1st Edition

An Collins and the Historical Imagination

By W. Scott Howard Copyright 2014

    The first edited collection of scholarly essays to focus exclusively on An Collins, this volume examines the significance of an important religious and political poet from seventeenth-century England. The book celebrates Collins’s writing within her own time and ours through a comprehensive assessment of her poetics, literary, religious and political contexts, critical reception, and scholarly tradition. An Collins and the Historical Imagination engages with the complete arc of research and interpretation concerning Collins’s poetry from 1653 to the present. The volume defines the center and circumference of Collins scholarship for twenty-first century readers. The book’s thematically linked chapters and appendices provide a multifaceted investigation of An Collins’s writing, religious and political milieu, and literary legacy within her time and ours.

    List of Figures, List of Contributors, Acknowledgements, Introduction: Imagining An Collins, 1. An Collins: Fiction and Artifact, 2. Meditation and Rhetoric in “The Discourse”, 3. An Collins and the Disabled Self, 4. The “finenesse” of Devotional Poetry: An Collins and the School of Herbert, 5. Garden and Antigarden in the Song of Songs and Divine Songs and Meditacions, 6. Bearing Their Crosses with Alacrity: An Collins and Marie de l’Incarnation, 7. An Collins and the Life of Writing, 8. “[T]ouching the ground of Truth”: An Collins and Sectarian Spiritual Autobiography, 9. The “image of her mind”: Self, Dissent, and Femininity in Divine Songs and Meditacions, 10. The Collins Legacy: Representations by Scholars and Editors Since 1653, Afterword, Appendix A: “An dearest” volume: Richard Bishop’s Divine Songs and Meditacions, Appendix B: “Another Song. The Winter of my infancy”, Bibliography, Index


    W. Scott Howard is Associate Professor of English at the University of Denver, USA. He is the founding editor of Appositions: Studies in Renaissance / Early Modern Literature & Culture.

    'A useful work for scholars of early modern devotional literature, women writers, or disability studies, W. Scott Howard’s An Collins and the Historical Imagination is an essential publication for those studying or writing about Collins’s Divine Songs and Meditacions.' The Spenser Review