2300-2200 BCE800-9001000-11001100-12001200-13001300-14001500-16001600-17001700-18001800-19001900-2000Mezzo Cammin
"To All Virtuous Ladies": Aemilia Lanyer
by Maryann Corbett

Dark Beginnings

n 1954, in his book Sir Philip Sidney and the English Renaissance, the scholar John Buxton introduced to modern readers a book of poetry, about 3000 lines long, published in 1611 with the title Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum ("Hail, God, King of the Jews"). According to its title page, the book was written by a woman styled "Aemilia Lanyer, wife to Captain Alfonso Lanyer, Servant to the King's Majestie." Buxton accorded the book little importance, noting only its "long-winded piety" (Hudson 2015), and for about twenty years, public attention stopped there.

All that changed in 1973, when A.L. Rowse published an article in The Times (London), followed soon after by a book, in which he claimed to establish that the woman called Aemilia Lanyer (whose first name is sometimes spelled Emilia or Amelia, and whose last name is sometimes spelled Lanier) was the woman about whom William Shakespeare had written in the famous sonnets (127 to 152) that concern the "woman colored ill" (Rowse 1973, 1978). He based his theories on Lanyer's proven court connections at a time when Shakespeare also had them; on her membership in a family of musicians, since the sonnets stress her musicianship; on a brief comment about (as he read it) her dark complexion, also stressed in the sonnets; and on her reputation for scandalous behavior, reflected in the behavior the sonnets describe. Two of Rowse's four points of evidence were disproved in short order (Green 546), and more recently his whole argument has been shown to be questionable (Bevington 10-28). Still, for some time the reading public's chief fascination with Aemilia Lanyer was as a Shakespearean subject, and as a woman with a scandalous past.

About that past, Rowse's work did some service to scholarship, though he stretched his conclusions too far. He did a careful reading of the handwritten journals of the physician and astrologer Simon Forman, journals that had been known previously to Shakespeare scholars because of their first-hand accounts of performances of some of the plays (Rowse 1978, 9). Rowse's research connected the name on the title page of Salve Deus with a woman who had visited Forman for astrological consulations in 1597 and had told him a great deal about herself, which he duly recorded. Forman's notes tell us that, while still in her teens, Aemelia Lanyer had become the mistress of Henry Carey, first Lord Hunsdon and Queen Elizabeth I's first Lord Chamberlain. Rowse's work established that this woman, born Aemilia Bassano (sometimes spelled Bassanio, Bassanie, or Bassanye) had become pregnant by Hunsdon and been married off for appearance's sake (in 1592) to a musician of the royal household, Alfonso Lanyer. Forman's journals also reveal that Forman tried to have a sexual relationship with Aemilia Lanyer, but that she did not accede to all that he asked, though she may have allowed him certain liberties because she could not pay his fees (Rowse 1978, 9-12).

For years, this sensational information was all the public connected with the name of Aemilia Lanyer. The independent scholar Martin Green still defends the thesis that Lanyer is Shakespeare's Dark Lady, whatever her own accomplishments (Green 2006). The more recent, and even more exotic, opinion held by John Hudson, another independent scholar, is that Lanyer is not only Shakespeare's Lady, but Shakespeare, the author of the entire corpus attributed to "the Stratford man" (Hudson 2013). That the opinions still stand this way is a sad outcome, and an ironic one, for a woman whose chief goal—as her poems make clear—was to speak in her own name and by her own authority, and not to have her fortune tied to the successes, failures, or opinions of men around her.

In Her Own Voice

In recent years, and especially since the 1993 publication of Suzanne Woods's The Poems of Aemilia Lanyer, scholars and general readers have come to see Lanyer's poetry as remarkable in its own right. In addition to being excellent verse, it is forward-thinking in being addressed primarily to an audience of women. And as religious poetry, it is theologically daring, rejecting the then-standard view of woman as the source of original sin.

