to explore political success and ambition’,55 and her poems 53   Marie-Louise Coolahan, ‘“We live by chance, and slip into Events”: Occasionality and the Manuscript Verse of Katherine Philips’, Eighteenth-Century Ireland 18 (2003): pp. 9–23 (p. 13); and Coolahan, ‘Redeeming Parcels of Time: Aesthetics and Practice of Occasional Meditation’, The Seventeenth Century 22 (2007): pp. 124–143 (p. 130). 54   Coolahan, ‘“We live by chance”’, p. 12. 55   Elizabeth Clarke, ‘The Garrisoned Muse: Women’s Use of the Religious Lyric in the Civil War Period’, in The English Civil Wars in the Literary Imagination, edited by Claude



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on devotional occasions are particularly radical in their fusion of social, devotional, and political tropes in order to render the figure of Newcastle at once sacred and political. More than this, Cavendish evokes the sacralized pastoral invitation of George Herbert to call for her father’s return in the terms that Herbert’s speaker calls to Christ. Drawing on the rhetorically modest poetics of the occasional lyric and the more ‘elite’, literary languages of Donne and Herbert, Cavendish exploits the fluidity of social, devotional, and political articulation to facilitate her association of her father not only with the king, but with Christ. William Cavendish, again, provides a direct poetic model for Jane’s devotional occasional poems, despite the decidedly secular reputation that has come down to us through literary history.56 The miscellany of William’s verse, Portland, MS PwV 25, contains a discrete section of religious lyrics (bound together in the nineteenth century), in which poems on devotional occasions predominate: there is ‘A Preparatory Meditation to the receiving of the B Sacrament on Christmas Day 1636’, and two others on the same occasion, one in 1637 and one undated, as well as a meditation on the Nativity, and two on the Passion of Christ.57 One of the Passion poems occurs in two separate fair copies, an indication that multiple copies of William’s verses were circulated, and several other poems are in foul copy and include his workings. These poems operate most frequently according to the vivid visualization of the moment: for example, Newcastle’s first meditation on the Passion of Christ imagines ‘The Garden’s Agony, that thou wer’t in’, focusing line by line on the sweat, ‘buffets’, thorny crown, and nails borne by the suffering Christ. His second meditation on the same topic is, similarly, a direct and focused visualization of the crucifixion itself, detailing Christ’s sufferings and rendering them the remediation of his own sins: ‘Thy spunge did dry my sinnes, suck’d them from mee’ (fols 50r–52v). Newcastle’s meditations, like much Protestant seventeenth-century devotional verse, is indebted to Catholic meditative traditions, filtered through the influential models of Loyola and Robert Southwell; one likely influence is the devotional verse of John Donne, an extensive collection of which is contained in the Newcastle manuscript. Like her father, Jane Cavendish pens numerous poems on devotional occasions—for example, ‘On Christmas day to God’ and ‘On good J. Summers and Ted-Larry Pebworth (Columbia and London: University of Missouri Press, 1999), pp. 130–143 (p. 134); Helen Wilcox, ‘Exploring the Language of Devotion in the English Revolution’, in Literature and the English Civil War, edited by Thomas Healy and Jonathan Sawday (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), pp. 75–88 (p. 77). 56   ODNB, vol. 10, p. 658. 57   The devotional poems are bound at fols 40r–60v.

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Friday’—each of which also use the occasional meditation to focus on Christ’s remediation of her sins (p. 37). ‘To heauen, or a confession to God’ is a Christmas meditation: Since I thy holy Supper doe not see This Christmas; the reason is I’am loth To receaue thee, where nought but sloth Thy table doth adorne by a rude way And soe thy passions might they make a day Of all deformityes. (p. 36)

Cavendish’s inability to take communion (for unspecified reasons) allows her to articulate a human slowness to receive Christ’s love in terms that are reminiscent of Donne’s—if not as tortured as those of his speaker, who ‘like an usurpt towne, to’another due, / Labour[s]‌to’admit you’.58 ‘Hopes preparation’ also echoes Donne in its paradox of Christ’s blood dyeing the speaker’s soul white: ‘Great Trinity I begg thy holly light / That is Christs blood to bath mee purely white’ (p. 40).59 Cavendish’s devotional verse—like that of her father—has neither the literary ambition nor accomplishment of Donne’s, but these echoes illustrate the continuum that runs between the elite, ‘literary’ devotional lyric and more rhetorically modest cultures of occasional poetics, with their implications in everyday devotional practice. And devotional poetry in the Cavendish circle, like the poetry on social occasions, emerges not only out of the ostensibly closet practice of occasional meditation, but also out of participation in a culture of literary sociality, and of lyric exchange in manuscript, that is manifest in the Newcastle manuscript and that connects it to the literary canon of elite religious poeticization. If Cavendish’s poems on devotional occasions echo Newcastle’s, they also meld the devotional, social, and political occasion in extraordinary and radical ways, adding a near-blasphemous dimension to the trope of her father as the central patriarch of her poems. ‘On the 30th of June, to God’ is a brief devotional meditation on the victory of Newcastle and his royalist forces in the battle of Adwalton Moor on 30 June 1643, and it offers thanks ‘To thee great God who gaue thy bounty large / Saueing my Father from the Enemies charge’ (p. 38). Cavendish’s addressee is God, but as Elizabeth Clarke has described, the address ‘becomes unstable’ as the poem progresses, particularly when Newcastle’s victory is described as ‘thy workes’ in line seven of 58   Donne, Holy Sonnet 10, ‘Batter my heart’, in Helen Gardner, ed., John Donne: The Divine Poems, 2nd edn (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1978), p. 7. 59   Donne: ‘Or wash thee in Christs blood, which hath this might / That being red, it dyes red soules to white’ (Holy Sonnet 2, ‘Oh my blacke Soule!’; Gardner, ed., The Divine Poems, p. 7). Newcastle also describes ‘the white-Lambe, for my red sins hath bled’ (‘A Confession’, Portland MS PwV 25, fols 57r–v).



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the poem.60 God’s and Newcastle’s works here become one and the same, and Cavendish promises to ‘keepe this thy victoryes day’ at line eleven, a description that again conflates the actions of her heavenly and earthly fathers. The following poem, ‘The minds saluation’ (p. 39), exhibits a similar instability. It opens with a description of a lady with a Bible before her, writing ‘expresses’ and sending them to ‘his Excellence of witt’; it becomes clear that Cavendish is describing herself in the act of writing to her father, and so the title’s promise of a devotional lyric is immediately subordinated. Devotional tropes are, throughout the poem, applied not to God but to Newcastle. The lady writing in the poem ‘by his resurrection . . . might liue’, and Newcastle’s hoped-for resurrection is, in the following line, an explicitly political rise in fortunes: ‘That’s to rise a Generall great in state’, an event that would render the writer’s ‘soule of mind . . . iustly saued’. Elizabeth Clarke has reflected on Cavendish’s ‘parodic and blasphemous’ equation of her father and the divine in these poems.61 Generic manipulation underpins this equation. The occasion for an apparently devotional poem becomes, in both cases, the occasion for a familial and political articulation; Newcastle becomes a figure with sacred overtones through Cavendish’s use of genre as well as trope, as she fuses the social and devotional occasional verse for the purposes of political expression. Even more radical in its application of devotional tropes to Newcastle is ‘Hopes preparation’, a long poem in two parts that follows ‘The minds saluation’ (pp. 39–41). Cavendish’s subject is in this case ambiguous from the poem’s opening line, ‘Now I’m prepared against my Lord doth come’, a declaration that resonates with both the language of devotion and that of her much-articulated hope that her father will return to England. Cavendish goes on to address God, describing ‘Your comeinge is a Sacrament to mee’ and ‘Lord, I’m ready call mee then away’ (lines 7, 10), and the ambiguity, if not the poem’s inherent instability, appears to resolve as the poem’s second half opens, ‘I haue now receiued thy Sacrament, soe fynd / The differrence ’twixt my soule, and bodies mind’ (29–30). Cavendish’s sense of renewal, however, disappears as she (re)turns to focus explicitly on the continued absence of her earthly father: Yet will my mind my soule, true trouble make In absence of my earthly Fathers sake For though my Heauenly Father hath now sayd Thy sinns forgiuen bee, as thou art made Yet I desire hee would say to mee Thy Fathers landed safe, hath sent for thee. (27–32) 60 61

  Clarke, ‘The Garrisoned Muse’, p. 135.   Clarke, ‘The Garrisoned Muse’, p. 136.

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These concluding lines to the poem proper lend weight to the secular and familial connotations of its first line, weight that is then reinforced in a four-line coda to the poem, in which she addresses Newcastle himself: I cannot speake, nor looke, nor nothinge say But still your landinge here’s; my Bywords pray And if a custome gett none can mee disallowe For if you will not come I’le make a Hermets vow. (33–36)

Cavendish’s address to her father in this four-line coda reconstitutes the referent of the poem’s first line, her devotional prayer for her Lord to come becoming unequivocally directed to her father as much as it is to God. Extraordinarily, the ‘holly light’ (23) of God’s grace in the first half of the poem is sufficient to hold off despair only briefly: it is Newcastle, the earthly father, who is the crucial component of Jane’s poetic trinity of father, king, and Christ. One poem that has received no attention to date allows us to explore further Cavendish’s fusion of devotional, social, and political occasions, its generic blending underpinning her figural assocation of father, king, and Christ. ‘A Songe’ is a three-stanza lyric in which Jane and her companions—presumably her sisters Elizabeth and Frances—gaze on the portrait of their absent father: A Songe Our Eyes are fixed lookeing on thee, Soe nothinge care wee for to see; Our senses are turn’d all to feares, And inward thoughts, sighes turnes to teares But now our kinge, calls you away, I pray thee come, and make noe stay. Wee you inuite, who wee hold deare, And yet wee cannot see you here; Therefore Eclipsed Life wee haue That, Liueing may bee call’d a graue. Yet since our Kinge; sayth come away, I pray thee come, make noe delay.

5

10

Wee pray, wee wish, and hope to see, Your selfe againe in Welbeck bee That soe wee may throw off our sadd, 15 For seeinge you clothes vs with Glad Then let vs cry our Kinge obey Make hast I pray thee, make our day. (p. 12)

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patriarchs; straining here against the identification of Newcastle and his monarch that is evident in most of her verse, Cavendish and her sisters yearn for their father to return to Welbeck, yet understand that ‘wee cannot see you here’ because he is called away by the king. Given that William’s absence is due to the king’s demands, the poem is likely to date from after 1642, when he first left Welbeck to command royalist troops, but before his exile to the continent in mid-1644.62 Cavendish’s competing loyalties are expressed in the contrastive conjunctions and the tense syntax of the rhyming couplets concluding the first two stanzas. The king calls Newcastle away, and the refrain ‘I pray thee come’ (lines 6 and 12) carries two conflicting connotations: it insists, contrary to the more common usages of ‘come’, that he should go, or hasten to answer the king’s call, at the same time as it intimates the daughters’ desire that Newcastle instead come to them.63 The tension within the refrain is resolved through its alteration in the final stanza, when the daughters’ desires become one with the king’s: ‘Then let vs cry our Kinge obey / Make hast I pray thee, make our day.’ The tension articulated in ‘A Songe’ derives in part from the lyric’s participation in the genre of pastoral invitation, which in the mid-century took on decidedly royalist connotations. ‘Wee you inuite’ is enough to connect the lyric to the conventions of pastoral retreat: Jane and her sisters invite their father to a Welbeck that, in being opposed to the demands of the king in the first two stanzas, symbolizes retreat from the political centre; it is a feminized location, occupied only by the Cavendish women and their ‘inward thoughts’, sighs, and tears. It is also the location of Jane and her sister Elizabeth’s pastoral plays, in which the sisters endure a ‘Captiue or Sheppardesses life’.64 Royalist poets’ celebration of rural retreat in the 1640s and 1650s has been much discussed, Earl Miner’s classic study seeing ‘retreat from the world and the times’ as a central aesthetic of the Cavalier mode, but Cavendish’s lyric also illustrates the ways in which the use of the pastoral realm to figure retreat is itself an imaginative response to—and therefore inevitably implicated in—the very politics from which the poet–speaker attempts to escape.65 Cavendish’s lyric overtly strains under its desire to represent Welbeck as the site of political occlusion, while recognizing that it is an ‘Eclipsed’ and grave-like place on account of Newcastle’s absence (and of course, within a year of the poem’s likely composition, Welbeck was a literal garrison). The poem resolves only when   ODNB, vol. 10, p. 659.   OEDO, ‘come’, v., signification (general).   Kate Chedgzoy, Women’s Writing in the British Atlantic World, p. 143. 65  Miner, The Cavalier Mode, pp. 150–151. See Chapter 4 for further discussion of royalism and rural retreat. 62 63 64

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the desire for—and possibility of—Newcastle’s retreat to a pastoral idyll at Welbeck is waived, at least temporarily, in favour of his imagined political victory. If the trope of rural retreat is inevitably double-edged for the royalist poet, it would also seem to offer a unique potential for the woman writer, enabling her as it does to articulate her politics through apparently removed spheres and discourses of family, home, and exclusion from the political centre. The ‘female aesthetic’ that has often been detected in the poetry of royalist retreat, in other words, may represent less of an ideological and writerly retreat in female hands than in male ones—a contention predicated, of course, on a rhetorical proximity between author and speaker of the kind that the occasional verse inevitably enacts.66 John Kerrigan has explored the ‘paradoxes of retirement’ in Katherine Philips’s Welsh verse, setting ‘A retir’d friendship, to Ardelia’ against unrest in Cardiganshire in the early 1650s, and concluding that Philips’s occlusion from the politics of the age is incomplete.67 To Kerrigan’s compelling analysis of Philips’s ‘situatedness’, however, we need to add a keen sense of the ways in which gender may inform her choice of tropes and genres. Philips’s ‘Upon the double murther of K. Charles’ and the narrative surrounding its publication reveal all too clearly the social and aesthetic complexities of the woman poet’s entry into explicitly political articulation, complexities that inevitably underpin her expression of politics through tropes in which those politics are, in Kerrigan’s words, ‘least overt’.68 Language and tropes of the geographical periphery are, in their very guise of removal from national affairs, powerful tools for women’s political articulation. Anne Southwell disavows ‘the witt for strategems of state’ and Katherine Philips repeatedly denies that she thinks on high state politics; in the context of their exclusion from the public–political sphere, and of such rhetorical disavowals, women repeatedly use poetic tropes of domestic landscape and the periphery to articulate their politics. Kate Chedgzoy describes the Cavendish sisters and Hester Pulter as ‘three women [who] powerfully expressed the national trauma of civil war through a focus on local and familial experience’, and she has elsewhere urged the need to 66   Wilcox, ‘Exploring the Language of Devotion’, p. 86; and see, for example, James Loxley’s exploration of ‘the identity of royalist action and corporeal, substantive maleness’ in ‘Unfettered Organs: The Polemical Voices of Katherine Philips’, in ‘This Double Voice’: Gendered Writing in Early Modern England, edited by Danielle Clarke and Elizabeth Clarke (Basingstoke: St Martin’s Press, 2000), pp. 230–248 (p. 246). See Chapter 4 for further discussion. 67  John Kerrigan, Archipelagic English: Literature, History, and Politics, 1603–1707 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008) pp. 211–212. 68  Kerrigan, Archipelagic English, p. 211.



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pay attention to the geographical specificities of women’s writing—to ask, ‘How did women experience . . . large transitions within their immediate localities? How did it affect their sense of home and belonging, and how did they use that to make sense of and represent what happened on the world’s stage?’69 Jane Cavendish and Hester Pulter’s poetry, as well as the post-Restoration elegies of Lucy Hutchinson, are shot through with renditions of state politics via the construction of a poetic pastoral realm that is identifiable with ‘home’, and in which crucial patriarchs are absent—the father for Cavendish, and husbands for Pulter and Hutchinson. As I continue to explore in the following two chapters, Cavendish’s occasional poetry, Pulter’s poems of pastoral invitation, and Hutchinson’s pastoral elegies are in this sense decidedly gendered uses of the poetics of retirement to engage in the political crises of the mid-century. To add a further layer of significance to Cavendish’s slight poem ‘A Songe’, what appears to be a purely social occasional verse in fact echoes George Herbert’s ‘Dooms-day’, in a poetic debt that informs Cavendish’s language of invitation. Herbert’s ‘Dooms-day’ is an address to God imploring the onset of the day of judgement:   Come away, Make no delay. Summon all the dust to rise, Till it stirre, and rubbe the eyes; While this member jogs the other, Each one whispring, Live you brother?70

Herbert’s first two lines form a variable refrain which Cavendish echoes, at the end of her stanzas rather than at the beginning. Herbert’s first three stanzas open ‘Come away, / Make no delay’, ‘Come away, / Make this the day’, and ‘Come away, / O make no stay!’ (and there are two further iterations, in two further stanzas, which are not imitated by Cavendish). Cavendish’s three stanzas end with these same three iterations, although reordered, and it is on the basis of this shared refrain and, in particular, these same three variants, that I describe Cavendish’s poem as a rewriting of Herbert’s. ‘Dooms-day’ echoes at least three popular secular songs, all of which use ‘come’ or ‘come away’ to participate in the tradition of amorous invitation; however, in no popular lyric that I have found is there the 69  Chedgzoy, Women’s Writing in the British Atlantic World, p. 135; and Kate Chedgzoy, ‘The Cultural Geographies of Early Modern Women’s Writing: Journeys across Spaces and Times’, Literature Compass 3 (2006): pp. 1–12, doi: 10.1111/j.1741-4113.2006.00352.x (p. 6). 70  Helen Wilcox, ed., The English Poems of George Herbert (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), pp. 649–653.

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distinct refrain and its variants used by both Herbert and Cavendish.71 Herbert’s refrain also explains Cavendish’s tense use of the verb ‘to come’: his refrain implores the heavenly father to come quickly to liberate his flock from the flesh and from dust.72 His sense of urgency as well as his desire for liberation inflects Cavendish’s lyric, as she again associates her father, via the allusion, with Christ the saviour. Cavendish’s use of ‘Dooms-day’ is not surprising, even if her recasting of Herbert’s lyric into an apparently secular and political context appears radical. The lyrics of The Temple were, as Helen Wilcox describes, widely ‘referred to, cited, imitated and reformulated by readers and writers from the complete spectrum of poetic, denominational and political allegiance’ throughout the seventeenth century—and such imitation was particularly prevalent among royalists, and in writing by women.73 Wilcox argues that Herbert’s lyrics were particularly available to women in part because of their proximity to the secular love lyric, which Herbert frequently engages in sacred parody.74 Herbert deliberately echoes the secular love traditions of pastoral invitation in ‘Dooms-day’, and other of his poems use the same technique: ‘A Parodie’ is a sacred reworking of William Herbert’s ‘Song: Soules joy’, and sacralized pastoral invitation is implicit in ‘The Call’ and ‘The Invitation’.75 The refrain in ‘Dooms-day’ also echoes Psalms 70:1 (‘Make haste, O God, to deliver me; make haste to help me, O Lord’) and Canticles 2:10 and 2:13 (‘Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away’), the latter allusion in particular embodying the trope of Christ as a lover that runs through the Song of Songs and became a mainstay of devotional verse. This complex intertwining of amorous and sacred modes of invitation leads Diane Kelsey McColley to describe ‘Dooms-day’ as ‘a sacred parody of profane parodies of a sacred text in an erotic genre’.76 To 71  Wilcox, The English Poems of George Herbert, pp. 649–650. One possible source is John Dowland’s ‘Come away, come sweet love’ in his First Book of Songs and Ayres (1597), although Diane Kelsey McColley describes ‘come away’ as ‘the refrain of many madrigals and lute songs’ in the amorous carpe diem mode (Poetry and Music in Seventeenth-Century England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), p. 156). 72   OEDO, ‘come’, v., I.1. 73   Helen Wilcox, ‘“Scribbling under so faire a copy”: The Presence of Herbert in the Poetry of Vaughan’s Contemporaries’, Scintilla 7 (2003): pp. 185–200 (p. 186); and see Wilcox, ‘Exploring the Language of Devotion’, pp. 80–81. Robert H. Ray estimates that 70 per cent of texts listed in his Herbert Allusion Book were Anglican and royalist (Ray, The Herbert Allusion Book: Allusions to George Herbert in the Seventeenth Century, Texts and Studies, Studies in Philology 83 (1986)). 74  Helen Wilcox, ‘Entering The Temple: Women, Reading, and Devotion in Seventeenth-Century England’, in Religion, Literature, and Politics in Post-Reformation England, 1540–1688, edited by Donna B. Hamilton and Richard Strier (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), pp. 187–207 (p. 189). 75   Wilcox, ‘Entering The Temple’, p. 205. 76  McColley, Poetry and Music in Seventeenth-Century England, p. 156.



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this complicated set of parodies, Cavendish adds another layer, harnessing the sacred and erotic modes of invitation present in her precedent to address her father and to associate him with Christ, implicitly equating his anticipated military victory (and monarchical restoration) with a triumphant day of judgement. The secular parody of sacred tropes and forms—most frequently centering on her father—is Cavendish’s primary means of politicizing the language of devotion in her manuscript poetry. It is a poetic practice that reverses the direction of Elizabeth Melville’s contrafacta, in which secular tropes are sacralized for devotional purposes; the most obvious comparison for Cavendish’s song is Melville’s ‘A Call to Come to Christ’, a sacred parody of Marlowe’s ‘The Passionate Shepherd to his Love’, in which a ventriloquized Christ calls to the elect. But in Melville’s case, too, we have seen sacred tropes exploited for their worldly and political resonances, and Melville and Cavendish participate equally in the complex integration of sacred and secular languages for political effect. Cavendish, like Melville, draws on the authority of religious discourse and of the religious lyric in order to trope her politics: her political poetic is also embedded in a sense of ‘the right use of poesy’ that deeply informs women’s poetic authorship in the century. Cavendish’s daring equation of Newcastle and Christ is legitimized through its grounding in the generically fluid occasional verse, the religious lyric, and in the blended languages of bucolic pastoral, amatory poetry, the Psalms, and the Song of Songs. Her equation of her father with Christ also prefigures the outpouring of royalist literature that figured Charles I as Christ on his execution in 1649 and, in the case studies with which this book is engaged, in the poetry of Hester Pulter and Mary Roper. Nowhere is Cavendish’s melding of the religious, secular, and political lyric more evident than in a series of five ‘Passion’ poems, all of which are oriented around her absent father, in all his facets.77 The first of these, ‘Passions Lettre to my Lord my Father’, sets out the sense of grief that pervades all five: Cavendish is a ‘dull peece of earth’ in her father’s absence, and laments, ‘For want of you I can too truely tell / The seuerall wayes of greife that makes a Hell.’ ‘Passions Contemplation’ takes further the trope of her father’s absence as engendering her hell—and of his return holding the potential to enact her salvation: What makes a Hell I’m sure Deuines doe say The presence of God’s light depriued away Our heauenly father then our earthly may

77   ‘Passions Lettre to my Lord my Father’ (p. 3), ‘Passions Contemplation’ (pp. 5–6), ‘Passions Delate’ (p. 9), ‘The reuiue’ (p. 10), ‘Passions invitation’ (p. 17).

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Each of Cavendish’s Passion poems focuses on Newcastle’s return to England as the speaker’s salvation. ‘Passion’s Contemplation’ ends with an invocation ‘to safe land you’, and ‘Passions delate’ (that is, delight) envisages the news that ‘hee is landed safe’ as restorative water, a cordial that revives the speaker in the following poem. ‘Passions inuitation’, the last of the five Passion poems, opens with an imperative, ‘For Gods sake come away and land’, that incorporates so many of Cavendish’s defining tropes and influences: Donne’s lyric poetry, the pastoral invitation, and its biblical incarnation. Margaret J. M. Ezell has commented that Cavendish’s Passion poems, ‘if read out of context, would naturally be assumed to refer to a lover’, but the address in fact resembles more closely that to Christ-the-lover.78 All five poems are inflected with the sense of Christ’s Passion on which she draws in her poem ‘To heauen, or a confession to God’, in which she ‘weepeinge begg[s]‌thy loue’ in the entreaty that ‘thy passions might they make a day / Of all deformityes’ (p. 36). The God who is addressed in that lyric is he who ever hovers in and around the Newcastle who may ‘make our day’ in the Herbert-indebted song, through his political victory and a triumphant return to Welbeck. Cavendish’s speaker occupies with startling fluidity the positions of the spouse of Christ, yearning for him, and of an afflicted daughter, ‘a congeal’d peece of greife’ who echoes (no doubt unwittingly) the spiritually privileged daughters of Jerusalem in Aemilia Lanyer’s Salve Deus Rex Judæorum, recognizing her Christ-like father’s true qualities and weeping tears of devotion to him and to the political cause which he represents.79 Drawing on poetic modes available to her through her father’s elite socio-literary culture, and through the occasional and ‘literary’ devotional literature much loved by the seventeenth-century woman reader, Cavendish fuses the social and devotional occasional verse, and lyric conventions of pastoral and sacred invitation, in order to articulate a devout royalist allegiance. Newcastle, the centre of this and all Cavendish’s verse, is at once the lover, the politically embattled father, king, and Christ, his fortunes defining the happiness and spiritual completeness of his daughter, and the political and spiritual fortunes of the English state.   Ezell, ‘“To Be Your Daughter”’, p. 290.   ‘Passions contemplation’, p. 5. Lanyer expands upon the tears of the Daughters of Jerusalem from line 968 in her poem; see Susanne Woods, ed., The Poems of Aemilia Lanyer: Salve Deus Rex Judæorum (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 93–94. 78 79



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‘ I F T H E S E FA N C E Y S M AY OW N E S E N S E , T H E Y WAY T E V P O N YO U R L O R D S H I P P A S T H E C E N T E R ’:   C AV E N D I S H ’ S L I T E R A RY C I RC L E A N D M A N U S C R I P T C I RC U L AT I O N Most clearly of all the women and texts treated in this book, Cavendish uses her poetry to imagine, and perhaps to create, an ideal circle or community of readers—in this case a circle that revolves, unsurprisingly, around her absent father. Cavendish, indeed, uses the circle as a metaphor for her poems’ very acquisition of meaning, describing in the dedication to Newcastle of the Yale manuscript, ‘if these fanceys may owne sense, they wayte vpon your Lordshipp as the Center’. The Yale manuscript’s dedication explicitly indicates that the volume has been prepared for Newcastle, and awaits a response from him: ‘this booke desires no other purchas, then a smyle from your Lordshipp or a word of like’ (p. 1). Jane and her sister Elizabeth’s collaborative plays in both the Yale and Oxford manuscripts are prefaced and concluded by poems, individually initialled, that also call upon their absent father as the works’ desired auditor. Jane’s dedication to her father of the Pastorall begins: My Lord After the deuty of a verse Giue leaue now to rehearse A Pastorall then if but giue Your smile I sweare I liue In happiness. (p. 43)

These paratexts to the Cavendish sisters’ collaborative dramas do more, in fact, than request their father’s eyes and ears; they explicitly figure the literary text as a means of constructing a relationship with Newcastle that is otherwise severed by his exile. Elizabeth’s concluding verse to the pastoral play in the Yale manuscript opens ‘My lord your absence makes I cannot owne / My selfe, to thinke I am alone’, and it is in communion with her father’s literary heritage that she, a desolate shepherdess, can obviate her isolation: ‘Yet sheppardesses can see to read / And soe vpon your stock of wit I feede.’ Jane’s companion verse employs the same image of the shepherdess desolate at Newcastle’s absence: ‘My lord it is your absence makes each see / For want of you what I’m reduc’d to bee / Captiue or sheppardesses life.’ Unable to ‘be’ Newcastle’s daughter in any sense of physical proximity, Jane proposes instead ‘to bee your daughter in your Penn’, a phrase that, like Elizabeth’s image of ‘your stock of wit’, associates her own literary activity with ‘your Penn’, the literary activity of Newcastle himself (p. 76; emphasis added). The daughters who were encouraged by

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Newcastle in the 1630s to write—Jane the ‘redye writer’, and Bess who ‘muste write to, write butt what you thinke’—direct their writing back to their absent father in the 1640s, and await his judgement; in Elizabeth’s words, ‘Soe begs your blessing to like this / Then am I crown’d with hight of blis.’ Gathered as they are in manuscripts directed to her father in exile, Cavendish’s poems work to describe and perpetuate a familial literary culture, and to link it to that cultivated by Newcastle in the 1630s. Cavendish’s poetic description of the lady reading her Bible offers one image of literary activity in the Cavendish household; others are proffered by the poem which is tried out on the serving maid, Bess, and by the description of ladies engaged in the exchange of wit in ‘The Carecter’. The presence in the manuscripts of the ‘answer’ poems to Cavendish’s poetic interlocutors, however, indicate that the make-up of the poetry collection is more diverse than poems written in extremis in Newcastle’s absence, and that the audiences for several of these poems were multiple. Carew, Alice Egerton, her brother John, a Lord Sayter, Richard Pypes, and Mr Haslewood are all poetic addressees, and these poems were presumably circulated to them in earlier incarnations—in much the same way that the poems in Newcastle’s PwV 25 were circulated in singles and bifolios. Notably, the poems to Pypes and Haslewood are present only in the later Oxford manuscript, perhaps indicating later composition.80 Marion Wynne-Davies suggests that a number of poems, particularly the characters and those on ‘peacetime’ topics of love and virtue, may have been ‘written at an earlier date and simply collated to produce a “Selected Works” by Jane’.81 Seen in this light, the poetic miscellanies themselves become an enactment of the kind of poetic culture that had defined the Cavendish household before Newcastle’s exile, sustaining the Cavendish family discourse and poetic culture in a very material way.82 It is not known whether or not Cavendish’s poems reached her father in exile, and the coterie imagined in the manuscripts may in fact have been increasingly at odds with the literary, social, and familial culture surrounding Newcastle and his new wife, Margaret, who remained on the continent until after the Restoration. Jane Cavendish’s dedication to her father’s cause during his exile was complete: she was instrumental in preserving the Cavendish family’s collection of art and plate on the taking of   Bodleian Library, MS Rawl. poet 16, p. 44.  Wynne-Davies, Women Writers and Familial Discourse, p. 151.   See the section ‘Jane and the Cavendish Family Discourse’ above for Hero Chalmers’ description of Cavendish’s manuscript as ‘assert[ing] royalist bonds by symbolically gathering together “friends” in the space of one text’. 80 81 82



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Welbeck, and she successfully negotiated with Parliamentarian authorities for the payment of allowances to herself and to her siblings.83 Her brothers returned to England in 1647, and extant letters attest to the close and affectionate relationship between the siblings; however, the relationship between Margaret Cavendish and her stepchildren was strained. Margaret commented disparagingly on devotional writings of the kind favoured by Elizabeth Egerton, and Elizabeth’s daughter later wrote, scathingly, ‘Mongst Ladyes let Newcastle weare ye Bayes’.84 Hughes and Sanders note that ‘The promises of family harmony suggested in the exile publications and correspondence . . . evaporated once the Cavendishes were reunited in England’, Jane writing in 1668 that her stepmother’s chief business advisor ‘intends non of my Lords Chilldern any good’.85 These likely tensions underscore the extent to which it is Cavendish’s imaginative construction of a familial ideal in her poems that carries the greatest political import. Scholarship on literary circles and coteries in recent years has very frequently emphasized their fictive nature, and their existence in many cases in abstract and textual but not in lived form.86 Alexandra Shepard and Phil Withington pertinently note, in their work on early modern communities, that ‘community can exist as a powerful rhetorical concept—a symbolic entity in its own right’.87 It is unlikely that Cavendish’s imagined community, the familial unit that she tropes in her poetry, corresponds exactly with a lived interchange between the Cavendish sisters and their male relatives on the continent. Rather, it is in the very ideal quality of the family and its literary culture that is imagined in Cavendish’s poetry and in her manuscripts that her engagement in the politics of the 1640s is most acute, the fantasized family unit becoming a trope—or even the emblem—of a familial and political desideratum. And alongside Cavendish’s imagined audience for her poetic manuscripts sits the as yet sketchy evidence of the wider and actual community of readers for her writing. In a funeral elegy for Cavendish on her death in 1669, Thomas Lawrence refers to her ‘great Poetick spiritt’, and Adam Littleton’s   Hughes and Sanders, ‘Disruptions and Evocations of Family’, p. 53.  Travitsky, Subordination and Authorship, pp. 45–48. 85   Hughes and Sanders, ‘Disruptions and Evocations of Family’, p. 62. 86   See, for example, Judith Scherer Herz, ‘Of Circles, Friendship, and the Imperatives of Literary History’, in Literary Circles and Cultural Communities in Renaissance England, edited by Summers and Pebworth, pp. 10–23. Herz describes Katherine Philips’s Society of Friendship as ‘essentially fictional’ (p. 21), and Alex Davis similarly cautions against reading her society in too literal terms (Chivalry and Romance in the English Renaissance (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2003), p. 199). 87  Shepard and Withington, ‘Introduction’ to Communities in Early Modern England: Networks, Place, Rhetoric (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000), pp. 1–15 (p. 9). 83 84

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printed funeral sermon also describes her activities as a writer, noting that ‘she hath left in Writing a considerable Stock of Excellent [compositions] of her own, ever spending the time that best pleased Her with her Pen’.88 It seems entirely possible that further exploration in the archives may reveal evidence of poetic circulation on which that reputation was based—as it has in recent years in the case of Katherine Philips. Cavendish’s poem to Alice Egerton, for example, is complemented by one to Alice’s brother John, later second Earl of Bridgewater, that apparently dates before the consummation of the marriage to Elizabeth; it describes him as ‘a Husband iust as one would wish, / For you desire but your wife to kiss’.89 Cavendish’s two poems to Alice and John Egerton together raise the possibility of literary traffic between Welbeck and Ashridge, the Egerton home, poetry perhaps serving as a currency of intimacy and of shared literary and political values, passing between the unbedded bride and her husband, Welbeck and Ashridge, in the years before Elizabeth Brackley took up residence with her husband. Were Cavendish’s poetry circulating in Hertfordshire, and particularly if she lived at Ashridge after leaving Welbeck in 1644, it also seems plausible that it may have been known by another dedicated Hertfordshire royalist, Hester Pulter, some of whose poetry exhibits an aesthetic strikingly similar to Cavendish’s. Considering Jane Cavendish’s poetry alongside that in Newcastle’s poetic miscellanies, as I have in this chapter, only begins the process of reconsidering her engagement in a royalist poetic culture; further work remains to be done, and promises to shed further light on royalist women’s poetry in manuscript in the crucial decades of the 1640s and 1650s.

 Coolahan, EMWMP, pp. 88–89.   ‘On the Lord Viscont Brackley’, p. 21.

