Today we honour Emilia Bassano who died 377 years ago. She is acknowledged to be the first woman, writing in English, to be recognised as a professional poet. Her manuscripts can be found in the British Library.
Emilia Bassano was in the same league as John Donne. Let’s celebrate her by reading this 1611 call for equality:
“Men, who forgetting they were born of women, nourished of women, and if they were not of the means of women, they would be quite extinguished out of the world, and a final end of them all: do like vipers deface the wombs wherein they were bred.”
(Emilia Bassano, ‘To the Vertuous Reader’, Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum, 1611)
Listen to an excerpt from Eve’s Apology in Defense of Women: The Missing Women – One Lost Stone (lostjews.org.uk)