Philip Sidney

Sidney, Sir Philip

Sir Philip Sidney, 1554–86, English author and courtier. He was one of the leading members of Queen Elizabeth's court and a model of Renaissance chivalry. He served in several diplomatic missions on the Continent and in 1586 was fatally wounded at the battle of Zutphen. Sidney exerted a strong influence on English poetry as patron, critic, and example. His literary efforts circulated only in manuscript during his lifetime. Arcadia (1590), a series of verse idyls connected by prose narrative, was written for his sister Mary, countess of Pembroke. It is the earliest renowned pastoral in English literature. Sidney's prose criticism of the nature of poetry, written as a rebuttal to Stephen Gosson's The School of Abuse, appeared in two slightly different versions—The Defense of Poesie and An Apology for Poetry (both 1595). Astrophel and Stella (1591) is one of the great sonnet sequences in English and was inspired by his love for Penelope Devereux, later Lady Rich. Sidney, however, married Frances Walsingham in 1583.

See his works ed. by A. Feuillerat (1962); The Psalms of Sir Philip Sidney and the Countess of Pembroke (ed. by J. C. A. Rathmell, 1963); biographies by M. W. Wallace (1915, repr. 1967); R. Howell (1968), J. M. Osborn (1972), and A. Stewart (2001); studies by S. M. Cooper (1968), D. Connell (1977), and D. Kay, ed. (1988).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Philip Sidney: Selected full-text books and articles

Sir Philip Sidney By Philip Sidney; Katherine Duncan-Jones Oxford University Press, 1989
The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia (The Old Arcadia) By Philip Sidney; Katherine Duncan-Jones Oxford University, 1999
Astrophel & Stella By Philip Sidney; Mona Wilson Nonesuch Press, 1931
FREE! A Defence of Poesie and Poems By Philip Sidney Cassell, 1909
Immortal Sidney By Emma Marshall Denkinger Brentano's, 1931
Fair Ladies: Sir Philip Sydney's Female Characters By Katherine J. Roberts Peter Lang Publishing, 1993
Proportional Form in the Sonnets of the Sidney Circle: Loving in Truth By Tom W. N. Parker Clarendon Press, 1998
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 1 "Philip Sidney and Proportional Form: Astrophil and Stella, Certaine Sonets, and Bruno's De Gli Eroici Furori"
"A Pleasant and Terrible Reverence": Maintenance of Majesty in Sidney's 'New Arcadia.' (Philip Sidney) By Biester, James Philological Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 4, Fall 1993
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Silver Poets of the Sixteenth Century By Henry Howard; Sir John Davies; Sir Philip Sidney; Sir Thomas Wyatt; Sir Walter Ralegh; Gerald Bullett J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd, 1947
Librarian’s tip: "Sir Philip Sidney: 1554-86" begins upon p. 171
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