Summers and Pebworth 1997
- Summers, Claude J. and Ted-Larry Pebworth, eds. Representing Women in Renaissance England. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1997.
"Women in the Lyric Dialogue of Courtship: Whitney's Admonition to al yong Gentilwomen and Donne's "The Legacie"" by Ilona Bell (76-92)
- "by reading male poets/lovers such as John Donne alongside women writer's such as Isabella Whitney, we can reconstruct the enigmatic, ambiguous conversation of Elizabethan courtship." (76)
- "Elizabethan women play a central role in the lyric dialogue of courtship: as subjects, as authors, and, above all, as the primary and prototypical lyric audience." (79)
- "By reading the gaps and contradictions where a female oppositional discourse disturbes male poetic authority, we can recuperate the points of conflict and resistance -- the sexual politics or gender unconscious -- that make both poetry and courtship into discursive sites of social and sexual struggle." (79)
Copy "has an important place in the beginning of an English female lyric tradition. As a response to a male suitor, it offers an Elizabethan woman's adaptation and critique of the poetry of courtship. As a social document, [it] offers an Elizabethan woman's assessment of clandestine courtships and privy contracts, or corner contracts." (83)
- "Together Whitney's letter and admonition demonstrate that there is an important difference, not always easy to detect, between, on the one hand, puns, riddles, and enigmas used by lovers to signal sexual attraction and negotiate intimacy and, on the other ahnd, enigmatic or ambiguous language used by dishonest men to deceive and exploit trusting women." (85)