Whitney's two volumes of verse miscellany, 'Sweet Nosegay' (1573) and 'The Copy of a Letter' (1567), were part of a literary trend of combining classical and Biblical references with popular and vernacular sources, and reflect the growing literary appetites of the urban population. As well a selection of her original poetry, this volume includes Sidney's version of the Psalms of David and Petrach's 'Triumph of Death'. Lanyer's poetry is devotional and is the most single-minded and explicit inits advocacy of female spirituality and virtue. Included here are 'Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum' and 'The Description of Cooke-ham'.
Born into the Cheshire gentry, Isabella Whitney (c.1550-?) went into service in London and published two volumes of poetry. Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke (1561-1621) worked in close literary collaboration with her brother, Sir Philip Sidney, and continued to write after his death. Aemelia Lanyer (1569-1645), a devotional poet, was raised in the Countess of Kent's household and married an Italian musician. Danielle Clarke is a lecturer in English at University College, Dublin.