Aemilia Lanyer

(2798 words)
  • Susanne Woods

Aemilia Bassano Lanyer (1569-1645) published a collection of verse, Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum [“Hail God, King of the Jews”], 1611, which has gained considerable attention for its variety, quality, and proto-feminist stance. Lanyer may also be the first woman writing in English both to claim divine calling as a poet and to seek patronage through a community of intellectual women whom she praises and seeks to represent. Her book consists of eleven introductory dedications to high-born women, nine in verse and two in prose, followed by the long title poem (1840 lines in rime royal stanzas, ababbcc), followed in turn by the first “country house” poem published in English, “The Description of Cooke-ham” (in 210 lines of …

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Woods, Susanne. "Aemilia Lanyer". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 April 2004
[, accessed 29 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Renaissance Women's Writing