How Lanyer came to be converted to these bold religious ideas is a matter of conjecture. The records of her early life reveal no particular religious interest. She was born into a family of musicians originally from Venice. Her father, Baptist Bassano, was a court musician, which could have given her the access she claims to have had to court circles during the reign of Elizabeth I. After her father's death in 1576, she also spent some of her early life in the household of the dowager countess of Kent, Susan Bertie, whom John Hudson describes as "one of the extended Willoughby family, a highly educated and literate family of Protestant reformers" (Hudson 2015). In Bertie's household Lanyer may have obtained the education that her poems display, since in her book's dedicatory poem to the countess, she calls Bertie "the Mistris of my youth, / The noble guide of my ungovern'd dayes" (1-2).

These court connections may explain how she came to the attention of Lord Hunsdon, shortly after her mother's death in 1587, when she was seventeen and he forty-five years older. Other court connections may explain how she acquired the education she displays in the poems of Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum. At some later date—it seems to have been in the first decade of the 17th century (Woods 2006, 227)—she spent time in the household of Margaret Clifford, countess of Cumberland, along with Clifford's daughter, Lady Anne Clifford. Margaret Clifford is reputed to have been intensely pious and active in the Reformist Anglican community, a movement bent on incorporating more Protestant, and less Catholic, doctrine into the practice of the Church of England (Lewalski 613). The Protestant doctrines of the "priesthood of all believers" and of sola Scriptura—which stress that human salvation is to be gained not through the ministrations of priests but by each person's reading and meditation on the words of the Bible—were especially important for women, freeing them for the first time to think independently about scriptural texts and teachings.

Remarks in Forman's diaries hint at another source of sophistication, in addition to her connections with Clifford: Forman records that Lanyer had been "very brave in youth" (Green 546)—in the 16th-century sense of "finely dressed, showy, handsome"—and that she had been expensively maintained during her years as Hunsdon's mistress (Rowse 11). Taken together, these details make it plausible that Aemilia Lanyer was particularly anxious to reestablish her lost links with the court and was seeking the patronage of these high-born women in part for that reason. She was, we can assume, unhappy at having lost her court life and her status as the recognized protegé of a member of the nobility. That her commoner husband, the musician Alfonso Lanyer, apparently squandered the money Hunsdon had settled on her only made matters worse. The evidence of dates—her book's publication in 1611 and her husband's death in 1613—reveals that even while still married, she must already have been writing the book that bid to reclaim her own power to present her identity and ideas, to assert her independent status, to claim an audience of other educated women, and to situate herself again among women of stature.

A Community of Women

Lanyer opens the book Salve Deus with a group of dedications to various members of the nobility. This is a conventional move for a poet seeking a patron. What is not conventional is that all these noble persons are women. Early in her opening dedication, she looks back on the days when "great Elizaes favour blest my youth" (ll. 110), so that she sets herself in a court context at the outset. She then addresses several highly placed women: in addition to Margaret Clifford, Lanyer's chief addressee in the "Salve Deus" poem, and Margaret's daughter Anne Clifford, the dedication pieces name Queen Anne, the wife of King James; Anne's daughter, the Princess Elizabeth; Arabella Stuart, James's cousin; Susan Bertie, countess of Kent, with whom Lanyer claims to have lived "in youth," dates uncertain; Mary Sidney, dowager countess of Pembrook, sister of Sir Philip Sidney and eminent poet in her own right; Lucy, countess of Bedford; and Katherine, countess of Suffolk. There is also a piece addressed "To all virtuous Ladies in generall," which follows the address to the queen and serves to introduce the rest. The dedications establish the range of the audience Lanyer is seeking for herself: an audience of women, and of women placed highly enough in society to put her poems in the limelight with or without the assistance of men. To claim this audience was an audacious reach for Lanyer; in an article about her search for patrons, Leeds Barroll considers the evidence for her real economic position at the time of the book's writing and publication and notes that she seems "as far from the nobility of the persons invoked in her volume as from the moon" (30).

