Biography: Sir Philip Sidney, 1554-86. Born at Penshurst, he was the eldest son of Sir Henry Sidney and Lady Mary, sister of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and of Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick. He was educated at Shrewsbury School, with Fulke Greville, and at Christ Church, Oxford, with Hakluyt and Camden. In 1572, Elizabeth I gave him permission to study abroad for two years; he visited Paris (leaving after the massacre of St. Bartholomew), Germany, Italy, etc. . . . He later became Gentleman of the Bedchamber (his father's office) and Ambassador to Emperor Rudolph. In 1583 he married Frances, daughter of Sir Francis Walsingham, and was knighted. 1583-5 he worked at the Ordnance Office with his uncle, Ambrose, and became interested in colonizing enterprises. He planned to sail with Drake in 1585, but was recalled and made Governor of Flushing. In this year a daughter was born. On 22 September 1586 he was wounded at Zutphen and died the next month at Arnhem. He was buried in St. Paul's at the expense of his father-in-law who also dealt with his creditors. Over 200 elegies were written to his memory.
Works . In 1578 he composed Lady of May for the Queen's entertainment at Wanstead. The first version of Arcadia was written 1578-80; the revised version 1580-4; in 1582 Astrophel mid Stella, and, probably, An Apology for Poetry. None of his works was published during his life.
Modern Editions . A. Feuillerat edited The Complete Works ( 4 vols., 1912-26). R. W. Zandvoort Sidney's 'Arcadia': a comparison between the two versions ( 1929) is indispensable on this problem. The most reliable editions of Astrophel are A. W. Pollard ( 1888), M. Wilson ( 1931), and M. Poirier ( Paris, 1957). An Apology has never been adequately edited; it is best consulted in G. C. Moore Smith's Elizabethan Critical Essays, i ( 1904). W. Ringler is preparing an edition of The Complete Poems; meanwhile his 'Poems attributed to Sir Philip Sidney', Studies in Philology ( 1950), should be consulted. In the following chapter quotations are from Feuillerat, Poirier, and Moore Smith, unless otherwise noted.
Scholarship and Criticism . Fulke Greville Life of . . . Sidney ( 1652) has been edited by N. Smith ( 1907); The Correspondence of . . . Sidney and Hubert Languet, by S. A. Pears ( 1845). Modern Lives are by M. W. Wallace ( 1915) and Mona Wilson ( 2nd ed., 1950). J. H. Hanford and Sara R. Watson discuss the personal allegory in the Arcadia in Modern Philology ( 1934), and H. H. Hudson the identification of Stella in Huntington Bulletin ( 1935). Elizabethan Chivalry is discussed by Frances A. Yates and D. Coulman in The Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes ( 1957). C. Falls' Mountjoy ( 1955) gives useful background. J. Buxton Sidney and the English Renaissance ( 1954), M. Poirier Sir Philip Sidney ( Lille, 1948), and R. B. Young essay in Three Studies in the Renaissance ( 1958) are concerned with Sidney as a man of letters. K. Muir's pamphlet for the British Council has appeared since this chapter was written. On patronage Eleanor Rosenberg Leicester, Patron of Letters ( 1955) and E. H. Miller The Professional Writer ( 1959) should be consulted.
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Publication information: Book title: Elizabethan Poetry. Contributors: Not available. Publisher: St. Martin's Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1960. Page number: 110.
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