Authorship, Friendship, and Forms of Publication in Katherine Philips
Menges, Hilary, Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900
This article analyzes the conflation of authorship and friendship in the poetry and prose of Katherine Philips, a Restorationera contemporary of John Milton and Margaret Cavendish. Philips scholarship has long concentrated on gender and sexual politics, but this essay argues that Philips's intense interest in her female friends (which has been read by feminist critics as a sign of early "lesbianism") is motivated not merely by sexual or platonic desire, but also by a desire to fashion the friend into a medium of her own poetic legacy. Drawing on recent scholarship on print and manuscript culture, seventeenth-century politics, and bibliography, I argue that Philips's imaginative conflation of authorship and friendship allows her to express a powerful vision of poetic authority and authorial prerogative.
"It is unfortunately feminist criticism," one scholar writes of the Restoration poet Katherine Philips, "that has served her least well." This provocative statement responds in part to a critical history, influenced by feminism, which has focused overwhelmingly on gender and sexuality in Philips, and which has led to antithetical readings of Philips's poetry as either erotic or platonic.2 While recent and forthcoming criticism has inaugurated new lines of inquiry, our discussions of friendship in Philips remain plagued by such dualistic interpretations.3 This myopia, in turn, has obscured the nuanced, multivalent significations and roles that the figure of the friend assumes in Philips's poetry, including the entanglement of the friend with Philips's conceptualization of her poetic authorship. Focusing on Philips's repeated conflation of the discourses of friendship and authorship and combining bibliographic analysis with literary-critical interpretation, I will argue that Philips manipulated the figure of the friend to conceptualize and theorize her own feelings of authorship and ambition. Philips's interest in the friend is not driven by either sexual or platonic desire (as many would have it), but rather by the desire to fashion the friend into a medium of Philips's poetic publicity and reputation. At crucial moments in her poetry and letters Philips imagines the friend as her simultaneous conduit to and shield from the wider world, an agent of mediation not unlike print or manuscript. What lies behind Philips's interest in the general preservation of a friend's reputation and memory, I will suggest, is the persistent concern with the status of her own literary art.
In making this claim, this essay does not seek to discount the crucial role played by feminist critics in the recovery of previously neglected women writers; nor does it seek to reduce Philips's sophisticated representations of friendship to a mere code for her authorship. It does, however, hope to widen the critical scope of Philips scholarship, a movement that is already reflected in the work of Catharine Gray, Hero Chalmers, and Penelope Anderson (among others). In this essay, this perspectival widening relies on the integration of bibliographic and literary-critical methodologies; these methodological approaches to Philips flourish separately, but need to be integrated in order to reflect the fact that the content of Philips's poetry is often deeply connected to and inseparable from her concern with the material text of her verse.` The critical relevance of textual history to thematic literary content is epitomized, moreover, by the fact that a seventeenth-century editor was compelled to elide a crucial poetic line in which Philips represents herself as a poet and artist whose androgynous anonymity grants her the creative power to shape her future legacy. This 1667 editorial alteration alerts us not only to the vital importance that this spectral representation of literary autonomy assumes for Philips, but also to the wide-ranging effects that bibliographic changes can have on literary meaning.
The integration of these methodologies illuminates the entanglement between friendship and authorship in Philips's poetic imagination: the mediation of Philips's literary reputation by the friend, the paradoxical way in which literary publicity is predicated on private, secret, interpersonal bonds, and the implicit equivalence between the betrayal of a friend and the betrayal of the 1664 unauthorized printing of Philips's poems. These interconnections suggest that the friend is the object of much more contradictory energies than scholars have hitherto acknowledged: an object not only of Philips's affection, but also of her resentment, manipulation, and authorial self-interestedness. The friend becomes a site of so many competing impulses, I think, because Philips's authorial identity and aspirations are inextricably entangled with her philosophy of friendship. "Poets and friends are born to what they are," Philips declares stridently in "A Friend," and this conjunction gestures toward the much deeper affinity between poetic authorship and friendship that saturates Philips's writing and thinking.5 For Philips, poets and friends may be born to what they are, but this is only one of the many things they have in common.
I. TWIN BETRAYALS
Writing in the 1650s and early 1660s, Philips was, as Carol Barash and Margaret Ezell have pointed out, uneasily "situated between old and new means of publication," manuscript and print.6 In her lifetime, Philips published in both manuscript and print, though the controversy over the supposedly unauthorized print publication of her Poems in 1664 has to a large extent shaped "the way Philips has been read ever since." (7) As scholars have shown, however, focusing on this 1664 print publication (and Philips's vehement condemnation of it) can obscure her investment in the publication of her poems in manuscript through her coterie, "Society of Friendship." In the 1650s and early 1660s, Philips actively exchanged poems and letters with male and female coterie members, including Sir Edward Dering, Francis Finch, Henry Lawes, Mary Aubrey, and Jeremy Taylor. Philips's manuscript circulation both made use of and helped constitute this community of like-minded Royalists, an exclusive, elitist circle knit together across geographical distance by political affiliation and manuscript exchange. At the center of this coterie, Philips, known by the pastoral epithet "Orinda," helped connect this community both discursively and in practice, writing commendatory poems in praise of friendship which she then circulated among her coterie of friends. (8)
In the seventeenth century, such manuscript circulation, while usually limited to a select group of individuals, was never-theless a type of publication not necessarily antithetical to print. Harold Love, Peter Beal, Ezell, and Arthur Marotti have troubled the formerly strict distinction between manuscript and print--all responding, in a sense, to Elizabeth Eisenstein's groundbreaking work on print as an agent of change. In their work, these scholars have argued for the coexistence and interdependence of such means of publication and the vitality of what Love terms "scribal publication" long after its supposed eclipse by print technology.9 Philips's publishing activities exemplify this confluence of manuscript and print: she did, as Beal notes, allow manuscript copies of her works to be circulated and disseminated "almost as if, in a sense, they were print." (10) Similarly, she also allowed certain poems to be printed in a limited number of anthologies and collections that were "safe," "protected," and "sanctioned"--almost as if, in a sense, they were manuscript." In these printed collections, including a volume honoring the Oxford Royalist William Cartwright (1651), Philips's poems appeared alongside verses by other members of her coterie, including Dering. Her printed poems were usually anonymous or signed only with her initials, effectively limiting the knowledge of her authorship to the privileged "knowing few" who made up her coterie and thus guarding against indiscriminate exposure.12 Even in these limited forays into print, then, the protective networks of Philips's manuscript coterie were maintained.
