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Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies

Victoria University in the University of Toronto

“My Rare Wit Killing Sin”: Poems of a Restoration Courtier, by Anne Killigrew

184 pp / Paperback / December 2013 / ISBN 978-0-7727-2152-5 / $27.95

184 pp / Paperback / December 2013 / ISBN 978-0-7727-2152-5 / $27.95

Edited by Margaret J. M. Ezell

This is the first modern edition of verse by Anne Killigrew, a poet and portrait painter born in 1660 at the very start of the Restoration, who grew up as part of the complicated political, religious, and artistic worlds of the Restoration courts of Charles II and his brother James, Duke of York. Killigrew never chose to print her verses, but instead participated in a literary circulation network including family, friends, and members of the court; her position in relation to court culture and her family’s involvement with the London commercial stage gave her a unique perspective into the issues confronting a young single woman in a period during which libertinism was the dominant ethos of the courtiers. This edition lightly modernizes the spelling and punctuation of the posthumous volume of her collected verse, provides notes identifying the classical and biblical allusions which shape her works, and provides a historical context for her literary and artistic career in the introduction.

Advance Praise:

“Reading this edition reminds me how excellent a poet Anne Killigrew was. Hers is a voice that is well worth hearing, and this edition presents it marvelously. It is unique on the market, for no other modernized edition of Killigrew’s poetry is currently available. The novice and scholarly reader alike will find this volume useful for understanding this poet and her age.”
— Jeremy W. Webster
Associate Professor and Dean of the Honors Tutorial College, Ohio University

To view an excerpt from the introduction, click here [PDF]

The Editor:

Margaret J. M. Ezell is Distinguished Professor of English and holder of the John and Sara Lindsey Chair of Liberal Arts at Texas A&M University. She is the author of The Patriarch’s Wife: Literary Evidence and the History of the Family (1987), Writing Women’s Literary History (1993), and Social Authorship and the Advent of Print (1999), as well as numerous articles and chapters investigating the social circulation of handwritten texts.


Early Modern Women’s Journal, 10:1 (Fall 2015). pp. 239-241. Reviewed by Paula R. Backscheider.

To Order:

The Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies no longer sells or distributes books in “The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe: The Toronto Series.” Starting July 2015, volumes can be purchased by individuals and institutions from the Chicago Distribution Center. Contact CDC by email (, by fax (800-621-8476 or 773-702-7212), or by phone (800-621-2736 or 773-702-7000).

184 pp / Paperback / December 2013 / ISBN 978-0-7727-2152-5 / $27.95 (Price includes applicable taxes)

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