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Forms of EngagementWomen, Poetry and Culture 1640-1680$
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Elizabeth Scott-Baumann

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199676521

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199676521.001.0001

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Katherine Philips and Lucy Hutchinson Reading John Donne

Katherine Philips and Lucy Hutchinson Reading John Donne

Chapter:
(p.113) 4 Katherine Philips and Lucy Hutchinson Reading John Donne
Source:
Forms of Engagement
Author(s):

Elizabeth Scott-Baumann

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199676521.003.0005

Katherine Philips and Lucy Hutchinson were both brought up in puritan-leaning households with high-profile literary connections; both were connected by friends and relatives to John Milton, for instance. Both wrote primarily in manuscript, with ambivalent attitudes to the print publication which some of their works would undergo. Their poems share similar themes of lost love and friendship, political hope and disillusionment. Politically, however, they wrote from opposing viewpoints; after the Restoration Philips wrote increasingly in praise of the monarchy, while Hutchinson's poems from the same period mourn her regicide husband and his hopes for a Godly republic. This chapter–the first study of the two poets in parallel–reveals surprising and illuminating crossover in their reading and influence, the intimate and even erotic tone of their poetry, and their negotiations of form and imagery. More specifically, it will reveal and analyse their shared use of erotic lyric poems from John Donne's ‘Songs and Sonnets’, showing how both women rewrite Donne's seductive poems through their own gender and state politics and also suggesting direct allusions between the works of Orinda (Philips) and Orena (Hutchinson).

Keywords:   Lucy Hutchinson, Katherine Philips, John Donne, elegy, friendship, influence, women readers

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