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Distributed for Iter Press

"Pamphilia to Amphilanthus" in Manuscript and Print

Lady Mary Wroth’s private manuscript, printed here for the first time, shows her to be a great poet, more psychologically insightful, verbally sophisticated, and boldly original than scholars had realized. Her carefully curated and re-conceptualized printed collection also reveals her to be a remarkably self-reflexive and critically astute writer. When the manuscript and printed sequences are read together, as this edition encourages readers to do, Wroth’s poetry is seen clearly as innovative, erotic, and shrewdly multivalent.

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"Juxtaposing the texts of the manuscript Folger V.a.104 and the print 1621 versions of Mary Wroth’s poetry sequence 'Pamphilia to Amphilanthus,' this edition contends that the manuscript, designed for a private audience, records the complex emotions attendant on an ongoing love affair between Wroth and her cousin William Herbert, third earl of Pembroke. Its eroticism was then toned down when revised for the print version directed to a public audience. Since much scholarship on this sequence is based on the printed text of 1621, this edition will have a dramatic impact on how Wroth’s poetry is read."

Mary Ellen Lamb, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xv
Illustrations xvii
Abbreviations xix
The Other Voice 1
Art and Life 1
Family, Politics, and Literary Tradition 19
The Life of Mary Sidney/Wroth 26
Wroth and Herbert: Betrothal and Marriage 33
Herbert’s “Elegy” and Wroth’s “Penshurst Mount” 38
“Pamphilia to Amphilanthus” in Manuscript 44
Pamphilia to Amphilanthus in Print 52
Love’s Victory 53
The Countess of Montgomery’s Urania 58
The Afterlife of Wroth’s Sonnets 64
Editorial Principles and Practices 66
APPENDIX 1: Herbert’s “Elegy” and Wroth’s “Penshurst Mount” 267
APPENDIX 2: Table of Numbers for Manuscript and Printed Poems 275
APPENDIX 3: Copies of the 1621 Printed Text 281
Bibliography 291
Index of First Lines 301
Index 305

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