This is perhaps the most famous English collection of poems by a woman prior to 1700. P.W. Souers, in his critical biography of Katherine Philips, asserts for her the right to be historically the first English poetess—“In her, for the first time in the history of English letters, a woman was received into the select company of poets.” Jeremy Taylor dedicated to her his “Discourse on the Nature, Offices, and Measures of Friendship;” Abraham Cowley, Henry Vaughan the Silurist, Thomas Flatman, the Earl of Roscommon, and the Earl of Cork and Orrery all celebrated her talent, and Dryden could pay no higher compliment to Anne Killigrew than to compare her to Orinda.
933G Katherine Philips 1631-1664
Poems By the most deservedly Admired Mrs. Katherine Philips, The Matchless Orinda. To which is added Monsieur Corneilles Pompey & Horace,} Tragedies. With several other Translations out of French.
London: Printed by T.N. for Henry Herringman , 1678 $4,500
Folio 11 x 7 inches. [ ]2, A4, a-Z4, Aa-Tt4, Uu2. Fourth edition This copy is in good condition internally. It is bound in full seventeenth century English calfskin.
“The daughter of a London merchant, Katherine Fowler [her maiden name] was probably the first English woman poet to have her work published. She married a gentleman of substance from Cardigan, James Philips, and seems to have moved effortlessly into the literary circle adorned by Vaughan, Cowley, and Jeremy Taylor. She was best known by her pseudonym ‘Orinda’ and the name appears on the collection of her Letters, which give a useful picture of the early seventeenth-century literary world. Her translation of Corneille’s ‘Pompee’ was performed in Dublin in 1663 and a collection of her verses was published posthumously in 1664.” (Cambridge Guide to English Literature)Mrs. Philips’ poems were circulated in manuscript, and secured for her a considerable reputation. The surreptitious quarto edition produced in 1664 caused her much annoyance, and Marriott, the publisher, was obliged to withdraw it from sale, and publicly to express his regret for having issued it. Some trouble was taken, it would appear, to destroy the copies, which would account for its rarity. In the preface of the 1667 edition, reference is made to the ‘false edition,’ and a long letter from the author in relation to it is quoted. P.W. Souers, in his critical biography of Katherine Philips, asserts for her the right to be historically the first English poetess—“In her, for the first time in the history of English letters, a woman was received into the select company of poets.” Jeremy Taylor dedicated to her his “Discourse on the Nature, Offices, and Measures of Friendship;” Abraham Cowley, Henry Vaughan the Silurist, Thomas Flatman, the Earl of Roscommon, and the Earl of Cork and Orrery all celebrated her talent, and Dryden could pay no higher compliment to Anne Killigrew than to compare her to Orinda. Keats, in a letter to Reynolds in 1817, quotes her verses with approval. She died of smallpox in 1664 at the age of 33. Wing P-2035.
It is not usual to find a printed book which gives us such a vivid depiction of the literary world for 17th century women, this is a great book and I am constantly amazed by it.
Please enjoy reading about it.
840g Philips, Katherine.1631-1664
LETTERS FROM ORINDA TO POLIARCHUS
LONDON: PRINTED BY W.B. FOR BERNARD LINTOTT, 1705 $3,500
OCTAVO,6.75 X 3.75 INCHES. FIRST EDITION A-R8 BOUND IN ORIGINAL CALF recently rebaked it is a NICE ORIGINAL CONDITION COPY WITH ONLY SOME BROWNING, SPOTTING AND DAMP STAINING, IT IS A VERY GOOD COPY.
This is a collection of 48 ( XLVIII) actual letters written by Philips to her patron Sir Charles Cotterell published several decades after her death, there is quit a bit of discussion of the literary culture of the seventh century in Britain. Including insite to Philips writing and reading habits. she often mentions books she is reading and plays which she is working on.