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4 ‘This kingdoms loss’ Hester Pulter’s Elegies and Emblems The Bassalisk that kils by Fascination Is not Like mee tide to one Habitation Noe nor the Catablepe whose poysonous eye Where ere shee goes makes Grass and Flowers die Though these destroy yet may they freely Range Whilst I am shut up in A Countrey Grange.1

The royalist poet Hester Pulter is one of the most celebrated additions to the roll of seventeenth-century women writers to emerge out of archival recuperation in recent years: entirely lost to literary history until the discovery of her sole manuscript of poems in 1996, she has rapidly garnered extensive critical discussion and poetic acclaim.2 Pulter’s manuscript contains two series of 1   University of Leeds Library, Brotherton Collection, MS Lt q 32, fol. 79r. All quotations are from this sole manuscript of Pulter’s poetry. 2   See, for example, Mark Robson, ‘Swansongs: Reading Voice in the Poetry of Lady Hester Pulter’, EMS 9 (2000): pp. 238–256; three essays in a special issue on Pulter of Literature Compass 2, no. 1 (2005): Mark Robson, ‘Reading Hester Pulter Reading’, Jayne Archer, ‘A “Perfect Circle”? Alchemy in the Poetry of Hester Pulter’, and Sarah C. E. Ross, ‘Tears, Bezoars and Blazing Comets: Gender and Politics in Hester Pulter’s Civil War Lyrics’; Nigel Smith, ‘The Rod and the Canon’, Women’s Writing 14 (2007): pp. 232–245; Kate Chedgzoy, Women’s Writing in the British Atlantic World: Memory, Place and History, 1550–1700 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007); and Margaret J. M. Ezell, ‘The Laughing Tortoise: Speculations on Manuscript Sources and Women’s Book History’, ELR 38, no. 2 (2008): pp. 331–355. Selected poems occur in Elizabeth Clarke, ed., ‘Hester Pulter’s “Poems Breathed forth By the Nobel Hadassas”’, EMWMP, pp.111–127); as an appendix to Ross, ‘Tears, Bezoars and Blazing Comets’; and in Jane Stevenson and Peter Davidson, eds, Early Modern Women Poets (1520–1700): An Anthology (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001). Alice Eardley’s Lady Hester Pulter: Poems, Emblems, and The Unfortunate Florinda (Toronto: The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe, 2014) is just published as this book goes to production.

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poems: the first, ‘Poems Breathed forth By The Nobel Hadassas’, consists largely of occasional and devotional lyrics in which personal and political events are explored; the second, ‘The sighes of a sad soule Emblematically breath’d forth by the noble Hadassah’, is a striking set of emblems, purely verbal, exploring political and devotional morals.3 Here in Pulter’s volume we find a body of poetry that engages directly in the royalist poetic culture of the English revolution: occasional and pastoral poems addressing the political crises of 1647–1649, including elegies on Sir Charles Lucas and Sir George Lisle, heroes of the royalist cause who were executed at Colchester in the summer of 1648, and several elegies on Charles I himself. Pulter emerges in these poems as a fully-fledged political poet—a ‘poet of the state’ to as great an extent as Katherine Philips. She is Philips’s and Margaret Cavendish’s poetic contemporary, her poems dating from the mid-1640s until around 1665, and so she provides a direct manuscript comparator for those two better-known royalist poets of the revolutionary years. Pulter’s explicitly political poems also provide the basis for a reinvestigation of royalist retirement as a gendered poetic trope and as a critical paradigm in the years of the Civil Wars and Interregnum. Royalist poets in the mid-century—Herrick, Vaughan, Traherne, Philips, Cowley, and others—have often been associated with a biographical and poetic retreat into writing and away from fighting, and with a Stoic retirement to the garden or the study.4 James Loxley and Andrew Shifflett are among those who have complicated the association of retreat with political inaction: Loxley has explored royalist polemical writing as ‘pressed into service’, a political engagement that fulfils the commitment of fighting for the crown; and Andrew Shifflett suggests that ‘the Stoic does not cease acting in the world’.5 But as Loxley explores, ‘the dangers attendant on a man falling away from a life of action’ are frequently figured as effeminacy or androgyny in mid-century political writing.6 The literature of 3   The manuscript also contains an incomplete prose romance, The Unfortunate Florinda. This is beyond the scope of this chapter, but has been discussed in Peter C. Herman, ‘Lady Hester Pulter’s The Unfortunate Florinda: Race, Religion, and the Politics of Rape’, RQ 63 (2010): pp. 1208–1246. 4  Important studies are Earl Miner, The Cavalier Mode from Jonson to Cotton (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1971); Raymond A. Anselment, Loyalist Resolve: Patient Fortitude in the English Civil War (Newark, DE: University of Delaware Press, 1988); James Loxley, Royalism and Poetry in the English Civil Wars: The Drawn Sword (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1997); and Andrew Shifflett, Stoicism, Politics, and Literature in the Age of Milton (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998). 5  Loxley, Royalism and Poetry, p. 6; and James Loxley, ‘Unfettered Organs: The Polemical Voices of Katherine Philips’, in ‘This Double Voice’: Gendered Writing in Early Modern England, edited by Danielle Clarke and Elizabeth Clarke (Basingstoke: St Martin’s Press, 2000), pp. 230–248 (p. 236); Shifflett, Stoicism, Politics, and Literature, p. 6. 6   Loxley, ‘Unfettered Organs’, p. 238.



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royalist defeat and retreat has also been associated in several critical studies with feminized passivity and a ‘female aesthetic’ of retreat into devotional language.7 Pulter’s royalism, tropes of geographical isolation and solitude in her poetry, and a prevailing poetic aesthetic of sighs and tears align her with this paradigm of feminized retreat, and her female sex seems to compound and essentialize it. She lived and wrote in the 1640s and 1650s at her home of Broadfield in rural Hertfordshire, and her occasional lyrics construe her situation there as one of lonely and politicized isolation. She declares in the untitled poem quoted in the epigraph to this chapter that she is ‘shut up in a Countrey Grange’, ‘inslavd to solitude’, and ‘buried, thus alive’ (fol. 79r). Pulter’s residence at Broadfield and her poetic preoccupation with isolation layer the gendered paradigm of royalist retirement with an ontological specificity, evoking a sense of a female isolate, removed from literary culture. It has, however, become clear in recent years that Pulter’s occlusion from society and politics in the mid-seventeenth century was by no means as complete as her occasional poems suggest. Pulter was one of many daughters of James Ley, first Earl of Marlborough, Lord Chief Justice and Lord High Treasurer of England—and a literary man, described as ‘that old man eloquent’ by Milton in a sonnet addressed to Pulter’s sister Margaret in about 1642.8 Hester and Margaret allied themselves to opposing political factions in the 1640s and 1650s, but it seems entirely possible that there was no complete breach between them. The diary of the moderate Parliamentarian Sir John Harington of Kelston, who was married to Hester and Margaret’s sister Dionysia, includes records of Pulter visiting the Haringtons in London in 1647 and 1652, and interacting while she was there with William Dugard, the printer of (among other things) the Eikon Basilike, and with James Ussher, Church of Ireland archbishop of Armagh.9 Biographical and literary connections of this kind, while still sketchy, lend credence to a critical sense that marked the early reception 7  Lois Potter, Secret Rites and Secret Writing: Royalist Literature, 1641–1660 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989); Helen Wilcox, ‘Exploring the Language of Devotion in the English Revolution’, in Literature and the English Civil War, edited by Thomas Healy and Jonathan Sawday (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), pp. 75–88 (p. 86). 8   James Ley’s life is described in numerous sources, including the ODNB. ‘Sonnet X, To the Lady Margaret Ley’, in John Carey, ed., Milton: Complete Shorter Poems, 2nd edn (London: Longman, 1997), pp. 289–291. 9   Margaret F. Stieg, ed., The Diary of John Harington, M.P. 1646–53 with Notes for his Charges (Somerset Record Society, 1977), pp. 47, 51, 75–76; and Alice Eardley, ‘An Edition of Lady Hester Pulter’s Book of “Emblems”’, 2 vols, vol. 1 (PhD dissertation, University of Warwick, 2008), pp. 65–76. Pulter’s cousin on her mother’s side was the Oxford antiquary Anthony à Wood, although there is no evidence of contact between them (Eardley, ‘Emblems’, vol. 1, p. 30).

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of Pulter’s poetry: that her discourse of isolation notwithstanding, she is likely to have engaged actively with prominent examples of politicized verse that circulated in manuscript culture during the 1640s and 1650s, including the poetry of Andrew Marvell.10 In this chapter, I will explore the ways in which Pulter’s occasional poems extend the politicized tropes of pastoral retirement, drawing on traditions of English river poetry, including Sir John Denham’s Coopers Hill, Marvell, and the royalist elegies that proliferated in print as well as manuscript in 1648–1649. She was clearly engaged, as a reader at least, in the poetic culture of royalism, and her multiple literary engagements emphasize the imaginative and literary nature of her tropes of retirement, as well as the paradoxes inherent in them.11 Her occasional poems and elegies assert—as occasional poetry does—the proximity of the speaking voice to the ontological being of the poet, at the same time as they stand in a fluid and highly literary relationship to pastoral, topographical poetry, complaint, and elegy, genres that occupied a central role in the poetic representation of the political state in mid-seventeenth-century England. Pulter rewrites these genres from a specifically female point of view, creating a voluble, female poetic response to the royalist crises of the late 1640s. Pulter’s central aesthetic of female tears—prolific, politicized, and powerful—is extended and modified in the series of fifty-three emblem poems that she wrote in the 1650s, during the long royalist winter of Cromwell’s rule. Her emblems participate in a genre of relative rhetorical modesty, a religious and didactic one, but the emblem was also readily appropriated by both sides in the Civil War for political effect; and Pulter’s emblems reiterate and develop her political preoccupations, as they articulate a devout stoicism against a background of adverse political circumstances. Pulter’s emblems elaborate on and codify her occasional lyrics’ political symbolic schema, drawing attention to the vital role of the emblem, and of emblematics more broadly, in her own and her contemporary women’s political poetry. Emblematics infuse her occasional, elegiac, and devotional lyrics, as they do Lucy Hutchinson’s elegies and Order and Disorder, the focus of the 10   Peter Davidson, ‘Green Thoughts. Marvell’s Gardens: Clues to Two Curious Puzzles’, TLS 5044 (3 December 1999): pp. 14–15. 11   Of mid-century poetic discourses of retirement, Hilary Menges writes that Katherine Philips’s ‘poetic celebration of retired friendship itself belongs to a public, poetic discourse’; and Elizabeth Scott-Baumann describes reading Philips in relation to Cowley as revealing ‘intriguing paradoxes: that the poetry of retreat represents close engagement with the literary world, and that the most startling poetry of solitude is written in dialogue with another’. Hilary Menges, ‘Authorship, Friendship, and Forms of Publication in Katherine Philips’, SEL 52 (2012): pp. 517–541 (p. 521); Elizabeth Scott-Baumann, Forms of Engagement: Women, Poetry and Culture, 1640–1680 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), p. 84.



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final chapter in this book. Pulter’s emblem poems also underpin a deeply emblematic self-styling as a royalist poet: writing herself through the biblical story of Esther, and through Francis Quarles’s emblem on Esther 7:3, she constructs for herself a notion of ‘splendent fame’, her poetic sighs and tears providing a consolatory example for her royalist friends. This self-construction is bold and ambitious, evoking a politicized community of friends and readers to complement her evidently broad sphere of reading; but there is no evidence, at least to date, that she achieved any success in being read by her contemporaries. Pulter, then, enters literary history as something of a paradox: extensively and complexly literary, she appears to have been the most occluded of the women poets explored in this book, the apparently circumscribed reach of her poetry reinforcing the sense of isolation that her poetic discourses construct. ‘ I W I L L RO R E O U T M Y G R I E F E U N TO T H E M A I N E ’ :  P U LT E R ’ S O C C A S I O N A L POEMS AND ELEGIES Pulter is likely to have arrived at Broadfield at some point after her marriage, apparently at the age of thirteen in 1618–1619, and before the birth of her first child in 1625.12 Her husband, Arthur, was a Cambridge-educated man, a justice of the peace, a captain of the militia and, in 1641, a sheriff of the county, but he withdrew from public and political affairs: the Hertfordshire antiquarian Sir Henry Chauncy writes that ‘shortly after the breaking forth of the late civil War, he declin’d all publick Imployment, liv’d a retired life, and thro’ the Importunity of his Wife, began to build a very fair House of Brick upon this Mannor’.13 This cryptic and critical statement aside, Chauncy gives no intimation of the reasons behind Arthur Pulter’s withdrawal from public life. The Hertfordshire historian Reginauld Hine assumes a wariness of losing his estates to sequestration, in which case Arthur may have been a moderate royalist; but Arthur was also patron to Thomas Gardiner, the local Cottered parish rector in the 1650s who was ejected in 1662 for not reading the common prayer.14 This 12   Alice Eardley has established Pulter’s date of birth as 18 June 1605 (‘Lady Hester Pulter’s Date of Birth’, NQ 57 (2010): pp. 498–501). Perhaps, like Elizabeth Brackley, she was regarded as ‘too young to be bedded’ at the time of her marriage (see Chapter 3). 13   Sir Henry Chauncy, The Historical Antiquities of Hertfordshire, new edn, 2 vols, vol. 1 (Dorking: Kohler and Coombes, 1975), p. 145. 14   Reginauld L. Hine, ‘Portrait of an English Country Squire Based on the Household Account Book of James Forester of Broadfield Hall 1689–96’, in Relics of an Un-Common Attorney (London: Dent, 1951), p. 3. Gardiner was presented at the quarter sessions, 12 January 1662, and was replaced in the living by his son John three days later

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patronage may well indicate a more radical religious outlook than Hester, whose devotional lyrics suggest an abstention from church services in the 1650s, in which case marital differences may have contributed to her sense of isolation at Broadfield. Arthur, certainly, is completely and curiously absent from Pulter’s occasional poems, in which she frequently addresses and refers to her teenage and young adult daughters. Broadfield’s garden features prominently in Pulter’s occasional poems, in which solitude is a prevailing theme. ‘The Garden, or The Contention of Flowers, To my Deare Daughter Mris Anne Pulter, at her desire written’ opens with the speaker lying alone in her garden, ‘Some solitary howres to pass away’, and solitude is in this case the fertile condition for a long poetic meditation on Broadfield’s flowers (fols 19r–32v). Solitude, however, is most often an affliction in her verse, as a stock spiritual condition, her soul enduring life’s ‘tedious Pilgrimage’ (fol. 49v), but also as an apparently biographical one to be endured against her will. One poem addressed ‘To my Deare Iane Pulter, Margaret Pulter, Penelope Pulter, they beeing at London, I at Bradfield’, at some point before Jane’s death in 1645, exhorts them to ‘Come my Deare Children to this lonely Place’, where ‘I am soe dull, and such sad fancies make’ (fol. 56r); another poem, untitled and of an unknown date, describes ‘I aboue my life my Children Love / Yet I to comfort them cannot remove’ (fol. 80r). Pulter’s sense of solitary imprisonment at Broadfield is apparently compounded by illness and melancholy—she writes a poem in a state of ‘Universall dissolution’ on her confinement with her fifteenth child in 1648 (fol. 10v)—and to her poetic narrative of ‘sad obscurity’ (fol. 80v) can be added the tragic circumstances of her motherhood, which saw her outlive all but one of those fifteen children.15 Pulter repeatedly invites her older daughters to join her at Broadfield, and one long invitation poem warrants sustained explication, as its tropes and generic borrowings define Pulter’s political poetic. ‘The invitation into the Countrey to my Deare Daughters Margaret Pulter Penelope Pulter i647 when his sacred Maj:tie was at unhappy ho’ exhorts: (A. G. Matthews, Calamy Revised: Being a Revision of Edmund Calamy’s Account of the Ministers and Others Ejected and Silenced, 1660–2 (Oxford: Clarendon, 1934), p. 217). 15   Cottered and Great Wymondley parish registers; Walter C. Metcalfe, The Visitations of Hertfordshire, 1572 and 1634, The Publications of the Harleian Society, vol. 22 (London: The Harleian Society, 1886), p. 85; Chauncy, Hertfordshire, vol. 1, pp. 134, 146. Ten of Hester and Arthur Pulter’s children are named in the Cottered and Great Wymondley parish registers, including the likely addressees of her invitation poems: Jane (born 1625), Margaret (1629), Penelope (1633), and Ann (1635). Pulter’s tally of fifteen children may include miscarriages, or parish records may be incomplete.



Hester Pulter’s Elegies and Emblems Deare daughters come make hast away from that sad place make noe delay Hee’s gon that was the Citties Grace Fiue Hydras now Usurps his place The Planes are over Grown with moss With shedding teares for Englands loss Hard hearts unsenceable of woe Whom Marble Wals in griefe out goe Then come sweet virgins come away What is it that invites your stay. What can you learn there elce but pride And what your blushes will not hide There virgins lose theire Honoured name which doth for ever blur theire fame Their Husbands looke with Iealous eyes And wives deceive them and theire spies; To Inns of Court, and Armies goe Wise Children theire owne Dads to know There Shepherds, that noe Flocks doe keepe, Like Butchers Mastives, worrie sheepe Then Come sweete Children come away What can allure you yet to stay.

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20

Hide Parke a place of chiefe delight Her bushes mourne like Iewes in white The stately Deer doe weeping stray 25 Anticipateing theire last day Spring Garden that such pleasures bred Lookes dull and sad since Cloris fled The Christall Thames her loss deplores And to the sea her Griefe out Rores 30 The swans upon her silver brest Though dieing yet can find noe rest but full of griefe crie wella-daye And singing sigh theire breath away. (fols 4v–5r)

The opening stanzas of this poem set aside Pulter’s prevailing figuration of Broadfield as bereft and empty, and use the invitation to her daughters and the gardens of London and Broadfield to comment directly on the political circumstances of 1647. Charles I’s removal from London (he spent 1647 imprisoned at Holmby House and then at Hampton Court) has left it a ‘sad place’, where the planes are overgrown with moss, the prominent pleasure gardens of Hyde Park and Spring Garden have lost their lustre, and ‘stately deer’, who are figures for Charles himself, ‘weeping stray / Anticipateing theire last day’. Pulter adopts the stock pastoral names of

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Cloris and Amintas for Henrietta Maria and Charles, but in this poem, the pastoral world of London is corrupted in the absence of paternal right rule. Shepherds without flocks worry sheep like butchers’ mastiffs, and sexual corruption renders virgins’ parentage uncertain. Pulter’s poem comments on the political state through precisely the alignment of political and patriarchal right rule that marks much women’s writing in the period, including that of Jane Cavendish, as we have seen.16 The absence of the shepherd– king at the political centre has left it a centre of iniquity: in the absence of right political rule, familial order and sexual mores also fall apart. Broadfield, in contrast, is a desirable retreat from the state’s desolate and corrupt political centre, to which Pulter invites her daughters. ‘Here’s Flowery vales and Christall springs / Here’s shadey Groves’ (37–38), the fourth and following stanzas describe, ‘Here carefull Shepherds view there sheepe / They him, and he theire soules doth keepe’ (49–50), and in this well-ordered pastoral world, sexual mores are maintained. ‘Husbands free from Iealous eye / Haue wives as full of modesty’, and virgins sit in flow’ery vales refresht by sweet Favorious gales Makeing them Anadems and poses Crowning theire Heads with new blowne Roses. (65–68)

In its contrast between the corrupted pleasure gardens of London and the flowery vales of Broadfield, the opening stanzas of Pulter’s poem participate in the mode of pastoral invitation epitomized in Christopher Marlowe’s ‘Passionate Shepherd to his Love’ and rewritten by Jane Cavendish in ‘A Songe’ to her father, discussed in detail in the previous chapter. Its recurrent refrain exhorts her daughters to ‘come away’ to Broadfield, engaging in the multiple poetic traditions—sacred and secular, popular and literary— that inform Cavendish’s use of the same exhortation. Such poetry of pastoral invitation, however, sharpened in its political reference in the late 1640s and 1650s, as the invitation to rural retreat became a mainstay of royalist verse. ‘The invitation into the Countrey’ prefigures the poetry of retirement penned by Katherine Philips in the early 1650s, such as ‘A Countrey Life’, ‘A retir’d friendship, to Ardelia’, and ‘Invitation to the Countrey’, poems that may have been influential on Abraham Cowley and Marvell in the 1660s.17 Pulter’s poem resonates particularly   See also Chapter 5.   Patrick Thomas’s dating of ‘A Countrey Life’ to 1650 makes it one of Philips’s earliest works (Thomas, ed., The Collected Works of Katherine Philips, The Matchless Orinda, vol. 1, The Poems (Stump Cross, Essex: Stump Cross Books, 1990), p. 363). Scott-Baumann suggests that ‘A Countrey Life’ was influential on the poetry of retirement as it was consolidated by Abraham Cowley and practised by Philips and Marvell in the 1660s (Forms of 16 17



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strongly with ‘A Countrey Life’, in which Philips contrasts Hyde Park and Spring Garden with the ‘retir’d integritie’ offered by the country, and in which the country location enables Philips to ‘think not on the state’—a line that in this poem carries none of the transgressive defiance of its reuse at the opening of her ‘Upon the double murther’.18 It seems very unlikely that Philips knew Pulter’s poetry, but the resonances of Pulter’s invitation poem, with the ‘come away’ tradition evoked by Cavendish in the early 1640s, and with the poetry of retired friendship developed by Philips and Cowley in the 1650s and 1660s, illustrates the evolutionary interrelationship between these two modes, and their exploitation for political articulation in the hands of female poets as well as male.19 Broadfield’s pastoral idyll, however, does not persist. ‘The invitation into the Countrey’—190 lines in all—shifts sharply in tone and in form at the opening of the seventh stanza: But oh those times now changed bee Sad Metamorphosis wee see For since Amintas went away 75 Shepherds and sheepe goe all astray Those that deserved whole Groves of Bayes In sighs consume theire youthfull dayes And that faire fleecy flocks did keepe Dispis’d in corners sit and weepe 80 Since Cloris went both wife and Maid In loue and beavty hath Decayed Where May poles shewed theire fethered head Theire colour’d Insign’s now are spread Instead of Musicks pleasant sound 85 And lively lasses danceing round Tumultuous Drums make Deafe our eares And Trumpets fill our hearts w:th feares In shades where Nimphs did use to walke There Sons of Mars in Armour Stalke 90 Inamell’d vales and Cristall streames Proue now alas poore Bradfields dreames. (fols 5v–6r) 

Engagement, pp. 91–93); this is a later manifestation of the poetry of retirement to which I will return in Chapter 5. 18   Pulter also refers to Hyde Park and Spring Garden again in her twentieth emblem poem; and evocations of them as sites of immoral behaviour abound in poetic and dramatic texts of the period, including James Shirley’s Hyde Park (1632) and Henry Neville’s The Parliament of Ladies (1647). 19   Nigel Smith reads Pulter alongside Philips in ‘The Rod and The Canon’, but he does not assert an influence of Philips on Pulter, as Menges suggests (‘Authorship, Friendship, and Forms of Publication’, p. 538). Pulter’s poetry of invitation predates Philips’s.

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Broadfield is now as bereft as London, as the royal absences that have destroyed the political centre impact on the pastoral realm. The sexual misdemeanours of London’s corrupted pleasure gardens are mirrored as Broadfield’s ‘Shepherds and sheepe goe all astray’, and the pastoral maidens of the poem’s opening have decayed ‘in loue and beavty’. Maypoles, a focal emblem of rural pastimes in the royalist pastoral poetry of Herrick’s Hesperides (1648), are bedecked with the banners of war, and the ‘lively lasses’ who danced around them are displaced.20 ‘Sons of Mars’ now walk this world in armour, and in its description of a feminine pastoral realm invaded by wanton troopers, Pulter’s lyric begins to resemble another politicized pastoral featuring a weeping nymph and a fawn: Andrew Marvell’s ‘The Nymph Complaining’.21 Pulter’s possible awareness of Marvell’s poetry is a topic to which I will return; but at this point in ‘The invitation into the Countrey’ Pulter, like Marvell, is engaging in the convention of representing state affairs via pastoral—a pastoral that is no longer an idyllic retreat but that is irrupted by the political tumult of the world’s affairs. Kate Chedgzoy has described Pulter and Jane Cavendish as women who ‘powerfully expressed the national trauma of civil war through a focus on local and familial experience’, and in both women’s verse, the country estate becomes the site of a political absence that is refracted through tropes of familial absence.22 More powerfully than Cavendish, however, Pulter fuses the occasional poem with multiple, politicized literary conventions: the secular and sacred poetry of pastoral invitation, the emergent poetic of royalist retreat, and the literary culture of allusive politicized pastoral that Marvell’s poem epitomizes. If the opening section of ‘The invitation into the Countrey’ is aligned with the invitation poem and the politicized pastoral, its long second section comes to resemble Tudor and early seventeenth-century river poetry and the mid-seventeenth-century topographical poem, in which the political state is figured in the extended description of a highly localized landscape and its waterways. The ‘Inamell’d vales and Cristall streames’ of Broadfield’s pastoral idyll are ‘poore . . . dreames’ by lines 91–92, prompting a long and meandering section in which the rivers of Hertfordshire— Lea, Mimmer, Stort, Colne, Beane, and Ver—‘poure there greife’ into one another and into the Thames. Pulter’s nostalgic evocation of Broadfield’s crystal vales and streams recalls Josuah Sylvester’s translation of Du 20  For maypoles in Herrick’s Hesperides, see Leah Sinanoglou Marcus, ‘Herrick’s Hesperides and the “Proclamation made for May”’, Studies in Philology 76, no. 1 (1979): pp. 49–74. 21   The resemblance is noted in Davidson, ‘Green Thoughts’, and Nigel Smith, The Poems of Andrew Marvell, rev. edn (London: Longman, 2007), p. 67. 22  Chedgzoy, Women’s Writing in the British Atlantic World, p. 58.



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Bartas: His Deuine Weekes and Workes, in which he waxes lyrical on the Edenic state of England, describing ‘Th’inammell’d Valleys, where the liquid glasse / Of silver Brookes in curled streames doth passe’ (2.2.3.699– 700).23 Pulter must have known Sylvester’s translation of Du Bartas (she draws on Simon Goulart’s commentary upon it in her emblem poems), and her evocation of Hertfordshire rivers also echoes the poems of Spenser and Drayton, inaugurators of what Andrew McRae describes as ‘the minor genre of Tudor river poetry’.24 Spenser’s The Ruines of Time features a ‘siluer streaming Thamesis’ and a woman on its shores ‘sorrowfullie wailing’, while Drayton’s extended poetic essay Poly-Olbion offers a model for Pulter in its close and geographically specific description and its personification, as he gives his rivers voice.25 Reading the second half of ‘The invitation into the Countrey’ as indebted to the chorographic river poem makes sense of its marked shift in perspective and form, as it switches from stanzas of invitation punctuated by the ‘come away’ refrain to a long description, unbroken by stanzaic divisions, of the Hertfordshire countryside and its weeping flowers and rivers. Pulter’s use of the rivers of Hertfordshire to figure ‘Englands loss’ is developed in a second poem of the same year, ‘The complaint of Thames i647 when the best of kings was imprisoned by the worst of Rebels at Holmbie’ (fols 8v–10r). Here the Thames—gendered female, as are all Pulter’s rivers—bewails the absence of Amintas, ‘the learned Shepherd King’ (4), in a lament that extends the imagery of ‘The invitation into the Countrey’ and the echo of Spenser’s The Ruines of Time. Published in the Complaints of 1591, Spenser’s poem opens as a narrator on the shores of the Thames comes across a wailing woman, ‘streames of teares from her faire eyes forth railing’ (12). The narrator wonders if she is a nymph of the river, before discovering that she is the genius of the ruined Roman city of Verulamium; moved at her ‘piteous plaint’ (29), the narrator sits down and weeps with her as she delivers an extended, elegiac complaint against the times.26 Pulter’s ‘The complaint of Thames’ also opens with a narrator walking alone by the Thames and it also features a weeping woman; however, here the woman is the Thames herself, ‘sadly mak[ing] her moane / 23   Susan Snyder, ed., The Divine Weeks and Works of Guillaume De Saluste, Sieur du Bartas, Translated by Josuah Sylvester, 2 vols, vol. 1 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1979), p. 461. Pulter reuses her image near the end of her poem, in a negative construction emphasizing all that is lost. 24  Andrew McRae, ‘Fluvial Nation: Rivers, Mobility and Poetry in Early Modern England’, ELR 38 (2008): pp. 506–534 (p. 506). 25   Edmund Spenser, The Ruines of Time, in Complaints: Containing sundrie small Poemes of the Worlds Vanitie (1591); Michael Drayton, Poly-Olbion (1612). 26  Spenser, The Ruines of Time, in John Kerrigan, Motives of Woe: Shakespeare and ‘Female Complaint’ (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991), pp. 140–141.

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As shee came weeping from her western Spring’ (3–4). Pulter transposes the the voluble female voice of the complaint genre onto the personified Thames, and the poem concludes with its framing speaker, alone with the river, participating in its grief: hearing the Thames’ extended complaint, she sits ‘sadly Down’ at the conclusion of the poem ‘and with her gan to weepe’ (121).27 If Pulter’s ‘The complaint of Thames’ rewrites and intensifies Spenser’s fluvial complaint, it is also very likely to owe something to John Denham’s Coopers Hill, in which a survey of the English countryside, including the River Thames, is deeply politicized. Denham’s poem, first published in 1642, extended the river poem and popularized the topographical genre, and was ‘much republished, celebrated, and plundered’.28 Its emblematic centrepiece is a male Thames, ‘the most lov’d of all the Ocean’s sons’ (187), contained within its banks and spreading beyond them only to generate ‘plenty for th’ensuing Spring’ (196).29 Denham’s river is ‘without ore-flowing full’, an emblem not only of his poetic couplets (which he famously wishes could ‘flow’ like the river he describes) but also of the English state in harmonious balance; a river that ‘to a Torrent, then a Deluge swells’ features at the conclusion of his poem as a cautionary image of the breakdown of his philosophical ideal of a political concordia discors.30 Pulter’s female Thames, in contrast, excoriates the ‘Perfidious Town’ (11) of London and vows to ‘leave my channill’ to ‘wash away thy Horrid guilt’ (16, 18). She roars with excessive and uncontainable grief: the kingdom’s scourges and London’s pride ‘make my Trembling Streame lamenting Rore’ (91), and she declares ‘I will Rore out my griefe unto the Maine’ (98), again echoing ‘The invitation into the Countrey’, where ‘The 27   For the rhetoricized ‘female’ voice in the complaint genre, see Kerrigan, Motives of Woe; and Danielle Clarke, ‘Ovid’s Heroides, Drayton and the Articulation of the Feminine in the English Renaissance’, Renaissance Studies 22 (2008): pp. 385–400. 28   McRae, ‘Fluvial Nation’, p. 510; Smith, The Poems of Andrew Marvell, p. 213; Susan Wiseman, ‘The Contemplative Woman’s Recreation? Katherine Austen and the Estate Poem’, in Early Modern Women and the Poem, edited by Wiseman (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2013), pp. 220–243 (p. 230). 29  John Denham, Coopers Hill (1642), in Brendan O Hehir, Expans’d Hieroglyphicks: A Critical Edition of Sir John Denham’s Coopers Hill (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1969), pp. 122–123. 30  Denham’s image of the Thames is expanded in the 1655 version of his poem (O Hehir’s ‘B’ text); it is here that he describes it explicitly as ‘without ore-flowing full’ (line 192) (O Hehir, Expans’d Hieroglyphicks, pp. 150–151). The river swelling to a torrent and then a deluge is ‘A’ text, line 340; ‘B’ text, line 356; O Hehir, Expans’d Hieroglyphicks, pp. 134, 162. Jay Russell Curlin describes Denham’s Thames as ‘an emblem for the state in perfect harmony’, in ‘“Is There No Temperate Region . . .?” Coopers Hill and the Call for Moderation’, in The English Civil Wars in the Literary Imagination, edited by Claude J. Summers and Ted-Larry Pebworth (Columbia and London: University of Missouri Press, 1999), pp. 119–129 (p. 125).



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Christall Thames her loss deplores / And to the Sea her Griefe out Rores’ (29–30). The female grief of Pulter’s Thames is exhorbitant, taking on the tears of the poem’s (presumably) female narrator and transforming them into a torrent as uncontainable as the river herself. If Pulter is very likely to have known Denham’s popular printed poem, the possibility of a link to Andrew Marvell’s poetry, which circulated only in manuscript, is more elusive—and particularly tantalizing. Echoes of ‘The Nymph Complaining for the Death of her Fawn’, possibly written in the late 1640s, have been read not only into ‘The invitation into the Countrey’, but also into an elegy on her twenty-year-old daughter Jane, ‘Vpon the Death of my deare and lovely Daughter Iane Pulter’ (fols 16v–17v). This child-loss poem, one of two on the death of her beloved adult daughter from smallpox, opens with a poignant appeal: All you that haue indulgent Parents been And have your Children in perfection seen Of youth and bevty; lend one Teare to mee

and as the poem progresses, the relentless progress of smallpox across Jane’s pure white skin is described through a simile that fuses the poem with the pastoral maidens of ‘The invitation into the Countrey’: O could a Fevour spot her snowey skin Whose virgin soule was scarcely soyld wth sin Aye mee it did, soe haue I som times seene Faire Maydens sit incircled on A green White Lillies spread when they were making Poses Upon them scatter leaves of Damask Roses E’ne soe the spots upon her faire skin show Like drops of blood upon unsoiled snow. (37–44)31

This heartfelt child-loss poem may seem an unlikely site for an interaction with Marvell’s politicized poetry, but Peter Davidson has drawn attention to imagistic similarities between it and ‘The Nymph Complaining’, including a ‘location in a place of flowers’ and ‘images of cold whiteness’.32 Pulter’s elegy, indeed, is rather closer to Marvell’s ‘Nymph Complaining’ than her invitation poem, as the roses of both poems are joined by lilies, the two together evoking both the garden of the Song of Songs and the red and white heraldic colours of Charles I and Henrietta Maria.33 And

  For discussion of this final, scored-out line, see below.   Davidson, ‘Green Thoughts’, p. 14. 33  Davidson, ‘Green Thoughts’, p. 14; Graham Parry, ‘What is Marvell’s Nymph Complaining About?’, Critical Survey 5 (1993): pp. 244–251 (pp. 246–247). 31 32

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Pulter’s elegy and Marvell’s poem both conclude with a weeping mourner turning to stone like Niobe. Pulter’s Niobe is first and foremost an emblem of a mother’s extreme grief at the loss of her child, a double turn in the poem’s final line balancing the fate of the mother with that of the deceased daughter: ‘I turned a Niobe as she turn’d earth’ (58). Through the common fusion of the classical Niobe and the biblical Lot’s wife, however, the figure also carries resonances of grief at the destruction of a civilization that echo through Pulter’s poetry.34 Most intriguingly, Pulter’s elegy on Jane is interrupted by a set of lines that links the poem even more closely to her own ‘Invitation into the Countrey’ and to Marvell’s ‘Nymph Complaining’. Pulter’s scribe has scored out the final line of those quoted above, and a marginal ideogram of a pointing finger directs the reader to a new extended simile focused on a wounded hart spilling blood onto pristine snow: E’ne soe the spots upon her faire skin show Like drops of blood upon unsoiled snow. Like Lilly leaves, sprinkled w:th Damask Rose Or as A stately Hert to Death pursued By Ravening Hounds her⌈is⌉ eyes wth tears bedewed An Arrow sticking in her⌈is⌉ trembling breast Her⌈s⌉ lost condition to the life exprest Soe trips shee or’e the Lawns on trodden snow And from her⌈is⌉ side her⌈is⌉ guiltles blood doth flow Soe did the spots upon heris her faire skin shew Like drops of blood upon unsulled snow. (fol. 16r)35

Pulter’s evocation of the hart or stag indisputably carries political connotations: the wounded stag recurs in her explicitly political elegies and in her emblem poetry, at one point in a very close variation on these lines, as I discuss below. The political resonances of the image are also reinforced—if inadvertently—through its material placement: the new lines are inserted at the end of an elegy entitled ‘On that Unparraleld Prince Charles the first: his Horrid Murther’, in what must previously have been blank space (see Figures 4.1 and 4.2). ‘The Nymph Complaining’ has of course been seen as alluding in its central image of the fawun shot by ‘wanton Troopers’ to the hunting of Charles I to death, and the stag image provides a further connection between the two poems. The time frame for any direct response to 34   In neither Marvell’s nor Pulter’s poem is there a sense of Niobe’s culpability for her own excessive grief, a moral that often marks evocations of the two figures. 35   The amendments, indicated, to the sex of the stag are in Pulter’s own hand, and emphasize a distinction between Jane and the male stag.

