Katherine Philips

Standard Name: Philips, Katherine
Birth Name: Katherine Fowler
Married Name: Katherine Philips
Pseudonym: Orinda
Pseudonym: The Incomparable Mrs K. P.
KP , who wrote during the mid seventeenth century, may herself have valued her public more highly than her private ones. But she won lasting importance as a poet of passionate female friendship and as realising new possibilites in translation and drama. She was an acceptable role-model and an active inspiration and enabler for women writers of several generations, before her rediscovery in the twentieth century as an inspiration for women loving women.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Education Sarah, Lady Cowper
Nothing is known of SLC 's education, but it must have been both religious and relatively advanced, to account for her wide and intellectually intense reading as an adult in history, philosophy, and theology.
Kugler, Anne. Errant Plagiary: The Life and Writing of Lady Sarah Cowper, 1644-1720. Stanford University Press.
Family and Intimate relationships Anne Wharton
AW 's father, Sir Henry Lee of Ditchley Park, about four miles from Woodstock, Oxfordshire, died of smallpox before she was born. His family had connections with Elizabeth Cary (Lady Falkland) , Lucy Hutchinson , and Katherine Philips .
Wharton, Anne. “Introduction”. The Surviving Works of Anne Wharton, edited by Germaine Greer and Selina Hastings, Stump Cross Books, pp. 1-124.
Friends, Associates Lady Rachel Russell
The family had various links with Katherine Philips , and the famous preacher Jeremy Taylor was chaplain at Golden Grove.
Friends, Associates Elizabeth Thomas
ET was personally acquainted with many cultivated women, for instance Sarah Hoadly (a painter who had trained with Mary Beale ), and her cousin Anne Osborne (the Clemena of her poetry).
Mills, Rebecca. "Thanks for that Elegant Defense": Polemical Prose and Poetry by Women in the Early Eighteenth Century. Oxford University.
She was a...
Friends, Associates Dorothy Osborne
DO 's sister-in-law Martha, Lady Giffard , a historical writer and an early widow, lived permanently with the family. Sir William Temple employed the young Jonathan Swift from 1689. DO was a friend and correspondent...
Intertextuality and Influence Sarah, Lady Cowper
SLC 's range of reference is apparently huge: to trace through these volumes the influences on her thinking would take long-term, focussed scholarly endeavour. She transcribed a couplet and elsewhere a complete poem by Mrs...
Intertextuality and Influence Delarivier Manley
The Lost Lover is remembered for its satirised learned lady, Orinda (whose role, however, is slight). This Orinda has been interpreted (probably wrongly) as a portrait of Katherine Philips , who had been famous under...
Intertextuality and Influence Elizabeth Singer Rowe
Rowe's early letters to Mrs Thynne, full of gossippy entertainment and anecdotal brilliance,
Bigold, Melanie. “Elizabeth Rowe’s Fictional and Familiar Letters: Exemplarity, Enthusiasm, and the Production of Posthumous Meaning”. Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Vol.
, No. 1, pp. 1-14.
also take pains to create an ideal of female friendship, enforced with quotations from the poetry of Katherine Philips ....
Intertextuality and Influence Sappho
Sappho '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 Ariadne
Ariadne says she is a young lady, who has had an Inclination . . . for Scribling from my Childhood.
Blain, Virginia et al., editors. The Feminist Companion to Literature in English: Women Writers from the Middle Ages to the Present. Yale University Press; Batsford.
Her preface invokes both Behn and Philips . The play was published in 1696. In...
Intertextuality and Influence Elizabeth Elstob
Begun in order to help the work of a female student, this work reiterates more strongly EE 's plea for opening the arena of scholarship to women. For examples of poetic practice she turns to...
Intertextuality and Influence Anna Letitia Barbauld
ALB 's first hymn presents the world, as God creates and adorns it and pronounces it good, as a female body.
Duquette, Natasha Aleksiuk. Veiled Intent: Dissenting Women’s Approach to Biblical Interpretation. Pickwick Publications.
She is also alert to female precedents. Her Verses on Mrs Rowe recall...
Intertextuality and Influence Mary Mollineux
MM situates her letter, like other early ones to Frances, in the context of her desire for her cousin's Temporal and Eternal Welfare, that is, her conversion to the Society of Friends . This...
Intertextuality and Influence Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
They include a novel in five letters (Indamora to Lindamira), a verse-and-prose romance (The Adventurer), and poems in various pastoral and classical modes—epistles, lyrics, etc. The novel gives a voice to...
Intertextuality and Influence Elizabeth Thomas
As a child ET was later said to have been for ever a Scribling.
Curll, Edmund et al. “The Life of Corinna. Written by Herself”. Pylades and Corinna, p. iv - lxxx.
The Life of Corinna, purporting to be written by a female friend, which prefaces the first volume of...


