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date: 22 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines the work of Mary Wroth. The first of two parts of Wroth's The Countess of Montgomery's Urania appeared in the bookshops of London in 1621; the second part remained unpublished until 1999. It was the first extant romance written by an Englishwoman and represents a landmark in the history of English prose. Appended to the printed portion of her romance was a sonnet sequence ‘Pamphilia to Amphilanthus’, the first secular sonnet sequence written by an Englishwoman. First published in 1988, her play Love's Victory is the first original play known to be written by an Englishwoman. For these ‘firsts’ and, even more, for the high quality of her writing, Mary Wroth is now established as a canonical figure from the early modern period; her work is well known to specialists and to students alike.

Keywords: English prose writers, romances, prose, women authors, plays, sonnets

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