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Distributed for Iter Press

“My Rare Wit Killing Sin”

Poems of a Restoration Courtier

This is the first modern edition of verse by Anne Killigrew, a poet and portrait painter born in 1660 at the very start of the Restoration, who grew up as part of the complicated political, religious, and artistic worlds of the Restoration courts of Charles II and his brother James, Duke of York. Killigrew never chose to print her verses, but instead participated in a literary circulation network including family, friends, and members of the court; her position in relation to court culture and her family’s involvement with the London commercial stage gave her a unique perspective into the issues confronting a young single woman in a period during which libertinism was the dominant ethos of the courtiers. This edition lightly modernizes the spelling and punctuation of the posthumous volume of her collected verse, provides notes identifying the classical and biblical allusions which shape her works, and provides a historical context for her literary and artistic career in the introduction.

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"Reading this edition reminds me how excellent a poet Anne Killigrew was. Hers is a voice that is well worth hearing, and this edition presents it marvelously. It is unique on the market, for no other modernized edition of Killigrew’s poetry is currently available. The novice and scholarly reader alike will find this volume useful for understanding this poet and her age."

Jeremy W. Webster, Ohio University

Table of Contents

Illustrations xi
Abbreviations xiii
Acknowledgments xv
APPENDIX 1: Poems about Anne Killigrew 96
APPENDIX 2: Poems by others printed at the end of Killigrew’s Poems but not by her 113
APPENDIX 3: Poems on the death of Killigrew’s aunt, Anne Killigrew Kirke (1607–1641) 123
APPENDIX 4: A Sample of Contemporary Restoration Male Courtier Poems 130
Bibliography 143
Index of First Lines of Poems 151
Index 153

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