Philips was interested in the epistolary form, she founded the Society of Friendship in 1651 until 1661 was a semi-literary correspondence circle made up of mostly women, though men were also involved. The membership of this group, however, is somewhat questionable, because the authors took on pseudonyms from Classical literature (for example Katherine took on the name Orinda, in which the other members added on the accolade “Matchless.”)
It is interesting to see the relations between the female members of the circle, especially Anne Owen, who is known in Philips’s poems as Lucasia. Half of Katherine’s poetry is dedicated to this woman. Anne and Katherine seem to have been lovers in an emotional, if not in a physical, sense for about ten years. Also significant as correspondents and lovers were Mary Awbrey (Rosania) and Elizabeth Boyle (Celimena). Elizabeth’s relationship with Katherine, however, was cut short by Philips’ death in 1664.
In “The Sapphic-Platonics of Katherine Philips, 1632-1664” Harriette Andreadis
Source:Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 15, no. 1 (autumn 1989): 34-60.
Ms Andreadis, in this essay nicely gives a view of Orinda’s live (and Loves) in relation to her writing by using excerpts from her poems and These letters;
Letters from Orinda to Poliarchus
London: printed by W.B. for Bernard Lintott, 1705 $5,500
Octavo,6.75 X 3.75 inches. First edition A-R8 Bound in original calf totally un-restored a very nice original condition copy with only some browning, spotting and damp staining, It is a very good copy.
It is housed in a custom Box.
934G William Cartwright. (1611-1643)
Comedies, Tragi-Comedies, With other Poems by Mr. William Cartwright late Student of Christ–Church in Oxford and Proctor of the University. The Ayres and Songs set by Mr. Henry Lawes Servant to His late Majesty in His Publick and Private Musick. —nec Ignes, Nec potuit Ferrum,—
London: Printed for Humphrey Moseley, and are to be sold at his Shop, at the sign of the Prince’s Arms in St Pauls Church–yard, 1651. $4,750
[Portrait]1, [a]-b8, *14 , *8, ¶4, **8, ***14, *10, a-e8, f4, g-k8, A-T8, U3, U8, X2, with leaf *11 in cancelled state as usual and showing the original stub. Leaves **7 and U1-3 appear to be in uncancelled state with no evidence of stubs, otherwise this collation matches that described by Evans. First Edition. This copy is bound in later green Morocco gilt spin a distinguished looking copy.
“Cartwright enjoyed a considerable success among his contemporaries but posterity has been less kind and his work is only known to students of seventeenth century literature. He was educated at Westminster School and went up to Christ Church, Oxford, in 1628; he spent the rest of his short life there. He wrote four plays, intended for academic performance: The Ordinary or The City Cozener (1634) shows clearly the influence of Ben Jonson; The Lady Errant, The Royall Slave, and The Siege or Love’s Convert were published in 1651. The Royall Slave, with designs by Inigo Jones and music by Henry Lawes, was acted for King Charles I and Henrietta Maria at Oxford in 1636 and proved a great success. Cartwright took holy orders in 1638 and wrote no more plays but he became a celebrated preacher; in 1642 he became reader in metaphysics to the university. A Royalist, Cartwright preached at Oxford before the king after the Battle of Edgehill. The edition of his works published in 1651 contained 51 commendatory verses by writers of the day, including Izaak Walton and Henry Vaughan. The Plays and Poems of William Cartwright were collected and edited by G. Blakemore Evans and published in 1951. (Stapleton) This work also includes the first poem by Katherine Phillips to be printed (DNB).
Cartwright was well liked, and many of his wide circle of friends contributed to the verses occupying the first 100 pages or so; Dr. John Fell, Jasper Mayne, Henry Vaughan the Silurist, Alexander Brome, Izaak Walton, Francis Vaughan, Thomas Vaughan, Henry Lawes, Sir John Birkenhead, James Howell and many others.
Wing C-709; see also The Plays and Poems of William Cartwright by G. Blakemore Evans, pages 62-72; Hayward English Poetry Catalogue, 104; Greg page 1027.