Even as the last half century has seen a growing canon of early modern women poets, prose writers and playwrights, we still have no acknowledged tradition of early women critics. This essay argues that women did write critically, in varied places including manuscript miscellanies, paratexts, poems and letters. Lady Anne Southwell’s two diverse manuscript collections include a defense of poetry and many profoundly critical poems which reveal the range and depth of early modern women’s engagement with traditions of criticism and with questions of theory, style and gender.
|Title of host publication
|The Places of Early Modern Criticism
|Alexander Marr, Emma Gilby, Gavin Alexander
|Oxford Univerity Press; Oxford
|Accepted/In press - 21 Mar 2019