This essay analyzes, edits, and translates a previously unknown Neo-Latin poem by Agatha Wiseman (d. 1647), a member of an English Benedictine convent in Brussels and a kinswoman of the celebrated mystic Benet of Canfield ( William Fitch). After Canfield's death in 1610, Wiseman composed a prosa in his honor, which was published alongside his biography in a 1621 volume that included both her original Neo-Latin text and a French translation of the poem. When Robert Rookwood translated this publication into English in 1623, he rendered Wiseman's prosa anonymous by eliminating any mention of her authorship. The aims of this article and edition are threefold: first, to recover Wiseman as the author of both an important Neo-Latin poem and an extensive body of letters, translations, and transcriptions in Latin and French; second, to consider how her prosa advances her political aim of establishing Canfield as a candidate for canonization; and third, to explore the different receptions that Wiseman's poem found on the Continent and within England. Participating in recent efforts to extend the literary canon by drawing attention to the works of English nuns, this essay suggests that the future of early modern literary studies may lie on the Continent.


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pp. 397-437
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