Fig. 4.1  Hester Pulter, ‘Vpon the Death of my deare and lovely Daughter Iane Pulter’, with an ideogram of a pointing finger indicating where new lines are to be added. University of Leeds Library, Brotherton Collection, MS L t q 32, fol. 17r. (Credit: Reproduced with the permission of Leeds University Library.)

Fig. 4.2  Hester Pulter, lines to be added to ‘Vpon the Death of my deare and lovely Daughter’, indicated with a matching ideogram, added at the end of an elegy on Charles I. University of Leeds Library, Brotherton Collection, MS L t q 32, fol. 16r. (Credit: Reproduced with the permission of Leeds University Library.)



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Marvell’s poem is extremely tight. Pulter must have started to write ‘Vpon the Death of my deare and lovely Daughter’ in 1647, as the poem refers repeatedly to a period of two years having passed since Jane’s death, and we know that she was buried in 1645.36 Marvell’s poem is believed to allude to Fanshawe’s translation of Guarini’s Il Pastor Fido, first published in 1647.37 Pulter, however, may well have completed or reworked the poem at a later date; and the stag simile is an interpolation that could have been added at any time. Pulter’s hunted stag may also be indebted, again, to Denham’s Coopers Hill, in which a stag hunt serves as an allegory for the political persecution of royalist heroes, but it is Marvell’s allusive poem to which Pulter’s elegy on Jane is closest in image, tone, and form.38 Pulter could have encountered Marvell’s poem through his Hertfordshire friend Thomas Rolt or—more plausibly—through London literary circulation.39 The interpolation of the stag hunt into Pulter’s elegy on her daughter Jane exemplifies in the most material of ways the expansion of occasional and personal elegiac genres to encompass engagement in the politics of state. Lois Potter and Nigel Smith have both discussed the generic pressures placed on the elegy by the regicide, tracing the encroachment on the personal of the public and political as, in Smith’s words, ‘the death of the King sucked all elegiac energy into its own subject’.40 Elegy is also well recognized as a fluid and mobile generic space that women poets exploited to engage in a wide range of topics. Danielle Clarke reflects that the elegiac ‘stance of grief ’ enabled women poets to negotiate ‘the perilous but permeable boundary between public and private’, and Anne Southwell uses the elegy to broach metaphysical and political subjects in the 1620s and 1630s.41 Kate Lilley has also explored the prominence of elegy in women’s poetic production in the seventeenth century, describing it as ‘an unusually mobile genre, which 36   Jane Pulter was buried in October 1645 (Cottered parish register); Davidson’s dating of her death as 1646 is incorrect (‘Green Thoughts’, pp. 14–15). 37   Davidson, ‘Green Thoughts’, p. 15. For a cautious dating of the poem to the late 1640s, see Smith, The Poems of Andrew Marvell, p. 65. 38   In the 1642 edition of Coopers Hill, Denham’s stag hunt figures the death of the Earl of Strafford; it is only in the 1655 edition that the altered and extended scene is an allegory for the fate of Charles I. Henry King’s ‘Elegy on Charles I’ and Denham’s ‘An Elegie Upon the Death of the Lord Hastings’ also briefly describe the death of Charles I as a stag hunt, and William Denny’s Pelecenicidium also uses the image (O Hehir, Expans’d Hieroglyphicks, p. 159; Potter, Secret Rites and Secret Writing, p. 193). 39   Davidson, ‘Green Thoughts’, p. 15; Smith, ‘The Rod and the Canon’, p. 239. 40  Potter, Secret Rites and Secret Writing, p. 191; and Nigel Smith, Literature and Revolution in England, 1640–1660 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994), pp. 287–294 (p. 287). 41  Danielle Clarke, The Politics of Early Modern Women’s Writing (London: Pearson Education, 2001), pp. 166–167; and see Chapter 2. For further discussion of elegy, see also Chapter 5.

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upsets the putative divisions between high and low culture, literary and non-literary women, private and public, occasional and non-occasional writing’.42 Nowhere is the topical and generic fluidity inherent in the elegy—and the woman poet’s mobilization of these qualities to engage in the politics of state—clearer than in Pulter’s elegy on her daughter Jane, in which the child-loss poem gives way to elegiac commentary on the death of Charles, and in which the grieving mother becomes a Niobe shedding tears for England’s loss. Pulter’s elegy on Jane, apparently begun in 1647, is temporally prior to four explicitly political elegies in the Brotherton manuscript: one on the deaths of Sir Charles Lucas and Sir George Lisle, heroes of the royalist cause who were executed at Colchester in August 1648, and three on the death of Charles I in January 1649. Pulter’s full-blown political elegies are directly related to the royalist literature that proliferated in print and manuscript at the time. The deaths of Lucas (brother to Margaret Lucas Cavendish) and Lisle at the hands of Thomas Fairfax provoked an outpouring of anonymous elegies, along with epitaphs, funeral sermons, and narratives such as the prose pamphlet Colchesters Tears (1648). Embittered defiance characterizes many of these, and Pulter’s poem on the deaths of Lucas and Lisle rails against ‘Iewes, Turks, Atheists Independents all / That Curssed Rabble, made these gallants fall’, and against the ‘this Sacrilegius rout / Who have our Faiths defender over powerd’. Pulter’s poem opens with incredulity—‘Is Lisle and Lucas slaine? Oh say not soe’—and it concludes with a defiant sense that the men ‘Shall live in fame till they in Triumph Glory rise’, enshrined in an honourable posthumous fame that is juxtaposed with the ill fame of those who caused their deaths (fols 13v–15r).43 For royalists like Pulter, however, worse was to come, and her elegy on Lucas and Lisle becomes an explicit stepping-off point in one of her elegies on Charles himself, executed just six months later: Let none sigh more for Lucas or for Lisle Seing now the very soule of this sad Isle (At which trembling invades my soule) is Dead And with our sacred soveraign spirits fled To Heaven. (fol. 34r)

5

42  Kate Lilley, ‘True State Within: Women’s Elegy 1640–1700’, in Women, Writing, History, 1640–1740, edited by Isobel Grundy and Susan Wiseman (London: Batsford, 1992), pp. 72–92 (p. 72). 43  Andrea Brady discusses the literary response to Lucas and Lisle’s executions, and Pulter’s further allusion to their deaths in the retrospective poem ‘A young Lady at Oxford 1646’, in ‘Dying with Honour: Literary Propaganda and the Second English Civil War’, Journal of Military History 70 (2006): pp. 9–30 (p. 20).



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Like her poem on Lucas and Lisle, Pulter’s three elegies on Charles I participate directly in a vast outpouring of elegiac literature that greeted the execution of the king in January 1649.44 Her earlier lament ‘Upon the imprisonment of his Sacred Majestie that unparaleld Prince King Charles the First’ describes Charles as a ‘Iob like saint’ renowned for his ‘Piety and Patience’ (fol. 33r), a common comparison in elegies on his execution; for example, John Quarles’s Englands Complaint describes Charles as ‘a second Iob, whose patience can / Outvie the base indignities of man’.45 ‘On the same’, the last of her poems on Charles’s death, describes the regicides as ‘call[ing] in Iews into their Aid / Who their Redeemer and their King betray’d’ (fol. 34v). Pulter’s implicit fusion of Charles and Christ in ‘their Redeemer and their King’ taps into a prevalent strain in royalist verse, already emergent in pre-regicide poems such as Herrick’s ‘Rex Tragicus’ and Jane Cavendish’s poems on her father, codified in the iconography of the Eikon Basilike, and resonating through the elegies that followed. Francis Gregory’s An Elegie upon the Death of Our Dread Soveraign Lord King Charls the Martyr, for example, operates on an extended parallel, in which Charles’s trial and execution are his ‘Passion-Tragedie’; Whitehall is Calvary; and on the day of execution, ‘The Church and State do shake’.46 Steven Zwicker describes the royalist elegiac response to Charles I’s execution as transforming him ‘into a perfect martyr—indeed, into Christ in the Passion’.47 Pulter articulates the Christological comparison that reverberates throughout the royalist literature of 1649, and her three elegies on Charles’s death constitute a watershed example of female poetic participation in the politics of state: in their direct and apparently contemporaneous response to the execution of Charles I her elegies are, like the events to which they respond, unprecedented in women’s political poetry before 1649. Pulter’s elegies on Charles I adopt a stance of mourning and an aesthetic of sighs and tears that pervades much royalist literature on his death but that is in her case explicitly female.48 Pulter’s briefest elegy on Charles’s 44   For a detailed discussion, see Robert Wilcher’s chapter ‘Lamenting the King: 1649’, in The Writing of Royalism, 1628–1660 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), pp. 287–307. 45   John Quarles, Fons Lachrymarum: or a Fountain of Tears (1648), p. 20. See also The Monvment of Charles the First, King of England (1649), where Charles is ‘Patient as Iob’. 46   [Francis Gregory], An Elegie upon the Death of Our Dread Soveraign Lord King Charls the Martyr (1649), republished in The Last Counsel of a Martyred King to His Son (1660). 47  Steven N. Zwicker, Dryden’s Political Poetry: The Typology of King and Nation (Providence, RI: Brown University Press, 1972), pp. 48–49 and 50–53; see also Loxley, Royalism and Poetry, pp. 180–181; and Wilcher, The Writing of Royalism, pp. 292–293. 48   John Quarles, the son of the emblem writer, for example, published Fons Lachrymarum: or a Fountain of Tears in 1648, a volume that he describes in his preface as ‘a Fountain, from which doth flow, Complaints, Lamentations, and Meditations, three necessaries for these

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death, ‘On the Horrid Murther of that incomparable Prince, King Charles the First’ opens ‘Let none presume to weep, tears are to weak’, and it attributes ineffectual weeping to lowly and vulgar girls, who ‘doe soe express their grief ’. These ‘Poor village Girles’ are a ‘Plebean’ manifestation of Pulter’s pastoral maidens, and in the extremity of Charles’s death, their weeping and sighing are no longer adequate. Pulter’s readers are implicitly noble and female, and she exhorts them: ‘Let us (ay mee) noe more drop tears but eyes’ (fol. 34r). Such extreme grief is also projected onto the landscape in ‘On the same’, the elegy for Charles I that opens with the reference to Lucas and Lisle, in which Pulter’s feminized rivers recur: And noble Capell let it bee thy Glory Though dead to live in his unparrild story Take it not ill that wee could scarce deplore This kingdoms loss in thee when full before Thy loss Heroick kinsman wounded deep Had wee had power left to sigh or weep Senceles wee were of private desolation Iust like a Floud after an Inundation Thus Nile doth proudly swell to loose her name And bee involved in the Oceans fame Thus stately Volgas in the Caspian tost And Natures great design in thee is lost. (fol. 34v)

15

20

25

Pulter here turns to address Arthur Capel, who was taken prisoner with Lucas and Lisle at Colchester and executed in March 1649; he was Arthur Pulter’s first cousin, and so Pulter articulates her grief for Charles through her ‘private desolation’ at the subsequent execution of Capel.49 Capel’s loss is one that touches her poetic speaker directly and personally, but his death after that of the king is like a flood after a much greater inundation, or like a river lost in the greater body of the ocean. She no longer has ‘power left to sigh or weep’ for Capel, even as her analogies for her reaction to Capel’s death—the Nile ‘proudly swell[ing] to loose her name’, the Volga losing herself in the Caspian Sea—echo the roaring grief and excoriating floods of her rivers in the poems of 1647. Pulter’s poetic and fluvial tears respond to political events in an explicitly personal and female way, one that is tied to her sexed female body, and so they provide a vital, female variation on the feminine, passive aesthetic that is seen to mark much of the lamenting literature of response to Charles’s death. Lois Potter has explored the ‘feminine’ quality of much poetry Times’ (¶4r). For ‘poetic tears’ in royalist writing around the defeat at Marston Moor (1644) and beyond, see Wilcher, The Writing of Royalism, p. 218. 49   Eardley identifies Pulter’s relationship to Capel (‘Emblems’, vol. 1, pp. 77–78).



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on Charles’s death, arguing that Charles’s qualities as a martyr—at the forefront of the elegies of 1649—were ‘essentially an embarrassment’ to a royalist faction desiring active victory, and that they were eventually relegated, ‘like the “gentle and no doubt very estimable Jesus”, to the world of romance and female suffering’.50 She describes in this context Marvell’s feminization of the political subject in ‘The Nymph Complaining’: the victim is ‘a pet fawn rather than a stag’, the lament is ‘that of a young and obviously naïve girl’, and, she writes, the poem appeals to ‘pathetic, feminine, safely inactive’ emotions that were clustering around Charles in literature mourning his death.51 James Loxley has also tackled the gendering of the royalist poetic voice in the mid-century, describing a ‘new urgency’ with which the commonplace comparison between writing and fighting is settled in royalist verse ‘into a homology’, in which polemical verse fulfils the obligation of service to the king and his cause. Loxley points out in a discussion of Katherine Philips’s ‘Upon the double murther’ that writing as action is in that poem gendered male, with the dangers of falling away from a life of action being depicted as androgyny or effeminacy. Loxley explicates Philips’s erasure of her female body in that poem in order to take on the voice of the son provoked, concluding that ‘the eruption into the voice of royalist polemic becomes the emergence into manhood’.52 Such a critical move, however, is neither possible nor necessary in the case of Pulter’s political elegies and complaints, which participate in the royalist culture of lamentation and inevitably modify it by being explicitly female. The pastoralization of Broadfield notwithstanding, it is not possible in Pulter’s case to erase the ontological connection between her sexed body and the act of politicized speech: there is a continuum between her occasional lyrics and her political elegies that hovers in the ‘private desolation’ of the address to Arthur Capel, and that is most intransigently illustrated in the elegy on Jane. ‘Vpon the Death of my deare and lovely Daughter’ is connected, through its occasionality, to a reality that is ontologically prior to it: it is a child-loss poem, just as her invitation poems can be read as literal exhortations to her daughters to return to the country home. Broadfield is the site of physical, personal absence (that of the daughters) as well as the site in which the political state is figured, and Pulter’s political poetic is inflected by these ontological realities. Such female, political poetic speech is made possible in part by Pulter’s choice of genre—the elegy, the elegiac pastoral, and the complaint, all of which offer a space for  Potter, Secret Rites and Secret Writing, p. 212.  Potter, Secret Rites and Secret Writing, p. 193. 52   Loxley, ‘Unfettered Organs’, esp. pp. 236, 248–252, 245 and see the Introduction to this book. 50 51

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female articulation. Pulter does not erupt into the manly polemical voice that Philips takes on ‘as a son provoked’ in ‘Upon the double murther’. But to echo my earlier argument in relation to Jane Cavendish’s use of the trope of rural retreat: by dint of being written from an explicitly female standpoint, Pulter’s weeping girls and women embody something inherently different from the pathetic, safe, inactive, and responsive emotions, or the purely rhetoricized position, that they represent in male-authored poetry.53 Pulter’s poetic tears may not represent the poetic action of a son provoked, but they embody a poetic reaction to the affairs of state that is neither decorous nor passive or powerless.54 ‘On the same’ is Pulter’s second elegy on Charles’s death, that in which the female speaker’s grief is like the Nile that ‘doth proudly swell to loose her name’, and the poem ends with a figuration of women’s tears that is deeply political and powerfully regenerative: Heroick Prince now rais’d aboue their hate Thou tramplest over Death and advers fate And as one fate your bodyes did dissolve Soe imMortality shall both involve Iust as our Martyrd King his spirit fled The spouse of Christ hung down her virgin head And sighing said my Faiths defender’s Dead Then trickling tears down on her trembling breast Shee said (Ay mee) when shall I safely rest At wch a voice from Heaven said weep noe more Nor my Heroick Champions Death Deplore A second Charles shall all thy Ioyes restore (fol. 35r)

35

40

45

Here the speaker is again able to weep, and the weeping virgin of the pastoral elegies is transformed into the spouse of Christ, she who loves and recognizes the King of Heaven—who, in Pulter’s construction, is fused with the king on earth. Pulter’s ‘spouse of Christ’ is the poem’s female speaker as well as the national church, a politicized doubling that is inherent in the tradition of the trope’s application and that is also exploited by Elizabeth Melville, as we have seen.55 Deriving from the Song of Songs, the spouse   See Chapter 3, section ‘Now I’m prepared against my Lord doth come’.   Catherine Coussens and Kate Chedgzoy both assume female tears to be ‘decorous’, an association out of keeping with my own reading of Pulter’s tears as ‘a form of political action gendered female’ (Catherine Coussens, ‘“Virtue’s Commonwealth”: Gendering the Royalist Cultural Rebellion in the English Interregnum (1649–1660)’, Çankaya Üniversitesi Fen-Edebiyat Fakültesi, Journal of Arts and Sciences 6 (2006): pp. 19–31 (p. 27); Chedgzoy, Women’s Writing in the British Atlantic World, p. 149; and see Ross, ‘Tears, Bezoars, and Blazing Comets’, p. 6. 55   See Chapter 1. 53 54



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of Christ offers a feminized position of individual spiritual identification with the divine, and of communal religio-political assurance of rectitude. Pulter adopts a position of rhetorical confidence that is founded on her identification with the spouse, and that transforms her earlier figuration of herself as Niobe. Here the woman’s tears that trickle down Pulter’s breast do not turn her to stone or mark the destruction of a civilization; rather, they prompt a declarative voice from heaven, an assertion in the voice of the royalist God himself that Charles’s death is that of ‘my Heroick Champion’ and that ‘A second Charles shall all thy Ioyes restore’. ‘ H A RT ’ S B R I N Y T E A R S A B E A Z U R D OT H C O N D E N S E ’ :  P U LT E R ’ S E M B L E M S A N D P O L I T I C A L E M B L E M AT I C S If Pulter’s elegies on the king ultimately find a defiant consolation in a loyalist dedication to the monarchy that is blended with her faith in Christ, her emblem poems of the 1650s participate more fully in a retreat into devout fortitude. Folio 90r of Pulter’s manuscript is entitled ‘The sighes of a sad soule Emblimatically breath’d forth by the noble Hadassah’, and the fifty-three untitled but numbered poems which follow the medial title page constitute a sustained and remarkably original engagement in the emblem genre: purely verbal, lacking both the picture and the motto of the normative model of the emblem, these poems are the earliest known series of emblems composed by an English woman writer. Alice Eardley thinks it likely that Pulter composed the majority of her emblems between 1653 and 1658—a dating based on a proliferation of references to Cromwell as Lord Protector and to a hoped for restoration of Charles II—and so the series as a whole occupies a later historical moment than the elegies of 1647–1649.56 Written in the ‘royalist winter’ of the 1650s, Pulter’s emblems are moral, religious, and didactic, and she explicitly articulates her poetic project against the falsity of political affairs, so that the series embodies a statement of devout fortitude against the political inclemency of the 1650s.57 Pulter’s emblems extend in doing so the political reference of several images that pervade her occasional and pastoral poems, illustrating the centrality of emblematics to her political poetic expression,

  Eardley, ‘Emblems’, vol. 1, pp. 96, 129–130.   In describing a ‘devout fortitude’ in Pulter’s poetic stance in the 1650s, I am drawing on and modifying Anselment’s sense of ‘loyalist resolve’ and ‘patient fortitude’ in royalist poetry of the period. I am also influenced by Eardley’s sensitive discussion of Pulter’s emblems in relation to Interregnum Stoicism (‘Emblems’, vol. 1, p. 130). 56 57

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intensifying her poetic figuration of royalism, and underpinning a deeply emblematic construction of herself as a royalist poet. Pulter’s emblems participate in a literary form that was readily available to women, in part through its use for pious and didactic expression. The Frenchwoman Georgette de Montenay had produced a collection of Les Emblemes ou Devises Chrestiennes in 1566/7, a collection that she described as ‘the most pious in the Christian tradition’; and Esther Inglis presented an elaborately calligraphic translation of de Montenay’s volume to Charles I in 1624.58 Occupying a space between literary and popular culture, the emblem had gained enormous popularity in England through the 1630s: the Puritan George Wither’s influential A collection of Emblemes, Ancient and Modern was published in 1635, and Francis Quarles’s Emblemes of the same year was a ‘seventeenth-century best-seller’ that ran to six more editions before Pulter’s death.59 Wither’s and Quarles’s volumes were influenced by the mode of Protestant spiritual meditation spearheaded by Joseph Hall, which saw the short epigram of the conventional emblem being expanded into a meditative verse.60 Quarles’s volume uses the emblem exclusively to explore the divine, the volume as a whole being structured around the progress and development of the soul. Pulter’s emblems owe much to the divine mode, and her prefatory poems nod to a structure of the devout soul’s progress, as we will see. Eardley argues, however, that the closest model for her series as a whole is Wither’s, a series that engages in the devotional or spiritual emblem, but that also focuses on the diverse and ‘esoteric’ motifs of earlier emblem books, such as Geffrey Whitney’s A Choice of Emblemes and Other Devises (1586), whose emblems are ‘Historicall, Naturall, & Morall’, in the words of its preface.61 Pulter’s series retains the diversity and hybridity of Wither’s and Whitney’s collections, as she explores the natural and historical, infusing both with contemporary political relevance. Ostensibly a genre associated with moral and spiritual expression, the emblem had also already been exploited for political effect by the midseventeenth century. Henry Peacham’s hand-drawn emblems based on James I’s Basilikon Doron were owned in a manuscript book by James’s   Eardley, ‘Emblems’, vol. 1, pp. 18–20 and p. 184.   Eardley, ‘Emblems’, vol. 1, p. 182; Elizabeth Clarke, Politics, Religion and the Song of Songs in Seventeenth-Century England (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), p. 84. 60   Eardley, ‘Emblems’, vol. 1, pp. 182–184; Michael Bath, Speaking Pictures: English Emblem Books and Renaissance Culture (London: Longman, 1994), pp. 163–165. For Joseph Hall, see Frank Livingstone Huntley, Bishop Joseph Hall and Protestant Meditation in Seventeenth-Century England (Binghamton, NY: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1981). 61   Eardley explores Pulter’s emblems in relation to Wither’s, ‘Emblems’, ch. 4 (vol. 1, pp. 181–243). Whitney, ‘To the Reader’, ¶8r. 58 59



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sons Henry and Charles as successive princes of Wales, and were eventually published in Peacham’s Minerva Britanna (1612).62 Danielle Clarke and Elizabeth Clarke have both discussed the role of the Catholic emblem author Henry Hawkins’s Parthenia Sacra (1633) at the court of Henrietta Maria in the 1630s, where the queen’s Christian Neoplatonism found a natural expression in the emblem genre.63 Lois Potter describes the emblem genre as one that ‘both sides tried equally to appropriate’ in the 1640s and 1650s because of its associations with popular sentiment—and the political potency of the emblem is perhaps most strikingly realized in the emblematic frontispiece of the Eikon Basilike, which was engraved by William Marshall, the illustrator of both Wither’s and Quarles’s books of emblems.64 Very many of Pulter’s emblems are explicitly political; for example, she rewrites a tale of a greedy mouse caught by an oyster that appears in Whitney’s A Choice of Emblemes, locating the incident at the dinner table of her father, Sir James Ley, and including a clear political moral. Whitney’s is a tale of gluttony, in which the mouse is guilty of his own death, but Pulter’s mouse is ‘spritely’, her oyster is a ‘dul Fish’, and the triumph of the oyster illustrates that ‘A vulgar one may rise to Raign / That many a Noble spirit may restrain’—an indictment of Cromwell in the 1650s (fols 124v–125r).65 Michael Bath points out that the emblem genre does not place a premium on originality; rather, the images and their meanings typically draw upon a stock of common knowledge.66 Pulter accordingly draws freely on prior emblem books and her diverse reading, frequently indicating her sources in her marginalia; but she simultaneously adapts and personalizes this received wisdom, often to pointed political effect.67 Pulter’s first two emblem poems can be read as companion prefatory pieces to the series as a whole, articulating a devout poetic project against  Potter, Secret Rites and Secret Writing, p. 162.   Elizabeth Clarke, Politics, Religion and the Song of Songs, pp. 78–79; Danielle Clarke, ‘The Iconography of the Blush: Marian Literature of the 1630s’, in Voicing Women: Gender and Sexuality in Early Modern Writing, edited by Kate Chedgzoy, Melanie Hansen, and Suzanne Trill (Keele: Keele University Press, 1996), pp. 111–128. 64  Potter, Secret Rites and Secret Writing, pp. 73 and 162. For Mary Roper’s use of the frontispiece to Eikon Basilike, see Chapter 5. 65  Geffrey Whitney, A Choice of Emblemes and Other Devises (Leyden, 1586), pp. 33, 128. 66  Bath, Speaking Pictures, pp. 73–74. 67   Pulter’s sources include Whitney, Wither, and Quarles, the biblical Psalms, the sermons of Robert Sanderson, the royalist Bishop of Lincoln, Philemon Holland’s translation of Pliny’s Natural History of the World (1601), Josuah Sylvester’s translation of Du Bartas’s Deuine Weekes and Workes (1605), and Thomas Lodge’s popular translation of Goulart’s commentary on Du Bartas’s poem (1621). Eardley provides comprehensive identifications of Pulter’s sources in ‘Emblems’. 62 63

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the adverse political circumstances of the 1650s. Emblem one opens with a dramatic evocation of Nimrod as a figure of vainglorious and overreaching ambition, building the Tower of Babel ‘to reach unto Gods glorious Throne’, he and his followers ‘Foolishly dreaming their dim Mortall sight / Could view invisible inaccessible Light’. Pulter goes on to describe Nimrod’s story as the original on which the Titans’ battle against Jove is based, and in retelling that related ‘fiction’ she similarly emphasizes the Olympic deities’ presumption: ‘Thus most presumptiously they Heaven scail’d / Till Thunder Rowted this Rebellioous Crew’ (fol. 91r). Nimrod and the Titans explicitly seek to overthrow the right rule of God in Pulter’s emblem, as she associates their presumption in the same way that Milton associates Nimrod, the Titans, and Lucifer as rebels ‘Of proud ambitious heart’ in Paradise Lost (12.25). Milton’s version of Nimrod, however, is one that critiques the establishment of monarchy on earth, a form of government that he sees as true only in heaven, his Nimrod ‘to himself assuming / Authority usurped, from God not given’ (12.65–66).68 Pulter’s Nimrod is also a usurper, but he is implicitly Cromwell, usurping a true monarchy on earth that Pulter fuses with the divine—and it is to the divine that she turns at the end of the poem. ‘Soe let usurping Nimrod’s haue their due’, she declares, concluding the emblem in an exhortation that the Lord preserve her from like ‘presumption’, and setting out in contrast to undertake a devout project: ‘Resting in Christ that Blessed corner stone / Then by his steps I’le mount his Glorious Throne’ (fol. 91r). Pulter’s first emblem poem establishes a theme of retreat from the political presumption and moral corruption of the 1650s into poetic devotion, and in her second emblem she invites her children to accompany her: Come my Dear Children come and Happy bee Even as I follow Christ soe Follow mee Eight of your Number finished have their story And now their souls doe shine in endles Glory Then by these Blessed steps let us Assend Unto that Ioy that never shall have end. (fol. 91v; lines 1–6)

Continuing the trope of Christ’s steps with which she concludes the preceding poem, and echoing her pastoral invitation poems to her daughters in the 1640s, Pulter invites her surviving children into a progress through twelve Christian virtues outlined in the text of the poem and in a marginal list. God’s word is Alithea, or truth, and leads the speaker through humility, patience, and temperance through to faith, hope, and charity. The poem is reminiscent of Herbert’s ‘The Church-floore’, in which one   Alistair Fowler, ed., Milton: Paradise Lost (London: Longman, 1971).

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floor stone is figured as patience and another as humility; the ‘gentle rising’ which leads to the quire is confidence, and the cement ‘which in one sure band / Ties the whole frame, is Love / And Charitie’.69 Pulter’s virtues, similarly, culminate in charity, indicating a central preoccupation of the emblem series to follow: ‘By Faith and Hope wee then shall mount above / Into the Bosome of Eternall Love’ (fol. 91v). If the steps of Christ are the twelve virtues that are set out in the second emblem, however, they can also be read as the poems that follow, the fiftyone further moral and devout flagtones of the emblem series. Pulter articulates a godly, poetic project that in this sense echoes Southwell’s Decalogue poems, in which the speaker follows the ‘tenne steppes’ of God’s precepts to his ‘high throne’, her soul attended in that case by the ‘fiue handmaydes’ of her physical senses. Southwell similarly articulates her devout poetic project as one that aspires to godliness rather than ‘presumptuous knowledge’.70 The verbal and conceptual echoes between Pulter’s and Southwell’s poems underscore the devout and didactic frameworks within which both poets engage in moral, political commentary, but while two of Southwell’s Decalogue poems come to be addressed to the king, Pulter’s adopt more modest modes of address: to her children in this emblem and one other, to ‘ladies’ in another instance, and to royalist readers more generally in at least one other emblem.71 Pulter’s articulation of a devout poetic against the turbulent and unsympathetic politics of her time is central to her third emblem, which describes the heliotrope, the flower that follows the sun in its diurnal movements (fols 92r–v). Pliny, whose Natural History is Pulter’s source for very many of her emblems, describes the heliotrope as the flower that ‘regardeth and looketh toward the Sun ever as he goeth, turning with him at all houres, notwithstanding he be shadowed under a cloud’.72 ‘Even soe’, Pulter describes:   those soules w:ch are to God united Though in this vale of Tears they be benighted Yet still a Blessed Influence from above Sweetly inclin’s them to a constant Love.

69  Helen Wilcox, ed., The English Poems of George Herbert (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), p. 244. 70  Jean Klene, ed., The Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book: Folger MS V.b.198, Renaissance English Text Society, 7th series, vol. 20 (Tempe, AZ: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1997), pp. 46–47. See Chapter 2. 71   Emblems 36, 20, and 51. 72   Pliny the Elder, The historie of the world. Commonly called, the natvrall historie of C. Plinivs Secvndvs, trans. Philemon Holland (1601, 1634); quoted in Eardley, ‘Emblems’, vol. 2, p. 17. Pulter draws extensively on Holland’s translation of Pliny’s Natural History in the course of her emblem poems, as marginal annotations to the poems frequently attest.

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The sun and the flower which turns always towards it is the most familiar of images in sacred emblems, and its figuration of a direct relationship between the speaker and her God is even more pointed in the context of the 1650s.73 Pulter’s emblem celebrates this individuated spiritual union in explicitly political terms: ‘T’is neither Power nor Principallitie / Dear God can seperate my soul from thee’ (fol. 92v). Pulter may well have ceased to attend church services in the 1650s. One untitled lyric opens ‘Must I thus ever interdicted bee’, intimating that she felt herself to be kept from the sacrament, and she expresses her sense of religious exclusion: ‘The wanton Sparrow and the Chaster Dove / Within thy Sacred Temple Freely move / But I ay mee am kept from what I Love’ (fol. 76r). Helen Wilcox describes a ‘female aesthetic’ of retreat into ‘passivity before God’ in devout Anglican poetry of the period; and Michael Schoenfeld suggests that Vaughan’s, Herrick’s, and Traherne’s devotional language ‘retreat[s]‌from the social world that threatened it’.74 Pulter, certainly, turns to an inward and individuated relationship with God in her devotional lyrics and emblems, but her determination to move freely in the temple of Christ is less a statement of spiritual passivity than it is one of devout fortitude. Her spiritual experience and her political commitment derive a paradoxical strength from her individuated relationship with the divine; and the heliotrope becomes an emblem of resolute, devotional survivalism in a politicized vale of tears. Pulter’s third emblem concludes, ‘Then though I sadly here sigh out my story / Yet am I sure to Rise again to Glory’, echoing the language of her regicide elegy ‘On the same’ and underscoring the devotional foundation of her image of spiritual and political resurrection; conversely, her fiftyfirst emblem, one of her most explicitly political, echoes the image again and reinforces its political reference (fol. 126v). The emblem focuses on a story told by Plutarch, of Brennus, Prince of the Gauls’ sacking of Rome, and of his defeat at the hands of the previously banished Camillus. It uses multiple iterations of the letter ‘C’ to create overlapping and multivalent references to Camillus, Charles I, the future Charles II, and Christ.75 73  Bath cites the example in Henry Hawkins’s Parthenia Sacra (Speaking Pictures, pp. 239–240); Barbara Lewalski discusses its uses in the sacred emblems of Camerarius and Hulsius and Heyns (Protestant Poetics and the Seventeenth-Century Religious Lyric (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1979), p. 189). 74   Wilcox, ‘Exploring the Language of Devotion’, pp. 86–87; Michael C. Schoenfeld, ‘The Poetry of Supplication: Toward a Cultural Poetics of the Religious Lyric’, in New Perspectives on the Seventeenth-Century Religious Lyric, edited by John R. Roberts (Columbia and London: University of Missouri Press, 1994), pp. 75–104 (p. 78). See also Claude J. Summers, ‘Herrick, Vaughan, and the Poetry of Anglican Survivalism’, in the same volume, pp. 46–74. 75   My reading of this emblem is indebted to Eardley’s annotations in ‘Emblems’, vol. 2, pp. 150–151.



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Having described Camillus as ‘C  Bannished long before’, Pulter orients her emblem explicitly towards the English political situation, describing Charles I and his son as ‘C: C: Kild and Banished’ before exhorting, ‘Oh let a C: come and our Ioys restore / For C: his sake dear God I thee implore.’ Pulter’s ‘C’ is indeterminate in each of these latter two iterations, potentially referring on each occasion to at least two of Charles I, the future Charles II, and Christ; and in their fusion of monarchs and Christ, the lines together echo in an imploring and less confident tone the conclusion of her earlier elegy on Charles I, ‘A second Charles shall all thy Ioyes restore’. In the final line of this emblem, however, Pulter returns to her own and her readers’ current enslavement to Cromwell, delivering an unambiguous and much less hopeful iteration of the letter ‘C’: ‘Or wee are slaves to C. for evermore.’ Pulter directs the poem both to God and to her fellow royalist readers; earlier in the poem, she reflects, ‘If any underneath the sun may Cry / Ve victis, reader it is thou and I.’76 The noble city of Rome, sacked by Brennus, is paralleled in the fifty-first emblem with London, and several of Pulter’s emblems echo and extend the depiction of folly and corruption at the political centre and the criticism of the city and its people that marks her pastoral lyrics. Her fourth emblem depicts virtue and wisdom engaged in a duel with fortune and folly; folly triumphs, and ‘with Fortunes help did wear the Crown’, to the delight of ‘Citty Cockneys’ (fols 93r–v). Pulter lays the blame for social upheaval and the monarchy’s downfall on her own as well as on the lower classes in her nineteenth emblem, in which ‘the Gallants of our Age’ are worse than elephants—the most noble of beasts, in Pliny’s view.77 Men in this emblem have turned their backs on chastity, constancy, and religion to drink, ‘rant’, and gamble; the failure of their nobility ‘did make us Bleed / In our brave king’, and has allowed ‘Tinkers and Coblers’ to prevail (fols 103r–v). The following, twentieth, emblem opens with the turtle dove as an emblem of female constancy, and turns in its second half to address noble women specifically: Then Ladyes immitate this Turtle Dove And Constant bee unto one onely Love Then if your Husbands rant it high and Game Besure you Double not their Guilt and shame Leave of Hide Park, Hanes, Oxford Iohns, and Kates Spring, Mulbery Garden, let them have a Date Buy not these Follyes at soe dear A Rate . . .   Ve victis: Woe to the conquered.  Pliny, Natural History, 8.1–12 (p. 192).

