Renaissance Women Poets

Renaissance Women Poets


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Social convention may have prevented Renaissance women writers from openly taking part in the political and religious debates of their day, but they found varied and innovative ways to intervene. Collecting the work of three great poets-Isabella Whitney, Mary Sidney, and Aemilia Lanyer-this volume repositions women writers of the Renaissance by presenting their poems in the context of their history and culture.

Whitney's poems offer the only glimpse into her life, express a concern for women's lack of social and economic power, and powerfully evoke sixteenth-century London. Sidney produced potent translations of Petrarch's works and the Psalms, as well as original verse. Lanyer wrote poems that advocate and praise female virtue and Christian piety, but reflect a desire for an idealized, classless world. The strong and original voices of these three women-each from different social, cultural, and historical strata-demonstrate the emergence of a new female identity during the Renaissance and broaden the common notions of English Literature's golden age.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780140424096
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/01/2001
Series: Penguin English Poets Series
Pages: 412
Product dimensions: 5.08(w) x 7.77(h) x 0.84(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Born into the Cheshire gentry, Isabella Whitney (c.1550-?) went into service in London and published two volumes of poetry. Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke (1561-1621) worked in close literary collaboration with her brother, Sir Philip Sidney, and continued to write after his death. Aemelia Lanyer (1569-1645), a devotional poet, was raised in the Countess of Kent's household and married an Italian musician.

Danielle Clarke is a lecturer in English at University College, Dublin.

Table of Contents

Edited by Danielle Clarke

Further Reading
Table of Dates
A Note on the Texts
Isabella Whitney
To the worshipfull and right vertuous yong Gentylman, George Mainwaring Esquier...
The Auctor to the Reader
Certain familier Epistles and friendly Letters by the Auctor: with Replies
To her Brother. G.W.
To her Brother. B. W.
A modest meane for Maides... to two of her yonger Sisters servinge in London
To her Sister Misteris. A.B.
To her Cosen
A carefull complaynt by the unfortunate Auctor
IS. W. to C.B. in bewalylynge her mishappes
To my Friend Master T.L. whose good nature I see abusde
IS W. beyng wery of wrtyng, sendeth this for Answere
The Auchtour (though loth to leave the Citie) upon her Friendes procurement, is constrained to departe...and maketh her Wyll and Testament...
A comunication which the Auctor had to London, before she made her Wyll
The maner of her Wyll, and what she left to London: and all those in it: at her departing
THE COPY OF A LETTER, lately written in meeter, by a yonge Gentilwoman: to her unconstant Lover...
I.W. To her unconstant Lover
The admonition by the Auctor, to all yong Gentilwomen: And to al other Maids being in Love
The lamentation of a Gentilwoman upon the death of her late deceased frend William Gruffith Gent.
Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke
"Even now that Care"
To the Angell spirit of the most excellent Sir Phillip Sidney
The Psalmes of Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke***
A Dialogue betweene two shepheards, Thenot, and Piers, in praise of Astrea...
The first chapter
The second chapter
Aemilia Lanyer
To the Queenes most Excellent Majestie
To all vertuous Ladies in generall
The Authors Dreame to the Ladie Marie, the Countesse Dowager of Pembrooke
To the Ladie Lucie, Countesse of Bedford
To the Ladie Margaret, Countesse Dowager of Cumberland
To the Ladie Anne, Countesse of Dorcet
To the Vertuous Reader
Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum
The Description of Cooke-ham
Abbreviations and Short Titles Used in the Notes and Textual Apparatus
Textual Apparatus

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