Sidney: The Critical Heritage

By Martin Garrett | Go to book overview

87.

Sir Egerton Brydges

1810

Sir [Samuel] Egerton Brydges (1762-1837) sought to make earlier literature better known though The British Bibliographer (1810-14) and Censura Literaria (1805-9, 1815). Henry Southern, while criticizing Brydges’ works for being ‘almost entirely adapted to the purposes of the curious book-collector, or literary antiquary’ (The Retrospective Review, vol. 1, 1820, p. xiv) had to confess their usefulness.

There is some justice in the frequent contemporary claim that Brydges’ principal aim was to draw attention to his own high connections and alleged genius; in the notes to his essay on Sidney he is at pains to point out that he is related both to the Sidneys and to Thomas Sackville, Lord Buckhurst and Earl of Dorset. His Sidney is a lofty, melancholy figure, an early nineteenth-century ‘man of genius’ with an added degree of aristocratic refinement. The ‘rude grandeur’ of Penshurst, ‘its immense hall, its castellated form, its numerous appartments, well accord with the images of chivalry, which the memory of Sydney inspires’ (p. 293).


‘Memoir of Sir Philip Sidney’, The British Bibliographer, vol. 1, 1810, pp. 89, 93-105, 289-92.

Lord O[rford] speaks as if Sir Philip’s writings alone were considered as the basis of his fame. Does he wish us to forget him as a man of romantic gallantry, a general, a statesman, a courtier, a man of manners exquisitely refined, of a heart of the purest virtue and the nicest sensibility, and actuated by the most sublime principles of religion?

The ‘Arcadia’ is called by Lord Orford ‘a tedious, lamentable, pedantic, pastoral romance’. Had this honourable critic exercised his candour instead of his love of censure, and looked for beauties instead of faults, he might have found an abundant harvest in this work. Its tediousness to a modern reader arises in a great measure not from the fault of the writer, but from the vast change of manners

-304-

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Sidney: The Critical Heritage
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • General Editor’s Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xiv
  • Abbreviations xvi
  • Note on the Text xvii
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Edward Waterhouse 87
  • 2 - Philip Sidney 88
  • 4 - Edmund Spenser 93
  • Note 94
  • 6 - George Puttenham 96
  • 7 - William Temple 98
  • 8 - Geoffrey Whitney 102
  • 12 - George Whetstone 110
  • 15 - Sir John Harington 115
  • 16 - Thomas Newman 118
  • 18 - Edmund Spenser 127
  • 21 - Thomas Moffet 136
  • 22 - John King 139
  • 24 - Gervase Markham 141
  • 25 - Francis Meres 146
  • Note 147
  • 27 - Ben Jonson 152
  • 29 - Brian Twyne 157
  • 32 - Matthew Gwynne 169
  • 34 - Richard Carew 171
  • 36 - John Day 174
  • Notes 186
  • Note 200
  • 45 - John Donne 211
  • 47 - Upon Sydneis Arcadia 217
  • 48 - Michael Drayton 219
  • 52 - Edmund Waller 227
  • 54 - Richard Lovelace 232
  • 62 - Charles Cotton 259
  • 63 - John Aubrey 260
  • 65 - Edward Phillips 264
  • 66 - Life of Spenser 265
  • 67 - D. Tyndale 266
  • 69 - Anthony Wood 268
  • 70 - ‘j.N.’ 270
  • 71 - D. Stanley 272
  • 72 - Elizabeth Montagu 275
  • 75 - Samuel Johnson 281
  • 76 - ‘philisides’ 283
  • 78 - The History of Argalus and Parthenia 287
  • 79 - The Gentleman’s Magazine 288
  • 80 - Richard Brinsley Sheridan 290
  • 84 - Thomas Zouch 296
  • 85 - The Annual Review and History of Literature for 1808 299
  • 87 - Sir Egerton Brydges 304
  • 89 - William Hazlitt 317
  • 94 - Henry Hallam 335
  • 95 - Isaac D’israeli 337
  • Select Bibliography 350
  • Index 353
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