Social convention may have prevented Renaissance women writers from openly taking part in the political and religious debates of their day, but they found varied and innovative ways of intervening indirectly.
Isabella Whitney explored issues of sexual morality and her sense of exclusion from the vibrantly greedy and commercial London of the 1570s. Mary Sidney, sister of Sir Philip, produced powerful translations of Petrarch and the Psalms as well as original verse in order to mourn her late brother, develop his legacy and promote the Protestant cause. Aemilia Lanyer, probably the most obviously 'feminist' of these three, wrote poetry which defends Eve's actions in the Garden of Eden, celebrates female virtue and spirituality, and argues for the creation of a non-hierarchical community of 'good women'. All are strong and original voices which decisively alter our picture of the golden age of English Literature.