For Philips, authorial publication seemingly relied less on the distinction between manuscript and print than on a distinction of audience: Philips's intended audience was her coterie society of genteel, supportive, Royalist friends, not an indiscriminate, anonymous seventeenth-century readership. Furthermore, Philips's publication of her poems within this intimate, exclusive circle sheds light not only on the material life of her poetry, but also on her thematics of secrecy, privacy, retreat, and retirement. In her verse, Philips repeatedly celebrates the secret insularity of friend-ship and even explicitly declares the relationship between friends to be disconnected from public, political life. In "A Retir'd Friend-ship, to Ardelia," for instance, Philips commends the insularity of friendship and beseeches her friend to retreat to a pastoral bower:
Here let us sit, and blesse our Starres, Who did such happy quiet give, As that remov'd from noise of warres In one another's hearts we live. (22, lines 13-6)
This voluntary removal shelters the friends from the noisy, warring world, which is dismissed in favor of the blessings of intimate enclosure.13 In this space, there is "no disguise, nor treachery" and no deceptive "plots" that would threaten their relationship (22, lines 9 and 11).
Rather than being isolating, this retired exclusivity paradoxically fosters a communicative freedom as Philips makes clear in "L'amitie: To Mrs. M. Awbrey." There she elaborates on the liberating potential of restricted spaces:
I have no thought but what's to thee reveal'd, Nor thou desire that is from me conceal'd. Thy heart locks up my secrets richly set, And my brest is thy private cabinet. (50, lines 7-10) (14)
The enclosure of Philips and Ardelia in their bower is mirrored here by the women's enclosure of each other's secrets within their breasts, enabling full disclosure to one privileged addressee and absolute secrecy at the same time. These reciprocal exchanges seemingly render dialogue with the larger public superfluous, leading scholars such as Mary Ann Radzinowicz to assert that Philips is primarily concerned with a "warm society of likeminded friends," "an interesting and cheerful universe of women," a withdrawn "feminized universe" that she and her friend can "perambulate" in felicity. '5 Yet in the seventeenth century, as scholars have shown, the discourse of friendship was politically inflected, and the very idea that private retreat constitutes a superior alternative to tumultuous public engagement itself belongs to a familiar, public poetic discourse, espoused by seventeenth-century male and female authors alike.
The valuation of retreat is the most notable characteristic of what Earl Miner identifies as the "cavalier mode" practiced by Ben Jonson, Robert Herrick, Henry Vaughan, and Charles Cotton, among others. During the Interregnum, disenfranchised and marginalized Royalist authors were "eager to convert withdrawal into self-assertion, disenfranchisement into power, [and] confinement into freedom."16 As Miner, Catherine Gallagher, Chalmers, and others have pointed out, writers represented the retired, rural sphere as a place where the ideal polity could be recreated imaginatively until the king returned to power. The "concord of friendship ... was considered the basis of the state," and Philips's characterization of the peaceful polity of friendship participates in this discursive, recognizable poetic-political mode." Moreover, Philips's exemplary portrayals of harmonious, retired friendship were crucial for the "political self-definition" of a diverse group of Parliamentarian and Royalist men and women, including Robert Overton, Hester Pulter, and Andrew Marve11.18 Philips's poetic celebration of retired friendship itself belongs to a public, poetic discourse, mobilized by a myriad of authors to reflect on the political and social tumults that defined their seventeenth-century world.
For her poetry's thematics as well as its material dissemination, the notion of publication and publicity is bound up with both the practice and the discourse of secret, private, and exclusive friendship. Recognizing this crucial interrelationship in Philips puts us in a better position to understand the group of poems that depict friendship not as harmonious, but as hostile, contentious, and unstable. These poems, which chart friendship's demise with startling vitriol and recrimination, are often obscured by Philips's more well-known verses in which "friendship's boat bobs sweetly along." (19) But in her poetic imagination, friendship is as defined by the possibility of treachery and betrayal as it is by secrecy and exclusivity. According to Andrew Shifflett, for Philips "friends are always potential fiends" and friendship's harmony cannot be separated from its competitive, coercive qualities. (20) Anderson likewise asserts that the "dominant version of friendship that emerges is not one of stability but of dissolution." (21) The mournful, malevolent poems about friendship's annihilation, in which Philips alternates between criticizing the friend for desecrating their relationship and bemoaning the loss of their intimate space, are crucial to an understanding of Philips's notion of friendship--and, as we will see later, her conceptualization of her own poetic authorship.
Philips's modern editor Patrick Thomas remarks that "Orinda's deluded belief in the unanimity between friends was to be experienced by those close to her as tyranny." (22) Tyranny, however, is the charge that Philips levels against her former friends. In "Injuria Amici" (whose addressee remains unknown) Philips calls her former friend a "faire tyrant" and speculates about what would happen "If I should live to be betray'd again" (38, lines 37 and 36). (23) In "To Queen of Inconstancie, Regina, in Antwerp," Philips writes,
What thou has got by this exchange Thou wilt perceive, when the revenge Shall by those treacheries be made, For which our faiths thou has betraid. (24) (35, lines 5-8)
This former friendship is now defined by treachery, vengeance, and betrayal, and Philips's ominous evocation of "exchange" is a threat, a prophecy, and a curse--Regina's treacheries will be repaid. Elsewhere Philips portrays the friend's betrayal as the violent razing of a shrine ("Injuria Amici," 38, lines 20-5) and such desecration and destruction effectively obliterates the secret, protective, private space shared by friends. According to Philips, treachery and betrayal rupture this intimate space, which she imagined variously as the cabinet within the breast, the quiet pastoral bower, and the memorial "monument" within the heart ("Wiston=Vault," 28, line 18).