These poems may look overdone to modern readers, but they are fairly typical examples for the period of the kind of writing called "epideictic"—that is, writing designed to display rhetorical skill and so to attract the attention of a patron. What is different about the poems is that Lanyer grounds her appeal in religious concerns. For example, in her address to Lucy, countess of Bedford, she writes:

You whose cleare Judgement farre exceeds my skil,
Vouchsafe to entertaine this dying lover,
The Ocean of true grace, whose streames doe fill
All those with Joy, that can his love recover;
About this blessed Arke bright Angels hover:
     Where your faire soule may sure and safely rest,
     When he is sweetly seated in your brest. (ll. 15-21)

The most remarkable of the dedications is addressed "To the Vertuous Reader." Its title looks gender-neutral; its content is not. It prefigures the innovative argument that women are not the source of human sin. It also forcefully, even bitterly, condemns women who speak ill of other women. Lanyer describes her aim this way:

And this have I done, to make knowne to the world, that all women deserve not to be blamed though some forgetting they are women themselves, and in danger to be condemned by the words of their owne mouthes, fall into so great an errour, as to speake unadvisedly against the rest of their sexe; which if it be true, I am persuaded they can shew their owne imperfection in nothing more: and therefore could wish (for their owne ease, modesties, and credit) they would referre such points of folly, to be practised by evell disposed men, who forgetting they were borne of women, nourished of women, and that if it were not by the means of women, they would be quite extinguished out of the world: and a finall ende of them all, doe like Vipers deface the wombes wherein they were bred, onely to give way and utterance to their want of discretion and goodnesse.

She continues more conventionally, by reciting the deeds of the virtuous women of the Hebrew scriptures, the role of a woman in giving birth to the Messiah, and the various women of the Gospels, but many critics have reacted to the apparent irritation in the quoted passage. It is worth noting how much the scholarly response has changed in forty years. Rowse, seeking to find evidence of Lanyer's emotional state as evidence for his "Dark Lady" thesis, finds that this passage shows that something has "piqued" her, which he concludes is her loss of status and reputation. He is looking, quite simply, for gossip about her, and he finds that "she is such an egoist that there is plenty of it—she herself stands at the forefront of every line…" (Rowse 1978, 21). Woods, by contrast, pays attention to Lanyer's arguments and her long, linked sentences, of the kind often called "periodic" sentences, saying "The Ciceronian periodicity of the prose is remarkable for its art and persuasive logic" (2006, 227).

The "Salve Deus" Poem and "Eve's Apology" (A Defense of Eve)

In the "Salve Deus" poem itself, and in "A Description of Cooke-ham," Lanyer continues to build the concept of a community of women, stressing the roles of women in the Hebrew and Christian scriptures and in her own story. She includes mention of various women of classical mythology. At every opportunity, she places herself and her work in the company of highly regarded women. She may never have read the prose works of the medieval French feminist Christine de Pizan—we have no evidence one way or the other—but she has somehow reinvented their arguments.

One line of argument is often singled out. In Lanyer's dedication to Queen Anne, amid a great deal of conventional encomium (and stress on all these women's connections with the late Elizabeth I), she states her intention to write about the Passion of Christ. But she draws particular attention to one section of the long poem that will follow:

Behold, greate Queen, faire Eve's Apology,
Which I have writ in honour of your sexe,
And doe refer unto your Maiestie,
To judge if it agree not with the Text,
     And if it doe, why are poore Women blam'd,
     Or by more faulty men so much defamed?
("To the Queene's Most Excellent Majestie," lines 73-78)

The ninety-six lines that she calls "Eve's Apology," or defense, are included at the end of this essay. They are not the bulk of the poem, and they seem to delay the poem's narrative progress, but they are the most strikingly original part of "Salve Deus," which explains why they are more often anthologized and excerpted than much of the rest.

For most of its length, "Salve Deus" is conservative in its theology. Despite Lanyer's debt to women in Protestant movements, the poem is neither markedly Protestant nor markedly Catholic, a difficult balance to keep during the reign of James I, when royal policy had been going back and forth for six decades between support for the Catholic Church and support for the Protestant reformers, with persecutions and martyrdoms on both sides. Rather than pitting Protestant against Catholic thought, Layner has pitted men against women. In "Salve Deus," she proceeds this way:

a preface addressed to Margaret Clifford, incorporating conventional praise,
a paraphrase of the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55) and certain psalms,
a return from this digression, noting that Margaret has retired from the world,
"an invective against outward beauty unaccompanied by virtue," touching on various women of classical lore,
an introduction, claiming the writer's unworthiness,
the Passion story (harmonized from the four Gospel accounts, and elaborated):
     the agony in the garden,
     the taking of Jesus,
     the appearance before Caiaphas,
     the death of Judas,
     up to the point at which Jesus is brought before Pilate.

