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From Library of Congress Name Authority File


us: Ephelia, active 1679



  • URI(s)

  • Instance Of

  • Scheme Membership(s)

  • Collection Membership(s)

  • Variants

    • us: Ephelia, fl. 1679
    • us: Gentlewoman, active 1679
    • us: Herbert, Mary, 1622-1685
    • us: Howard, Mary, 1622-1685
    • us: Lady of quality, active 1679
    • us: Philips, Joan, active 1679
    • us: Phillips, Joan, active 1679
    • us: Richmond and Lennox, Mary Villiers Stuart, Duchess of, 1622-1685
    • us: Stuart, Mary Villiers, Duchess of Richmond and Lennox, 1622-1685
    • us: Villiers, Mary Stuart, Duchess of Richmond and Lennox, 1622-1685
  • Exact Matching Concepts from Other Schemes

  • Earlier Established Forms

    • Ephelia, fl. 1679
  • Sources

    • found: Her Female poems on several occasions, 1679: t.p. (Ephelia)
    • found: Her A poem to His Sacred Majesty, on the plot, 1678: t.p. (by a gentlewoman)
    • found: Halkett & Laing (Ephelia = Mrs. Joan Phillips)
    • found: NUC pre-1956 (Philips, Joan, fl. 1679)
    • found: BM (Philips, Joan)
    • found: Sutherland, J. Eng. lit. of the late 17th cent., 1969: p. 529 (Ephelia: Female poems on several occasions by this unidentified poetess appeared in 1679; Gosse's suggestion that Ephelia was the daughter of Katherine Philips has no evidence to support it)
    • found: Mulvihill, M.E. Poems by Ephelia, 1992, 1993: p. 66, 258 (John Pavin Phillips (Haverforwest, Wales) overturned Gosse's "wild rumor", as Gosse himself called it, by identifying Katherine Philips's daughter as Kathering Wogan nee Philips, whose interests ran to maternity, not poetry.)
    • found: Schlueter, P. & J., An encyclopedia of British women writers, 1998: p. 231-2 (Ephelia is a pseudonym for a poet-playwright-songwriter of Restoration London. Much scholarship has been devoted to discovering her identity. Recent research points to Lady Mary Villiers, later Stuart, Duchess of Richmond and Lennox, 1622-1685)
    • found: E-mail correspondence (7-16-01) with Maureen E. Mulvihill of Princeton Research Forum (Lady Mary Villiers was the daughter of George Villiers, first Duke of Buckingham, and sister of George Villiers, second Duke of Buckingham. Mary Villiers was a longstanding member of the inner circle of Charles I and Charles II. Called "the Butterfly" by Charles II; Lady Villiers was a celebrated beauty, known for court intrigue, tricks, and practical jokes. She appears in the dedication of three literary works, and perhaps more. During the Civil War, she was a courier and intelligencer for the exiled Stuarts. The longstanding bibliographical identification of "Ephelia" as 'Joan Philips,' emanating, without documentation, from H.B. Wheatley, in Halkett & Laing's "Dict. of Anonymous & Pseudonymous English Lit.", may originate in yet another of Mary Villiers's multiple fictional identities. It is not incredible that she cleverly devised a persona to enable her to move fluidly in London's rough urban culture. As "Joan Philips" (a rather improbable name, of amusing Welsh redundancy), she could readily access, at first-hand, a literary world denied her as the high and mighty Duchess of Richmond & Lennox.
    • found: (con't) This would explain her link to Aphra Behn (a commoner), whom she tributes ("To Madam Behn") in "Female Poems ... by Ephelia" (1679, 1682); this also would explain Behn's (encoded) reference to Mary as "a poet Joan" in Behn's prologue to "Sir Patient Fancy". As regards the character of Mary Villiers, the Baroness Burghclere ("Villiers," 1903) mentions her duel with a female romantic rival (probably the Lady Catherine Crofts, the ugly "Mopsa" of "Female Poems ... by Ephelia"); and Madam D'Aulnoy (Dunois) mentions Mary's penchant for practical jokes and cross-dressing for portraits ("Memories," Paris, 1695). Mary's elegant and rare book, "Female poems ... by Ephelia," includes poems written to many familiar Restoration figures: Charles II, George Villiers, Betty Felton, Mary Fairfax Villiers, Prince Rupert, Nell Gwyn, Cary Frazier, but it also records Mary's sad love affair with "J.G.," evidently Henry Jermyn (Germyn), first Earl of St. Albans, the clandestine 'husband' of Mary's surrogate or second mother, Queen Henrietta Maria ("Eugenia"), another of the great open secrets at the Stuart court. When Mary amusingly dedicated the book to herself (a gesture hardly unprecendented in literature to that time), she executed the genius stroke that kept researchers fumbling for centuries. Sly Stuart duchess, Mary was hiding in plain sight, these many long years.
    • found: (con't) Ephelia's identity in Mary Villiers now places her on a continuum of early-modern English women writers: by birth, she was related to the Manners-Knyvet circle of women writers; and by marriage (her first marriage) to the Herbert-Sidney-Wroth circle of women writers.)
    • found: Information provided by M. Mulvihill, Princeton Research Forum, July 8, 2002: (probable author: Mary Villiers, later Stuart, Duchess of Richmond & Lennox; other legal names: Lady Mary Herbert; Lady Mary Howard; Mulvihill reports that ESTC (2001) and CBEL, 3rd ed., record Lady Mary Villiers as Ephelia)
    • found: A poem as it was presented to His Sacred Majesty on the discovery of the plott, 1679: t.p. (Lady of quality)
  • Change Notes

    • 1985-07-12: new
    • 2013-03-15: revised
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