Women’s Writing in the British Isles from the Beginnings to the Present
Judith Cowper Madan
Standard Name: Madan, Judith Cowper
Birth Name: Judith Cowper
Married Name: Judith Madan
Used Form: Judith Cowper Madan
Pseudonym: Mrs Judith C—p—r
(formerly Judith Cowper), like almost all of her relations, was a frequent writer of occasional poetry. Most of her surviving poems, and all the major ones, date from about 1720-8, that is from either before or not long after her marriage. She writes in some ambitious forms (a survey of world poetry, an Ovidian
epistle, erotic love-poetry), and shows herself sensitive to gender issues, but even in satire she voices only the most muted rebellion, showing herself happiest and most fluent in celebration and deference.
Rumbold, Valerie. “The Poetic Career of Judith Cowper: An Exemplary Failure?”. Pope, Swift, and Women Writers, edited by Donald C. Mell, University of Delaware Press, 1996, pp. 48-66.
After Samuel, who died at a few months old, and John, who died before the age of twenty, SLC
's youngest son was Spencer Cowper
(23 February 1670‐1728), who became a lawyer almost as distinguished...
Since then she has remained a favourite subject for fiction (generally in her role as mistress rather than writer or churchwoman). Alexander Pope
spread her reputation considerably when he borrowed her voice for his popular...
From at least the late 1770s MS
and her family were on terms of close friendship with Eliza
and William Hayley
; Mariana's earliest extant letter to Eliza Hayley is dated 22 December 1780. William...
In her youth JB
knew Thomas Beach, who grew up at Wrexham, in the same district as herself (and later joined in the same verse exchanges in the Gentleman's Magazine), and probably...
shared her husband's network of high-level connections in circles of Jacobites
and Jacobite sympathisers. She was a friend of the writers Pope
, and Mary Barber
, and of the...
Pope's relationships with women, particularly women who wrote, tended to be complicated and turbulent. They have been ably studied by scholar Valerie Rumbold
. Contrary to rumour, he apparently liked and respected Anne Finch
Intertextuality and Influence
's name was an honorific for women writers for generations. George Puttenham
may have been the first to use it to compliment a writing woman: in Parthienades, 1579, he said that Queen Elizabeth
Intertextuality and Influence
Even her few pages here consist chiefly of quotations from others: from Pope
's Eloisa to Abelard, Judith Cowper
's Abelard to Eloisa, and Abelard's own Letter to Philanthus.
During her early years in London with her husband, Thomas Brereton
not only wrote but printed poems. Some appeared in the Whitehall Evening-Post: for example To the Author of the Progress of...
She quoted Pindar
in Greek on the title page, and dedicated the work in a full-page inscription to John Parkhurst
of Epsom, author of a Hebrew lexicon,
Matthew, Henry Colin Gray, Brian Harrison, and Lawrence Goldman, editors. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. http://www.oxforddnb.com/, http://www.oxforddnb.com/.
as a small testament to his merit, and...
Hughes's first edition, 1713, was already equipped with a prefatory account of the lives of its protagonists, which weds their texts to the fictionalised tradition about them. It has in turn been edited by James E. Wellington
This volume, through its title, invokes a whole tradition of women's poetry. Sappho
was the first to bear the honorific nickname of tenth muse, which was later freely bestowed on writing women (like Anna Maria van Schurman
Lady Hester Pulter
One poem celebrates an incident from 1646: a young royalist lady whose beloved had died in battle refused to live without him and shot herself dead with a pistol.
Pulter, Lady Hester. Poems, Emblems, and The Unfortunate Florinda. Editor Eardley, Alice, Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies , 2014.
The first title of the...
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
Throughout the 1720 LMWM
regularly responded in poetry to events in her social circle. She wrote on an alleged incident of attempted rape; on the deaths of the Duke of Marlborough
, William Congreve
Publication began of the legal treatise known to later generations as Coke upon Littleton: The first part of the Institutes of the Lawes of England, or a Commentarie upon Littleton by jurist Sir Edward Coke
28 March 1762
Preaching at the opening of a chapel at the LondonLock Hospital
(for sexually transmitted disease) the Rev. Martin Madan
pointed the finger at men who knowingly infect children.
January 1781-December 1782
The Lady's Poetical Magazine, or Beauties of British Poetry appeared, published by James Harrison
in four half-yearly numbers; it is arguable whether or not it kept the first number's promise of generous selections of work...
Madan, Judith Cowper, and William Pattison. “Abelard to Eloisa”. The Poetical Works, edited by Lucasia and Lucasia, Curll, 1727, pp. 67-77.
Madan, Judith Cowper, and John Hughes. “Abelard to Eloisa”. Letters of Abelard and Heloise, Eleventh, 1773, pp. 178-83.
Madan, Judith Cowper. “The Progress of Poetry”. The Flower-Piece, edited by Matthew Concanen, Walthoe, 1731, pp. 130-40.
Madan, Judith Cowper. The Progress of Poetry. Dodsley, 1783.