By Susanne Woods
Aemilia Bassano Lanyer released poetry to and for ladies in 1611, on the peak of the mostly misogynistic reign of James I. Her verse enhances and extends our view of her contemporaries, corresponding to Spenser, Shakespeare, Jonson, and Donne, whose paintings in flip presents a context for her special and interesting voice. This publication situates Lanyer in the wealthy culture of Jacobean poetry.
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Additional info for Lanyer: A Renaissance Woman Poet
Unfortunately his will has not been found, nor any information about his burial. Alfonso grew up in Greenwich, where Nicholas moved with Lucretia after their marriage. "47 Even if Lanyer exaggerated her financial straits, since we must take into account that it was Forman who recorded her comments, there is substantial indication that Alfonso was an adventuresome schemer. 48 He negotiated for property and patents, and was consequently involved in petitions and litigation, yet he managed to count among his friends some very important people, including Richard Bancroft, bishop of London and then archbishop of Canterbury, and Thomas Jones, archbishop of Dublin, to whom Alfonso gave a copy of Aemilia's poems.
In this she achieved the sort of resurrection that the fictionalized Rosamond received from Daniel: a presence beyond sin and the grave, beyond the "double death" that loss of beauty and power had inflicted. The book that is her memorial waited more than three hundred and fifty years to receive sustained attention. The object of the rest of this book is to place her where she herself might have done if she were reviewing the scene as we see it: among other poets of respectable birth but limited means, seeking to participate in the events of her time.
11. 1417-24) 37 38 Lanyer Octavia is too uncommon a subject for Lanyer's emphasis to be accidental. Her debt to Daniel's Octavia may even extend to its verse form (eight-line stanzas riming abababcc) and certain turns of phrase. 93 (st. 51) And Lanyer, reining in her efforts at a high style: But my deare Muse, now whither wouldst thou flie, Above the pitch of thy appointed straine? (11. 273-74) Ottava rima and the humilitas topos are common enough not to prove direct influence, much less imitation, but Lanyer's portrait of Cleopatra, and especially her references to Octavia, are sound indications that she knew Daniel's work.
Lanyer: A Renaissance Woman Poet by Susanne Woods