Immortal Sidney

Immortal Sidney

Immortal Sidney

Immortal Sidney

Excerpt

IF PHILIP SIDNEY was not born of the Blood Royal, it was no fault of his grandfather, John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland.

In the late spring of 1553, in the year before Philip was born, the Duke was about to complete his bold plans. Already he had successfully brought to the scaffold his rival, the Lord Protector Somerset. He had possessed himself of the Lord Protector's houses of Durham and Sion. If he had not taken the title as well, it was purely because he could manage better without it. What was the use of whetting the jealousy of the other nobles before it was necessary? Now he had crowned all by wedding his youngest son, Guildford Dudley, to the Lady Jane Grey.

Northumberland had not chosen the bride for her devotion to the reformed religion, though at the moment he inclined to that comparatively recent schism himself. Still less because she read Greek with Roger Ascham and was darkly rumored to know Hebrew and Chaldee. More useful to him was a certain sweet conformity to which he had been trained by a system of "pinches, nips and bobs and other things" which had formed the practical part of her education. His prime motive for the match was dynastic. The fifteen-year-old king, Edward VI, frail and soon . . .

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