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Women, Poetry, and Politics in Seventeenth-Century Britain Bee Modest then and follow mine advice You’l find that vertue’s Pleasanter then vice Yet Anchorites I would not have you turn Nor Halcions, nor bee your Husbands Urn But Chastly live and rather spend yor dayes In setting Forth Your great Creators praise And for diversion pass your Idle times As I doe now in writeing harmles Rimes. (fol. 104r)

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This address is reminiscent of that to her daughters in the pastoral invitation poems, representing London metonymically via its pleasure gardens as a site where political and sexual iniquity are coterminous. Pulter advocates for her female audience just the kind of removed retreat in which she occupies Broadfield, but this retreat is neither complete nor fruitless: ladies should spend their days, like Pulter, writing devotional verse. Pulter’s insistence that chaste living is not an anchoritic withdrawal accords with Andrew Shifflett’s view that ‘the Stoic does not cease acting in the world’ and that ‘the world of retirement is really a much larger world than the one that has been left’.78 Even as she advocates a devout retreat from the corruption of her times, Pulter’s devotional and moral enterprise is defined in its integral relationship to the political and social climate that her moralizing emblems describe, and to a political stance that articulates itself in contradistinction to that climate. Pulter’s articulation of a devout fortitude in the face of political inclemency is codified in the image of the hunted hart or stag, already familiar from ‘The invitation into the Countrey’ and her elegy on Jane, and recurrent in two of her emblem poems. Her twenty-second emblem vitally extends the image: The hunted Hart when shee begins to Tire Before her vitall spirits doth expire Shee every way doth Rowl her weeping eye At last shee finds her long’d for Dittany Which having eat if shee bee but alive It doth her fainting spirit soe revive That shee out Runs all that her life pursue Though they their Courage and their cryes renew Yet shee trips on the Hounds their yelping cease And shee in those sweet shades doth rest in Peace Thus if at any time she bee opprest In her lov’d Dittany shee findeth rest Even ⌈soe⌉ a soul which is or’ewhelmd with griefe 78

 Shifflett, Stoicism, Politics, and Literature, p. 6.

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Hester Pulter’s Elegies and Emblems And in this empty orb finds noe reliefe Though present sorrows doth her heart oppress And future fears afflict her thoughts noe less Though her sad soul with suffrings ’gins to Tire Her Fainting spirit ready to expire Though shee by her Goastly Foes Who all her sins in their true Coulours shows Her soul beeing Fild with Horrid Hellish Fears Her Heart en’e break[s]‌with sighs, her eyes wth Tears, Beeing quite dissolvd, even fainting then shee goes To him who for her sake his life did lose Then o my God though sorrows doe involve My sinfull soul, though I to Tears dissolv Or though my spirit I suspire to Ayre Yet let mee trust in thee and not despair And when my sorrows and my sins doe cease Let mee injoy thy everlasting Peace. (fols 105r–v)

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Here (and the emblem is quoted in full) the hunted hart echoes the ‘stately’ beast of the elegy on Jane, pursued by hounds, its eyes weeping and vital spirits expiring until—in this case—she ‘finds her long’d for Dittany’, a herb renowned for its medicinal qualities. This hart is female, and it is first and foremost an image of the speaker’s suffering soul. Pliny describes the hart eating dittany ‘to draw out arrowes forth of the bodie’, and the herb’s qualities as an antidote were frequently given a spiritual analogue; for example, Joseph Hall describes ‘The shaft [of sin] sticks still in thee . . . None but the Souereigne Dittany of thy Sauiours righteousnesse can driue it out.’79 Whitney, Peacham, Wither, and Quarles all incorporate emblems on the Christian hart in their volumes, although it commonly seeks a river; as Michael Bath describes, through fusion with the Christian topos of the thirsting stag (deriving from Psalm 41) and of the stag as the serpent-eater, the hart or stag flees to ‘the source of salvation and the true fountain of Christian doctrine’.80 But Pulter’s hart is also always politically plangent, as is reinforced just three poems later, in her twenty-fifth emblem: Soe have I seen a Hart w:th Hounds opprest An Arrow sticking in her quivering Breast If shee goes on her guiltless blood still Flows 79  Pliny, Natural History, 8.27 (p. 210); Joseph Hall, The True Peace-Maker: Laid Forth in a Sermon before his Maiesty at Theobalds. September 19, 1624 (1624), p. 14. 80  Michael Bath, The Image of the Stag: Iconographic Themes in Western Art (Baden-Baden: Verlag Valentin Koerner, 1992), esp. pp. 297–304. Bath explores hart emblems in Whitney, Peacham, Wither, and Quarles.

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This iteration is Pulter’s most explicit association of the hunted hart with the executed English king, and it underscores the political valence of her insertion into the elegy on Jane. There, in lines that are very closely related to these, she describes a ‘stately Hert to Death pursued / By Ravening Hounds’; he has ‘An Arrow sticking in his trembling breast’, and from his side ‘his guiltles blood doth flow’. Pulter’s twenty-second emblem, on the hart and its dittany, inevitably merges in its referents the spiritual trials of the devout believer and the political trials of the king that her other uses of the hart embody. And in the twenty-second emblem’s final six lines, she applies the hart—female in this case—and its dittany, with their resonances of the king, Christ, and the sustaining and restorative powers of the Christian faith, directly to herself and to her own ‘sorrows’. In the pursued and exhausted hart, reviving herself in eating the dittany of God’s sustenance, Pulter fuses herself with Charles, and becomes an emblem of the devout, royalist condition. Pulter’s image of the weeping hart is echoed in one other striking lyric in her manuscript, ‘The weepeinge wishe’—not an emblem, but a late poem that appears to offer a startlingly clear view of her imagined poetic enterprise: O that the tears that tricle from mine eyes Were plac’d as blazeinge Commetts in the skies Then would their numerous and illustrous raise Turn my sad nights into the brightest dayes O that the sighs that breath from my sad soule Might Flie above the highest starr or Pole Unto that God that vews my dismalle story Even Hee that crowns my dieinge hopes with Glory O that my tears that fall down to the earth Might give some noble unknown Flower berth Then would Hadassahs more resplendent Fame Out live the Famous Artimitius name The Iris tricles tears from her sad eyes And from their salt her ofspringe doth arise But my abortive tears descend in vaine For I can never see those Ioyes againe Hart’s briny tears a Beazur doth condense Oh lett mine eyes whole Flouds of tears dispence That I a cordiall to my Friends maye give:

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Hester Pulter’s Elegies and Emblems Then tho I die, yett I maye make them live I gladly would this good to them impart Tho in the doeinge itt itt breaks my hart Then lett my dieinge tears a Cordiall prove Seeinge I my Friends above my liffe do love. (fol. 84v)

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Pulter’s tears in ‘The weepeinge wishe’ again echo her occasional lyrics, the tears ‘that fall down to the earth’ in the second stanza in particular recalling those in her elegy for Jane. The tears in this second stanza are bleakly abortive, unable to restore to her the joys not only of Jane but of the multiple children whom she had lost by the time of this poem’s composition in 1665.81 The opening of the third stanza, however, also merges her own tears with that of the politicized hunted hart: ‘Hart’s briny tears’ carries a dual sense, of her own heart’s tears and those of the hart whose ‘Heart en’e break[s]‌with sighs, her eyes wth Tears’ in the twenty-second emblem.82 Pulter’s tears in the elegy on Jane and in the second stanza of ‘The weepeinge wishe’ are abortive in their inability to return her children to her, but she imagines for them in the third stanza a generative power of a different kind: her weeping wish is that her tears may condense into a bezoar, a counter-poison or an antidote, a mineral variant on the dittany that is the restorative for the hart in the twenty-second emblem.83 Figured in this way, as a bezoar or a cordial, Pulter’s tears become a kind of analogue for her poems themselves: the ‘tears that tricle from mine eyes’ are her elegiac poems, just as ‘the sighes that breath from my sad soule’ are embodied as poems—the ‘sighes of a sad soule Emblimatically breath’d forth by the noble Hadassah’, in the title of the emblem series. Pulter is thus able to wish that her tears and sighs—her poems themselves—may be prolific, as she construes them as a restorative for her beloved friends. Pulter’s emblematic self-presentation as a provider of devout and poetic succour for her friends is also codified in ‘The weepeinge wishe’ in the use of her pen name Hadassah, a barely disguised pseudonym inscribed in the title formulations of both of her poem series. Hadassah and Hester’s given name are both versions of Esther—a biblical woman who takes ‘a

81   Children who died between Jane’s death in 1645 and the composition of ‘The weepeinge wishe’ include James (d. 1659), Penelope (d. 1655), and perhaps Edward (d. 1655). Ann died the following year, in 1666. Dates of death are supplied in Eardley, ‘Emblems’, vol. 1, p. 41. 82  A parallel play on hart/heart occurs in ‘Vpon the Death of my deare and lovely Daughter’, as the transition between the interpolated lines and the conclusion of the elegy is effected by the lines, ‘But what a heart had I, when I did stand / Holding her forehead w:th my Trembling hand / My Heart to Heaven with her bright spirit flyes’ (fols 17r–v). 83   In its literal meaning, a bezoar was a concretion found in the stomach of a mountain goat that was believed to have medicinal properties (OEDO, 2a).

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highly active role in the redemption of her own people’, as Alice Eardley describes.84 Esther’s story had been retold several times in the seventeenth century, including in Francis Quarles’s biblical verse paraphrase, Hadassa: or, The History of Qveene Ester: With Meditations thereupon, Diuine and Morall (1621), the text that I have argued provides a model for Anne Southwell’s Decalogue verses.85 Pulter may well have derived the ‘Hadassah’ variant of her name from this long poem, but it is Quarles’s later emblem on Esther 7:3, published in 1635, that provides the most striking precedent for Pulter’s association of herself with her biblical type.86 Quarles’s emblem describes ‘Esther, whose tears condole / The razed City’s the regen’rate Soul’: her tears here have a regenerative power, as Pulter wishes for her poems. Quarles’s Esther is in addition a ‘captive maid’, a description that must have seemed particularly apt to Pulter, shut up in her country grange; and he describes Assuerus’s power as stretching ‘from Pole to Pole’, a phrase that Pulter may be echoing in her wish that her sighs ‘Might Fie above the highest starr or Pole’.87 Pulter’s self-construction as Hadassah is thus one of regenerative power forged out of her own tears and hardships, and it is one imbued with a sense of ‘resplendent Fame’, a description reinforced in her twentyeighth emblem poem: Then let mee ever have a splendent fame Or let me loos Hadassah my lov’d Name Far better in Oblivion live and Die Then to surviue with these in infamie. (fol. 109v; lines 15–18)

In choosing ‘Hadassah’ as her pen name, Pulter is articulating a specific and apparently public conception of godliness, one that enables her to wish that her tears may be ‘plac’d as blazeinge Commetts in the skies’, to light the dark days and ‘sad nights’ of herself and her friends. ‘The weepeinge wishe’ is one of Pulter’s latest poems, dated January 1665, and it has been added in her own autograph, between the first series of poems and the emblems; for these reasons, it is tempting to read it as a particularly significant statement of authorial intention. Pulter certainly brings together in this poem images and sources from her occasional lyrics and her emblems: the roaring grief and excoriating floods of the regicide poems are moderated and rewritten as condoling and regenerative tears, images enforced through her emblematic self-construction as Hadassah and as the hunted hart. ‘The weepeinge wishe’ is not itself an emblem,

85   Eardley, ‘Emblems’, vol. 1, p. 150.   See Chapter 2.   Elizabeth Clarke and Margaret Ezell link Pulter’s pseudonym to the long poem rather than to the emblem (Clarke, EMWMP, p. 111; Ezell, ‘The Laughing Tortoise’, n. p. 346). 87   Francis Quarles, Emblemes (1635), pp. 204–206. 84 86



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but its reliance on these earlier poems highlights the emblematic qualities of Pulter’s poetry more broadly, the way in which emblematic thinking infuses her occasional lyrics and is integral to her poetic expression of her politics. Via the emblematic images of the weeping iris, the hunted hart, and the condoling and regenerative Esther, Pulter’s floods of tears are condensed into an antidote for friends who are, implicitly, her readers: her sighs and tears are her lyric poems, and she holds them up as ‘blazeinge Commetts’ or a ‘cordiall’ to sustain her royalist friends. P U LT E R ’ S F R I E N D S A N D M A N U S C R I P T C I RC U L AT I O N Pulter’s reiterated insistence on an audience of friends, in the final stanza of ‘The weepeinge wishe’, invokes the critical paradigm of politicized friendship that is at the forefront of much recent scholarship on Katherine Philips’s poetry. Philips’s poetic celebration of retired friendship has been read as a politicized construction of an ideal community, ‘the depiction of (women’s) friendship and the registering of royalist political allegiances’ being deeply interconnected in her poetry.88 ‘A retir’d friendship, to Ardelia’ (1651) offers a ‘happy quiet’ that is ‘remov’d from noise of warres’; and in a poem that is, like Pulter’s, entitled ‘Invitation to the Countrey’, Philips invites Rosania to ‘a retirement from the noise of Towns’, and from the ‘folly which the world controuls’.89 Philips’s poetic troping of the country as a rural space in which a royalist friendship can be shared is matched by her strategic—and highly successful—use of manuscript circulation to create what Catharine Gray has described as a politicized counterpublic.90 Philips is the most prominent female practitioner of the poetic invitation to friendship, but Anne Southwell and Jane Cavendish have also been explored—albeit briefly—in these terms. Marie-Louise Coolahan reads

88   Hero Chalmers, Royalist Women Writers, 1650–1689 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), p. 57. See also Carol Barash, English Women’s Poetry, 1649–1714: Politics, Community, and Linguistic Authority (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996); Penelope Anderson, ‘“Friendship Multiplyed”: Royalist and Republican Friendship in Katherine Philips’s Coterie’, in Discourses and Representations of Friendship in Early Modern Europe, 1500–1700, edited by Daniel T. Lochman, Maritere Lόpez, and Lorna Hutson (Farnham: Ashgate, 2011), pp. 131–148; Penelope Anderson, Friendship’s Shadows: Women’s Friendship and the Politics of Betrayal in England, 1640–1705 (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2012); and Menges, ‘Authorship, Friendship, and Forms of Publication’. 89   Thomas, ed., The Collected Works of Katherine Philips, Poems, pp. 98, 174–175. 90   Catharine Gray, ‘Katherine Philips and the Post-Courtly Coterie’, ELR 32 (2002): pp. 426–451; and Gray, Women Writers and Public Debate in Seventeenth-Century Britain (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), pp. 3–4.

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Southwell’s use of manuscript circulation to forge an ideal community in Ireland as a prefiguration of Katherine Philips’s mid-century strategies in Dublin; and Hero Chalmers briefly compares Jane Cavendish to Philips, suggesting that in Cavendish’s manuscript, ‘the constantly reiterated word, “friends”, means royalist political allies’.91 Southwell, Cavendish, and Philips can all be read as women who use the poetry of friendship—in its tropes and in its material circulation—to construct ideal and politically demarcated communities. It is very tempting to read Pulter through this lens, and to see her description of her poems as ‘a cordiall to my Friends’ as articulating a triumph of personal and political agency through her engagement in the poetics of invitation and of royalist friendship.92 To do so, however, would be to read against the grain of her poems, and of the evidence—or lack thereof—of a reading history for them. For all of her confident engagement in the royalist poetic culture of the late 1640s, and her emblematic self-construction as a poet of devout consolation, the narrative of her poems’ reception remains at this point one of ‘sad obscurity’, the poems as much as the poet apparently ‘buried, thus alive’. Pulter addresses her poems almost exclusively to her daughters, and so her poetic circle is in this sense already more circumscribed than that of Philips, or indeed that of Southwell or Cavendish. And unlike Philips’s speaker—or Southwell’s or Cavendish’s—Pulter’s is always alone. The isolation of Pulter’s poetic speaker is matched in the material history of her poems’ reception and circulation. The Brotherton manuscript is the only volume of her writing to have been uncovered to date and her known profile in the historical record is limited to her brother-in-law John Harington’s brief diary entries and Henry Chauncy’s terse reference to the ‘importunities’ of Arthur Pulter’s wife. Chauncy’s failure to mention Pulter’s activities as a writer is of particular note, as he was directly connected to the Pulter family, through the marriage of his daughter, Martha, to Hester and Arthur’s only grandson and the heir of Broadfield.93 Chauncy knew personally Arthur Pulter, who only died in 1689, and he had access to at least some of the Pulter family papers, but if he perused Hester’s manuscript in the years before the publication of his Historical 91   Marie-Louise Coolahan, Women, Writing, and Language in Early Modern Ireland, ch. 5; and Coolahan, ‘Ideal Communities and Planter Women’s Writing in Seventeenth-Century Ireland’, in Early Modern Women and the Apparatus of Authorship, edited by Sarah C. E. Ross, Patricia Pender, and Rosalind Smith, Parergon 29, no. 2 (2012): pp. 69–91; Chalmers, Royalist Women Writers, pp. 60–61. 92  Menges makes this suggestion in passing, ‘Authorship, Friendship, and Forms of Publication’, p. 521. 93   Pulter family tree, University of Leeds, Brotherton Collection, MS Lt q 32, fol. iiir.



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Antiquities, it clearly did not impress him enough for him to make mention of it.94 One reader to have left a record of attentive engagement with Pulter’s manuscript, in the form of extensive genealogical and historical annotations to it, is another family antiquarian: Angel Chauncy (d. 1762), the nephew of Martha and the grandson of Henry.95 Angel was ‘a bookish man’ who inherited his grandfather’s very extensive library, and he had antiquarian interests of his own.96 Chauncy was also the Cottered parish rector for forty-odd years until his death, and the parish register is clearly the source for many of his extensive annotations, which suggest little prior knowledge of his great-great-aunt. He has added to the volume’s title page, ‘Lady Hesther Pulter dyed the latter end of March or beginning of April. 1678. aged 82. for by Cottered Register, it appears, she was buryed the 9th of April. 1678’, and he adds details of this local, familial, and historicizing kind throughout the manuscript. He adds Jane’s baptism and burial dates to the title of the elegy on her; he notes that Lucas and Lisle were ‘shott to death at Colchester’; and he provides a very extensive family tree on a loose sheet now kept with the manuscript, one of the main sources for the Pulter family genealogy. Chauncy’s annotations, for the most part, suggest an interest in the manuscript that is defined by familial curiosity rather than by literary esteem. Chauncy has, however, taken care to preserve Pulter’s poetry and prose, and he and later annotators have added to the manuscript items that were clearly preserved in loose sheets. Six poems, not in the main scribal hand, have been added to blank pages and tipped-in sheets in the middle of the manuscript; three of these, including ‘The weepeinge wishe’, are in Pulter’s autograph and three are in a hand that is almost certainly Chauncy’s. He has also made a fair transcription of the unfinished second half of Pulter’s prose romance, The Unfortunate Florinda, otherwise written into the volume in a rough form in Pulter’s own hand, and he has added a list of Florinda’s 94   Chauncy refers to information ‘which I collected from the Original Roll, in the possession of Arthur Pulter, Esq. lately deceased’ in his Hertfordshire, vol. 1, p. 32. 95   For the identification of the annotating hand as Angel Chauncy’s, see Sarah Ross, ‘Women and Religious Verse in English Manuscript Culture, c. 1600–1668: Lady Anne Southwell, Lady Hester Pulter and Katherine Austen’, unpublished D.Phil. thesis, University of Oxford, 2000, pp. 161–168. 96   William Blyth Gerish, Sir Henry Chauncy: A Biography (London: Waterlow & Sons, 1907), pp. 57–58. Genealogical materials at Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies are in his hand; and Carola Oman describes a copy of Sir Henry Chauncy’s Historical Antiquities ‘with notes by the author’s grandson, Dr. Angel Chauncy’ (Carola Oman, Introduction to Sir Henry Chauncy, The Historical Antiquities of Hertfordshire, new edn, 2 vols (Dorking: Kohler and Coombes, 1975), pp. iii–xviii (p. xiii)). Hertfordshire Archive and Local Studies no longer appear to be in possession of this volume.

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dramatis personae. There is also some indication in Pulter’s manuscript of a reading history—if a delimited one—beyond Chauncy: other literary items have been added over time and in other hands, including an incomplete transcription of Judith Madan’s eighteenth-century poem ‘Abelard to Eloisa’. Madan, née Cowper, was of a considerable Hertfordshire pedigree, and her poetic reputation was a serious one: she corresponded with Pope, and her poem appeared with Pope’s ‘Eloisa to Abelard’ in several editions from 1756.97 The presence of her poem among the loose papers of Pulter’s volume suggests a reading of Pulter as a kind of lady poet of Hertfordshire, but it is also a tantalizing link to a woman whose manuscript poetry reached a wider audience, and achieved some proliferation in print. Pulter’s very circumscribed readership history also contrasts sharply with the literary circle of her royalist near-neighbours in Hertfordshire, the Bridgewaters, another family known personally to Henry Chauncy. Jane Cavendish was, of course, connected to the Bridgewaters through the marriage of her sister Elizabeth to John Egerton, later second Earl of Bridgewater, in 1641. Chauncy describes the second earl as ‘a learned man, [who] delighted much in his Library’, and the Antiquities is dedicated to John and Elizabeth’s eldest son, the third earl.98 Cavendish is likely to have removed from Welbeck to her sister’s marital home of Ashridge in Hertfordshire in 1645, bringing her and Pulter within about twenty miles of each other in the decade that they were both composing royalist lyrics, and their poetry shares enough echoes that it is tempting to speculate that they knew each other’s work: the sighs and tears of the isolated female royalist, the fusion of king and Christ, and perhaps even the ‘come away’ refrain of their two pastoral invitation poems. Mutual political affiliations and proximity would be one connection between the two women; their fathers, Sir James Ley and William Cavendish, future Duke of Newcastle, must also have known each other in court circles in the 1620s and 1630s. But one possible suggestion of a connection between their circles is shut down even as it presents itself. In a rare example of a coterie poem in her manuscript, Pulter writes a humorous poem on William Davenant, who was a protégé of Newcastle and who wrote a poem on Jane Cavendish’s marriage to Charles Cheyne. She gently mocks the loss of his nose to syphilis, describing the ‘unspeakable Loss of the most 97   The Unfortunate lovers; two admirable poems: extracted out of the celebrated letters of Abelard and Eloisa. [. . .] One written by Mr. Pope.; The other, in answer to it by Lady M— (1756). Madan’s poem is dated 1720 in the poetic miscellany of her brother Ashley Cowper (British Library, Additional MS 28 101, fols 150r–152v). 98  Chauncy, Antiquities, p. 553.



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conspicuous and chief Ornament of his Frontispiece’, but even as she does so, she describes herself as ‘unknown’ to her addressee (fols 83r–84r). The possibility of a connection between Pulter and Jane Cavendish—the two most significant royalist women poets of the 1640s—is tantalizing, but there is as yet no evidence to support it. In terms of her readership, then, Pulter is the most occluded of the political poets explored in this book, even though her elegies and emblems evince her deep awareness of royalist literary culture, both in manuscript and print. Pulter’s poems engage forcefully in the culture of royalist elegy in the late 1640s, and her devout fortitude in the 1650s is of a kind that she imagines as providing a star-like sustenance to her friends—but there is at this point no evidence of Pulter being recognized in her lifetime or subsequent years as a writer at all, let alone a writer of note. This is a salutary counterpoint not only to Pulter’s bold poetic aims, but also to prevailing critical definitions of women’s poetry as ‘political’ only when it is ‘public’ or ‘publicly known’, when it succeeds in gaining purchase on the political sphere, or when it can be understood as a call to arms or an act of war. Pulter’s lyrics require us to unshackle the critical notion of the literary and political woman poet from its associations with a contemporaneous, ‘public’ reputation: her lyrics provide a poetic response to mid-century politics that is deeply literary, and neither passive nor decorous, but which appears to have been little read. If her poems had little impact on the literary culture of their time, however, their critical purchase in the twenty-first century is a growing one. As scholarship is increasingly revealing, Pulter’s lyrics are a vital component in any narrative of women’s poetics—or indeed political poetics more generally—in the decades of the English revolution.

5 ‘I see our nere, to be reenterd paradice’ Lucy Hutchinson’s ‘Elegies’ and Order and Disorder

Of all the women explored in this book, Lucy Hutchinson is the most extraordinary, atypical, and intellectually elite. Her poetry emerges out of an extensive and ‘unwomanish’ education, and out of an unquestionably rare level of intellectual accomplishment: her father, Sir Allen Apsley, the lieutenant of the Tower of London, and his wife, Lucy St John Apsley, provided eight tutors in her early years, who taught her ‘languages, music, dancing, writing and needlework’. Lucy St John Apsley dreamed shortly before she gave birth that ‘she should have a daughter of some extraordinary eminency’, and the young Lucy’s abilities quickly proved her mother’s prophecy: by the age of four she could speak French and ‘read English perfectly’, and her facility with Latin quickly outstripped that of her brothers. Her reputation as a Latinist and as a writer preceded her in John Hutchinson’s courtship of her in the 1630s, in which John fell in love with Lucy before he met her, on account of a sonnet that he heard, written by her, in which he perceived ‘something of rationality . . . beyond the customary reach of a she-wit’.1 Hutchinson’s Classical erudition, evinced most strikingly in her verse translation of Lucretius’s De rerum natura, distinguishes her from all of the other women who have featured in this book so far, and from most women writers in seventeenth-century Britain; she is an exception to the rule that women wrote from a position of relative intellectual deprivation.2 For the purposes of this study, then, 1  Erica Longfellow, Women and Religious Writing in Early Modern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), pp. 182–184. Longfellow draws on Hutchinson’s Memoirs of the Life of Colonel Hutchinson and the autobiographical fragment published with it by Julius Hutchinson in 1806. 2   Susan Wiseman describes Hutchinson as ‘reassuringly expensive’ in Conspiracy and Virtue: Women, Writing, and Politics in Seventeenth-Century England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), p. 230. For women and Classical traditions, see Claudia Thomas Kairoff, ‘Classical and Biblical Models: The Female Poetic Tradition’, in Women and Poetry,



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she is a particularly valuable advanced test case for reading in relation to other women poets, and as part of a female tradition of political poetry in manuscript. Hutchinson is also distinct from the women treated in the preceding three chapters of this book in her fervent republicanism. John Hutchinson, whom she married in 1638, was a Parliamentarian colonel who was appointed governor of Nottingham and Nottingham Castle in 1643; in this position, he came into direct conflict with Jane Cavendish’s father, the Duke of Newcastle, over the surrender of Nottingham.3 John Hutchinson signed the death warrant of Charles I and in the Restoration he was persecuted for his political views: he was arrested in 1663 on allegations of treason against Charles II and imprisoned at Sandown Castle in Kent, where he died on 11 September 1664. In the 1650s, however, John Hutchinson had become disillusioned with the protectorate and retired from public life to the Hutchinsons’ country estate of Owthorpe in Nottinghamshire, where he cultivated an extensive garden.4 Lucy Hutchinson’s twenty-five elegies, epitaphs, and songs on his death are likely to have been composed at Owthorpe between 1664 and 1671, and they look back upon this retreat in the 1650s in a republican and retrospective evocation of rural retirement that is overlaid with the grief-stricken isolation of the elegiac speaker. Circling inconsolably around John Hutchinson as the elegiac subject, the elegies recall the ‘Sweete content’ of their courtship, a shared rural idyll and intellectual pursuits, and ‘yt most righteous Cause’ of mid-century republicanism (11.7, 5.48).5 John Hutchinson is a figure who encapsulates personal and political loss, as Lucy mourns deeply and personally the loss of a beloved husband and the end of the Good Old Cause. 1660–1750, edited by Sarah Prescott and David E. Shuttleton (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), pp. 183–202; and Jane Stevenson, Women Latin Poets: Language, Gender, and Authority, from Antiquity to the Eighteenth Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), esp. pp. 368–394. 3   ODNB, vol. 10, p. 659; Lucy Hutchinson, Memoirs of the Life of Colonel Hutchinson with the Fragment of an Autobiography of Mrs Hutchinson, ed. James Sutherland (London: Oxford University Press, 1973), pp. 85–90; and see David Norbrook, ‘Margaret Cavendish and Lucy Hutchinson: Identity, Ideology and Politics’, In-Between 9 (2000): pp. 179–203. 4   Lucy describes ‘the poison of ambition’ that ‘so ulcerated Cromwell’s heart’ in the 1650s (Memoirs, p. 193). Her anti-Cromwellian sentiment is expressed in her line-by-line refutation of Waller’s ‘A Panegyrick to my Lord Protector’, also dating from this period; see David Norbrook, ‘Lucy Hutchinson versus Edmund Waller: An Unpublished Reply to Waller’s A Pangyrick to my Lord Protector’, The Seventeenth Century 11 (1996): pp. 61–86. 5   The only complete edition of the ‘Elegies’ to date remains David Norbrook, ‘Lucy Hutchinson’s “Elegies” and the Situation of the Republican Woman Writer (with Text)’, ELR 27 (1997): pp. 468–521. All quotations are from this edition.

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The first section of this chapter explores Hutchinson’s ‘Elegies’ as a substantial and extraordinarily accomplished addition to the known body of seventeenth-century women’s elegies—a genre which, as we have seen, offered unique possibilities for female political expression.6 Hutchinson’s use of the genre is also significant as a republican rewriting of a form that had taken on distinctly royalist associations in the 1640s and 1650s. Nigel Smith argues that the outpouring of royalist grief for Charles I had naturalized the association of elegy with royalism, as it became overwhelmingly devoted to mourning the king; and Erica Longfellow describes Hutchinson’s elegies as ‘part of an effort to reclaim the genre from royalism’.7 Elizabeth Scott-Baumann’s recent work also extends our understanding of the ways in which Hutchinson recuperates and rewrites conservative and royalist poetic forms, reading the elegies as indebted to and at times explicitly reworking the poetry of Donne and Katherine Philips.8 Hutchinson’s elegies demand to be read, as Scott-Baumann reads them, in the context of the specific poetry on which she drew; but at the same time, Hutchinson’s use of the elegy and, embedded in that genre, the modes of politicized pastoral, rural retreat, and the emblem, link her to the earlier women writers explored in this book, of whom she almost certainly knew nothing. There is a magnetism between Hutchinson’s elegies and those of her female poetic antecedents that rewards interrogation; in particular, the commonalities between her tropes and uses of the elegiac genre and those of Jane Cavendish and Hester Pulter deepen our sense of how she revises royalist forms, and reveal something about common poetic choices made by women across the political divide. David Norbrook has grappled with the question of whether Hutchinson can be read as part of a ‘coherent grouping’ of women writers, noting (as have others) her ‘lack of an assertive female voice’; however, as I have argued in this book, the common choices made by women poets in terms of trope and genre are in themselves indicative of a gendered political poetic, and require interrogation across differences in women’s social backgrounds and political outlooks—even if it is unlikely that they knew each other’s work.9 6   See Chapters 2 and 4; and Kate Lilley, ‘True State Within: Women’s Elegy 1640–1700’, in Women, Writing, History, 1640–1740, edited by Isobel Grundy and Susan Wiseman (London: Batsford, 1992), pp. 72–92. 7  Nigel Smith, Literature and Revolution in England, 1640–1660 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1994), pp. 291 and 396 n. 92; Longfellow, Women and Religious Writing, p. 192. 8   Elizabeth Scott-Baumann, Forms of Engagement: Women, Poetry, and Culture, 1640– 1680 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), ch. 4. 9   Norbrook, ‘Elegies’, p. 482; and Norbrook, ed., Lucy Hutchinson: Order and Disorder (Oxford: Blackwell, 2001), p. xiii. Longfellow notes the lack of a ‘gendered polemical edge’ in Hutchinson’s writing (Women and Religious Writing, p. 191). In a nuanced discussion of the politics of reading Lucy Hutchinson, Susan Wiseman argues that she needs to be read



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Hutchinson’s twenty-canto poetic retelling of Genesis provides an equally intriguing—and even more contested—site for reading Hutchinson as a poet who extends a pre-existing female political poetic tradition. Since their attribution to Hutchinson in 1999, the five published cantos of Order and Disorder and its incomplete fifteen-canto continuation in manuscript have been persistently read alongside Milton’s Paradise Lost, as ‘Eve’s version of Genesis’ and as ‘the first epic poem by an Englishwoman’.10 Such a comparison is warranted on many levels: like Milton, Hutchinson is a republican writing after the demise of the Good Old Cause and using the Christian story of humanity’s fall as ‘an analogy for troubled times’.11 At the same time, however, Hutchinson’s preface and the invocation to her first canto explicitly differentiate her poem not only from Milton’s but from the elite culture of poetic invention that epic epitomizes. The description of Order and Disorder as an epic is perhaps less accurate than it is reflective of the critical capital invested in reading and recovering Lucy Hutchinson as a kind of Judith Milton. Several discussions of Order and Disorder, including Norbrook’s first notice of it, have exhibited unease about the ‘epic’ designation of the poem, focusing on its subtitle, ‘Meditations upon the Creation and the Fall’, and seeking other generic comparators.12 In this chapter, I read Order and Disorder as the apotheosis of a critical investigation of poetic forms exploited by women, and suggest that the little-known biblical verse paraphrases of other seventeenth-century women offer new insight into Hutchinson’s generic engagements. Anne Southwell’s biblical verse paraphrases, and those of Francis Quarles on which she drew, explicitly announce themselves as meditations, as does the royalist Mary Roper’s The Sacred Historie (1669–1670); each of these texts, like Hutchinson’s, uses a meditational mode of biblical verse paraphrase to enter into digressive, analogic, and emblematic meditations on contemporary British history. Comparison of Hutchinson’s Genesis narrative with these texts enables a fresh and crucial analysis of her generic engagements, and locates her poem within a pre-existing tradition of women using biblical verse paraphrase for politicized poetic expression—even as her classicizing allusions,

in relation to a wide range of contemporaries and comparators, male and female, elite and ‘less well resourced’, in order for us fully to understand the nature of her and other women’s poetic interventions in politics (Conspiracy and Virtue, pp. 230–232). 10   David Norbrook, ‘A Devine Originall: Lucy Hutchinson and the “Woman’s Version”’, TLS (19 March 1999): pp. 13–15; and the back cover to Norbrook, ed., Order and Disorder. 11   Back cover to Norbrook, ed., Order and Disorder. 12   Norbrook notes that the subtitle’s description of the poem as meditations ‘accords better with the poem’s generic affiliations than the Miltonic epic’ (‘A Devine Originall’, p. 15).

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elite literary connections, and the print publication of her poem’s first five cantos differentiate her markedly from her female predecessors and peers. H U TC H I N S O N ’ S ‘ E L E G I E S ’ A N D T H E G A R D E N S TAT E The ninth in Hutchinson’s series of elegies on her husband, ‘Another Night’, offers a deeply personal image of the elegiac speaker wakeful in the dark night of the world, of the soul, and of the political state. ‘Night tooke y:e alternate reigne & hurld / Concealing Mists about The world’ (1–2), the poem opens, and the evocation of personal and political loss and despair that follows resonates with the darkness and solitude of the evil days on which Milton has fallen in Book 7 of Paradise Lost.13 Hutchinson describes the end of former ‘glories’ (3) and their replacement by silence, sorrow, and care. In her cell, while the world is silent and dark, ‘she / Waked greife awaking memorie’ (12). It is a devastating evocation of absolute loss, in which she turns to three pictures of John Hutchinson in his prime; she recalls in looking on them the man whose ‘rising glorie’ broke through cloud like the sun, and who has now pierced through the clouds of mortality, ‘Soaring on wings of heauenly Loue’ (46, 19). Hutchinson’s recollection of her deceased husband is startlingly erotic for a Puritan woman, and may well allude deliberately to the lovers of Donne’s ‘The Canonization’ who are tapers and ‘at our own cost die’ (21).14 Donne’s line is a witty and carefree evocation of life-shortening orgasm; in contrast, Hutchinson’s ‘lifes taper’ is burned to ‘cold ashes’, and the ‘painted fire’ of her husband’s portrait ‘giues me no heate’ (49–52).15 The glories of former days evoked in the elegy’s opening lines are returned to at its conclusion, where they are ‘Only the trickments of a tombe’, along with her ‘lost Joys’ and her ‘late Crowne’, her husband himself, who ‘lyes in ye Cold ground’ (51–56). Lucy Hutchinson’s wakeful act of gazing on the portraits of her ‘dead loue’ (15) is expanded in three further elegies that describe portraits of John Hutchinson, in a parallel—no doubt inadvertent—to Jane Cavendish’s poems on portraits of her absent father. Cavendish uses the occasion of looking on portraits of the Duke of Newcastle, away from Welbeck in the service of the king, to delineate his quintessential and 13  See Paradise Lost, 7.25–30, in Alistair Fowler, ed., Milton: Paradise Lost (London: Longman, 1971). 14   C. A. Patrides, ed., John Donne: The Complete English Poems (London: David Campbell Publishers, 1991), pp. 57–59. 15  Elizabeth Scott-Baumann argues convincingly for the influence of Donne on Hutchinson’s ‘Elegies’ (Forms of Engagement, pp. 125 ff.).



