Anne Phillips (Prowde) Proud of Shrewsbury
Evidence supporting this "tentative speculative candidate" of 1992 derived from provocative genealogical and heraldic intersections, discussed (with images) in the third section (pp. 65-76) of my edition's eighty-eight-page "Critical Essay." This candidate, whose personal circumstances and family lineage connected with certain features of the "Ephelia" subject, was essentially a faceless candidate. Proud has since been superseded by a much more accessible and forceful candidate, introduced in Section II. The publisher of my edition, Norman Mangouni, of Scholars' Facsimiles & Reprints, observed, "You were wise not to overplay your hand with that first candidate." And the late Arthur Scouten, a co-dedicatee of this essay, had this to say to me in 1991 about Anne Proud: "No, this candidate is not right for your poet, though you've built an attractive case. 'Ephelia' is someone very big. Look at the aristocratic hand of the 'Isham' autograph, look at the licensed broadside to Charles. You'll find her. Keep at it."
My first search for "Ephelia," regardless of the veracity of my then candidate, was nonetheless an essential and useful exercise. The edition's apparatus of six appendices, e.g., involved a systematic organization and synthesis of a massive amount of material, accreted since the seventeenth century. In addition to the reviews listed in "Works Cited," my labors have been appreciated by some "Ephelia" contrarians. Warren Chernaik judges the edition "impressive and valuable," even "heroic" ("Ephelia's Voice," PQ, Spring, 1996); and Trevor H. Howard-Hill judges the edition "a valuable contribution" (PBSA, Spring, 1993).