Then, addressing herself to Pilate, Lanyer begs him to pause, and she swerves abruptly away from the Passion story itself, pleading with Pilate to listen to his wife's message (Matt. 27:19):

Condemne not him that must thy Saviour be;
But view his holy Life, his good desert:
     Let not us women glory in Mens fall,
     Who had power given to over-rule us all. (ll. 757-760)

She then develops at length the argument that, contrary to tradition, women are not to be blamed for the presence of sin in the world, because Eve was duped, and because Adam, having greater knowledge, should have refused: "No subtille Serpents falshood did betray him, / If he would eate it, who had powre to stay him?"

The climax of her argument condemning mankind, not womankind, reads:

Then let us have our Libertie againe,
And challendge to your selves no Sov'raigntie;
You came not in the world without our paine,
Make that a barre against your crueltie;
Your fault beeing greater, why should you disdaine
Our beeing your equals, free from tyranny?
     If one weake woman simply did offend,
     This sinne of yours, hath no excuse, nor end. (ll. 825-832)

To reconnect then to the Passion narrative, she returns to the story of Pilate's wife and her message to "have nothing to do with that just man". The story of the Passion proceeds: Jesus' appearance before Herod, the return to Pilate, the scourging. Lanyer expands the story with devotional material, and especially with digressions on the roles of women. Jesus' meeting with the women of Jerusalem gets special treatment. The well-known medieval portrait of Mary at the foot of the cross (the text known as the Stabat Mater) is expanded with a major digression on the Annunciation, the birth of Jesus, and the role of the Incarnation in human salvation.

Returning to the Passion and the Crucifixion, Lanyer again does something unusual: she actively presents the crucified Jesus to Margaret Clifford—the printed marginal note at this spot reads "To my Ladie of Cumberland," so there is no doubt that Clifford is being addressed here. Lanyer presents Clifford with the verbal image of the Christ crucified, saying "This with the eie of Faith thou maist behold, / Deere Spouse of Christ…" She does the same with the image of the risen Jesus, presenting him as the Bridegroom of the Song of Songs—

This is that Bridegroome that appears so faire,
So sweet, so lovely in his Spouses sight,
That unto Snowe we may his face compare.
His cheekes like skarlet, and his eyes so bright
As purest Doves that in the rivers are,
Washed with milke, to give the more delight;
     His head is likened to the finest gold,
     His curled lockes so beauteous to behold (ll. 1305-1312)

—a standard devotional trope, but elaborated to become, in Woods's phrase, "the beautiful object of the female gaze" and a challenge to patriarchal authority (Woods 2006, 229).

Saying "(good Madam), in your heart I leaue / His perfect picture. . ." (ll. 1325-1326) Lanyer then departs from the Gospel narrative and returns to the praise of Margaret Clifford, comparing her to Cleopatra, Deborah, Judith, Esther, and the Queen of Sheba (with a digression to the material of the Apocalypse), before ending with twelve stanzas about the New Testament martyrs, returning at last to Clifford: "You are the Articke Starre that guides my hand, / All what I am, I rest at your command." (ll. 1839-1840)

Whatever Margaret Clifford did to spark this outpouring, she probably did not expect it to be so bold. Janel Mueller gives this summing up of the accomplishment of the "Salve Deus" poem:

The mystery that explodes into a demonstrated truth in her poem…is Lanyer's understanding of Christ's incarnation viewed in light of the Crucifixion as a public, historical action taken by men alone; this vindicates, once and for all, female nature and feminine values and it authorizes gender equality ever after (101).

"The Description of Cooke-ham": The First English Country House Poem by a Woman?

The genre "country house poem" is generally defined as a poem praising a patron by describing the patron's estate. Lanyer's "The Description of Cooke-ham" is certainly one of the earliest such poems in English; what is less clear is whether it is the first.