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military qualities: she describes a picture that shows her father ‘to bee, / A Courtier, and a souldier’, and reflects that the portrait is ‘noe fiction, but a trueth of thee’.16 Hutchinson gazes, similarly, on portraits that present the true lineaments and qualities of her absent husband, whom she describes in two sharply contrasting pictures: in one, he is ‘a Gallant man’ in his armour, and in the other he is in prison, ‘y:e Same Honorable Prson looking Through a Prison Greate & leaneing on a Bible’.17 If these portraits of John Hutchinson are ‘life resembling Counterfitts’ (9.14), however, their ekphrasis emerges out of wakeful grief and desolation, and contains none of the hope on which Jane Cavendish’s portrait poems are based. Cavendish’s poems articulate a commitment to a family dispersed, and to a father in exile on the continent, on whose return she repeatedly meditates. Hutchinson’s elegiac portrait poems, in contrast, enact absolute emotional and physical loss, and the speaker’s loving verbal retracing of his lineaments is in vain (9.51). Hutchinson’s ekphrases allow her to outline her husband as the military man and as her own beloved commander, fusing in her description his political and patriarchal roles. John Hutchinson in his armour ‘triumpht ouer foyld Kings’, and she stresses that he wore his ‘killing weapons . . . / Not to destroy but to restore’ (4.6, 9–10). Throughout these elegiac portrait poems, Lucy establishes John as a political and a personally noble subject in a repeated reversal of royalist language. She describes him as having aimed to ‘restore’ the people’s liberties; his are ‘true-borne Princes Lyneaments’; and ‘his Crowne’ is an implicitly divine one of godliness, not a monarchical one set upon him by ‘Vulgar hands’ (4.10, 2–3). The second portrait poem engages in an extended blazon of John in his armour, and true majesty dwells in his face and form. John Hutchinson is emphatically established not only as the subject of Lucy’s personal grief but, in his armour and in prison, as the champion of the political cause that has been so tragically lost—and the abandonment of which by an ‘vngratefull treacherous Age’ (4.13) has brought about his demise. Hutchinson’s focus on her husband as the single, crucial figure in whom all moral and political rectitude is met is a desolate, republican extension of the tendency, already explored in earlier chapters, of women to imagine the political state through the patriarchal relationship. Jane Cavendish and Hester Pulter imagine the political realm via the absence of a patriarch, father and husband respectively. Cavendish’s absent father   See Chapter 3.   Elegy 4, title. Elegy 5 is ‘On the Picture in Armour’, and Elegy 6 is ‘On the Picture of ye Prisoner’. 16 17

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is the ‘great Example’ in familial, political, and poetic terms, one who is fused with the king; and in Hester Pulter’s occasional and pastoral poetry, the absence of the shepherd–king at the political centre is reflected in the absence of male rule at the pastoral periphery, where ‘Shepherds and sheepe goe all astray’. These are powerful imaginings of monarchical absence through the absence of domestic patriarchs, and Sir Robert Filmer’s Patriarcha, the most prominent mid-seventeenth-century articulation of political patriarchalism, is theorized from a deeply monarchical point of view. For Filmer, the right of kings is ‘a fatherly right of sovereign authority’ and is absolute, that of ‘a supreme father over every multitude’.18 Hutchinson’s investment in her marital relationship is clearly not aligned with Filmer’s monarchism, but as Su Fang Ng has explored, the family–state analogy was appropriated by a range of authors, republican as well as conservative, in the seventeenth century.19 Susan Wiseman has explored its exploitation by the Parliamentarian letter-writer Lady Brilliana Harley and by Hutchinson herself as republican women who imagine politics through the position of the exemplary or obedient wife.20 For Hutchinson, her late husband’s exemplary model is the foundation of her political articulation in the ‘Elegies’, and in her case, it is a speaking position that offers little or no hope. Cavendish and Pulter both fuse the absent familial patriarch with a king who is able to return, to be restored or—like Christ—to be resurrected; but as Hutchinson rewrites the poetic trope of the political patriarch in the late 1660s, all is irrevocably lost. Two elegies set in the garden at Owthorpe extend Hutchinson’s elegiac expression into the domestic landscape cultivated by John Hutchinson in the 1650s and early 1660s, in which his absence is everywhere felt.21 ‘To the Gardin att Owthorpe’, the seventh elegy, commemorates his activities there as Hutchinson addresses her ‘Poore desolate Gardin’ as an equal mourner for their mutual ‘deare Master’ and ‘Gardiner’ (1, 3, 35). John Hutchinson is described as having imparted ‘Culture’ (26)—that is, cultivation—on both the garden and on Lucy: 18  Johann P. Sommerville, ed., Sir Robert Filmer, Patriarcha and Other Writings (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), pp. 6–7. Filmer’s Patriarcha was published posthumously in 1680, but almost certainly completed before 1642. Su Fang Ng, Literature and the Politics of Family in Seventeenth-Century England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), pp. 2–3. 19   See Ng, Literature and the Politics of Family, esp. p. 8; and see Shannon Miller, Engendering the Fall: John Milton and Seventeenth-Century Women Writers (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008). 20  Wiseman, Conspiracy and Virtue, pp. 78 and 209. 21   Elegy 7, ‘To the Gardin att Owthorpe’; Elegy 12, ‘Musings in my evening Walkes at Owthorpe’.



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He that empaled ye from ye comon Ground Whoe all Thy walls w:th shining frutetrees Crownd Me alsoe aboue vulgar Girles did rayse And planted in me all y:t yelded prayse. (11–14)

The parallel (a word that she uses at line 31) between the garden and Lucy is developed through the first thirty lines of the poem, and she describes not only herself but her daughters as comparable to the wilting flowers of Owthorpe: Let now Thy flowers rise Chargd wth weeping dew And missing him shrink back into their beds Soe my poore virgins hang Their drooping heads And missing ye deare object of their sight Close vpe Their Eies in Sorrows Gloomy Night. (18–22)

The garden at Owthorpe, Lucy, and her daughters have been equally trained by John Hutchinson, and they equally exhibit the loss of his ‘refreshing hand’: he gave them beauty, lustre, and ‘becoming grace’, and now in his absence it is ‘our best grace to be wild & rude’ (24, 16, 10). Hutchinson moves in the last section of the poem, however, to focus on a vital dissimilarity between herself and her garden: while the garden’s ‘late loueliness is only hid’, and can be brought back into being by ‘Annother Gardiner & another Spring’, her own is ‘like y:e shadow w:th its substance fled’ (33–35). The garden in this final section is able to ‘shew weake semblance of his grace’ because ‘all Thats generous healthfull sweete & faire / Imperfect emblimes of his vertue are’ (44–46); but Hutchinson is a ‘tree Thats dead at roote’ (40). Both the speaker and the garden, then, stand in an emblematic relationship to John Hutchinson—to the former grace of his cultivating presence, and to his present absence—but the emblematic relationship of Lucy to John is both stronger and, in his death, more violently breached. Lucy’s representative power is dissolved, as she is left without a substance to reflect; as she describes in her first elegy, ‘My substance into ye darke vault was laide / And now I am my owne pale Empty Shade’ (1.6–8). Hutchinson’s description of herself, after the colonel’s death, as ‘like y:e shadow w:th its substance fled’ is one articulation of her subordinate positioning of herself in relation to her husband that has troubled many commentators on her as a woman writer and as a political one. Her claim that John Hutchinson raised her above ‘vulgar’ status and ‘planted in me all y:t yelded prayse’ is strikingly at odds with what we know of her as a remarkably educated woman, with whom John Hutchinson fell in love by reputation

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before he even met her. She describes the past pleasures of mutual reading in her twelfth elegy, ‘Musings in my evening Walkes at Owthorpe’: . . . my bookes that vsd to be The Sollace of my life while he Was my Instructor & approued The pleasant lines I chose & Loved. (37–40)

Even here, however, John Hutchinson is an instructor and approver, in a model of marital hierarchy that permeates the ‘Elegies’, as well as the Memoirs and Hutchinson’s other writings. N. H. Keeble and David Norbrook have discussed in detail the imagery of mirrors and reflections in Hutchinson’s writing, including much cited passages from the Memoirs, in which she describes herself in relation to John (she writes about herself in the third person here): she was a very faithfull mirror, reflecting truly, though but dimmely, his owne glories upon him, so long as he was present; but she, that was nothing before his inspection gave her a faire figure, when he was remoov’d was only fill’d with a darke mist, and never could againe take in any delightfull object, not returne any shining representation. The greatest excellence she had was the power of apprehending and the vertue of loving his. Soe, as his shaddow, she waited on him every where, till he was taken into that region of light which admitts of none, and then she vanisht into nothing.22

For Keeble, this passage is defined by ‘self-negation and self-dissolution’, although Norbrook locates it productively in the context of Christianized Platonic imagery that pervades Hutchinson’s writings, ‘in which earthly life is seen as a mere reflection of the heavenly, and all human history and social relations form a series of mirrors in which reflection after reflection stretches toward the absolute’. Within this Neoplatonic scheme, Hutchinson is subordinate to her husband, but she is so within a wider hierarchy of reflections and shadows in which, as she writes in the Memoirs, ‘the originall of all excellence is God’.23 This unwaveringly patriarchal hierarchy underpins Lucy’s description of herself in her ‘Elegies’ as her husband’s shadow—an emblem of his absence—and, I argue, strengthens rather than weakens her use of the patriarchal familial trope to imagine the political state. Wiseman sees the ‘Elegies’ as in the end articulating Hutchinson’s ‘sense of removal from

22  Quoted in N. H. Keeble, ‘“The Colonel’s Shadow”: Lucy Hutchinson, Women’s Writing and the Civil War’, in Literature and the English Civil War, edited by Thomas Healy and Jonathan Sawday (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), pp. 227–247 (p. 232). 23   Keeble, ‘“The Colonel’s Shadow”’, p. 232; Norbrook, ‘Elegies’, p. 471.



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the political sphere’, and she sees Hutchinson’s subordination of herself as shadow to John’s substance as causative of this political disempowerment: ‘Her poetic use of John Hutchinson shows both the fluency of her political thought and the limits of female purchase on a political sphere—for the loss of her husband, as well as the changed world, block any movement from thought to action.’24 Political defeat is one thing, however; political expression is another—and political poetry does not need to be a call to arms. Certainly there is in Hutchinson’s elegiac vision no longer any possibility of purchase on the sphere of political action; but the ‘Elegies’ are nonetheless plangent expressions of the political state in defeat, and they are all the more so for their exploitation of the trope of the politicized patriarch to construct the female speaker, the garden at Owthorpe, and, implicitly, the garden of England as equally and completely desolated. John Hutchinson’s activities as the gardener at Owthorpe not only parallel his role as his wife’s cultivating patriarch but they figure his political aims and activities, as David Norbrook has shown.25 The enclosure of Owthorpe, as John Hutchinson ‘empaled ye from ye comon Ground’, is an image of the exercise of political control against both the lower orders and unrestrained monarchical power; and the plants that grew in ‘better ord:rd rankes’ (7.30) reflected John’s political ideals in their heyday, before the demise of the Good Old Cause. Now the garden is overgrown, ‘Spreading weeds’ and ‘pernitious growth’ overrunning its ‘sweete fragrant bankes’ (7.27–29). Ordered ranks have given way to rank disorder, and in its present state, the garden at Owthorpe and the girls who inhabit it are a potent politicized emblem of Restoration England’s degeneracy and its lack of grace. Lucy Hutchinson’s vulgar girls and ‘poore virgins’ (7.20) in the garden at Owthorpe echo the maidens and virgins at Hester Pulter’s Broadfield, who are ‘refresht by sweet ffavorious gales’ as they make anadems and posies, and who decay in beauty and sexual innocence after Amintas’s removal as the head of the state. Hutchinson’s twelfth elegy, ‘Musings in my evening Walkes at Owthorpe’, also describes a garden at Owthorpe that is uncannily evocative of Pulter’s Broadfield: its trees are drooping for want of John Hutchinson’s cultivating hand, the flowers ‘hang downe Their drooping heads / And Languish on Their vndrest beds’, and just as the springs and rivers of Broadfield weep, so at Owthorpe ‘The murmering springs rise & Complaine / Then shrinke into The earth againe’ (12.13–14, 17–18). The echoes are no doubt unwitting, as are those of Jane Cavendish’s portrait  Wiseman, Conspiracy and Virtue, pp. 226–227.   Norbrook, ‘Elegies’, pp. 475–477; and Norbrook, ed., Order and Disorder, p. xxxvi, quoting 3.634–638. 24 25

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poems and figuration of the politicized patriarch; it seems just possible that Jane Cavendish and Hester Pulter may have been aware of each other’s poetry, but there is no known connection that might make either of their poetry known to Lucy Hutchinson. But Pulter’s and Hutchinson’s bereft gardens and petrifying springs—and their engardened girls—resonate deeply with each other. Diane Purkiss describes Andrew Marvell’s ‘constant reversion to the figure of a little girl—in a garden—as a sign of all that is private, enclosed, retired, safe from the public world of war and politics and the state’.26 Pulter’s and Hutchinson’s female pastorals share much with Marvell’s, but their girls and women are neither safe nor safely enclosed in the garden space. Owthorpe and Broadfield are rural idylls irrupted by the political affairs of the state, and their female speakers at once mourn that irruption and, along with the landscape they inhabit, emblematize its cost. The woman or girl in the garden had, of course, long served as an emblem of domestic and social order in male-authored country house poetry, a genre to which Hutchinson’s elegies on the house and garden at Owthorpe are related.27 Ben Jonson figures Barbara Gamage as simultaneously fruitful and chaste in ‘To Penshurst’, and she appears in the later lines of the poem as an emblematic, celebratory apotheosis of a domestic sphere held in fine balance, as it is figured throughout the poem in Penshurst’s house and garden.28 Andrew Marvell’s ‘Upon Appleton House’ features Maria Fairfax, a direct poetic descendent of Jonson’s Gamage, who appears in the poem’s final section to resolve the problem of her father’s troublingly premature retirement as it, too, has been figured in the estate’s domestic garden. Thomas Fairfax arranges the garden, in his retirement, in ‘the just figure of a fort’, and the flowers display their ‘silken ensigns’: See how the flowers, as at parade, Under their colours stand displayed: Each regiment in order grows, That of the tulip, pink, and rose.29 26  Diane Purkiss, Literature, Gender and Politics During the English Civil War (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), p. 159; and Purkiss, ‘Marvell, Boys, Girls, and Men: Should We Worry?’, in Gender and Early Modern Constructions of Childhood, edited by Naomi J. Miller and Naomi Yavneh (Farnham: Ashgate, 2011), pp. 181–192 (pp. 188– 189). The italics, useful for my purposes in this discussion, occur only in the first iteration. 27  Elizabeth Scott-Baumann, ‘“Paper Frames”: Lucy Hutchinson’s Elegies and the Seventeenth-Century Country House Poem’, Literature Compass 4, no. 3 (2007): pp. 664–676. 28   Hugh Jenkins explores women—and Gamage in particular—as emblems who reconcile potential contradictions within the country estate in Feigned Commonwealths: The Country-House Poem and the Fashioning of the Ideal Community (Pittsburg, PA: Duquesne University Press, 1998), esp. pp. 55–60. 29   ‘Upon Appleton House, to my Lord Fairfax’, lines 286, 309–312; in Nigel Smith, ed., The Poems of Andrew Marvell, rev. edn (London: Longman, 2007).



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While the flowers let ‘fragrant volleys’ fly as Fairfax and his wife pass by, however, there is no such salute for Maria. She seems, instead, ‘with the flowers a flower to be’ (298, 302), in an assertion of her cultivation by her father (and the tutor–poet) and in a prefiguration of the power of resolution that she wields in the poem’s final phase as the essence of all that is good in Fairfax’s estate. The regimental flowers of Appleton House are a precursor, known or unknown, to the ordered ranks described by Lucy Hutchinson in Owthorpe’s garden; but while John unequivocally imparts godly cultivation upon Owthorpe in the 1650s, the military qualities of the garden at Appleton House are a more problematic horticultural embodiment of Fairfax’s untapped military potential. Thomas Fairfax cultivates his garden in a displacement of ‘warlike’ activity, and Maria appears in the final section of the poem to resolve the tensions between Fairfax’s active potential and his entrapment in pastoral otium—or to displace him altogether.30 Maria, certainly, overwrites her father’s more morally ambivalent role in the garden, as ‘’Tis she’ who confers upon it an unparalleled beauty and ‘straightness’ (lines 689–691; italics mine). Maria is a more complex emblem than Jonson’s Barbara Gamage: the work of emblematic resolution required of her is far greater, and in this way she is the product of times profoundly changed. She and Gamage alike, however, are unspeaking women who embody resolution in the country estate that they inhabit, standing along with it in an emblematic relationship to the qualities of its male owner and his moral contribution to the wider social and political order. ‘Upon Appleton House’ is a poem that Lucy Hutchinson could possibly have known, even though it was unprinted until 1681: she dedicated her translation of De rerum natura to Arthur Annesley, first Earl of Anglesey, who also acted as a patron of sorts to Marvell, and so it is conceivable that they met or that their texts were transmitted through him.31 Thomas Fairfax and John Hutchinson certainly knew each other: both served in the 30   A. D. Cousins sees Maria as the fruit of Fairfax’s negotium cum deo, the encapsulation of Protestant heroic virtue that he has nurtured in his retirement. For Diane Purkiss, she is ‘a feminine nymph who displaces the paterfamilias Fairfax’; and for Jonathan Crewe, she is ‘made the bearer of patriarchal meanings incapable of being sustained by the figure of the patriarch’. A. D. Cousins, ‘Marvell’s “Upon Appleton House, to my Lord Fairfax” and the Regaining of Paradise’, in The Political Identity of Andrew Marvell, edited by Conal Condren and A. D. Cousins (Aldershot: Scolar Press, 1990), pp. 53–84, esp. pp. 75–78; Purkiss, Literature, Gender and Politics, p. 156; Jonathan Crewe, ‘The Garden State: Marvell’s Poetics of Enclosure’, in Enclosure Acts: Sexuality, Property, and Culture in Early Modern England, edited by Richard Burt and John Michael Archer (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1994), pp. 270–289 (pp. 286–287). 31   Annabel Patterson and Martin Dzelzainis, ‘Marvell and the Earl of Anglesey: A Chapter in the History of Reading’, The Historical Journal 44, no. 3 (2001): pp. 703–726.

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Parliamentarian forces in the 1640s and both were signatories to Charles I’s death warrant, although Lucy Hutchinson is scathing about Fairfax’s abrupt refusal to lead Parliamentarian troops into Scotland, the occasion of his breach with Cromwell.32 Even if she did not know Marvell’s poem, however, Hutchinson’s seventh and twelfth elegies, set in the garden at Owthorpe, demand to be read alongside it—and alongside Hester Pulter’s Broadfield poems—for the direct and revealing contrast between their uses of the engardened girl as a politicized emblem. For Hutchinson, as for Pulter, the girl in the garden is very far from being private, enclosed, retired, or safe; rather, the garden and the female speaker are an irrupted landscape and a body on which the nation’s political disturbance is inscribed. Not only this, but Hutchinson’s and Pulter’s girls speak. Marvell’s Maria is a silent and redemptive figure in the tradition of Barbara Gamage; in contrast, Hutchinson’s elegiac female speaker is akin to Hester Pulter’s voluble grieving mother, a woman who is emblematically tied to her location but who also gives lyrical voice to her own irrupted state. Both, indeed, are less like Maria than they are like Marvell’s nymph complaining, the only of his girls in gardens who has her own voice and, I would argue, a notable exception to Purkiss’s otherwise suggestive description of Marvell’s prevailing trope.33 Marvell’s nymph complaining is, of course, male authored, and another set of contrasts between her and Hutchinson’s and Pulter’s speaking women could be teased out. But for the present purposes, it is more than enough to stress that Lucy Hutchinson’s elegiac female speaker—like Hester Pulter’s grieving female poetic persona—laments, powerfully and poetically, giving voice as well as emblematic embodiment to an experience of the garden state that is one of irruption, fear, irresolution, and loss. The mid-century poetry of rural retirement with which Lucy Hutchinson does seem to have been familiar is that of Katherine Philips. Elizabeth Scott-Baumann explores an apparent echo in Hutchinson’s ‘Musings in my evening Walkes at Owthorpe’ of Katherine Philips’s pastoral elegy for friendship, ‘Orinda to Lucasia’, a poem first printed in 1664. Hutchinson’s elegy describes flowers that ‘hang downe Their drooping heads / And Languish on Their vndrest beds’ (12.13–14); ‘Orinda to Lucasia’ includes two strikingly similar lines—‘The drooping Flowers hang their heads, / 32  ‘But when [the Parliamentarian army] were just marching out, my Lord Fairfax, perswaded by his wife and her Presbiterian Chaplains, threw up his Commission at such a time when it could not have bene done more spitefully and ruinously to the whole Parliament interest . . . But this greate man was then as unmooveable by his friends as pertinacious in obeying his wife; whereby he then died to all his former glory, and became the monument of his owne name, which every day wore out’ (Hutchinson, Memoirs, p. 195). 33   Jonathan Crewe has described Maria as a ‘nymph uncomplaining’, pithily emphasizing the difference between Maria and Marvell’s other nymph (‘The Garden State’, pp. 286–287).



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And languish down into their Beds’ (lines 7–8)—as well as numerous other similarities in word and image to Hutchinson’s later poem.34 The visibility of Katherine Philips’s poetry in print after 1664, the two women’s rewritings of Donne, and Hutchinson’s general openness to reworking conservative poetic forms, make it entirely likely that Hutchinson was reading and drawing on Philips; and the link is doubly suggestive in its articulation of Hutchinson’s ‘Elegies’ in relation to a nexus of authors reworking poetic tropes of rural retreat in the 1660s. Scott-Baumann argues for Philips’s influence on the garden poetry of Abraham Cowley, whose Workes of 1668 she describes as ‘the most important and consolidated statement of Horatian and Stoic ideals of retreat in English’; and she suggests that Philips may have influenced Marvell’s ‘The Garden’, an argument based on a dating of that poem to the Restoration.35 Most vitally for our purposes, Scott-Baumann’s exploration of the poetry of rural retirement in its 1660s incarnation links Hutchinson’s ‘Elegies’ to an element in which she sees Philips’s ‘A Countrey Life’ as original and influential: her imagining of the country life ‘as prelapsarian and as solitary’.36 Philips describes a solitary country life as ‘the first and happiest life’ (5), and rural retreat is defined in terms of prelapsarian solitude in Marvell’s ‘The Garden’: Such was that happy garden-state, While man there walked without a mate: After a place so pure, and sweet, What other help could yet be meet? But ’twas beyond a mortal’s share To wander solitary there: Two Paradises ’twere in one To live in Paradise alone. (57–64)37

Marvell’s prelapsarian fantasy is distinctly—if wittily—misogynist, as he imagines a ‘garden-state’ that is not only occluded from worldly affairs, but in which the male speaker is untroubled by the female company that could not possibly be truly meet for him.38 Hutchinson, in contrast, reworks the trope of solitude in Eden to devastating elegiac effect. She speaks from Eve’s point of view to describe a previously Edenic Owthorpe, from which the Adamic male cultivator is now absent, and in looking back on  Scott-Baumann, Forms of Engagement, pp. 141–142.  Scott-Baumann, Forms of Engagement, p. 83. Scott-Baumann agrees with Allan Pritchard’s dating in ‘Marvell’s “The Garden”: A Restoration Poem?’, SEL 23, no. 3 (1983): pp. 371–388. 36  Scott-Baumann, Forms of Engagement, p. 91. 37  Scott-Baumann, Forms of Engagement, pp. 91–92. 38   Marvell’s exclusion of Eve from the happy garden state is also a recollection of her role in its loss, as Jonathan Crewe points out (‘The Garden State’, p. 270). 34 35

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the 1650s, she sees a shared garden Paradise that is gone forever. The two Owthorpe elegies are redolent with a postlapsarian language of foulness and degeneracy, infection and sickness: in ‘Musings in my evening Walkes at Owthorpe’, a plant that previously enjoyed John’s ‘skillfull culture’ must now ‘growe in an infectious ayre / Which ye best natures will Impayre’, and the speaker is absorbed in her own ‘Sicke Thoughts’ (12.34–36, 41). Katherine Philips welcomes female solitude in ‘A Countrey Life’— no Adam is required—and for Andrew Marvell, solitude in the garden is ‘Two Paradises . . . in one’. For Hutchinson, however, female solitude in her garden at Owthorpe is possible only through the unnatural and almost incomprehensible displacement of Adam, and is itself emblematic of a Fall and irrevocable exclusion from a personal and political Eden. Hutchinson speaks most explicitly from Eve’s point of view in lines that have been copied into the manuscript of the ‘Elegies’ by a descendent in the early eighteenth century, Julius Hutchinson, the son of John Hutchinson’s half-brother (and the grandfather of the Julius who edited Lucy’s Memoirs for publication in 1806). These forty-two lines of lament open ‘ah! why doth death its latest stroke delay’, and have been copied into a blank space between the second and third elegies; a prefatory note remarks, ‘These verses transcribed out of my other Book J: H:’ and a concluding one adds, ‘Memdm these verses were writ by Mrs Hutchinson on ye occasion of ye Coll: her Husbands being then a prisoner in ye Tower: 1664.’ The lines are in Eve’s voice as she articulates her extreme grief at the exclusion from Paradise and her guilt at its loss—and they are in fact copied from Canto 5 of Hutchinson’s Order and Disorder, where they constitute the ‘sad plaints’ of Eve, newly excluded from Paradise.39 Julius Hutchinson’s belief that the lines were written as a response to John Hutchinson’s imprisonment may be supposition—or it may indicate a reappropriation of these lines either by Hutchinson herself or within a family tradition.40 But even if it is Julius Hutchinson alone who attaches Eve’s lament to Lucy’s grief on John’s imprisonment, the insertion of these lines into the ‘Elegies’ draws attention to the strong parallels between Hutchinson’s Owthorpe of the 1650s and Paradise in Order and Disorder—and in the tenor that she attaches to their loss. 39   Norbrook, ed., Order and Disorder, 5.400. All quotations from Order and Disorder and its manuscript continuation are from this edition. 40   Erica Longfellow parallels the application of these lines that Julius Hutchinson indicates to the attribution in Anne Southwell’s manuscript of Henry King’s elegy on his wife to one of Southwell’s mourning neighbours; both are examples of the flexible use and attribution of poetry in manuscript culture (Longfellow, Women and Religious Writing, p. 201). If the lines were indeed reused by Hutchinson herself, an even more direct parallel can be drawn with Southwell’s reuse of her lines on the creation of Adam to address Bishop Adams of Limerick and, in a variant form, to address Roger Cox (see Chapter 2).



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Paradise in Order and Disorder is, like Owthorpe, ‘impale[d]‌ ’ or enclosed from the outside world (whether by a hill, a vale, rocks, or trees she does not know, a point to which I will return)—and within it every plant grows not ‘promiscuously’ but ‘disposed’ in a ‘rich order’ that recalls the plants cultivated by John Hutchinson at Owthorpe (3.150, 141–142). There is a ‘crystal river’, ‘verdant banks’, and, standing on them, fruit trees that grow in ‘lovely ranks’ (3.163–164). Adam is introduced as a master, if not gardener, into this Paradise: he is the ‘new-created king’, sovereign, and ‘supreme lord’ (3.188, 198, 200), and the fruit, flowers, shrubs, and berries there respond to him in pathetic fallacy, vying with each other as each strives to delight him most. These flowers, ‘like country girls’ (3.193), are the clear sisters of those who ‘hang downe Their drooping heads’ and ‘shrink back into their beds’ in the elegies on Owthorpe. Country house conventions define Hutchinson’s description of Paradise, as they do Milton’s description of his ‘happy rural seat of various view’ (Paradise Lost, 4.247); it is a curiosity that Adam is not a gardener in Hutchinson’s Eden, as he is in Milton’s—and as John Hutchinson is at Owthorpe. But the use of country house and rural retreat conventions in Hutchinson’s Order and Disorder, as in her ‘Elegies’, and the more specific overlaps in her descriptions of Owthorpe and Eden, underpin her poetic construction in the ‘Elegies’ of John Hutchinson’s death and the end of the republican cause as the loss of Paradise. Eve’s words on the Fall, transcribed into the manuscript of the ‘Elegies’, become directly and doubly valent as Hutchinson’s own commentary on her poetic retrospection on the Owthorpe of the 1650s: ‘If I cast back my sorrow drowned eyes / I see our nere, to be reenterd paradice / ye Flaming sword wch doth us thence exclude’.41 Hutchinson’s construction, via the girl in the garden, of Owthorpe and England in the 1660s as a Paradise lost underpins a desolate poetic imagining of her own personal situation and Restoration England’s political state. She turns at the end of her ‘Elegies’ to a series of drafts for epitaphs, the last of which was used on John Hutchinson’s monument at Owthorpe, and here both Erica Longfellow and Kate Chedgzoy have seen a ‘covert call to arms’, as she describes a tombstone which ‘doth Close vp ye darke Cave / Where Liberty sleepes in her Champions grave’.42 Looking as it does, however, through the short sleep of death to the day of judgement, this is an image that does little to relieve the pervasive desolation of Hutchinson’s political vision, and her depiction of herself and her cause as fallen. ‘Who Lies low falls no second time’, she concludes the final, fourteenth elegy,   ‘Elegies’, 2A.27–29; Order and Disorder 5.427–9.   20.9–10; Longfellow, Women and Religious Writing, pp. 198–199; Chedgzoy, Women’s Writing in the British Atlantic World, p. 164. 41 42

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and her own fallen state is reiterated in another image that is used in two of the epitaph drafts: ‘Him selfe chiefe Pillar of his house They all / He taken vp, did vnsupported fall.’43 It is this irrevocably fallen state—of herself and of the republican cause—that resonates through Hutchinson’s extended verse meditation on Genesis, Order and Disorder. O R D E R A N D D I S O R D E R :   E P I C , M E D I TAT I O N , O R S A C R E D H I S TO RY ? Hutchinson’s postlapsarian vision of Owthorpe and England extends into her twenty-canto poetic retelling of Genesis, the first five cantos of which were published as Order and Disorder: Or, the World Made and Undone. Being Meditations Upon the Creation and the Fall; As it is recorded in the beginning of Genesis (1679). Hutchinson is likely to have begun composing this poem around 1664—the date at the beginning of the notebook in which the manuscript version is transcribed, and the date given by Julius Hutchinson for her composition of the lines that became Eve’s lament.44 It is, then, likely that the earlier sections of Order and Disorder are broadly contemporaneous with her ‘Elegies’ as well as with the other, most prominent, retelling of mankind’s creation and Fall by a vanquished republican poet, Milton’s Paradise Lost (first printed in 1667). Hutchinson and Milton may have known each other’s Genesis poems in manuscript—both had connections to the Earl of Anglesey—and the possibility of reading ‘Eve’s version of Genesis’ alongside Paradise Lost has provided an exciting moment in the study of early modern women’s writing.45 In its printed iteration in particular, Hutchinson’s poem is directly comparable to Milton’s in the structural parallels that it implies between mankind’s undoing of God’s created world and the loss of the republican cause. The five printed cantos end, as does Paradise Lost, with Adam and Eve’s exclusion from Paradise, and Hutchinson ‘wind[s]‌up’ the printed poem with a series of ‘most certain truths’ on God’s providential arrangement of the world’s affairs and the providential benefit of suffering (5.675). She describes, ‘We cease t’admire a Paradise below, / Rejoice in that which lately was our loss, / And see a crown made up of every cross’ (5.696–698), in lines that connote not only Adam and Eve’s late loss of Paradise, but her own and republican England’s late losses of personal and political kinds.   18A.11–12; 15.21–22 (in variant form).   Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, Osborn Collection, MS fb 100. Hutchinson is likely to have continued work on the poem until her death in 1681. 45   See Patterson and Dzelzainis, ‘Marvell and the Earl of Anglesey’; and Scott-Baumann, Forms of Engagement, p. 120. 43 44



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If Order and Disorder has much in common with Paradise Lost, however, there are also sharp divergences in its frame, content, structure, and style; and it seems very likely that Hutchinson explicitly differentiates her poem from Milton’s. She picks up on the ‘Meditations’ of her second subtitle in the first sentence of her preface, explaining: These meditations were not at first designed for public view, but fixed upon to reclaim a busy roving thought from wandering in the pernicious and perplexed maze of human inventions; whereinto the vain curiosity of youth had drawn me to consider and translate the account some old poets and philosophers give of the original of things. (p. 3)

Her consideration and translation of the old poets and philosophers is that of Lucretius’s De rerum natura: she goes on vehemently to disavow ‘vain, foolish, atheistical poesy’ and ‘those heathenish authors I have been conversant in’, and this preface is an explicit recantation of that work.46 But her insistence on the meditational nature of her poem and her denial of the ‘perplexed maze of human inventions’ also bear directly on her conception of divine poetry, a conception that seems to define itself against Milton’s ambitious, inventive epic. Norbrook describes the subtitle’s ‘Meditations’ as implying ‘a secondary form of writing, one whose main aim is not to tell a story but to summarise it’, and he has reflected on the poem’s ‘discursive character’.47 Robert Mayer suggests that the poem is ‘not an epic . . . but . . . a summary and an interpretation of Genesis’; and Robert Wilcher describes it as a ‘verse redaction’, suggesting that Francis Quarles’s sacred histories, penned in the 1620s, are an important generic precedent.48 Each of these discussions grapples with the poem’s generic affiliations, but no extended critical studies to date have sought generic counterparts for Hutchinson’s poem in other biblical verse paraphrases by seventeenth-century women.49 Anne Southwell’s Decalogue verses provide 46  Norbrook, ed., Order and Disorder, pp. xvii–xviii; Hugh de Quehen, ed., Lucy Hutchinson’s Translation of Lucretius: De rerum natura (London: Duckworth, 1996). 47  Norbrook, ed., Order and Disorder, p. xxv; and Norbrook, ‘John Milton, Lucy Hutchinson and the Republican Biblical Epic’, in Milton and the Grounds of Contention, edited by Mark R. Kelley, Michael Lieb, and John T. Shawcross (Pittsburgh, PA: Duquesne University Press, 2003), pp. 37–63 (p. 39). 48   Robert Mayer, ‘Lucy Hutchinson: A Life of Writing’, The Seventeenth Century 22 (2007): pp. 305–335 (p. 317); Robert Wilcher, ‘“Adventurous Song” or “Presumptuous Folly”: The Problem of “Utterance” in John Milton’s Paradise Lost and Lucy Hutchinson’s Order and Disorder’, The Seventeenth Century 21 (2006): pp. 304–314 (pp. 304, 312, n. p. 314); and Wilcher, ‘Lucy Hutchinson and Genesis: Paraphrase, Epic, Romance’, English 59 (2010): pp. 25–42. 49   Jill Seal Millman notes that Mary Roper’s The Sacred Historie ‘provides an interesting parallel’ to Hutchinson’s poem (‘Mary Roper?’s “The Sacred Historie”’, EMWMP, p. 153), and Elizabeth Clarke compares Hutchinson’s and Roper’s two poems very briefly in ‘Women in Church and in Devotional Spaces’, in The Cambridge Companion to Early

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one parallel, particularly vital given their direct debt to Quarles’s sacred histories; and the long verse paraphrase of Genesis attributed to the royalist Mary Roper, dated 1669–1670, provides another.50 Reading Order and Disorder in relation to Southwell, Roper, and their models in Du Bartas and Quarles, as well as in conversation with the Christianized Virgilian epic attempted by Abraham Cowley and exemplified in Paradise Lost, positions Hutchinson’s poem in a tradition of biblical verse paraphrase that had been, and continued to be, exploited by women to political effect, at the same time as it reveals its remarkable and atypical poetic qualities. Hutchinson most explicitly differentiates Order and Disorder from Paradise Lost in her preface and in the invocation to her first canto. She protests in the preface that those who read her poem ‘will find nothing of fancy in it; no elevations of style, no charms of language’, and she insists that ‘all the language I have, is much too narrow to express the least of those wonders my soul hath been ravished with in the contemplation of God and his works’ (p. 5). Her discourse is one of rhetorical modesty and unadorned scripturalism, even as she insists on the Bible as a model of divine poeticization in ‘psalms and hymns and spiritual songs’ (p. 5)— the precedent for divine poesy that is also invoked by Anne Southwell, as well as Alexander Hume.51 The invocation to the first canto continues her discourse of contemplation and spiritual song, as she describes a ‘ravished soul’ that wishes ‘To sing those mystic wonders it admires, / Contemplating the rise of everything’ (1.1–3). Hutchinson’s address to the divine Muse and her desire to ‘sing’ parallel Milton’s, but she otherwise approaches her theme in ‘endless admiration’ (1.15), her verbs and syntax denoting a passive reception that is in stark contrast to Milton’s vaunting aim to ‘assert eternal providence / And justify the ways of God to men’ (1.25–26).52 Woven through her invocation are modesty tropes that are distinctly gendered. Where Milton asks the holy spirit, ‘what in me is dark / Illumine, what is low raise and support’ (1.22–23), Hutchinson describes Modern Women’s Writing, edited by Laura Lunger Knoppers (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), pp. 110–123 (pp. 118–119). 50   For an extended discussion of Southwell and Quarles, see Chapter 2. 51   See the opening of Chapter 2. For detailed discussion of Hutchinson’s scripturalism, including her use of biblical marginalia, see Elizabeth Scott-Baumann, ‘Lucy Hutchinson, the Bible and Order and Disorder’, in The Intellectual Culture of Puritan Women, edited by Johanna Harris and Elizabeth Scott-Baumann (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2011), pp. 176–189; and Scott-Baumann, Forms of Engagement, ch. 6. 52   Wilcher describes: ‘when the idea of divine assistance is belatedly introduced, it is hedged about with conditionals and subjunctives, in sharp contrast to the boldly imperative and indicative verbs that dominate Milton’s text’ (‘“Adventurous Song” or “Presumptuous Folly”’, p. 308).