In her characterization of friendship as potentially blissful but also vulnerable to betrayal, Philips was influenced by her own friends and coterie members, who were similarly invested in philosophizing and theorizing about friendship. Two figures in particular--Taylor and Finch--fostered and contributed to Philips's understanding of the principles of successful and unsuccessful friendship. In the mid-1650s, Philips, Taylor, and Finch developed, through collaborative exchanges of poems and essays, conceptualizations of friendship influenced by the classical tradition of amicitia. (25) In 1654, Finch addressed his treatise, Friendship, to "Lucasia-Orinda," the pastoral names by which Philips and her friend Anne Owen were known. According to Finch, friendship has a "Uniting quality, it makes two as it were One"; (26) Finch's hyphenation of his addressees' names suggests that the women, referred to as a single individual, exemplified this unifying quality. Philips responded to Finch's treatise with a poem entitled 'To the noble Palaemon on his incomparable discourse of Friendship"; (27) and in 1657, Taylor's treatise, A Discourse of the Nature, Offices, and Measures of Friendship, advertised itself as "Written in answer to a Letter from the most ingenious and vertuous M.K.P." In this interlocking group of texts, Philips, Taylor, and Finch use a shared vocabulary to discuss friendship's ethics, types, rules, and regulations. While the intertwined rhetoric and ideas in Philips, Taylor, and Finch make it impossible to distinguish with certainty who is influencing whom, "[for all three the status of friendship as a form of political bonding is underlined by its connection with the keeping of secrets whose violation is depicted as a form of treason." (28)
In his list of friendship's characteristics, Finch declares emphatically, "Friendship is Secret: ... 'Tis the Harbour in which the weather-beaten friend is safe after all storms." (29) Finch's idea of a friendship as a safe haven echoes Philips's own poetic characterizations of friendship as defined by interiority, protection, and withdrawal. While Philips's embittered poems to Regina Collier and Mary Aubrey react to specific breaches of this safe haven, in "A Friend," Philips describes betrayal in the abstract:
Friendship doth carry more then common trust And treachery is here the greatest Sin: Secrets deposed then none ever must Presume to open, but who put them in. They that in one Chest lay up all their stock, Had need be sure that none can pick the lock. (64, lines 37-42)
These lines echo "L'amitie: To Mrs. M. Awbrey," in which Philips had declared, "Thy heart locks up my secrets richly set, /And my brest is thy private cabinet." Yet in this poem, Philips calls the security of such secrecy into question. What threatens friend-ship's exclusive, felicitous state is the potential of making public the private secrets that cement friendship's bonds. According to Philips's formulation, the "greatest Sin" of friendship is treachery, which is portrayed as the presumptuous opening up and revelation of one's secrets, previously concealed within the chest (or breast) of one's friend. This betrayal is represented as an opening, an exposure--in other words, a publication--of the private details that should have remained "lock[ed] up" between friends.
Taylor's 1657 description of the betrayal of friendship, which he describes with vivid specificity, reinforces and illuminates Philips's own characterizations of such treachery, and ultimately helps us understand not only Philips's vitriolic poems about friendship's demise, but also her epistolary representation of the unauthorized 1664 printing publication of her poems. Taylor, in his treatise, delineates the rules that govern friendship: "There are two things which a friend can never pardon, a treacherous blow and the revealing of a secret, because these are against the Nature of friendship; they are the adulteries of it, and dissolve the Union; and in the matters of friendship which is the marriage of souls; these are the proper causes of divorce: and therefore I shall adde this only, that secrecy is the chastity of friendship, and the publication of it is a prostitution and direct debauchery; but a secret, treacherous wound is a perfect and unpardonable Apostacy."3[degrees] Taylor's rich terms evoke a suggestive and somewhat contradictory welter of sexual and religious meanings, including the notion that two different types of secrecy can produce a "publication" that is at once a "prostitution." Counterintuitively, the secrecy that constitutes the "chastity" of friendship can be violated by a "secret . . . wound": one form of secrecy undoes the other, catalyzing a publication that nullifies the union of friendship. Taylor analogizes publication to prostitution, using the terms to evoke the practice of making something publicly known, or the exposure of something "in a degrading manner to public view." (31) Such usage of the term "prostitution" appears elsewhere in the context of speaking and writing; in a 1659 example, a protagonist is "loth to the publike view / To prostitute a secret," and another instance from 1656 warns against "prostitut[ing] my chast and holy Letters to the base adulteries of all common eyes." (32) Such brief instances exemplify the gendered and sexualized language, identified by critics including Wendy Wall, Katharine Eisaman Maus, and others, that was used by both male and female authors to legitimate their authorship in the Renaissance. (33) These instances shed light on the flexible, wide-ranging significations of the terminology used by Taylor, Finch, and Philips. Indeed, this very slipperiness suggests that these terms could be used in very different contexts to describe very different phenomena. In fact, while Taylor describes the betrayal of personal friendship in terms of publication, Philips describes the betrayal of the 1664 print publication in terms associated with friendship.
Philips's horrified reaction to the print publication is often juxtaposed with the behavior of Margaret Cavendish, "that other great female literary figure of her time," who, unlike Philips, actively organized the printing of lavish volumes of her works. (34) Cavendish's public displays of her writing and of her person were ridiculed by contemporaries, including Samuel Pepys and Dorothy Osborne, and Beal speculates that it was fear of such ridicule and of being associated with Cavendish that prompted Philips to disavow the 1664 print publication. (35) Whatever her motivation, when it came to print publication, Philips's authorial strategy and stance were quite different from Cavendish's, despite their shared political and literary interests. (36) In early 1664, the surreptitious print publication of Philips's poems--a flurry of events including the poems' advertisement, publication, and suppression--was met with denial by Philips herself, who, in a letter to Charles Cotterell (the Master of Ceremonies to the Stuart Court) protested against this "most cruel accident." (37) Philips's letter to Cotterell resonates with both Taylor's description of friendship's dissolution as well as Philips's own poems on the potential secrecy and treachery between friends. The rhetorical, tonal, and stylistic affinities shared by these disparate texts suggest that for Philips, the event of publication--whether of the intimate secrets between friends, or of the poems circulated among friends in manuscript form--is imagined, represented, and perhaps even experienced as practically the same. In her letter decrying the surreptitious printing of her poems, Philips laments the exposure of her verses to the prying eyes of the "rabble": "But is there no retreat from the malice of this World? I thought a Rock and a Mountain might have hidden me, and that it had been free for all to spend their Solitude in what Resveries they please, and that our Rivers (though they are babbling) would not have betray'd the follies of impertinent thoughts upon their Banks; but 'Us only I who am that unfortunate person that cannot so much as think in private, that must have my imaginations rifled and exposed to play the Mountebanks, and dance upon the Ropes to entertain all the rabble" (Letter 45). As Ezell and others have noted, such indignant and self-deprecating authorial reactions to supposedly unauthorized publications were common in the seventeenth century, espoused by male and female writers alike.38 Similarly, Wall explains that the act of publication was often represented by publishers and authors as a "scandalous breach denoting forced entry into the public sphere." (39) Philips's protestations belong to this convention as well as the classical tradition of false modesty, in which "the less physical, social, or political power one presents oneself as having, the more rhetorical power one has."4[degrees] But what is perhaps less conventional in this passage is the way in which Philips's wish for "retreat from the malice of this World"--expressed in the context of the print publication--echoes her frequently stated wish for withdrawal from the public world expressed in her poetry of friendship.
