Item #5036 Poems By the most deservedly Admired Mrs. Katherine Philips The Matchless Orinda. To which is added Monsieur Corneille’s Pompey & Horace,} Tragedies. With several other Translations out of French. Katherine Philips.
Poems By the most deservedly Admired Mrs. Katherine Philips The Matchless Orinda. To which is added Monsieur Corneille’s Pompey & Horace,} Tragedies. With several other Translations out of French.
Poems By the most deservedly Admired Mrs. Katherine Philips The Matchless Orinda. To which is added Monsieur Corneille’s Pompey & Horace,} Tragedies. With several other Translations out of French.
Poems By the most deservedly Admired Mrs. Katherine Philips The Matchless Orinda. To which is added Monsieur Corneille’s Pompey & Horace,} Tragedies. With several other Translations out of French.
Poems By the most deservedly Admired Mrs. Katherine Philips The Matchless Orinda. To which is added Monsieur Corneille’s Pompey & Horace,} Tragedies. With several other Translations out of French.

Poems By the most deservedly Admired Mrs. Katherine Philips The Matchless Orinda. To which is added Monsieur Corneille’s Pompey & Horace,} Tragedies. With several other Translations out of French.

London: Printed by J. M. for H. Herringman, 1667.

Price: $13,500.00

Folio: 25.4 x 17.6 cm. π2, A2, a-g2, B-Z2, Aa-Zz2, Aaa-Zzz2, Aaaa-Mmmm2 (with the final blank leaf)

FIRST SANCTIONED EDITION, preceded by a pirated and suppressed edition of 1664.

The portrait of Katherine Philips is bound opposite the title. Q-S1 ds at head, Ee2 stain, Ll1v stain, Aaa1 clean tear in text, Eee1 and Rrr1 nat pf,
. [xxxiv], 198, [8], 112, [2]pp., folio. Engraved portrait by Faithorne, with the final
blank leaf; clean tear in the lower blank margin of leaf 4A1, but a fine, fresh copy in
contemporary blind-ruled calf with an eighteenth-century gilt spine label. Early signature
“Eliza Gray” on title, with a faded inscription “Dundas” on the front pastedown
endpaper and, just below and in the same hand, “Given Eliza.” Eliza Gray
was probably a relation of Agnes Gray (1622-1669), the wife of Sir John Dundas of
Newliston. One possible candidate in Agnes’s extended family is Elizabeth Gray, daughter of
John Gray, 9th Lord Gray of Crichie.

“The daughter of a London merchant, Katherine Fowler [her maiden name] was probably the first English woman poet to have her work published. She married a gentleman of substance from Cardigan, James Philips, and seems to have moved effortlessly into the literary circle adorned by Vaughan, Cowley, and Jeremy Taylor. She was best known by her pseudonym ‘Orinda’ and the name appears on the collection of her Letters, which give a useful picture of the early 17th-century literary world. Her translation of Corneille’s ‘Pompee’ was performed in Dublin in 1663; a collection of her verses was published posthumously in 1664.” (Stapleton)

Mrs. Philips’ poems were circulated in manuscript, and secured for her a considerable reputation. The surreptitious quarto edition produced in 1664 caused her much annoyance, and Marriott, the publisher, was obliged to withdraw it from sale, and publicly to express his regret for having issued it. Some trouble was taken, it would appear, to destroy the copies, which would account for its rarity. In the preface of the 1667 edition, reference is made to the ‘false edition,’ and a long letter from the author in relation to it is quoted.

This is perhaps the most famous English collection of poems by a woman prior to 1700. P.W. Souers, in his critical biography of Katherine Philips, asserts for her the right to be historically the first English poetess—“In her, for the first time in the history of English letters, a woman was received into the select company of poets.” Jeremy Taylor dedicated to her his “Discourse on the Nature, Offices, and Measures of Friendship;” Abraham Cowley, Henry Vaughan the Silurist, Thomas Flatman, the Earl of Roscommon, and the Earl of Cork and Orrery all celebrated her talent, and Dryden could pay no higher compliment to Anne Killigrew than to compare her to Orinda.

Wing P-2033; Hayward 116; Grolier 669; CBEL II, 480; Sweeney 3460