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The Anonymous ‘Eliza’: A Puritan Virgin Poet Internalizes Seventeenth-Century English Absolutism

Author:

Kamille Stone Stanton

Savannah State University, US
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Abstract

In her only known published volume, Eliza’s Babes: or The Virgin’s Offering (1652), the anonymous poet known as ‘Eliza’ figures her virgin identity as a political and religious trope; however critics have been ambiguous on the topic of this poet’s political affiliation. In the various themes that thread Eliza’s work is evidence of a constant personalizing process of contemporary trends in both religious belief and political opinion. Pausing only briefly to overtly discuss political events, Eliza tends to internalize religious doctrines and political events until her overriding sense of her own female identity serves to reconcile political and religious conflicts. Although Eliza’s Puritanical orientation may have, presumably, aligned her against the monarch for a time, as demonstrated by my examination of her verses and their contextualization within Civil War sermons, she was highly influenced by the Presbyterian sense of sympathy toward the beleaguered cause of King Charles I that was enabled by the unreconciled tensions between their interests and those of Parliament

DOI: https://doi.org/10.35360/njes.212
How to Cite: Stone Stanton, K., 2010. The Anonymous ‘Eliza’: A Puritan Virgin Poet Internalizes Seventeenth-Century English Absolutism. Nordic Journal of English Studies, 9(1), pp.71–85. DOI: http://doi.org/10.35360/njes.212
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Published on 01 Jan 2010.

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