In Philips's epistolary lament regarding the print publication, we can recognize the same constellation of terms and concepts that she, Finch, and Taylor use to characterize the rewards and risks of friendship: the imaginative and emotional felicity created by the state of privacy and secrecy, and the exposure and betrayal prompted by its public breach. Philips yearns for a "retreat" from the "malice of this World," just as she had urged her friend Ardelia to sit "remov'd from noise of warres" in a state of "happy quiet" with no "treachery." She cherishes the ability to "think in private" and stay "hidden" just as she celebrates her and Mary Aubrey's concealing of their secrets within the private cabinets of their breasts. With the 1664 print publication, however, Philips has been "betray'd" and "exposed." Just as the rupture of friendship exposes it to "the croud of common things" ("Injuria Amici," 38, line 26), the rupture of print publication exposes to the common crowd poems that had previously been published in manuscript within her exclusive coterie. This rhetoric, used by both Taylor and Philips to describe the publication of the intimate secrets of friends, now refers to the print publication of her poems--the creative intellectual products of her imaginations, thoughts, and "Resveries."
Poets and friends, then, share more than the fact that they are "born to what they are"; they can be betrayed by a prostitution or publication of private secrets and private poems, which should have remained hidden, either locked up within a friend's breast or circulated in manuscript within limited, privileged circles. Philips expands and redefines publication as a treacherous event that threatens both her poems and her friendships. Both friendship and poetic authorship can function as protective, intimate spaces of emotional and imaginative harmony, but can also be violated by the breach of publication, figured alternatively as the opening of a private cabinet, the unlocking of a chest, and the exposure of one's poems to an indiscriminate, ill-informed, and illiterate "rabble." It seems that whether betrayed by a friend or by the print publication, the experience, as Philips represents it, is almost the same. This equivalence, however, does not simply attest to the historical portability and ambiguity of the vocabulary and imagery that Philips employs. Rather, the very fact that Philips draws upon her earlier formulations of friendship's betrayal to discuss the betrayal of print publication reflects Philips's pervasive imagining of friendship and poetic authorship as comparable and analogous. Friends and authors are vulnerable to the same risks, and this correspondence implies a deeper affinity between Philips's conceptualization of friendship and authorship, which, I will suggest, are so entangled as to be nearly inseparable.
II. SECURING FAME, MEDIATING PUBLICITY
While Philips denounces the exposure of her poems to the world through print, elsewhere she appears to invite and even to cultivate the dissemination of her poems outside of her coterie circle. In her verse, Philips repeatedly imagines the friend as a vehicle for her own authorial glory, creatively fashioning the friend into a mediator and facilitator of her poetic reputation. This persistent imaginative conflation of authorship and friendship illuminates Philips's similar representations of the betrayal of publication and the betrayal of friendship, and helps explain the shared vocabulary Philips uses to describe these distinct events. The congenial vision of two friends strengthening their bond through the equal exchange of secrets becomes troubled by another model of friendship in which the celebration of a pair of friends is replaced by one friend's celebration of Philips herself. Taking advantage of the symbiotic relationship between friends, Philips presses the mutuality and unity of friendship into the service of her own ambition. Such moments, in which Philips fantasizes about her friend's ability to memorialize and commemorate herself, establish the paradigm upon which Philips will base her bid for authorial publicity and renown.
Philips's preoccupation with the individual memorialization effected by the friend betrays a specific interest in what that friend can do for her. In 'To the Truly Noble, and Obleiging Mrs Anne Owen (on my first approaches)," for example, Philips confesses that her own self-interestedness was a motivating factor of her solicitation of Owen's friendship:
But I have plots in't: for the way to be Secure of fame to all posterity, Is to obtain the honour I pursue, To tell the world I was subdu'd by you. (26, lines 13-6)
Philips describes this scene as a romantic conquest, yet the "plots" Philips confesses to should not be construed as merely sexual in nature. Significantly for my purposes, Philips is not in pursuit of her friend, but of honor, the glory and distinction that will result from Philips's broadcasting of the friendship--and her role in its inception--to a vaguely defined "posterity." The premeditated anticipation of her future reputation and fame seemingly contradicts the secrecy, privacy, and intimacy that comprise Philips's philosophy of friendship. Indeed, as we will remember, what renders the retired bower so enticing is, in part, its freedom from intrigues and "plots" ("A retir'd friendship, to Ardelia," 22, line 11). Strangely, while the expectation of future disclosure or publication belies the glorification of retired retreat that permeates so much of Philips's verse, such public disclosure is not depicted as a betrayal, rupture, or breach.
When Philips imagines her friend's disclosure of the details of their relationship to the world, she describes it as treason, but when Philips imagines herself broadcasting the same details (when the "plots" are her own) she describes it in terms of glory, renown, and fame. This distinction seems to depend on what types of publicity Philips feels to be beneficial or detrimental to her reputation, and reinforces the fact that authorial self-interest lies at the heart of Philips's imagination of the friend's role. The poem `To my Lady Elizabeth Boyle, Singing--Since Affairs of the State, &c" provides another example of this conflation. Despite her professions of modesty, Philips claims that Boyle, in singing the poem that Philips has composed, will bestow literary fame upon Philips the author:
Whilst you my triviall Fancy sing, You it to wit refine, As Leather once stamp'd by a King, Became a currant coyne. By this my verse is sure to gain Eternity with Men, Which by your voice it may obtein, Though never by my Pen. (69, lines 17-24)
In singing Philips's lines, Boyle simultaneously refines them and transmits them to "Eternity." As James Loxley notes, Boyle is "an agent, a singer, who personifies in a strong sense the opening of writing onto a world beyond" the poem.4' Though Philips belittles her composition as a "triviall Fancy," she displaces her authorial ambitions onto Lady Boyle, a third party who is made to mediate the relationship between Philips's own "pen" and the world of "Men." Such displacement facilitates the remarkably confident statement that her verse is "sure to gain / Eternity" as well as the casting of that ambition as a compliment to a friend. With Boyle's voice as its vehicle, Philips's poem attains a public currency and can circulate among a common audience like a coin authorized by the king himself.
Whereas these poems represent the friend's role in the dissemination of Philips's verse and the communication of her reputation as a poet, Philips's response to the 1664 print publication enacts it. Her famous letter to Cotterell, in which she laments her poems' exposure, also seems to deny the existence of her poetic aspirations. However, the letter in which she claims to be "so little concern'd" for her reputation was itself crafted as a public document, which she explicitly asked Cotterell to display to others at the recently restored Court. This compelling fact goes unmentioned in most discussions of the 1664 publication. In fact, the longer, well-known letter (Letter 45) was sent to Cotterell enclosed within another shorter one (Letter 44), written on the same date, which included instructions on how to handle this public relations crisis: "Mean while," she writes, "I have sent you inclos'd my true Thoughts on that Occasion in Prose, and have mix'd nothing else with it, to the end that you may, if you please, shew it to any body that suspects my Ignorance and Innocence of that false Edition of my Verses" (Letter 44). The letter, with its "true Thoughts," will dispel the misperceptions created by "that false Edition." Moreover, in fashioning her friend Cotterell into the deliverer of this message, Philips simultaneously attempts to vindicate and justify herself, and also to reestablish and re-create the privileged, private modes of communication that Philips had enjoyed when circulating her work within her coterie--whether in manuscript or print--and which the 1664 publication had severed. Her words denouncing the pirated publication were, then, always intended as a formal, public document, rather than a private expression of angst. The letter was meant to be circulated and displayed--but it was enclosed within the separate, protective, and private letter that she had penned to her friend.