1641: Pierre Corneille published his classical...

Writing climate item


Pierre Corneille published his classical tragedyHorace, which had been first performed the previous year.

3 September 1651: Royalist hopes of a military victory were...

National or international item

3 September 1651

Royalist hopes of a military victory were finally crushed by defeat at the battle of Worcester; the future Charles II became a fugitive.

1656: Abraham Cowley published Poems; this volume,...

Writing climate item


Abraham Cowley published Poems; this volume, which included his Pindaric Odes and Miscellanies, confirmed his stature as the leading poet of the day.

1691: Gerard Langbaine published An Account of...

Writing climate item


Gerard Langbaine published An Account of the English Dramatick Poets.

1691: Robert Gould published another misogynist...

Writing climate item


Robert Gould published another misogynist satire, A Satyrical Epistle to the Female Author of a Poem Called Sylvia's Revenge.

1697: John Evelyn included in his Numismata. A...

Women writers item


John Evelyn included in his Numismata. A Discourse of Medals, Ancient and Modern a list of women famed for writing: Margaret Cavendish , Katherine Philips , Aphra Behn , Bathsua Makin , and Mary Astell .

1717: The worthy authors chosen for a miscellany...

Women writers item


The worthy authors chosen for a miscellany entitled The Agreeable Variety by its female editor included Behn , Philips , Chudleigh , and Finch .

By May 1754: John Duncombe published The Feminiad. A Poem,...

Building item

By May 1754

John Duncombe published The Feminiad. A Poem, which celebrates the achievements of women writers with strict attention to their support for conventional morality.


Philips, Katherine. Collected Works. Editors Thomas, Patrick et al., Stump Cross Books, 1993.
John Wilmot, second Earl of Rochester, et al. Familiar Letters. Samuel Briscoe, 1697.
Corneille, Pierre. Horace. Translators Philips, Katherine and Sir John Denham, Henry Herringman, 1669.
Philips, Katherine. “Introduction and Textual Notes”. The Collected Works of Katherine Philips, The Matchless Orinda, Volume I: The Poems, edited by Patrick Thomas, Stump Cross Books, 1990, pp. 1-68.
Philips, Katherine. “Introduction and Textual Notes”. The Collected Works of Katherine Philips, The Matchless Orinda, Volume II: The Letters, edited by Patrick Thomas, Stump Cross Books, 1992, p. xi - xviii.
Philips, Katherine. “Introduction and Textual Notes”. The Collected Works of Katherine Philips, the Matchless Orinda, Volume III: The Translations, edited by Germaine Greer and R. Little, Stump Cross Books, 1993, p. ix - xxi.
Philips, Katherine. Letters from Orinda to Poliarchus. Bernard Lintott, 1705.
Philips, Katherine. Poems. Richard Marriott, 1664.
Philips, Katherine. Poems. Henry Herringman, 1667.
Corneille, Pierre. Pompey. Translator Philips, Katherine, Samuel Dancer, 1663.
Philips, Katherine, and James Greenwood. “The Virgin”. The Virgin Muse, T. Varnam and F. Osborne, 1717.
Philips, Katherine, and William Cartwright. “To the most Ingenious and Virtuous Gentleman Mr. William Cartwright, my much valued Friend”. Comedies, Tragi-Comedies, with Other Poems, First, Humphrey Moseley, 1651.