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over ten lines her own ‘weak sense’ that is ‘struck with such confusion’, and her female soul’s ‘imperfect strugglings’ and ‘rude conceptions’ (1.21–30). Patricia Pender has recently highlighted the ‘emphatically rhetorical’ nature of early modern women writers’ modesty tropes, arguing compellingly against the gynocritical impulse to read women’s disavowals of authorship in literal terms. As she points out, when Milton presents himself in the invocation to Book 9 of Paradise Lost as ‘Not skilled nor studious’ (9.42), ‘the image that we get is not one of Milton’s deep-seated insecurity. Instead, it is one of his colossal ambition.’53 Pender’s emphasis on the rhetorical nature of women’s modesty tropes, and on the authorial selffashioning that they in fact embody, is timely; at the same time, we need to sift from the conventionalities of Hutchinson’s preface and invocation the assertions of poetic genre that are present in it, and to attend to these. Just as we afford enormous respect to Milton’s paratextual engagements in questions of genre and topical decorum—his delineation of Samson Agonistes as a Senecan closet drama, his elaboration on the verse style of Paradise Lost, and his invocatory declaration of the poem’s theodicy—so we need to consider the literary-critical ‘truth value’ in Hutchinson’s declaration of her poem’s genre, and its bearing on the work that follows.54 Hutchinson aligns her poem with a model of divine poetry that Anne Southwell also invokes, one that derives from the writings of the French Protestant poet Guillaume de Saluste Du Bartas, popularized in England in Josuah Sylvester’s translation, Bartas: His Deuine Weekes and Workes (1605), and one that is not identical with Milton’s Christianized epic. Hutchinson asks, ‘Let not my thoughts beyond their bounds aspire’ (1.42), in striking contrast to Milton’s invocation of ‘aid to my adventurous song, / That with no middle flight intends to soar / Above the Aonian mount’ (1.13–15); and in what appears to be a direct attack on Milton’s extensive imagining of the war in heaven, she says, ‘what hath been / Before the race of time did first begin, / It were presumptuous folly to inquire’ (1.39–41). Hutchinson’s insistence on middle flight echoes that of Du Bartas, whose ‘heedful Muse, trayned in true Religion, / Devinelyhumane keepes the middle Region’.55 Anne Southwell’s invocation to her Decalogue poems also asks that the divine Muse ‘with mediocritye asist my flight’, and Southwell describes her Decalogue poems in terms of 53  Patricia Pender, Early Modern Women’s Writing and the Rhetoric of Modesty (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), pp. 3, 7. 54   Pender’s objection is, quite rightly, to the desire to read autobiographical ‘truth-value’ into women’s authorial disavowals (p. 3). 55   Du Bartas, ‘The First Day of the First Weeke’, lines 135–136; in Susan Snyder, ed., The Divine Weeks and Works of Guillaume De Saluste, Sieur du Bartas, Translated by Josuah Sylvester, 2 vols, vol. 1 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1979), p. 115.

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meditational poetics. Her poems are a ‘holy conversation’ with God’s precepts, to which her pen is ‘confined’, and she is ‘affected vnto rime / but as it is a help to memorye’—just as Hutchinson’s later meditations are ‘fixed upon to reclaim a busy roving thought from wandering in the pernicious and perplexed maze of human inventions’.56 I have argued in Chapter 2 that Southwell’s invocation and that of Du Bartas on which she draws demarcate an ‘anti-genre’ in comparison to Milton’s later, more famous address to his Muse; in their case, an anti-genre of biblical verse paraphrase that is not the fiercely ambitious, Christianized Virgilian epic. Hutchinson’s paratexts also demarcate her poem against Milton’s epic, explicitly in her case, and her refusal, pace Milton, to pursue ‘Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme’ is reiterated throughout her poem. She insists that God’s name ‘we rather must adore / Than venture to explain’ (1.46–47); the exact location of Paradise ‘We dare not take from men’s inventive brains’ (3.158); the circumstances of the angels’ rebellion and overthrow ‘We will not dare t’invent’ (4.45); and in Canto 6, which retells the story of Cain and Abel, invention is ominously used to ‘devise new modes of sin’ (6.385). Hutchinson reiterates throughout her poem an aversion to ‘gross poetic fables’ (4.49), and to the ambitious poetics that Milton seeks to embrace in the soaring opening lines to his poem. The discursive structural qualities of Hutchinson’s poem, already noted by critics grappling with its generic affiliations, also align it with the biblical verse redactions and meditational poetics embraced by such women as Southwell and deriving from Du Bartas’s Deuine Weekes and Workes, but not from Classical epic tradition. Hutchinson’s poem is an episodic and explicatory retelling of the Genesis narrative, without the structural reshaping demanded by epic and its focus on a hero. Sue Starke traces a genealogy of epic heroism that runs from Virgil’s Aeneid through Cowley’s Davideis to Milton’s Paradise Lost, explicating Cowley’s ‘attempt to mold David as a sort of Hebrew Aeneis’—an attempt that, in the case of Davideis, signals the ultimate failure of the poem. Milton circumvents Cowley’s failure, exploiting the Renaissance poetic practice of diffracting the hero and building on Cowley’s innovations to harness to divine subject matter the epic imperative for a heroic culmination ‘which must take place outside of history’.57 Lucy Hutchinson may well have looked to Cowley in admiration: Milton did, and Cowley became a great favourite 56  Jean Klene, ed., The Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book: Folger MS V.b.198, Renaissance English Text Society, 7th series, vol. 20 (Tempe, AZ: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1997), pp. 46, 129, 126, 152. 57  Sue Starke, ‘“The Eternal Now”: Virgilian Echoes and Miltonic Premonitions in Cowley’s “Davideis”’, Christianity and Literature 55 (2006): pp. 195–219 (pp. 195, 199). Cowley himself hints at these difficulties when he describes, ‘it is the custom of Heroick Poets



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among women poets.58 In their central conception, however, Hutchinson’s ‘Meditations Upon the Creation and the Fall’ are fundamentally different in kind from Cowley’s poem which, he describes, ‘I designed . . . after the Patern of our Master Virgil’.59 For Cowley, as for Milton, formal unity and a linear narrative tightness in the epic tradition of Torquato Tasso were also imperative. Du Bartas’s Devine Weeks (and Sylvester’s translation of them) are in contrast a famously digressive, copious, and various retelling of Scripture; as Susan Snyder describes, the Bartasian ‘aesthetic instinct was compendious rather than selective’.60 Du Bartas countered those who ‘accuse me . . . that I haue neglected the Rules which Aristotle and Horace prescribe as proper to heroicke Poets’ with the defence that ‘my second Weeke is not (no more then my first) a worke purely Epique or Heroique’, and he expands: Heere I simply set down the History, there I move affections: Heere I call vpon God, there I yeeld his thankes: heere I sing a Hymne vnto him, & there I vomit out a Satyre against the Vices of mine Age; Heere I instruct men in good manners, there in piete: Here I discourse of naturall things and other-where I praise good spirits.61

Du Bartas’s unfortunate admission of verbal vomiting notwithstanding, his description of his own poetic resonates vitally with the discursive meditations of such women as Anne Southwell, whose Decalogue poems habitually spin off from God’s precepts into moralizing and politicized digressions, instructing her children on good manners, and satirizing the vices of her age.62 Susan Snyder has enumerated the English imitators and followers of Du Bartas, from Drayton, Aylett, and Quarles to Cowley and Milton; as she makes clear, these poetic imitations were not only multitudinous but, crucially, generically diverse.63 All divine poetry in seventeenth-century Britain owes something to Du Bartas’s harnessing (as we see by the examples of Homer and Virgil, whom we should do ill to forsake to imitate others) never to come to the full end of their Story; but only so near, that every one may see it’ (‘The Preface’, Poems (1656), sig. (b)v). 58   Starke, ‘“The Eternal Now”’, p. 196; Kathryn R. King, ‘Cowley among the Women: or, Poetry in the Contact Zone’, in Woman and Literary History: ‘For There She Was’, edited by Katherine Binhammer and Jeanne Wood (Newark, DE: University of Delaware Press, 2003), pp. 43–63. 59   Cowley, ‘The Preface’, Poems (1656), sig. (b)v. 60   Snyder, ed., The Divine Weeks and Works, vol. 1, p. 2. 61   ‘The Advertisement of William of Salvst, Lord of Bartas, vpon the first and second Weeke’, in Simon Goulart, A Learned Summary upon the Famous Poeme of William of Saluste, Lord of Bartas, trans. Thomas Lodge (1621), ¶10r; and see Chloe Wheatley, Epic, Epitome, and the Early Modern Historical Imagination (Farnham: Ashgate, 2011), p. 72. 62   See Chapter 2. 63   Snyder, ed., The Divine Weeks and Works, vol. 1, pp. 79–80.

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of secular verse forms to sacred subject matter, and so it is not enough to describe Southwell, Quarles, Anne Bradstreet, Cowley, and Milton as equal and identical inheritors of Du Bartas’s poetics. Critical precision is vital in delineating the nature of ‘Bartasian’ traces or influences in any given text. Du Bartas’s Weeks are a distant antecedent of Milton’s Virgilian Christianized epic, their poetic and generic genes fractured in Milton’s ambitious poetics and declared epic frame; in contrast, the rhetorical and structural gestures of the meditational poetry discussed here place it in a much closer proximity to Du Bartas’s digressive and compendious generic model.64 Considering Lucy Hutchinson’s Genesis narrative through the lens of women’s meditational verse more broadly allows us to develop a clearer sense of what the ‘meditations’ in her title connotes—and of how meditational biblical verse paraphrase could enable political articulation. Southwell routinely wheels away from the explication of her chosen precept into lengthy digressions on moral themes, including advice on raising children and on keeping them from the follies of the court. For example, in her Lansdowne poem on the third commandment, she reviles the ‘peacocks of the court’ and those who ‘from tauernes come to heare a preaching’; she describes Lot and Noah as ‘drownd in wine’ and she condemns the drunken courtiers who defend them by spinning the scriptures to their own ends, ‘vs[ing] gods worde as wolues doe vse theyr holes’.65 Southwell’s acerbic critique of court drunkenness parallels in its theme as well as its digressive structure Lucy Hutchinson’s lengthy and politicized condemnation of Noah, who is ‘stupefied with liquor’ in her ninth canto (9.12). Hutchinson breaks with the scriptural narrative to elaborate on the ills of inebriation over 170 lines, before returning at last to Noah, ‘the new world’s monarch’, who ‘here lies drunk’ (9.187). Hutchinson’s discursive meditation shores up her sharp condemnation of the dissolute monarch—just as Southwell’s meandering meditative structures take in pointedly political topics such as the role of poor advisors in misguiding the king.66 The copious structure of biblical verse paraphrase repeatedly enables Hutchinson to create space for social, moral, and political commentary of this kind. God’s designation of six days for Adam’s use, for example, instigates a particularly pointed disquisition on the responsibility of kings to maintain their realms ‘As guardians, not as owners of the 64   Notably, while Anne Bradstreet explicitly imitated Du Bartas in her printed poems on The Four Monarchies, these biblical poems are neither digressive nor meditational. Political commentary is achieved more obliquely in Bradstreet’s poems, through spare typological implication. 65   Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, pp. 129–130. 66   See Chapter 2.



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land’, and not to spend their days ‘drunk with his sensual pleasures, /. . . / As now his fall’n sons do, that arrogate / His forfeited dominion and high state’ (3.635, 628–631). I have argued in Chapter 2 that Anne Southwell’s Decalogue poems are directly indebted in their structure to Francis Quarles’s sacred histories of the 1620s; and Robert Wilcher has suggested that Quarles’s histories, lengthy biblical verse narratives on Jonah, Esther, Job, and Samson, interpolated ‘With Meditations Divine and Morall ’, are the closest generic precedent for Lucy Hutchinson’s poem.67 Quarles sets out in his prefaces to these histories a poetic ‘manner’ of ‘the Periphrase, the adiournment of the Story, and the interposition of Meditations’; that is, he retells the biblical narrative and periodically suspends it, interposing meditations on topics that spin off from the scriptural passage at hand. Quarles categorizes his meditations as touching on topics ethical, political, and economical: private manners, public society, and the interrelationship of husbands and wives.68 Quarles’s paratextual explication of his poetic practice, of course, echoes that of Du Bartas in the defence of his Weeks, where he instructs men ‘here’ in good manners and ‘there’ in piety—and ‘there . . . vomit[s]‌ out’ a satire against his age. Quarles’s influence on Hutchinson is of a more distant and diffuse kind to his influence on Southwell, a point to which I will return, but Wilcher’s connection is an important one, in that it identifies their mutual use of a mode of biblical verse paraphrase that is not epic, and that repeatedly steps away from the scriptural story to draw parallels with its own age. Quarles’s advice to his readers to ‘keepe the Taste of the [sacred] History, whilest thou readest the Meditations’ articulates precisely the direct parallels between sacred and contemporary history that the discursive and digressive biblical verse paraphrases of Southwell and Hutchinson work to establish. The emblematic bent in Hutchinson’s Genesis narrative is another generic feature that can be traced through the meditative poetic traditions exemplified by Quarles, and embraced by women writers. Eve is ‘A sweet instructive emblem . . . to us’, formed out of sleeping Adam’s side and so, in Hutchinson’s construction, an illustration that providence works to do us good even ‘When we locked up in stupefaction lie’ (3.458, 461). Eve’s formation out of Adam’s rib had of course been read in many other, more 67  Wilcher, ‘“Adventurous Song” or “Presumptuous Folly”’, p. 312, n. p. 314; and Wilcher, ‘Lucy Hutchinson and Genesis’, pp. 29–30. The subtitle formulation occurs in the extended title of Iob Militant (1624) and, in a minor variation, of Hadassa: or, The History of Qveene Ester (1621). The structure of a biblical narrative with meditations interposed is also used in A Feast for Wormes: Set Forth in a Poeme of the History of Jonah (1620) and The Historie of Samson (1630). 68   See Chapter 2.

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misogynistic ways in the seventeenth century, but here Hutchinson moves from God’s creation of woman to a pithy summary of its ‘oeconomicall’ moral (as Quarles would have it), a celebration of the ongoing value of marriage (3.433–456).69 Hutchinson’s propensity to carve an emblem out of the biblical narrative draws on a culture of emblem poetry that flourished in England in the 1630s, as we have seen in Chapter 4. In the spiritual mode exemplified by Wither and Quarles, and adopted by Hester Pulter, the emblem was closely related to the occasional meditation promulgated by Joseph Hall, and it encouraged and codified the typological reading of the Bible as bearing directly on the seventeenth-century world.70 Just as Hester Pulter reads the biblical Esther as an emblematic type for herself, so Hutchinson reads Eve’s creation as an emblem for seventeenth-century marriage, and Noah as an emblematic type of the dissolute English Restoration king. Like emblematists, lyric poets, and writers of biblical verse paraphrase before and after her, Hutchinson utilizes the emblem to pointed political effect. Nimrod, the focus of Hester Pulter’s first emblem poem, is the subject of one of Hutchinson’s emblematic vignettes, although Hutchinson’s moral is, predictably, quite different from Pulter’s. Nimrod is the first among the Assyrians to assume ‘the regal title’, and his status as father to ‘the first mighty monarchs of the earth’ is sullied by his descent from ‘Noah’s graceless son’ Ham (10.10, 19–20). Nimrod’s ‘vain arrogance’ (10.91) in attempting to reach heaven is thus associated not with the usurping ambition of Cromwell, as it is in Pulter’s emblem, but with the false pride of earthly monarchs, as it is in Paradise Lost.71 Significantly, Nimrod’s construction of the Tower of Babel also constitutes an emblematic moment in Milton’s epic poem: the vision of Nimrod’s vainglorious attempt to claim sovereignty from heaven prompts Adam to expostulate against his ‘execrable son’ and Michael to drive home the moral of the vision: ‘Justly thou abhorr’st / That son, who on the quiet state of men / Such trouble brought, affecting to subdue / Rational liberty’ (12.64, 79–82). Adam and Michael’s dialogic summations articulate the moral to the emblematic scriptural episode, as does their dialogue of this kind throughout Books 11 and 12 of Milton’s poem. Indeed, in Books 11 and 12, Milton’s epic is at its closest to the episodic, discursive, and emblematic structure that marks the paraphrastic elaboration of Scripture; this can hardly be coincidental, 69   Quarles elaborates on Eve’s creation thus: ‘Ribs are firmely fixt, and seldome moue: / Women (like Ribs) must keepe their wonted home, / And not (like Dinah that was rauish’t) rome’ (Hadassa, sig. D3v). Anne Southwell presents a sharply contrary view in her witty poem on Eve’s creation, ‘All.maried.men.desire.to.haue good wifes’, and its extension in her poem to Bishop Adams. See Chapter 2. 70 71   See Chapter 4.   See Chapter 4.



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given the close association of the emblem and the biblical verse paraphrase with didactic and moralizing poetics, and given that Michael’s aim in these books is to teach Adam (and the reader) through the revelation of sacred history.72 Given also the persistent critical evaluation of emblematics and biblical verse paraphrase as secondary or sub-literary modes of writing, it is surely no coincidence that Books 11 and 12 of Paradise Lost have been criticized as insufficiently poetic. C. S. Lewis, for example, described them as an ‘untransmuted lump’.73 Even the preeminent biblical epic in the English literary canon, then, is touched by the episodic, moralizing, and emblematic mode of biblical verse paraphrase epitomized by Du Bartas and Quarles and embraced by women writers: generic variegation is itself a feature of Milton’s epic poem.74 Lucy Hutchinson’s poem on Genesis, similarly, needs to be read as a nuanced, knowing, and extremely adept engagement in the biblical verse narrative meditation, an engagement that also encompasses aspects of more elite literary modes. Hutchinson’s elite intellectual pedigree—her ‘expensive’ literary tastes—are evident not only in her Lucretius translation but in her commonplace book, which incorporates translations of Virgil’s Aeneid by John Denham and Sidney Godolphin, and her own translations of lines on love from Ovid.75 Her close interest in Denham’s and Godolphin’s translations makes all the more striking her choice not to frame her Genesis poem as an epic; at the same time, it underscores a temperamental as well as a temporal distance from Du Bartas and Quarles, favourites of the typical seventeenth-century woman reader. Anne Southwell expressed her admiration for Quarles, her direct contemporary, in a verse acrostic; four decades later, it is entirely likely that while Hutchinson adopted the meditational framework, she shared Cowley’s view that ‘if any man design to compose a Sacred Poem, by onely turning a story of the Scripture, like Mr. Quarls’s . . .; He is so far 72   Barbara Kiefer Lewalski notes that ‘Michael’s lectures on Christian historiography’ are one of the dialogic sections of Paradise Lost that ‘have not been much studied from the perspective of genre’ (‘The Genres of Paradise Lost’, in The Cambridge Companion to Milton, 2nd edn, edited by Dennis Danielson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), pp. 113–129 (p. 114)). Alastair Fowler refers in passing to Milton’s reliance in them on the model of ‘Bartasian epic’ (Kinds of Literature: An Introduction to the Theory of Genres and Modes (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1982), p. 175). 73   C. S. Lewis, A Preface to Paradise Lost (Oxford, 1942); see H. R. MacCallum, ‘Milton and Sacred History: Books XI and XII of Paradise Lost’, in Essays in English Literature from the Renaissance to the Victorian Age, Presented to A. S. P. Woodhouse, edited by M. Maclure and F. W. Watt (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1964), pp. 149–168 (p. 149). 74   See Lewalski, ‘The Genres of Paradise Lost’. 75   Jerome de Groot, ‘John Denham and Lucy Hutchinson’s Commonplace Book’, SEL 48 (2008): pp. 147–163 (pp. 149–150).

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from elevating of Poesie, that he onely abases Divinity’.76 Hutchinson’s celebration in her preface of biblical poetry, ‘the plainest as well as the elegant, the elegant as well as the plain’ (p. 5), is matched by ‘classicizing touches’ in her scriptural elaborations, touches that reveal her extensive Classical reading.77 Emblematic passages such as her descriptions of the Tower of Babel and the transformation of Lot’s wife are directly indebted to Virgil and Ovid, as David Norbrook and Edward Paleit have shown. Her description of Lot’s wife is modeled on the petrification of Niobe in Ovid’s Metamorphoses; and that of Babel Tower’s construction alludes to Virgil’s description of the building of Carthage.78 Within the poem’s declared meditational framework, Hutchinson clearly envisaged a readership as alert to her Classical allusions as to her scriptural ones. The elite nature of Hutchinson’s engagement in a feminine meditational tradition can be highlighted via comparison with one other contemporaneous biblical verse paraphrase of Genesis, The Sacred Historie Conteined in the First Boocke of Moses Called Genesis, dated 1669–1670.79 The Sacred Historie is extant only in a single manuscript volume, and is prefaced by a prayer: My Mornings Exercise to thee I Giue My Noones Repose to Him by whom I Liue My Euenings Pleasure Shall Attend on thee What Entertainement Like thy word can bee. Therefore on Holy Dayes I thought vpon The Wondrous Works thy Holy Arme Hath Done Thus My Small Part of time to thee I Giue Who Art My God in whom My Hope Doth Liue Miriam Deborah and Hannah All Sing Praise Mary Her Magnificat to God Doth Raise As thou Hast Giuen Me Her Name So I Sing Praises to the Highest Maiestie. (fol. i verso)

On the basis of these lines and familial inscriptions in the manuscript containing the poem, Jill Seal Millman has tentatively identified the 76   Cowley, ‘The Preface’, Poems (1656), ¶9r. For the fortunes of Quarles’s reputation in the seventeenth century, see Arthur Nethercot, ‘The Literary Legend of Francis Quarles’, Modern Philology 20, no. 3 (1923): pp. 225–240. 77   Norbrook, ed., Order and Disorder, p. xxvi. 78   Norbrook, ed., Order and Disorder, pp. xxv–xxvi; Edward Paleit, ‘Women’s Poetry and Classical Authors: Lucy Hutchinson and the Classicisation of Scripture’, in Early Modern Women and the Poem, edited by Susan Wiseman (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2013), pp. 22–41. 79   University of Leeds Library, Brotherton Collection, MS Lt q 2, from which all quotations in this discussion are taken. The manuscript bears opening and terminal dates: March 10 1669 (fol. iir) and June 4 1670 (p. 232). Excerpts of the poetry are edited by Millman, EMWMP, pp. 153–168; and are included in Michelle M. Dowd and Thomas Festa, eds, Early Modern Women on the Fall: An Anthology (Tempe, AZ: ACMRS, 2012).



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poet–speaker as ‘Mary Roper?’, a Mary of the Roper family of Kent, although all that is known of the author is that which can be gleaned from her manuscript text.80 Roper describes her poem in meditational terms, as the product of her daily exercise in godliness; but its meditational provenance and extreme rhetorical modesty are no barrier to her offering it to the queen. She pens a prose dedication to Catherine of Braganza, begging pardon for ‘the presumption of the Meanest of your Maiesties Loyall Subiects’ and presenting her poem as a widow’s mite (fol. iiir). Roper’s use of the biblical parable intensifies the rhetoric of extreme modesty that pervades her dedication, in which she describes her lines as her ‘Delightfull Contemplation of Gods Noble works’, and the ‘Meditations’ with which ‘God was pleased to Quiet and Still My Soule’ (fol. iiir). Roper’s unambitious rhetoric of godly meditation also defines the poem that follows: over 7,700 paraphrastic lines on Genesis from the creation to the history of Joseph, all in the rather bald heroic couplets that mark the prefatory prayer. Roper’s dedication of her Sacred Historie to the queen, however, is by no means her only daring political move. She twice interrupts the story of Joseph—the last of the patriarchs’ histories covered in her poem—to interpolate poems on recent British history. Describing Joseph’s release from prison and rise to the status of Pharoah’s oracle, she literally draws a line and breaks off, inserting the date ‘May :29: i669’ and a poem that memorializes the restoration of Charles II to the English throne: This Day which we in Memorie Doe Keepe God Did Deliuer us From troubles Deepe Our Sun Was Set and all our Hopes were Slaine Sorrow and Sighing Did With us Remaine They Did Desire to buy and Not to Sell Our King the Glory of our Israell But God Who Ioseph Did in Prison Saue Deliuerance vnto our Soueraigne Gaue Our King. Like Ioseph. was in Great Distresse But God Brought Him from troubles Wildernesse. (p. 157)

Roper’s insertion of the date at this point in her narrative corroborates her prefatory description of her narrative as a daily meditational exercise; spiritual journals in the period, including those of women, are typically preoccupied with the daily recognition of the operation of providence, and with memorializing significant dates.81 29 May 1669 was the ninth anniversary  Millman, EMWMP, pp. 153–154.   For example, Lady Anne Halkett commemorates in her meditations the dates of important public events, including the execution of Charles I, the restoration of the monarchy, and 80 81

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of Charles II’s entry into London, an event that had taken place on his thirtieth birthday.82 Roper’s adjournment of Joseph’s story and her physical demarcation of the beginning of her digression is also reminiscent of Quarles’s technique—and the parallel that she creates between the rise of Joseph’s fortunes and those of Charles II could not be more explicit. Joseph is here a biblical type for the English monarch, and God’s providence is shown to direct not only biblical but also English history. ‘Sacred Historie’ is not just biblical history in Roper’s poem; it is the contemporary English history which she renders typologically related to it. Roper’s second interruption of her Genesis narrative comes at the point where Joseph makes himself known to his brothers as ruler of Egypt. She inserts this time a suite of six poems that trace the demise of Charles I and the restoration of English royalist hopes in Charles II (pp. 187–192). ‘Our Kings Sorrows and Suffrings’ is followed by ‘Englands Misery’, ‘Englands Calamities’, and ‘Englands Sad Lamentation’, in which Charles I’s death is described in terms reminiscent of Pulter’s elegies of 1649. Roper’s tense is, curiously, the present one, creating a sense of immediacy in her response to events now twenty years past: ‘Our King is Dead Laws and Religeons Gone / Tyrants Oppresse vs Our Miserys Vnknown’ (p. 190, lines 1–2). ‘Englands Sad Lamentation’ is followed by a companion piece (both poems are in triplets rather than couplets) in which Roper celebrates ‘Gods Gracious Deliuerance Restoring Our Mercyfull King’, and the return of ‘true Religeon which was Cast Away’ (p. 192, line 28). The sequence concludes with ‘Englands Thanskgiuing’, the series of six poems tracing a fall and rise in the fortunes of the English monarchy. Roper, then, explicates God’s ‘Gracious Dealings with the Patriarchs’ (fol. iiir) in an extended meditational paraphrase that demands biblical history be read providentially and typologically, foreshadowing the central political events of the English mid-century.83 She uses the digressive, typological, and emblematic mode of the meditational biblical narrative to stark political effect; and she intensifies the emblematic implications of her narrative through illustrations that are cut and pasted from contemporary printed works and inserted throughout her manuscript. Many of her illustrations, as Millman has identified, are taken from the illustrated Bible published by Henry Hills in 1660, but at the point of her poems on Charles I, Roper inserts the most recognizable political emblem of the the coronation of Charles II; see Suzanne Trill, ed., Lady Anne Halkett: Selected Self-Writings (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007), esp. pp. xxviii–xxix. 82  Millman, EMWMP, p. 259. 83  Catherine Coussens discusses Roper’s politicized treatment of biblical history in ‘“Under our Cedar’s Shadow”: Royalist Women Poets and the English Restoration’, Çankaya Üniversitesi Fen-Edebiyat Fakültesi, Journal of Arts and Sciences 8 (2007): pp. 1–16.



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seventeenth century: the emblematic frontispiece, engraved by William Marshall, to the Eikon Basilike (see Figure 5.1).84 The emphatically political assertions of Roper’s biblical text occur through compositional techniques that are quotidian and markedly female: the biblical meditation, composed as a daily exercise; the digressive and emblematic reading of Scripture; a plain verse style; and the compilation of the manuscript text, magpie-like, from diverse sources. Roper’s use of the Hills Bible and the Eikon Basilike, as a reader, consumer, and creator of sacred texts, returns us to the interface between women’s religious reading and writing practices, this time in the most material of ways: her reading of the Bible and the Eikon Basilike (a ‘sacred’ text for all royalist intents and purposes) informs her verbal text, and it interpolates her poetry in the physical form of the illustrations that she cuts and pastes into her volume. Juliet Fleming and Adam Smyth have recently drawn attention to cutting as an aspect of early modern reading practices that was far from scandalous; rather, Smyth argues, the cutting of early modern books was ‘a potentially quotidian mode of textual consumption’, associated with purposeful reading and the extraction of commonplaces and sententiae.85 Biblical harmonies such as those constructed at Little Gidding highlight the implication of sacred texts in cutting and re-compilation, and the association of women with the Little Gidding community is emblematic of women’s participation in such interpretative practices.86 Roper’s cutting and pasting materializes the parallel between biblical and contemporary ‘sacred history’ on which her poem is founded, and offers an intriguing view of her text’s participation in reading and writing practices that may be considered, for the most part, quotidian rather than ‘literary’ or elite. Roper’s cutting and pasting also highlights the interpenetration of print and manuscript spheres in the reading and consumption of early modern texts, and its composite and personalized aesthetic identifies it with texts made for presentation or gift-giving in the period. Andrea Crow has explored the ‘handmade, personal nature’ of Roper’s manuscript, associating her use of punctuation to create ‘a balanced graphic design’ with the compositional practices of women’s needlework.87 In its approximation  Millman, EMWMP, p. 153; Roper, p. 187.   Adam Smyth, ‘“Shreds of Holiness”: George Herbert, Little Gidding, and Cutting Up Texts in Early Modern England [with Illustrations]’, ELR 42, no. 3 (2012): pp. 452–481 (pp. 459–461); Juliet Fleming, ‘Afterword’, HLQ 73 (2010): pp. 543–552. 86   George Herbert delighted ‘to see women’s scissors brought to so rare a use as to serve at God’s altar’ (qtd in Smyth, ‘“Shreds of Holiness”’, pp. 467–468). 87  Andrea Crow, ‘“She . . . the Choisest out of them Doth Finde”: Multi-Material Collage and the Poetics of Restoration in The Sacred Historie’, Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal 7 (2012): pp. 101–126 (esp. pp. 104, 108). 84 85

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Fig. 5.1  William Marshall’s frontispiece to Eikon Basilike, cut and pasted into Mary Roper (?), The Sacred Historie. University of Leeds Library, Brotherton Collection, MS L t q 2, p. 187. (Credit: Reproduced with the permission of Leeds University Library.)

of the aesthetics of needlework, Roper’s manuscript can be compared to Esther Inglis’s elaborately calligraphic presentation manuscripts; and Roper’s composite authorial techniques and their visually pleasing effects can also be compared to the devotional presentation manuscripts compiled by the scribe Ralph Crane for female clients in the 1620s.88 Crane’s 88  For Esther Inglis’s manuscripts, see Lisa M. Klein, ‘Your Humble Handmaid: Elizabethan Gifts of Needlework’, RQ 50 (1997): pp. 459–493; Georgianna Ziegler, ‘Hand-Ma[i]de Books: The Manuscripts of Esther Inglis, Early-Modern Precursors of the



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manuscripts include a biblical poetic text that is itself a hybrid, a composite Passion poem that draws without acknowledgement on poems by John Bullokar and Robert Southwell. Roper’s manuscript and its verse participate in manuscript-based practices of gift-giving that often prioritized religious texts, and in which women’s involvement was longstanding, gift-giving practices that are marked less by literary aspiration than by material—and social and reputational—ambition. While Hutchinson and Roper each delineate their biblical verse paraphrases as ‘meditations’, then, their poems and the acts of poetic production in which they participate are starkly different from one another: where Lucy Hutchinson draws on Ovid and the Aeneid in her emblematic extrapolations in Order and Disorder, Mary Roper reaches for illustrative and composite techniques to elaborate on her ‘untransmuted’ poetic couplets. Composed during the decade in which Lucy Hutchinson began her biblical verse paraphrase of Genesis, The Sacred Historie illuminates the meditational poetic mode on which Hutchinson drew at the same time as it highlights the elite, literary, and atypical nature of Hutchinson’s text. Roper’s and Hutchinson’s works look, respectively, to the past and to the future of women’s political poetics: their adherence to the framework of the meditation bespeaks the persistence of a rhetorically modest mode of religious writing adopted by women since its cultural authorization in the examples of Du Bartas and Quarles, but while Roper’s compilatory technique and her bald couplets show little evidence of literary education or aspiration, Hutchinson’s text is inflected by allusion to the Classical sources in which she was well versed. By the late 1660s, it is very likely that neither Roper nor Hutchinson can be considered typical; they represent opposite ends of the poetic, as well as the political, spectrum. Roper’s text recalls the religious compilations of Ralph Crane, and her dedication of it to Queen Catherine of Braganza recalls Anne Southwell’s dedication of her Decalogue poems to the Stuart king.89 Lucy Hutchinson’s poem, in contrast, is culturally ambitious, even as it conforms to the meditational template favoured by women writers. Artists’ Book’, in Writings by Early Modern Women, EMS 9, edited by Peter Beal and Margaret J. M. Ezell (2000): pp. 73–87; Ann Rosalind Jones and Peter Stallybrass, ‘The Needle and the Pen: Needlework and the Appropriation of Printed Texts’, in Renaissance Clothing and the Materials of Memory (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000), pp. 134–171. For Crane, see Victoria E. Burke and Sarah C. E. Ross, ‘Elizabeth Middleton, John Bourchier and the Compilation of Seventeenth-Century Religious Manuscripts’, The Library 2, no. 2 (2001): pp. 131–160. 89   Roper’s biblical verse addressed to the queen is in fact far less poetically ambitious— and far less poetically successful—than that addressed to the king by Southwell in the 1620s and 1630s.