These two letters, in mediating Philips's relationship to the public through the privileged bonds of friendship, thus enact historically the dynamic that Philips envisions in her poems to Elizabeth Boyle and Owen. In both "To My Lady Elizabeth Boyle" and "To the Truly Noble, and Obleiging Mrs Anne Owen," private friendships are the means of attaining public recognition--of gaining "Eternity with Men" and securing "fame to all posterity." Rather than having "silently absented men ... from her representation of loving friendship," as Valerie Traub insists, Philips explicitly turns her friends into vehicles to reach the world of men.42 Paradoxically and counterintuitively, intercourse with the public world at large is based on the secret relationships between friends; secrecy and confidentiality facilitate publication and publicity.43 Represented in Philips's poetic imagination, and literalized in these letters to Cotterell, the friend emerges as the true medium, rather than manuscript or print. In material terms, of course, print and manuscript are the media that disseminate Philips's writing to members of the Court, her coterie, and the public; these are the early modern technologies available to her. But her sense of authorship is perhaps less influenced by her complex negotiation of these technologies than by her negotiation of the group of individuals who surround her.
As Philips represents it in her poetry, the figure of the friend comes to embody the favored medium, providing the means by which Philips's literary reputation is guarded from a hostile public as well as transmitted to the world following her death. Writing to Cotterell in the first person, Philips embodies this process rather than representing it poetically. Philips orients her response to the public event through the relationship she shares with Cotterell; significantly, she chooses not to respond with an amended, sanctioned publication of the true copies of her poems (a common response by authors whose work had been published without their consent). Instead, she leverages her friendship with the Master of Ceremonies to the Stuart Court to reach her intended audience of genteel acquaintances through a letter that is dialectically public and private at the same time, addressed to Cotterell but intended as a sort of early modern press release. Dismissing the chance to vindicate herself by publishing the poems through Richard Marriott, John Brooke, or another publisher, Philips relies instead on that figure that has always been, in her verse and her letters, the preferred method of communication: the mediating agent of the friend.
III. "SOME CURIOUS ARTIST"
The interconnectedness between poets and friends that Philips represents poetically and embodies in her letters does not seem to have escaped the notice of the seventeenth-century editor of her 1667 posthumously published edition of her poems and translations. The editor has usually been taken to be Cotterell, but this conclusion is uncertain. (44) What is less opaque than the editor's identity is his (or her) conspicuous bowdlerization of one of Philips's poems. In "To My Lucasia," another poem directed to Owen, the intricate cluster of themes this essay has been tracing--publication, privacy, authorship, and friendship--converge most explicitly. It is in this poem that Philips conceives of herself as both the creator and beneficiary of her monumental poetic reputation, assuming the role of poet and friend simultaneously. And it is this connotation that the editor tries to suppress, drawing our attention to one of Philips's most extraordinary moments of poetic self-assertion in his (or her) very attempt to erase it. Although Philips's poems are marked by numerous variations, many of which are just as likely a product of the scribal copying associated with manuscript circulation, this specific--and in my opinion, deliberate--bibliographic variation highlights, in its effort to elide, one of the most self-reflexive articulations of poetic ambition to be found in Philips's oeuvre. The thematic consequences of this variant demonstrate the pertinence of bibliography to literary-critical interpretation, as the alteration seemingly suggests that the editor recognized the significance of the line to Philips's desire for poetic fame and commemoration in particular, and her speculation on literary creativity in general.
We can recognize in "To My Lucasia" many of the themes and concepts found elsewhere in Philips's verse, particularly the celebration of an exclusive, private relationship as well as the notion that one friend can incorporate the other's thoughts, feelings, and very sell Yet at its conclusion the poem diverges from these thematics in its noticeable introduction of a third figure into the relationship between Lucasia and Orinda:
But I'le forsake my self, and seek a new Self in her brest, that's far more rich and true. Thus the poore Bee unmark'd cloth humm and fly, And dron'd with age would unregarded dy, Unless some curious artist thither come Will bless the insect with an Amber Tomb. Then glorious in its funerall, the Bee Gets eminence, and gets Eternity. (43, lines 29-36)
As in "L'arnitie," we have the image of one's secrets and self nestled within another, but Philips now replaces the idea of the private cabinet with the curious analogy of the bee; with this inclusion, she extends the poem beyond a consideration of the immortality granted by friendship into a brief yet potent reflection on the preservation of literary art. On one level, the analogy aligns Philips with the droning bee, modestly toiling--or scribbling--in obscurity until Lucasia, the "curious artist," comes along to preserve Philips within her breast just as the artist preserves a bee in amber. But the analogy suffers from a sort of conceptual slippage. When we realize that a more precise reading of the metaphor would align Lucasia not with the artist, but with the "Amber Tomb," it becomes less clear what, or whom, the "curious artist" signifies. As the interior, protective space within which Philips will "seek a new / Self," Lucasia is meant to function as a quasireliquary or vault for her friend's memory. The "curious artist," then, emerges from between the lines of the poem as a superfluous and spectral third figure, an agent quietly introduced whose role is to create the "Amber Tomb."
The wonderfully vague phrase "some curious artist," with its connotations of creation and creativity, therefore also functions as a self-conscious reference to Philips, the literary artist, who, in writing these poems, is crafting her own "Amber Tomb." Occupying the persona both of the "curious artist" and the "poore bee" allows Philips to displace a figuration of herself onto an unnamed artist, and to imagine this artist as deliberately shaping her own monumental literary reputation. Philips carefully distinguishes the two author-creator figures (Philips herself and the "curious artist"), and portrays the artist as the one capable of shaping eternity; in this sense, monumental creation is once removed from Philips herself Nonetheless, the "curious artist" constitutes a ghostly literary version of Philips, upon whom she can displace the authorial pressures and ambitions that she had previously displaced upon the friend. Philips's creation of an independent, autonomous artist figure, who is in turn imbued with the responsibility to create eminence and eternity for herself, arguably exemplifies her most self-reflexive moment of poetic assertion. And crucially, the pivotal role played by the nameless artist implies that anonymity does not necessarily preclude, and may perhaps even promote, artistic glory.
