Katherine Philips (1632–1664) is widely regarded as a pioneering figure within English-language women’s literary history. Best known as a poet, she was also a skilled translator, letter writer and literary critic whose subjects ranged from friendship and retirement to politics and public life. Her poetry achieved a high reputation among coterie networks in London, Wales and Ireland during her lifetime, and was published to great acclaim after her death. The present volume, drawing on important recent research into her early manuscripts and printed texts, represents a new and innovative phase in Philips's scholarship. Emphasizing her literary responses to other writers as well as the ambition and sophistication of her work, it includes groundbreaking studies of her use of form and genre, her practices as a translator, her engagement with philosophy and political theory, and her experiences in Restoration Dublin. It also examines the posthumous reception of Philips’s poetry and model theoretical and digital humanities approaches to her work.

This book was originally published as two special issues of Women’s Writing.

chapter |4 pages


ByMarie-Louise Coolahan, Gillian Wright

chapter |18 pages

Hermeticism in the Poetry of Katherine Philips

BySajed Chowdhury

chapter |19 pages

Katherine Philips’s Elegies and Historical Figuration

ByW. Scott Howard

chapter |39 pages

A Computational Approach to the Poetry of Katherine Philips

ByKathleen Taylor, Gillian Wright