The turmoil of the English civil wars deeply influenced English poet Katherine Philips’ (1632-1664) life, as well as her writing. A devoted royalist, Philips slowly gained a reputation as a poet during the 1650’s by circulating her poetry in manuscript to a select circle of royalist friends. After the restoration in 1660, two printed publications made her poetry available to a larger reading public. The publications clearly portray Philips as a royalist writer. But what characterises the female, royalist subject that speaks in the poems? In this paper, I will argue that Philips attempts to create an alternative to the royalist, aristocratic and hypermasculine ethic commonly known as virtus heroica, or heroic virtue. To do so, she makes use of a figuration that was very popular in England as well as on the continent during the mid-17th century – the femme forte, or the “heroick” woman. After having briefly sketched the history of the femme forte, I will discuss how Philips makes use of this figure as an example to suggest a different form of heroic subjectivity. Lastly, I will suggest how a figure such as the femme forte might have challenged the royalist ethic of civil war and restoration England.