The Women of Ben Jonson's Poetry: Female Representations in the Non-Dramatic Verse

1st Edition

Barbara Smith

Published October 26, 1995
Reference - 144 Pages
ISBN 9781859282281 - CAT# Y232439

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Ben Jonson (1572-1637) is recognised as one of the major poets and dramatists of his time. It is surprising, therefore, that this should be the first study to look specifically at the role of women in his poetry. Barbara Smith challenges previously held conceptions of Jonson as a misogynist, upholding the patronage system that allowed him to work. Through detailed examination of his poetic structures, the influence of Juvenal, Martial and Horace, and Jonson's attitudes to his own female patrons, the Countess of Bedford and Lady Mary Wroth, The Women of Ben Jonson's Poetry demonstrates how seventeenth century cultural values and ideas of gender are both supported and subverted in the poems. ’If we "survey Jonson in his works and know him there", we will find the independence of spirit and originality that made him a rarity in his time and ours.'

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