In the opening stanzas of the poem "Salve Deus," Lanyer addresses Margaret Clifford and writes:

And pardon (Madame) though I do not write
Those praisefull lines of that delightful place,
As you commanded me in that faire night,
When shining Phoebe gave so great a grace,
Presenting Paradise to your sweet sight,
Vnfolding all the beauty of her face
     With pleasant groves, hills, walks, and stately trees,
     Which pleasure with retired minds agrees… (ll.17-24)

Apparently, Lanyer understood Clifford to have ordered her to write a poem praising the estate where the two of them spent time. Apparently too, Clifford asked this during their time there, in the first decade of the 17th century. Was Lanyer already composing poetry then? We don't know, but the resulting poem is "The Description of Cooke-ham," the last poem in the Salve Deus book.

The estate at Cookham was not Clifford's own property, and she did not occupy it continuously. It was rented for her by her brother during the period of her legal dispute with her husband. In what capacity Lanyer lived with her is unclear; perhaps it was as a tutor for her daughter, Ann Clifford. But "The Description of Cooke-ham" makes clear that for Lanyer it was a place of delight, and she portrays the place as rejoicing at Clifford's arrival and mourning her departure. Standardized though the work appears—as a poem of patronage, as an example of pathetic fallacy, and as a work built on the models of praise of the country life in Horace, and of the farewell to a loved place in Virgil's Eclogue 1—the Cookham poem has passages that feel genuine in their regret, their nostalgia, and their twinges of envy:

And yet it grieves me that I cannot be
Near unto her [Ann Clifford] whose virtues did agree
With those fair ornaments of outward beauty,
Which did enforce from all both love and dutie.
Unconstant Fortune, thou art most to blame,
Who cast us downe into so lowe a frame:
     Where our great friends we cannot dayly see,
     So great a difference is there in degree. (ll. 99-106)

Lanyer's praise of Cookham was written five years earlier than Ben Jonson's "To Penshurst," the poem generally thought to inaugurate the history of the popular 17th-century genre known as the "country house poem." Is Lanyer's truly the first such poem? Perhaps not, since Kathryn Hunter argues that an earlier example exists, "To Richard Cotton, Esq.," by Geoffrey Whitney, which is a description of Combermere Abbey (Hunter 438-441). But Susanne Woods argues that the Cookham poem is certainly the first such poem in print (1993, xxxix). At the least, Lanyer's work deserves credit as one of the earliest of the type. Was Clifford aware of another poem in praise of an estate, since she asked for one? No evidence has so far appeared; there are classical antecedents and Italian examples, but whether Lanyer was aware of these no one knows. What is certain is that Lanyer understood Clifford to have asked for the poem, for in its closing lines Lanyer writes that in composing it "I have performed her noble hest / Whose virtues lodge in my vnworthy breast…" (ll. 207-208). Perhaps it was Clifford's "hest" for a poem about Cookham that set in motion Lanyer's drive toward something much larger.

A Belated Outcome

According to the Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature, there are nine extant copies of the book Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum. Four of them are missing some of the dedicatory poems (Woods 2006, 229), which suggests that presentation copies may have been tailored for best effect. This was common practice among authors seeking patronage, from the classical period onward. But the patronage Aemilia Lanyer sought so carefully seems not to have been forthcoming. Evidence pertaining to her later life is spotty, but there is no indication that any of her noble dedicatees provided her with a living. After her husband's death, we find records of long court battles with his relatives over the income of a hay-and-grain patent that had been granted to him by King James, and that should have provided for her support; the lengthy disputes suggest that she needed this income badly. From 1617 to 1619, she ran a school, which lasted only until she lost the lease to the building and was arrested for nonpayment of rent (McBride). She spent her later years living near her son's family, and documents list her as a "pensioner," a person with some income, though we do not know its source (poetryfoundation).

There may have been several reasons for her failure to gain patronage, reasons that Barroll lists (42). By contrast with poets like Samuel Daniel, Lanyer was not very skillful at observing the relative degrees of the ladies she courted, and she failed to take account of the influential circle of Anne of Denmark. Moreover, Lanyer's great stress on the centrality of Margaret Clifford in the poem's inspiration may have so eclipsed the other dedicatees that none felt moved to take up her case. A matter out of Lanyer's control was that dedicatee Arabella Stuart ended up in prison for an unauthorized marriage. Even the presentation copy of Salve Deus prepared for Prince Henry (with its dedications altered for better effect) was ill-fated, for he died in 1612 and his court was dissolved. And finally, in spite of her brave attempts, she still suffered from a middle-class woman's limited access to power.

