Written during the 1640s, 50s, and 60s, Lady Hester Pulter's "Poems," "Emblems," and "The Unfortunate Florinda" address some of the most pressing issues confronting early modern England, including the political turmoil of the English Civil Wars, new developments in scientific enquiry, and the social status of women. The intensely emotional and confessional style of her occasional and devotional poetry is particularly unusual for its time, addressing issues such as childbirth, isolation, and mental and physical illness. Her emblem poems are the first known series of original emblems by an Englishwoman, and "The Unfortunate Florinda," which features a cast of characters from North Africa, is one of the first English versions of the fashionable French romances of the period. Previously unknown to a wider readership, these recently discovered works shed new light both on the inner lives of early modern women and on seventeenth-century literary culture in general. This annotated edition modernizes spelling and punctuation, making a lively and engaging body of work easy to read and accessible.
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