Such an implication does not seem to have been lost on tne seventeenth-century editor who elided this key line in "To My Lucasia," leading to the existence of two textual variants of line 33 of this poem. While the extant body of Philips's work is littered with minor changes in word order, punctuation, spelling, or syntax (as most seventeenth-century print and manuscript texts would be), the significant effect of this line change on poetic meaning is unique and rare.45 There is also little evidence to suggest that Philips herself might have instigated such a textual alteration, appearing as it did three years following her death. Whoever the editor was, his (or her) elision leads us to the poem's fascinating textual history, which offers us another way to approach the portrayal of literary art and authorship embedded in the relationship of the "curious artist" to the droning bee. In the modern edition, the line reads, "unless some curious artist thither come," and this line is in fact the most authoritative, conforming to four of the five manuscript sources of the poem.46 In the 1664 print version of Philips's poems, the line remains unchanged. However, with the 1667 posthumous republication of her poems--an ornate print edition complete with a frontispiece engraving--line 33 no longer reads "Unless some curious artist thither come / Will bless the insect with an Amber Tomb," but "Unless some lucky drop of precious gum / Will bless the insect with an Amber Tomb" (my emphasis; see Figure 1).47 Given the fact that the 1667 version of this poem deviates from all earlier sources in manuscript or print, it seems that such a bibliographic variation is not the result of carelessness or error, but rather a deliberate change whose motivation becomes less puzzling when we consider the significant thematic implications it produces.
The editor's change was an adroit one. In emending the line to make the "precious gum" responsible for the creation of the "Amber Tomb" instead of the "curious artist," the editor lends the idea more logical coherence: the amber is a product of a natural process, rather than the creation of a human figure. Though different explanations circulated in the midseventeenth century regarding the origins of amber, writers such as Robert Boyle and Thomas Browne agreed that it was a natural phenomenon.48 But in emphasizing the natural process at work, Philips's anonymous editor eliminates what is perhaps the most direct and least oblique statement of authorship and literary self-assuredness to be found in Philips's corpus. In making "some lucky drop of precious gum" responsible for the bee's eminence and immortality, the editor effectively expunges that "curious artist," and thereby nullifies the monumentalizing agency that Philips had granted to her "curious artist," and to herself. In the 1667 version of the poem, the eternal preservation and public glory result not from Philips's monumentalization of herself, or even Lucasia's monumentalization of her friend, but are reduced to the consequences of mere luck. The editor, in naturalizing the process of entombment and commemoration, thus manages to make even more tenuous what was originally a complex, muted moment of poetic self-assertion.
In addition to offering us compelling evidence of the pressures exerted on literary texts by historical circumstances, the bibliographic history of "To My Lucasia" reinforces Philips's repeated attempts to define and articulate her relationship to her poetry, both through the friend and through literary figurations such as the "curious artist." As an embodiment of anonymous but powerful authorial prerogative and artistic license, the "curious artist" epitomizes the role that Philips tried to imagine for herself.
In addition to its anonymity, the "curious artist" is to a certain extent ungendered, as well; while we should assume that the artist is female in the same way that we assume that the speaker of John Donne's sonnets is male, Philips refrains from definitively identifying the artist as such. The gendered pronouns Philips uses throughout the poem seem to drop away with the concluding appearance of the ambiguous artist. Just as the friend in Philips's poetry is neither an object of sexual or platonic attention, but the object of feelings that are much more fraught than critics have acknowledged, so, too, this author figure may be something other than strictly male or female, urging us in its vague ambivalence to move beyond the strictly gendered terms that have for so long defined Philips scholarship. The spectral ambiguity surrounding the "curious artist," furthermore, simultaneously invests it with the sense of omniscient autonomy that could also be used to describe Philips's 1667 editor, that unidentifiable and (in a sense) androgynous individual, who nonetheless wielded extraordinary editorial control over the publication and interpretation of her work. The anonymous, androgynous, and autonomous artist and editor, whether emerging from between the elided lines of verse or shielded from our identification by history, are figurations of the role that Philips, through her twinned conceptualizations of friendship and authorship, endeavored to create for herself: figures with the power to create, to control, and to shape literary meaning.
Unlike her contemporaries, Philips did not boldly declare her desire for literary immortality. Her fellow Royalist poet Cavendish, in the prologue to her 1662 printed Playes, declared stridently, "I covet not a stately, cut, carv'd Tomb, / But that my Works, in Fames house may have room"; and in 1637, her contemporary John Milton wrote in a letter to his friend Charles Diodati, "You ask what I am thinking? So help me God, an immortality of fame!" (49) We may never find such statements in the work of Philips. Unlike Milton, Cavendish, or countless other poets, Philips does not insist upon the capacity of her poems to serve as vehicles for future honor, commemoration, and monumentalization. Yet as this essay has tried to suggest, Philips was nonetheless deeply interested in the afterlife of her verse and developed a sophisticated language to define her relationship to it. Recognizing Philips's cultivation of a discourse of authorship rooted in the bonds and betrayals of friendship can contribute to the ongoing reconsideration of early modern women's writing, early modern friendship, and, indeed, early modern poetry. In doing so, we can remind ourselves yet once more of the roles played by both men and women, friends and enemies, and editors and scholars in the shaping of the objects of our study.
I would like to thank Penelope Anderson, David Brewer, Jill Campbell, John Rogers, and the anonymous SEL reader, who generously provided me with encouragement and feedback on this article.
(1.) Mark Llewellyn, "Katherine Philips: Friendship, Poetry, and Neo-Platonic Thought in Seventeenth Century England," PQ 81, 4 (Fall 2002): 441-68, 463. Margaret Ezell has made a related claim about feminist criticism in general: "Ironically, those very ground-breaking feminist texts that established women's studies as a viable, significant area of scholarly investigation, which enabled works such as this one to come about, may now stand in the way of the very re-visioning task they initially performed" (Writing Women's Literary History [Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1993], p. 163). Nigel Smith similarly notes the "persistent return in scholarship, inevitably of course, to the matter of being an early modern woman. It may fascinate us. and it should, but it is a discouragement to the formalist literary critic" ('The Rod and the Canon," WoWr 14, 2 [August 2007]: 232-45, 235).
(2.) Dorothy Mermim declared in 1990 that Philips was a woman poet with strictly feminine concerns ("Women Becoming Poets: Katherine Philips. Aphra Behn, Anne Finch," ELH 57, 2 [Summer 1990]: 335-55, 336). For a reading of Philips as a lesbian, see Elaine Hobby, "Katherine Philips: Seventeenth-Century Lesbian Poet," in What Lesbians Do in Books, ed. Hobby and Chris White (London: Women's Press, 1991), pp. 183-204. See also Hobby, Virtue of Necessity: English Women's Writing. 1646-1688 (London: Virago Press, 1988), pp. 128-42; Harriette Andreadis, Sappho in Early Modern England: Female Same-Sex Literary Erotics, 1550-1714 (Chicago and London: Univ. of Chicago Press. 2001), pp. 55-83; and Valerie Traub. The Renaissance of Lesbianism in Early Modern England (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press. 2002), pp. 295-308. For a neo-Platonic reading, see Llewellyn. For a brief discussion of Philips in the context of the history of female friendship, see Lillian Faderman, Surpassing the Love of Men: Romantic Friendship and Love between Women from the Renaissance to the Present (New York: William Morrow, 1981), pp. 68-71.