It is discouraging that Lanyer's many lines of verse earned her no attention either during her lifetime or for four hundred years after. It is more hopeful to recognize that in our own day her work has a large scholarly following and an active life in the classroom.

Text of Eve's Apology, from Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum, lines 745 to 840 (of some 3000 lines)

Now Pontius Pilate is to judge the Cause
Of faultless Jesus, who before him stands;
Who neither hath offended Prince, nor Lawes,
Although he now be brought in woefull bands;
O noble Governour, make thou yet a pause,
Doe not in innocent blood imbrue thy hands;
     But heare the words of thy most worthy wife,
     Who sends to thee, to beg her Saviours life.
Let barb'rous crueltie farre depart from thee,
And in true Justice take afflictions part;
Open thine eies, that thou the truth mai'st see,
Doe not the thing that goes against thy heart,
Condemne not him that must thy Saviour be;
But view his holy Life, his good desert.
     Let not us Women glory in Mens fall,
     Who had power given to over-rule us all.
Till now your indiscretion sets us free,
And makes our former fault much lesse appeare;
Our Mother Eve, who tasted of the Tree,
Giving to Adam what she held most deare,
Was simply good, and had no powre to see,
The after-comming harme did not appeare:
     The subtile Serpent that our Sex betraide,
     Before our fall so sure a plot had laide.
That undiscerning Ignorance perceav'd
No guile, or craft that was by him intended;
For, had she knowne of what we were bereavid,
To his request she had not condiscended
But she (poore soule) by cunning was deceav'd,
No hurt therein her harmelesse Heart intended:
     For she alleadg'd Gods word, which he denies,
     That they should die, but even as Gods, be wise.
But surely Adam can not be excus'd,
Her fault, though great, yet hee was most too blame;
What Weaknesse offerd, Strength might have refus'd,
Being Lord of all, the greater was his shame:
Although the Serpents craft had her abus'd,
Gods holy word ought all his actions frame:
     For he was Lord and King of all the earth,
     Before poore Eve had either life or breath.
Who being fram'd by Gods eternall hand,
The perfect'st man that ever breath'd on earth;
And from Gods mouth receiv'd that strait command,
The breach whereof he knew was present death:
Yea having powre to rule both Sea and Land,
Yet with one Apple wonne to loose that breath,
     Which God hath breathed in his beauteous face,
     Bringing us all in danger and disgrace.
And then to lay the fault on Patience backe,
That we (poore women) must endure it all;
We know right well he did discretion lacke,
Beeing not perswaded thereunto at all;
If Eve did erre, it was for knowledge sake,
The fruit beeing faire perswaded him to fall:
     No subtill Serpents falshood did betray him,
     If he would eate it, who had powre to stay him?
Not Eve, whose fault was onely too much love,
Which made her give this present to her Deare,
That what shee tasted, he likewise might prove,
Whereby his knowledge might become more cleare;
He never sought her weakenesse to reprove,
With those sharpe words, which he of God did heare:
     Yet Men will boast of Knowledge, which he took
     From Eves faire hand, as from a learned Booke.
If any Evill did in her remaine,
Beeing made of him, he was the ground of all;
If one of many Worlds could lay a staine
Upon our Sexe, and worke so great a fall
To wretched Man, by Satans subtill traine;
What will so fowle a fault amongst you all?
     Her weakenesse did the Serpents words obay;
     But you in malice Gods deare Sonne betray.
Whom, if unjustly you condemne to die,
Her sinne was small, to what you doe commit;
All mortall sinnes that doe for vengeance crie,
Are not to be compared unto it:
If many worlds would altogether trie,
By all their sinnes the wrath of God to get;
     This sinne of yours, surmounts them all as farre
     As doth the Sunne, another little starre.
Then let us have our Libertie againe,
And challendge to your selves no Sov'raigntie;
You came not in the world without our paine,
Make that a barre against your crueltie;
Your fault beeing greater, why should you disdaine
Our beeing your equals, free from tyranny?
     If one weake woman simply did offend,
     This sinne of yours, hath no excuse, nor end.
To which (poore soules) we never gave consent,
Witnesse thy wife (O Pilate) speakes for all;
Who did but dreame, and yet a message sent,
That thou should'st have nothing to doe at all
With that just man; which, if thy heart relent,
Why wilt thou be a reprobate with Saul?
     To seeke the death of him that is so good,
     For thy soules health to shed his dearest blood.

