Resources for the study of Lucy Hutchinson

1. Web Resources for the Study of Lucy Hutchinson


Manuscript Materials:

On searching for manuscript materials see 'Exploring Literary Manuscripts':

Nottinghamshire Archives:

Nottingham University Manuscripts and Special Collections:

Parliamentary Archives:

Northamptonshire Record Office:

Derbyshire Record Office:

British Library Manuscripts Catalogue:

Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University:


Women Writers:



International Margaret Cavendish Society:

Elizabeth Isham:

Hester Pulter:

Brilliana Harley (HSSL):

The Aphra Behn Society:


Puritanism and Dissent:

Dr Williams’s Centre for Dissenting Studies:

Dr Williams’s Library:

John Rylands University Library:

Harris Manchester College Library, Oxford University:

The Angus Library, Regent’s Park College, Oxford University:

Westminster College Archives, Cambridge University:

Bristol Baptist College Library and Archives:

Massachusetts Historical Society:


Historical and Antiquarian:

British History Online:

Parliamentary Archives:

The History of Parliament Online:

The National Archives:

Nottinghamshire Heritage Gateway:

Nottinghamshire History:

The Cromwell Association:

Historical currency converter:


Lucretius and Epicureanism:


2. Lucretius in early modern scholarship


Above: the great edition of Denys Lambin (1570), still regarded as a landmark in understanding the poem and its transmission. Montaigne, a passionate admirer of Lucretius, filled the margins of his copy with annotations:

Vt sunt diuersi atomorum non incredibile est sic conuenisse olim atomos aut conuenturas ut alius nascatur montanus.

[Since the movements of the atoms are varied, it is not unbelievable that atims once came together – or will come together in the future – so that another Montaigne be born. M. A. Screech, Montaigne’s Annotated Copy of Lucretius (Geneva, 1998), p. 134]

This reading informed his Essays, which through Florio’s translation became familiar to Shakespeare and his English contemporaries a long time before a full English version became available.


Above: the edition of Obertus Gifanius (1566, revised 1595), who became the butt of Lambinus’s savage attacks for his plagiarism; his own annotated copy of his earlier edition is in the Bodleian. Below, the edition used by Lucy Hutchinson, edited by Daniel Pareus (Frankfurt, 1631); pictured below the Lambinus edition. This was a pocket edition, a compilation from previous scholarship, with a bias towards Gifanius’s text. It was very easy to navigate – down to the inclusion of line numbers, then still rare in editions of classical texts: the ideal text for someone who turnd it into English

in a roome where my children practizd the severall quallities they were taught, with their Tutors, & I numbred the sillables of my translation by the threds of the canvas I wrought in, & sett them downe with a pen & inke that stood by me; How superficially it must needs be done in this manner, the thing it selfe will shew.

The commentary, however, warns against taking such comments too literally. Hutchinson’s ‘the thing it selfe will shew’ translates a stock Lucretian formula, res ipsa… vociferatur (De rerum natura, 2.1050-1), and ‘superficies’ is a word Hutchinson chose herself as the equivalent for some of Lucretius’s philosophical terms. Her saturation in the texture of Lucretius’s poetry informs her denunciation of his ‘Atheismes & impieties’ and of her own translation.


Thomas Creech’s design for his 1682 translation: Lucretius cuts through the surface of perception to reveal the pattern of atoms beneath; animals are born from the Earth.

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