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The Literary Manuscripts of Katherine Philips (1631-1664)

"Let the dull brutish World that know not Love 
Continue Hereticks, and disapprove 
That noble Flame; but the refined know 
‘Tis all the Heaven we have here below."
Katherine Philips

"She was the best known female poet not only of her generation but of succeeding generations, who often held up her refined and sensitive persona as a corrective to Aphra Behn's undeniable coarsness.  She was born in the same year as Dryden, who was proud to have met her and even boasted of a distant connection to her."
Germaine Greer, writing in Kissing the Rod (1988).

Katherine Philips, known to her contemporaries as 'The Matchless Orinda', is one of the most important early modern women writers and left behind a substantial body of works in her own hand.  The problem is that these were scattered throughout libraries all over the world.

The key benefit of this project is that it re-unites all of her most important surviving writings, offering manuscripts from:

  • the National Library of Wales
  • Cardiff Central Library
  • the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas
  • Worcester College, Oxford
  • the Bodleian Library, Oxford
  • the Folger Shakespeare Library
  • the Beinecke Library, Yale University
  • the Huntington Library, San Marino, CA
  • Bedfordshire County Record Office

These are essential sources for the study of 17th century poetry and also illuminate the circle of friendship to which she belonged.

Katherine Phillips

Digital Guide
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