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Reading Hutchinson alongside Southwell and Roper, and the tradition that runs through Du Bartas and Quarles into their hands, it is possible to delineate a tradition of women writing biblical verse paraphrase that is generically variegated and pointedly politicized—and that extends into the early eighteenth century. Elizabeth Singer Rowe published an eight-book verse narrative of The History of Joseph in 1736 (and a ten-book version in 1737), a dissenting interpretation of the biblical text in which Joseph speaks for the people and Pharoah figures tyrannical and arbitrary political power.90 Elizabeth Tollet wrote a Latin verse paraphrase of part of the Book of Job.91 Comparison with these eighteenth-century poems is beyond the scope of the present study, but reading Hutchinson’s poetic retelling of Genesis alongside the biblical verse paraphrases of her seventeenth-century female poetic comparators provides a fresh—and crucial—critical perspective on her most celebrated poem, enabling us to unpack the digressive, episodic, and emblematic means by which women writers used biblical verse paraphrase to interweave sacred and British history, and suggesting the centrality of biblical verse paraphrase as a genre to women’s political poetics through the seventeenth and into the eighteenth centuries. ‘ T H I S FA R P R I N T E D ’ :  H U TC H I N S O N ’ S U S E OF MANUSCRIPT AND PRINT The published cantos of Lucy Hutchinson’s Order and Disorder provide a bookend to the material history of women’s political poetry that has formed one thread of analysis in this book. Order and Disorder is a printed text to match Elizabeth Melville’s Ane Godlie Dreame, the text with which I began, and like Melville’s Dreame, it is a printed religious poem by a woman who wrote far more extensively in manuscript. Melville and Hutchinson exemplify the interwoven practices of manuscript and print publication that also mark the authorship of Katherine Philips and, in the North American colony, Anne Bradstreet: all four women wrote first and foremost in manuscript, and their poetry was well known among their associates in that medium. That Melville’s Dreame was published under 90   See Sharon Achinstein, Literature and Dissent in Milton’s England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), pp. 247–251; Lori A. Davis Perry, ‘The Literary Model for Elizabeth Singer Rowe’s “History of Joseph”’, NQ 52 (September 2005): pp. 349–351; and Sarah Prescott, ‘Elizabeth Singer Rowe (1674–1737): Politics, Passion and Piety’, in Women and Poetry, 1660–1750, edited by Prescott and Shuttleton, pp. 71–77. 91   Kairoff, ‘Classical and Biblical Models’; and Stevenson, Women Latin Poets, p. 392.



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the identifiable authorial moniker ‘M.M. Gentelwoman in Culros’ (and then ‘Lady Culros yonger’), and that seventy-six years later Hutchinson’s Order and Disorder was published anonymously, is itself a caution against assuming an inevitable evolutionary march in women’s authorial production away from manuscript and towards print across the seventeenth century. As Kathryn King has eloquently argued in a discussion of Elizabeth Singer Rowe, women continued to use manuscript as well as print in strategic authorial self-productions well into the eighteenth century, and the relation between manuscript and print ‘is best understood in terms of coexistence, interpenetration and complex interplay’.92 Melville’s and Hutchinson’s reception histories are also salutary reminders of the extreme visibility of the printed text to posterity, in contrast to the frequent invisibility of manuscript texts—even those by a printed author. Melville’s authorship of Ane Godlie Dreame has been recognized for centuries but her manuscript lyrics have been entirely untraced until recently, notwithstanding Alexander Hume’s reference to them. Similarly, the knowledge that Lucy Hutchinson, the well-known author of the Memoirs, had written elegies remained largely unpursued until the late 1990s, when a corpus of work was identified that has transformed our understanding of her as an author.93 These two women’s reception histories, and the recent transformations of our understanding of them as poets, are something of a parable of our understanding of women’s political poetics in the century as a whole, attesting to the long-standing absence of a vital corpus of work—that in manuscript—in our critical narratives of seventeenth-century women’s poetry. The recuperation of manuscript texts such as those featured in this book offers the opportunity to redress that gap, and to explore the interplay between manuscript and print in producing the woman poet. This is not the place to undertake a full delineation of the complex manuscript networks out of which Lucy Hutchinson’s poetic evolved, and in which she circulated her poetry: the four-volume complete edition of her works that is forthcoming with Oxford University Press will be a milestone publication.94 But her literary commonplace book, explored in 92   Kathryn R. King, ‘Elizabeth Singer Rowe’s Tactical Use of Print and Manuscript’, in Women’s Writing and the Circulation of Ideas: Manuscript Publication in England, 1550– 1800, edited by George L. Justice and Nathan Tinker (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), pp. 158–181 (p. 158). Rowe’s The History of Joseph was well known in manuscript before its print publication; see Perry, ‘The Literary Model for Elizabeth Singer Rowe’s “History of Joseph”’. 93   See Norbrook, ‘Elegies’, p. 468. 94   ‘The Works of Lucy Hutchinson’, Centre for Early Modern Studies, 24th May 2014, .

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detail by Jerome de Groot, reveals Hutchinson to be ‘very much active in manuscript transmission’ and in anthologizing poetry that circulated in university and courtly coteries—and among royalists—in the 1630s and 1640s.95 The manuscript includes poems by Carew, Jonson, and Cleveland, as well as the translations of Virgil’s Aeneid by Denham and Godolphin, and de Groot argues that Hutchinson is likely to have known Denham personally.96 Certainly, it is clear that she maintained links to loyalist networks of poetic circulation throughout the Civil War period, perhaps through her brother Sir Allen Apsley, a staunch royalist who nonetheless campaigned to save John Hutchinson from the death sentence at the Restoration.97 That the political fault lines of the midcentury are written and overwritten in Hutchinson’s literary manuscripts and their circulation networks is exemplified by her inclusion in her commonplace book of Edmund Waller’s much-derided 1655 panegyric to Oliver Cromwell. Hutchinson’s own line-by-line refutation of Waller’s poem occurs in papers belonging to the Hyde family, her authorship endorsed in the hand of Henry Hyde, second Earl of Clarendon, and the poem bound in the papers of his brother. Hutchinson’s expression of hostility towards Cromwell, then, ends up in arch-royalist hands—and was perhaps circulated deliberately as part of Allen Apsley’s political intervention on John Hutchinson’s behalf.98 Hutchinson’s circulation of her writing after John Hutchinson’s death also locates her at a significant literary nexus in the patronage of Arthur Annesley, first Earl of Anglesey. Anglesey was a court officer in the 1670s, promoted to Lord Privy Seal in 1673; but he was sympathetic to Nonconformists, including the Congregationalist divine John Owen, whose congregation his wife attended, and to whom Hutchinson was close.99 Anglesey was a patron and protector of Marvell, and preserved cancelled passages of Milton’s History of Britain—and like Milton, Hutchinson entrusted him with sensitive literary manuscripts. She sent a manuscript of her Lucretius translation, a text that she had almost certainly begun in the 1650s, to Anglesey in 1675, in a response to the circulation of an unauthorized copy. There seem to have been at least 95   De Groot, ‘John Denham and Lucy Hutchinson’, esp. pp. 149–150. Hutchinson’s literary commonplace book is Nottinghamshire Record Office, Hutchinson Manuscripts DD/HU, 1. 96   De Groot, ‘John Denham and Lucy Hutchinson’, pp. 154–155. 97   Norbrook, ‘Lucy Hutchinson versus Edmund Waller’, p. 61. 98   Norbrook, ‘Lucy Hutchinson versus Edmund Waller’, p. 61. 99   Patterson and Dzelzainis, ‘Marvell and the Earl of Anglesey’, pp. 708–709; Norbrook, ed., Order and Disorder, pp. xix–xx; and Norbrook, ‘Lucy Hutchinson versus Edmund Waller’, p. 62. Hutchinson translated part of Owen’s Theologoumena Pandotapa (1661) from Latin.



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three manuscripts of her Genesis poem in circulation; the only known surviving copy is preserved in a notebook that belonged to her cousin Anne Wilmot, Countess of Rochester, mother to the libertine poet, and possibly the mistress of Hutchinson’s brother Sir Allen Apsley, treasurer to the Duke of York.100 Hutchinson’s literary networks in the 1670s, then included the moderate government officer and literary patron Anglesey, as well as the Nonconformist Owen, and royalist members of her own family. It is unclear why Hutchinson, or someone in possession of her Genesis poem, chose to publish its first five cantos as Order and Disorder in 1679. Norbrook reads the moment of publication against the eruption of the Exclusion Crisis in 1678 and the lapsing of censorship restrictions in 1679; it is also possible that the latter cantos of the book, including critiques such as those of Noah and Nimrod, were too political for print publication.101 Hutchinson’s extended poem is incomplete, but the first five cantos’ publication may also reflect the generic properties of the poem that have been at issue in the second half of this chapter. The printed cantos are coherent in tracing a creation and Fall parallel to the trajectory of Milton’s poem, and after the Fall, Hutchinson’s scriptural history becomes more diffuse and episodic—more akin to the moralizing and politicized meditation. Wilcher sees Hutchinson as allowing herself ‘greater imaginative freedom’ in the further fifteen cantos; in generic terms, these latter cantos incorporate a greater number of longer meditational digressions, such as that on Noah’s drunkenness.102 Hutchinson herself may well have regarded the first five cantos as a publishable whole in and of themselves, running as they do from the invocation at the opening of Canto 1 to the perorational assertion of providential truth at the end of Canto 5—at which point the Countess of Rochester notes in the margin of her manuscript copy that the poem is ‘this far printed’. If Order and Disorder provides a printed bookend to the tradition of women’s political poetry explored in this book, and the full poem was in the hands of the countess, the ‘Elegies’ may have been less widely known: there is as yet no evidence of these poems’ circulation. Julius Hutchinson, the eighteenth-century transcriber of his aunt’s Eve’s lament, is a reader who parallels Angel Chauncy, the familial antiquarian whose hand annotates Hester Pulter’s manuscript; his late eighteenth-century descendent, also Julius, was responsible for publishing   Norbrook, ed., Order and Disorder, pp. liv, xviii.   Norbrook, ed., Order and Disorder, p. xx. 102   Wilcher, ‘Lucy Hutchinson and Genesis’, p. 25. Wilcher also sees the later cantos as modelled in part on the conventions of fictional romance. 100 101

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the Memoirs. Lucy Hutchinson’s use of manuscript and print was, it seems, tactical, and her circles may have varied from the literary and the political to the very strictly familial. The strategic use of manuscript publication needs to be understood as gradated even in the case of a single author—and it is perhaps no coincidence that Hutchinson’s ‘Elegies’, her most bitterly political poems, may have been the most occluded in her poetic oeuvre.

Conclusion Thinking on the State of Women, Poetry, and Politics

In 2005, a milestone conference on early modern women’s writing was held at St Hilda’s College, Oxford. ‘Still Kissing the Rod?’ marked the completion of the Perdita project, and aimed to promote its online catalogue and published anthology, Early Modern Women’s Manuscript Poetry. It also sought to celebrate and interrogate the state of scholarship on women’s writing more than fifteen years after the publication of Germaine Greer’s Kissing the Rod: An Anthology of Seventeenth-Century Women’s Verse (1989), a groundbreaking volume that brought to light for the first time a corpus of poetic texts that disproved Virginia Woolf ’s pronouncement that women did not write before Aphra Behn. Between 1989 and 2005, the archival turn in early modern women’s writing added very significantly to this corpus, and speaking to what had been achieved and to future trends in the field, Elizabeth Clarke and Lynn Robson were able to celebrate the myriad women writers—including Hester Pulter—who, thanks to extensive archival and biographical work ‘are no longer perditae, as such, but definitively “found”’.1 Hester Pulter has here received her first chapter-length treatment, and this book has set out critically to examine the most prominent political poets who are ‘Perdita women’ in senses both strict and loose: the women whose poetry has been uncovered only recently because it is extant in manuscript, the identity of its authors and in some cases its very existence unknown until the recuperative push in feminist scholarship in the last twenty years. The political poets explored here reveal a political poetic that predates the prominent, because printed, examples 1   Elizabeth Clarke and Lynn Robson, ‘Why Are We “Still Kissing the Rod”?: The Future for the Study of Early Modern Women’s Writing’, Women’s Writing 14, no. 2 (2007): pp. 177–193 (p. 177).

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of Katherine Philips, Margaret Cavendish, and Anne Bradstreet, and that emerges out of social and religious modes and out of manuscript-based authorial practices. The political poets explored in this book necessitate a recalibration of critical paradigms that have overwhelmingly associated seventeenth-century women’s political poetry with royalism, and with the emergence of women into print culture in the 1650s and 1660s. Susan Wiseman and Mihoko Suzuki are among those who have articulated the need to cultivate a ‘fuller sense’ of women’s political poetics in the period, aware that the evidence of manuscript culture is crucial to the reconstruction of a new and more complex narrative of women’s emergence not only as poets, but as literary and imaginative commentators and actors in the political sphere of seventeenth-century Britain.2 As Margaret Ezell has reflected on women’s place in seventeenth-century book history more broadly, ‘what we know is based on the material that we know’, and the critical moment provided by the rapid expansion of the corpus of seventeenth-century women’s texts has been a dynamic, if challenging, one.3 Clarke and Robson were able to celebrate the found-ness of Hester Pulter and her colleagues in the pen at the same time as they lamented the ongoing lack of critical accounts to make sense of them: the lack of ‘a narrative, however tentative, of how an excluded class of potential authors—women—might become recognised as literary successes, in the twenty-first century if not in their own time’, and the ‘absence of any literary-historical explanations for the emergence of women’s authorship’.4 Since 2005, scholars including Clarke, Susan Wiseman, and Gillian Wright have worked to construct exactly these kinds of narratives—but the emergence of women’s political poetics, and in particular its deep imbrications in questions of genre, form, and topical and material decorum, have remained largely unaddressed until now.5 Exploring women’s political poetry as it emerges out of social and religious poetic discourses and out of manuscript practice in the early seventeenth century requires us to revise our understanding of the literary evidence and to reconfigure our definition of ‘political poetry’ itself. This reconfigured definition 2   Mihoko Suzuki, ‘What’s Political in Seventeenth-Century Women’s Political Writing?’, Literature Compass 6/4 (2009): pp. 927–941 (pp. 936–937); Susan Wiseman, Conspiracy and Virtue: Women, Writing, and Politics in Seventeenth-Century England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), p. 181. 3  Margaret Ezell, ‘The Laughing Tortoise: Speculations on Manuscript Sources and Women’s Book History’, ELR 38 (2008): pp. 331–355 (p. 349). 4   Clarke and Robson, ‘Why Are We “Still Kissing the Rod”?’, pp. 184–185. 5   See Elizabeth Clarke, Politics, Religion and the Song of Songs in Seventeenth-Century England (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011); Wiseman, Conspiracy and Virtue; Gillian Wright, Producing Women’s Poetry, 1600–1730: Text and Paratext, Manuscript and Print (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013).

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embraces not only the ‘public’, printed examples of mid-century political poetry that were exceptionally prominent in their day, and that have taken exceptional prominence in our construction of a literary history for women, but those texts whose political engagements are less recognizable to the modern secular mind and less strident in their pursuit of literary fame. Rewriting the narrative of women’s political poeticization in the seventeenth century requires us to read less selectively, to read different genres and to read them differently, and to focus not only on ‘the birth of the modern woman author’ as she is recognizable to our twenty-first century tastes and literary-critical habits, but on more foreign and at times less pleasing modes of poetic authorship, and on poetic acts that were in some cases less successful. Reading for a political poetic in this way, I have argued in this book that Melville, Southwell, Jane Cavendish, Pulter, and Hutchinson exemplify and constitute a ‘tradition’ of women’s politicized poetics. In doing so, I deliberately invoke a term that is rightly contentious. Carol Barash’s groundbreaking identification of a tradition of women’s political poetry after 1649 is of a different kind to that undertaken here: her focus is on a group of women writers who knowingly and consciously wrote in response to each other, and who wrote with a ‘shared sense of political culture and linguistic authority’.6 There is little question that women after Katherine Philips were able to write with a new sense of being a woman writer in this way, that Anne Killigrew, Jane Barker, and Anne Finch wrote as ‘self-acknowledged’ followers of Philips and each other.7 There is, at least at present, very little sense that this kind of knowledge of and response to each other was an element in the authorial identity of the women explored in this book. Evidence may yet, of course, emerge. The excavation of Melville’s, Southwell’s, Jane Cavendish’s, Pulter’s, and Hutchinson’s literary networks is ongoing, as the most recent extensions of our knowledge exemplify: the appearance of Meville’s politicized sonnets in the same manuscript repository as James and Andrew Melville’s polemical verse; the identification of Thomas Carew and Henry Hughes as sources for Cavendish’s occasional lyrics; the possibility of echoes between Cavendish’s and Pulter’s verse; Hutchinson’s rewriting of Katherine Philips’s lines. 6   Carol Barash, English Women’s Poetry, 1649–1714: Politics, Community, and Linguistic Authority (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), p. 5. 7  Marilyn L. Williamson, Raising Their Voices: British Women Writers, 1650–1750 (Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press, 1990), p. 21; Elizabeth H. Hageman and Andrea Sununu, ‘“More Copies of it abroad than I could have imagin’d”: Further Manuscript Texts of Katherine Philips, “the Matchless Orinda”’, EMS 5 (1995): pp. 127–169 (p. 159); and Barash, English Women’s Poetry.

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In this study, I have traced as fully as is possible at this scholarly moment the direct debts and sources that can be identified in each woman’s poetry, as well as echoes (perhaps of mutual sources) and prefigurations, such as Pulter’s poetry of rural invitation, in the years before that of Philips. But it is, more broadly, another kind of tradition that I have sought to identify, and another kind of critical narrative that I have sought to construct: that of how an otherwise excluded class of authors—women—used poetry to imagine and to articulate a purchase on the political sphere of seventeenthcentury Britain. The tradition that emerges is one of women, as a class of writers who occupied a position in relation to both politics and poetry that was distinct from that of men, making a particular and identifiable set of generic, formal, imagistic, and material choices as they enter into political poetic writing. These choices are remarkably consistent across political divides and across the decades from 1600 to 1680, even as profound evolutions are evident; and the commonalities between them suggest a coherent narrative of women’s relationship to poetry and politics that crucially informs our understanding of both their own individual acts of authorship and those of later, more prominent women political poets. Some of these commonalities are not entirely surprising. Second-wave feminist scholarship has from the outset recognized the uniquely accessible and enabling authorial space offered to women by religious practices and religious discourses; and it is equally predictable, perhaps, to find a woman such as Jane Cavendish articulating her poetics, as well as her politics, through the model of her father.8 She is a patriarch’s daughter, as Hutchinson is a patriarch’s wife. The case studies in this book confirm the pervasiveness of religious and familial tropes in seventeenth-century women’s writing, even as they each reveal in new and newly complex ways the poetic potential of these tropes, and their potential to be exploited for political expression. The civil political implications of Elizabeth Melville’s militant Presbyterianism, already evident in Ane Godlie Dreame, are radically extended in her divine lyrics and in their extensive manuscript circulation. Anne Southwell’s biblical verse paraphrases reveal her use of religious poetry as a pliable, socially relevant and politicized poetic mode, 8   Foundational studies of religious and familial discourses in early modern women’s writing include Margaret P. Hannay, ed., Silent But for the Word: Tudor Women as Patrons, Translators, and Writers of Religious Works (Kent, OH: The Kent State University Press, 1985); Elaine V. Beilin, Redeeming Eve: Women Writers of the English Renaissance (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1987); Margaret J. M. Ezell, The Patriarch’s Wife: Literary Evidence and the History of the Family (Chapel Hill and London: University of North Carolina Press, 1987); and Ezell, ‘“To Be Your Daughter in Your Pen”: The Social Functions of Literature in the Writings of Lady Elizabeth Brackley and Lady Jane Cavendish’, HLQ 51 (1988): pp. 281–296.

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incorporating commentary on domestic, social, and high state politics— and directing that commentary to an audience that included the king. Conventional religious and patriarchal familial tropes define the royalist lyrics of Jane Cavendish and run through those of Hester Pulter, but this poetry at the same time—through these tropes—engages in the unprecedented state political crisis of mid-century Britain with unprecedented directness and vigour. Lucy Hutchinson’s elegies on her husband are a bitter articulation of political as well as personal loss, and her biblical verse paraphrase interweaves sacred and post-Restoration English history. To (re)focus on religious and familial discourses, in other words, may seem retrograde, but the poets in this book reveal religion and family to be flexible and outward-looking languages of self-definition as much as languages of containment, limitation, or oppression; and to be markers not just of gender, but of religious affiliation, kinship, community, and geopolitical space. Discourses of religion and family connect Elizabeth Melville to the leading Presbyterians of Jacobean Scotland, Jane Cavendish to an elite and extensive poetic coterie championed by her now exiled father, and Lucy Hutchinson to the political culture of her deceased husband John Hutchinson and to the poetic culture of John Milton. This book has sought to engage in the recurring tropes of women’s political poetry: the spiritual fight, the privileged positions in perception and speech offered by the biblical Song of Songs and the Daughters of Jerusalem, the king as Christ (or Christ alone as king), the politicized patriarch, friendship, the sacred and secular invitation into the country, rural retirement, and the emblematic girl in her garden. It has also, at the same time, explicitly engaged in the poetic forms in which these tropes occur. Women’s choices of poetic form, I have argued, are particularly sharp indicators of their excluded but evolving relationship to high literary culture in seventeenth-century England, and to the ‘citadel’ of elite poetry, to recall Germaine Greer’s conceit.9 In order to identify the earliest examples of women’s political poetry in seventeenth-century England and in order to understand its poetics, we need to explore genres that are unpopular and at times unpalatable to the modern reader. Abraham Cowley may disparage the sacred histories of Francis Quarles and we may agree with him, and we may concur with John Berryman when he abhors the aesthetic effect on Anne Bradstreet of her admiration for Du Bartas; but a close reading of Du Bartas and Quarles and careful attention to their poems’ generic properties help us to understand why Anne Southwell

9  Germaine Greer et al., eds, Kissing the Rod: An Anthology of Seventeenth-Century Women’s Verse (New York: The Noonday Press, 1989), p. 1.

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wrote Decalogue poetry and how she turns it to social, moral, and political ends, and help to explain what Lucy Hutchinson means when she calls her Genesis poem ‘Meditations Upon the Creation and the Fall’ (italics mine).10 A close reading of the coterie ephemera of Thomas Carew and Henry Hughes enables us to understand Jane Cavendish’s sociopolitical poetics; and the emblems of Wither and Quarles illuminate the politicized emblematics that run through both of Hester Pulter’s series of poems, as well as Lucy Hutchinson’s Order and Disorder. This book has attended extensively to the rhetorically modest modes of writing in which women’s politics are expressed in the earlier part of the century: biblical verse paraphrase, the social and devotional occasional poem, the epitaph, and the elegy. Elegy in particular is pivotal in women’s emergence into mid-century political poetics, and so it holds exemplary status in the critical narrative that this book has sought to trace of the evolution of women’s political poetics towards more elite forms. Anne Southwell’s epitaphic poems on the kings of Bohemia and Sweden are literary antecedents of Jane Cavendish’s poems on the Stuart royal family, and of Hester Pulter’s politicized elegies on heroes of the royalist cause. Southwell’s epitaphs are brief and conventional, as are Cavendish’s, and they move to articulate political identification through the fluid boundaries of personal connection, as Cavendish’s do. Southwell’s epitaphs exploit these fluid boundaries between the personal and political, as well as the elegiac stance of grief, in order to enter into political articulation—as do Hester Pulter’s elegies on her daughter Jane and on the king. Southwell’s epitaphs and Jane Cavendish’s triptychs of conventional social poems, then, help to inform our understanding of mid-century women’s politicized elegies—including those of Pulter and Lucy Hutchinson—and deepen the critical narrative of elegy’s prominence in seventeenth-century women’s printed, as well as manuscript, poetic production.11 That Pulter’s occasional poetry and elegies are more impressively literary, apparently influenced by Denham and Marvell, is illustrative of an evolving relationship of elite women writers to elite poetic culture. That Lucy Hutchinson’s Order and Disorder is inflected with allusions to Virgil and Ovid, at the same time as its meditational frame is defined by the Bartasian poetics practised by Southwell and Quarles, is indicative in part of Hutchinson’s 10  Abraham Cowley, ‘The Preface’, Poems (1656), ¶9r, and see Chapter 5. The twentieth-century poet John Berryman wrote of Anne Bradstreet’s Bartasian Quarternion verses: ‘all the bald / abstract didactic rime I read appalled’ (Sonnet 12, Homage to Mistress Bradstreet (New York: Farrar, Straus & Cudahy, 1956), unpaginated). 11   The foundational study of seventeenth-century women’s printed elegies is Kate Lilley, ‘True State Within: Women’s Elegy 1640–1700’, in Women, Writing, History, 1640–1740, edited by Isobel Grundy and Susan Wiseman (London: Batsford, 1992), pp. 72–92.

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exceptional intellectual status, but also of the developing possibilities for women poets in the later part of the century. Hutchinson becomes an apt and pivotal final figure in this book, her ‘Elegies’ and extended poem on Genesis recalling the tropes and genres of earlier women writers, and making us look ahead to the female political poetic that has been identified in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. The political poetic tradition excavated in this book constitutes a kind of literary prequel to the culture of women’s political poetry delineated by Carol Barash in the years 1649–1714, anticipating its central tropes and forms and informing our understanding of these later poets. Jane Cavendish’s ‘A Song’, inviting her father to come to Welbeck, fuses the languages of spiritual and pastoral invitation that define Elizabeth Melville’s ‘A Call to Come to Christ’, and that run in individual modulations through Hester Pulter’s and Lucy Hutchinson’s poems of pastoral invitation and rural retreat, as well as those of Katherine Philips. Anne Finch famously desires ‘A sweet, yet absolute retreat’ that ‘the world may ne’er invade’ in ‘The Petition for an Absolute Retreat’ (printed in 1713); and Barash regards Anne Killigrew’s, Jane Barker’s, and Finch’s use of pastoral ‘as a space separate from political conflict and as a means of triumphing over that conflict’ as a defining feature of women’s political poetics in the later seventeenth century.12 The manuscript texts explored in this book reveal a tradition of women exploiting earlier versions of these tropes to political effect, and reveal the need to consider Killigrew, Barker, and Finch in this light. Similarly, Hugh Jenkins has described Aemilia Lanyer’s ‘The Description of Cooke-ham’ and Finch’s ‘The Petition for an Absolute Retreat’ as two poems at either end of the Stuart reign in Britain in which ‘the constitutive female figure’ of the country house poem ‘assumes a “room of one’s own”’.13 The engardened girls of Pulter and Hutchinson—emblematic, voluble, and deeply politicized—offer substantial new insight into women poets’ rewritings of this constitutive female figure. Pulter’s and 12  Anne Finch, ‘The Petition for an Absolute Retreat’, in Anne Finch, Countess of Winchelsea, Selected Poems, edited by Denys Thompson (Manchester: Carcanet, 1987), pp. 53–61 (lines 3, 5); Barash, English Women’s Poetry, p. 6. 13   Hugh Jenkins, Feigned Commonwealths: The Country-House Poem and the Fashioning of the Ideal Community (Pittsburgh, PA: Duquesne University Press, 1998), p. 32. See also the discussions of Anne Finch in Jacqueline Pearson, ‘“An Emblem of themselves, in Plum or Pear”: Poetry, the Female Body and the Country House’, in Write or Be Written: Early Modern Women Poets and Cultural Constraints, edited by Barbara Smith and Ursula Appelt (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2001), pp. 87–104; and Claudia Thomas Kairoff, ‘Classical and Biblical Models: The Female Poetic Tradition’, in Women and Poetry, 1660–1750, edited by Sarah Prescott and David E. Shuttleton (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), pp. 183–202.

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Hutchinson’s elegiac and politicized evocations of tropes of rural retreat are vital chapters in a narrative of seventeenth-century women’s poetics that is still being constructed, as are the biblical verse paraphrases of Southwell and Hutchinson—digressive, emblematic, and increasingly elite. Hutchinson’s and Mary Roper’s sacred histories are widely variant in their poetic ambitions and achievements; at the same time, they suggest a lineage of biblical poetics in women writers’ hands running from the early seventeenth century through to Elizabeth Tollet and Elizabeth Singer Rowe, a lineage that could recast our understanding of what has been described as ‘a literary genre of the early eighteenth century’.14 This book presents only one possible narrative of women’s political poetics in seventeenth-century Britain—and the literary-historical explanations and interpretations of women’s poetics and their political engagements are and need to be multiple. The critical contention around how to read Lucy Hutchinson’s poem on Genesis is just one pointed example of the need for a set of mutually informative, overlapping frameworks for reading women writers in the period. But it is very clear that identifying a female political poetic and a coherent grouping of women political poets is no longer a matter of looking for those who speak in an assertively proto-feminist voice, or those whose work appeared in print. This book has set out to redress the unrepresentative prominence of printed texts in our critical narratives of seventeenth-century women’s poetic history; at the same time, the manuscript culture(s) and practices explored here are multi-layered and variant. Women’s political verse occurs in manuscript contexts that range from the highly visible to the apparently occluded: Elizabeth Melville’s polemical verse appears to have circulated widely in Scottish Presbyterian circles, while there is very little evidence of Hester Pulter’s poetry being read beyond her immediate family. ‘Manuscript culture’ is itself fractured, variant, and strategically deployed by the women writers who engaged in it—and who may have done so with varying degrees of success. If the material history of Elizabeth Melville’s verse suggests a successful call to arms, the community of royalist reading friends to whom Hester Pulter appealed may have remained imagined rather than embodied—and Lucy Hutchinson’s ‘Elegies’, which open with a plea to ‘Leaue of yee pittying freinds’ (1.1), may not constitute a call to arms at all. Such variegations are vital aspects of the women’s political poetics explored in this book, all of which aid us in constructing a new, more complex, and more nuanced narrative of women’s relationship to poetry and to politics in seventeenth-century Britain. 14   Jane Stevenson, Women Latin Poets: Language, Gender, and Authority, from Antiquity to the Eighteenth Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), p. 392.

Bibliography MANUSCRIPTS Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University Elizabeth Bruce Boswell’s devotional papers (including Elizabeth Melville’s ‘Call to Come to Christ’), Boswell Collection, Gen MSS 89, Series XV, Box 105, Folder 1925 Jane Cavendish’s Poems and ‘A Pastorall’, MS Osborn b. 233 Lucy Hutchinson’s poem on Genesis, Osborn Collection, MS fb 100 Bodleian Library, University of Oxford Jane Cavendish’s Poems and Plays, MS Rawlinson poet. 16 Mary Astell’s ‘A Collection of Poems’, MS Rawlinson poet. 154 British Library, London Anne Southwell papers, Lansdowne MS 740 Ashley Cowper’s poetic miscellany, Additional MS 28 101 William Cavendish’s poetic miscellany, ‘the Newcastle manuscript’, Harleian MS 4955 Folger Library ‘The works of the Lady Ann Sothwell’, MS V. b. 198 Hallward Library, University of Nottingham William Cavendish’s poetry, Portland MSS PwV 24–6 National Library of Scotland Elizabeth Melville’s poems, Crawford Collections, Acc. 9769, Personal Papers 84/1/1 Robert Wodrow’s historical papers, MS Wod. Qu. XXIX (iv) Robert Wodrow’s historical papers, ‘Loves Lament for Christs Absence’, MS Wod. Qu. XXVII New College Library, University of Edinburgh Robert Bruce’s sermons and Elizabeth Melville’s poems, MS Bruce 2 Nottinghamshire Record Office Lucy Hutchinson’s literary commonplace book, Hutchinson Manuscripts DD/ HU, 1 Lucy Hutchinson’s ‘Elegies’, Hutchinson Manuscripts DD/HU, 2

220 Bibliography University of Edinburgh Library Elizabeth Melville’s letters, MS La. III. 347 University of Leeds Library Hester Pulter’s ‘Poems breathed forth by the Nobel Hadassas’, Brotherton Collection, MS Lt q 32 Mary Roper’s The Sacred Historie, Brotherton Collection, MS Lt q 2 Parish Registers Parish registers for Cottered and Great Wymondley parishes, Hertfordshire P R E - 1700 P R I N T E D T E X T S (Place of publication is London unless otherwise indicated.) Barnes, Barnabe, Divine Centurie of Spirituall Sonnets (1595). Bradstreet, Anne, The Tenth Muse Lately sprung up in America: or, Severall Poems, compiled with a great deal of VVit and Learning, full of delight (1650). Bradstreet, Anne, Several Poems Compiled with great variety of Wit and Learning, full of Delight (Boston, 1678). Bruce, Robert, The vvay to true peace and rest Deliuered at Edinborough in xvi. sermons: on the Lords Supper: Hezechiahs sicknesse: and other select Scriptures (1617). Carew, Thomas, Poems (1640). Cavendish, Margaret, Poems and Fancies (1653). Cavendish, Margaret, Nature’s Pictures Drawn by Fancies Pencil to the Life (1656). Cocks, Roger, Hebdomada Sacra: A Weekes Devotion: or, Seven Poeticall Meditations, Vpon the Second Chapter of St. Matthewes Gospell (1630). Colchesters Tears: Affecting and Afflicting City and Covntry, Dropping from the sad face of a new Warr, threatening to bury in her own Ashes that wofull Town (1648). Cowley, Abraham, Poems (1656). Denham, John, Coopers Hill. A poeme (1642). Denham, John, Coopers Hill. Written in the yeare 1640. Now Printed from a perfect Copy; And a Corrected Impression (1655). Donne, John, An anatomy of the vvorld Wherein, by occasion of the vntimely death of Mistris Elizabeth Drury the frailty and the decay of this whole world is represented (1611). Dowland, John, First Book of Songs and Ayres (1597). Drayton, Michael, Poly-Olbion (1612). Du Bartas, Guillaime de Saluste, La Muse Chrestiene (Bordeaux, 1574). Du Bartas, Guilliame de Saluste, La Semaine: ou, Création du monde (Bordeaux, 1578). Goulart, Simon, A Learned Summary upon the Famous Poeme of William of Saluste, Lord of Bartas, trans. Thomas Lodge (1621), unpaginated. [Gregory, Francis], An Elegie upon the Death of Our Dread Soveraign Lord King Charls the Martyr (1649).