(3.) As scholarship on gender and sexuality in Philips has grown more nu-anced, so, too, criticism on her politics has begun to emerge. For studies of Philips's politics, see Catharine Gray. "Katherine Philips and the Post-Courtly Coterie." ELR 32, 3 (September 2002): 426-51; Gray, Women Writers and Public Debate in Seventeenth-Century Britain (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), pp. 105-42; Hero Chalmers, Royalist Women Writers. 1650-1689 (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2004); Carol Barash, English Women's Poetry, 1649-1714: Politics, Community. and Linguistic Authority (Oxford and New York: Clarendon Press, 1996), pp. 55-100: and Penelope Anderson's forthcoming book, "Friendship's Shadows: Women's Friendship and the Politics of Betrayal in England, 1640-1705."
(4.) For some bibliographic approaches to Philips, see Elizabeth H. Hageman, "The 'False Printed' Broadside of Katherine Philips's To the Queens Majesty on Her Happy Arrival," Library 17, 4 (December 1995): 321-6; Hageman and Andrea Sununu, "New Manuscript Texts of Katherine Philips, the 'Matchless Orinda,'" in English Manuscript Studies. 1100-1700, ed. Peter Beal and Jeremy Griffiths, 15 vols. (London: British Library, 1989-), 4:174-219; and Beal, "Orinda to Silvander: A New Letter by Katherine Philips," in English Manuscript Studies, 1100-1700, 4:281-6.
(5.) Philips, The Collected Works of Katherine Philips: The Matchless Orinda, ed. Patrick Thomas, 2 vols. (Essex UK: Stump Cross. 1990), 1:64, line 66. Subsequent references to Philips's poems are from this edition and will be cited parenthetically in the text by the poem number assigned by Thomas and line number.
(6.) Barash, p. 55. See also Ezell, Social Authorship and the Advent of Print (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1999). pp. 52-4.
(7.) Barash, p. 55.
(8.) I take "Orinda" to be Philips's name for her poetic persona, and there-fore consider Orinda as 1 would consider Milton's autobiographical prose narrator--i.e., as an authorial voice. For a discussion of voice, see James Loxley. "Unfettered Organs: The Polemical Voices of Katherine Philips," in "This Double Voice": Gendered Writing in Early Modern England, ed. Danielle Clarke and Elizabeth Clarke (Basingstoke UK: Macmillan, 2000), pp. 230-48.
(9.) See Harold Love's study, Scribal Publication in Seventeenth-Century England (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993), pp. 4, 35-58.
(10.) Beal, p. 165.
(11.) "According to Beal, "Philips appeared in print at least five times during her lifetime" (p. 155).
(12.) Other writers did refer to these printed poems using her full name, so her authorship was most likely known within specific circles. See Beal, pp. 155-9.
(13.) Andrew Marvell's pastoral poems are also well-known for their interest in enclosure. For a discussion of sexuality and enclosure in Marvell, see John Rogers, 'The Enclosure of Virginity: The Poetics of Sexual Abstinence in the English Revolution," in Enclosure Acts: Sexuality, Property, and Culture in Early Modern England, ed. Richard Burt and John Michael Archer (Ithaca and London: Cornell Univ. Press, 1994), pp. 229-50.
(14.) The notion of locking and unlocking private cabinets was widespread. For a critical discussion of one example, 'The King's Cabinet Opened" (1645). see Cecile M. Jagodzinski, Privacy and Print: Reading and Writing in Seventeenth-Century England (Charlottesville and London: Univ. Press of Virginia, 1999), p. 78; and Lois Potter, Secret Rites and Secret Writing: Royalist Literature, 1641-1660 (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1989), pp. 57-62.
(15.) Mary Ann Radzinowicz, "Reading Paired Poems Nowadays," LIT 1, 4 (May 1990): 275-90, 286.
(16.) Chalmers. p. 105.
(17.) Earl Miner, The Cavalier Mode from Johnson to Cotton (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1971), p. 298.
(18.) Chalmers, p. 77; see Chalmers's discussion of Philips's portrayals and the Parliamentarian Robert Overton, pp. 120-2. Hester Pulter and Marvell in particular shared an interest in and were perhaps even influenced by the thematics of Philips's poetry. as Nigel Smith suggests (pp. 232-45).
(19.) Radzinowicz, p. 285.
(20.) Andrew Shifflett, "'Subdu'd by You': States of Friendship and Friends of the State in Katherine Philips's Poetry," in Write or Be Written: Early Modern Women Poets and Cultural Constraints, ed. Barbara Smith and Ursula Appelt (Aldershot UK: Ashgate, 2001), pp. 177-95, 189.
(21.) Anderson, "'Friendship Multiplyed': Royalist and Republican Friendship in Katherine Philips's Coterie." in Discourses and Representations of Friend-ship in Early Modern Europe, 1500-1700, ed. Daniel T. Lochman, Maritere Lopez, and Lorna Hutson (London: Ashgate, 2010), pp. 131-45, 132.
(22.) Thomas, introduction to Collected Works, 1:1-39, 12.
(23.) It remains unclear to whom this poem is addressed. The two most likely candidates are Regina (Regina Collier) and Rosania (Mary Aubrey). See Thomas, commentary to Collected Works, 1:350n38.
(24.) Collier was married to a close acquaintance of Philips's father, but after Collier's husband and only child died, she was courted by another member of Philips's circle, John Jeffreys. When the uncooperative Collier spurned Jeffreys and moved to Antwerp, Philips responded with several venomous poems accusing her of inconstancy and treachery. See Thomas, introduction to Collected Works, 1: 11-2.
(25.) For a discussion of classical amicitia and Philips's philosophy of friend-ship, see Anderson, "'Friendship Mu ltiplyed '" pp. 131-45.
(26.) Francis Finch, Friendship, p. 9.
(27.) "Palaemon" was Frances Finch's pastoral coterie name. Finch signed the dedicatory epistle to Friendship as "Palaemon."
(28.) Chalmers, p. 68. Chalmers discusses in greater detail than I do here the relationship between Philips, Finch, and Taylor.
(29.) Francis Finch, Friendship, pp. 9-10.
(30.) Jeremy Taylor, A Discourse of the Nature, Offices, and Measures of Friendship with Rules of Conducting It Written in Answer to a Letter from the Most Ingenious and Vertuous M. K. P. by J. 7'. (London: Printed for R. Royston, 1657), p. 93; EEBO Wing (2d edn.) T317.
