Aemilia Bassano Lanyer was the first professional female poet in England when she published her single volume of poetry in 1611. A member of the minor gentry, she was married to a court musician and the mistress of Henry Carey — Queen Elizabeth's first cousin and Anne Boleyn's brother. Nevertheless, her life and accomplishments are overshadowed by claims that she was the mysterious "Dark Lady" of Shakespeare's sonnets. Tonight Dr. McCarthy discusses what is lost when we think of Lanyer as the "Dark Lady," and asks how we can best understand and appreciate the worth of her achievements.
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ABOUT THE PRESENTER ERIN MCCARTHY returned to Arizona State University to work at ACMRS in January 2013. She earned her B.A. in English literature at ASU in 2005, and went on to complete her M.A., Ph.D., and interdisciplinary Certificate in Medieval and Renaissance studies at The Ohio State University in 2012. Her research interests include early modern English poetry and poetics, Shakespeare, bibliography and the history of the book, and scholarly editing. She is currently working on a book manuscript that examines the printing of late sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English verse collections and argues that print publication fundamentally altered early modern English poetic culture.
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