1750 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Katherine Philips

William Oldys, "Mrs. Katherine Phillips," 1750 ca; Censura Literaria 2 (1806) 173-74



Mrs. Katherine Phillips was born 1 Jan. 1631, being twenty-six years old on 1 Jan. 1657, as she says in one of her poems. She married Mr. Phillips very young.

Her husband being a sufferer by the prevailing Power in the Civil Wars, to read the poem expressing her brave and faithful heart to him, in the comfort she administers to him under the affliction of his reduced and straightened circumstances, that as the Parliament has rescued him, Providence would do so too, it must be a hard heart, that can read the poem without returning some affection, or sympathizing in her tenderness towards him! There is as much fire of a virtuous love in this and several other of her poems, as there is of a vicious one in any of Mrs. Behn's.

Bishop Taylor addresses his Measures and Offices of Friendship in a letter to Mrs. Katherine Phillips, 1657. 12mo. 2d. Edit.

Her Poems were published in 8vo. a little before her death, 1664. Again, enlarged and corrected, with her Tragedies of Horace and Pompey, 1667, 8vo. Again 1669, and 1678, with a bust of her by W. Faithorne, and Preface to Sir Charles Cotterell: again 1710, 8vo. by Tonson.

She wrote under fictitious names: Antenor is her husband; Lucasia is Mrs. Anne Owen, whom she most dearly loved, and who was admitted into the society in 1651, and had her pictured drawn by Sam. Cooper, after Mrs. Montague. Mr. Henry Lawes, and Dr. Coleman, set several of her songs, &c.

She died 22 June, 1664, aged 33.

She was the daughter of a merchant, of the name of Fowler.