Of Devotion and Dissent: An Collins’s Divine Songs and Meditacions (1653)

Discoveries 22.1 (2005). 14 May 2005

By W. Scott Howard

For this inaugural, digital issue of Discoveries in Renaissance Culture, I thought it may be fitting to offer an essay about one of the small discoveries in Renaissance literary studies I was lucky enough to stumble across during my graduate training at the University of Washington: the poetry of An Collins, a mid-seventeenth century English devotional and political writer. This essay has a four-fold purpose: first of all, to deliver a brief and true relation about my so-called discovery of An Collins; secondly, to introduce a digital readership to her writing that still remains largely unknown; thirdly, to trace the reception history of Collins’s work from 1815 to 2005; and fourthly, to articulate a political analysis of her poetry that reflects upon the contingent synergy between research methods, pedagogy, scholarly interpretation, and critical debate.

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