Refrains

Dedication Artistic tempers, with art on your minds Nothing here but what in good faith was done. Now knowing this, relish its affection even more. (1) And in case of a fault, well, ‘tis a woman’s work! Bright spirits, to learn from you what’s right I am prepared to do; let your wisdom join mine.…

Anna Bijns (1493-1575)

A Poetess in Antwerp 1528 saw the appearance in Antwerp of a remarkable collection of refrains. Among its novel features was its attribution to a living writer. Furthermore, the author turned out to be a woman, the ‘honourable and ingenious young lady, Anna Bijns’. That this need be no obstacle to excellence was proclaimed at…