Most anthologies of Renaissance writing include only (or predominantly) male writers, whereas those that focus on women include women exclusively. This book is the first to survey both in an integrated fashion. Its texts comprise a wide range of canonical and non-canonical writingâincluding some new and important discoveries. The texts are arranged so that writing by women and men is presented together, not in a "point-counterpoint" system that would "square off" female and male writers against one another, but rather in pairs, sometimes clusters, of texts in which women's writing is foregrounded even as it appears with writing by men.
The anthology arranges recently recovered texts into intriguing patterns, juxtaposing, for example, Aemelia Lanyer's country house poem with an expression of a different type of nostalgia by Surrey. It includes unconventional voices, as in the homoerotic poems by Richard Barnfield or the possibly lesbian poems by Katherine Philips. It makes newly available the voices of English Marrano women (secret Jews) and the Miltonic poetry of Jean Lead.(D. Aldrich-Watson, University of Missouri - St. Louis Choice)
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