Isabella Whitney


Isabella Whitney, apparently the first English professional female poet, is known from two printed miscellanies, The Copy of a Letter, lately written in meeter, by a young Gentilwoman, to her unconstant Lover (London, 1566) and A sweet Nosgay, Or pleasant Posye: contayning a hundred and ten Phylosophicall Flowers (London, 1573), each of which exists in a single known exemplum (in the Bodleian and British Library respectively). Two anonymous poems (Dido to Aeneas and Aeneas's answer) printed in F. L.'s translation of Ovid's Remedia Amoris (London, 1600) have also been speculatively attributed to her. No manuscripts by her are known, however.

Peter Beal