Works Cited

"Aemilia Lanyer." Poetry Foundation. [date accessed: October 27, 2017].

Barroll, Leeds, "Looking for Patrons," in Aemilia Lanyer: Gender, Genre, and the Canon. Ed. Marshall Grossman. University of Kentucky Press, 1998. 29-48.

Bevington, David, "Rowse's Dark Lady," in Aemilia Lanyer: Gender, Genre, and the Canon. Ed. Marshall Grossman. University of Kentucky Press, 1998. 10-28.

Grossman, Marshall, ed. Aemilia Lanyer: Gender, Genre, and the Canon. University Press of Kentucky, 1998.

Hudson, John. "Aemilia Bassano Lanier: A New Paradigm," The Oxfordian, 11 (2009), 65+. Expanded Academic ASAP. Web. 20 July 2016. [date accessed: October 27, 2017].

___________. "Aemilia Lanyer." Project Continua (November 22, 2015): Ver. 1 [date accessed: October 27, 2017].

___________. Shakespeare's Dark Lady. Amberley Publishing, 2013.

Hunter, Kathryn. "Geoffrey Whitney's 'To Richard Cotton, Esq.': An Early English Country-House Poem." The Review of English Studies, New Series, Vol. 28, No. 112 (Nov., 1977), 438-441 [date accessed: October 28, 2017]

Lanyer, Aemilia. Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum. Renascence Editions, University of Oregon, 2001 [date accessed: October 27, 2017].

Lewalski, Barbara, "Literature and the Household," in The Cambridge History of Early Modern English Literature. Ed. David Loewenstein and Janel Mueller. Cambridge University Press, 2002. 603-629

McBride, Kari Boyd. "Biography of Aemilia Lanyer." [date accessed: October 27, 2017].

Mueller, Janel. "The Feminist Poetics of 'Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum'," in Aemilia Lanyer: Gender, Genre, and the Canon. Ed. Marshall Grossman. University of Kentucky Press, 1998. 99-127.

Rowse, A.L. Introduction. The Poems of Shakespeare's Dark Lady: Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum by Emilia Lanier. Jonathan Cape, 1978.

_________. "Revealed at Last: Shakespeare's Dark Lady." The Times (London, England) January 29, 1973, 12.

Woods, Susanne. "Aemilia Lanyer," The Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature, Vol 1. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006, 226-230.

_____________. Introduction to The Poems of Aemilia Lanyer. Oxford University Press, 1993.

Aemilia Lanyer
Years: 1569-1645
Birthplace: UK
Language(s): English
Forms: couplets, quatrains, rhyme royal, ottava rima
Subjects: Feminist theology
Firsts: First woman to publish a substantial book of poetry in English and to seek patronage as a professional writer from an audience of women. First woman to publish a country-house poem in English.
Entry By: Maryann Corbett
32 Poems
The Academy of American Poets
The Atlantic
The Christian Science Monitor
The Cortland Review
Favorite Poem Project
The Frost Place
The Iowa Review
Light Quarterly
Modern American Poetry
The Poem Tree
Poetry Daily
Poetry Society of America
Poets House
Raintown Review
String Poet
Valparaiso Poetry Review
Verse Daily
Women's Poetry Listserv
The Yale Review

Bread Loaf
Poetry by the Sea


Barefoot Muse Press
David Robert Books
David R. Godine Press
Graywolf Press
Headmistress Press
The Johns Hopkins University Press
Louisiana State University Press
Northwestern Univ Press
Ohio Univ Press
Persea Books
Red Hen Press
Texas Tech Univ Press
Tupelo Press
Univ of Akron Press
Univ of Arkansas Press
Univ of Illinois Press
Univ of Iowa Press
Waywiser Press
White Violet Press

City Lights
Grolier Poetry Bookshop
Joseph Fox Bookshop
Prairie Lights
Tattered Cover Bookstore

92nd Street Y
Literary Mothers
Poets & Writers