(31.) OED, 2d edn., s. v. "prostitute," I.2.d.
(32.) William Chamberlayne, Pharonnida A Heroick Poem (London: Robert Clavell, 1659), p. 150; EEBO Wing (2d edn.) C1866; and Thomas Blount, The Academy of Eloquence Containing a Compleat English Rhetorique Exem-plified: Common-places and Formula's Digested into an Easie and Methodical Way to Speak and Write Fluently, According to the Mode of the Present Times: With Letter Both Amorous arid Morall Upon Emergent Occasions (London: T. N. for Humphrey Moseley, 1656), p. 75; EEBO Wing (2d edn.) 558:08, book 5, canto 3.
(33.) There are many important studies on this subject. I have been most influenced by Wendy Wall, The Imprint of Gender: Authorship and Publication in the English Renaissance (Ithaca and London: Cornell Univ. Press, 1993). See also Katharine Eisaman Maus, "A Womb of His Own: Male Renaissance Poets in the Female Body," in Sexuality and Gender in Early Modern Europe: Institutions, Texts, Images, ed. James Grantham Turner (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1993), pp. 266-88.
(34.) Beal, p. 151.
(35.) Dorothy Osborne wrote of Margaret Cavendish that there were "many soberer People in Bedlam" (Osborne to Sir William Temple, 7 or 8 May 1653, in Letters to Sir William Temple, ed. Kenneth Parker [London: Penguin, 19871, p. 79); see also Beal, p. 151. 36 Cavendish was, like Philips, a staunch supporter of the monarchy.
(36.) Cavendish also shared Philips's interest in imagining alternative, powerful female communities. Writing about Cavendish in terms that echo Philips's empowerment of retreat, Catherine Gallagher has argued that the "utterly private self then becomes the optimal, indeed the only, site of true sovereignty" ("Embracing the Absolute: Margaret Cavendish and the Politics of the Female Subject in Seventeenth-Century England," rprt. in Early Modern Women Writers: 1600-1720, ed. Anita Pacheco [New York and London: Long-man, 1998], pp. 133-45, 140).
(37.) Orinda to Poliarchus, Cardigan, 29 January 1663/4 (Letter 45), in Thomas, Collected Works, 2:128-31, 129. Subsequent references to Philips's letters will be to this edition and will be cited parenthetically in the text by the letter number assigned by Thomas
(38.) Ezell, The Patriarch's Wife: Literary Evidence and the History of the Family (Chapel Hill and London: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1987), p. 89.
(39.) Wal 1 p. 2. For a discussion of literary piracy and reluctant authors, see Ezell, Social Authorship, pp. 45-60.
(40.) Kevin Dunn, Pretexts of Authority: The Rhetoric of Authorship in the Renaissance Preface (Stanford: Stanford Univ. Press, 1994), p. 6.
(41.) Loxley, p. 237.
(42.) Traub, p. 307.
(43.) Wall identifies a similar paradox regarding Renaissance authorship, asserting that "the force of making something public (publication) could even create the sense of an inner space, privacy becoming an acknowledged or even privileged category in opposition to the formulation of publicity" (p. 177).
(44.) The debate regarding the editor's identity remains unresolved. Thomas, in his general introduction, seems to accept Cotterell as the editor. quoting a portion of the 1667 unsigned prefatory address and attributing it to Cotterell, but in his appendix to volume 2 he quotes from the same address and states that we cannot infer that Cotterell wrote it. See Thomas, Collected Works, 1:22 and 2:193. The question of the editor's identity, while an interesting one, ultimately falls beyond my scope here.
(45.) According to my calculations, of the 121 poems that appear in both Thomas's modern edition and the 1667 printing, only sixty-five lines differ significantly. Most of these differences are due to lines that are either included in the Thomas but missing in the 1667 version, or vice versa. Of the sixty-five line differences, only ten of them produce significant changes in thematic content or meaning. I do not include minor word changes such as "there" for "then," or "should" for "could," which I judged did not produce dramatically significant changes in poetic meaning.
(46.) It conforms to the version of the poem in four out of five manuscript sources, including the Tutin MS [NLW 77551--the only collection of Philips's poems that we have in her handwriting, which includes 55 poems written up until 1658. It also conforms to the Rosania MS [NLW 776B1, a private memorial volume that was presented to Mary Aubrey in 1663 after Philips's death (and which includes 96 poems as well as her translations of Pompey and Horace). Other manuscript sources with this version of line 33 include the Dering MS [Texas Pre-1700 Ms 1511. a collection of 74 Philips poems in the hand of her friend Sir Edward Dering; and the Clarke MS [Worcester Coll Ms. 6.131, a seventeenth-century folio miscellany incorporating 73 Philips poems.
(47.) The only time this altered line appears in manuscript is in the Folger MS, which, interestingly, is a manuscript folio crafted in obvious imitation of the mechanics of print: its title page reads, in cursive script, "Printed by J. M. for H. Herringman ... 1669." It appears that the 1669 Folger manuscript was designed specifically as a copy of the 1667 printed version, and thus replicates the altered, incorrect line. Yet the fact that the line change is reduplicated not only in manuscript, but also in the 1705 printing of Philips's poems, does not explain why the 1667 print edition deviates from every prior extant version of the poem, both in manuscript and print.
(48.) Natural philosophers puzzled over whether amber originated in the sea or on land. See Thomas Browne, Pseudodoxia Epidemica: Or Enquiries into Very Many Received Tenents, and Commonly Presumed Truths (London: Edward Dod, 1646), p. 85; EEBO Wing (2d edn.) B5159A; and Robert Boyle, Certain Physiological Essays and Other Tracts Written at Distant Times, and on Several Occasions (London: Henry Herringman, 1669). pp. 278-9; EEBO Wing (2d edn.) B3930.
(49.) Milton, The Complete Poetry and Essential Prose of John Milton, ed. William Kerrigan, John Rumrich, and Stephen M. Fallon (New York: Modern Library, 2007), p. 775. Cavendish, "A General Prologue to All My Playes." in Playes (London: Printed by A. Warren for John Martyn, James Allestry, 1662), pp. 11-2.
Hilary Menges received her Ph.D. from Yale University in May 2012. This article is drawn from her book project, "Authorship before Copyright: The Monumental Book, 1649-1743."…
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Publication information: Article title: Authorship, Friendship, and Forms of Publication in Katherine Philips. Contributors: Menges, Hilary - Author. Journal title: Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900. Volume: 52. Issue: 3 Publication date: Summer 2012. Page number: 517+. © 1999 Rice University. COPYRIGHT 2012 Gale Group.
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