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Index Achinstein, Sharon  17n, 206n acrostic  27, 49–50, 52, 54–5, 85, 88, 199 Adam  81, 83, 88–91, 187–90, 196–9 Adams, Bernard, Bishop of Limerick  65, 81, 88–90, 96, 188n anagram  43, 49–50, 55 Anderson, Penelope  169n Andreadis, Harriette  7n Andrews, Richard  105 Annesley, Arthur, first Earl of Anglesey  23, 185, 190, 208–9 Anselment, Raymond A.  136n, 157n Apsley, Sir Allen (Lucy Hutchinson’s father) 174 Apsley, Sir Allen (Lucy Hutchinson’s brother) 208–9 Apsley, Lucy St John  174 Aristotle  83, 92, 195 Ashridge, Hertfordshire  101, 134, 172 Askew, Anne  12 Astell, Mary  16 Auger, Peter  81n authorship, female  17, 18n, 129, 193, 206–7, 212–14, 218 see also female poetic tradition Aylett, Robert  195 Aylmer, John  88 Balaam 58–9 Barash, Carol  3, 5, 7, 8–9, 169n, 213, 217 Barker, Jane  213, 217 Barnes, Barnabe  51–2 Bath, Michael  158n, 159, 162n, 165 Beal, Peter  3, 68n, 108n Behn, Aphra  3, 6n, 211 Beilin, Elaine  11n, 214n Bell, Maureen  9n Bennett, Alexandra G.  102n, 107, 114n Berryman, John  215–16 Bible  179, 192, 198, 202–3 and women’s reading  12, 123, 131–2, 203 1 Chronicles  39, 96 Daniel 38 Ephesians  36–7, 50 Esther (Book of )  86, 91, 139, 168 see also Esther (Hester, Hadassah); Quarles, Histories Exodus 81n

Genesis  14, 19, 24, 81, 88–91, 99, 177, 190–2, 194, 196–7, 199–202, 205–6 see also Hutchinson, Order and Disorder Hebrews 58 Luke 51 Matthew  51, 93n Numbers 58n 1 Peter  37 2 Peter  58n Psalms  12, 26, 37, 43, 48, 50, 63–4, 128–9, 159n, 165, 192 Revelation  39, 58n, 96 Song of Songs  13, 18, 26, 42–3, 45–8, 61, 128–30, 147, 156–7, 215 Ten Commandments  35, 52, 64, 80–1, 83–4, 91–2, 94–5, 161, 196 see also Decalogue poetry biblical verse paraphrase  8, 10, 14–15, 17–19, 25, 39, 67, 81–99, 168, 177, 191–206, 214–16, 218 Bolsover 100–1 Boswell, Elizabeth Bruce  60 Boyle, Richard, first Earl of Cork  69–70 Bowack, John  98n Bradstreet, Anne  4n, 5, 7, 14, 67, 115, 118, 196, 206, 212, 215, 216n Brackley, Elizabeth  see Cavendish, Elizabeth Brady, Andrea  73, 154n Broadfield, Hertfordshire  137, 139–44, 155, 164, 170, 183–4, 186 Browne, Sir Thomas  69 Bruce, Robert  27, 29, 42, 44, 58, 62, 84n-85n Bullokar, John  205 Burch, Dorothy  23 Burke, Victoria  22n, 65–6, 67n, 69n, 71n, 72, 73n, 74, 78–9, 81, 88n, 90, 98, 100n, 102n, 103n, 104n, 105n, 106–8, 112n, 113n, 115n, 205n Calderwood, David  41 Calvin, John  40 Calvinism  25, 29–32, 34, 37, 39–40, 42–3, 46–8, 53, 57–8, 64, 66, 76, 94–5, 99

242 Index Campbell, Lily B.  81n, 82, 86n Capel, Arthur  154–5 Carew, Thomas  105, 107–8, 132, 208, 213, 216 Carpenter, Andrew  77n Carr, Robert, Earl of Somerset  69–70, 74 Cary, Henry, Viscount Falkland  70–1 Catherine of Braganza,  201, 205 Cavalier poetry  112, 125, 136n Cavanaugh, Jean C.  64n Cavendish, Charles (Jane’s brother)  101, 113–14, 116, 134 Cavendish, Sir Charles (Jane’s uncle)  101, 103n, 114 Cavendish, Elizabeth (Brackley, Egerton)  4n, 101–3, 106–8, 112, 119, 124–6, 131–4, 139n, 172 Cavendish, Elizabeth Basset (Howard)  100, 101n Cavendish, Frances  101, 112, 119, 124, 134 Cavendish, Henry  101, 113–14, 116, 134 Cavendish, Jane (Cheyne)  4–6, 10, 13, 16, 18, 23–5, 79, 100–34, 142–4, 153, 156, 172–3, 175–6, 178–80, 183–4, 213–17 and collaborative drama  101–2, 103n, 106, 125, 131 and friendship  110–12, 169–70 and manuscript circulation  23–4, 100–2, 107–8, 111, 131–4, 170, 172–3, 215 and occasional poetry  19, 102–30, 144, 213, 216 ‘A Songe’ (‘I pray thee come’)  20, 124–9, 142–4, 172, 217 Cavendish, Margaret  3, 5, 6n, 16n, 25, 101, 106, 115, 117, 132–3, 136, 152, 212 and fame  106, 120, 133 Nature’s Pictures Drawn by Fancies Pencil to the Life 115 Poems, and Fancies (1653)  106, 120 Cavendish, William  see Newcastle Chalmers, Hero  3, 6n, 16n, 110–11, 132n, 169–70 characters, poetic  68, 107, 113–14, 132 Charles I  1–2, 65, 67, 70, 79, 92–7, 96, 100–1, 104, 112–13, 114n, 118–19, 121, 124–5, 126, 136, 140–5, 147–8, 150–9, 162–3, 166, 175, 176, 178, 180, 186, 201n, 202–4, 215, 216 as Christ  16, 20, 124, 129–30, 153, 155, 156–7, 162–3, 172, 180, 203–4

Charles II  100, 112–13, 125, 150, 156–7, 162–3, 175, 198, 201–2 Charlton, Kenneth  11n Chauncy, Angel  171–2, 209 Chauncy, Sir Henry  139, 140n, 170–2 Chauncy, Martha  170–1 Chedgzoy, Kate  4n, 23–5, 103n, 125n, 126–7, 135, 144, 156n, 189 Cheyne, Charles  172 child-loss poetry  147–8, 152, 155 Clarke, Danielle  4n, 6n, 7–8, 18n, 19n, 34, 75, 84, 146n, 151, 159 Clarke, Elizabeth  4n, 8, 13, 15, 17, 18n, 39n, 45n, 46–7, 66n, 78n, 93–4, 120, 122–3, 135n, 158–9, 168n, 191n, 211–12 Cleveland, John  208 Clifford, Anne  8 Clifton, Catherine  78n Clifton, Gervase  105 Colchester, Essex  136, 152, 154, 171 Coles, Kimberly Anne  12n Collins, An  15, 81 complaint  45, 48, 56, 64, 138, 145–8, 153, 155 Considine, John  68–9 contrafactum  see sacred parody Cooke sisters  12 Coolahan, Marie-Louise  3n, 8n, 17, 19n, 23, 25, 65–6, 68n, 70, 73n, 97, 100n, 101–2, 103n, 104n, 105n, 106–8, 112n, 113n, 115n, 118n, 120, 134n, 169–70 Corns, Thomas N.  103n Cottered, Hertfordshire  139, 140n, 151n, 171 country house poetry  21, 31, 184–6, 189, 217 Cousins, A. D.  185n Coussens, Catherine  156n, 202n Cowley, Abraham  19, 136, 138n, 142–3, 187, 199–200, 215–16 Davideis   192, 194–6 Cowper, Ashley  172n Cox, Roger  65, 67, 81, 88–91, 93, 96, 98, 188n Crane, Ralph  204–5 Crawford, Julie  12n Crawford, Patricia  9n, 11n Crewe, Jonathan  185n, 186n, 187n Cromwell, Oliver  102, 138, 157, 159, 160, 163, 175n, 186, 198, 208 Crow, Andrea  203 Daughters of Jerusalem  130, 215 Davenant, William  172–3

Index David  see Bible, Psalms; Cowley, Davideis Davidson, Peter  115, 135n, 138n, 144n, 147, 151n Davis, Alex  133n Daybell, James  7–8 Decalogue poetry  14, 35, 64–5, 67–8, 80–97, 161, 168, 191–9, 205, 216 see also Ten Commandments; biblical verse paraphrase de Groot, Jerome  199n, 208 de Montenay, Georgette  158 Denham, John  19, 199, 208, 216 Coopers Hill  138, 146–7, 151 Denny, William  151n Digby, Sir Kenelm  106 Doelman, James  13n, 96n Donne, John  18, 50, 68, 74n, 76–7, 105, 120–2, 130, 176, 178n, 187 The Anniversaries 76–7 ‘The Canonization’  74n, 178 Holy Sonnets  105, 120–2 Dove, Linda L.  88, 90n Dowd, Michelle M.  200n Dowland, John  128n Drayton, Michael  86n, 145, 195 dream vision poetry  18, 29–30, 31–42 see also Melville, Elizabeth, Ane Godlie Dreame Drury, Elizabeth  76–7 Du Bartas, Guillaume de Saluste  14, 17, 67, 81–5, 92, 95–6, 99, 144–5, 159n, 192–7, 199, 205–6, 215–16 Dugard, William  137 Dunbar, Earl of  40 Dzelzainis, Martin  185n, 190n, 208n Eardley, Alice  17, 22n, 135n, 137n, 139n, 154n, 157–8, 159n, 161n, 162n, 167–8 Edgecombe, Sir Richard  69 Egerton, Alice, Countess of Carbury  108–11, 132, 134 Egerton, John, Lord Brackley, second Earl of Bridgewater  101, 108, 132, 134, 172 Egerton, John, third Earl of Bridgewater  110n, 172 Egerton, Mary  108 Eikon Basilike  137, 153, 159, 203–4 ekphrasis  115, 179 see also portrait poetry elegy  18–21, 24–5, 67, 69, 71, 73–80, 84, 88, 89, 92, 94, 97, 105–7, 115n, 133, 147–57, 175–6, 178–90, 202, 207, 209–10, 215–18

243

and female authorship  19, 75, 151–2, 153,176, 216 and royalism  136, 138, 148, 151–7, 173, 176, 179, 216 ‘Eliza’ 13 Elizabeth I  12, 67, 97, 118 Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia  71, 78–9, 90, 114 emblems and emblematics  14, 17, 18, 21, 88, 111, 115, 133, 136, 138–9, 143n, 144, 145, 146, 148, 153n, 157–69, 170, 173, 176–7, 181–6, 188, 197–200, 202–3, 205–6, 215–18 encomium  51n, 110 epic  18, 25, 82–3, 86, 177, 191–9 epitaph  19, 71, 73–6, 78–9, 89, 97–8, 106–7, 114, 152, 175, 189–90, 216 Esther (Hester, Hadassah)  85–7, 91, 136, 157, 167–9, 198 see also Quarles, Histories Evans, Deanna Delmar  32, 33n Eve  66, 90–1, 177, 187–90, 197–8, 209 Ezell, Margaret  21, 103n, 111–12, 130, 135n, 168n, 212, 214n Fairfax, Thomas  152, 184–6 Fairfax, Mary / Maria  184–6 family  6, 8, 10, 21, 24, 67, 75, 88n, 102–3, 105, 107, 112–19, 126, 132–3, 179–80, 215–16 children  84, 91, 105–6, 114, 140–1, 147, 160–1, 167, 195–6 daughters  140–2, 147–52, 155, 160, 164, 167, 170, 174, 181, 216 fathers  10, 20, 23, 39, 102–33, 153, 178–80, 184–5, 214–15, 217 husbands  2, 10, 21, 40, 64–5, 70–1, 86, 91, 97–9, 102, 109, 115n, 127, 134, 139–42, 163–4, 175, 178–90, 197, 215 sisters  101–3, 107–8, 112, 119, 124–6, 131, 133, 137, 172 sons  1, 33, 61n, 118, 155–6 Fanshawe, Ann, Lady  102 Fanshawe, Sir Richard  151 Featley, Daniel  89–91, 94–5 female poetic tradition  5–6, 16, 25, 174n, 175–8, 206, 213–14, 216–18 Ferguson, Margaret  5n Festa, Thomas  200n Filmer, Sir Robert Patriarcha 180 Finch, Anne  213, 217 Findlay, Alison  103n

244 Index Fleming, Juliet  4n, 203 form, poetic  16–21, 30, 50, 54, 57, 66, 72, 74–5, 79–80, 104, 112, 119, 129, 143, 145, 151, 158, 176–7, 187, 212, 215, 216–17 see also genre Fowler, Alistair  82–3, 194, 199n Fraser, Nancy  9–10 Frederick V, King of Bohemia  66, 71, 78–9, 94, 97, 114, 216 friendship  31, 57–8, 59–60, 63–6, 69, 70, 73–5, 78, 80, 84, 90, 96–8, 103, 133n, 143, 166–9, 186, 215 and royalism  24, 103, 110–12, 132n, 139, 169–70, 218 Gallagher, Catherine  5n Gamage, Barbara (Lady Sidney, Countess of Leicester)  184–6 gardens  21, 136, 140–4, 147, 163, 175, 180–9, 215–17 see also pastoral; retreat Gardiner, Thomas  139 genre  6, 10–11, 13, 16–21, 48, 50, 65, 67, 72, 75–7, 81–3, 99, 104, 106, 119–20, 123, 126, 138, 151–2, 155, 176, 184, 193–4, 199n, 212–13, 215–18 see also specific genres Gerish, William Blyth  171n Gibson, Jonathan  22n, 64n, 66n, 89, 94n Gillespie, Katharine  4n, 7n, 8–9, 14n Godolphin, Sidney  199, 208 Gorges, Sir Arthur  71–4 Goulart, Simon  145, 159n Gray, Catharine  3n, 4n, 7n, 8–10, 14n, 110–11, 169 Gribben, Crawford  43n Greene, Roland  48–9, 53 Greer, Germaine  3n, 16, 18, 211, 215 Gregory, Francis  153 Grossman, Marshall  8n Guarini, Giovanni Battista Il Pastor Fido 151 Gude and Godlie Ballatis  24, 47 Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden  66, 71, 79, 94, 97, 114, 216 Habermas, Jürgen  9–10 Hackel, Heidi Brayman  12n Hadassah  see Esther Hageman, Elizabeth  2n, 3n, 6n, 110n, 213n Halkett, Anne, Lady  102, 201–2n Hall, Joseph  158, 165, 198 Hamilton, Francis  51–2, 61n Hannay, Margaret P.  11, 48–9, 214n

Hardwick, Bess of (Elizabeth Talbot, Countess of Shrewsbury)  8, 115, 118 Harington, Sir John of Kelston  137, 170 Harley, Brilliana  102, 180 Harris, Barbara  7 Harris, Johanna  13n, 102n Hawkins, Henry  159, 162n Hay, Lucy, Countess of Carlisle  107–8 Healy, Thomas  4n Henrietta Maria  100, 112–13, 141–3, 147, 159 Henry, Prince of Wales  159 Herbert, George  18, 120–1, 128, 203n ‘A Parodie’  128 ‘The Call’  128 ‘The Church-floore’  160–1 ‘Dooms-day’ 127–30 ‘The Invitation’  128 Herman, Peter C.  136n Herrick, Robert  136, 144, 162 ‘Rex Tragicus’  153 Herz, Judith Scherer  133n Hills, Henry  202–3 Hine, Reginauld  139 Hobby, Elaine  7n Holland, Philemon  159n, 161n Höltgen, Karl  85n, 87 Homer  82, 195n Horace  19, 187, 195 see also retreat Howard, Frances, Countess of Somerset  68–70, 74–5 Hughes, Ann  114n, 115, 119n, 133 Hughes, Henry  108, 111, 213, 216 Hull, Suzanne  11n Hulse, Lynne  103n, 106n Hume, Alexander  13, 23, 25–30, 34, 37, 39, 42, 47, 52, 58, 62–4, 129, 192, 207 Huntley, Frank Livingstone  158n Hutchinson, John  127, 174–5, 178–90, 208, 215 Hutchinson, Julius (1730s transcriber)  188, 190, 209 Hutchinson, Julius (editor of the Memoirs)  174n, 188, 209–10 Hutchinson, Lucy  4–6, 10, 13, 16, 18, 20–1, 67, 82, 174–210, 213–18 and manuscript circulation  22–5, 206–10 ‘Elegies’  19, 20–1, 24–5, 115n, 127, 138, 175–6, 178–90, 207, 209–10, 215–18 ‘To the Gardin att Owthorpe’ 180–3 ‘Musings in my evening Walkes at Owthorpe’  180n, 183, 186–9 Memoirs of the Life of Colonel Hutchinson  174, 175n, 182, 186n

Index Order and Disorder  14, 18, 19, 24–5, 67, 85n, 99, 138, 177–8, 188– 209, 215–18 translation of Lucretius, De rerum natura  24, 174, 185, 191, 199, 208 Hyde, Henry, second Earl of Clarendon 208 Inglis, Esther  158, 204–5 invitation poetry  20, 47–8, 110–11, 121, 124–5, 127–30, 140–5, 155, 160, 169, 170, 172, 214–15, 217 Ireland  8, 21, 23–5, 64–71, 78, 80, 81, 88, 90, 97–8, 137, 170, 188n James VI and I  13–14, 16, 20, 25, 28–30, 37–41, 51n, 54, 56, 62, 65, 67, 80, 82, 86–8, 92–7, 161, 196, 205, 215 and biblical paraphrase  39, 81, 82n, 96 Basilikon Doron  14, 94, 158–9 Daemonologie 93 Declaration of Sports  14, 94 Essays of a Prentise, in the diuine art of poesie  13–14, 28, 50, 81–2 Jenkins, Hugh  184n, 217 Jessey, Henry  60 Job  85, 153, 197, 206 Johnson, Samuel  60 Jones, Ann Rosalind  205n Jones, Jenkin  2 Jonson, Ben  74n, 93, 103n, 105–6, 184–5, 208 Joseph  201–2, 206, 207n Justice, George  22–3 Kairoff, Claudia Thomas  174–5n, 206n, 217n Kay, Dennis  19 Keeble, N.H.  182 Kerrigan, John  16n, 25, 126, 146 Killigrew, Anne  213,217 King, Henry  71, 79, 151n, 188n King, Kathryn  3, 6n, 23n, 207 King, Stephen  28 Klein, Lisa M.  204n Klene, Jean  22n, 63n, 69n, 70, 73n, 76n, 77, 81 Knox, John  30, 32, 54 Krontiris, Tina  6n Langbaine, Gerald  105 Lanyer, Aemilia  8, 12–13, 18, 30, 31, 33–4, 130, 217 Laroche, Rebecca  37–8 Larson, Katherine R.  103n

245

Lawes, Henry  108–10 Lawrence, Thomas  133 Lennox, Duchess of  71, 78–9, 90, 97, 114–15 Lennox, Duke of  see Stuart, Ludovick Lewalski, Barbara  6n, 8n, 76, 82n, 162n, 199 Lewis, C. S.  199 Ley, Dionysia  137 Ley, James, first Earl of Marlborough 137, 159, 172 Ley, Lady Margaret  137 Lilley, Kate  18n, 19n, 33–4, 151–2, 176n, 216n Lisle, Sir George  136, 152–4, 171 Little Gidding  203 Littleton, Adam  133–4 Livingstone, John  33, 58n, 61–2 Lock, Anne  12, 50, 53 Lo(c)k, Henry  51–2 Lodge, Thomas  159n Loewenstein, David  12n Longfellow, Erica  8n, 9, 12–13, 68n, 69n, 70, 90n, 98, 174n, 176, 188n, 189 Lot’s wife  148, 200 Love, Harold  21 Loxley, James  126n, 136, 153n, 155 Loyola, Ignatius  121 Lucas, Sir Charles  136, 152–4, 171 Luckyj, Christina  13, 39–40, 99 MacCallum, H. R.  199n MacWilliams, Cassandra  73n Madan, Judith (Cowper)  172 Mapstone, Sally  34, 41 Marcus, Leah Sinanoglou  144n Marlowe, Christopher  24, 43, 49 ‘The Passionate Shepherd to his Love’  20, 27, 47–8, 49, 129, 142 Marotti, Arthur  11n, 21–2, 72, 74–6, 79–80 Marshall, William  159, 203–4 Marvell, Andrew  19, 23, 138, 142, 184, 208, 216 ‘The Garden’  187–8 ‘The Nymph Complaining for the Death of Her Fawn’  144, 147–51, 155, 186 ‘Upon Appleton House’  184–6 Matter, E. Anne  47n Mayer, Robert  191 McClune, Kate  49n McColley, Diane Kelsey  128 McCullough, Peter E.  39n McDonald, Alan R.  28n McGrath, Lynette  16–17 McQuade, Paula  23–4

246 Index McRae, Andrew  145, 146n meditational poetry  12, 27, 30, 43, 52–3, 64, 98, 153–4n and biblical verse paraphrase  18–19, 39, 65, 85–7, 91–3, 168, 177, 190–206, 209, 216 occasional meditation  17, 120–30, 158, 198 Melville, Andrew  23, 27–30, 34, 40–1, 46, 55–9, 61–2, 213 Melville, Elizabeth  4–6, 10, 13–14, 16, 20–5, 26–62, 63–4, 84n, 96, 156, 213–15 and manuscript circulation  22–4, 27–30, 34, 57–62, 206–7, 213–14, 218 ‘A Call to Come to Christ’  20, 27, 47–9, 60, 129, 217 Ane Godlie Dreame  18, 24, 27–30, 31–42, 43, 45, 50, 53–4, 56–7, 59–60, 62, 206–7, 214 religious lyrics  13–14, 16, 18, 20, 24–5, 26–30, 42–63, 129, 156–7, 214 sonnets  16, 18, 20, 27–8, 30, 34, 43, 48–59, 61–2, 213 Melville, James (pastor and poet)  23, 28–30, 34, 40, 42, 47, 56, 58–60, 62, 84 A Morning Vision  30, 34–6, 84–5 A Spiritvall Propine  34–5, 85 The Black Bastel  30, 38, 40–1, 46, 58n, 59 Melville, James (of Halhill)  28n Menges, Hilary  110, 138n, 143n, 169n metaphysical poetry  18, 75–7, 80, 151 Miller, Shannon  180n Millman, Jill Seal  191n, 200–3 Milton, John  82–3, 208, 215 Comus 108 History of Britain 208 Paradise Lost  19, 25, 82, 160, 177–8, 189–96, 198–9, 209 Samson Agonistes 193 ‘Sonnet X, To the Lady Margaret Ley’  137 ‘Talent’ Sonnet  52n Miner, Earl  112, 125, 136n Mitchell, Marea  76 Molekamp, Femke  12 Montgomerie, Alexander  27, 42, 47 Morrill, John  12n Mullan, David  29, 32n, 33, 42, 58, 59 Murphy, Erin  118–19 Nethercot, Arthur  200n Nevitt, Marcus  19n

Newcastle, William Cavendish, Duke of  20, 23, 100–9, 112–16, 118–34, 153, 172, 175, 178–80, 214–15, 217 Ng, Su Fang  21n, 118, 180 Nimrod  160, 198, 200, 209 Niobe  148, 152, 157, 200 Noah  196, 198, 209 Norbrook, David  10n, 19–20, 22n, 57n, 175n, 176–7, 182–3, 191, 200, 207n, 208n, 209 occasional poetry  7, 10, 75, 102–30, 136–8, 140, 157, 167–9, 180, 213 as a genre  15, 74–7, 104, 120–4, 129, 144, 151, 152, 216 and author / speaker  126, 138, 155 and devotional poetry  15, 120–30, 190, 216 and female authorship  17–19, 75–7, 120, 127, 130, 152, 155, 216 and rhetorical modesty  17, 104, 120–2, 130, 144, 152, 216 and social authorship  74–7, 103, 104–24, 127–30, 216 ode 18 Ogle family  105–6 O Hehir, Brendan  146n, 151n Oman, Carola  171n Overbury, Sir Thomas  23, 68–70, 74n, 107 Ovid  19, 38, 199–200, 205, 216 Owen, John  208–9 Owthorpe, Nottinghamshire  175, 180–90 Paleit, Edward  200 panegyric  107, 112–13, 118, 175n, 208 Parr, Katherine  12 Parry, Graham,  147n pastoral  19, 20, 47–8, 101, 106, 109, 121, 125–30, 131, 136, 138, 141–4, 147, 154–5, 157, 160, 163–4, 172, 176, 180, 184–5, 217 ‘Passion’ poetry  109, 121–2, 129–30, 153, 205 Patterson, Annabel  185n, 190n, 208n Peacham, Henry  158–9, 165 Pearson, Jacqueline  217n Pebworth, Ted-Larry  4n, 22 Pender, Patricia  7n, 193 Perdita project  4n, 21, 210 Perry, Lori A. Davis  206n, 207n Petrarch, Petrarchism  42, 43n, 47–9, 109 Philips, James  2

Index Philips, Katherine  1–7, 16, 19, 24–5, 79, 126, 136, 138n, 142–3, 155–6, 176, 186–8, 206, 212, 214, 217 and friendship  109–11, 132–3n, 138n, 143, 169–70, 186 and manuscript circulation  2–3, 24, 30, 57, 97n, 109–11, 134, 170, 206 Poems (1664)  2–3, 6, 187 Poems (1667)  3 ‘A Countrey Life’  142–3, 187–8 ‘A retir’d friendship, to Ardelia’  1–2, 111, 126, 142, 169 ‘Invitation to the Countrey’  169 ‘Orinda to Lucasia’  186–7 ‘To Antenor, on a paper of mine’  2 ‘To the Right Honourable Alice, Countess of Carberry’  109–10 ‘Upon the double murther of K. Charles’  1–3, 126, 143, 155–6 Pliny the Elder  159n, 161, 163, 165 Plutarch 162 Pope, Alexander  172 Porter, Endymion  106 portrait poetry  114–19, 124, 178–9, 183–4 see also ekphrasis Potter, James L.  52n Potter, Lois  137n, 151, 154–5, 159 Powell, Vavasour  1–2 Presbyterianism  14, 16, 20, 23–5, 26–62, 64, 186n, 214–15, 218 Prescott, Anne Lake  83n Prescott, Sarah  3, 16n, 206n Primrose, Diana  115, 118 Pritchard, Allan  187n public sphere  8–11, 20, 119, 126 Pulter, Arthur  139–40, 154, 170, 171n Pulter, Hester  4–6, 10, 13, 16, 20–1, 25, 79, 126–7, 129, 134, 135–73, 176, 179–80, 183–4, 186, 211–18 and elegy  19, 136, 138, 147–57, 162–7, 171, 173, 176, 186, 202, 216–18 and emblems  17, 136, 138–9, 143n, 145, 148, 157–69, 170, 173, 184, 186, 198, 216–18 and friendship  24, 139, 143, 166–73, 218 and manuscript circulation  23–4, 135–6, 139, 147, 151, 169–73, 209, 213, 218 and occasional poetry  136–8, 140, 144, 151, 152, 155, 157, 167–9, 180, 190, 216 ‘The complaint of Thames’  145–7

247

‘The invitation into the Countrey’  140–8, 155, 164, 169, 172, 217 The Unfortunate Florinda  136n, 171–2 ‘The weepeinge wishe’  166–9, 171 ‘Vpon the Death of my deare and lovely Daughter’  147–52, 155, 164–7, 171, 216 Purkiss, Diane  184–6 Pypes, Richard  132 Quarles, Francis  14, 17, 19, 67, 81, 87–8, 90–4, 99, 153, 199–200, 205–6 Emblemes  88, 139, 158–9, 165, 168, 216 Histories  85–8, 91–4, 99, 168, 177, 191–2, 195–200, 202, 205–6, 215–16 Quarles, John  153, 154n Raleigh, Sir Walter  67–8 Ray, Robert H.  128n Raylor, Timothy  103n, 111n Reid, David  61n Reid, W. Stanford  37 Reid Baxter, Jamie  22n, 27, 28n, 31n, 33n, 35n, 37n, 49n, 50n, 51n, 53n, 55n, 58–9, 61n religious lyric  13–20, 24, 26–30, 42–60, 62– 4, 120–30, 138, 140, 162, 214–15 see also occasional poetry; meditational poetry republicanism  21, 174–90 republican poetics  175–7, 179–80, 189–90 retirement  see retreat retreat (retirement) 19, 20, 125–6, 136–8, 142–4, 169, 175–6, 184–9, 215, 217–18 and ‘feminine aesthetics’  20–1, 125–7, 136–7, 156, 162, 164 and royalism  111, 125–6, 136–7, 142–4, 157, 160, 164, 169 Rich, Adrienne  7n Rich, Penelope  105 Rickard, Jane  13n, 39n, 96n Ridgeway, Cicely, Lady, Countess of Londonderry  63–5, 67, 71, 73–4, 77, 80, 92, 97 river poetry  138, 144–7, 154 Robson, Lynn  4n, 211–12 Robson, Mark  135n Rolt, Thomas  151 Roper, Margaret More  60 Roper, Mary  25, 129, 191n, 192, 200–6

248 Index Ross, Sarah C. E.  43n, 48n, 60n, 135n, 156n, 171n, 205n Rowe, Elizabeth Singer  16, 206–7, 218 royalism  2, 24, 25, 100–4, 108–34, 135–73, 177, 192, 201–4, 208–9, 215 and female authorship  5, 6n, 126n, 212 and ‘feminine aesthetics’  125–6, 136–7, 138, 153–7 see also elegy; friendship; retreat (retirement) Rutherford, Samuel  33, 61–2 sabbath, sabbatarianism  14, 94–5 sacred history  17, 18, 83, 85–6, 90–1, 93, 168, 177, 190–2, 195, 197–206, 207n, 209, 215, 218 see also biblical verse paraphrase; meditational poetry sacred parody  18, 20, 27, 43, 47–9, 121, 127–9 Salzman, Paul  76n Sancroft, William, Archbishop of Canterbury 16n Sanders, Julie  114n, 115, 119n, 133 Sanderson, Robert, Bishop of Lincoln 159n satire  20, 195, 197 Savage, James E.,  68n Sawday, Jonathan  4n Schleiner, Louise  68n, 74n Schoenfeld, Michael  15n, 162 Scotland  13–14, 16, 21, 23–5, 26–62, 64, 88n, 102, 186, 215, 218 Scott-Baumann, Elizabeth  13n, 14–15, 18, 138n, 142–3n, 176, 178n, 184n, 186–7, 190n, 192, Serjeantson, Deirdre  42, 48n, 62n Shepard, Alexandra  133 Shifflett, Andrew  136, 164 Shuger, Debora  12 Shuttleton, David E.  3 Sibthorpe, Henry  64–5, 68, 70–1, 73n, 90n, 97–9 Sidney, Mary (Herbert)  12, 33 Sidney, Sir Philip  43, 48, 64, 81n sighs and tears  26, 43, 49, 53, 124–5, 130, 136–9, 141, 143, 147–8, 152–4, 156–7, 161–2, 165–9, 172, 201 Sinfield, Alan  81n Smith, Hilda  4n, 5n Smith, Nigel  135n, 143n, 144n, 146n, 151, 176 Smith, Rosalind  48 Smyth, Adam  203 Snook, Edith  12n

Snyder, Susan  195 social authorship  8, 17–20, 22, 64–80, 102–15, 120, 122, 188n, 212 and female authorship  10–11, 15–16, 17–19, 74–5, 79–80 and poetic form  67, 72, 74–5, 79–80, 89, 119, 216 and religious verse  64–6, 80, 88–99, 214–15 see also occasional poetry song (secular)  71, 107–10, 127–30 sonnets, sonnet sequences  16, 18, 20, 27–8, 30, 34, 43, 48–59, 61–2, 72, 74, 105, 122n, 137, 174, 216n Southwell, Anne  4–6, 8, 9–10, 13–14, 16, 18–19, 25, 35n, 51–2, 63–99, 126, 161, 169–70, 213–16, 218 and biblical verse paraphrase  8, 14, 35n, 52, 67, 80–99, 161, 168, 177, 191–9, 205–6, 214–16, 218 and elegy  18–19, 67, 69, 71, 73–80, 84, 89, 92, 94, 97, 151 and epitaph  19, 71, 73–6, 78–9, 89, 97–8, 114–15, 216 and manuscript circulation  23–5, 63–72, 80–1, 89–90, 95, 96–9, 169–70, 188n and social authorship  8, 18, 64–80, 88–99, 107, 114, 169–70, 188n, 214–15, 216 Southwell, Robert, S.J.  64, 121, 205 Spanish Armada  37, 39, 96 Speght, James  39–40 Speght, Rachel  13, 18, 30, 31, 33–4, 38–40, 51–2, 99 Spenser, Edmund  106 The Ruines of Time 145–6 Spottiswoode, John, Archbishop of Glasgow 40 Stallybrass, Peter  205n Starke, Sue  194–5 Stevenson, Jane  115, 135n, 175n, 206n, 218n Stilma, Astrid  13n, 39n, 96n Stoicism  136, 138, 157n, 164, 187 Strafford, first Earl of (Thomas Wentworth) 151n Streete, Adrian  17n, 85n, 86n, 87, 94 Stuart, Arbella  8, 115 Stuart, Esmé, third Duke of Lennox  78n Stuart, Ludovick, second Duke of Lennox  78, 90 Suckling, Sir John  108n Sullivan, Ernest W., II  69n Summers, Claude J.  4n, 15, 22, 162n Sununu, Andrea  2n, 3n, 6n, 110n, 213n

Index Suzuki, Mihoko  4n, 5, 7n, 14n, 212 Swift, Carolyn R.  60–1n Sylvester, Josuah  81, 83, 144–5, 159n, 193, 195 Targoff, Ramie  48n Tasso, Torquato  195 Taylor, John  73n tears and weeping  see sighs and tears Thomas, Patrick  2n, 142n Tinker, Nathan P.  22n Tollet, Elizabeth  206, 218 topographical poetry  19, 138, 144, 146–7 Traherne, Thomas  136, 162 Trapnel, Anna  13 Travitsky, Betty  101, 106n, 115n, 133n Trill, Suzanne  22n, 202n Tweedie, W.K.  61n Tyrwhit, Elizabeth  12 Ussher, James, Bishop of Armagh  90, 137 Vaughan, Henry  136, 162 Villiers, George, Duke of Buckingham  87 Virgil  19, 82, 192, 194–6, 199–200, 208, 216 Waldegrave, Robert  34 Wales  110–11, 126 Waller, Edmund  175n, 208 Waller, Elizabeth  69 Waller, Hardress  69n Waller, William  118n

249

Welbeck, Nottinghamshire  20, 100–1, 103n, 112, 119, 124–6, 130, 133–4, 172, 178, 217 Welsh, John  27, 30, 50, 53–5, 57, 59, 61–2 Wheatley, Chloe  195n White, Micheline  12n, 23–4 Whitney, Geffrey  158–9, 165 Wight, Sarah  60 Wigton, Countess of  61n Wilcher, Robert  85n, 87n, 108n, 153n, 154n, 191, 192n, 197, 209 Wilcox, Helen  15, 50, 121n, 126n, 128, 137n, 162 Williams, Janet Hadley  55 Williamson, Marilyn  6n, 213n Wilmot, Anne, Countess of Rochester  209 Wiseman, Susan  4n, 5, 7n, 8–10, 14n, 20, 21n, 102, 119, 146n, 174n, 176–7, 180, 182–3, 212 Wither, George  158–9, 165, 198, 216 Withington, Phil  133 Wodrow, Robert  27, 45, 59 Wood, Anthony à  137n Woolf, Virginia  177, 211, 217 Wright, Gillian  65n, 77n, 79, 88n, 97n, 212 Wroth, Lady Mary  74n Wyatt, Thomas  49 Wynne-Davies, Marion  102–3, 132 Ziegler, Georgianna  204n Zwicker, Steven  153