1827 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Katherine Philips

Alexander Dyce, in Specimens of British Poetesses, selected and chronologically arranged (1827) 76.



KATHERINE PHILIPS, born 1631, died 1664.

Known as a poetess by the name of Orinda, was the daughter of John Fowles of Bucklersbury, a London merchant. She married James Philips of the Priory, of Cardigan; nor did her devotion to the Muses (which had shewn itself at an early age) prevent her from discharging, in the most exemplary manner, the duties of domestic life. Her poems, which had been dispersed among her friends in manuscript, were first dispersed among her knowledge or consent; and the circumstance is said to have occasioned a fit of illness to the sensitive authoress. To this amiable woman Jeremy Taylor addressed a Discourse on the Nature, Offices, and Measures of Friendship, with Rules for conducting it: she is praised more than once by Dryden; and her death, caused by the small-pox, was mourned by Cowley in a long Pindaric.

The verses of Orinda appear to have been hastily composed: if they do not frequently gleam with poetry, they are generally impregnated with thought.